Category: Press Releases

AIPAC Member Identified as Assailant of Rae Abileah

For Immediate Release

AIPAC MEMBER IDENTIFIED AS ASSAILANT OF PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATOR DURING PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU’S SPEECH TO THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS

A recent response to a subpoena from the United States Capitol Police has revealed the main assailant of a peaceful demonstrator who was physically attacked and injured on May 24, 2011, to be Stanley Anthony Shulster, allegedly a member of the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). According to the lawsuit, Mr. Shulster, a retired lawyer, admitted to assaulting Rae Abileah, a member of CODEPINK, in the House of Representatives while she protested the Israeli occupation of Palestine during the speech by Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel. The Capitol Police issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Shulster for this attack.

Mr. Shulster’s biography on the Jackson County, Oregon Republican Women website identifies him as “an Unpaid Lobbyist,” and a “Volunteer in the Israel Defense Forces Medical Unit and a member of AIPAC.” The bio states: “At the last AIPAC meeting in May of 2011 Stan was present to hear the stirring address that Prime Minister Netanyahu gave to Congress and he grabbed the woman who heckled the Prime Minister while he was speaking.” (http://jcrw.us/node/362)

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach also attested to the assault when he wrote in his blog, “The elderly gentleman to my right, whom I had been talking to just before the speech started, pulled the flag out of her hands, cupped his hands over her mouth, and assisted in subduing her.” (http://j.mp/wUcCke) Additional witnesses have been identified by the U.S. Capitol Police.

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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 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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Jewish Protester Disrupts Netanyahu During Congressional Address

Rae Abileah protesting in Congress

Rae Abileah protesting in Congress

Rae Abileah, an organizer with CODEPINK, was injured yesterday after disrupting Prime Minister Netanyahu during his address to a joint session of Congress.

From the peace group CODEPINK, Rae is a 28 yr. old Jewish American of Israeli descent. She has traveled to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza and witnessed firsthand the reality of occupation and oppression. “Prime Minister Netanyahu says that the 1967 borders are indefensible. But what is really indefensible is the occupation of land, the starvation of Gaza, the jailing of dissenters and the lack of equal rights in the alleged Israeli democracy. As a Jew and an American taxpayer, I can’t be silent when these crimes are being committed in my name and with my tax money.”

Ms. Abileah grew up on Half Moon Bay and presently lives in San Francisco. She was arrested and charged with disrupting Congress.

This protest is part of the week-long series of actions, organized by CODEPINK as part of a coalition of groups gathered in Washington D.C. for a campaign named Move Over AIPAC. During Netanyahu’s speech to AIPAC yesterday, 5 individuals interrupted Netanyahu and were removed from the building.

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See more videos and news:
MondoWeiss | Why did I disrupt?
Al Jazeera | Interview with Rae Abileah
CNN | Why Rae Abileah says she disrupted Benjamin Netanyahu’s Tuesday address to Congress
YNet News | ‘AIPAC activists beat me’
Jerusalem Post | Netanyahu heckler arrested after being hospitalized
San Francisco Chronicle | SF Code Pinker interrupts Netanyahu before Congress
CNN | Heckler interrupts Israeli PM Netanyahu
ABC News | Benjamin Netanyahu heckled in Congress
Ha’aretz | Heckler yells ‘stop Israeli war crimes’ during Netanyahu’s speech to Congress

Protester Disrupting Netanyahu in Congress Arrested at Hospital

See press release and videos: http://bit.ly/lUU82f
Photo available for use: http://bit.ly/jBbsdp

Police arrested CODEPINK peace activist Rae Abileah at the George Washington University Hospital in Washington DC. Abileah was taken to the hospital after having been assaulted and tackled to the ground by AIPAC members of the audience in the House Gallery during Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress.

Abileah interrupted Netanyahu with a banner that said “Occupying Land Is Indefensible” and shouting, “No more occupation, stop Israel war crimes, equal rights for Palestinians, occupation is indefensible.” She rose up to speak out just after the Prime Minister talked about the youth around the world rising up for more democracy.

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Protesters Confront Netanyahu Inside AIPAC Gala

Video available: http://www.occupyaipac.org/2011/05/protesters-confront-netanyahu-inside-aipac-gala/

The speech of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) was interrupted repeatedly by protesters opposed to Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. The activists are from the Move Over AIPAC coalition led by CODEPINK: Women for Peace.

