Some 40,000 participants marched in the annual Celebrate Israel Parade in New York City on Sunday.
The parade began on midtown Manhattan’s 54th street before making its way down Fifth Avenue, as thousands of New Yorkers and tourists came out to watch and cheer the parade.
While small groups of protests were expected during the parade, including some Israelis who traveled to NYC for the purpose of protesting, the overall mood was celebratory.
Anti-government protesters, including many Israeli ex-pats, gathered outside a hotel where coalition lawmakers were staying.
Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, was in attendance with fellow UN ambassadors and other Israeli ministers, including Diaspora Minister Amichai Chikli, Public Diplomacy Minister Galit Distel Atbaryan, and Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu, participated in the parade.
“It’s a huge, huge pride for me to be a representative here of the Israeli government. It’s a marvelous day,” Atbaryan said.
There were reports from several Israeli news sites that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had requested a reduction in the number of ministers participating this year in order to prevent protests from becoming a focus of the event.
According to a i24 News report, a number of rabbis in New York rabbis urged their people attend the parade “to bridge the divides between quarreling factions.”
Several New York officials, including Gov. Kathy Hochul, Mayor Eric Adams and Attorney General Letitia James joined the parade to express solidarity with the Jewish community in New York and the State of Israel.
Parade organizers said the event included a diverse representation from various Jewish groups, from progressive Jewish organizations like Ameinu, to Orthodox Jewish days schools, organizations like Hillel International, a Jewish campus organization, to Nefesh B'Nefesh, which supports people making aliyah (immigration) to Israel.
Israel’s President Isaac Herzog recorded a video statement, in which he called on the parade participants to “work together in solidarity.”
“Let us take this opportunity to work together in solidarity and to remind ourselves of the power of our unity and togetherness of the spirit of peace and fraternity, to build, to renew and to heal,” Herzog said in the video.
"Now, more than ever, I urge you all to join me in supporting the Israel parade, as we mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel. Let us raise our voices together to celebrate everything we’ve achieved and everything we have yet to build together for our shared future, and the future of our children,” he added.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.