(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
A massive demonstration will greet IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi when he arrives at the luxury Waldorf Astoria hotel in Manhattan this week to speak at a Friends of the IDF fund-raiser.
Ashkenazi will leave Sunday for the US to attend the fund-raiser and also hold talks with his American counterpart, Chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen. The two last met in Israel in mid-February.
According to a press release issued by the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), a large protest sponsored by more than 25 different American, Jewish and Israeli organizations will be held outside the hotel starting at 5 p.m. on Tuesday and then move throughout the neighborhood.
In an article about the planned protest which appeared online, Ashkenazi was described as the “Butcher of Gaza.”
“Attention all US law enforcement agencies! Be on the lookout: a war criminal is coming our way. The Butcher of Gaza is coming to America,” the article on the Monthly Review
Web site read.
“Hundreds of protesters dressed in black, carrying placards detailing war crimes and names of civilians killed by the IDF, and marching silently around the blocks near the Waldorf Astoria,” the ISM press release said, detailing what was expected at the demonstration.
In the release, Ashkenazi is described as the leader of Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip earlier in early 2009 “in which more 1,400 Palestinians were killed, more than one-fifth of whom were children.”
“Under Ashkenazi’s leadership, the IDF attacked schools and hospitals
and flouted international humanitarian law and the laws of war with
regard to the treatment of unarmed civilians,” ISM wrote in the press
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.