Photo Credit: Flash 90
2013 Israel Day Parade in New York City.

It is incomprehensible. This year, the sponsors of New York’s annual Israel Day Parade are allowing organizations to march who actively promote a boycott of Israeli businesses and companies owned by Jews in Judea-Samaria.

The UJA-Federation, responsible for the annual parade, has given the Green Light to groups organizing boycotts against products of Jewish owners in Judea and Samaria. These groups work every day to isolate Israel and make her a global pariah, announcing to the world the names of specific Jewish-owned companies operating in Judea-Samaria they want punished.


Yet, these “Jewish” groups are being invited to infiltrate the Parade, either because of agreement with their tactics or as a way of affirming what the UJA-Federation calls an “open tent.”

Join us Tuesday, April 8, in Manhattan to tell the UJA: No. This cannot stand. Decent people cannot tolerate this perfidy. We will not accept such corruption of values, such appeasement, and public forfeiture of Jewish dignity. There is something sick about this. Imagine a St. Patrick’s Day Parade with Irishmen marching who call for boycotting parts of Ireland and Irish-owned businesses. These are marching orders no self-respecting Jew can countenance.

There is a fundamental principle involved here, which is: No Jew can accept the boycotting of Jewish businesses, the State of Israel, or the Jewish people. Period! Especially not Jewish organizations, founded to defend the Jewish people. Providing boycotters a public stamp of approval affirms and further enables the boycotting. Merely signing a paper of commitment to Israel’s existence in no way kosherizes the activists promoting the despicable, unacceptable category of anti-Jewish boycotts.

One dare not legitimize the boycotting of Jewish businesses or Jews, qua Jews, no matter his claim that he is doing it for the “right reasons” or to “effectuate necessary change.” If we do, then anyone can boycott Jews or Israel by simply stating they are “doing it for necessary and ‘moral’ reasons.”

To the world, a boycott is a boycott, east of the Green Line or west of it. Approving one leads to the other. Boycotting Israel will spur future boycotting of those “bad” Jews, for example, in Brooklyn or London.

Ironically, the ‘conscience-struck’ Jewish boycotters never boycott Arab or Moslem businesses, despite the ubiquitous terrorism and their violations of human rights. Their outrage is only against the Jewish state and its Jews.

Nazism began even before the implementation of the Final Solution. It began with boycotts against Jewish owned businesses, Jewish merchants, and Jews providing services. The Nazi idea of boycotting Jewish businesses was an essential component and standard of Nazism. Nazism was evil in all of its stages, including the limited earlier stages of anti-Jewish boycotts of the 1930s. It remains just as evil today, even when done by Jews; enthusiastically done in concert with non-Jewish anti-Semites and those arrayed against the State of the Jews, Israel.

UJA’s desire for an ‘open tent’ should not devolve into the destruction of the tent. The purpose of Jewish organizations is to promote and defend Jewish interests, not provide credence for the unacceptable, nor be part of a slow, step-by-step destruction of Jewish sovereignty. There is a big world out there where one can easily find all the available “OPEN” forums blaming Israel and seeking its destruction. Too often, we are hoodwinked by this pernicious notion that “Jewish values” demand we see only our opponent’s and enemy’s viewpoint and forgo our own Jewish survival. Strange, very strange indeed.

Besides, we know the Jewish establishment’s call for an “open tent” does not include many they consider too “right wing.” They select those with whom they ultimately share some simpatico.

Courage is not found in condemning Israel. The whole world does that.

Courage is found in standing up to in-house Jewish boycotters for the sake of something greater than their feigned liberalism, to wit, the defense of the Jewish people and Israel. We expect that from UJA-Federation. That is their duty! But too often the Jewish establishment will not to do that which goes against leftwing, politically-correct thinking. They camouflage their timidity, or concurrence, by intoning lofty but phony clichés.

Look how far some Jewish people have fallen: That which their destroyers did to them, they are now doing to their own brothers and sisters. It stems not from a higher sense of morality but a lower regard for Jewish peoplehood and nationalism….. and noxious self-righteousness. Out of a need to be accepted in their leftwing circles, as well as their unwillingness to stand up and fight the unpopular fight of our day, many are riding the fashionable bandwagon against Israel.

Too many Jews are now part of the herd sport of anti-Semitism, previously forbidden to them but now permitted under forms of anti-Israelism. Many are simply what used to be called: traitors. Traitors should be shunned, not given prominence as desired partners in our parades.

If you can’t attend Tuesday’s gathering, send your protest to UJA- Federation. There are additional instances where Federation-affiliated agencies are inviting speakers who are known to be anti-Israel, against any self-defense measures, and even anti-Jewish, posing simply as “temporary” opponents of Israel with differing views.

Let the directors of UJA-Federation and other Jewish organizations know of your concern about their silence over the beating of Jews across Europe by Moslem gangs and Knockout gangs here. Directors are not necessarily leaders. Real Jewish leaders should not be indifferent, silent, nor lend support to boycotters and others wishing to tear us down.

