Barack may be barracked at AIPAC

May 19, 2011

Move Over AIPAC, an organisation founded to oppose the pro-Israel lobby group, will hold a demonstration directly outside the doors of this Sunday's AIPAC conference at which US President Barack Obama is due to speak.

The conference, which is expected to draw a number of prominent US politicians and 10,000 delegates from all 50 states, follows a tumultuous period in the Middle East, with the announcement of a new unity government between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority and violence last Sunday on the anniversary of the founding of Israel. The President is likely to address the US view of the way forward given the Hamas-PA link-up, according to reports.

Move Over AIPAC, which held a counter-conference in New York last week, is also planning to demonstrate outside the White House when Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu visits. It will stage "creative protests" including a "people-powered Gaza flotilla", according to organiser Rae Abileah. Ms Abileah, who said she is a Jewish-American of Israeli descent, said they expect several hundred protesters. "AIPAC has created this stranglehold on Congress," she said. "The next generation of Jews aren't buying it."

Move Over AIPAC sparked controversy when it invited journalist Helen Thomas, who was forced to retire as a White House correspondent when she said that "Jews should get the hell out of Palestine", to its alternative conference. Ms Abileah denied that the invitation was withdrawn, but Ms Thomas will now "cover" their activities.

Last updated: 2:34pm, May 19 2011