Daily Israel Report
Show More

OpEds


As AIPAC Conference Gets Underway, so do Efforts to 'Occupy' it

The 'Occupy AIPAC' movement, which hijacked the ‘Occupy’ brand name, began on March 2 and is scheduled to persist throughout the weekend.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 3/3/2012, 7:02 PM

The Occupy AIPAC movement, which has hijacked the ‘Occupy’ brand name and continues to exploit the success of the movement as a way of linking the popular social protests with anti-Semitic sentiments, began on March 2 and is scheduled to persist throughout the weekend.

The event’s Twitter feed attempt to portray Israel and its supporters as a miniscule minority and accuses AIPAC of excessive control over U.S. policy.  ‘Occupy AIPAC’ has posted feeds which read ‘We want our country back’ and ‘End big money lobbyist control of MidEast Policy".

The Anti Defamation League notes that “conference session that is likely to feature the most egregious rhetoric is titled ‘AIPAC: What it is, who its allies are, why it’s dangerous and how to stop it. It will feature, among others, Hatem Bazian, the leader of the extreme anti-Israel organization American Muslims for Palestine; Jeffrey Blankfort, an anti-Israel journalist who claims that the ‘Israel lobby’ controls U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East; and Alison Weir, the director of the Council for the National Interest.

Weir’s writings and comments have at times crossed the line into anti-Semitism, including accusing Israelis of harvesting Palestinians’ organs. According to descriptions provided on the conference Web site, the session will include a segment on how AIPAC ‘promotes Muslim otherness.’”

The conference will include rallies and demonstrations, including protests outside the White House during President Obama’s and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speeches.

Charles Carlson, an anti-Semitic attendee, and co-founder and director of “We Hold These Truths,” an Arizona-based Christian anti-Semitic group that regularly protests outside Christian Zionist churches, urged members of his group to join him at Occupy AIPAC protests.

He stated, "[e]very political candidate for president is bowing and scraping to the state of Israel...they are not appealing for Israeli votes,  but for the tens of millions of American Christian Zionist votes…Thousands of mistaken and opportunistic Pastors also fear the truth because they have mislead their congregations,” he wrote. “Knowledge of Christian Zionism can drive a stake through it, to be someday buried in the graveyard of apostate, religious acts of war."