Hollywood stars raise $60 million for US taxpayer-funded Israeli military

Hollywood stars raise $60 million for US taxpayer-funded Israeli military
Ashton Kutcher, Pharrell Williams and Gerard Butler were among the guests at the Friends of the Israel Defence Forces annual gala last week.
2 min read
07 November, 2018
American actor Ashton Kutcher and Scottish actor Gerard Butler were among the guests [Getty]

Hollywood celebrities gathered for the annual Friends of the Israel Defence Forces [FIDF] gala last week, raising a record-breaking $60 million for the Israeli military, which continues to receive billions in aid from Washington.

Among the guests of the Western Region Gala were American actor Ashton Kutcher, Scottish actor Gerard Butler and American rapper Pharrell Williams, who gave a performance.

The event, chaired by Israeli-American billionaire Haim Saban, included prominent politicians, businessmen and big names in the entertainment industry, including Cuban American actor Andy Garcia, best known for his appearance in The God Father III and Jamaican musician and the son of reggae icon Bob Marley, Ziggy Marley.

The event, held on November 1 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel also celebrated Israeli Colonel Shai Siman-Tov, who was paralysed during his country's offensive on the Gaza strip in 2014, which killed 2,100 in under two months.

US taxpayer-funded aid to Israeli defence

The US signed a landmark defence agreement with Israel under Barack Obama’s administration. The pledge, worth $38 billion, was the largest to Tel Aviv in US history.  

Under the agreement, the US will give Israel annually $3.3 billion in foreign military aid and $500 million in missile defence over ten years.

Donald Trump implemented the agreement after revisiting it at the beginning of the fiscal year and hailed his country's unconditional support for Israel.

Some US lawmakers said the deal is just a ground for further boosted military aid to Israel.

The Israeli army has been slammed by the international community and human rights activists for using excessive force against Palestinians.

Earlier this year, the United Nations slammed the Israeli military over disproportionate and indiscriminate force in the Gaza Strip and occupied West Bank. Their shoot-to-cripple and shoot-to-kill policies have especially come under fire.