Pro-Palestinian activists have demonstrated outside the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference in Washington, DC to protest against the most powerful pro-Israel lobbying group in the United States.
The demonstration, which was largely attended by members of the left-wing Jewish Resistance group, on Sunday came a day ahead of the annual AIPAC conference in Washington, DC.
The protesters condemned the pro-Israel policies of US President Donald Trump and the ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory as well as continued Israeli settlement activity in the occupied land.
“We’re protesting [AIPAC] en masse as Jews to say that to be Jewish in America at this moment doesn’t mean to support Israel unconditionally,” said 25-year-old Yonah Lieberman, one of the co-founders of the anti-settlement group IfNotNow, which organized the rally.
Lieberman called the march as “the biggest ever Jewish-led protest of AIPAC.”
“AIPAC is the largest institution that supports Israeli settlements,” he said Sunday. “They’ve done more in the past 50 years to support occupation than anyone else in the Jewish community.”
A number of non-Jewish activists like academic Cornel West also participated in Sunday’s protest, which saw protesters briefly blocking the doors of the AIPAC conference.
Meanwhile, clashes erupted when members of the far-right Zionist Jewish Defense League tried to disrupt the protest.
The lobbying group AIPAC influences the US Congress to adopt pro-Zionist policies. AIPAC critics have said it acts as an agent of the Israeli regime and has a “stranglehold” on Congress with its extensive influence and financial power.
The group has been accused of being strongly allied with the Likud party in Israel, and the Republican Party in the United States.