#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.
RT IfNotNowOrg: Human blockade at #AIPAC2017#JewishResistance at L street. pic.twitter.com/tMfSduwANI— Elect Progressives!! (@ReformDNC) March 26, 2017
.@IfNotNowOrg protesters making waves outside the #AIPAC2017 conference pic.twitter.com/FOsjubmaf5— Alex Rubinstein (@rubi_reports) March 26, 2017
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.
SPEAKING NOW: Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair. Watch live: https://t.co/HmvBzGxib8pic.twitter.com/NBXxMfxmtW— AIPAC (@AIPAC) March 26, 2017
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.
Interview with @IfNotNowOrg member kicked out of #AIPAC2017 after dropping a banner pic.twitter.com/PydV0ESlU1— Alex Rubinstein (@rubi_reports) March 26, 2017
READ MORE: ‘Dismantle the disastrous deal’: Trump tells AIPAC Iran deal is 'number one priority'
The group claims, “AIPAC has used fear to silence moral voices and falsehoods to justify the occupation,” for many years.
For decades #AIPAC2017 has preyed on our community's trauma. But Islamaphobia & occupation are not our values. Shonda (shame)! #ResistAIPAC— IfNotNow (@IfNotNowOrg) March 26, 2017
AIPAC does not speak for all Jews. #JewishResistance at #AIPAC2017pic.twitter.com/QlyyBMqPH9— Tara Siegel (@TaraSiegel) March 26, 2017
So proud of 1000+ young Jews currently protesting #AIPAC2017 as they chant "occupation is not part of our Jewish values" #JewishResistancepic.twitter.com/QELyNwrrtq— Malaka (@MalakaShwaikh) March 26, 2017
Codepink protesting at #AIPAC2017 calling for end to Israeli settlements #stopaipacpic.twitter.com/KB2wMywhbV— Medea Benjamin (@medeabenjamin) March 26, 2017
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.
We have totally shut down both major entrances to #AIPAC2017. This is #JewishResistance. pic.twitter.com/4qXxknQ5mL— IfNotNow (@IfNotNowOrg) March 26, 2017
Right now thousands of #AIPAC2017 attendees can't get through #JewishResistance checkpoints. Wonder if they get it. #ResistAIPAChttps://t.co/909DjA75lZ— Rafael Shimunov 💬 (@rafaelshimunov) March 26, 2017
WELL DONE! ❤— The Hummingbird (@Alifaith55) March 26, 2017
1000+ strong #JewishResistance say no to Israeli occupation & have blocked entrance to #AIPAC2017#ResistAipac#AddYourVoicepic.twitter.com/tKsatgZJMW
Both main #AIPAC2017 entrances totally shut down by @IfNotNowOrg, demanding freedom & dignity for all – the #JewishResistance is beautiful! pic.twitter.com/uM2yUMt2P3— Collin Rees (@collinrees) March 26, 2017
Apparently the participants at #aipac / #aipac2017 are using underground tunnels to leave and enter the conference center.— Jacob Labendz (@Jacob_Labendz) March 26, 2017
#AIPAC2017#ShutDownAIPACpic.twitter.com/ZVzbzwpPMr— Alex Rubinstein (@rubi_reports) March 26, 2017
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.
Proud Shira Ruderman is representing @RudermanFdn at @AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington #AIPAC2017#RFFMKMissionpic.twitter.com/q44RvQYlMY— Jay Ruderman (@JayRuderman) March 26, 2017
Great talk @AIPAC on Israel, Weapon Wizards and the region. pic.twitter.com/5DkdYWzl8h— Yaakov Katz (@yaakovkatz) March 26, 2017
.@AmbDermer at #AIPAC2017: The greatest thing about @AIPAC 's policy conference is we're all on the same team. pic.twitter.com/6NGKLdrCbu— Embassy of Israel (@IsraelinUSA) March 26, 2017
Inside #AIPAC2017 Palestinian speakers and coexistence. Outside protesters calling for dividing the land and casting out Palestinians...🇮🇱🇵🇸— Eric M. Leiderman (@EricLeiderman) March 26, 2017
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.
READ MORE: Protesters storm lobby of Trump transition team building (VIDEO)