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26 Mar, 2017 18:41

#JewishResistance: Protesters block AIPAC conference calling for end to Israel occupation (VIDEOS)

#JewishResistance: Protesters block AIPAC conference calling for end to Israel occupation (VIDEOS)

Jewish protesters blocked the entrance to the annual pro-Israel American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference at the Washington Convention Center, calling for an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.

The three-day conference began Sunday in what AIPAC describes as the “largest and most important advocacy day” for the pro-Israel community. Up to 15,000 people were expected to attend the event, according to organizers, and its speakers on Sunday included former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

A protest organized by If Not Now, a Jewish movement lobbying to end the American Jewish community’s support for the occupation, took place outside the center. Protesters formed a human blockade, preventing access at both entrances of the convention center after marching from Franklin Square.

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The group claims, “AIPAC has used fear to silence moral voices and falsehoods to justify the occupation,” for many years.

If Not Now said in a statement they were expecting up to 1,000 American Jews from its branches in Boston, New York, Chicago, Denver, Philadelphia, and Washington DC to take part in the demonstration.

The conference continued inside with attendees posting content on social media for the event. The organizers have yet to make any comment about the protest.

US Vice President Mike Pence and former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper are due to address the conference later in the evening, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also confirmed to speak at the event.

Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer as well as Republicans Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan will address AIPAC later in the week.

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