For Peace in the Middle East,
Throwing of the Shoe
and Protesting War.
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Challenging AIPAC. For a New Foreign Policy.
AIPAC, or the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, describes itself as the most important organization affecting the U.S. relationship with Israel. With a budget of $65 million, and membership now standing at over 100,000, it is no wonder that congressional staffers consider it one of the most powerful and effective lobbies on Capitol Hill.
Once a year, AIPAC holds its annual conference in Washington DC. This May it was attended by over 5,000 participants. Its annual policy conference is one of Washington’s largest gatherings of lawmakers, topped only by the President’s State of the Union address. Guests this year included two-thirds of the House, half the Senate, and Vice President Richard Cheney.
Only rarely is a critical word uttered among politicians regarding AIPAC and its associates that support unjust and aggressive (and disastrous) U.S. policies toward the peoples of the Middle East. We aim to change that.
For too long, policies that support Israeli militarism and occupation have gone unchallenged. Political voices raising even minor disagreements with prevailing policies are silenced or subject to campaigns of intimidation. We must open the door to full debate regarding U.S. relationship with Israel and U.S. policy with other countries in the region.
These pages will examine how AIPAC and related institutions (usually collectively known as the "Israel Lobby") support a dangerous status quo, including AIPAC's support for U.S. military aid to Israel, which amounts to over $3 billion per year. We will examine its support for even the worst of Israeli policies, and its support for further U.S. military action in the region.
We will provide resources to counter AIPAC initiatives before Congress, such as the current legislation in Congress to punish the Palestinian people. You will hear many voices and listen to the debate among those who want U.S. policy to change but differ on how influential the "Israel Lobby" really is in formulating that policy.
Most importantly, we will serve as a resource for people organizing actions to challenge the status quo. We believe that changing U.S. policy is really the bottom line. The people of the United States, and the people of the world, deserve better than policies of endless war, occupation, and support for dispossession of the Palestinian people. We the people want a policy based on fairness and mutual respect. Therefore, we welcome the participation of those who want a U.S. foreign policy based on adherence to international law and support for human rights for everyone.
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