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September 19, 2014 / 24 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘parade’

Using Donkeys to Kill Sacred Cows?

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Some 5,000 people marched in Jerusalem’s “Gay Pride” parade on Thursday, upsetting many residents and contributing very little to the spirit of tolerance. While in Tel-Aviv the parade enjoys massive local support, the insistence on conducting it in the holiest city in the world regularly upsets even liberal minded religious Jews.

Some Orthodox Jewish men gathered in the Meah Shearim neighborhood to protest the parade with a counter-parade featuring a small herd of donkeys adorned with sheets with the slogan: Proud Donkey. (We could have used the other, legitimate English word for Equus africanus asinus, but there must be several considerations of good taste and proper style why we shouldn’t in this context.)

Jews Clash in Queer Toronto Over Inclusion of BDS Group in Parade

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

A Jewish gay and lesbian group has submitted a request to the Pride Toronto arbitration panel, asking the gay pride parade organizers to ban anti-Israel group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid from the festival, according to a report in the Toronto Star.

Jewish homosexual group Kulanu Toronto filed a complaint on Friday against QuAIA’s participation in the July 1 parade, stating that “QuAIA’s “behavior and rhetoric are hurtful to Jewish parade participants and to supporters of Israel”.  According to Kulanu, QuAIA’s comparison of Israel to apartheid South Africa is offensive and untrue.  In an e-mail to the Star, Kulanu executive director Justine Apple accused QuAIA of “hijacking the parade with their anti-Israel propaganda,” and alienating the people of Toronto with their “hateful, hostile messaging”.

Queers Against Israel Apartheid

Queers Against Israel Apartheid

The Star reported that the dispute resolution committee will review the complaint, but may not be able to render a decision in time for the event.

Last week, the Toronto city council voted to condemn the use of the phrase “Israel apartheid,” but also granted $124,000 in funding to the pride parade regardless of QuAIA’s ability to participate.  In 2010, a decision to ban QuAIA from the annual parade was overturned due to pressure from Canadian homosexuals.  In 2011, the city of Toronto threatened to cut funding to the parade if QuAIA was allowed to participate.  In response, QuAIA pulled out of the event, holding an event in favor of BDS (boycotting, divestment, and sanctions) instead.

In January, Tel Aviv was named the Best Gay City of 2011 in an international American Airlines competition choosing the most popular destinations among LGTB tourists.

Students See Support at Israel Parade

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Visit http://israelcampusbeat.org for the latest Israel trends and events on campus.

Multiple student delegations joined tens of thousands of New Yorkers on Sunday as they marched down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan for the Celebrate Israel Parade, sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC-NY).

About a dozen college campuses, including Brown University, Queens College, New York University, Columbia University, Yeshiva University and Cornell University, were represented by student delegations in the parade, which has been an annual fixture for the past 48 years.

“It’s really inspiring to see such a huge amount of people come out, despite long waits and a bit of rain, to show their support of Israel,” said Aliza Ben-Arie, who is president of New York University’s Israel club. “It’s a side of the Jewish world I don’t see as often as I’d like to, and it’s empowering to see it happen.

Eli Shaubi, the incoming co-president of the Cornell Israel Public Affairs Committee, remarked, “It is really meaningful for me to be able to come out here and enjoy a fun afternoon with such a large variety of people. It’s important to remember that there is a wider pro-Israel community out there supporting you, and that we are one cog in the wheel, doing our part in advocating for Israel.”

The spokesman of the Israeli Consulate in New York, Shahar Azani, said after the parade, “Israel welcomes the participation of all community members in the Celebrate Israel Parade, and especially campus activists for Israel, as they witness the level of support Israel enjoys in the general public and are able to engage and network with other supporters of Israel. We hope to see many more every year.”


New York Goes All White and Blue for Annual Israel Parade

Monday, June 4th, 2012

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg were among the dignitaries who marched in Sunday’s annual Celebrate Israel Parade in the Big Apple.

They joined tens of thousands of marchers who paraded up Fifth Avenue under blue, sunny skies amid a sea of blue-and-white Israeli flags. The parade, now in its 48th year, is America’s biggest annual show of support for Israel by the numbers.

Marchers included Jewish day school contingents, the Chai Riders motorcycle club, non-Jewish marching bands, and a contingent from Israel Guide Dogs for the Blind, among some 200 organizations. Israeli consuls and some government officials also marched.

The theme of this year’s parade was “Israel Branches Out”

The parade was preceded by a four-mile Celebrate Israel run through Central Park.

Jerusalem Day Parade

Monday, May 21st, 2012

30,000 boy and girls from schools around the country participated in the Jerusalem Day Dance and Flag Parade on Sunday, May 20, 2012.

The parade began with dancing in front of the Great Synagogue, followed by a march to the Old City, walking through the gates of Jerusalem, and finally, culminating at the Kotel.

The parade celebrates the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967.

Photo Credits: Stephen Leavitt, Flash90: Noam Moskowitz,  Miriam Alster

Israel’s Left Calling for Abolition of Jerusalem Day

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

Gush Shalom Spokesperson Adam Keller on Saturday night called  to remove Jerusalem Day from Israel’s calendar of national holidays.

On the 28th of the Month of Iyar, which in 1967 fell on June 7, the old city of Jerusalem was liberated from its Arab occupiers by the IDF. The day has been celebrated since, following a May 12, 1968 government proclamation.

But according to Keller, Jerusalem Day is “a holiday only to settlers and racists, who get a license to provoke and harass Palestinians . . The real ‘Jerusalem Day’ [will come] when Jerusalem becomes the capital of two states living in peace.”

