The latest disgusting act by Israeli soldiers reminded me I hadn’t finished my article about that the U.S. charity Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces (FIDF). If you haven’t heard, a group of IDF heroes were chillin’ at a settlement in Jerusalem called “Heritage House” and having afternoon Rachel Corrie pancackes. If you don’t get the “joke” these members of the Most Moral Army on Earth (MMAOE) was remembering Rachel being “flat as a pancake” after the Israeli army bulldozer crushed her to death in 2003.
Check out the page of Desert Peace which took a screen shot of the Heritage House page where the rabbi in charge, Ben Packer, responded to criticism of the heroes “joke” by writing:
“In honor of the all the hate messages from the anti-Israel/Jewish crowd, one of our supporters has pledged $5 towards Israeli settlements (maybe for additional bulldozers) for each additional comment. keep’em coming anti-semites! We love our Israeli soldiers and will not back down in the face of those who attempt to endanger them!”
For some reason I don’t recall any criticism of this humor from the ADL or a Jewish federation leader of AIPAC.
Lots of other recent stains on MMAOE, like their “operation” to confiscate an outhouse (covered on “The Struggle” TV show #492 ) and their detention of a fearsome Palestinian 5 year-old warrior who had thrown a stone (show #493), their use of Palestinians as human shields. etc. Electronic Intifada also noticed images soldiers posted on the photo-sharing site Instagram of nudity, drug use and violence and most notoriously of a Palestinian chlld seen through the scope of a sniper’s rifle.
Another example on The Struggle #495 is from a great group of Israeli soldiers (and I don’t mean this sarcastically) “Breaking the Silence”, men and women who are ashamed of what they do in their occupation army and are telling about it to the world. We focus on one young woman who talks about what soldiers do to Palestinians when they’re bored.
This is not to speak at all of the violent horrors committed freely by the MMAOE like mass murder in Gaza.
So all in all, it’s understandable that members of the IDF, I mean the MMAOE, need lots of TLC from a charity like the FIDF.
Anyway, the FIDF made the news in the Israeli paper Ha’aretz in early June because the charity decided to build a gym. That wouldn’t be big news, but the gym wasn’t for soldiers. It was for members of the Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations or Mossad, the Israeli version of the CIA.
The paper was a little offended for Israel’s dignity. The writer, Barack Ravid said, “It’s surprising that an agency like the Mossad needs to seek funds from American Jews. Although the Mossad’s researchers, spies and other employees do arduous and sometimes extremely dangerous work for Israel’s national security, they’re not military draftees. They’re working for the Mossad of their own free will, and they receive handsome salaries.”
We know all the “arduous” work the Mossad is involved in, like pampering the early Hamas to make it a rival to the PLO, putting bombs on the cars of Iranian nuclear scientists, abduction of whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu, assassination of a score of people involved or not involved in the Munich Olympics killings, and many other political murders over the years. Certainly they work up a sweat and need R&R.
But it wasn’t just any gym. Ha’aretz notes that the last gym the FIDF built for regular soldiers cost $200,000 in U.S. dollars. This gym for the Mossad was “state of the art” and cost $2.2 million.
There was one thing wrong in the article, though. The headline of the piece said that the money came from American Jews. Indeed they did contribute. They raised $27 million in one night in New York City’s Waldorf Astoria But the article leaves something out. The checks to the FIDF come mostly from U.S. Jews, but the FIDF is a “charity”. Donations are tax deductible. That means the donors get a break on their taxes and the IRS loses money. Now the U.S. government is busy building democracy everywhere and those bombs costs money, so for the money the IRS loses the U.S. has to borrow money and pay back that money with interest. Borrowing has been over a trillion a year lately. So don’t give rich American Jews all the credit. All Americans help pay for the Nordic Tracks in the Mossad gym even if it means that U.S. veterans go without, even if U.S. vets go homeless, even if it means we all have to cut back services through a sequester.
Now you would think that the American Jews going to the FIDF’s gala would be proud as peacocks and revel in the publicity or at least that the U.S. media would give it some play. But as Jeff Blankfort noted in April this never happens.
It’s all kept very hush hush with a few vague articles printed in Israeli and U.S. Jewish papers weeks later. You can’t even find out who the entertainers were. (though we do know in LA Jason Alexander was MC at the event). Perhaps people who go to these “galas” are embarrassed that with the U.S. government giving the Israeli military $3.5 billion a year, the IDF and the Mossad have to act like schnorrers (Yiddish for beggers) and hustle for charity in the U.S. Perhaps it’s because they want to protect the security of the war criminals like Gabi Ashkenazi (Chief of Staff during Operation Cast Lead 2008-2009, and in control of SLA torturers earlier during his career in Lebanon) that they bring to the dinners to impress the faithful.
Or perhaps they worry they’d become targets of BDS…as they should.