A recent response to a subpoena from the United States Capitol Police has revealed the main assailant of a peaceful demonstrator who was physically attacked and injured on May 24, 2011, to be Stanley Anthony Shulster, allegedly a member of the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). According to the lawsuit, Mr. Shulster, a retired lawyer, admitted to assaulting Rae Abileah, a member of CODEPINK, in the House of Representatives while she protested the Israeli occupation of Palestine during the speech by Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel. The Capitol Police issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Shulster for this attack.
Mr. Shulster's biography on the Jackson County, Oregon Republican Women website identifies him as "an Unpaid Lobbyist," and a "Volunteer in the Israel Defense Forces Medical Unit and a member of AIPAC." The bio states: "At the last AIPAC meeting in May of 2011 Stan was present to hear the stirring address that Prime Minister Netanyahu gave to Congress and he grabbed the woman who heckled the Prime Minister while he was speaking."
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach also attested to the assault when he wrote in his blog, "The elderly gentleman to my right, whom I had been talking to just before the speech started, pulled the flag out of her hands, cupped his hands over her mouth, and assisted in subduing her." Additional witnesses have been identified by the U.S. Capitol Police.
According to the complaint, Mr. Shulster grabbed the banner held by Ms. Abileah, used his hand to attempt to gag and suffocate Ms. Abileah, and yanked her head back, injuring her neck. As a result of the attack, Ms. Abileah sustained a neck strain, swollen neck and muscle strain, and has since suffered from frequent head and neck aches as well as emotional trauma.
Ms. Abileah is a 29-year-old American Jew of Israeli descent, who works as the Co-Director of CODEPINK, a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice organization that seeks to end U.S. wars and the U.S. funded occupation of Palestine.
"I was shocked that the biography of the person who attacked me would brag about his use of violence. This lawless behavior echoes the routine actions of the Israeli government and military in carrying out violent acts daily against the Palestinian people. I am hopeful that my filing suit will be a clear signal to those who attempt to silence peaceful protesters, that they will be held accountable for their illegal actions," said Ms. Abileah.
Photos of the action and assault can be found here:
AIPAC's 2012 annual policy conference will be held from March 4 to 6 in Washington, D.C. It is expected that peaceful protesters will challenge AIPAC's policies of supporting Israel's ongoing crimes against the Palestinian people and its threats of attacking Iran.