Why Sasha Gelzin disrupted Netanyahu at AIPAC - interview




In an interview with The Electronic Intifada moments ago, Sasha Gelzin, 23, an activist with CODEPINK described what happened when she and four others disrupted the keynote speech of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington on Monday evening.

CODEPINK issued a press release about tonight’s protests stating:

The protesters, 5 in all, rose one by one, unfurled banners, and chanted slogans. In response to Netanyahu’s claim that returning to the 1967 borders would be “indefensible,” activists called out that various aspects of Israel’s policy are indefensible.”

Gelzin told The Electronic Intifada by telephone, “The word indefensible has a more significant meaning than just borders. It also means ‘unjustifiable.’ We had to reclaim this word because all these types of Israeli apartheid are indefensible.”

Among the slogans the five protestors called out were:

  • “Occupying land is indefensible”
  • “Starving Gaza is indefensible”
  • “Bulldozing homes is indefensible”
  • “Silencing dissent is indefensible”
  • “Displacing refugees is indefensible”

Gelzin said that as protestors stood up, AIPAC delegates immediately began chanting and booing in order to drown the dissenting voices out. The protestors were escorted out of the building but none were arrested, Gelzin said.

Asked why she chose to take part in tonight’s protest Gelzin said: “I have constant nightmares about white phosphorus falling on Gazan children.”

Referring to the fact that Israel and the AIPAC conference exclude Palestinians, Gelzin added, “we have to stand up and give a voice to those people in a place they can’t enter. We have to make Netanyahu uncomfortable wherever he goes. He should never forget what Israel is doing to the Palestinians.”

Move Over AIPAC has held protests and actions in Washington to coincide with the AIPAC Policy Conference.

Tags

Comments

picture

Remember how those attending the president's speech were threatened with arrest if they spoke against his policies?

picture

thank you Sasha and to CODEPINK. I have family in Gaza and what they went through in 2008-2009 was hell.

Ali Abunimah

Ali Abunimah's picture

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine, now out from Haymarket Books.

Also wrote One Country: A Bold-Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Opinions are mine alone.