aipac

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Palestine Advocacy Project goes national
Have you heard of PalAd yet? Otherwise known as the Palestine Advocacy Project? While it may seem there’s a new kid on the block who just burst on the scene launching major ad campaigns in seven major U.S. cities protesting Netanyahu’s historic assault on Congress and the minds of Americans, that would not be the case. Ads have appeared in public transit systems, billboards, and mobile billboard trucks in Washington, DC, New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, San Diego, and San Antonio synchronizing with AIPAC’s annual D.C. conference.

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Washington, DC: Hundreds rallied outside the notorious AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) conference on March 4, 2012, chanting as President Obama’s limousine drove by. Combining support for Palestinian statehood and demands for NO WAR ON IRAN, protesters marched right up to the front steps of the DC Convention Center, where they spoke and chanted against the war mongers inside.

Photos: Philadelphia International Action Center

In response to President Obama’s visit to Israel today, Palestinians built a new protest tent village of Afhad Younis in the E1 area. More than 15 tents were erected while anti-US & anti-Obama signs were scattered throughout the village near the site of the Bab al-Shams protest village that Israeli forces tore down in January.

Mohammad Khatib, a spokesman for the activists, said soldiers handed protesters a document declaring the area a closed military zone.

“We are staying. We are Palestinians, and we will stay here. They will have to evacuate us. They will have to use their power to do it, but we will not do it by ourselves,” Khatib told Ma'an.

“We are staying here because this is Palestinian land. This is our land, and no one has a right to evacuate us.”

Watch a video of the new protest site here.

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Action Alert !! - Israel wiped off the map at San Diego State University!

Two weeks ago, at the second class session of Elementary Arabic 1 at SDSU (a State school) students received a map of Middle Eastern countries from Dr. Ghassan Zakaria which not only fails to label “Israel” as a legitimate country, it falsely portrays the entire territory of Israel  as “Palestine." 

The map was immediately brought to the attention of the students, but our voices must be united and strong in our rejection of professors using propaganda in classrooms. 

Wiping Israel off the Map in a classroom setting is unacceptable.

The Jewish and pro-Israel students at SDSU feel unsafe and uncomfortable on campus knowing that even their faculty is calling for the extermination of Israel.

We are appalled that the university - which is a public institution - would approve such academic material. 

Help us prevent conduct that creates a hostile or intimidating environment for students and members of our community. 

The students, the administrators and the university staff must take a stance against this, and we need your support to help create a safe learning environment for all students. 

Kol Hakavod to StandWithUs San Diego for bringing this issue into the spotlight! We must not allow delegitimization of Israel to go unchallenged anywhere, but especially in our universities. 

Read the new report here

Contact SDSU here

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Washington, D.C. (March 3)—As the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) gathered for its annual policy conference in Washington, D.C. today, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and Visualizing Palestine launched an advertising campaign calling on the United States to end $30 billion of military aid to Israel.

Press release: http://endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=3472

These boys have the right to live in peace and the right to a future without trauma and fear. Instead, they live in an open air prison and have been traumatized by the frequent attacks on their country by Israel. Another attack appears imminent. Their future is in the hands of the United States and a congress that has been too heavily influenced by Israel and AIPAC. I strongly recommend that my friends in America examine this unhealthy and destructive relationship and Shut Down AIPAC . via Denny Cormier Gaza

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Congressman Takes on AIPAC and Gets Thrown in Prison

In this video Luke Rudkowski of WeAreChange speaks with James Traficant who was thrown in prison for nearly 8 years after taking on the Israeli Lobby.

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South African Lindy Mabuya, couldn’t grasp what she was seeing when she saw a demonstration with signs and checkpoints at the University of Oregon comparing Israel to apartheid-era South Africa.

Lindy had experienced the impact of apartheid firsthand. She was born to a mother who was forced out of school and had no choice but to become a domestic worker by the apartheid-era laws, and in order to avoid the same fate for Lindy, her mother allowed another family to adopt and raise her.

Lindy was deeply offended by these outrageous claims and was not going to allow her families experience with actual apartheid to be diminished.

Hezbollah Flag Raised at Anti-AIPAC protest

I also saw harassment of men, women, and children who had done nothing to deserve it except make the mistake of revealing their conference badge before they reached the door. Those who were obviously religious Jews (based on their head coverings, clothing, and facial hair) got it worse.  There were shouts of “Go Home” hurled at the attendees.

There was also the Hezbollah flag flying overhead, as this video shows.  There were chants that “BDS is the best” (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement), and “The State of Israel’s Got to Go.”

Ah yes, Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed human rights champions of Lebanon. Tell us again about your peaceful intentions.

