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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 10/26/08

Confronting the Neocons in Chicago. A protest of AIPAC.

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Author 4410
Message Jim Harris

We have to get them where ever they congregate.
AIPAC has its annual "National Summit" in Chicago today and Monday,  I thought people would be inspired to know there is an organized protest of this event.

AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, is the organization responsible for this year's debacle known as the "Iran War Resolution" or H Con Res 362. It urged President Bush to take a tougher (!?!) stand against Iran, and in essence urged a naval blockade of Iran. Though at first it looked like it was going to breeze through the House and Senate, it ran into a wall of opposition from antiwar groups and was finally shelved, though Rep. Ackerman promises to try again next year.

AIPAC has also been in a mutually beneficial relationship with John Hagee's outfit CUFI.

It is things like this that inspire protest from folks who want real change.

AIPAC is good at putting on a moderate face, but make no mistake about it, there is nothing moderate about its militaristic agenda. That is becoming more and more clear as it supports congressional efforts to "deal" with Iran. It does not support real diplomacy with Iran. It certainly does not endorse nuclear disarmament and a consistent application of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, since that would mean that Israel's vast nuclear arsenal would also be open to discussion. It supports military action against Iran because that would make it easier to force concessions out of Palestinians. A report from a AIPAC-affiliated "think tank" Washington Institute for Near East Policy, even says as much - in its Publication "The Last Resort: Consequences of Preventive Military Action against Iran" (wonderful reading for Halloween, Stephan King could not get the hairs on your neck standing up as much as this... it lays out reasons a military attack on Iran would likely be a sensible and reasonable thing to do.)

AIPAC has also been working with extremists that promote Islamophobia, such as Daniel Pipes, who was featured in the infamous (in these parts) DVD "Obsession". Daniel Pipes has been featured at aipac events, and for that reason alone should be protested. Pipes, some may recall, is so much in love with war that  he supported the US sending military arms and support of Saddam Hussein during Iraq's bloody war with Iran, in the hopes of bringing up the death toll and weakening both sides.

Then there is Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas billionaire who funded aipac's new crib (about 10 stories high) in Washington DC. Alhough he is sometimes at odds with aipac-even more to the Right, don't think he does not have much influence as to the direction aipac takes. Organizations tend not to argue much with donors who fund their buildings. It's cold on the street. Sheldon (can i call him Sheldon?) is reputed, by the way, of being the funder of the multimillion dollar campaign to distribute the Hate DVD "Obsession".

Then there is AIPAC's continuing love interest in Rev Hagee. Though Hagee did not appear at this year's big aipac conference in DC again this last Spring (mention of his name at that event did bring thunderous applause), it did feature people (David Brog, among others) from his organization CUFI, and CUFI featured AIPAC leaders at its conference. That's a love that seems built to last. CUFI believes that any concession to Palestinians of even an inch of land in "greater Israel" (occupied West Bank and Gaza) is a sin against their god, and that their god will take vengeance if such a deal were made.

With that list of aipac supporters (who are also people supported by aipac), we can then be thankful then that groups that support human rights for all (including Palestinians), peace in the Middle East, and a new direction for US foreign policy  will be outside the Hotel protesting, as politicians inside the hotel pander, as speakers promote an unjust system that that promotes military occupation, home demolitions, and an immoral siege on the people of Gaza. Those protesting groups that will be outside include Code Pink, Progressive Democrats of Illinois, Chicagoans Against Apartheid in Palestine, and the Chicago affiliate of Jewish Voice for Peace. I know what some of you are thinking.  "These are far-left voices".  However, as  Philip Weiss points out "how far out are we when the far-right neocons are all being cast away on some island in the political equivalent of Survivor". Folks like this know that we must put justice first, not blind nationalism, if we are going to make it out of the wilderness of violence and oppression that is now the status quo in the Middle East.

Love and fidelity have come together; justice and peace join hands.
Psalm 85:10


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Activist for peace and justice in the Middle East.
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