It’s only been about a week and a half since Freshman Representative-Elect Rashida Tlaib announced she will be rejecting AIPAC’s pro-occupation trip to Israel offered for freshmen members of Congress. Yesterday, another incoming member of Congress — progressive superstar Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — announced she will be skipping the propaganda trip too!!!
When new Congress members travel with AIPAC, they don’t meet with the Palestinian families whose children — some as young as 12 years old — get detained and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system. They don’t see the Palestinian homes that get demolished or hear about the Israeli army opening fire on nonviolent protesters. They don’t see the Jewish-only roads that criss-cross the West bank or walk through the checkpoints Palestinians have to pass through on a daily basis.
AIPAC trips skillfully whitewash Israel’s system of occupation and apartheid so that Congress members return to D.C. ready to do the Israel lobby’s bidding: implementing a pro-occupation agenda that ignores Israeli human rights violations and sends $3.8 billion annually to Israel in military aid — 100% of which comes right back to U.S. weapons’ companies who are making huge profits from Israeli war crimes!
Not only should freshman members of Congress skip the AIPAC propaganda trip, but they should join Rashida Tlaib, the first Palestinian-American member of Congress, on the grassroots congressional delegation she will be leading to the West Bank. Her trip will focus on the real situation in Gaza, focusing on poverty, Israeli military detention of Palestinian children, unequal access to clean water, and possibly a visit to the village where Tlaib’s grandmother lives.
Towards a new day,
Ursula, Ariel, and the entire CODEPINK team