The protesters, 5 in all, rose one by one, unfurled banners, and chanted slogans. In response to Netanyahu’s claim that returning to the 1967 borders would be “indefensible,” activists called out that various aspects of Israel’s policy are indefensible. They were escorted out by security, but not before they made a highly visible protest against the theft of Palestinian land, the siege of Gaza, denial of the rights of Palestinian refugees, silencing dissent, and destruction of homes and schools.

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While President Obama Speaks to Pro-Israel Lobby AIPAC, Peace Activists Protest AIPAC and Israel for Thwarting Peace

When: Sunday 8am-5pm

Where: Outside the DC Convention Center, 9th St and Massachusetts Ave, NW

During President Obama’s speech to the pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC, hundreds of social justice activists to gather outside the Conference Center to protest AIPAC policies, including its unconditional support for Israel.

Demonstrators will be outside the Convention Center from 8am to 5pm. They will have a 30 ft. mock annexation wall, a 30 ft. boat to represent the Gaza Flotilla that will set sail in mid-June to break the siege of Gaza and many other visuals. Protesters will have two dialogue booths on the corners leading to the convention center, trying to engage in conversation with the AIPAC attendees. be linking arms around the Convention Center.

Between 10:30am-12:30pm, during Obama’s speech to the AIPAC conference, key speakers will be calling for a end to the honeymoon between Obama and the Israel lobby.

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Rabbis, Palestinians, Activists Stage Die-In Outside AIPAC Conference Arrests as President Obama Speaks

Rabbis, Palestinians, activists with the peace group CODEPINK and others from the Jewish peace community protested outside of AIPAC Conference as President Obama gave his keynote speech; one protester was arrested as the presidential motorcade entered the Convention Center. A 23 year old student from Chicago, currently being detained after unintentionally entering the street as the motorcade passed, was roughed up by police officers, his charges are yet to be disclosed. At least a dozen protesters , with the Move Over AIPAC conference and protests, funneled into the street after Van Slyke’s arrest, effectively closing down the intersection while performing a “die-in” covered in bloody cloths. Activists from the group US Boat to Gaza have mounted a boat float with dozens of people, singing and chanting.

The protests at the DC Convention (9th St and Massachusetts Ave, NW) will continue throughout the day. Great photo opportunities. Interviews available.

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Move Over AIPAC Participants Lead Flash Mob Protest Against AIPAC at Union Square Metro Station

Who: Participants of the Move Over AIPAC coalition, including Young, Jewish and Proud, the young adult wing of Jewish Voice for Peace, performed a flash mob in Union Station of Washington D.C. The action was set to the traditional folk tune of “Hava Nagila” and featured interpretative versions of “Horah” folk dance.

What: The “Hava Nagila” alternative dance is to protest the upcoming AIPAC policy conference, which begins Sunday. The action served as a kickoff for “Move Over AIPAC,” a four day gathering of creative actions, a conference, workshops, and cultural events.

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Hundreds of concerned citizens from across the country are gathering in Washington D.C. from May 21-24 to rally against the policies of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and the US American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and calling for an even-handed Middle East policy that respects human rights and democracy. Creative protests occurred outside the White House (May 20) and Capital (May 23) when Netanyahu will meet with President Obama and address Congress, respectively, and outside the DC Convention Center during the annual AIPAC policy conference.

Peace Activists to Gather at the White House to Protest Israeli PM Netanyahu During His Visit with Pres. Obama

Peace activists will gather in front of the White House to protest President Obama’s meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Demonstrators are calling on the Obama administration and Congress for a fresh, even-handed foreign policy when it comes to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. They will urge President Obama to take a “tough love” approach with Prime Minister Netanyahu by pressuring him to accept the impending UN declaration of Palestinian statehood, stop settlement expansion, and respect the recent unity between Palestinian political parties Fatah and Hamas.

Protesters will also demand President Obama stop providing unconditional financial support for Israel. “We find it appalling,” said CODEPINK cofounder Medea Benjamin, “that the U.S. continues to send $3 billion U.S. tax dollars to Israel for its military every year when we are facing devastating budget cuts across the country, and Israel is not using that money for self-defense, but rather to oppress the Palestinians and increase settlement construction.”

Activists will also denounce the Israeli use of force against peaceful protesters during the recent Nakba commemoration, and the multitude of other human rights violations taking place as a result of the occupation.

They will bring creative visuals, including12 ft. tall Obama and Netanyahu puppets, a large Obama head, several banners, and more.

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