Parade for Israel in New York this year focuses on solidarity as Gaza war casts grim shadow

NEW YORK (AP) — An annual parade for Israel in New York, which attracts thousands of people, is expected to take to the streets Sunday with tight security and an emphasis on solidarity during the war in Gaza.

The parade takes place nearly eight months after October’s unprecedented parade. 7 Hamas attacks, the deadliest in Israeli history. The parade in the past The event was dubbed “Celebrate Israel,” but organizers said the exuberant atmosphere would be on hiatus this year given the war and Israeli hostages still held captive, as well as outbursts of anti-Semitism around the world.

The parade, now called “Israel Day the Fifth” because of the route that runs along Fifth Avenue from 57th Street to 74th Street in Manhattan, will instead focus on solidarity, strength and resilience, Mark said Treyger, CEO of the Jewish Community Relations Council.

“It’s not a confetti and music atmosphere,” Treyger said. “Rather, it is about a sense of unwavering and unwavering solidarity with the hostages to bring them home, but also about our unwavering love and pride in our Jewish identity. »

The parade, now in its 59th year, will begin around 11:30 a.m. Sunday and is expected to attract more than 40,000 participants, including Israeli dignitaries, celebrities and some of the hostages’ families.

There was never any question of canceling the parade this year, Treyger said, despite what he called an astronomical rise in anti-Semitism.

“This is a moment that we must meet,” he said.

But there will be significant security.

New York Police Department officials said Friday they plan to implement measures typically used for high-profile events such as New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July. This includes drones, K-9 units, bicycle patrols, fences and barriers, and designated entry points for spectators. along the parade route.

Backpacks, large bags and coolers will be prohibited. Spectators will have to pass through metal detectors and will only be allowed along the east side of Fifth Avenue, with police blocking off the west side.

City officials stressed Friday that there was no specific or credible threat against the parade or the city and that all protesters have the right to demonstrate as long as it is done peacefully.

“We will not allow any illegality or disruption of any heritage celebration in this city,” New York City Mayor Eric Adams said during a security press briefing.

The parade represents the first large-scale Jewish event in the city since the war began, although there have been about 2,800 protests in the city, including about 1,300 related to the conflict, the Democrat said.

Israel faces growth international criticism for its strategy of systematic destruction in Gaza, a huge cost in civilian lives. Israeli bombings and ground offensives in the besieged territory have killed more than 36,000 Palestinians, According to the Gaza Ministry of Healthwhich does not distinguish between combatants and civilians.

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