Speech | Given by AWC Member J.P. Mason at the 2011 Minnesota AIPAC Conference in Minneapolis

by J.P. Mason

This speech was delivered by AWC Member J.P. Mason at the 2011 Minnesota AIPAC Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on June 30, 2011.

I am here today as a member of the Minneapolis-based Anti-War Committee to denounce the pro-Israeli lobby AIPAC and the war crimes and crimes against humanity which this lobby enables and perpetuates. The fact is, this lobbying group has manipulated and coerced American politicians so much so that it becomes nearly impossible to get elected unless you speak out in favor of the U.S. / Israeli bond. In doing so, this lobby has created an air of fear in which any politician or person speaking out against U.S./Israeli foreign policy or the 3 billion in U.S. military aid to the Israeli government is labeled anti-Semitic, or in the case of several members on the Anti-War Committee, as supporters of terrorism.

On September 24th last year, FBI agents and members of the joint terrorism task force raided the homes of peace and anti-war activists in Minneapolis and Chicago as well as the offices of the Anti-War Committee, and issued subpoenas to 14 activists to appear before a federal grand jury in an investigation of alleged material support for terrorism. The number of activists subpoenaed to date has grown to 23, and one of the common threads that has emerged in this “investigation” is related to the activists’ solidarity work with the people of occupied Palestine.

Time and time again, local, state and federal politicians mechanically recite to the American people that the U.S. and Israel share common values and guiding principles, and that a “strong and secure Israel is in the national interest of the United States.” And despite all of the seemingly vast “differences” between the parties, it seems that Republicans and Democrats alike can agree on necessity of U.S. military aid to Israeli. Barack Obama calls himself a “friend of AIPAC,” and even Governor Dayton took time out of his schedule, just days before an impending state government shutdown, to come and speak before AIPAC today. The sinister truth remains: to even question the “unbreakable bond” between the U.S. and Israel is “unpatriotic” or “un-American” and in the case of the Anti-War Committee and 23 peace and anti-war solidarity activists across the country, quite possibly illegal. AIPAC represents an extreme Zionist agenda; their success has come only through their vast resources and their ability to create a political situation in the United States in which it becomes impossible for politicians and citizens alike to question the U.S.-Israeli war machine.

When politicians repeatedly describe the bonds between Israel and the United States as “unbreakable,” what they really means is that dissenting voices will NOT be tolerated. But let’s be very clear; AIPAC does NOT represent the voice of all Jewish people, just as the U.S. government does not represent the voice of all U.S. citizens. Hundreds of thousands of Jews across the world, and organizations such as Jewish Voice for Peace understand the lies that AIPAC espouses, and, recognizing their common humanity, work in solidarity with the oppressed people of Palestine toward a more just future that celebrates the common humanity present in us all.

AIPAC describes itself as an organization of “grassroots activists” that “fights for this common cause from the bottom up.” The real grassroots activists are out here on the streets today, screaming at the top of our lungs trying to make our voice known and understood. We don’t have a $65 million dollar annual budget, or the president and two-thirds of members of congress at our disposal. And we certainly don’t have the means to host $1000/plate dinners across the country; but we have the truth and the common dream that another world is possible, and I’d take that any day over AIPAC’s lies. AIPAC represents the perversion of the U.S. political system, and the ability of money to buy ideology, but it does not represent the way things have to be. The reality is, THE WALL WILL FALL! Maybe not today – maybe not tomorrow, but it will fall! And on that day, AIPAC will be lying in the wall’s destruction.