The 50th annual Celebrate Israel parade on Sunday in New York City is expected to draw 35,000 marchers and hundreds of thousands of spectators.
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The parade, which began at noon (7:00 P.M. Israel time), include 30 floats and 15 marching bands who will head up Fifth Avenue from 57th street to 74th street.
The Jewish Community Relations Council is organizing the parade, in which over 200 organizations are participating.
The grand marshal is Robert Benrimon, a Jewish community philanthropist from New Jersey. Referring to recent efforts by some right-wing groups to ban left-wing groups from the march, he told the New Jersey Jewish News that left-wing Zionist groups such as NIF, J Street and B'Tselem “are not a problem at all. Just the opposite. If they march in support of Israel, let it be. Whoever walks has to hold an Israeli flag. Then I don’t have a problem with them. We are entitled to different opinions.”
He added, "In my view, if Abu Mazen [Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas] asked me tomorrow to walk in the Israel parade, I would more than welcome him. I welcome all organizations who want to support Israel.”