AIPAC member identified as Abileah assailant during Netanyahu speech to Congress

Israel/PalestineMiddle EastUS Politics
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Occupy AIPAC sent out the following press release:

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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.”

images 1
Abileah protests Israeli occupation
during the speech by Netanyahu 5.24.2011

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.”  Additional witnesses have been identified by the U.S. Capitol Police.

According to the complaint, Mr. Shulster grabbed the banner held by Ms. Abileah, used his hand to attempt to gag and suffocate Ms. Abileah, and yanked her head back, injuring her neck. As a result of the attack, Ms. Abileah sustained a neck strain, swollen neck and muscle strain, and has since suffered from frequent head and neck aches as well as emotional trauma.

Ms. Abileah is a 29 year old American Jew of Israeli descent, who works as the Co-Director of 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.

“I was shocked that the biography of the person who attacked me would brag about his use of violence. This lawless behavior echoes the routine actions of the Israeli government and military in carrying out violent acts daily against the Palestinian people. I am hopeful that my filing suit will be a clear signal to those who attempt to silence peaceful protesters, that they will be held accountable for their illegal actions,” said Ms. Abileah.

Photos of the action and assault can be found here.

AIPAC’s 2012 annual policy conference will be held from March 4 to 6 in Washington, D.C. It is expected that peaceful protesters will challenge AIPAC’s policies of supporting Israel’s ongoing crimes against the Palestinian people and its threats of attacking Iran.

(Plans for OCCUPY AIPAC are under way and will take place March 2-6 in Washington DC.)

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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  1. Kathleen
    February 11, 2012, 1:49 pm

    Great post Annie. Glad you posted the information about Occupy Aipac March 2-6. Folks this event is well worth your time. As well as seeing for yourself the lines that Aipac members make outside of congress lobbying for Israel. This of course is legal and you can not blame Israel firsters for being so successful. But you can contact your representatives and ask why these individuals lobbying in the interest of another country are not required to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

    It is a great event wonderful speakers and a powerful community.

    • Annie Robbins
      February 11, 2012, 2:47 pm

      thanks kathleen. i can’t really take credit for the post tho, but i will take credit for promoting it. i’m really in awe of the efforts being made by the whole occupy aipac team. i wish i could fly out for the event.

      • Kathleen
        February 11, 2012, 3:20 pm

        Wish you could too. Worth it. Great group. Found out from Medea that she had been winging the BDS conference too…hoping like me that she could sign up for the conference several days before. Glad if filled up with a waiting list of over 250. Not sure if they will be live streaming. Last year Meirsheimer and Walt guest speakers. Great break out sessions. My favorite Noura Erakat. Brilliant.

        I had made it into an Aipac Conference some years back just for an afternoon. But had never gone down to congressional buildings when Aipac attendees were lobbying. The lines are long. Folks are well dressed and serious. I have lobbied a great deal on different issues but have never seen so many people in such long lines lobbying about one issue. They sure have their acts together.

        Had many conversations outside with attendees of the Aipac conference and with folks attending the Move over Aipac conference. Really should get my camera/recording thing together. Although I notice with a camera folks sort of change, not so much when you are just recording. One young well dressed young man had approached me to talk as we stood protesting the Aipac Conference (have his card and number somewhere) He had had his trip, flight etc paid for by Aipac. He was a student union President I believe from a university in Nebraska. He was not Jewish but had been raised Catholic like me. We had a long involved conversation about who what why Aipac was paying for students to come to the conference. We talked a great deal about why folks were protesting. While we were sitting on the curb of the park talking I was able to introduce him to Allison Weir from If Americans Knew who I had met and spent some time with. Just as I was telling him how great it would be to introduce him to Hedy Epstein (I love that brave old gentle gal and had spent some time with her at the conference as we were protesting the Aipac conference the day before) she walked by. I asked her if she would be willing to chat with this young man for awhile, tell him why she was there protesting etc. Sat a couple of chairs under a tree in the park we were protesting out of and they sat there for over an hour. The day before I was so excited by Hedy that I recruited several camera crews to interview her. She is so sweet, so smart, so brave. My mom is the same age so while we were inside of a fake boat (representing the flotilla that some of the Move Over (now Occupy Aipac folks) that the Move over Aipac crew had put together I felt like I needed to tend to her.

