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Under tightened security, N.Y. celebrates Israel with parade

Members of the Chai Lifeline Foundation marching during the Celebrate Israel Parade in New York, June 2, 2013. (Chai Lifeline)

Members of the Chai Lifeline Foundation marching during the Celebrate Israel Parade in New York, June 2, 2013. (Chai Lifeline)

(JTA) — More than 30,000 marchers participated in New York City’s annual Celebrate Israel Parade, which was held under ramped-up security in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings.

New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said security was tightened “significantly” for  Sunday’s event, previously called the Salute to Israel Parade, in the aftermath of the March bombings in Boston that killed three and injured more than 200. Kelly said SWAT teams were put on alert.

The parade was dominated by the participation of Orthodox Jewish groups marching and viewing, according to Haaretz.

Mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner walked the entire parade route and reportedly encountered a mixed reception from participants, including many who jeered him for the Twitter scandal that led to his resignation from Congress.

Other mayoral candidates marched at the beginning of the route looking to drum up Jewish support for this year’s election.

On Saturday night, the Empire State Building was lit up in blue and white in honor of the parade.

On Sunday night, Israel’s national soccer team defeated Honduras, 2-0, in a friendly match at Citi Field. The Israelis were playing in the United States for the first time in 35 years.

A man walking a camel during the Celebrate Israel Parade in New York City, June 2, 2013.

A man walking a camel during the Celebrate Israel Parade in New York City, June 2, 2013.

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