March 11, 2011

May 21-24:
Move Over AIPAC Actions and Events in Washington, DC
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“No lobby has managed to divert U.S. foreign policy as far from the American national interest… while simultaneously convincing Americans that U.S. and Israeli interests are essentially identical.”

– John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, authors of The Israel Lobby,   keynote speakers at Move Over AIPAC gathering May 21-24  


As we cheer on historic people's uprisings across the Arab world, the Israeli government and The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), its lobbying arm here in the United States, are increasingly worried. This week Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced Israel may ask for an additional $20 billion in military aidover and above the $3 billion a year Israel already receives—in order to “prepare for possible threats.

Are they kidding? Enough is enough. U.S. taxpayers have been supporting the Israeli government's illegal settlements, siege of Gaza, and abuses of Palestinians in large part because our Congress is beholden to the AIPAC lobby. It's time to break the AIPAC stranglehold.

From May 21 to 24, 2011, in Washington DC, join CODEPINK, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and a coalition of over 80 organizations at an historic gathering called "Move Over AIPAC: Building a New US Middle East Policy."

It is timed to coincide with the annual policy meeting of AIPAC, which will feature Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, members of the Obama administration and hundreds of members of Congress.

Our Move Over AIPAC gathering will expose the lobby's negative influence on U.S. policy and promote an alternative approach that respects the rights of all people in the region. We'll provide trainings, workshops, press conferences, book signings, cultural events, and culminate with peaceful, creative protests outside the AIPAC convention itself. Our keynote speakers include The Israel Lobby authors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein, writer Alice Walker, consumer advocate Ralph Nader, authors Nadia Hijab and Phyllis Bennis, Palestinian blogger Laila El Haddad, Jewish Voice for Peace Director Rebecca Vilkomerson, peacemakers Cindy and Craig Corrie, Israeli researcher Dalit Baum, clown doctor Patch Adams, Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, union organizer Bill Fletcher, human rights advocate Anna Baltzer, and many more!

Register today to join us in DC! Plus, sign up here and RSVP on facebook. Spaces are limited and will fill up quickly, so sign up today! If you can't come, please help students attend by donating to our scholarship fund.

Let's also stop the Israeli government from getting more of our scarce tax dollars. Tell your Congressional representative to stop military aid to Israel and use the money to fund green jobs, schools, and healthcare here at home!

With renewed resolve for peace and justice in the Middle East,
Medea Benjamin, Rae Abileah, Shaden Dowaitt,
Jean Desiree, and the CODEPINK team

PS: Attending Cong. King's hearing today with our “No Bigotry” signs, we were moved by Cong. Keith Ellison's tearful plea for tolerance and compassion. You can watch it here. We add our voices to the call for understanding and equality, not fear and racism.

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