Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Hero of AIPAC 2011 and the Netanyahu Politburo Speech

Rae Abilea, the young Israeli-Israeli activist, who was assaulted, tackled, ejected from and arrested for her activities at AIPAC 2011 and Israeli Prime Minister Binjamin Netanyahu's address to the Joint Session of the U.S. Politburo Congress, is my hero of the week.

Here's a bit from an interview with her by Jay Kernia at CNN's In the Arena:
How did you get into the House of Representatives to disrupt the speech of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu?

A friend gave me a ticket.

What did you shout out?

I held a banner that said “Occupying land is indefensible” and I shouted, “End the occupation; stopIsraelwar crimes; equal rights for Palestinians.”

Your father is Jewish and an Israeli. Why did you decide to protest?

Judaism teaches us to love our neighbors and work for justice.

I see Israel’s brutal occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people as contrary to Jewish values. Because I am a Jew and an American, I feel an added responsibility to speak out against these violations of international law that are being committed in my name and with my tax dollars. My great uncle was one of the first Israeli conscientious objectors in 1948 and I feel I am following in his tradition of non-violent resistance to oppression.

What happened after you protested? There are photographs of you surrounded by what look like security personnel?

As I stood up and spoke out, members of the audience tackled me, covered my mouth and violently threw me to the ground. Several of them were wearing badges from the powerful pro-Israeli government lobby group AIPAC. Amidst the assault, the police came and dragged me out of the gallery. They took me to an ambulance for urgent care, and later placed me under arrest at the hospital.

Also, there were five people who disrupted Netanyahu during his speech to AIPAC on Monday night and they were roughly treated as well. (Video is on the website.)

After your protest, Netanyahu said to his Congressional audience, "You can't have these protests in Tehran," he said. "This is real democracy." How do you feel about his reaction?

It’s ironic that Netanyahu said this just after I had been assaulted by members of the audience, dragged out by the police and later arrested while I was in the hospital. This sounds eerily similar to the alleged democracy in Israel where Palestinians—and Israelis—are routinely assaulted, arrested and jailed for speaking out against the Israeli occupation.
Rae was interviewed briefly this morning on Democracy Now:

1 comment:

Geir said...

Dan Webster (R-FL) speaking on Televangelist Tee Vee this week.

Dan Webster:

"I love giving money to Israel. And so there’s a picture there that people realize that, we stop helping Israel, we lose God’s hand and we’re in big time trouble."

Stupid Goyim. I'd love to be a fly on the wall listening to Bibi and Avi Leiberman, who my Israeli neighbors refer to as a Nazi, discussing these fools.