45,000 New Yorkers Participate in Pro-israel Parade; 178 Groups Represented
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45,000 New Yorkers Participate in Pro-israel Parade; 178 Groups Represented

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Approximately 45,000 people representing some 178 organizations and groups, including Hebrew schools throughout the metropolitan area, Zionist youth, members of the Jewish faith in the New York Police Department and other city agencies, and various nationality associations marched today along a 28-block route on this city’s West Side in the largest pro-Israel parade since the establishment of the Jewish State.

What was to have been the annual “Salute to Israel” parade, this year marking Israel’s 19th year of independence, became as well, a tremendous demonstration of American Jewish solidarity with Israel in its hour of crisis. Many thousands of onlookers jammed the streets and cheered the colorful procession of brightly-attired and uniformed marchers, the array of floats, and the bands and fife-and-drum corps.

The occurrence of the parade at a time when Israel confronts the possibility of a renewed conflict with the Arab states was solemnly underlined by New York Deputy Mayor Dr. Timothy Costello, who, in a brief address on the reviewing stand, pointed out that New York has the largest Jewish population of any city in the world, and that all New Yorkers, regardless of their religion, “cannot pretend to be objective about Israel in crisis.” New York, he said, had strong ties with the Jewish nation. He added that hostile powers must be convinced that “Israel is here to stay.”


The parade, led by New York City Chief Police Inspector Sanford Garelik, culminated in a huge rally at which speakers included Dr. Joachim Prinz, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations; Rabbi Seymour Cohen, president of the Synagogue Council of America; Aaron Goldman, president of the National Community Relations Advisory Council; Rabbi Israel Miller, president of the American Zionist Council and noted American historian Barbara Tuchman.

Michael Arnon, Israel Consul-General in New York, said of the parade that “We are made to feel that we are not alone.” The parade, he said, was both a “festive and a grim occasion” and that it was time to join together both in celebration and in prayer. Sponsor of the celebration was the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, comprised of 21 national Jewish religious and secular bodies with a combined membership of more than four million. Patrons included a number of American and Israel enterprises and American Zionist groups.

The speakers were introduced by Theodore Comet, the parade chairman, who also presented the guests of honor: Nobel Laureate S.Y. Agnon and Israel’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Gideon Rafael. Leading representatives of organizations in the reviewing stand included Mrs. Rose L. Halprin, chairman of the Jewish Agency-American Section. Messages of greeting were received from Vice-President Hubert H. Humphrey, and New York Senators Jacob K. Javits and Robert F. Kennedy.

Earlier, Mr. Comet had lodged a protest with the Police Department for granting permission for a pro-Arab demonstration along a line of march — two blocks away — parallel with that of the pro-Israel parade. About 65 persons who described themselves as Americans of Arab descent walked along the sidewalk on Broadway and converged at 86th Street, only about 50 feet from the parade. As they shouted and brandished pro-Nasser signs, there were numerous minor clashes with enraged spectators, but a special police contingent kept violence under control.

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