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Help Us "Move Over AIPAC," May 21-24

March 31st, 2011

On March 19, the Israeli army fired artillery shells into the occupied and besieged Palestinian Gaza Strip, instantly killing Emad Farajallah and Qassem Abu Otaiwi, both aged 16 and both from al-Nussairat Refugee Camp.

The ordnance that killed Emad and Qassem may have been one of 337,861 artillery shells, valued at $9.2 million, which the United States licensed to Israel and paid for with our taxes from 2000 to 2006.

And that's not all. Three days later, the Israeli army fired four artillery shells into a residential area of Gaza City. According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, "the third shell landed near a number of boys who were playing football near their houses."  Two boys--Mohammed Harara and Mohammed al-Hilu--were killed and their bodies dismembered.

The fourth shell killed yet another child, as well as his grandfather, while they were trying to reach their car to evacuate the wounded to a hospital. 11 Palestinians, including eight children, also were injured in the barrage.

These shells may have been from the total of more than 47 million pieces of ammunition and ordnance, valued at $9.5 million, which the United States authorized for delivery to Israel from 2007 to 2009.

The misuse of U.S. weapons to commit these types of human rights abuses violates U.S. laws.

Yet, securing more weapons for Israel to brutalize Palestinians once again will be the top lobbying item on the agenda when the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) convenes its annual policy conference in Washington, DC, this May.

We won't let AIPAC's advocacy for more Israeli human rights abuses, military occupation, apartheid and inequality toward Palestinians go unchallenged

On May 21-24, join CODEPINK, the US Campaign and more than 80 peace and justice groups for an historic gathering:

"Move Over AIPAC:
Building a New U.S. Middle East Policy"

Your participation at these events, which include trainings, workshops, press conferences, book signings, cultural events and peaceful creative protests outside the AIPAC convention itself, is crucial.

By attending, you will send our decision-makers a clear message embodying our values that U.S. policy toward Palestine/Israel must be based on human rights, international law, and equality to achieve a just and lasting peace, and not on AIPAC's reckless and devastating agenda.

CODEPINK has assembled an amazing line-up of people for "Move Over AIPAC," including keynote speakers: The Israel Lobby authors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein, writer Alice Walker, consumer advocate Ralph Nader, authors Nadia Hijab and Phyllis Bennis, Palestinian blogger Laila El Haddad, Jewish Voice for Peace Director Rebecca Vilkomerson, peacemakers Cindy and Craig Corrie, Israeli researcher Dalit Baum, clown doctor Patch Adams, Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, union organizer Bill Fletcher, human rights advocate Anna Baltzer, and many more!

We invite you to join us at "Move Over AIPAC" to learn, to be inspired, to act, and to organize as we continue to build our national movement to challenge the harmful and hateful policies that AIPAC pursues.

Learn more about the events and register now.

And finally, a couple of related notes:

1: Tax Day--Monday, April 18, is fast approaching. Have you "offset" the estimated $21.59 that you'll pay in taxes this year for weapons to Israel? Donate NowMake your tax-deductible contribution to the US Campaign today and "offset" those taxes to help us continue our campaign to end military aid to Israel.

2:
On Tax Day, we will launch a comprehensive online index detailing 10 years of U.S. weapons transfers to Israel and the impact those weapons have on Palestinians. The data on artillery shells in the message above come from that database. Stay tuned for the unveiling of this important resource in a few weeks.