Charges against ‘Israel Victory Caucus’ protest show dissent is being criminalized under Trump

US Politics
on 21 Comments

I arrived in court on Wednesday expecting the charges against me to be dropped. Instead, two additional charges were added to the case against me for my April 27th actions in the House of Representatives Rayburn office building during the launch of the hate-filled Israel Victory Caucus.

The Israel Victory Caucus, a hateful endeavor initiated by the Middle East Forum and headed up by representatives Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and Bill Johnson (R-OH), aims to have the U.S. encourage Israel to take an even more extreme militaristic approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. According to the Middle East Forum’s press release for the launch of the caucus, Israeli concessions and negotiations prevent a resolution to the conflict. It is only through pure military might and total defeat of the Palestinian people that we will see a lasting peace. This will allow Israel to flourish and the Palestinians to become a ‘normal people.’ Middle East Forum director Gregg Roman, who demanded my arrest in the House of Representatives building, describes the strategy simply as, “Israel must win and the Palestinians must lose.”

The Middle East Forum, while hiding behind an innocuous name, is a hateful islamophobic organization. Describing themselves as a 501c3 tax-exempt organization that, “protects western values from Middle Eastern threats” and “emphasizes the danger of lawful Islamism.” they are the behind such things as Campus Watch, a McCarthyite website that publishes “dossiers” on professors who are critical of US policy in the Middle East. Founder and director Daniel Pipes,  who was a panelist at the Israel Victory Caucus launch event, is is infamous for such statements as:

“Palestinians will have to pass through the bitter crucible of defeat, with all its deprivation, destruction, and despair as they repudiate the filthy legacy of Amin al-Husseini and acknowledge their century-long error…there is no shortcut.”

I registered ahead of time to attend the launch of the Israel Victory Caucus. I received an email saying it would take place on the third floor of the Senate Hart building. Upon arriving, it became clear that the meeting had been moved. After 30 minutes, I tracked it down in the House of Representatives Rayburn building. I showed my government ID at the door, walked in, and quietly went to take a seat. No sooner was I seated than Middle East Forum director Gregg Roman recognized me as a “CODEPINK protester.” He told me I was not welcome and ordered me to leave (it should be noted that so far I had done nothing resembling protesting, but was seated quietly). Recognizing that I was going to be evicted from the event regardless of what I did or didn’t do, I removed a “Free Palestine” from my bag and began a statement. “Israel is an apartheid state. It was founded on racism and ethnic cleansing. We need equal rights for Palestinians.” I was escorted from the room and to my surprise put in handcuffs and charged with Unlawful Entry. I was released from police custody around 3 ½ hours later.

I expected the ridiculous charge against me to be dismissed. Instead, additional charges have been added. I should not have been surprised. Last week, CODEPINK activists Tighe Barry, Desiree Fairooz, and Lenny Bianche (who also had additional charges added), were convicted for their actions during the confirmation hearing of Jeff Sessions. Desiree Fairooz received widespread media coverage for her unintended laugh upon hearing Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) say Mr. Session’s record of “treating all Americans equally under the law is clear and well-documented.” The more than 200 protesters who were arrested in police sweeps during Trump’s inauguration are now facing felony rioting charges.

Before the Trump’s administration, cases like mine were usually thrown out. But now, even greater efforts are being taken to quash dissent. However, just as we cannot acquiesce to state and federal legislation criminalizing the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement, we also cannot stop expressing our dissent in the halls of congress. The Israel Victory Caucus, with its violent and colonialist agenda, must continue to be spoken out against and protested.

About Ariel Gold

Ariel Gold is a staff member of CODEPINK. After co-leading CODEPINK’s 2015 delegation to Palestine, she spent three weeks staying in Hebron with Youth Against Settlements in Hebron.

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21 Responses

  1. amigo
    May 11, 2017, 4:18 pm

    “This will allow Israel to flourish and the Palestinians to become a ‘normal people.’”

    Normal like who ??. Certainly not normal like a “superior Jew” ala dershowitz.

    No siree, Palestinians wont even be normal like non Jews (goys) in normal democracies where they enjoy equal rights and all the usual trimmings ,afforded to all citizens –Goy or Jew.

