I’ve never attended the annual protest at the AIPAC policy conference in Washington DC, and I was ambivalent about attending this year.
AIPAC is the notoriously strong Israeli lobby that successfully (from its perspective) bamboozles our members of Congress into towing Israel’s objectives, even when they arguably may not be in the US interest to do so. I’ve written about AIPAC here, here and here (among other posts).
I hopped on the train in Baltimore and arrived at the Convention Center in Washington, DC a couple of hours after the protest was announced to begin. I decided to go as an observer, wearing my keffiyeh but not carrying a sign.
The protest was noisy (YEAH!) and there appeared to be a number of different groups involved (YEAH!).
I was left with two big impressions: (1) The large number of American Jews standing and yelling outside the convention center must have given the Jews inside a moment of pause. I hope that fact also makes our elected officials stop and think.
(2) The youth are not only the future of this movement to end the occupation, they have stepped up and are now the leaders. It’s time for the old folks to take a back seat.
A woman holding the sign of a martyr killed in Ramallah by Israel last week really moved me. I don’t know if she was a family member or someone raising awareness of the ongoing killing of Palestinians, almost daily. Can my Congresswoman and two Senators not see the horrible nature of this occupation?
The young man was known as Abu Saleh, his nickname. He was the only child in the family.