Just four days before the South Carolina Primary, about 100 young Jews and allies descended on former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign headquarters and disrupted the Biden campaign’s day-to-day activities for over two hours. Seven young people were arrested when they refused orders by police to stop blockading the elevator entrance, while a large group of supporters occupied the building’s lobby, shared stories, and sang and chanted.
Palestinians in Hebron are harassed by Israeli soldiers, their homes are violently taken from them by Israeli settlers, and Palestinian activists in the city, particularly from Youth Against Settlements, are being persecuted and prosecuted by the Palestinian Authority security services. In Salfit, 19-year-old Omar Abu Laila was killed after commiting what was described by Israeli journalist Amira Hass in Haaretz as a “daring” and “courageous” act of resistance against the “masters,” who “rape” the land.
Washington, DC–Palestinians and supporters gathered at the White House on Sunday afternoon to rebuke the lobby American-Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC), for its lopsided influence over U.S. governmental policy. Speakers called out its role in supporting Israeli government policies affecting the Occupied Territories, which they say mimic apartheid policies of the South Africa National Party from 1948 until the 1990s. The protesters voiced opposition to Israeli occupation of Palestinian Territories, the lack of access to basic needs, continued military attacks and incursions into the Gaza Strip, unequal application of law between Israel and the occupied territories, and Israel for denying Palestinians their basic right to return to their land.
Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is under fierce attack from Chelsea Clinton and other Republican and Democratic establishment figures for voicing a fundamental truth: much of Congress is muzzled when it comes to Israel by the powerful lobby group AIPAC. On Sunday, journalist Glenn Greenwald highlighted a news story about how Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy wants to punish Omar, and fellow Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, for their criticisms of Israel.
January 03, 2019 "Information Clearing House" - The Israel lobby has been busy taking a wide variety of government officials and opinion makers on fully expense paid trips to Israel this month. The trips cost in the range of $10,000 per person. Six newly elected House members are on a 5-day visit to Israel, a delegation of northern California “progressive leaders” are on a week-long trip, media commentator Tara Setmayer has just returned from such a trip, and a delegation of southern California progressive leaders returned from their trip earlier this month.
The Lobby is a documentary produced by Al Jazeera which shines daylight on the quasi-illegal practices of Israelis and their Jewish-American partners to undermine the First Amendment rights of advocates of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement. The Lobby documents an arsenal of unethical tactics employed by the pro-Israel forces that are deeply antithetical to the American democratic process. The deceitful tactics are revealed through the very words of the pro-Israeli participants themselves as a result of a hidden camera wielded by a British Jew who infiltrated their conferences, programs, and one-on-one meetings.
After they won their primaries, some young progressives curbed their pro-Palestine rhetoric. Now they are in Washington getting oriented. Next up: early test votes in the new year sponsored by the pro-Israel lobby. People in the pro-Palestinian community worldwide will be watching to see if any of the new left-wing progressives elected in the midterms will dare speak out—and vote against—the wishes of the Israel lobby. The answer will likely come early next year, in test votes sponsored by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, after the 116thCongress convenes. If the past is any guide, Democratic leaders will insist on strict subservience from newcomers to the party’s foreign policy priorities, which include U.S. sponsorship and defense of the Israeli occupation and war crimes.
One pleasurable surprise of the AIPAC policy conference in early March — the leading Israel lobby group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee — was how much bad press the organization got. It’s becoming almost fashionable to criticize the lobby for its enforcement of lockstep political support for Israel in Washington, and for its Soviet-style policy on access to the press. These criticisms are finally showing up in the mainstream press. Reporters have been licensed by the injury mere high school students have done to another powerful lobby, the National Rifle Association. So maybe AIPAC is on the same path-to-pariah status, more than a decade after Walt and Mearsheimer published their book The Israel Lobby. Here are a few items. Notable among them is a report in the Washington Post of all places saying that AIPAC was born to rally American Jews to stand shoulder to shoulder behind Israeli “lies” about a massacre of Palestinians, back in 1953.
