Speaking at a function organized by the Friends of the IDF, the army chief warned that Iran is aiming to destabilize the Middle East through its emissaries, Hezbollah and Hamas. He urged the international community to curb the Islamic republic's nuclear program.
Ashkenazi moved by Marine's donation (Photo: Shahar Azran)
Ashkenazi characterized Tehran as the main threat on world peace at this time, noting that it is gradually acquiring nuclear capabilities, while arming and supporting terror groups in the Mideast and elsewhere. The world should "keep all options on the table" vis-à-vis Iran, the army chief said.
The Friends of the IDF event was attended by 1,300 people, who donated over $20 million altogether to the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel's Soldiers (AWIS). Some private donations amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars each.
As the dinner wound down, one of the participants, a marine in uniform, stood up to speak. He said he had just returned from Afghanistan and wished to donate $1,000 to the IDF. He was generously applauded.
Ashkenazi was visibly moved, and invited Sergeant Todd Bowers to visit Israel. He said he would ask the Marine's commanders if Bowers could be brought for a visit.
Hanan Greenberg contributed to the story