Updated 06/03/2012 05:01 PM
Mayor Bloomberg Joins Political Bigwigs At Celebrate Israel Parade
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Sunday's Celebrate Israel Parade on Fifth Avenue brought together more than 200 organizations, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Senator Charles Schumer and thousands of onlookers to mark the Middle Eastern nation's 64th birthday.
Organizers called the parade the world's largest public gathering to celebrate Israel, and many city and state officials took part.
"Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. We have the right to practice our religion and say what we want to say because young men and women have always answered the call, and that's true in Israel and true in America," said Bloomberg.
"Israel faces probably the greatest threat she has ever faced, which is a nuclear Iran," said Schumer. "And today we are urging all of the western powers, including our own government, not to budge on the sanctions until Iran fully gives up nuclear weapons."
While attending the parade, the mayor responded to a New York Times ad that ran Saturday saying that New Yorkers are too old for a nanny.
The ad, paid for by an advocacy group called the Center for Consumer Freedom, takes aim at Bloomberg's proposed ban on large sugary beverages.
The mayor is seen in a frumpy dress, and the ad suggests he could next target the size of a pizza slice or the amount of cream cheese on a bagel.
Bloomberg answered the criticism with the mock tone of a fashion critic.
"Would I wear a dress like that? No, no! That was one of the more unflattering dresses," joked Bloomberg. "You would think that whoever did that ad would have more style than that. Come on."
Earlier this week, Bloomberg proposed a ban on the sale of sugary drinks over 16 ounces from most restaurants in the city.
The mayor hopes to have the ban implemented by March.