AIPAC's Festival of Organized Hate, otherwise known as the AIPAC Policy Conference, is once again taking place in Washington DC in March, coinciding with the beginning of Spring on March 21st. In years past AIPAC has often featured the very worst of extremists of various walks of life. It has featured John Bolton who could not even get the support of a Republican Senate majority for his placement as US ambassador to the United Nations. (see his chilling statements on his hopes for war with Iran in a talk with AIPAC donors here) . Then there was the keynote address by Rev. Hagee, a fanatical exponent of war and opponent of human rights for Palestinians. This year will be no different. The policy conference will again be cheerleading for war and the repression of human rights.
The well-known will be there, including Prime Minister Netanyahu and Tony Blair. More about them later. I wish to highlight a lessor known participant, who of late has made quite a name for himself, Mr. Martin Kramer. Many of you have seen articles of Martin Kramer's call for steps be taken to limit the population of Gaza by greater restriction of aid, what amounts to calls for genocide. Electronic Intifada has covered it, Tikun Olam and MJ Rosenberg have been following the story. Juan Cole also has a excellent write up on it, as does Mondoweiss.
Make no mistake, Kramer's call for the end of aid to UNRWA to families, is not about ending "rewards" for having babies, this is about, given the context of Israel's military siege on the people of Gaza, preventing the means of physical and healthy survival of an entire population. It is a call for genocidal action against the people of Gaza. It is Kramer's contention that Gaza has a "superfluous" population, and that the world should deal with it by doing what it can to limit births.
It is our view at Stop AIPAC that no people are "superfluous".
So naturally, we are not surprised that AIPAC sees in Martin Kramer a source of wisdom. Kramer will be part of two panels at the AIPAC event. One takes place on Sunday, where he sits with noted anti-Muslim crusader Steve Emerson. (see aipac's schedule) and talks about "Terror in Our Backyard: Islamic Radicalism in the United States". On Monday Martin Kramer sits with a Democratic member of Congress and discusses "Iranian Interference: The Islamic Republic's Number One Export,: Terrorism" (schedule). That Congressman is Brad Sherman of California's San Fernando Valley. It is interesting to note that in fact this Congressman seems to be of like-mind with Kramer, as he was one of a relative few that co-sponsored a resolution H.Con.Res.29, attacking UNRWA, that provides aid for Palestinian refugees (in this fortunate and all-too rare instance, this anti-Palestinian resolution got no where, an aipac-supported initiative only garnered 31 co-sponsors since it was introduced a year ago).
Can we get Cong. Brad Sherman to make a statement affirming that the people of Gaza have a right to live, and disassociating himself from Kramer's extremist statements? It might be worth a try. Call and leave a firm but polite call to demand that Sherman disassociate himself with Martin Kramer's extremist statement, and to cancel his appearance with him at the aipac conference. Enough is enough. Starvation is not a valid foreign policy. Here is Sherman's contact numbers: In Washington DC (202) 225-5911, in San Fernando Valley it is (818) 501-9200. If you know of people in his district that would call his office, that would be most effective. Spread the word.