    Nope , they will be second class citizens who will learn who their betters are and keep their eyes cast downwards , lest they make their betters uncomfortable.They will learn to speak the language of their superiors and speak when spoken to .They will cross the street when their superiors are approaching and spare them having to inhale that Arab stench.

    Yes , they will be normal in the true zionist sense.

    • MHughes976
      May 13, 2017, 3:12 am

      That’s a very eloquent description, amigo. Another part of the story might be dwelling in increasingly circumscribed enclaves. The world is a bad place but not yet anything like so bad as to make this degree of subservience the normal condition of its national groups. Nor is it normal to be massively dominant in the region where one dwells, menacing all around with nukes. In fact that kind of existence is somehow outlandish and insane.

      • amigo
        May 13, 2017, 12:14 pm

        MHughes976 , thanks for your comment.

        Zionists are so wound up in themselves and their reason for being , they can see clearly to (and beyond)the 1000 year empire but they conveniently ignore the 930 years in between.

        As you say , it is pure insanity . It is self delusion on a grand scale.I will give them another 25 years , at best.

      • Maghlawatan
        May 13, 2017, 3:24 pm

        Amigo,

        Last year Netanyahu decided that students didn’t need to study the core curriculum. It was too hard for Ultra Orthodox students. Their community has the highest birth rate and the lowest employability. Israel needs more workers to.pay for all the freeloaders. Instead it will get more freeloaders. 25 years is generous.

      • amigo
        May 13, 2017, 4:20 pm

        “Instead it will get more freeloaders. 25 years is generous.”Maglawatan

        What can I say. I am just a generous sort.Having said that , if the zionists are working their posteriors off to prove me wrong , I will be more than comfortable to admit my error.

    • Froggy
      May 13, 2017, 10:37 am

      amigo :: they will be second class citizens who will learn who their betters are and keep their eyes cast downwards , lest they make their betters uncomfortable.They will learn to speak the language of their superiors and speak when spoken to .They will cross the street when their superiors are approaching and spare them having to inhale that Arab stench.

      Like Jews were treated in Nazi-occupied countries. The Zionist-Fascists learn from the best.

  2. JWalters
    May 11, 2017, 7:44 pm

    The Israel Victory Caucus’s actual strategy is “Israel must win and America must lose”. Israel is trying to impose archaic values on America, dragging us all backward to barbarism.

    Thank you Ariel Gold for all your efforts defending true democracy and equal justice from the duplicitous war profiteers. For new readers, “War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror” online.

  3. john douglas
    May 11, 2017, 9:44 pm

    Ariel Gold, I can’t say how much I admire your courage.

  4. JosephA
    May 11, 2017, 10:11 pm

    Ariel Gold, keep up the good work! You are a remarkable American and an impressive human being.

    • Misterioso
      May 13, 2017, 3:27 pm

      Agreed!

      Ms. Gold demonstrates why in the long run, WE WILL BE VICTORIOUS!!!

  5. Citizen
    May 12, 2017, 4:11 am

    I wish all Americans were normal like Ariel Gold. She exhibits our best values.

  6. Ronald Johnson
    May 12, 2017, 8:50 am

    Daniel Pipes has a big fan base, as demonstrated in Rochester NY, at an endowed lecture series, April 25 – now available on the web. One must hear him at length, in person, for full appreciation – of this, never-before, popular delusion and madness that possess our Nation:

    http://www.leonkatzen.org/past-events.html

    Ariel Gold will win this one too.

  7. Stogumber
    May 13, 2017, 5:29 am

    Now what’s “total defeat”? Isn’t this a romantic illusionary term? And will “total defeat” make a people “normal”?
    I suppose this is a false interpretation of WWII American-German history – “total defeat” made Germans “normal”.
    It’s sad that such a false interpretation is yet alive.

    But (1) the German defeat was far from “total” – a lot of the industrial capacity remained which made the “wirtschaftswunder” possible.

    And (2) Germans were won over because, after the end of Morgenthauism”, the Americans presented themselves in a totally different light – un-arrogant, amical, magnanimous, sometimes altruistic and, last not least, culturally conservative – people which as well as any fascist had a liking for “travail, famille, patrie”. (This of course was mostly due to the influence of the American Rightwingers and former American Firsters whose influence rose again until the Eisenhower era).
    Americans should look at this success of their reconciliatory efforts as their great victory.

