Friends of the IDF event 370.
(photo credit: Friends of the IDF)
The Friends of the IDF (FIDF) organization raised $26 million (NIS 98
million) Tuesday at its annual tribute dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria in
New York. Proceeds will be donated to the IDF for investment in social
and educational programming, economic support for soldiers, aid for
bereaved families, subsidies for lone soldiers, and more.
event, attended by over 1,300 guests, featured video feeds from Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.- Gen. Benny Gantz,
and freed IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, all of whom thanked the guests for
Netanyahu added that "the IDF is the basis for
our existence and is the guarantee for our future... Today, now that we
have a country, and we have a strong army, we have the capability to
stand up against attacks on the Jewish nation - a capability that is
embodied in the IDF and in Israel's security services."
to the crowd live from an Iron Dome battery protecting Ashdod,Gantz said of the recent escalation that "we came under fire
after we assassinated [Popular Resistance Committees leader Zuheir al-]
Qaisi, but we acted appropriately in recent days and we will act
similarly in the future."
Referencing a rocket that struck the Israeli town of Netivot
injuring and causing 11 to suffer from shock, Gantz said that "if
the fire continues, we will respond as we did before. We managed to kill
22 terrorists in recent days, and as of now the terrorists have been
Gantz also spoke about the successes of the Iron Dome
rocket-defense system, which intercepted over 90 percent of its
targets. "The terrorists know now that the rockets they are firing at us
are being intercepted by the Iron Dome, and they also know what will
happen in the future if they continue to pursue terrorism," he said.
"Active defense systems represent a historic and important shift in
The event was attended by Israel's ambassador
to the UN Ron Prosor and the Israeli military attaché in Washington
Maj.-Gen. Gadi Shamni.
Friends of the IDF is a not-for-profit
organization established in 1981 by Holocaust survivors to provide for
the well-being of Israeli soldiers.