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Appreciating Freedom

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As I was approaching the Washington D.C. convention center about amonth ago, I was extremely excited to go and attend the AIPAC Policy Conference. As we got closer, it seemed as though the only people in D.C. that day were attendees of the conference. I was so excited! As the convention center was only across the street, I saw protestors. These protestors bothered me to my core, yes I expected them, but hearing about something and seeing them are two totally different things. I was not bothered by the Westboro Church and their signs which are to grotesque to mention here, what I was most upset about were the protestors with signs protraying so called Israeli injustices. "Code Pink" as they are called, were out not only with signs and complaints about Israeli policy, but also about American and British policies. As you walked in and out of the convention center they would yell at you with their megaphone and hold up signsmaking everyone walk in almost single file. Do these people realize that if they were under the control of the PA or Hamas, they could be jailed or even in prison for holding a rally like this? If they were in Ramallah or Rafah, they would not even think to hold protests against Mahmoud Abbas or Ismail Haniyah, they would most likely be never seen again in society. On top of this, with over half the senate and congress in attendance, as well as leaders from around the world, somehow these protestors got in during Prime Minister netanyahu's speech and screamed at him. She was immediatly taken down, but again, this just made me think of how this person probably would never even think about what the reprecussions would be if she went and protested a speaker in the muslim world. The only time someone from our group interacted with them was when they asked someone with a sign, "When am I getting my free gaza?". Besides this, the conference was incredible, with speakers such as Tony Blair, Hillary Clinton, Bibi Netanyahu, Richard Kemp, and the Pastor DeeDee Coleman. If anyone does not know who the last two speakers are, I very highly reccomend that you go to http://www.aipac.org/PC2010/ and watch their speeches, for non-jews to say what they said was truly inspiring and incredible.

Posted by Evan Gewirtz

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