The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) will be holding its 2013 policy conference in Washington, DC next month under the banner of “Celebrating 65 Years of Friendship.”
For the people of the Middle East, the “friendship” that AIPAC pursues between the United States and Israel is nothing to be celebrated.
From the US invasion of Iraq to the current push for a military confrontation with Iran, from continued US support for Israeli occupation and apartheid to the United States siding with Israel as the UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor of Palestinian statehood, AIPAC’s grip on US policy toward the Middle East has impeded any chance for peace and justice in the region.
AIPAC has pushed for a US military attack on Iran and has successfully lobbied the US government to adopt crippling economic sanctions, which have hurt the Iranian people in many ways including fueling a medical crisis due to increasing prices of medical supplies.
As seen in the US elections just a few months ago, political action committees and individuals aligned with AIPAC’s agenda provide millions of dollars in contributions to politicians cheerleading Israel’s violations of international law and abuses of Palestinian human rights. This means that instead of sanctioning Israel for expanding illegal settlements and launching yet another military assault against Gaza, U.S. politicians compete in proving how much they stand with Israel.
And this year marks 46 years of Israel’s brutal military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem and 65 years of Palestinian dispossession. Yet AIPAC continues to demand unconditional U.S. support for Israeli occupation and apartheid policies toward Palestinians, including $30 billion in military aid from 2009-2018. US tax payers are paying for weapons to help continue Israel’s oppression of Palestinians instead of using this money to fund unmet community needs here at home.
The time is now to Expose AIPAC and its grip on US policy. Join the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and its member groups CODEPINK, Fellowship of Reconciliation, and Interfaith Peace-Builders March 2-5 in Washington DC to Expose AIPAC and what this “friendship” truly means.
The Expose AIPAC mobilization will kick off with a Grassroots Advocacy Training by IFPB and FOR on Saturday, March 2. The day-long conference will feature panels on AIPAC and its role in determining U.S. policy toward the Middle East; workshops on boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigns; and trainings about lobbying Congress. Speakers include Laila Al Haddad, Rebecca Vilkomerson, Josh Ruebner, Phyllis Bennis and many more.
CODEPINK will be coordinating direct actions outside of the AIPAC convention on Sunday, March 3 and Monday, March 4. And plan on joining the US Campaign Tuesday, March 5 for a constituent lobby day to bring our message to Congress.
In order to change US policy to support human rights, international law, and dignity, those working for a just Middle East policy must show government officials and members of Congress that there is a strong grassroots movement for change that is impossible for them to continue ignoring.
Let’s make this the last year AIPAC is celebrating anything.