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Protest of the Friends of the IDF dinner at the Waldorf, NYC

5 March 2010

For immediate release:

On March 9th 2010, The Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, a registered 501-(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that provides support and services to members of Israel’s national army, will be holding a gala $1,000 a plate fundraiser at the Waldorf Astoria. The keynote speaker will be Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, IDF Chief of General Staff, who was responsible for the prosecution of last year’s Operation Cast Lead against the people of Gaza. At the same time as the dinner, a broad coalition of local groups will stage a mobile protest outside the hotel to highlight the crimes committed by the IDF during Operation Cast Lead and Israel’s ongoing illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip.

WHO: A broad and diverse tri-state coalition, including peace and Palestine solidarity groups as well as grassroots community organizations and religious institutions. (Complete list below)

WHEN: Tuesday, March 9th, 5-7 P.M.

WHERE: Starting 53rd ST. and Lexington Ave. then moving through the neighborhood.

VISUALS: 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.

Gabi Ashkenazi led the Israeli military assault against the people of Gaza in Dec.- Jan. of 2008-9, in which 1400 Palestinians were killed, more than one-fifth of whom were children. This included forcing 100 members of the extended Al-Samouni family into a storage shed and then bombing the structure, killing 23 people. Under Ashkenazi’s leadership, the Israel Defense Forces attacked schools and hospitals and flouted international humanitarian law and the laws of war with regard to the treatment of unarmed civilians.

The protest outside the Waldorf Astoria is a part of the 6th International Israeli Apartheid Week.

Co-sponsoring groups include: A.R.T. (Activist Response Team), Adalah-NY, American Jews for a Just Peace, Brooklyn For Peace, Center for Immigrant Families, Codepink, Committee for Open Discussion of Zionism, Gaza Freedom March, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions-USA, Jewish Voice For Peace, Jews Say No!, Judson Church, Middle East Crisis Response, National Lawyers Guild – NY Chapter, NYC Anti-War Coalition, New York Collective of Radical Educators, Post Road, Progressive Democrats of America, Regeneración Childcare NYC, WESPAC Foundation, Women In Black Union Square, Women of a Certain Age, Woodstock Veterans For Peace.

Endorsed by the Israeli groups: Coalition of Women for Peace, Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian Call for BDS From Within.