IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi headed to the US on Sunday night with a tight security detail amid reports that he will face massive anti-Israel protests during his trip.
Ashkenazi will attend a Friends of the IDF fund-raiser at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Manhattan and hold talks in Washington with his US counterpart, Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The two last met in Israel in mid-February.
Ashkenazi will also meet with US National Security Adviser James Jones and other senior government and military officials.
As reported on Sunday
in The Jerusalem Post
, a large protest sponsored by more than 25 left-wing organizations will be held outside the hotel starting at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.
An online article announcing the planned protest called Ashkenazi the “Butcher of Gaza.”
Groups sponsoring the protest include American Jews for a Just Peace, Jewish Voice for Peace, Progressive Democrats of America, Women in Black Union Square, Codepink and Gaza Freedom March.
IDF sources said on Sunday that Ashkenazi would be surrounded by two
layers of security at all times. The first layer will be of American
security guards and NYPD officers. The second layer will be made up of
members of the General Staff security team that is responsible for the
army chief’s routine security.
“Naturally, Ashkenazi is under threat,” one officer explained.