    • MHughes976
      May 13, 2017, 11:58 am

      Total defeat means total powerlessness, I suppose, total inability to act as a group or exercise a general will. The inability to act as a group implies acting only as individuals, which implies being scattered and each one acquiring a new group membership if possible, somewhere and somehow. Let that not happen.

    • Froggy
      May 13, 2017, 1:43 pm

      Stogumber :: Now what’s “total defeat”?

      In real-world terms, ‘total defeat’ means being in a position where others have the power to define what a person or people are, and those others are in a position where they get determine what a person (or people) are permitted to do.

      This is a very general description, of course.

  8. John Salisbury
    May 13, 2017, 8:40 am

    Ariel we admire you and the other members of Code Pink tremendously.

  9. Froggy
    May 13, 2017, 10:46 am

    Ariel, you have my complete admiration and respect. Please know that people all over the world are with you, doing everything they can for justice.

    Froggy, in France

  10. Boomer
    May 13, 2017, 11:56 am

    Ms. Gold, my thanks and respect to you and your colleagues. Until recently, I wouldn’t have thought such stories would be possible in the U.S. Now, of course, I know better. You will be vindicated by history, but–alas–it may take a very long time.

    As for the “Israel Victory Caucus,” their own words indict them (and our nation for supporting them). They, and our nation, will be found guilty by the judgment of history . . . perhaps years in the future.

  11. Misterioso
    May 13, 2017, 3:19 pm

    For the record:

    To quote Daniel Pipes from the article above: “Palestinians will have to pass through the bitter crucible of defeat, with all its deprivation, destruction, and despair as they repudiate the filthy legacy of Amin al-Husseini and acknowledge their century-long error…there is no shortcut.”

    Hounded throughout the Middle East by Britain for leading the Palestinian Great Rebellion of 1936-39, the Grand Mufti, Amin al-Husseini, found sanctuary in Hitler’s Berlin. Whatever he may have done for Germany during the war (including, apparently, encouraging Bosnian Muslims to join the German army) in exchange for refuge, was considered to be so unimportant that he was never considered for indictment at Nuremburg. The Mufti lived to be an old man in Beirut.

    Daniel Pipes should be much more concerned with the following:

    After WWII, a memorandum dated January 11, 1941, was discovered in Ankara. Prepared by the German Naval Attaché in Turkey, it revealed that Naftali Lubentschik, a representative of the Stern Gang (one of the Yishuv’s terrorist organizations) led by Avraham Stern, had met with German Nazis, Otto Von Hentig and Rudolph Rosen in Vichy controlled Beirut and proposed that in exchange for military aid and freedom to recruit European Jews for Palestine, the Sternists were prepared “…to take an active part in the war on Germany’s side…and [this cooperation] would also be in line with one [of Hitler’s recent speeches which] stressed that any alliance would be entered into in order to isolate England and defeat it.”

    The proposition presented to the Nazis pointed out that “the establishment of the historical Jewish state on a national and totalitarian basis and bound by a treaty with the German Reich would be in the interest of maintaining and strengthening the future German position of power in the Near East.” (Quoted by Klaus Polkehn, “The Secret Contacts: Zionist-Nazi Relations, 1933-1941” as well as Lenny Brenner, Zionism in the Age of Dictators, Westport, Conn., Lawrence Hill & Co., 1983, p. 267 and Yediot Aharnot, February 4/1983). Fortunately, the Nazis rejected the Sternists’ proposal.

    Following Stern’s death at the hands of the British in 1942, three of his lieutenants (one of whom was Yitzhak Shamir, a future prime minister of Israel) took over leadership of the Gang. It is revealing to note that despite Avraham Stern’s ignominious record and his flirtation with the Nazis, Ben-Gurion later referred to him as “one of the finest and most outstanding figures of the era.”

    Also:
    “Adolf Hitler, who took his racism seriously, applied it to all Semites. He could not stand Arabs either. Contrary to legend, he disliked the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, who had fled to Germany. After meeting him once for a photo-opportunity arranged by the Nazi propaganda machine, he never agreed to meet him again.” (Uri Avnery – http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/1424446157)

  12. CigarGod
    May 14, 2017, 9:07 am

    If Greg Roman can use a government building to run his foreign government/ israel lobbying business out of, why can’t code pink do the same and create an Anti-Infiltration Caucus?

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