While Obama and Netanyahu meet, activists to protest of Israel’s human rights violations

May 18th, 2009

Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK co-founder, 415-235-6517
Blaine Clarke, CODEPINK DC coordinator, 757-870-0691

While Obama and Netanyahu meet, peace activists to rally in protest of Israel's violations of human rights
 Will simulate Israeli checkpoints in front of White House

WHEN: 12 to 3 p.m. TODAY (May 18)
WHERE: Lafayette Park, outside the White House

WASHINGTON -- While President Obama meets with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu today, and Netanyahu supporters hold a “Say No to Palestinian State” rally at the White House, peace activists including CODEPINK women will counter-rally and call on the Israeli government to end the apartheid state that oppresses Palestinians. They will also call on Obama to end military aid to Israel and investigate alleged Israeli war crimes in Gaza.

The activists will perform a creative skit with Israeli Defense Force “soldiers” setting up check points outside the White House similar to those in Palestine.

“These abusive Israeli checkpoints that humiliate and exclude Palestinians,” said CODEPINK coordinator Christianna Reinstein. “We will give passersby a small taste of what it's like to live under occupation.”

Others will counter the pro-Israeli government rally by holding signs with messages such as “Say No to an Apartheid State,” “Want Peace? Lift the Siege of Gaza,” and “Never Again Includes Palestine.”

“We want Obama to stand up to Israel's abuses," said CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin.  "He should call for an end to the apartheid wall and illegal settlements, and a lifting of the siege of Gaza. Obama should condition U.S. aid on changes in Israeli policies that will guarantee the rights of all, including Palestinians.”

For more information, please contact Medea Benjamin at 415-235-6517 or Blaine Clarke, CODEPINK DC coordinator, at 757-870-0691.