18 Israeli politicians said slated to attend Sunday’s Celebrate Israel Parade in NYC

Nine ministers and 9 Knesset members will reportedly travel to United States for event, where coalition members are expected to face anti-judicial overhaul protests

The Celebrate Israel Parade in New York City, May 22, 2022. (Luke Tress/Times of Israel)
The Celebrate Israel Parade in New York City, May 22, 2022. (Luke Tress/Times of Israel)

At least 18 ministers and lawmakers are reportedly slated to participate in next week’s annual Celebrate Israel Parade in New York City.

According to Channel 12 news, a slate of Knesset members — mostly from the coalition but also several from the opposition — have confirmed their participation in this Sunday’s festivities in the United States, in addition to the 10 ministers and MKs who were reported earlier to be taking part.

The full list is reportedly expected to include Diaspora Minister Amichai Chikli, Economy Minister Nir Barkat, Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis, Intelligence Minister Gila Gamliel and Public Diplomacy Minister Galit Distel Atbaryan — all of Likud — as well as Immigration and Absorption Minister Ofir Sofer of Religious Zionism, Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu of Otzma Yehudit, Jerusalem Minister Meir Porush of United Torah Judaism, and Labor Minister Yoav Ben-Tzur of Shas.

Also slated to attend the parade are Religious Zionism party MKs Simcha Rothman, Michal Woldiger and Ohad Tal; Likud MK Shalom Danino; Yisrael Beytenu MKs Sharon Nir and Evgeny Sova; National Unity party MK Orit Farkash-Hacohen; UTJ MK Yitzhak Pindrus; and Yesh Atid MK Vladimir Beliak.

Organizers have said they expect about 40,000 participants from more than 250 different groups to march in this year’s event alongside around 30 floats as the parade proceeds down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

A New York-based Israeli protest group against the government’s judicial overhaul announced Sunday that it plans to rally against coalition lawmakers who will be visiting for the parade.

Protesters demonstrate against the Israeli government’s judicial overhaul plan in New York City’s Washington Square Park on March 12, 2023. (Luke Tress/Times of Israel)

Their primary target is Rothman, the chair of the Knesset Constitution Law and Justice Committee and one of the key players in the coalition’s controversial push to overhaul the judiciary.

“This is our opportunity to give everything to push against the delegation of lies and hatred that comes here,” organizers said in a statement. “Our message is simple: whoever dismantles Israeli democracy should not expect a relaxing vacation in New York.”

The main protest is scheduled for Sunday at 2 p.m. (New York time) outside a conference at the Hilton Hotel in Midtown Manhattan.

Organizers of the annual parade have recognized the sharp divides that are likely to play a role in Sunday’s event.

In a statement earlier this month, organizers said that “in these difficult and complicated times,” the parade provides people with “a chance to set aside our differences and stand together as one Jewish people.”

Participants march in the annual Celebrate Israel parade on Fifth Avenue in New York City, on May 22, 2022. (Luke Tress/Times of Israel)

Likud’s Danino and Yesh Atid’s Beliak also issued a joint statement about the event, saying that while it “comes at a more sensitive time than ever” amid weekly mass protests against the government, the parade “provides us a rare opportunity to show the world that we are one people and that a strong connection between Israel and the global Jewish people matters deeply.”

President Isaac Herzog released a video in late March lauding the parade, noting that “in these moments where so much of our attention is on what divides us, the JCRC Celebrate Israel Parade promises to be a powerful reminder of everything that holds us together as one.”

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