        I literally love Hedy. She is incredible. I am always amazed when people can put their own pain their own very sad and brutal history aside and stand up for others who are being abused. Hedy is so friggin amazing! I cry when I listen to her brilliance, her compassion.
        She is a little Jewish Gandhi lady!
        link to youtube.com

        Here are some of the actions from last year.

        link to occupyaipac.org

        I believe Medea Benjaman has just gotten involved with this critical issue the last five or so years. But when that woman jumps or gets involved with something she is a force of nature not to be messed with or get in the way of. She and her mighty Occupy Aipac team are amazing

      • Annie Robbins
        February 13, 2012, 1:02 am

        great comment kathleen, i just saw it.

        Great break out sessions. My favorite Noura Erakat. Brilliant.

        i was there for the end! yes, she’s just amazing. i heard her speak once before. i saw medea there and gave her a big hug. it was so great to see her and i got a chance to hang out with tighe a little bit, do a walk about. i looked for you actually and thought i saw you, turned around and called out your name but the person didn’t flinch.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 13, 2012, 1:07 am

        oh wow, i am listening to hedy now. i had no idea about the last time she saw her parents. what a tragic tragic tragic thing to endure, it is almost unfathomable.

      • Kathleen
        February 13, 2012, 1:28 pm

        And then to take a stand after experiencing such traumas in her own life. Gives me chills, makes me weep. Folks who have come through trial and tribulation but at their core still believe in compassion, understanding, justice people like Hedy inspire. I really love her. She just exudes love, understanding and such depth that knows no bounds. Truly the little old Jewish lady who is a Gandhi. She has exudes such strength and love for all.

        When ever I am around folks like this..Dali Lama, Hedy, Sister Virgene (an old Catholic nun I am hanging out with), Art Gish and a few other individuals that I sense know so much about love, compassion, understanding, justice…just try to drink it up, absorb their understanding, get total contact highs. Folks should take advantage if Hedy ever comes to their towns, communities to speak…or what they hell line her up to speak. You will learn so much and get a contact high…a Hedy high

      • Kathleen
        February 13, 2012, 1:30 pm

        Medea is a force of nature. Like a strong wind! So glad she took up the justice in Palestine issue along with her focus on so many other human rights issues

      • seafoid
        February 13, 2012, 2:25 pm

        Hedy Epstein is inspiring .

        link to vimeo.com

    • yourstruly
      February 11, 2012, 3:04 pm

      it’s their traitorousness rather than their being so successful that renders israel firsters blameworthy.

      • seafoid
        February 13, 2012, 2:26 pm

        It is their inhumanity
        And it will be their incompetence that does them in

  2. American
    February 11, 2012, 2:38 pm

    “It is expected that peaceful protesters will challenge AIPAC’s policies of supporting Israel’s ongoing crimes against the Palestinian people and its threats of attacking Iran.

    The AIPAC opposers might be peacful but I wouldn’t count on the AIPAC’ers being peaceful. It’s always ladies getting attacked at these events. Are there more women than men involved in opposing AIPAC?
    I hope they raise a big crowd for this.

    • Kathleen
      February 11, 2012, 3:37 pm

      Last year Several Move over Aipac folks and I were standing out front of the convention center where the Aipac conference was taking place listening to a young Palestinian man talking about losing two of his brothers from injuries inflicted by the IDF and were unable to get to hospitals in time to save their lives. He was weeping as he was telling the story. This older Aipac attendee was standing behind me listening to the young Palestinian man and as I turned around I could see that he was smirking. I asked him a few seconds before Jeffrey Blankfort turned his phone camera on if he was Jewish and if he had lost family members in the Holocaust he had answered “yes” and I sincerely said that I was sorry for his loss and that the Holocaust was a horrific tragedy. But watching that smirk while he was listening to the young Palestinian I also asked him “do you think a Jewish life is more valuable than a Palestinians life” He answered emphatically “yes” Jeffrey and I exchanged a few in shock words and then he turned his camera on and I asked the question again. You can see his response..and then Jeffrey Blankfort asked once again. Was great that Blankfort caught this. But am sorry that he did not catch the mans wife’s response. She was so full of hatred and absolutely believes that Jews lives are more valuable than others. I heard her say it without any reservations. Racist on fire

      Jewish life more valuable than Palestinians.mp4 – YouTube
      ► 0:36► 0:36

      link to youtube.com

      • CloakAndDagger
        February 11, 2012, 5:01 pm

        I was a disturbed by the comments posted beneath that video – they are just as racist as the man being depicted, but they are targeted at jews.

