The incongruities were numerous Tuesday night as the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces held its annual gala at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel here.
The organization raised $24 million in a single evening, which will go to support the programs it runs for current members of the Israeli armed forces, as well as veterans and family members of those killed in the line of duty.
New York, NY, March 10, 2015 - Sixty New Yorkers weathered Tuesday evening’s downpour to protest the gala fundraiser organized and hosted by US nonprofit Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) at the Waldorf Astoria. Demonstrators demanded that FIDF be stripped of its current tax-exempt status, which allows it to raise funds used to subsidize the Israeli military at the American taxpayers’ expense. Last year, the FIDF’s tax-exempt fundraising was subsidized by taxpayers to the tune of at least $20 million. Signs and pamphlets at the demonstration reminded attendees and passersby that these tax-exempt millions are not supporting a humanitarian cause, but a military force with a known record of egregious human rights abuses.
FIDF is a multimillion dollar 501c3 not-for-profit organization that collects funds to send to the Israeli military. In 2014 at their last gala dinner, they raised $20 million for what they call “the wellbeing of IDF soldiers”. But this is NOT a humanitarian organization. The Israeli military, (the Israel Defense Forces), has been a violator of human rights and international law as seen in the recent massacre in Gaza, the 2008-9 massacre in Gaza, the 2006 attack on Lebanon, the 60+ year assault on and dispossession of the Palestinian people.