Monday, May 04, 2009

Code Pink Protests Inside AIPAC Conference

I remember the bad old days when I was called an anti-Semite by some "peace activists" merely for helping organize protests at the annual AIPAC conference. Now a days mainstream groups like Code Pink not only protest outside - but go inside and unfurl banners in the middle of Israeli speeches. Photo and some of their press release which read in part:

During Israeli Pres. Shimon Peres’ speech today at the annual AIPAC (American Israeli Political Action Committee) policy conference at the Washington Convention Center, CODEPINK members raised banners saying “Want Peace? End the Occupation," “What About Gaza?," and “No Money for War Crimes."

As the six activists were forcibly dragged away from the stage, they shouted similar phrases including "Tikun olam (Heal the world) for Gaza, too!", all meant to draw attention to widespread opposition to AIPAC's policies lobbied to Congress that include unconditional support and financing for Israel’s militaristic policies including the recent devastating invasion of Gaza, building of illegal settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the separation wall, refusal to negotiate with the Palestinians’ democratically elected representatives, and threats to attack Iran.

“The brutal invasion of Gaza was a breaking point for me and many American Jews,” said CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin, who recently led a 60-person delegation to Gaza. “I was appalled by the devastation and the suffering I saw, particularly among the children. As a mother, I feel compelled to speak out against Israel’s bombing of civilians and the ongoing siege that is so devastating to the lives of Gaza’s 1.5 million people—most of whom are under 18.”

While AIPAC claims to represent the U.S. Jewish community, its wholesale support of the Israel government goes against the majority opinions of the Jewish Americans. According to a recent survey by the Jewish lobby group J Street, 76 percent of American Jews support a two-state solution, 69 percent support negotiating with a Fatah-Hamas unity government, and 59 percent felt the Gaza invasion did not improve Israel’s security.
Code Pink gets national media and photo of their banner here. Video of protest below.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Like many Americans I am concerned about the power of the Jewish lobby and the bias American politicians show towards Israel.
I have often wondered about the loyalty of certain people who were born and raised in this country but whose loyalty seems to lie outside this country.
While this country has not had an balanced attitude towards many groups, the Israel Palistine issue has been obviously lopsided.
Hopefully Obama will move support for the two sides closer to the middle.
It's time the sides stop their childish squabbling over some barren desert real estate.