Join the marchers in Sunday’s Celebrate Israel Parade in NYC — and take a stand for freedom

opinion, hamas, hostages, israel, israel-hamas war, parades, join the marchers in sunday’s celebrate israel parade in nyc — and take a stand for freedom

New York City Mayor Eric Adams marches in the Celebrate Israel Parade with the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC-NY) on 5th Avenue on Sunday, May 22, 2022. Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photogr

Each year on a late spring Sunday, tens of thousands of people from all walks of life gather in New York to march in the Celebrate Israel Parade.

This event, held since 1964, has been recognized as the largest celebration of Israel and one of the largest gatherings of Jewish people worldwide.

And it has long held a special place in my heart as a proud Israeli politician and diplomat.

Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of marching there many times, as a member of the Knesset and as a cabinet minister.

Each experience has left me awestruck by the sheer strength, passion and unity radiating from New York’s Jewish community and its diverse allies from across the region.

The array of elected officials and cultural icons who’ve marched to celebrate Israel is truly remarkable to behold.

But I have always been simply a participant.

This year marks a significant first for me — I will lead the parade as Israel’s consul general in New York, a tremendous honor.

In normal times, it would be a joyful occasion.

But not this year.

Not after what happened on Oct. 7.

Just 238 days ago, the Hamas terror group carried out a barbaric and unprecedented assault on Israel.

They slaughtered over 1,200 innocent people across the southern region, raping women, burning babies alive and kidnapping hundreds of Israelis and foreign citizens, including Holocaust survivors, dragging them off to Gaza as hostages.

Even as we grieved and buried our dead, the international community’s tepid response emboldened antisemites worldwide, sparking a chilling surge in anti-Jewish hatred, including right here in New York.

Frightening scenes at Columbia University and other “elite” schools evoked haunting images of 1930s Europe — a devastating reminder that the world’s oldest hatred is sadly alive and well.

Tragically, this is the narrative of Jewish and Israeli history: a constant onslaught of intimidation, manipulation and existential threats.

In the mere 76 years since its rebirth, Israel has fought seven defensive wars, each time fending off explicit attempts to wipe its people off the map.

However, the Celebrate Israel Parade is not just a celebration of good times, but a powerful statement of solidarity in darker ones.

It reminds us that Jews and the scores of good people who stand with our cause will always outlast those who seek our demise.

So, in the depths of our mourning, this year is actually the most fitting time I can remember to march for Israel.

Recent polling affirms that four out of five Americans continue to support Israel in its war to eliminate Hamas and bring home the hostages.

We are grateful for that support — standing on the right side of history is a very good place to be.

But we must do more than just stand.

In an age where newspaper headlines and social-media feeds try to weave a story of moral equivalency and Israeli isolation, it has never been more important for Israel’s champions to state their support loudly and proudly.

We must show the world that we are united against antisemitism, terrorism and sexual violence.

We must make clear that we will not compromise on democracy, religious freedom and LGBTQ+ rights.

Marching with us is marching for the entire free world, for our shared values of equality, human rights and rule of law — in stark contrast to the forces of extremism, tyranny and violence that threaten everything we hold dear.

Alongside us will be 50 brave relatives of hostages kidnapped from their homes by Hamas on Oct. 7.

Their presence will be a poignant reminder of terror’s human toll — and of the urgent need to pressure Hamas through all channels to let our people go.

We march not only for Israel and the Jewish people but for these families, who have endured unimaginable pain and been subjected to unimaginable abuse.

On Sunday, June 2, I urge everyone to join me: I will walk down Fifth Avenue as a proud Jewish, Zionist Israeli, deeply grateful for the unwavering support of our American friends.

I will march alongside Jews and non-Jews alike, knowing that together, we are a force for change, for hope, and ultimately, for justice.

Ofir Akunis is Israel’s consul general in New York.

