Israel Day Parade - The 18 Features We Celebrate

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

New York, New York --- June 2, 2012 ... In a few hours the Annual Salute to Israel Day Parade will kick off in New York City with over 35,000 marchers, 29 floats and 18 marching bands. The Parade will turn New York City blue and white from the Empire State building to 5th Avenue as a sea of Israeli flags are waved proudly from 57th to 74th Streets.

The parade is the premiere event of the JCRC-NY’s Celebrate Israel Project – an initiative largely sponsored by UJA-Federation of New York, Jewish Communal Fund, Israel Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Consulate General of Israel in New York.

But why do we celebrate? What is so special about Israel?

The Israel News Agency will list 18 reasons why you should march tomorrow with an Israeli flag in your hand.

Israel, the biblical and historical home of the Jewish people is alive today. Born from the ashes of the Holocaust, Israelis and Jews worldwide have once again secured a homeland for which no other nation or people can lay claim.

The Israeli people sacrifice blood and sweat to maintain, protect and defend this home against all threats. With thousands of enemies surrounding the small Jewish nation, the people of Israel serve in the IDF, the Israel police, the Shabak and Mossad and make deep financial sacrifices to keep your home safe.

Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, celebrates thousands of years as the home of the Jewish nation. Never again will it be under the control of another nation. Never again will it be divided.

Jewish culture is preserved in every day life. From the restaurants, hotels, offices, homes and every street corner one will hear Hebrew being spoken - as it was over 5,000 years ago.

The colorful and magical cities of Israel, each with its own distinct character from Haifa, Jerusalem, Ra'anana and Tel Aviv to Kiryat Shamona, Hadera, Ariel and Eilat embrace business by day and family by night.

Where else can one truly feel Yom Kippur, Passover, Hanukkah, Rosh HaShanna and all other Jewish holidays?

Democracy - the only free democracy in the Middle East which protects freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Where Islamic and Christian Arabs can serve in the Israel Defense Forces, the Knesset and in the Courts. The only nation in the Middle East where Christians can celebrate their faith.

Humanity - whenever disaster strikes anywhere in the world - one will usually find Israelis saving lives there. Handing out food and water in Haiti and Turkey, blankets and toys in Japan and India, saving terror victims in Kenya. The heart of Israel serves as a light unto all nations.

Israeli hi-tech - where such global companies as Microsoft, INTEL, HP, Cisco, Google have their R&D offices. With more than 3,000 high-tech companies and start-ups, Israel has the highest concentration of hi-tech companies in the world (apart from the Silicon Valley). The cell phone was developed in Israel by Israelis working in the Israeli branch of Motorola, which has its largest development center in Israel. Want to boycott Israel? Then turn off your computer as the Pentium MMX Chip technology was designed in Israel at Intel. Both the Pentium-4 microprocessor and the Centrino processor were entirely designed, developed and produced in Israel.

Education - twenty-four percent of Israel’s workforce holds university degrees - ranking third in the industrialized world, after the United States and Holland - and 12 percent hold advanced degrees. Israel has also been voted one of the happiest nations to live in.

Israel is ranked #2 in the world for venture capital funds right behind the U. S.

On a per capita basis, Israel has the largest number of biotech startups. Israeli medical researchers have created a number of firsts including developing a vaccine to prevent and cure cancer. The Israeli company Vaxil BioTherapeutics has formulated a therapeutic cancer vaccine, now in clinical trials at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem. If all goes well, the vaccine could be available in a few years, to administer on a regular basis not only to help treat cancer but in order to keep the disease from recurring.

Israel was the first nation in the world to adopt the Kimberly process, an international standard that certifies diamonds as "conflict free."

Israel has the third highest rate of entrepreneurship - and the highest rate among women and among people over 55 - in the world.

Some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The only nation in the Middle East which has turned grey and tan desert into vibrant green.

Jewish sports stars who collect gold medals worldwide from basketball and tennis to wind surfing and gymnastics.

IDF Col. Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut.


From houmos and falafel, to computer chips and award winning wine - it is our home. Our only home.
For this we celebrate, smile and take pride.




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