On Tuesday, December 4, members of various Bay Area organizations met outside of the Westin Saint Francis in San Francisco to protest AIPAC’s yearly fundraiser being held inside. Voices from CODEPINK, Jewish Voice for Peace, (I’m not sure what other organizations were there….) informed passersby of the pro-Israel lobby’s recent success in pushing for more settlements to be made in the Palestinian West Bank as well as their agenda for a war on Iran. As AIPAC members walked past them into the front of the building, protesters were able to spread their messages of peace and hope for a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine, as well as have meaningful conversations with people in the streets. After the program, five people were able to get inside of the cocktail hour and hand out flyers while shouting “Free Palestine, End the Occupation!” Find livestream video of this peaceful disruption here [ow.ly/fPMZX] (watch at minute 3:30)
Category: Latest News
Stand up to AIPAC in Cincinnati
For years the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has served to prevent an honest discussion of the Israel-Palestine conflict and supported actions that block a peaceful resolution. This month they are fundraising in Cincinnati.
Come out and show that you don’t agree with AIPAC’s support of the most oppressive of Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians and their constant drive for war with Iran.
FB event updates: https://www.facebook.com/
What: Protest AIPAC
When: Monday April 22nd, 5-7pm
Where: Meet on the street across from the JCC
(8485 Ridge Rd Cincinnati, OH 45236)
See you there!
Cincinnati Palestine Solidarity Coalition
This video catalogues the tactics used by AIPAC members against protesters.
Join CODEPINK, Interfaith Peace Builders, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and the Fellowship of Reconciliation for the annual gathering in Washington DC to protest the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference. Mark your calendars, book your tickets and register now for Expose AIPAC 2013 in Washington DC March 2nd-5th!!
Can’t make it? Consider donating to our scholarship fund.
Last year we gathered under the banner of Occupy AIPAC for a weekend of workshops, protest, culture and direct actions. This year, Interfaith Peace Builders will put on a day-long Grassroots Advocacy Training, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation will coordinate a lobbying workshop and CODEPINK will be leading the creative protests and direct actions outside the AIPAC Conference. Register today!
Expose AIPAC Grassroots Advocacy Training, hosted by Interfaith Peace Builders
When: Saturday, March 2nd, 8:30 am
Where: Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church (900 Massachusetts Ave)
Speakers include Rebecca Vilkommerson, Jonathan Kuttab, Josh Reubner, Phyllis Bennis, Philip Farah, Jamal Abdi, Robert Naiman and more!
Registration for the Grassroots Advocacy Training is a sliding scale of $40 – $125 ($30 for students), payable when you register.
New Perspectives on Peace with Justice
An Evening with Interfaith Peace-Builders
When: Saturday, March 2nd, 6:30 pm- 9:00 pm
Where: The Goethe Institut, 812 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Requested Donation: $30 – $100; Food and Beverage provided
Featured Speakers: Reverend Carolyn Boyd - Adjunct Pastor at Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ, former national Co-Chair of Black Voices for Peace; Hanan Idilbi - Board Member of Interfaith Peace-Builders, and member of the US Palestine Community Network.
Musical Guests: Feras and Ehab - Playing modern oud compositions rooted in the deep cultural traditions of Palestine; Luci Murphy - a D.C.-based vocalist and community activist in the peace and social justice movement, singing songs of freedom.
Expose AIPAC Mobilization and Street Protests, hosted by CODEPINK
When: Sunday, March 3rd at 11:00 am
Where: Outside the AIPAC Conference (corner of Massachusetts and 9th) for dubka, a flashmob, and greeting AIPAC goers as they leave the convention center at the end of the day!
11am: Our actions will begin. We’ll have awesome visuals (including “settlements” you can wear so we can show AIPAC just how obstructive settlements are) but feel free to bring your own signs! We’ll be rallying, protesting, singing and dabke dancing.
2pm: Press conference and rally.
3pm: We need 150 people for an amazing visual/action (non-violent and non-arrestable) to commit to joining us from 3:00pm-4:00pm…sign up here so we know you’re coming!!
5 pm: Take a break by going to eat (we’ll congregate as a group!) and then come back to protest as AIPAC’s conference day is ending at 7:00 pm.
When: Monday, March 4, and/or Tuesday, March 5, time TBD
Where: Your elected representative’s office!
During AIPAC’s lobby day on the Hill, join US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation to provide a counter-lobby calling for an end to US military aid to Israel! Lobby packets amde by the USC will be available.
Protesting the AIPAC Gala!