The directors of our Jewish organizations are not infallible. They certainly weren’t during the 30s and 40s. We’ve seen this before: blind obedience is foolish and leaving our destiny and safety to those who claim they “know best” often can be devastating. This time in history, we must not make the same mistake.

Rabbi Aryeh Spero is author of “Push Back” and was a pulpit rabbi for almost forty years. He can be reached at


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Rabbi Aryeh Spero is author of "Push Back" and was a pulpit rabbi for almost forty years. He can be reached at


  1. The Parades are meant to celebrate Israel, not vilify it, and the promoters have no business providing these groups, Jewish or otherwise, that champion the boycotts and dismantling of the Jewish State a platform from which to vent their antiIsrael propaganda.

  2. It is ridiculous to allow this situation in a Israeli Parade…….Just have
    an Arab Parade and show how many Israeli's the Palestinians have killed………. Hold up posters with PICTURES…….

  3. "Have Leftist NYC 'Jewish Leaders' Gone Too Far?" YES, they need their money to organized the parade, for them they could care less about morality, moral compass and genuine support for Israel. They probably will say it is their freedom of speech to boycott Israel's policy and thus boycott and promoting boycott of Israel, but they still love the country they want to kill.

  4. Allowing BDS'ers of any kind in an "Israel Day" parade = STUPID!!!
    What's behind their "open tent" & engagement mentality? The need to be accepted. Cowards and fools believe that if they're nice enough, people won't hate them. All they're neglecting is reality and every historical lesson since the dawn of Homo-sapiens.

  5. Left leaning Jews are so tolerant they think it's ok for their children to marry Muslims. I am not surprised by the self destructive attitude of those who run the federation. Just because they got money doesn't mean they have any good sense. It saddens me though that they don't want to support the right of businessman to make a profit while supplying livelihoods for thousands of Muslims who live in fakestine. Those risk takers deserve better from their fellow Jews.

  6. If these Boycott people are allowed to be part of the march, Yeshivot should start pulling out and boycotting the parade. I won't be a part of allowing these very ignorant people to march with those who love Israel!!!!

  7. I think I know some of the reasons, I belonged to the United Church which boycotts Israel products, whom condone and even marry same sex couples, even some Jewish lesbians and or course they have no regard for the law written in Leviticus 18 verse 22, When I objected to same sex marriages and the boycott of Israel, I was booted out of same church. Since Obama is for same sex marriages, these are probably the liberal leftists

  8. The Persimmons that Saudi Arabia banned a few weeks ago seem to have more sense than those who have made this stupid decision? Why not ask Abbas to send some of those recently freed murderers to walk in this parade also. Where is the pride for the nation of Israel in this? Reverse this decision because if they do not I can only see it becoming a coup for any Anti-Semetic group and very damaging to Israel. Shalom Israel we love you

  9. I read your article on Jewish Press about the organisers of the Israel Day Parade allowing anti-Israel boycotters to participate in this event.

    I was appalled by your report and placed it on one of my Facebook pages.
    The response I got was that they suspected this was an April Fools joke.
    Can you please confirm the truth about this?

    If it is indeed true, I recommend that we begin or enlarge a protest movement to either prevent them from taking part in what should be a strongly patriotic pro-Israel event, or have them named and shamed for corrupting such an event.

    It is bad enough for Hillel inviting guest speakers that have radical views and demand the elimination of the Jewish state without allowing them to infiltrate a major annual pro-Israel public event.

    Is there no end to the naivety, no – stupidity – of the Jewish community over there?

    Barry Shaw
    Author of 'Israel Reclaiming the Narrative.'

    According to JCCWatch, these are the groups marching in the Israel Day Parade:

    1) Partners for Progressive Israel prominently displays on its website, under the heading "boycott these Settlement products sold in the US, " a list of Israeli companies that it wants Jews to boycott. These companies include Ahava cosmetics, SodaStream and wine from nine Israeli vineyards.

    2) The New Israel Fund (NIF) finances numerous Israeli NGOs (non-governmental organizations), some of which promote Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel.

    For instance, five grantees of the New Israel Fund (Machsom Watch, Coalition of Women for Peace, Women Against Violence, Social TV, and Mossawa) signed a letter to the Norwegian Government Pension Fund, urging it to divest from Israel.

    3) B'Tselem produced the video that was shown at the infamous "Israel Apartheid Week" events held at Universities and Colleges worldwide. -The chair of B'Tselem's board, Oren Yiftachel, has publically called for "effective sanctions" against Israel. B'Tselem is a major grantee of the New Israel Fund.

    Beth Gilinsky

  11. Same goes for Yachad / NIF here in the UK . It's of the utmost importance that boycott supporting / appeasement merchants such as Yachad are permanently excluded from Israel solidarity marches and just in general . These left wing entryist groups provide succour to Israels enemies who are intent on separating Israel from the diaspora . To achieve this they need to drive a wedge within the Jewish community with groups such as Yachad . We know their tactics . Now we need to do something about it . Yachad are busy on campus indoctrinating our children . When will our Zionist organisations wake up to this enemy within ??

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