With perhaps a level of organizing unprecedented in Washington DC, 38 faith-based and social justice organizations have come together to plan a series of actions to protest the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week to the nation’s capital.
A smaller coalition had come together last March to protest Netanyahu’s speech before Congress and succeeded in convincing 60 lawmakers to #SkiptheSpeech. Now, groups and organizations have been working around the clock to plan events to spread the idea, “No US Tax Dollars to Israel.”
During this week’s visit, Netanyahu is expected to ask for a major increase in US military aid and weapons as an appeasement for the Iran Deal, which he vehemently opposed. On Monday, he and President Barack Obama are expected to talk about an extension of the current $30-billion Memorandum of Understanding in U.S. foreign military financing, which expires in 2017. Some reports place the new MOU at $45 billion over 10 years, beginning in 2018. In addition, the prime minister has stated he is using the trip to repair his relationship with the “American Jewish community,” and to that end is meeting on November 10 with the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, a group that bills itself as progressive and that is closely aligned with the Democratic Party. Netanyahu will not be delivering a speech to the closed event, but will be answering questions by moderator Neera Tanden, CAP president. The conversation will be available from 3-4 p.m. EST via live streaming.
In response, representatives from American Muslims for Palestine, the Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee, Code Pink, Jewish Voice for Peace, RootsAction and the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation presented Winne Stachelberg, CAP executive vice president for external affairs, with petitions that asked CAP to cancel the event. The petitions also stated it is no longer acceptable to be progressive except for Palestine. Collectively, the effort garnered more than 26,300 signatures.
The petition submission kicked off several events planned on Monday and Tuesday.
9 a.m. Monday, Nov. 9 – Picket outside the White House, during the meeting between Obama and Netanyahu. Sponsored by the ANSWER coalition.
5-8 pm. Monday, Nov 9 – No US Tax Dollars for Israel rally outside the National Building Museum, 401 F Street NW, Washington DC, where the American Enterprise Institute is planning to honor Netanyahu. The rally is endorsed by 38 faith-based and social justice organizations, and will feature several speakers, including Max Blumenthal, Phyllis Bennis, Dr. Osama Abuirshaid and the Rev. Graylan Hagler,among others.
8-10 a.m. and 2-3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10 – Netanyahu is #NotProgressive picket outside Center for American Progress, 1333 H St. NW, Washington DC, sponsored by the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.
Those in the Washington DC area are asked to attend the rally and pickets. Get information, or posters and flyers to download here.
On Tuesday from 3-4 p.m. EST, everyone is encouraged to Tweet probing questions at the Center for American Progress @amprog and Tanden @neeratanden. People are encouraged to use the hashtag #NotProgressive. Also, follow @US_Campaign, @AMPalestine and @jvplive for sample tweets or updated hashtags throughout the picket.