UN ambassadors, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo among those marking 55th Celebrate Israel Parade; hundreds of thousands line the route
By TOI STAFF
Some 40,000 Israel supporters marched down New York City’s Fifth Avenue Sunday as part of the annual Celebrate Israel Parade.
Hundreds of thousands of onlookers lined the parade route on late Sunday afternoon, many waving Israeli flags.
Among those who participated in the event were Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon, Mayor of New York Bill de Blasio, Governor Andrew Cuomo, along with other US elected officials, Jewish and pro-Israel organizations, schools, and students, Israel’s mission to the United Nations said.
UN ambassadors from Australia, Germany, Ukraine, Norway and other countries also joined the event, as did Israel’s Consul General in New York Dani Dayan.
“In the face of the growing wave of anti-Semitism, we are demonstrating strength and unity today,” Danon said. “Despite the differences of opinion, the connection with the Jewish people in Israel is at the heart of the relationship between American Jewry and Israel.”
Thank you so much to all the #NYPD: Chief of Intelligence Tom Galati (pictured), @NYPDCT, @NYPDONeill, @NYPDNews for all your incredible work protecting the parade today. It’s not an easy job. THANK YOU!#Israel @CelebrateIsrael @AmbDaniDayan #Israeli #police #cops#FifthAvenue pic.twitter.com/6iikrSN2D8
— Israel in New York (@IsraelinNewYork) June 2, 2019
Paraders were accompanied by floats, flags, balloons, marching bands — the dominant color being blue — and Israeli music blared from loudspeakers as the procession made its way through the city.
Businessman Edward A. Mermelstein, president of the ZAKA search and rescue organization, was the grand marshal of the parade.
A musical number from the off-Broadway show “Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish,” was scheduled to be performed live by cast members.
The parade, the 55th such event since it was founded in 1964, began at 11 a.m. (1500 GMT) and was set to last around five hours. This year’s theme was “Only in Israel.”
It was being live-streamed online.
Speaking at the start of the parade, German Ambassador to the United Nations Christoph Heusgen said that it’s “wonderful to celebrate Israel today here in New York, to have the city full of blue and white flags, to have so many of the international community demonstrate their support for Israel. It’s wonderful to be here.”
Source: The Times of Israel