After 33 years, the IDF
has decided to cancel its annual telethon, due to donations falling short in the past two years, yielding only NIS 500,000 (roughly $130,890) each year.
The IDF chose to cancel the event in effort to stop the "humiliating process of having to beg companies for donations."
Since 1979, the annual telethon for those serving in the IDF, was always held during the Hanukkah holiday.
In place of the canceled telethon, a steering committee established by the IDF Spokesperson's Unit, recommended holding an event in honor of combat soldiers.
The event will also honor those classified as "lone" soldiers, meaning soldiers who have no family in Israel, as well as minority members serving in the military.
The steering committee criticized the very existence of the telethon, saying that unlike previous years, the military did not need to ask companies for donations.
The committee further said that in previous years, despite the generous statements made by various companies, after the fundraiser ended, no substantial donations were made, leaving the IDF at a financial loss due to the ongoing expense of holding the event.
The IDF stressed that organizations seeking to donate, could still do so through the appropriate channels such as the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel's Soldiers or "Libi" – The fund for Strengthening Israel's
Such donations would be held in the highest regard but will not receive "cheap advertisement," the committee said.
According to the IDF, "over the past year, a military think tank reviewed the relevancy of the annual telethon and recommended not to hold the event this year."