Not-for-profit group raises $26m. for IDF

FIDF gala in New York features video feeds from PM, Chief of Staff, Gilad Schalit; Gantz: We will continue to respond attacks.

Friends of the IDF event 370 (photo credit: Friends of the IDF)
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.
The 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 their support.
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."
Speaking 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 decimated."
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 military strategy."
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.