Im Tirtzu has joined efforts by various American Jewish organizations to keep the New Israel Fund and organizations it supports from participating in the annual Celebrate Israel Parade, taking place in Manhattan on June 1.
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The right-wing Zionist movement, whose mission is to "strengthen Zionist values in academia and in society as a whole while providing a home for students who know and truly understand that Zionism is their heritage and their birthright," has mostly focused its operations on Israeli campuses until now. Now it is turning to Jews and Israelis in North America with a broad PR campaign.
"As a Zionist movement operating in Israel, we have no choice but to join the struggle by Zionist organizations against participation by the New Israel Fund in the parade, whose purpose is to represent the beautiful face of Zionism. This is done by exposing the real face of the organization, which is fundamentally anti-Israel and anti-Zionist," Im Tirtzu chairman Matan Peleg, said in a statement.
American Jewish critics of the New Israel Fund, J Street and other progressive Zionist groups are planning to rally against the participation of these organizations in the annual march down Fifth Avenue, with the rabbi of at least one prominent synagogue pledging to pull out of the parade unless the liberal groups are banned. Rabbi Elie Abadie of the Upper East Side’s Edmond J. Safra Synagogue issued an open letter addressed to the current and incoming CEOs of UJA-Federation of New York, and to the CEO of the New York Jewish Community Relations Council, which organizes the parade
The Celebrate Israel parade — formerly called the Israel Day parade — will mark its 50th anniversary on June 1 with a parade expected to include about 35,000 marchers in over 200 individual groups, according to director Mike Mittelman. UJA-Federation of New York provides $100,000 of the $1 million budget for the parade and a related run.