New York Gala Raises $32m for Israeli Army

Israeli soldiers beating a Palestinian man in the occupied West Bank. (Photo: ActiveStills.org)

A New York City gala held by the Friends of the Israel Defence Forces (FIDF) yesterday evening raised $32 million for members of Israel’s occupation forces.

The event was attended by 1,200 US business people, as well as key figures from the Israeli establishment, including Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon and Israel’s Consul General in New York Dani Dayan. Army Chief of the General Staff, Gadi Eisenkot, was also slated to attend but was called back to Israel amid an escalation of Israeli air strikes on the besieged Gaza Strip yesterday.

Among the biggest donors to the gala were Or Lachayal – an organization which works to “strengthen the Jewish identity of the Israeli army” – which pledged $2.5 million and Nefesh B’Nefesh – which promotes Jewish immigration to Israel – which pledged $1.3 million, Arutz Sheva reported.

FIDF has a long history of fundraising for Israel’s occupation forces, the proceeds of which it then spends on “educational, cultural, recreational, and social services” for Israeli soldiers. It operates 20 offices across the United States and Panama, according to its own website.

Support for the army from US organizations and the US government has been a cornerstone of Israel’s ability to continue its now 50-year-old occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Earlier this month the largest ever US military aid package to Israel – worth $38 billion over a ten year period – entered into force.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

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