Thursday, February 12, 2009

Americans Rally Outside AIPAC in Protest Over Gaza

CODEPINK Press Release, Washington DC, - February 12 - Several organizations will rally today outside the offices of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) to call for the United States to resist the Israeli lobbying group and reject its destructive aims on Gaza, and decry its enormous influence on Congress which prevented Congress from condemning the recent Israeli assault on the territory.

This move is especially crucial now, as the Israeli election earlier this week marked an even harsher line than ever toward Palestinians. The Obama administration must seize the opportunity to alert newly elected Israeli officials that American sympathies are veering away from unconditional support of Israel's positions.

"In the wake of the 22-day war on Gaza, AIPAC is pushing hard for even more aggressive policies against the Palestinians," said Joan Stallard, of CODEPINK, one of the participating groups. "But these policies must not be supported. Congress must instead call to open the borders to Gaza and the West Bank to allow humanitarian aide, a free flow of commerce, and establish a normal and secure life for all the people of Palestine and Israel."

The United States sends $3 billion in military aid to Israel each year, with AIPAC's pressure, making it the single largest foreign recipient of American military aid. The recent offensive On Gaza was carried out with U.S.-funded and manufactured helicopters, tanks, rockets and, most controversially, phosphorous bombs.

Tighe Barry, a Los Angeles-based activist who returned Feb. 8 from war-torn Gaza, will speak. Visuals and song will be included in the event, organized by CODEPINK, the Washington Peace Center and Activists for a Free Gaza.

For more information, please call Joan Stallard, CODEPINK, at 202-422-6275 or Polly Miller, 585-719-7614.

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