We have reported that Al Jazeera has been threatened by members of Congress because of the investigation they conducted about the lobbying of AIPAC for Israel. Robert Fisk wonders if we will ever see the results of this investigation. So when am I going to be able to watch Al Jazeera’s hard-hitting investigation into Israel’s powerful lobby in the United States? Remember Al Jazeera? The tough, no-holds-barred Middle East satellite channel that transformed Qatar into a media empire whose reports frightened dictators and infuriated potentates and presidents alike? Why, George W Bush once wanted to bomb its headquarters in Doha – so it must have been doing something right. It even has an office in Jerusalem. But something seems to be amiss. I’m talking about a documentary called The Lobby, directed by one of Al Jazeera’s top journalists, Clayton Swisher, the man whose exclusive (and book) on the “Palestine Papers” blew open the secret and scandalous American-led negotiations between Israelis and the Palestinian authority between 2000 and 2010. But after months of postponement, The Lobby, is still no nearer to being shown.
The annual meeting of the extremist Zionist lobby, AIPAC, was held this weekend in Washington, DC. The event did not go without the notice of people opposed to Israel's apartheid state and their occupation of Palestinian lands. Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza has been criticized as a violation of international law but the reality is much broader -- the creation of Israel stole land from the people of Palestine. The Palestinian nation, as it is shown on maps before Israel was created, was destroyed by the colonialism of the United States and western powers. Protests were organized by Jewish Voice For Peace, the ANSWER Coalition, CODE PINK and others. While hundreds protested Israel and AIPAC elected elected officials tend to go to AIPAC on their knee and tell them what they want to hear, indeed AIPAC often gives US elected officials the statements that they are to read at the convention. The Trump administration was represented by Vice President Pence at the event. Below are tweets describing the protests against AIPAC.
Washington, DC - Israel supporters in the US are gearing up for AIPAC's much-vaunted annual policy conference, with measures to counter the widening campaign to boycott Israel and its West Bank settlements expected to feature prominently in the powerful lobbying group's agenda. This includes legislation that several Republican and Democratic Congress members have sponsored to curb the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which aims to pressure Israel into ending its occupation of Arab and Palestinian land. AIPAC set the stage for its conference, which runs from Sunday through Tuesday and features leaders of both parties, by sending out an "action alert" to rally support for two anti-boycott bills in the House and Senate. "Israel has long been targeted by the pernicious Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
By Robert Herbst for Mondoweiss - At two town halls late last month, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand promised to reconsider her co-sponsorship of Senate Bill 720, the Anti-Israel Boycott Act, after a number of her constituents raised free speech concerns, to rousing applause, seemingly without dissent. At the time, Gillibrand was one of 45 co-sponsors in the Senate and 234 in the House. Since the bill was sponsored by the Israel lobby group AIPAC, it was not surprising that, despite its attack on First Amendment rights, it would receive huge support before it was widely publicized, based solely on its AIPAC pedigree. Gillibrand herself agreed with my characterization that AIPAC was a lobby with a “stranglehold” on Congress (when I approached her after a town hall). So despite her explicit commitment to take another look at the bill, and her expressed concerns about the government of Israel and its Prime Minister’s failure to have a vision for peace, it was reasonable to question whether the junior senator from New York would ultimately find the wherewithal to resist that stranglehold. Well, lo and behold, this past Monday, Gillibrand withdrew her co-sponsorship of the bill.
By Kim Bellware for The Huffington Post - On Sunday, hundreds of mostly young, American Jews rallied in Washington, D.C., during the first day of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee 2017 Convention, to protest the expansion of Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. “We’re protesting [AIPAC] en masse as Jews to say that to be Jewish in America at this moment doesn’t mean to support Israel unconditionally,” said 25-year-old Yonah Lieberman, one of the co-founders of the anti-settlement group IfNotNow, which spearheaded the protest in Washington D.C. Lieberman described Sunday’s march as “the biggest ever Jewish-led protest of AIPAC.”
By Rob Bryan for AlterNet - To AIPAC’s 100,000 members and to the 18,000 delegates who attended its annual convention last week in DC, the organization serves a heroic purpose by securing the protection of Israel, and by extension, the Jewish people. To its detractors, it is a manifestation of the most toxic elements of Zionism and a symptom of the corruption that allows lobbying groups to further their agendas by buying politicians (though not a PAC itself, Israel lobbies politicians through a series of small affiliated PACs).