Category: Latest News

Israeli MK, AIPAC behind Senate bid to cut total number of Palestinian refugees

Barak Ravid | Ha’aretz

A Palestinian family from the Ein el-Hilweh refugee camp sitting in the southern Sidon Municipality square, Lebanon Monday, June 4, 2007. Photo by AP

A Palestinian family from the Ein el-Hilweh refugee camp sitting in the southern Sidon Municipality square, Lebanon Monday, June 4, 2007. Photo by AP

Capitol Hill in Washington was rocked late last month when the Senate Appropriations Committee approved an amendment requiring the State Department, for the first time, to do a “count” of Palestinian refugees.

The amendment required the State Department to specify how many of the five million Palestinians who receive aid from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency are refugees who were personally displaced from their homes in 1948, and how many are descendants of those refugees.

Known as the Kirk Amendment, after its sponsor, Senator Mark Kirk (R-Illinois), considered one of Israel’s strongest supporters in Washington, the bill conceals within its 150-plus words a fierce battle between Republican legislators and the State Department over the United States’ relationship with UN institutions.

Every year the United States allocates $250 million to UNRWA, which provides food as well as health, education and employment services to millions of Palestinians in Jordan, Lebanon, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. For years Congressional representatives have been trying to reduce U.S. contributions to the agency, on the grounds that UNRWA was born in sin and that its policies are anti-Israeli.

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Just Foreign Policy: Want to prevent war with Iran? Engage Congress!

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As organizations like AIPAC ramp up their congressional lobbying for war with Iran, it’s of the utmost imperative that pro-peace advocates engage with their members of Congress as well. In this video, which contains highlights from a panel held during the 2012 Occupy AIPAC Policy Summit, three peace activists make the case for engaging with Congress to promote peace and prevent war.

Gloria Steinem, Alice Walker and Eve Ensler join Israeli women to say: Iranians, We Love You

Pink Tank

Alice Walker - We Will Not Bomb Your Country

Alice Walker - We Will Not Bomb Your Country

On Tuesday, March 20, three powerful women—Gloria Steinem, Alice Walker and Eve Ensler—signed onto a statement drafted by CODEPINK opposing an attack on Iran. The petition implores three powerful American female politicians—Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Ambassador Susan Rice and First Lady Michelle Obama—to use their influence to push for diplomacy, not bombing, in our relations with Iran.

CODEPINK launched the petition online, on Twitter and Facebook, and in a matter of hours received thousands of signers. The petition launch date was significant: March 20th marked the 9th anniversary of the Iraq invasion, and on a happier note, the Iranian New Year, Norooz. This American petition was created at the request of an Israeli group, the Coalition of Women for Peace, who modeled their own petition after a call to action from a group of women inside Iran. The Israeli, Iranian and U.S. women plan to do more actions together to oppose war.

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Philly BDS: Occupy AIPAC

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Occupy AIPAC was a weekend long series of events to put a spotlight on the abusive practices of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Coinciding with the annual AIPAC Policy Conference, on March 2-6 2012, we gathered in Washington DC for a policy-style summit on the issues of Iran, the Arab Uprising and Palestine and the affects of AIPAC in determining US foreign policy around those topics.

Al Jazeera: What role does AIPAC play in US elections?

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The American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the most powerful pro-Israel lobby in the US, is holding its biggest annual conference yet with around 13,000 delegates in Washington.

For all those bidding to become the next US president, it has become an essential campaign stop. The group has strong ties to the religious right and evangelical voters. And it is a very influential force in Washington politics.

Demonstrators from the occupy movement held a small protest outside the event urging no war on Iran and no US tax dollars for Israel.

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Celebrating Palestinian Culture at Occupy AIPAC

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Video: Armed and Dangerous – U.S. Weapons Transfers to Israel

The Palestine Center

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Josh Ruebner from the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation details his report on U.S. Military Aid to Israel.

Live Report from Occupied AIPAC

No War on Iran!

No War on Iran!

“Mic check! We are the 99%. War benefits the 1%. Don’t bomb Iran! Use diplomacy not bombs!”

Four Occupy AIPAC activists voices erupted yesterday inside the AIPAC conference when Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who is pushing for a resolution which seeks to lower the threshold for the to US attack Iran, took the stage. An AIPAC delegate leaped over rows of chairs to pounce on the activists, choking one with his own tie. The People’s Microphone continued: “AIPAC wants war. We want peace.”

