A “Move Over AIPAC” activist who interrupted Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu during his speech to US Congress has been hospitalised due to injuries received. The protester claims she was beaten by AIPAC activists before being detained. Rae Abileah, a 28 year old Jewish American of Israeli descent, heckled Netanyahu from the gallery of US Congress. Abileah shouted “stop Israeli war crimes”. She was confronted by American Israel Public Affairs Committee members in the gallery who tackled her to the ground before she was led out by security.
“They assaulted me and I fell on the floor. The activists strangled me and beat me. Then I was dragged out by police who arrested me,’ Abileah said. According to JNet, she was hospitalised with suspected neck and shoulder injuries and released into police custody after some hours.
Having travelled to Gaza last year, the activist from Codepink, one of the members of the “Move Over AIPAC” coalition, said she felt compelled to speak out against what she views to be Israeli war crimes. “As a Jew and an American taxpayer, I can’t be silent when these crimes are being committed in my name and with my tax money” she said.
The Move Over AIPAC coalition is a coalition of over 100 civil society organisations in America organised to hold counter demonstrations during Benjamin Netanyahu’s six day visit to the US.
Abileah’s actions highlighted a recent problematic phenomenon for Netanyahu; a vocal and persistent movement of mainly young Jewish people critical of Israeli policy in Palestine. The activist said, ‘we are a young generation of Jews who don’t intend to sit by in silence and allow prime ministers who commit crimes against humanity speak,’.