For Immediate Release
Midge Potts, 417-496-0781
Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK cofounder 415-235-6517
Peace Activist Confronts Netanhayu on War Crimes During Plenary of United Jewish Federations
WASHINGTON - At the
Annual Conference of the United Jewish Federations in Washington, DC,
during the plenary session today, November 9, by Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu, CODEPINK peace activist Midge Potts stood up with a
banner that said “End the Siege of Gaza” and shouted “Stop the blockade
of Gaza, Shame on you, Netanyahu.” She was dragged out of the meeting
by security guards.
“When I heard that Netanyahu was speaking in Washington DC, I felt
compelled to do something,” said Potts, a Navy veteran, resident of
Springfield, Missouri and candidate for U.S. Senate. “Netanyahu’s
Washington visit comes just after our Congress overwhelmingly passed a
resolution rejecting the Goldstone report, a UN report that aimed to
hold Israel accountability for its actions during the 22-day invasion
of Gaza that left over 1,400 dead. As an American whose government is
giving free rein to Israel’s war crimes and is paying—through our
taxes—for the bombs and bullets that are killing Palestinians, I had to
stand up. I hope my symbolic action will show the people of Palestine
that there are many Americans who believe in human rights for all and
are determined to change our government’s policy to reflect these
During his talk, PM Netanyahu lauded the Israeli Defense Forces, saying
the Israeli army was “as moral as any army on earth” and thanked both
President Obama and the U.S. Congress for rejecting the Goldstone
report. “It is appalling to us, as peace activists, that Israel
committed such atrocities against the people of Gaza and that the U.S.
Government is trying to cover up those crimes. As defenders of human
rights, we must stand up and demand accountability.”
As part of CODEPINK’s commitment to human rights, it is working with a
broad coalition to organize, in the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin
Luther King, a massive march on December 31 from inside Gaza to the
Israeli border. The March calls on Israel to lift the inhumane siege
that is keeping 1.5 million people imprisoned. Already, participants
have signed up from 32 countries. They include writers (U.S. Alice
Walker), actors (Syrian Duraid Lahham), members of Parliament (from
France to the Philippines), diplomats (from Japan to the Netherlands),
as well as doctors, lawyers, professors and students.
For more information see www.gazafreedommarch.org .
CODEPINK is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities. CODEPINK rejects foreign policies based on domination and aggression, and instead calls for policies based on diplomacy, compassion and a commitment to international law. With an emphasis on joy and humor, CODEPINK women and men seek to activate, amplify and inspire a community of peacemakers through creative campaigns and a commitment to non-violence.