Israel’s military chief headed to U.S.


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli military’s chief of staff is headed to the United States for a weeklong visit.

Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi will hold meetings with government, military, security and public diplomacy officials in Washington and New York beginning Monday, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

Ashkenazi is scheduled to meet at the White House with the head of the National Security Council, Gen. James Jones, and with his U.S. counterpart,  Adm. Michael Mullen, as well as government and congressional officials.

Ashkenazi will be the guest of honor and address the annual Friends of the IDF dinner Tuesday evening in New York City, and will participate in other events in New York and Miami.

A protest against Ashkenazi sponsored by more than 25 American, Jewish and Israeli organizations is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon outside Manhattan’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, the site of the IDF dinner, the Jerusalem Post reported. Protest organizers have described Ashkenazi as the "butcher of Gaza."

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