Crowdfunding for Israel and Gaza, with condoms and drones

By Miriam Moster, Crowdfunding campaigns, using sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, have become an increasingly popular way to generate money for everything from independent films to new technologies — even healthy-body-image fashion dolls and a rebuilt Third Temple. So perhaps it’s no surprise that in recent weeks, as the Israel-Gaza war raged on, advocates for both Israelis and Palestinians started crowdfunding campaigns to help their favored sides. (How legitimate these efforts are is anyone’s guess.) One of the more provocative, albeit not one of the more successful: an Indiegogo campaign seeking to raise money and awareness for the Israel Defense Forces via an “Iron Dome” condom with the motto “safe sex for a safe Israel.” The project’s organizers, Jason Sterling and Idan Twena, describe themselves as “two Canadian Israeli Jews, who have family members currently living in Israel and serving in the Israeli Defence Forces.”   Iron-Dome-condoms-1024x764 Donor perks include condoms and other “Iron Dome” apparel, with the quantity varying depending on the size of the donation. The perk for those donating $18,000 (so far the largest donation has been $54 — and the total raised is $436) includes two round-trip tickets to Toronto to meet with the co-founders, four nights at the Four Seasons, a one-year supply of Iron Dome condoms and “a crazy night with 10 Iron Dome girls,” whatever an Iron Dome girl is. At the opposite end of the modesty spectrum is an Indiegogo campaign raising money to provide soldiers with collections of psalms to “send a spiritual protective edge.” That campaign raised over $13,000, with perks ranging from emailed thank-you notes to various religious books — not quite a crazy night with an Iron Dome girl. Other pro-Israel campaigns include a pizza fund for the troops which exceeded its original goal of 1,000 pizzas and various efforts to provide extra gear for soldiers. Tzvi (Todd) Wiesel, a member of the Israel Defense Forces’ 97th battalion, turned to Tilt to raise money for extra gear for his unit, claiming in his pitch that “Due to the recent nature of our brigade, the newest in the army, and our battalion, the newest within the brigade the amount of funds allotted for our gear dwarfs in comparison to that of some of the better known units.” (The campaign raised $22,241.75 of its $20,000 goal.) Read more: http://www.jta.org/2014/08/06/news-opinion/the-telegraph/crowdfunding-for-israel-and-gaza-with-condoms-and-drones#ixzz39jo7hD78

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