You might have thought that if it was anybody's job to look after Israel's occupation forces, it would have to be the Israeli taxpayer. But it transpires that
Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) has assumed the responsibility of providing these soldiers with love and support in an effort to ease the burden they carry on behalf of the Jewish community worldwide...with the mission of providing and supporting social, educational, cultural, and recreational programs and facilities for the young men and women soldiers of Israel who defend the Jewish homeland...Providing financial aid to soldiers in need, granting academic scholarships to former combat soldiers, helping bereaved families, and sponsoring fun days for combat battalions are just some of our endeavors...reinforce the significant bond between the Jewish community in the United States, the soldiers of the IDF, and the State of Israel.
FIDF builds sports and cultural centres for the IOF all over Israel and, if I read the map correctly, in the West Bank, as well as providing mobile recreational facilities for those too busy humiliating Palestinians at remote checkpoints or bashing down doors in the middle of the night to get to one of the more permanent centres.
If IOF soldiers carry the burden of occupation and oppression 'on behalf of the Jewish community worldwide' doesn't that constitute 'Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel', one of the ways 'in which anti-Semitism manifests itself with regard to the state of Israel', according to the EU Monitoring Commission's 'Working definition'?
Anyone who wants to contribute to this blatantly antisemitic project is in luck. Next Tuesday, 9 March, FIDF is holding its National NY Gala in the Grand Ballroom of Manhattan's historic Waldorf-Astoria, where
More than 1,300 people will gather together to support Israel’s soldiers and the State of Israel. At the dinner, you will have the unique opportunity to hear from Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi Chief of the IDF General Staff and meet combat soldiers who fight on the frontlines to ensure the safety of the state of Israel.
For just US$180,000, you can book a table for ten, although only $179,678 of that will be tax deductible. Or if you're too tightfisted to fork over a week's pay to defend Western Civilisation from the barbarian hordes at the gate, you can buy a seat for $1000. I just can’t help wondering how much of contributions to Friends of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades or Friends of the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, or even Friends of the Canadian Land Force Command would be tax deductible?
Alternatively, you can join the protest march, assembling at 53rd Street and Lexington Avenue at 5PM on the day - next Tuesday, 9 March.