        I am not blaming the video for this, but it fills me with a premonition of what jews all over the world may be subjected to through no fault of their own, but because of the actions of AIPAC and their supporters – such as this bigoted man in your video.

        I have been filled with premonitions about what 2012 holds for the past month, and it is not a good feeling, and one that I can’t seem to shake off.

        Something wicked this way comes…

      • iamuglow
        February 12, 2012, 12:57 am

        “Something wicked this way comes…”

        and surely when that happens Zionists will say “I told you they are all anti-Semites, this is why we need Israel”.

        Unfortunately the conversation about Israel has been so retarded and repressed in America, that when the public does learn bits and facts about I/P it is, IMO, going to create bigotry. If the NYTimes and others had been educating the public with stories like we get on Mondoweiss than people could understand the issue. They would be able to see human beings instead muslims=bad, Xhritians/Jews=good. Thats been very convinent for our FP but you’re right, unless things change, fast, it probably will to lead to lots of ugly/dangerous things.

      • Kathleen
        February 12, 2012, 12:56 pm

        You make a solid point.

      • pabelmont
        February 12, 2012, 8:30 pm

        CloakAndDagger: After 63 years, any Jews who support Israel without reservation — who do not demand lawful occupation and HR for Palestinians — are (IMO) part of the problem and not part of the solution.

        It is time and long past time to suppose that people who do not PUBLICLY say “Not in my name” and who are widely supposed to be supporters of Israel (and, in effect, a fifth column inside USA and EU) are IN FACT supporters of Israel (even if only passively). There comes a time in the lives of mankind when a person must take sides, not stand on the side line and say, “Who, me?” Perhaps the same could be said of all Americans, but it is still the fact that “all Americans” are not widely regarded as supporters of Israel, especially not suspected of being Israel Firsters. the suspicion of Jews may be unfair but everyone knows it is there. Time to speak up, to choose sides.

      • CloakAndDagger
        February 12, 2012, 10:16 pm

        @pablemont

        I was neither defending (nor criticizing) jews.

        What disturbed me is that after years of false charges of anti-semitism to silence Israel’s detractors, I perceive the rise of real anti-semitism, and I predict that it will get worse unless we are able to neuter AIPAC and its supporters. At the moment, the signs of this are only evident in print and on blogs, just as the anti-muslim stuff in Europe with the accompanying anti multi-culti stuff was, until it erupted into the massacre in Norway (although no muslims were killed in that).

        Perhaps I should not be as surprised since many (including those on MW) have been predicting that this is exactly how events would unfold if our leaders continued to allow the lobby to cow them into submission against the best interest of the US.

        The surprise comes from the fact that with the writings so clearly emblazoned on the wall, so many in Israel and in this country would forget history (even recent history) and not see what is coming around the bend. The situation is “unstable”, at best, and doesn’t look like it will stabilize anytime soon. Historically, it is during these times of instability that we must most fear, jews and gentiles alike. There is growing resentment in this country as soldiers return in body bags and the homeless and unemployed crowd the streets while our politicians blatantly pander to Israel and send our money there. Something has to give, and will.

        There may yet be time to step back from the precipice, but I don’t see any indications that we are about to do so.

        Perhaps the solution is for every American jew to become increasingly vocal in proclaiming “not in my name” as you suggest. At the very least, that would emphasize that Israel and Jews are not interchangeable labels. MW is the exception rather than the norm.

        iamuglow raised a good point above that, to add salt to the wound, this very eventuality created by AIPAC et. al. will be used as justification for why jews need Israel.