When: Monday, March 4, 7:00-8:30 pm
Where: In front of the Washington Convention Center
Join CODEPINK as we talk to the hundreds of Congresspeople going into the gala to show their support for AIPAC.
Say no to AIPAC. Yes to equality and freedom for Palestinians. Yes to peace with Iran. Time for a new US foreign policy in the Middle East. Join us, or please consider making a donation.
Love & Struggle,
CODEPINK, Interfaith Peace Builders and US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
Activists briefly disrupted a private fundraiser of the powerful Israel lobby group AIPACat the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco on 4 December.
A video posted on YouTube shows three activists, who had been among a group demonstrating outside the hotel, marching into the private ballroom where the fundraiser was being held.
They were quickly surrounded and expelled, but not before shouting “Free Palestine” and other slogans at the attendees.
Captions in the video explain the activists’ motivations:
Outside the hotel activists staged a noisy demonstration demanding among other things an end to US military aid to Israel.
We had been demonstrating at the Israeli consulate for weeks, standing, yelling, outside, often in the rain. After a short demo some of us were still dissatisfied. We wanted to be sure fundraiser attendees received our message. We hand-wrote some notes and delivered them…
One of the notes read, “Your $$$ goes to help fund the slaughter of innocent children and civilians. FREE PALESTINE.”
The video captions direct people to stopaipac.org for additional information.
AIPAC has increasingly become a target of Palestine solidarity protests, especially at its annual policy conference, under the banner of Occupy AIPAC.
Expose AIPAC kicked off at the Palestine Cultural Center for Peace in Allston with teach-in.. Denise Provost (Massachusetts State Representative from the 27th Middlesex District) discussed her experiences dealing with the Israel Lobby, describing an AIPAC-push to divest Massachusetts’ pension funds from Iran. Stephen Walt followed with an overview of AIPAC and the role of the Israel Lobby in shaping the relationship between the US and Israel. Jamal Abdi (National Iranian American Council) discussed the importance of working to counter AIPAC and other groups that provide a dangerously narrow approach to US relations in the Middle East, particularly regarding Iran. He discussed the reality that many legislators on Capitol Hill lack an understanding on the particulars of certain policies that are pushed by AIPAC – giving the distinction between legislating around Iran’s nuclear weapons ‘capability’ as opposed to its ‘acquisition’ as an example. Finally, Kristin Szremski (American Muslims for Palestine) overviewed the organizational linkages between AIPAC and Islamophobic activity and propaganda. There was an extensive Q&A session following the panel presentations, as audience members dug deeper into the substance and implications of the topic.
Sunday’s protests got off to a drizzly start, but ,thanks to the creativity of protestors, ended up a rousing success. Initially, we were turned away from the park where we’d planned to congregate, but we responded quickly and moved to the sidewalk in front of the hotel where AIPAC donors were walking between the hotel and the conference center. After fifteen minutes of lively protest supplemented by signs, banners, and chants that organizers had crafted on Tuesday evening, police officers – who at this point outnumbered protesters – informed us that we were on a private sidewalk (leased by the hotel), and that we should cross the street and stand on the public sidewalk (in front of the conference center). We were soon told that, in fact, only eight people would be allowed on that public sidewalk, and the rest would have to move onto city (rather than state) property down at the end of the block. Soon after, orange cones were set up in two ~4′x6′ areas designated as “free speech zones,” which designated where the eight demonstrators could stand with their signs (and a floating banner, held up by balloons, that read AIPAC = War).
I never went along with the argument that the Israel lobby, taking its directions from Jerusalem, pushed the United States to invade Iraq in 2003. Israel wanted the U.S. to knock over Saddam, of course, but it didn’t make a lot of noise about it, and neither did its Washington lobbyists because Israel and AIPAC knew they didn’t have to push against an open door. The Bush administration wanted to go to war against Saddam as soon as 9/11 happened, and while I’m sure the administration saw the benefit to Israel as one more reason to invade, that was never the main reason. The Bush team fought that war because of its misbegotten notion of America’s national security, and they would have fought it even if there had been no Israel lobby - even if there had been no Israel.
But Iran is different. Israel and AIPAC have been leading the charge on this one for years, and they’re hardly hiding it - the Israeli campaign for America to get tough, tougher, toughest on Iran has been as bombastic as could possibly be. If America ends up bombing Iran first (unlikely), or being drawn into a war as a result of Israel’s bombing Iran first (much more likely), that American war will be stamped “Made In Israel” – not by Walt and Mearsheimer, but by everyone with eyes and ears in his or her head.