Photo Credit: Jewish Press
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, center right, with other dignitaries as they march along Fifth Ave. during the 53rd annual Celebrate Israel Parade

Israeli Consul to NY, Dani Dayan on Monday tweeted: “Relax, on June 3, Minister Miri Regev, myself and all the Israeli diplomats in New York will be marching in the Israel Parade down Fifth Avenue, and in the evening we’ll be in Times Square to watch the big screens, the most amazing 70th celebration outside Israel. Everything’s fine.”

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Dayan tweeted his calming message following news that Israeli security officials in New York had called on Israeli diplomats not to attend the Israel Independence ceremony scheduled for early next month in Times Square.

Israel’s Channel 13 on Monday said that Israeli officials had received serious warning messages not to participate in the Israel Day parade nor the Times Square event for fear of being targeted, especially after the recent events in Gaza, fearing that the NY events could deteriorate to a violent protest against Israel’s representatives in the streets of Manhattan.

The warning was sent by the consular security officer, who stated explicitly: “We forbid any participation and any presence of the emissaries and employees at this event. This is a very sensitive event which does not allow us to provide a satisfactory security response. It should be noted that the NYPD, including its highest echelons, stresses that this is a very high-risk event, especially at this time.”

The Foreign Ministry confirmed the details of the warning and said in response: “We received a clear directive not to be on the street or in the square itself, and the emissaries will be at the Renaissance Hotel and watch the event from there.”

The Ministry of Culture and Sport stated: “Miri Regev will act in accordance with the instructions of the relevant security forces.”

It should be noted that crime in the Big Apple has continued to spiral downward in 2018 — with murders last January dropping by 16% compared with January 2017, so that Israeli officials have every reason to feel much safer in Times Square than, say, near the Gaza Strip border.

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