Today thousands of AIPAC delegates will lobby Congress pushing for military attack on Iran and more money for weapons to Israel. CODEPINK will be on the Hill too. In fact we’ve placed an ad in The Hill—the Washington newspaper read by Congress daily—with an open letter to Congress opposing AIPAC’s push for war on Iran. Thanks to everyone who donated to make this happen!

Join us in calling on Congress to use diplomacy, not bombs. Send a letter to your member of Congress today.

Like a mosquito in the ear of an elephant, this week we’ve succeeded in making a very loud and visible opposition to ongoing Israeli violations of human rights and international law, and opposing war on Iran. Watch key excerpts from the Occupy AIPAC Summit here, read the great news coverage, and see protest photos from Occupy AIPAC.

We remember what the drumbeat to the war on Iraq sounded like. The faint murmur is getting louder. We can’t afford another war. The time to act is now – please reach out to your member of Congress today! Put Peace with Iran on the table in Congress!

In Solidarity,
Occupy AIPAC activists from all over the US

PS: Don’t forget to contact your Congressperson today while we occupy the offices of those who are pushing for war!

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The Hill: AIPAC Wants War With Iran. We Don’t!

AIPAC wants war with Iran. We Dont!

AIPAC wants war with Iran.

On March 6, 2012, Occupy AIPAC placed an ad in the Washington daily The Hill with an open letter to Congress from Americans of the 99% and a coalition of peace, justice, and interfaith organizations.

Click here to download the PDF file

To the Members of the United States Congress: The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is on the warpath—this time with Iran. They say the U.S. should be willing to attack Iran or support an Israeli attack.

AIPAC pushed our government into the catastrophic war in Iraq by exaggerating Saddam Hussein’s threat and lying about weapons of mass destruction. Now they are repeating history, with AIPAC lobbyists vastly exaggerating Iran’s nuclear threat and eschewing negotiations. AIPAC continues to lobby for policies that prohibit a just peace for Israelis and Palestinians and support violations of international law. AIPAC’s views do not represent the values and interests of the majority of the American people who voted for you, who pay the taxes that fund our government, and whose family members serve in the U.S. military.

The majority of Americans do not want another war in the Middle East and the US can’t afford a war during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. The Iraq war left thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis dead. We implore you not to repeat this tragic mistake. Say no to AIPAC, no to war with Iran and yes to diplomacy.

Citizens Occupy AIPAC Policy Conference and Mic Check Rep. Ros-Lehtinen

For Immediate Release

Citizens Occupy AIPAC Policy Conference and Mic Check Cong. Ros-Lehtinen:
Use Diplomacy, Not War on Iran

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Washington, DC—An AIPAC Policy Conference panel titled “Stopping Iran” had some unexpected speakers: activists with Occupy AIPAC who stood up and “mic checked” Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Israeli Ambassador Jeremy Issacharoff. At about 2pm on March 5, four activists called out AIPAC for pushing for American support for an Israeli attack on Iran. One activist was violently attacked by an AIPAC member who used his tie to strangle the peaceful protester. Later in the afternoon two activists unfurled a “Don’t Bomb Iran” banner inside the AIPAC hall. Security promptly pushed them out of the hall, and also forcefully removed an AIPAC delegate who had nothing to do with the action, but was taken out for being a bystander.

The full People’s Microphone inside the panel said:
“Mic check!
Ros-Lehtinen is pushing war
based on lies.
We are the 99%
Wars benefit the 1%
Don’t bomb Iran!
Diplomacy not bombs.
AIPAC supports endless war.
We support peace.
Occupy Wall Street not Iran.
Occupy Wall Street not Palestine.
No war on Iran.”

Shortly after the people’s mic began, the crowd of AIPAC attendees reacted forcefully. Some of them climbed over chairs to reach the demonstrators, and one of the disruptors, Rick Colbath-Hess, was violently yanked down to the floor by his necktie. After the mic-check, Laura Kacere of Occupy DC and Ridgely Fuller of CODEPINK and Occupy Boston both stood on top of chairs and chanted “Don’t bomb Iran!” The AIPAC crowd responded by singing the Israeli national anthem, led by Representative Ros-Lehtinen, and the activists were eventually escorted out.

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