      • American
        February 12, 2012, 11:40 pm

        “Something happens….then you make a choice and take a side”….
        Graham Green, ‘The Quiet American”

      • American
        February 13, 2012, 1:13 am

        “Something wicked this way comes…”

        Something could.
        I have previously put down the possibility of a serious outbreak against Jews because of Israel first policies but lately I have reconsidered. And not entirely due to the zionist and Israel issue but because of and in concert with the dominance of political fanatical and special interest in general that has percolated to the surface in an “in your face way’ with no embarrassment or pretense about the extreme policies they advocate.
        What made me start rethinking was lately I have been reading Shelby Foote’s ‘The Civil War’, probably the best two volumes ever written encompassing every aspect, and particularly the human aspect, of the Civil War. Foote puts you in the minds of brothers who fought brothers, and cousins who fought and killed cousins, those who fought for their land, those who fought for ideology, those who warred for greed..all those different motivations were part of that war.
        So although I think it would take something extreme for a violent movement against Jews or civil war between fractions in this country I don’t totally discount it when I consider our past.
        And I expect the extremes, the special interest and the fanatics to keep pushing the rest of us to our limits so I am not making any bets on possibilities any more.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 13, 2012, 1:28 am

        this comment really makes me sad c&d

        Perhaps the solution is for every American jew to become increasingly vocal in proclaiming “not in my name” as you suggest. At the very least, that would emphasize that Israel and Jews are not interchangeable labels.

        every American needs to become increasingly vocal in proclaiming “not in my name”. this is in all of our names, it is our national disgrace. we cannot land this all on the soldiers of american jews, it is too much. way too much to contend with. it isn’t and hasn’t been only the silence of american jews who got us into this mess and it won’t be solely their doing getting us out of it. this standing on the sidelines expecting american jews to step up to the plate is completely unacceptable.

        we have to embrace eachother as citizens and do this together because it is the right thing to do and not let any cultural differences drive us apart or allow us to consider eachother anything other than a united front. this is what will prevent anti semitism. our differences as americans are political. those on the ‘other side’ are not discernible because they are jewish, the other side is rightwingers. there are way more christian zionists than rightwing american jews! way more. WAY more. it’s going to take an army of us, millions of us to turn this around. millions. we have to have eachothers backs and not depend on all the abileahs of the world to save us from this nightmare we’ve entangled ourselves in. each of us has a voice and a responsibility. there’s no inherent trait or characteristic that makes jews any more courageous than anyone else.

        so, we (those of us who want to turn this around) have to think of ourselves as one united and not separated by religion or anything else. we’re in it together just like we’re going to be in it together if, god forbid, racism or anti semitism rears it’s ugly head. if we wait til then to step up to the plate it’s too late too late too late. start thinking in one mind now and we can’t do that by turning our heads towards our jewish community and saying ‘you fix it’. that’s not fair.

      • CloakAndDagger
        February 13, 2012, 1:40 am

        You are right, of course (as usual), however, it is my weakness that I suffer from “once burnt, twice shy” syndrome. The last time I tried to do what you suggest, I was told in no uncertain terms that since I wasn’t a jew, I couldn’t possibly understand what they have been through and did not have enough of a perspective on the ME to have an opinion without that historical basis.

        I could have stood my ground and fought back on the grounds that my perspectives were that of an American and not those of a jew/non-jew – but I didn’t. I am not that good at confrontation and backed away. Perhaps, that is why I am on MW where I can posit my views without being attacked for not being of the tribe.

        But you are right.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 13, 2012, 1:47 am

        The last time I tried to do what you suggest, I was told in no uncertain terms that since I wasn’t a jew

        ha! and if you had been a jew you would have been called a self hating jew! there will always be an answer from the other side why they are right and to stay out of it unless you’re going to be backing them. you can believe me they are not lecturing to christian zionists they do not have enough of a perspective on the ME to have an opinion without that historical basis!

        the more people not afraid to stand up for what is right the more others will do the same. we need to grow a movement, fast!

      • Annie Robbins
        February 13, 2012, 1:52 am

        also c&d, you can do it without being confrontational. just talk about it with your friends and family. say it is weighing heavily on your mind and you know we can find a way if we want to. just keep opening doors. it’s not like you have to go down to the local synagogue and convince the rabbi. just start from wherever you are. can you find any local groups who you can meet with who share your sentiment?

      • CloakAndDagger
        February 13, 2012, 2:01 am

        Heh! My family and friends are sick of me talking about this all the time! This, and Ron Paul! :o)
        I live in Marin County, so I am sure there are local groups around.

      • Kathleen
        February 13, 2012, 1:17 pm

        Just stick with the facts.

