North Bethesda, MD, Former Israeli Minister of Defense and Deputy Prime Minister, IDF Lt. Gen. (Res.) Shaul Mofaz, told the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Washington D.C. Chapter yesterday that Islamic extremists are not only waging war on Arab leaders but preparing to launch new terror campaigns against Israel.
“The King of Bahrain was saved at the very last moment and the President of Syria is still fighting for his survival. Other Arab leaders are having sleepless nights and elements of the Islamic Jihad, Al Qaeda and Salafists are filling the vacuum that is being created. They are taking over these areas and setting up bases for terror against the local country and against Israel,” said Mofaz.
Mofaz was speaking at the FIDF Washington D.C. Chapter’s Annual Gala, which took place at the Marriott Conference Center in North Bethesda, MD, and drew more than 500 prominent supporters who raised over $600,000 for wellbeing and educational programs for the brave men and women of the IDF.
Mofaz led the Kadima Party and served as leader of the opposition in the Knesset from 2012-2013. Previously, he served as transportation minister, and was head of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. Between 1998 and 2002, Mofaz served as the IDF Chief of the General Staff.
The gala honored Rev. Rosemary Schindler, a relative of Oskar Schindler, for her work continuing the Schindler legacy as curator of the Schindler family archives and as the founder of Schindler’s Ark.
“To the Schindler family, what happened after our relative’s heroic efforts to save his 1,200 employees and many more from the evil of his own countrymen, is still our mission,” said Rev. Schindler. “Now 70 years later, we all have the opportunity to support this great nation’s military. Holocaust survivors founded the FIDF so that Jews would always have a safe country.”
Nitzan Yechezkeli, an FIDF IMPACT! Scholarship recipient, also attended the gala to share his story. Nitzan served in the Israeli Navy’s Shayetet 13, a Navy Seal unit. He is currently pursuing higher education with the help of his scholarship from the FIDF IMPACT! Program, which provides IDF combat soldiers, who have completed their military service but cannot afford the cost of higher education, the opportunity to pursue their studies. As part of the program, students complete 130 hours of community service for every year of their scholarship.
The FIDF Washington D.C. community has adopted the Israeli Navy’s elite Shayetet 3 and Daburim Patrol Squadrons as part of the FIDF Adopt-a-Brigade Program. This program allows supporters to closely connect with IDF soldiers and focuses on providing financial aid for soldiers in-need and their families, supporting Lone Soldiers, sponsoring general wellbeing activities, and granting scholarships.
The gala also hosted two active-duty IDF soldiers, Captain Tamar, a company commander in communications battalion 372 of the Central Command, and Major Benimin, commander of draftee training in a Givati training base.