Tag: Occupy Oregon

Palestine solidarity & Occupy Oregon activists protest AIPAC

Report from groups organizing Occupy AIPAC action in Oregon

About eighty protesters in Portland yet again protested the annual Oregon American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) gathering on April 29th. This year’s event was marked by an even greater amount of paranoia and secrecy by AIPAC: the event was not widely announced, the keynote speakers were not promoted, the media was not invited, people who tried to attend were arbitrarily refused entry, and the guests were subjected to searches of purses and metal detectors after passing checks by police and AIPAC security.

AIPAC is one of the most powerful lobby organizations in the United States and promotes right-wing hard-line policies in support of Israel. Former Israeli Knesset member Avraham Burg described AIPAC as “a kind of a filter which filters only darkness through it, rather than light through it. And I would like to see the alternative American Jewry, which is expressed through the liberalism and humanism and civil rights and a total commitment toward peace, as the one which expresses me.” AIPAC is currently promoting aggressive sanctions and support for military action against Iran.

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Oregon’s media must cover the annual Oregon AIPAC event

Oregon Live

Time for a thought experiment. Imagine that the National Rifle Association (NRA) held a yearly policy event in Oregon that regularly attracted Democrats and Republicans from the entire spectrum of Oregon political life: our Governors, Senators, Representatives, our Attorney General and Secretary of State and many others flocking to show their support. Imagine that the Governor proudly states that support for the NRA is “an article of faith for both political parties” and imagine that an Oregon Member of Congress tells the audience that, when it comes to gun legislation, he goes to the NRA first for all his information. Would you expect the media to cover the event and find out who attended, what was said, and what the NRA was demanding of our leaders? Do you think citizens of Oregon have a compelling interest in learning more about the event?

This is the exact situation we have in Oregon with respect to the hardline pro-Israel lobby the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Politicians of all stripes, local, state and federal, Democrat and Republican flock to Oregon’s annual AIPAC events to show their support. Former Governor Kulongoski really did say in a speech there that “support for AIPAC is an article of faith for both political parties . . . this is as it should be.” Congressman Kurt Schrader really did say “If I want to learn about the Middle East, I know who to go to, I go to AIPAC.” And AIPAC really is trying to drum up support for military action against Iran.

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Oregon Palestine solidarity & Occupy activists to protest AIPAC

For Immediate Release

Portland, Oregon. A coalition of peace, human rights, and Palestine solidarity organizations announced today that they would hold a demonstration outside the annual Oregon fund-raising dinner of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on Sunday, April 29. The demonstration will protest AIPAC’s role in promoting a military attack on Iran’s nuclear energy facilities. The protest is also calling for an end to U.S. military aid to the Israeli apartheid government, which refuses to halt the construction of illegal settlements and routinely violates the human rights of Palestinians living under Occupation. Israel controls the lives of more than 4 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip but denies them the right to vote or to exercise their right to self-determination.

Some Oregon political leaders have regularly attended AIPAC’s annual fundraiser in past years. This year the protesters are asking Oregon’s leaders to represent their constituencies’ opposition to another unjust war in the Middle East by boycotting AIPAC’s gala. Among the groups protesting are Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights (AUPHR), Jewish Voice for Peace – Portland (JVP), Occupy Portland, Peace and Justice Works – Iraq Affinity Group, and Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights (SUPER).

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