Hollywood celebrities raise $60 million for Israeli army


Published: 2018-11-08 10:12

Last Updated: 2024-06-21 16:45

More than 1,200 Israel supporters attended the sold-out dinner at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in California. (The Mind Unleashed)
More than 1,200 Israel supporters attended the sold-out dinner at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in California. (The Mind Unleashed)

Hollywood celebrities raised a whopping $60 million for the Israeli army at last week’s Friends of the Israel Defence Forces (FIDF) annual gala, double what they raised just three years ago.

More than 1,200 Israel supporters attended the sold-out dinner at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in California, including IDF soldiers and some of Hollywood’s most famous faces, such as actors Gerard Butler, Andy Garcia and Ashton Kutcher, former professional basketball player A.C. Green, and singers Pharrell Williams, Seal and Katharine McPhee.

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More from a great night in L.A. #fidfwrgala #fidf #pharrellwilliams Photos ???? @shaharazran1

A post shared by shahar azran 1 (@shaharazran1) onNov 3, 2018 at 8:18pm PDT

Haim Saban, FIDF National Board Member and Chairman of the event, said in his welcome speech:

“We are thrilled that so many members of our community, including major Hollywood figures, are coming together to help us support the brave men and women of the [Israeli army]. Standing behind these heroes is one of my greatest honours in my life.”

More money was raised for the IDF at last month’s FIDF event in New York - $32 million to be specific - which was attended by many of the city’s creme de la creme of the business world.

As part of the star-studded ‘Making a Difference: 70 Years of Heroes and Hope’ event, the organizers played a special video detailing the 70-year history of Israel, told by current and former soldiers and the military’s various campaigns against the Palestinians.

The Israeli army has killed, arrested and raided the homes of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians since its occupation of Palestine 70 years ago.

The money raised will “provide much-needed and well-deserved services such as academic scholarships to combat veterans, financial assistance for soldiers in need … crucial aid for wounded veterans and the families of fallen soldiers, weeks of rest and recuperation for entire IDF units, as well as educational, cultural, and recreational facilities,” according to a press release by the FIDF, which operates 20 offices across the US and Panama.

Social media reactions:

“Still trying to wrap my head around the irony that is Ashton Kutcher, founder of AJ+ which is a platform meant to spread awareness on world issues, funding and supporting the Israel Defense Forces at the FIDF Gala lmaooooooo wow.”

“What #IOF gained through the FIDF annual gala in the US:
2015: $31 million
2017: $53.8 million
2018: $60 million
Why does the Israeli army need more money every year? Hasn’t it had enough murdering hundreds of thousands Palestinians yet? #HollywoodFundsTerror.”

“Was looking forward to watching #HunterKiller but will instead exercise the right of freedom of expression to show @GerardButler ; @Pharrel can share it too. $60 million bought all of you nice piece of hell.
#FIDF #IDF #israel.”

“Here’s something you need to know: #Hollywood celebrities raised a record
breaking $60 million for the Israeli military at the “Friends of the Israel Defence
Forces (FIDF)” annual gala last week. Stop arming terrorism!

“Hooray Sure you are all proud because these IDF soldiers captured ...a great terrorist leader! @swilkinsonbc @georgegalloway @cjwerleman.”


"Always nice when people who support murderers identify themselves."


"Why would I support the IDF? They have spent months shooting Palestinian medics, journalists, children, and unarmed protesters in Gaza."


"@Pharrell Williams opposes Trump but had no problem raising money with Trumps' bankroler Sheldon #Adelson. $60 million was raised at the gala for Israeli terrorists."


"@Pharrell you should be ashamed to have performed at FIDF gala last night. IDF has killed 233 Palestinians since March for peacefully protesting. Please educate yourself before deciding to perform for murderers."