Archive: August, 2011

CODEPINK Organizer Files Suit Against Attackers

Rae Abileah, a peaceful demonstrator who was physically attacked and injured on May 24, 2011, while protesting the occupation and oppression of Palestinians during the speech of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, filed a civil action in District of Columbia Superior Court today against the unknown individuals who attacked her in the House Gallery, and caused her serious physical injury.

Ms. Abileah is a 28 year old American Jew of Israeli descent, who works as the Middle East Campaigns Coordinator for CODEPINK, a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice organization that seeks to end U.S. wars and the U.S. funded occupation of Palestine. After a security check by the Capitol Police, she was given a seat in the House Gallery, as were other individuals who were given passes by members of Congress for the May 24, 2011 session. About 10 minutes after Mr. Netanyahu began speaking, Ms. Abileah stood up from her seat in the Gallery and opened a banner that read “Occupying Land is Indefensible,” and shouted, “No more occupation. Stop Israeli war crimes! Equal rights for Palestinians! Occupying land is indefensible!”

Four to five other persons sitting in the House Gallery began to attack her, including one man who used his hand to attempt to gag and suffocate Ms. Abileah, and then violently yanked her head back, injuring her neck. As a result of the attack, Ms. Abileah suffered severe emotional trauma and sustained a neck strain, swollen neck and muscle strain, and has since suffered from frequent headaches.

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CODEPINK’s Complaint to the Congressional Ethics Committee

I would like to file a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics against the Congressional trips to Israel organized by the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF). These trips violate the Congressional Ethics Rules and should be prohibited.

1. Person filing the complaint:

Medea Benjamin, medea@codepink.org
Affiliated with CODEPINK: Women for Peace

2. American Israel Education Fund (AIEF) trips to Israel

3. Three trips during August recess

—one delegation for Democrats headed by Cong. Steny Hoyer
–two delegations for Republicans headed by Cong. Eric Cantor and Cong. Kevin McCarthy

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CODEPINK Files Complaint with Congressional Ethics Committee Against AIPAC-Funded Junkets to Israel

Calls for end to loophole that allows front group to act as conduit for Lobby trips

The peace group CODEPINK has filed a formal complaint with the Congressional Ethics Committee, calling for an investigation of the junkets to Israel paid for by the powerful Israel lobby AIPAC but channeled through their educational front group, The American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF). This summer recess, a staggering 81 Congresspeople—one out of five members—are participating in these trips.

According to the House Ethics Rules, Congress is prohibited from participating in any multiple-day trip that is planned, organized, requested, or arranged by a lobbyist. AIPAC skirts the law by funneling the trips through AIEF.

According to the latest publicly available tax returns, in 2009 AIEF did not even have paid staff, relying on AIPAC employees to do its work. AIPAC contributed more than $3.2 million of employee salaries to cover the staff costs of AIEF in 2009. In other words, a 501(c)(4) organization with registered lobbyists is paying for the staff of a 501(c)(3) organization to run congressional delegations that cannot legally be funded by an organization that employs registered lobbyists.

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List of Representatives Going on an Israel Lobby Junket

Partial list of the 81 Congresspeople touring Israel on an AIPAC-affiliate junket during the August Congressional Recess:

First NameLast NamePolitical PartyState (District)
DanBenishekRepublicanMI (1)
GusBilirakisRepublicanFL
BruceBraleyDemocratFL
MoBrooksRepublicanAL (5)
Anne MarieBuerkleRepublicanNY
Eric
CantorRepublicanVA (7)
Russ
CarnahanDemocratMO (3)
KathyCastorDemocratFL
JudyChuDemocratCA
David
CicillineDemocratRI (1)
JimCostaDemocratCA
Yvette
ClarkeDemocratNY (11)
Mark
CritzDemocratPA (12)
JeffDenhamRepublicanCA (15)
ScottDesJarlaisRepublicanTN (4)
JoeDonnellyDemocratIN
JeffDuncanRepublicanSC
ReneeEllmersRepublicanNC
BlakeFarentholdRepublicanTX
StephenFinchnerRepublicanTN
Chuck
FleischmanRepublicanTN (3)
John
GaramendiDemocratCA (10)
CoryGardenerRepublicanCO
PaulGosarRepublicanAZ
Kay
GrangerRepublicanTX (12)
GeneGreenDemocratTX
TimGriffinRepublicanAZ
MichaelGrimmRepublicanNY (12)
Janice
HahnDemocratCA (36)
ColleenHanabusaDemocratHI
AndyHarrisRepublicanMD
NanHayworthRepublicanNY
Jaime
Herrera BuetlerRepublicanWA (3)
Adam
KinzingerRepublicanIL
RubenHinajosaDemocratTX
Steny
HoyerDemocratMD (5)
Jesse Jr.JacksonDemocratIL (2)
Eddie BerniceJohnsonDemocratTX
HankJohnsonDemocratGA
MikeKellyRepublicanPA (3)
RonKindDemocratWI
NitaLoweyDemocratNY
CarolynMaloneyDemocratNY
ThomasMarinoRepublicanPA
KevinMcCarthyRepublicanCA (22)
PatMeehanRepublicanPA
GwenMooreDemocratWI (4)
Bill
OwensDemocratNY (23)
Steven
PalazzoRepublicanMS (4)
ErikPaulsenRepublicanMN (3)
EdPerlmutterDemocratCO (7)
ToddPlattsRepublicanPA
TomPriceRepublicanGA (6)
BenQuayleRepublicanAZ
TomReedRepublicanNY (29)
David
RiveraRepublicanFL
Peter
RoskamRepublicanIL (6)
DennisRossRepublicanFL
Loretta
SanchezDemocratCA (47)
KurtSchraderDemocratOR
David
SchweikertRepublicanAZ (5)
TimScottRepublicanSC (1)
TerriSewellDemocratAL
Adam
SmithDemocratWA (9)
Steve
SoutherlandRepublicanFL (2)
MarlinStutzmanRepublicanIN
BettySuttonDemocratOH (13)
ScottTiptonRepublicanCO (3)
TimWahlbergRepublicanMI
AllenWestRepublicanFL (22)
Frederica
WilsonDemocratFL 17()
KevinYoderRepublicanKS (3)


Is your congressperson going to Israel instead of working in district during the recess?
Take action!

1. Tweet Congress with this message: Represent America, not Israel!

2. Send a letter to the editor of your local letter expressing your outrage if your Representative is going to Israel.

3. Visit your Congressperson’s office this month during the August Recess (when your Rep should be home).

Does Your Congressperson Represent You — or Israel?

9 August 2011 | AlterNet

In this time of economic austerity, when jobs are being slashed and Americans are fearful about their future, the Congressional recess is the time for our elected representatives to be home in their districts, reaching out to their constituents and servicing the people they are paid to represent. Instead, this August one out of every five representatives will be taking a junket to Israel, compliments of an affiliate of the Israel lobby AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) but still clocked in on the taxpayer’s dime.

Americans who have lost their jobs and seen their life savings evaporate because Congress can’t seem to get it together deserve an explanation of how this crisis will be solved. Following the recent debt debacle, the public is hungry for information about the mysterious 12-person “super committee” that will slash over one trillion dollars from the federal budget. But instead of opening their doors to their constituents, 81 members of Congress will be getting briefings from Israeli government officials, touring historic religious sites, and perhaps “seeking a salty dip in the Dead Sea.” Representative Steny Hoyer, who is leading the Democratic delegation, said he is pleased members of Congress have this opportunity “to gain a deeper understanding of the issues involved in increasing stability in the region.” One has to wonder whether our elected officials are more concerned about the stability of Israel or the well-being of American families.

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