OTHER NEWS

20 minutes ago

It's a tough investment environment outside of tech and AI, says Virtus' Joe Terranova

20 minutes ago

North Korea has 50 nukes – Putin’s deal might enable its missiles to hit America

20 minutes ago

Fox News Poll: Three-point shift in Biden-Trump matchup since May

20 minutes ago

Summer 2024 Anime Lineup

20 minutes ago

Winnipeg charities call on public for help as community needs increase

20 minutes ago

Ottawa delays phase-out of open ocean salmon farms to 2029

20 minutes ago

Astronauts stuck in space at least another week as Boeing and NASA troubleshoot Starliner spacecraft issues

20 minutes ago

Tiger Woods’ son, Charlie, qualifies for first USGA event

20 minutes ago

Odd one out: Why on earth is Tom Pidcock doing a mountain biking race right before the Tour?

20 minutes ago

Study finds coal mine contaminants blown onto snowpack in Alberta, British Columbia

20 minutes ago

Mzansi gent shows off decorative skills in one room-home

20 minutes ago

Rory McIlroy's WD Faces a Xander Schauffele Threat as Traveler's Championship May Steal His Final Shred of Relief

20 minutes ago

Peter Dutton raised ‘unacceptable’ behaviour against Cheng Lei with Chinese Premier

20 minutes ago

WestJet cancels flights ahead of possible mechanic strike

20 minutes ago

Trump’s VP pick will have little impact on voters’ choice for president, despite fevered speculation: Post poll

20 minutes ago

Family of taekwondo instructors saves Texas woman from sexual assault

20 minutes ago

Artificial intelligence will allow pupils to ‘converse’ with Holocaust survivors

20 minutes ago

Stronger vapes rising in popularity – study

22 minutes ago

Netflix Wants You To Chill at Its New Store-Like Fan Experience Spaces

26 minutes ago

Polar blast sends temperatures plummeting across south-eastern states

26 minutes ago

Report: Broncos are expected to sign OLB Dondrea Tillman to a three-year deal

26 minutes ago

Packers cut Jack Podlesny to narrow kicking battle to two players

26 minutes ago

What’s next for Taysom Hill?

26 minutes ago

From England at the Euros to Aston Villa: What football teams do the Royals support?

26 minutes ago

Corberan could soon sell West Brom star who earns 2x more than Johnston

26 minutes ago

Shaqiri scores stunning goal in Switzerland's 1-1 draw with Scotland at Euro 2024

26 minutes ago

Scotland keep chances of reaching Euros knockout stages alive after draw with Switzerland

26 minutes ago

Slovakia vs Ukraine: Euro 2024 prediction, kick-off time, TV, live stream, team news, h2h results, odds

26 minutes ago

Soccer-Messi's Argentina face debutants Canada in Copa opener

26 minutes ago

Trump Interviewer Says ‘Cognitive Questions’ Apparent During Sit-Downs

26 minutes ago

Panthers see another chance at Cup slip away, fall to Oilers 5-3 in Game 5

28 minutes ago

India reports over 40,000 suspected heatstroke cases over summer

30 minutes ago

Collaborative organization works to help African Americans learn about their family history

31 minutes ago

DAN BIGGAR: Marcus Smith is the right choice at No 10 for England's clash with Japan - but here's why Fin Smith should get the nod for the New Zealand Test series

31 minutes ago

EUROS DIARY: Storm hits England camp in Germany, Sir Alex Ferguson takes centre stage at charity dinner and former Arsenal defender lands punditry role

31 minutes ago

Denmark's past and present unite to seek revenge against England, as the 'injustice' of their Euro 2020 exit continues to cause pain three years on

31 minutes ago

Yes, Harry Kane is dropping too deep. But who can blame him when he's so rarely given the ball, writes IAN LADYMAN

32 minutes ago

Biden’s new amnesties show his ‘border crackdown’ was smoke and mirrors

32 minutes ago

When the Secret Service gets held up, you KNOW crime’s out of control

32 minutes ago

Rest in peace, Willie Mays