Next week, thousands of New Yorkers will be doing the hora on 5th Avenue in the annual Salute to Israel Parade. Their website calls it, “the largest event in the world celebrating the Anniversary of Israel’s Independence. As we look towards the 61st Anniversary year, we will once again be joined by 100,000 participants, stepping off on Fifth Avenue, cheered on by an expected one million spectators.
Parade spectators will watch a sea of blue and white, kachol v’lavan, as community leaders, American and Israeli dignitaries, celebrities, floats and marching bands come together with spirit, joy and enthusiasm.”
I was wondering what Israeli journalist Gideon Levy would think of this. He would be embarrassed. I was on KALW in San Francisco with him on Friday where he spoke of the way the Israeli and our press speak of a “conflict ” but not a 60 year occupation of Palestinian land and society. How many traipsing down 5th Avenue every think of that?
Israel’s leaders of think of that. And they are determined to keep it going:
LBN: NETANYAHU DEFIES OBAMA ON ISRAELI SETTLEMENT FREEZE:
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday rebuffed U.S. calls to impose a freeze on all settlement activity in the occupied West Bank, setting the stage for friction with President Barack Obama.
AMY TEIBEL, Associated Press Writer – Sun May 24,
JERUSALEM – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel will continue to build homes in existing West Bank settlements, defying U.S. calls to halt settlement growth.
The comments came days after a contentious visit to the White House and threatened to widen a growing rift with the Obama administration. The U.S. considers the settlements — home to some 280,000 Israelis — obstacles to peace since they are built on captured territory the Palestinians claim for a future state.
FAR RIGHT WANTS “LOYALTY OATH”
AP: JERUSALEM – An ultranationalist party headed by the Israeli foreign minister said Monday it has prepared legislation linking citizenship to an oath of allegiance, in what amounted to a threat to the country’s Arabs to swear loyalty to the Jewish state or risk severe punishment.
The bill follows a separate proposal Sunday by the same party that would make it illegal for Arabs to mourn the “catastrophe” (NABKA)— the term Palestinians use to describe their defeat and exile in the war that surrounded Israel’s founding.