Weiner Noticeably Absent at Celebrate Israel Parade

By Katherine Creag
|  Monday, Jun 6, 2011  |  Updated 6:54 AM EDT
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The Celebrate Israel Parade

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The annual Celebrate Israel parade hit Fifth Avenue in a flurry of floats, cute kids, and several politicians -- but Rep. Anthony Weiner was a noticeable no-show.

Weiner usually marches in the parade, but this year it came days after he became entangled in a Twitter scandal involving a below-the-belt photo. The Queens congressman said someone hacked his account.

"I don't think it's really relevant," said paradegoer Benjamin Lonner. "I think it's politics. I don't think it's what the parade is about."

Organizers call this parade one of the largest, celebrating Israel's 63rd year of independence. It may be a day for revelry, but many are also thinking of the conflict overseas -- though many want the message to be of peace, not politics.

"We'll take peace to begin with," said Michael Miller of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York. "Peace with its neighbors, peace with the Palestinians, of course. Peace to Israel. Peace in the Middle East."

A few weeks ago, President Obama said the path to peace between Palestine and Israel means going back to pre-1967 borders -- a plan many Israelis rejected. Local politicians chimed in Sunday.

"While a vast majority of Israelis want a two-state solution, too many Palestinians and too many in the Arab world do not," said Sen. Charles Schumer. "Until they come to a realization that there have to be two states in the Middle East, we won't have peace."

Obama, in a pair of speeches, also said a peace treaty should be "based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps."

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