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Call to action re: annual Israel Day Parade in New York

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from Arutez Sheva:

The annual Israel Day Parade on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, which will take place on June 1, is facing a crisis over the inclusion of three “Jewish groups” that promote the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement targeting the Jewish state.

Several groups are organizing a protest rally for April 8 as part of a campaign to have the parade sponsors remove their invitations to the controversial groups. Further, unless the groups are pulled, several local rabbis, including day school and yeshiva principals, are considering boycotting the event, thereby significantly reducing the number of participants.

Among the BDS-associated groups scheduled to take part: “Partners for Progressive Israel” lists Israeli products to boycott on its website; the New Israel Fund (NIF) has supported BDS and reportedly been encouraging Arab riots; volunteers with B’Tselem have taken part in Arab riots. NIF and B’Tselem have also been implicated in pro-BDS activities, including via subsidiaries, videos and statements. All three are currently set to march in the parade under their own banners.

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Organizers of the rally against the BDS groups’ inclusion call on those who cannot attend the protest rally, which will be held on Tuesday, April 8, between 4:00-7:00 pm, outside the UJA-Federation headquarters at 130 E. 59th St. inManhattan, to send protest letters to the UJA and JCRC.

Peter Kohlmann, executive producer of the parade can be reached at 212-983-4800 ext 162 ([email protected]), while Michael Mittelman, director of the parade, can be reached at 212-983-4800 ext 487([email protected]).

“Let the directors of the UJA and other Jewish organizations know of your concerns,” called Rabbi Spero. “Real Jewish leaders should not be indifferent, silent, nor lend support to boycotters and others wishing to tear us down.”

The rabbi added “directors of our Jewish organizations proved their fallibility during the 1930s and ‘40s, teaching us that blind obedience is foolish and leaving our destiny and safety to those who claim they ‘know best’ can be devastating. This time in history, we must not make the same mistake.”

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