May 25, 2024
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Time to End the Jerusalem Day Parade Through the Muslim Quarter

I remember eagerly participating in the Jerusalem Day Parade many years ago as a yeshiva student in Israel for the year. While on the march, however, I was somewhat surprised by the young teenagers who were clearly trying to provoke local Arabs by banging on their doors and making some offensive comments. I can’t recall what percentage of those marching were acting this way, but it was enough to make me feel uncomfortable.

Unfortunately, nothing has changed. After cancelling the march this year, it was rescheduled to be held on Tuesday June 15, days after the new government took power, in what was possibly an attempt to create a crisis for said new government.

The following day I watched, in extreme disappointment, videos of young teenage Jews wearing kippot chanting things like “Death to Arabs.” I don’t know how many of the youth who marched participated in these chants, and I hope that others in the crowd worked to silence them, but unfortunately this occurs every year at these marches. This is unacceptable. We must be better than this, and we must let these youth know that this is unacceptable.

The march through the Muslim quarter is provocative and if the parade is to continue, the route should be changed. There are many ways to celebrate Yerushalayim Hashleima without using ugly, inappropriate language or resorting to provocative actions.

Rabbi Daniel Alter
Bergenfield
Head of School, The Moriah School
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