Obama's State Department could not tolerate a Haitian friend of Israel perform at a Celebrate Israel event. Do they have some kind of a problem with Israel? With the rest of us?
Participants in the parade included New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York Senators Charles Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand, Israeli Minister of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Yuli Edelstein, Israeli Consul General Ido Aharoni and Grand Marshal Joseph Sitt, New York real estate developer and CEO of Thor Equities.
One special guest participant was missing, due to having been denied a visa to travel to the parade. Gheorghes (George) Exantus ,a Haitian champion salsa dancer, had had a leg amputated because of damage from the 2010 earthquake. Israeli doctors and physiotherapists treated him and, through prosthesis and rehabilitation work, enabled Exantus to dance again within eight months.
Exantus was to participate in the parade and dance at a concert after the parade. Last week, the US embassy in Haiti denied Exantus a travel visa to the US, fearing Exantus would try to immigrate illegally. New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez appealed the decision, but to no avail. [Read more]