The Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, organizers of the Celebrate Israel Parade that has been held annually since 1964, announced this month that the parade will not allow the participation of organizations supporting the boycott of Israel, promoting delegitimization of the state of Israel, or refusing to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
According to grassroots Zionist group Im Tirtzu, the decision means that the New Israel Fund (NIF) will not be able to take part in the event, since grantees of the NIF are involved in delegitimizing Israel.
Im Tirtzu explained that the decision to ban the anti-Israeli groups was made after Jewish organizations in the US and Im Tirtzu asked the organizers last year to block the participation in the parade of NIF and B’Tselem USA on the grounds that they are not Zionist organizations, and that they promote the delegitimization of Israel around the world.
The request not to allow NIF and B’Tselem to participate in the parade sparked a heated debate within the Jewish community in New York in particular, and in the US in general. In the end, NIF took part in the parade, and B'tselem opted out at the last minute.
Matan Peleg, CEO of Im Tirtzu, said: “The participation in the parade of organizations that promote delegitimization and at the same time claim to be Zionist is a serious problem. These organizations, using the terminology of the boycott while calling themselves Zionist, pose a greater threat to Israel than any boycott organizations worldwide.
“The New Israel Fund sees participation in the parade as a strategic step in being accepted as a Zionist organization, in spite of the fact that they have encouraged a boycott of products and companies in Judea and Samaria. We therefore welcome the organizers’ decision not to allow organizations that delegitimize Israel to participate in the parade.”
The New Israel Fund, however, does not see the new guidelines as preventing its participation at all.
“None of the guidelines exclude the New Israel Fund and we look forward to marching in the parade,” the NIF's Naomi Paiss told Arutz Sheva. “As a matter of fact, the BDS guideline exactly mirrors NIF's, since we also will not fund any organization affiliated with the global BDS movement.”