The Coalition for Palestinian Rights (CPR)

A Minnesota based Palestinian Solidarity Coalition

  • August 2007
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Demand that Ellison Keep his Commitment to Peace in the Middle East

Posted by Administrator on August 5, 2007

 Keith Ellison has broken his commitment to taking an independent and
balanced trip to Israel and Palestine by agreeing to participate in a
Congressional delegation funded fully by an organization affiliated with
AIPAC. Support from activists in the peace and justice, and Muslim
communities were critical for Keith Ellison’s election victory. We
campaigned for him in critical part because he promised to work for a just
and peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis. In numerous
meetings before and after the election, Ellison promised that he would be
travelling to Israel and Palestine after elected, and that it would be a
balanced trip where he would meet independently with people supporting the
Israeli government, representatives of the Palestinian community and
gernuine Jewish Peace activists. Ellison responded with understanding to
concerns about the typical pattern of congress people taking trips that are
paid for and organized by the Israeli lobby in order to make sure that
elected representatives are only exposed to the rightwing Israeli point of
view. Now Ellison has abandoned his commitment and announced that this
month, he will be part of a trip funded by the American Israel Education
fund, an “charitable” organization affiliated with AIPAC.

Please call Ellison at (612) 522-1212, and demand that he decline to
participate in the AIPAC trip, and instead plan an independent trip devoted
to meeting with grassroots activists working for peace and justice.

The Coalition for Palestinian Rights (CPR)

Ellison to take weeklong trip to Israel, meet with Israeli, Palestinian

Just back from Iraq, he will return to the Middle East on a privately
funded trip including 19 Congress members.

By Kevin Diaz and Jake Sherman, Star Tribune
Last update: August 01, 2007 – 8:41 PM

Ellison to take weeklong trip to Israel, meet with Israeli, Palestinian
leaders WASHINGTON – Rep. Keith Ellison will spend a week in Israel on a
privately funded trip sponsored by the America Israel Education Federation.
The AIEF — the charitable arm of the American-Israel Public Affairs
Committee (AIPAC) — is sending 19 members of Congress to meet with Israeli
and Palestinian leaders Aug. 12 through Aug. 18. The group, made up mostly
of freshman Democrats, has plans to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud
Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. The senior
member on the trip is House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., who has
gone three times. Rick Jauert, Ellison’s spokesman, said that Hoyer
personally invited the Minnesota Democrat.

“This is not an ideologically driven trip,” said Josh Block, a spokesman
with AIPAC. “The trip will have a wide variety of people with diverse
perceptions. They will be up early in the mornings and have dinner by 8
[p.m.] so they are done by 11 [p.m.].”

Jauert called the Israel trip “a natural extension” of Ellison’s visit to
Iraq last weekend. “It’s another opportunity to meet and talk to people, to
listen and learn. Dialogue is everything to him, and the more he can have,
with more people, the better.”

Jauert said Ellison’s engagement with the Middle East peace issue is
important to the diverse communities of his Minneapolis-area district —
from the Jewish Community Relations Council to the patrons of the Holy Land
Middle Eastern eatery on Lake Street and Central Avenue. “He hears about it
every time he goes back to his district,” Jauert said.

The group will stay in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and one night in the northern
Galilee region. While in Israel’s north, the group will view its border
with Lebanon.

The trip to Israel is Ellison’s second as a congressman. In the spring, he
traveled to the region as part of a congressional delegation with House
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Later this month, Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., will lead an AIEF-sponsored trip
comprised of Republicans.

Jake Sherman • 202-408-2723


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