Occupy AIPAC Frequently Asked Questions
What is Expose AIPAC?
Expose AIPAC is a weekend long series of events to put a spotlight on the abusive practices of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Timed to coincide with the annual AIPAC Policy Conference, scheduled for March 2nd-5th 2013, we are gathering in Washington DC to show support for a US foreign policy that promotes justice in the Middle East.
Why Expose AIPAC?
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has a dangerous stranglehold over U.S. foreign policy towards the Middle East. AIPAC’s unrelenting support for the illegal policies of the Israeli government—separation walls, settlements, the siege of Gaza—in addition to its bellicose policies across the region, especially Iran, has been devastating for Palestinians and the Middle East, including Israel. It also harms our reputation around the world and squanders $3 billion a year subsidizing the powerful Israeli military when we need that money to rebuild the United States. It’s time to wean U.S. policy away from AIPAC’s grip towards an even-handed position that respects international law and the human rights of all people in the region.
What are the goals of Expose AIPAC?
The goals of Expose AIPAC include:
- Strengthening our movement working for a just Middle East policy
- reinforcing that AIPAC is part of the pro-war elite as it heavily lobbies our politicians with right-wing policies and holds significant influence over our foreign policy
- Showing politicians and the media that the tide is turning, that there is a strong movement for change that they cannot avoid
- Making AIPAC aware that they are no longer the “only game in town” and that they represent the old guard that must change in the changing times
- Building opposition to US military aid to Israel through creative protests, billboards and lobbying efforts
- Strengthening the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation’s goal of Challenging US Policy in Israel/Palestine
These goals will be achieved through actions and events aimed at bringing people together and stimulating discussion, provocative media/ad campaigns, creative direct actions, and cultural events. The goal is not to protest AIPAC or get into direct confrontations with AIPAC members. The goal is to pull the rug out from under the floor of AIPAC, to expose the truth about this lobby group and its occupation policies, and to show how another policy is possible, one based in justice, international law, human rights, respect, love, and dignity. Not only is this policy possible; it is also more strategically advantageous for Congress and the American public to support it. Our goal is not to launch a new organization or network. There are already a number of groups that are working on this front, including the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, the US Palestinian Community Network, local and national grassroots-based peace and justice groups, and faith-based networks. Rather, our purpose is to energize local movements that educate and organize their communities around the issues of how their tax dollars, resources, and policy makers are used to maintain injustice, war, and occupation in the Middle East instead of rebuilding the United States.
When is it?
We will kick off the weekend with the Grassroots Advocacy Training on Saturday, 3 March 2013. The weekend long gathering will last until Tuesday, 5 March, when the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation will be leading a lobbying day on the Hill.
Where is it?
All events and actions will be held within a few blocks radius of the DC Convention Center where the AIPAC Policy Conference will be.
Who is organizing this?
Interfaith Peace Builders, CODEPINK: Women for Peace and US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation are coordinating Expose AIPAC with the support and endorsement of over 100 organizations from around the country including US Palestinian Community Network (USPCN), Jewish Voice for Peace, Students for Justice in Palestine groups and more!. Have a creative action idea? Want to help organize? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved. We’re especially looking for organizers to plan actions, join the peacekeeping/security team, be legal observers, write songs and chants, make visuals and props, and coordinate lobby day visits.
Who supports Expose AIPAC?
An impressive list of activists and justice advocates have endorsed Occupy AIPAC, including:
The Israel Lobby authors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein, writer Alice Walker, consumer advocate Ralph Nader, authors Nadia Hijab and Phyllis Bennis, Palestinian blogger Laila El Haddad, Jewish Voice for Peace Director Rebecca Vilkomerson, peacemakers Cindy and Craig Corrie, Israeli researcher Dalit Baum, human rights lawyer Noura Erakat, clown doctor Patch Adams, Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, union organizer Bill Fletcher, US Campaign to End the Israel Occupation national organizer and human rights advocate Anna Baltzer, Janet McMahon from the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs and many more! See full Endorser list here.
Where can I stay in DC?
Check our Housing Board (http://www.codepink.org/housing) to find housing with local activists, and see additional hostel and hotel options here.
If you live in DC and can offer housing, you can add your home to the DC Housing Board.
If I can only be there for the weekend is that okay?
While we encourage you to come for the full Expose AIPAC days of action, we welcome you to join for as much or as little of the programming as you can. The day-long Summit on Saturday will be packed with good info and inspiration. The two main demonstrations and creative action times will be at the start of the AIPAC conference on Sunday, 3 March, during the AIPAC Gala with Netanyahu and Congress on Monday evening, 4 March March and on the Hill during AIPAC’s lobby day on Tuesday, 5 March 2013.
Can I make a donation?
Yes! We welcome your contributions to support the costs of organizing this event and help students get to DC. Make your donation online here or send a check to CODEPINK, 1247 E St, SE, Washington, DC 20003.
What can I do from home to offer solidarity?
Whether or not you can make it to DC for Expose AIPAC, you can take action from home by telling your representative to end military aid to Israel. Send a note to your Congressperson here. You can also arrange a meeting with your representative’s district office. If you’re a student, you can reach out to your student government leadership and other campus leaders and expose the reality about AIPAC, as they may be receiving free invites to attend the AIPAC Policy Conference. You can also help spread the word about attending Expose AIPAC. Plus, be on the look out for possible local AIPAC events in your city.
Who do I contact if I have questions?
For questions about registration or participation please contact Jacob of IFPB (email@example.com) or Alli of Codepink (firstname.lastname@example.org). If your organization would like to endorse or you have other questions, contact email@example.com.