For Immediate Release
Rae Abileah, CODEPINK (415) 994-1723
Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK (415) 235-6517
CODEPINK Protests Netanyahu inside AIPAC Gala
Activists call for end to siege on Gaza and illegal settlements
WASHINGTON - Shortly after announcing Israel’s commitment to defense in his address
to the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Gala,
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was disrupted by a
demonstrator. Rae Abileah, 27, from Half Moon Bay, CA, jumped onto
AIPAC Executive Director Howard Kohr’s private table alongside the stage
and unfurled a pink banner that said “Netanyahu: Build Peace Not
Settlements!” Abileah shouted, “Lift the siege of Gaza! No illegal
settlements!” as she was forcefully removed from the building. A second
disruption came moments later from Joan Stallard, from Washington, DC,
who shouted, “Stop the settlements!”
Today, Tuesday, March 23, at noon CODEPINK is planning to build a
settlement (including homes and beds) inside Senator Schumer’s and
Senator Lieberman’s offices (Hart Senate Building, offices 313 and 706).
CODEPINK’s protests of the policies of AIPAC during their national
conference this week have included daily morning protests, staging of a
checkpoint for attendees, an afternoon press conference announcing the
launch of a city-wide boycott of products illegally made in the
settlements, and the release this morning of a spoof press release from AIPAC announcing that the
organization was calling for a settlement freeze.
American Jewish peace activists are outraged at the influence that AIPAC
has on U.S. policy. “AIPAC supports policies of aggression that damage
Israel’s reputation, harm innocent Palestinians, and contribute to
making America less safe in the world,” said Jewish-American activist
Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK.”
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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.