Protest the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, 3/10/15

Press Release

For Immediate Release:

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.

Press Coverage



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.

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. 

In fact, the primary duties of the Israel Defense Forces have been “to protect Israel’s illegal settlements, demolish Palestinian homes, make the lives of ordinary Palestinians miserable, and suppress Palestinian resistance to its ongoing ethnic cleansing by whatever means necessary.

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The Israeli military also enforces a discriminatory, apartheid system. In the West Bank, the army is directly involved in seizure of Palestinian land to build colonial settlements for Jews only, all in violation of international law. Palestinian communities which have maintained nonviolent campaigns to prevent seizure of their land, like Bil’in, Budrus, Biddu, Beit Libya, Al Zawiyya, Jayyous and Um Salomona, have endured deaths and injuries at the hands of the military.

Finally, the Israel Defense Force’s ongoing use of US weapons to enforce an illegal military occupation and to commit human rights abuses puts it in violation of US law, specifically the Arms Export Control Act and the Foreign Assistance Act.

The Friends of the IDF is not welcome in New York City to get more money, at a minimum cost of $1,000 a seat, to perpetuate its war against the Palestinian people and the system of apartheid the army upholds.

WHEN:  TUESDAY, MARCH 10, 2015, 5:30 - 7 PM


Event Location: 

Waldorf Astoria
Park Ave at 50th St
New York , NY

Event Date: 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm


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