Keller published his announcement on “Media With Conscience,” a website which strives to achieve “world peace, social justice and a high awareness by humankind of the present and future dangers to its survival.”

Keller continues further in his statement: “‘Jerusalem Day’ is not a holiday to Israel’s citizens or to residents of Jerusalem. It is a holiday only for the young settlers, who are given by the Jerusalem Police a free hand to hold a provocative ‘Flag Dance’ throughout East Jerusalem – even though in previous years this ‘dance’ developed into an ongoing chain of racist harassment and violence against Palestinian inhabitants.”

The traditional Dance of flags is part of the parade of Jerusalem Day, in which tens of thousands of Israelis march from the western part of the capital through the Muslim Quarter, ending in front of the Wailing Wall. That part of Jerusalem Day, the parade, has received the greatest amount of criticism on the Left.

The original parade and the first dances with flags took place in 1968, when students at the Merkaz HaRav yeshiva, led by Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, marched up Yaffo Street, concluding with singing and dancing well into the night, at the kotel.

Carrying Israeli flags has become a distinct feature of the Jerusalem Day parade, as myriad marchers establish with their feet and their flags the Jewish sovereignty over the city.

According to Haaretz, a group of 21 leftist organizations calling themselves Forum Tag Meir, requested the Jerusalem municipality as well as the police to bar the parade from Arab neighborhoods, for fear of violent clashes between marchers and angry Arabs.

The police actually suggested, initially, that this year’s parade only move through the western part of town. But National Religious representatives accused the police of re-dividing the city with the restriction of the very parade that celebrates its unification.

“With this move the police is taking up a dangerous position regarding the division of Jerusalem,” NRP’s Deputy Mayor David Harari wrote Homeland Security Minister Yitzhak Ahronowitch, according to Haaretz.

Harari complained that with its plan, the police would be “educating our youth that the place of the Jews is in the western part of the city and not in its eastern part.”

Only this past week did the police change its position and agreed to the traditional path of the parade, through the Shchem Gate and the Muslim Quarter.

Incidentally, Adam Keller, the staunch enemy of Jerusalem Day, has been carrying the torch against the reunification of the land under Jewish rule for decades, and on occasion paid a personal price for his views. He has sat in prison more than once for refusing to serve in the territories liberated in 1967.

Unique among his comrades, Keller’s actions in the past have been imaginative and even ambitious.  In 1988 he was sentenced to three months in jail for defacing 117 tanks and other military vehicles with graffiti that read: “Soldiers of the IDF, refuse to be occupiers and oppressors, refuse to serve in the occupied territories!” He also pasted hundreds of “Down with the occupation!” stickers throughout the camp where he was doing his reserves duty.

Truth be told, writing press releases is a bit of a step backwards for the imaginative Keller.

Backlash Against Inclusion of BDS in Israel Day Parade

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

A major backlash against a UJA-Federation and Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) decision to permit groups encouraging Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel to march in the upcoming Celebrate Israel Parade in New York City has led to a campaign to oust the groups from the event.

“A coalition of community Jewish organizations urgently calls on all friends of Israel to make their voices heard,” an e-mail from an organization called JCC Watch reads. “We urge everyone to raise your voices and call the UJA-Federation and the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC).  Urge them to stop these groups from marching in the Israel Day Parade and hijacking a pro-Israel event for their anti-Israel purposes.”

Those who participate in the campaign will be responding to news that the New Israel Fund (NIF) will be participating in this year’s parade, despite funding projects that many see as aiming to delegitimize and weaken Israel, both socio-politically and economically.

NIF is a funder of various organizations which have urged divestment from Israel, including Mossawa, Adalaha, Machsom Watch, Coalition of Women for Peace, Social TV, and Women Against Violence.

The NIF marched in last year’s parade, along with Israel Apartheid Week supporter B’Tselem , Rabbis for Human Rights, and  Partners for Progressive Israel, which has called for a boycott of all products produced by Jews in Judea and Samaria.

JCC Watch founder and member of the newly established Committee for a Pro-Israel Parade Richard Allen stated that “it is not surprising that the UJA-Federation is pushing these bash Israel groups to march in the June 3, 2012 Israel Parade.”  He accused several senior members of the UJA of being involved in anti-Israel work, including one officer he says worked with Noam Chomsky on an anti-Israel project and another he says gave $1 million in UJA funds to the “George Soros-funded political group”  Jewish Funds for Justice.

Americans for a Safe Israel (AFSI) Executive Director Helen Freedman decried the participation of the BDS groups, noting that when her organization wanted to march in the parade with signs promoting Jewish sovereignty over all the land assigned to the Jewish people in biblical texts, her group was denied. “We were turned down because we were too “extremist” and our banners in support of a whole Israel – yisrael shlayma -were not welcome,” Freedman said, according to a letter from her posted on the website of activist Batya Meidad.

Supporters of the campaign to oust BDS groups from the annual New York City parade are being encouraged to call or e-mail Board members of the UJA Federation of New York.

Members of the Committee for a Pro-Israel Parade include Allen of JCCWatch, Rabbi Steven Axelman of Whitestone Hebrew Centre, Helen Freedman of Americans for a Safe Israel, Beth Gilinsky of the National Conference on Jewish Affairs, Eli E. Hertz of “Myths and Facts”, Lori Lowenthal Marcus of Z Street, Rabbi Allen Schwartz of Congregation Ohab Zedek, and Rabbi Eli Kowalsky.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/backlash-against-inclusion-of-bds-in-israel-day-parade/2012/03/22/

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