    • split
      February 12, 2012, 2:51 pm

      “It’s always ladies getting attacked at these events” – Maybe not because there’re more woman, but because there is a risk to get roughed up attacking a man ,…

  3. Kathleen
    February 11, 2012, 3:49 pm

    Some of the folks who took the most abuse while we were protesting across the street were the Rabbis . Many of the Aipac attendees came by the Rabbis and said horrible things to them. I listened for quite awhile on both days of protest.

    I also listened to Rabbi Feldman address some of the reasonable and respectfully asked questions. Was able to ask him several questions during a circle of folks stood around and discussed issues with Rabbi Feldman. He is such an intelligent scholar and explains his beliefs so clearly. It was sad to see and to hear these religious folk be verbally abused. Some of the Aipac attendees would rub and push up against the Rabbis

    This is a good visual and over view of the protest
    link to youtube.com

    • seafoid
      February 11, 2012, 5:08 pm

      That Naturei Karta (sp?) guy in the first video was very interesting. They are sidelined as cranks in Israel but he is right. Israel IS bad for Jews , no question. It is as if the religion got hijacked. Total co-option. When it all falls apart what will be left in the rubble?

  4. Kathleen
    February 11, 2012, 4:00 pm

    When you look at the shots of Rae being attacked..interesting that it looks like they had two African American males doing what? Were they attending or security people?

  5. DICKERSON3870
    February 11, 2012, 5:07 pm

    RE: “Mr. Shulster, a retired lawyer, admitted to assaulting Rae Abileah” ~ Annie Robbins

    MY COMMENT: Abileah should also file a complaint against him with the appropriate state’s bar association (Oregon, I assume). Even if he is “retired”, they might be willing to reprimand him. Disbarment is unlikely.
    Oregon State Bar – link to osbar.org

    • DICKERSON3870
      February 11, 2012, 5:26 pm

      P.S. ANOTHER INSTANCE OF ATTORNEY IMPROPRIETY

      RICHARD SILVERSTEIN, 11/19/10: …Wrapped in an Israeli flag, San Francisco Voice for Israel/StandWithUs (SFVI/SWU) member Robin Dubner, an Oakland based attorney, pepper-sprayed two JVP members in the eyes and face…
      SOURCE – link to richardsilverstein.com

  6. The Hasbara Buster
    February 11, 2012, 7:46 pm

    Rabbi Shmuley Boteach also attested to the assault

    I went down to Boteach’s blog and what I read is simply nauseating. Boteach writes that when he saw a group of spectators, including this elderly AIPAC memeber, subdue Abileah and hold her horizontal on the gorund, he doubted whether he should intervene. But his possible intervention wouldn’t have been to protect Rae, but to assist the people who were immobilizing her!

    Rule of law means that the State holds the monopoly of violence. No matter how nasty he may have found the protester, so long as she was physically threatening no one the only ones who were authorized to deal with her were the security guards of the US Congress.

    Is the Lobby above the law? Let’s see what happens with this vocational lobbyist.

  7. split
    February 12, 2012, 9:24 am

    “Volunteer in the Israel Defense Forces Medical Unit and a member of AIPAC” – Why
    I’m not surprised? Another one with loyalty syndrome, US Armed Forces aren’t good enough for them,…

  8. Theo
    February 12, 2012, 12:29 pm

    Abileah

    I am proud of you! You are an example of something good coming out of Israel, what is soooooo rare.
    Sue those two bastards for 100 million, a good lawyer can think up a dozen reasons.

  9. lysias
    February 12, 2012, 1:19 pm

    A retired lawyer who volunteers for a military medical unit? I wonder what’s up with that.

    • Theo
      February 13, 2012, 10:53 am

      Looking at videos shut on the IDF locations one should not be surprised that they take a lawyer along, just in case legal questions arise.
      Our own military could also use a few lawyers on their venture into “terrorist” terrain. I remember good 50-60 years ago we called those people freedom fighters, however at that time they were fighting other occupiers!!!

  10. Justice Please
    February 13, 2012, 12:29 pm

    “Mr. Shulster grabbed the banner held by Ms. Abileah, used his hand to attempt to gag and suffocate Ms. Abileah, and yanked her head back, injuring her neck.”

    Brown Shirt tactics from Brown Shirt minds.

    Thanks for spreading the info, Annie and MW!

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