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81 Members of US Congress In Israel Pledging $30 Billion to Apartheid State from Heavily Indebted America

By Mazin Qumsiyeh

Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, August 15, 2011

Four actions: Please take at least two of them
Action 1: Join us Saturday 10 AM Palestine Ramadan Time in Al-Walaja as villagers continue to see their lands destroyed. Last Wednesday at 8 AM, some 60-80 human rights advocates marched with drums and chants to the sites inside Al-Walaja al-Jadia (the new Al-Walaja) where the Israeli occupation forces are uprooting trees and destroying the beautiful landscape to separate people from their agricultural lands and to allow for further expansion of illegal colonies built on Palestinian lands.  Five Israelis were kidnapped. Later after the actual event, the Israeli soldiers came into town to terrorize the locals and one Palestinian was taken from his house and treated badly even though he was not in the demonstration with us.
The Struggle video network featured Al-Walaja and part of my talk in March abou the town
Action 2: Marwa was shot in the head 10 years ago.  She is now 20 and a university student. However, her original injury has led to severe dental problems that her family cannot afford. Some friends in Palestine have arranged for a dentist to begin work with some money we’ve already raised, but the work will not be finished until we raise another $4000. If anyone is interested in helping Marwa you can send a contribution to the Hartford Catholic Worker with Marwa noted on the memo line. See
Action 3: This August break is for Members of Congress to be at home, meeting with constituents to hear about our concerns. … Instead, 81 Representatives--nearly 20% of the House--are hightailing off to Israel on an all-expense-paid junket organized by an affiliate of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).  Israel's goal there is to lobby the Representatives to continue sending the Israeli military $30 billion of our tax money -- the amount pledged for these 10 years (2009-2018). That means sending money we won't have for jobs and healthcare to buy weapons for Israel to perpetuate its illegal military occupation and apartheid policies toward Palestinians. It's time to "name and shame" these Members of Congress who put more weapons for Israel ahead of their own constituents' economic rights. We need you to take action today
Also similar actions called by Code Pink
See also "Israel Lobby Dominates Congress, Media Covers it Up" by Alison Weir, August 11, 2011
Action 4: Roadmap to Apartheid, a documentary film examining the apartheid analogy is near completion!  Narrated by Alice Walker, Roadmap to Apartheid is promising to be the definitive documentary that compares and contrasts South African apartheid with Israeli policies and practices. It will be a very important and useful tool for BDS organizing worldwide.  Finishing funds are lacking to take it through the home stretch.  Learn about the current fundraising campaign here:
Inspiring Video on a group of activists who rode bicycles from London to visit with us in Palestine
In Tumult, New Hope for Palestinian Cause
How Palestinian Authority’s UN "statehood" bid endangers Palestinian rights

Come visit us in Palestine this October for the Olive Harvest season and this Christmas for a week of activities.  Watch for more details next email. Meantime, act, act, act…
Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
A Bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at home


81 members of Congress visit Israel

Steny Hoyer will lead a group of Democrats on a trip to Israel over the recess.

Congress has a new hot spot this summer - Israel.

Over the three-week recess, 81 members — 55 Republicans and 26 Democrats — will take a trip to the Jewish state, the Jerusalem Post reported Monday. That breaks down to about 20 percent of the House who will spend a week of their August break in Israel.

The first group of visitors, made up of the 26 Democrats and headed by Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), is set to arrive Monday. Two Republican delegations will follow, with one of the groups being led by Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.).

There are 47 freshmen members scheduled to take the week-long trips, the Jerusalem Post said, and for many it will be their first time in Israel.

The American Israel Education Foundation, a charity group connected with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, is sponsoring the visits. The organization brings delegations from Congress to Israel on similar trips every other August.

The representatives, who will travel to Israel and the West Bank, are scheduled to meet with both Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on the West Bank.

Among those arriving in Monday’s Democratic delegation are Reps. Jesse Jackson Jr. (Ill.), Betty Sutton (Ohio) and Mark Critz (Pa.), the Post reports.

In a statement, Hoyer said he is “pleased members of Congress have this opportunity to study American interests in the Middle East and gain a deeper understanding of the issues involved in increasing stability in the region.”

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