Londoners Salute Israel
by Avi Hyman
(IsraelNN.com) A festive spirit overtook London this week for the UK's first ever Salute To Israel Parade. An estimated 40,000 Londoners marched alongside some fifty floats, including an open-top double-decker bus and a vintage Rolls Royce bedecked in Israeli flags.
A Vintage Rolls Royce flanked with Israeli flags on route to Trafalgar Square
The route began close to Buckingham Palace at Green Park and proceeded down Piccadilly towards Trafalgar Square, where the procession was met by dozens of cheering onlookers and a barely noticeable group of Anti-Israel protesters. A simultaneous street parade was held in Manchester, which, despite torrential rain, attracted some two thousand Mancunians.
The London Parade was followed by a rally and concert in Trafalgar Square, which included a special performance by Grammy Award winning artist Miri Ben-Ari (The Hip-Hop Violinist) amongst an array of traditional and modern Jewish musicians.
Schools Secretary Ed Balls addresses the crowd; proudly declaring: "It is a great honour to celebrate 60 years since one of the most momentous events of the 20th century; the formation of the State of Israel"
In what was described by some as a cross between the Million Man March and a Bar Mitzah celebration, jubilant scenes of the Chief Rabbi and a British Government Minister dancing the Hora to Moshiach Moshiach Moshiach were followed by a number of keynote addresses by politicians and communal leaders.
Left to right: Mick Davies; UJIA Chairman, Henry Grudwald; President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Lord Janner, Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks, Peter Moore, Town Crier of the City of Westminster and Councillor Louise Hyams; The Lord Mayor of Westminster
Let the fun begin!
Supporters and Volunteers from British Friends of Magan David Adom
Israel supporters pack Piccadilly on route to Trafalgar Square
British Veterans of WW1 salute Israel!
Association of Jewish Ex Servicemen (AJEX) reach Trafalgar Square
Generations of love for Israel
Chief Rabbi Sir Dr Jonathan Sacks with Schools Secretary; Ed Balls and Jewish School Children
The Jewish National flag flies high over Trafalgar Square
Flag waving, Good Jewish music and dancing- all you need for a good Pro- Israel bonanza!
The Chief Rabbi speaking to a packed Trafalgar Square
London Salutes Israel at 60, Next Year in Jerusalem!
Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor tells the crowd that: "It warms our hearts to see thousands of blue and white flags filling London's streets."
Henry Grunwald, on stage with the Jewish Lads and Girls Brigade (JLGB)
All photos by Alan Fish of Living World Studios