by Stephen Lendman
On January 23, Occupy AIPAC announced plans to confront the powerful Israeli Lobby in Washington from March 2 – 6. More on what’s planned below.
Since last September, OWS inspired affiliate groups. Among others they include Occupy Together, Occupy Everything, Occupy Arrests, Occupy Police, Occupy Marines, Occupy Veterans, Occupy Writers, Occupy Filmakers, Occupy Schools, Occupy the World Wide Web, Occupy Freedom, Occupy NATO, Occupy Congress, Occupy the White House, and Occupy Your State Capital America.
Many communicate online through social networks like Facebook. They spread information globally and hopefully inspire others to join a worldwide movement for change.
From March 4 – 6, AIPAC will hold its annual Washington conference. Deferentially, politicians, presidents, their hangers-on, media scoundrels and others show up to pay homage to its influence and the government it represents.
AIPAC’s an unregistered foreign agent. Calling itself “America’s Pro-Israel Lobby,” it’s represented Israeli interests since founded in 1953. In 1963, it was incorporated as a division of the American Zionist Council (AZC), its precursor.
Virtually no one in Congress confronts it. Doing so is a career-ender. Notably, it has virtual veto power over war and peace, trade and investment, multi-billion dollar arms sales, enormous handouts to Israel, and all Middle East policies affecting the Jewish state under Democrat and Republican administrations alike.
It’s a weapon of mass destruction, fronting for Israeli crimes. Among other tactics, it spuriously rails against Syria, Iran, Hamas, and Hezbollah.
It calls Iran “the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism and is racing toward a nuclear weapons capability.”
It calls Hizbollah, Hamas, as well as Iraq and Afghanistan “Insurgents” its “proxy armies.”
It falsely accuses Syria of “brutally crush(ing) the growing protest movement (while) maintaining its support for terrorist groups.” It says Assad “undermin(es) peace and security.”
It calls Hamas, Palestine’s legitimate government, a “terrorist group….with the self proclaimed goal of the destruction of Israel.”
It calls Hezbollah (part of Lebanon’s ruling coalition government) “an Iranian-backed terrorist network that poses a direct threat to American interests and Israel, (and) has killed more Americans than any terrorist group other than al-Qaeda….”
Since inception, AIPAC lacked credibility. It spews lies and hate. It viciously attacks opponents. It should be banned for not registering as a foreign agent and prosecuted for libel.
Instead, by intimidating Congress, it gets free reign to do what it pleases and attracts political Washington en masse to its annual conference.
Move over AIPAC now calls itself Occupy AIPAC. Over 120 organizations endorse it.
They include American Jews for a Just Peace, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Artists Against Apartheid, CODEPINK, Christians for Palestinian Rights, Citizens for Palestinian Self-Determination, Friends of Palestine, Global Exchange, If Americans Knew, International Solidarity Movement, Rachael Corrie Foundation, Stop AIPAC, United for Peace and Justice, US Boat to Gaza, Veterans for Peace, and many others.
The pro-Israeli Commentary magazine attacked the initiative. On January 20, Jonathan Tobin headlined, “Occupy AIPAC Next Step for Leftist Group,” saying:
“Many Jewish liberals have been in denial about the anti-Israel and often anti-Semitic tone of much of the Occupy Wall Street movement since its inception.”
In other words, when hard truths can’t be denied, it call those supporting them “anti-Semites.” Commentary fronts for Israel. The US Campaign to End the Occupation’s Josh Ruebner calls it a “neo-con rag.”
It’s that and much more. It backs Israel’s worst crimes, and organizations like AIPAC, promoting war and violence. Why else would activists for peace, justice, and Palestinian rights plan confronting them in March.
Ruebner says, “So, yeah, Commentary, we’ll be there protesting AIPAC’s agenda and all your silly accusations about who we are and what we stand for won’t stop us.”
In May 2011, during AIPAC’s conference, it organized an initiative called “Move over AIPAC: Building a New US Middle East Policy.”
Then and now, it aims “to wean US policy away from AIPAC’s grip towards an even-handed position that respects international law and the human rights of all people in the region.”
From March 2 – 6, it’s coming back and asks others to join it. It’s agenda includes teach-ins, cultural performances, protests, creative direct actions, educational panels on Iran, Palestine, the Arab uprisings, and OWS, and a preview of the forthcoming film, “Roadmap to Apartheid.”
Panel discussions and workshops include:
“Preventing War, Promoting Peace: Shifting US Policy Toward Real Diplomacy with Iran”
“From the Arab Uprisings to the Occupy Movement: Freedom & Justice vs. the Right-Wing Israel Lobby”
“Palestine, Israel & the US – Changing Discourse, Challenging Policy”
“Poets, Comedians and Musicians – Tears and Laughter for Palestine”
“Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions”
“Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere: Palestine and the African American Experience”
“Ending Military Aid to Israel”
March 6 is called Lobbying Day – Lobbying Congress for a just peace in the Middle East. This and more is planned throughout the March 2 – 6 gathering.
Occupy AIPAC calls it “a mandatory ‘occupy target.’ ” Now’s the time to oppose “the stranglehold the Israel lobby continues to hold over our government.”
It’s essential to confront it actively with sustained pressure. Showing up in Washington is step one.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.