From 22-year-old Bay Area native Ilan Benjamin, author of “Masa: Stories of a Lone Soldier.”
“From my first week of basic training to my last day serving next to Gaza, it was driven into our heads again and again that our purpose was to defend innocent people,” he says. “And not just Israelis but Palestinians, too. I saw whole operations foiled based on intelligence of high civilian clusters situated too close to our target. The IDF goes out of its way to protect human life. In 21⁄2 years of service, I was never given one immoral order.”
Friends of the IDF exist to support young people like Ilan Benjamin who risk their lives to defend Israel's borders and to protect her citizens. FIDF provides educational, social and recreational programs for them, as well as support for the families of fallen soldiers. In 2011, FIDF brought 77 Bar/Bat Mitzvah children to a trip to the U.S., presented Rosh Hashana gifts to 4,900 widows, hosted 700 widows at R&R centers in Israel and funded workshops for nearly 1,000 bereaved siblings.
From the FIDF website:
The strength of the IDF, which has been guarding the State of Israel since it declared independence in 1948, derives from the selfless determination and great capabilities of the young men and women who form it. At the tender age of 18, all Israelis are drafted into the IDF. Those who serve commit to uphold the difficult tasks of defending Israel’s borders and guaranteeing the safety of its people.On Sunday, October 20, San Francisco Friends of the IDF held their annual fundraiser at the Intercontinental Hotel.
The Israeli government is responsible for training IDF soldiers and providing them with the necessary tools for their service. FIDF is committed to providing these soldiers with love, support, and care in an effort to ease the burden they carry on behalf of the Jewish community worldwide.
The Israeli government is responsible for training IDF soldiers and providing them with the necessary tools for their service. FIDF is committed to providing these soldiers with love, support, and care in an effort to ease the burden they carry on behalf of the Jewish community worldwide
A tiny group of protesters stood in front. According to reports, some protesters appeared to be wearing pajamas. Is this an indication that they consider themselves a "sleeper cell" or is it just a testament to significant mental health issues? We can only wonder.
Dalit Baum of the American Friends Service Committee and Nancy Stoller stood in protest. No strangers to anti-Israel activism, both women were involved in the repeated harassment of Cliff's Variety Store in the Castro, because it dared sell Israeli products. Noura Khouri- a woman so extreme she once referred to the saintly Rev. Cecil Williams as "racist" was also there. Yet in spite of promotion by groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine, and Women in Black, less than 10 came in opposition.
Desperate for some acknowledgment, members of the group came into the hotel, allegedly approaching the FIDF registration desk screaming "Intifada", before they were removed by police.
Three were cited and later released. One was charged with assault with a deadly weapon.
Protesting a non-profit that aids widows. Terrorizing people gathered in a hotel lobby. Assaulting those who disagree with them. Thats the face of pro-Palestinian activism in San Francisco today