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      Sharon Heckled During AIPAC Speech

      Two anti-disengagement activists successfully interrupted Ariel Sharon's AIPAC address before being forcibly ejected from the audience.
      First Publish: 5/27/2005, 12:28 PM / Last Update: 5/25/2005, 9:04 PM

      Security was very tight at the AIPAC event in Washington on Tuesday. The speakers warranted it; Hillary Clinton, who preceded Sharon, and Sharon himself are both controversial figures. A group of would-be protestors was kept out of the audience simply because one of them was wearing an orange shirt, the color of the struggle for Gush Katif and northern Shomron.

      Sharon was in the midst of being warmly received by the audience of 5,000 when he reached the part of his speech that mentioned his expulsion/retreat plan. "Let there be no doubt," he said. "The Disengagement Plan will be implemented according to the timetable and the decisions authorized by the Government."

      At approximately that moment, a man named Shmuel S. began yelling against the expulsion plan - but security guards, who had had their eye on him from the outset, quickly overpowered him and escorted him out.

      They didn't count on Tova A., however. A woman in her 30's, she was sitting almost directly across from the Prime Minister, in the middle of a row, in an area that was relatively inaccessible to the guards. She arose and cried out: "The people in Gush Katif are my family! This is not a disengagement plan, but rather a plan to replace Jewish homes with a Hamas casino! This is insanity! What are you doing?"

      Tova later said that no guards came to get her, so she continued: "People around me started yelling at me to stop, and even hitting me. Some of them said, 'Now is not the time!' and I yelled back, 'When is the time? If not now, when else?' It's hard to believe that people are willing to go like sheep to the slaughter. Five thousand people in the room, and no one said a word. I kept on yelling out, trying to explain why this plan means catastrophe for the Jewish People, until finally three guards came from one side, three from another, and two from the back. They very forcibly took me out, and kept on holding me even though I wasn't going anywhere - and my neck and arms still hurt me now [24 hours later]."

      Tova said that she had just spent several days in Gush Katif. "Just three weeks ago, I was in Shirat HaYam, and helped ready some houses for new residents," she said.