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Secrets of the Israel Day Parade 

Alongside tens of thousands coming out in the heat, I marched on Fifth Avenue in the Celebrate Israel Parade. Together we marched, sang, and celebrated the unbreakable bond between Israel and the United States. While the numbers of those marching this year were similar to those marching in the past, there was something in this year’s march was larger than any march in the past. 

The people who came to march this year have seen and known of the unprecedented spike in antisemitic hate crimes in America–and they still came out to march. 

The people who came to march this year have seen and known of the violent pro-Palestinian rallies and attacks in New York City–and they still came out to march. 

The people who came to march this year know how politically polarized our political climate is– and they still all marched together.  

They knew there would be politicians from both sides of the political spectrum they disagreed with profoundly–yet they still all marched together. 

The people who came to march this year know how divisive the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and approaches to it have become–and still all marched together. 

The people who came to march this year saw the heavy NYPD security and knew about the daily threats there are against the Jewish community both domestically and from foreign entities like Iran and Al-Qaeda–and still decided to march.

So, was this year’s Israel Day Parade bigger or smaller than past years? I would say MUCH bigger. For every person in the parade, there were several people who stayed home for various concerns. Yet each and every person in the parade had a determination and resilience like we haven’t seen in past years, and in that sense, this year’s parade was bigger than ever. 

Am Yisrael Chai  

About the Author
The writer is an eleventh-generation rabbi, teacher, and author. He has written Sacred Days on the Jewish Holidays, Poupko on the Parsha, and hundreds of articles published in five languages. He is the president of EITAN--The American Israeli Jewish Network
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