IMPORTANT - Why the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is one of the United States’ most dangerous lobbyist groups:

1. AIPAC is lobbying Congress to promote a military confrontation with Iran. AIPAC — like the Israeli government — is demanding that the U.S. attack Iran militarily to prevent Iran from having the technological capacity to produce nuclear weapons, even though U.S. officials say Iran isn’t trying to build a weapon (and even though Israel has hundreds of undeclared nuclear weapons). AIPAC has successfully lobbied the U.S. government to adopt crippling economic sanctions on Iran, including trying to cut off Iran’s oil exports, despite the fact that these sanctions raise the price of gas and threaten the U.S. economy. 

2. AIPAC promotes Israeli policies that are in direct opposition to international law.These include the establishment of colonies (settlements) in the Occupied West Bank and the confiscation of Palestinian land in its construction of the 26-foot high concrete “separation barrier” running through the West Bank. The support of these illegal practices makes to impossible to achieve a solution to the Israel/Palestine conflict. 

3. AIPAC’s call for unconditional support for the Israeli government threatens our national security. The United States’ one-sided support of Israel, demanded by AIPAC, has significantly increased anti-American sentiment throughout the Middle East, thus endangering our troops and sowing the seeds of more possible terrorist attacks against us. Gen. David Petraeus on March 16, 2010 admitted that the U.S./Palestine conflict “foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel.” He also said that “Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples in the [region] and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support.” 

4. AIPAC undermines American support for democracy movements in the Arab world. AIPAC looks at the entire Arab world through the lens of Israeli government interests, not the democratic aspirations of the Arab people. It has therefore supported corrupt, repressive regimes that are friendly to the Israeli government, such as Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak. Events now unfolding in the Middle East should convince U.S. policy-makers of the need to break from AIPAC’s grip and instead support democratic forces in the Arab world.

5. AIPAC makes the U.S. a pariah at the UN. AIPAC describes the UN as a body hostile to the State of Israel and has pressured the U.S. government to oppose resolutions calling Israel to account. Since 1972, the US has vetoed 44 UN Security Council resolutions condemning Israel’s actions against the Palestinians. President Obama continues that policy . Under Obama, the US vetoed UN censure of the savage Israeli assault on Gaza in January 2009 in which about 1,400 Palestinians were killed; a 2011 resolution calling for a halt to the illegal Israeli West Bank settlements even though this was stated U.S. policy; a 2011 resolution calling for Israel to cease obstructing the work of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees; and another resolution calling for an end to illegal Israeli settlement building in East Jerusalem and the occupied Golan Heights. 

6. AIPAC attacks politicians who question unconditional support of Israel. AIPAC demands that Congress rubber-stamp legislation drafted by AIPAC staff. It keeps a record of how members of Congress vote and this record is used by donors to make contributions to the politicians who score well. Members of Congress who fail to support AIPAC legislation have been targeted for defeat in re-election bids. These include Senators Adlai Stevenson III and Charles H. Percy, and Representatives Paul Findley, Pete McCloskey, Cynthia McKinney, and Earl F. Hilliard. AIPAC’s overwhelmingly disproportionate influence on Congress subverts our democratic system. 

7. AIPAC attempts to silence all criticism of Israel by labeling critics as “anti-Semitic,” “de-legitimizers” or “self-hating Jews.” Journalists, think tanks, students and professors have been accused of anti-Semitism for merely taking stands critical of Israeli government policies. These attacks stifle the critical discussions and debates that are at the heart of democratic policy-making. The recent attacks on staffers at the Center for American Progress is but one example of AIPAC efforts to crush all dissent.

8. AIPAC feeds U.S. government officials a distorted view of the Israel/Palestine conflict. AIPAC takes U.S. representatives on sugar-coated trips to Israel. In 2011, AIPAC took one out of very five members of Congress — and many of their spouses — on a free junket to Israel to see precisely what the Israeli government wanted them to see. It is illegal for lobby groups to take Congresspeople on trips, but AIPAC gets around the law by creating a bogus educational group, AIEF, to “organize” the trips for them. AIEF has the same office address as AIPAC and the same staff. These trips help cement the ties between AIPAC and Congress, furthering their undue influence. 

9. AIPAC lobbies for billions of U.S. taxdollars to go to Israel instead of rebuilding America . While our country is reeling from a prolonged financial crisis, AIPAC is pushing for no cuts in military funds for Israel, a wealthy nation. With communities across the nation slashing budgets for teachers, firefighters and police, AIPAC pushes for over $3 billion a year to Israel.

10. Money to Israel takes funds from world’s poor. Israel has the 24th largest economy in the world, but thanks to AIPAC, it gets more U.S. taxdollars than any other country. At a time when the foreign aid budget is being slashed, keeping the lion’s share of foreign assistance for Israel meaning taking funds from critical programs to feed, provide shelter and offer emergency assistance to the world’s poorest people.

The bottom line is that AIPAC, which is a de facto agent for a foreign government, has influence on U.S. policy out of all proportion to the number of Americans who support its policies. When a small group like this has disproportionate power, that hurts everyone — including Israelis and American Jews. 

From stopping a catastrophic war with Iran to finally solving the Israel/Palestine conflict, an essential starting point is breaking AIPAC’s grip on U.S. policy.

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