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Sunday, May 22, 2016 at 9am
Mittleman Jewish Community Center 6651 SW Capitol Highway Please join us in protesting the annual Oregon AIPAC event. We will start gathering in front of the venue, the Mittleman Jewish Community Center starting at around 3:45pm. See if you can spot your favorite politician! Count the luxury vehicles! Feel the hypocrisy in the air! Seriously, we are urging politicians NOT to attend this event as fellow Oregonians who support peace, justice and human rights. Their participation is taken as support for AIPAC, an extremely conservative political action group with an agenda that is not aligned with our community’s values of equality, justice, human rights and dignity for all people. While we have multiple concerns about AIPAC’s positions, starting with the fact that it is a “closed door” meeting to which the press is not invited, we would like to highlight just a few: 1. AIPAC has been the driving force behind much of the opposition to the Iran nuclear deal that was negotiated by our government and other nations, beginning with its invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to break protocol and address the US Congress in March 2015. AIPAC has continued to lobby in opposition to this deal, spending an estimated $20 million in its campaign to defeat this accord. 2. AIPAC incorrectly states that it speaks “for the entire Jewish community”. AIPAC has at most 100,000 members, a small percentage of the six million American Jews. AIPAC uses a large amount of money from a small number of wealthy supporters to convince legislators that they represent the entire American Jewish community. 3. AIPAC’s unquestioning support for Israeli policy is extreme and problematic. They have used excessive influence and power to silence the debate on Israeli policy, claiming that any criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic. AIPAC’s position is dangerous in that it conflates any criticism of the government of the State of Israel (a nation like any other that should be subject to scrutiny) with being anti-Semitic. This is done to silence legitimate concerns about Israel’s violations of international law and human rights, and makes it much more difficult to actually call out anti-Semitism in cases where it does exist. 4. Through intense lobbying, AIPAC is behind legislation that has been introduced to both bodies of the US Congress, as well as in a number of states, that would stifle free speech in the guise of “Anti-BDS.” AIPAC is also responsible for recent legislation that does not differentiate between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian lands of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. This legislation is out of line with the international consensus and U.S. policy that settlements and land confiscation are violations of international law.