1. Find out if your Representative is flying to Israel with AIPAC:
Let us know if so!
2. Tweet Congress with this message: Represent America, not Israel!
3. Send a letter to the editor of your local letter expressing your outrage if your Representative is going to Israel.
4. Visit your Congressperson's office this month during the August Recess (when your Rep should be home).
Is your Representative one of the 81 Congresspeople on a junket in Israel instead of spending time in your district with constituents?
August recess is a time for representatives to offer their services to the constituents they are paid to represent. Now is an especially critical time considering how much American families are hurting, and will continue to hurt given the debt deal that just approved brash austerity measures.
Instead, 81 representatives will be touring Israel, compliments of an affiliate of the Israel lobby AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) but still clocked in on the taxpayer’s dime. This is shameful. We must wonder whether our elected officials are more concerned about the stability of Israel or the well-being of American families.
Here is what you can do to name and shame those Representatives going on this lobbyist-paid junket:
1. Call your Representative at 202-224-3121 and ask if s/he is going (or has gone) to Israel this month on a trip paid for by the AIPAC-affiliated American Israel Educational Foundation (or see partial list of Reps going to Israel here). If not, THANK YOUR REPRESENTATIVE for not going. If yes, politely express your outrage and urge your Representative to cancel their trip, or plan an extra day to see the reality of occupation by visiting communities in the West Bank and Gaza.
IMPORTANT: Let us know the result of your call so that we can keep a running list of who is going - so far we’ve identified 21 of the 81.
2. Get a cyber conversation going! Tweet at your Representative, or other Reps who are going. Plus, follow @MoveOverAIPAC for the latest news. Some sample tweets you can use:
- Shame on @WhipHoyer for taking a Democratic delegation to #Israel when we have an economic crisis here in #America bit.ly/pMLSdS @AIPAC Tweet Now!
- Days after #debtdeal 81 Congresspeople abandon constituents to travel to #Israel on #AIPAC junket. Voice your outrage to Cong: 202-225-3121 Tweet Now!
- 1 in 5 Congresspeople depart US in crucial moment of economic collapse to support another occupying power: #Israel @moveoveraipac Tweet Now!
3. Write a letter-to-the-editor of your local paper using our easy 3-step online tool to express your outrage about how much money your Congressional district pays in weapons to Israel (find out just how much here). Mentioning your Representative in the local media gets the immediate attention of Congressional staff.
4. Organize a meeting with your Members of Congress during August recess to urge that they end military aid to Israel and redirect that money to needs here at home. Sign up to schedule a meeting via our allies at the US Campaign to End Israeli Occupation, get a template constituent meeting request, and download a memo to give to your Representative. Attend town hall meetings and put your Representative on the spot in public.
Carolyn Boyd just returned from an African-American delegation to Palestine and told us,
"What we saw was shockingly similar to apartheid in South Africa. To come home and learn that 81 of our elected officials are in Israel this month on a trip to learn more about Israel's democracy while not seeing the impact of Israel's military rule on the Palestinian people is outrageous. I also wonder during this time of economic uncertainty, why our Congress people find it more important to be away from their districts in the wake of a 9.1% unemployment rate with no jobs plan, no solutions for our housing crisis, and a failing educational system. Who does Congress work for: the lobby group or their constituents?"
Now is the time to tell Congress: Protect America, not Israel. It’s time to Move Over AIPAC and tell Congress to come home and get back to work for their constituents!
Medea, Alli, Rae, Sasha, Tighe and the CODEPINK team
PS: Don't forget to tweet your Congressperson. Here's some more sample tweets:
- Why is @Rep_JaniceHahn in #Israel during August recess instead of spending time in her district? Tweet Now!
- Why did @JacksonJrOnline indulge in AIPAC-affiliate trip to #Israel during Aug. Recess when constituents need him home working on economy?! Tweet Now!
- As US #economy tanks, 81 Congresspeople abandon voters to take trip to #Israel with #AIPAC affiliate during August district days @thecaucus Tweet Now!