As a father and uncle of Jewish Day School students and a member of a very Zionistic extended family, I have great troubles with the parade every year. I have not gone to the parade since I have been more educated about the conditions in Israel. After many difficult discussions, my immediate family has avoided it, as well, in the last two years.
The schools, synagogues, and affiliated families I know view this parade with great pride. No one in these groups has been willing to listen that the parade supports a fantasy “Leon Uris-like” view of Israel. The reality is that the parade is completely exclusionary to certain religious and ethnic communities of Israel. Antony’s comment that “They may have loved Israel, but it wasn’t a real country, rather an abstract nation in the Middle East that defended democracy, human rights and freedom.” is completely correct, not only in reference to the participants beliefs about the parade, but to Israel in general.
If more people, like Antony and Max Blumenthal, can continue to show how the “mainstream” insitutional elements of the Jewish community educates people in a naive and dangerous manner, the better it will be for all concerned communities.