US friends of Israeli army stage fundraisers with NBA teams and NY rabbi

US Politics
on 6 Comments

This summer was a busy month for the Israeli army and October will be a busy month for the army’s friends in the U.S. They are holding fundraisers at two leading NBA venues and on Long Island with a leading NY rabbi. Say the Friends of the IDF: “Their job is to look after Israel. Ours is to look after them. Help us support Israeli soldiers.”

First, Dave Zirin reports at the Nation that the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team will be playing two exhibition games against NBA teams, first in Cleveland October 5, then in Brooklyn two days later. And the Friends of the IDF will be staging a fundraiser before each game. Zirin:

Pertinent to all of this seems to be that “Subprime Dan” Gilbert, the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the founder of Quicken Loans, is a massive financial supporter of Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces. They even gave him an award. 

The New York fundraiser/game are set for October 7. Zirin spoke to the wonderful activist, Tzvia Thier:

Tsvia Thier, an Israeli citizen now living in New York, … plans to be a part of whatever protest assembles outside the Barclays Center on October 7th. She said to me, “Israel dropped thousands of pounds of weapons on Gaza. More than 2,000 people died. More than 500 children were killed. There has been no justice for this. We cannot allow for these games to go forward without bearing witness…as if these criminal acts did not just take place. Our memories cannot be that short.” Thier was on her way to a meeting of the group Jewish Voice for Peace to raise plans to protest when I spoke with her.

It is not just Thier and others who are unable to separate these games from Israel’s summer war on Gaza. It is the NBA. Before the Brooklyn game, the league signed off on a “VIP celebration” at the Barclay’s Center for Maccabi Tel Aviv hosted by an organization called Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF). According to the press release, “FIDF has arranged for 12 IDF soldiers wounded during the Operation in Gaza to take part in the event.” (For people who want a full accounting of the death and destruction that the Gaza War wrought, see the United Nations report here.)

Here’s that protest, next Tuesday.

If you can’t get to that fundraiser, well, on October 21, the Friends of the IDF will be on Long Island, honoring a rabbi, Howard Stecker of the Temple Israel in Great Neck. You can read the rabbi’s thoughts on Gaza here.

P.S. Zirin notes that the NBA has a long history of supporting Israel, and he asked the NBA when it will have a Palestinian basketball team come play in the U.S. You can see the league’s lame response at the link; but it goes to show, the more pressure people put on these rather elemental issues of equality, racism and diversity in the US discourse, the more progress our side will make. Because we’re the progressives…

 

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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6 Responses

  1. seafoid
    September 30, 2014, 5:41 pm

    That Torah for the day encapsulates the Jewish prison. How to triangulate between tribalist violence and the wisdom of the elders while ignoring the moral content of the books.
    Donneil Hartman was mentioned. He used to write crap like that every week in Haaretz. It can be summarised as good Jews who do dirty things.

  2. Kay24
    September 30, 2014, 6:13 pm

    It shows how deep, and how wide, the zionists have infiltrated American institutions, media, think tanks, and even in the sports arena. It is like a malignant tumor slowly spreading into all avenues of US life. Every part of our society seems to be infested by this alien nation.
    Really, are we now having fund raisers for one of the most brutal armies in the world, who the entire world watched with horror, as they slaughtered women and little babies in Gaza?
    It is frightening.

  3. Marco
    October 1, 2014, 9:51 am

    “Pertinent to all of this seems to be that “Subprime Dan” Gilbert, the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the founder of Quicken Loans, is a massive financial supporter of Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces. They even gave him an award. ”

    Interesting. This helps explain why Cleveland hired David Blatt as their new head coach.

    Blatt was a Jewish kid out of Massachusetts who went to Princeton who was recruited to play basketball in Israel. After his playing career was done he moved on to coaching, eventually running the Israeli national team.

    I have no doubt that Blatt’s a talented coach, but to think that politics didn’t play a role in his hiring is naive.

  4. chet
    October 1, 2014, 2:04 pm

    OK, NY Mondoweissers, here’s your chance to make a difference.

    The arrogance of the pro-Zionist propagandists have created a huge opening — a national stage that the MSM cannot, and will not, ignore — take full advantage of this opportunity and do all that has to be done.

  5. Ira Glunts
    October 2, 2014, 4:25 pm

    Jewish exceptionalism ejected at Madison Square Garden

    In a 2009 exhibition game between Maccabi and the Knicks in NYC, the Israeli coach Pini Gershon refused to withdraw after being ejected from the game. (pun intended) An Israeli rabbi tried to get the referees to reverse their call and permit the Israeli to remain on the bench. The rabbi did not succeed and Pini finally left after a long delay.

    It was hilarious. I watched the whole thing in complete disbelief on a live stream on my computer. This video does not begin to convey the outrageousness of the scene nor does it capture the complete disbelief of the bemused American TV announcers. Here is the link —- a short segment on the ejection starts at 1:14. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eel7Cab1CII

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