Text of a speech by Bill Paparian at an antiwar rally in L.A. on Aug. 12, 2006 during the Lebanon invasion.
Paparian, a former Mayor of Pasadena, CA., is running for Congress (CA-29) as a Green against incumbent Democrat, Adam “I Love Wars” Schiff.
“We have all watched this past summer in silent, numbing horror at the televised images of the moonscape rubble of once-lovely Lebanese villages. A million desperate people trying to survive Israeli aerial attacks as they carry their children down cratered roads. The limp bodies of children pulled from the dusty basements of crushed buildings.
In systematically failing to distinguish between Hezbollah fighters and the civilian population in its military campaign in Lebanon, Israel has committed war crimes. There is no military objective significant enough to justify attacks that risks civilian life. In many cases, there was no identifiable military target. In still other cases Israeli forces appear to have deliberately targeted civilians. By consistently failing to distinguish between combatants and civilians, Israel has violated one of the most fundamental tenets of the laws of war: the duty to carry out attacks on only military targets. The pattern of attacks during the Israeli offensive in Lebanon suggests that the failures cannot be explained or dismissed as mere accidents; the extent of the pattern and the seriousness of the consequences indicate the commission of war crimes.
As U.S. taxpayers we have the right to demand that our government not supply weapons to any foreign government that would use such weapons in attacks on innocent civilians. The attacks on innocent Lebanese and Palestinian civilians is a clear violation of the Geneva Convention and also the U.S. Arms Export Control Act. The Israeli military flyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s only fighter planes manufactured in the United States. We must demand that our government uphold the law and insist that weapons provided by U.S. taxpayers are not used by Israel to attack innocent civilians. And we must demand that the Israeli government be held accountable for the death and destruction it has inflicted on innocent civilians in Lebanon and Gaza.
AmericaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s foreign policy has been held hostage for too long by the pro-Israel lobby. It has distorted American policy and operated against American interests. It has organized the funneling of more billions of dollars to Israel and has a stranglehold on the U.S. Congress. Its ability to raise large campaign funds gives it vast influence over both Republican and Democratic administrations, while its role in Washington think tanks on the Middle East dominates the policy debate. The Israeli lobby works ruthlessly to suppress questioning of its role, to blacken the reputation of its critics and to crush serious debate about the wisdom of supporting Israel. Skeptics are silenced by organizing blacklists and boycotts Ã¢â‚¬â€œ or by suggesting that critics are anti-Semitic.
One example of how the Israeli lobby has exerted control over the U.S. Congress can be found in the incumbent representative for the 29th Congressional District, Adam Schiff, who has received over $35,000 in Israeli lobby money. Mr. Schiff had this to say about the Israeli lobby in the House of Representatives on September 15, 2004: “I have worked with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee throughout my tenure in Congress and I have found its members to be dedicated, patriotic Americans who deeply believe that the security of the United States and the security of Israel are mutually dependent.”
Some of these Ã¢â‚¬Å“dedicated, patriotic AmericansÃ¢â‚¬Â have been indicted on charges of violating the Espionage Act and are now awaiting trial in a federal court in Alexandria Virginia. Lawrence Franklin, the former Iran desk officer in for the Secretary of Defense has already pleaded guilty and has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for passing secrets to Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, high ranking employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. These two Ã¢â‚¬Å“dedicated, patriotic AmericansÃ¢â‚¬Â have been charged with conspiring to communicate the national defense information supplied to them by Franklin to the Israeli government.
Just two weeks prior to Adam SchiffÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s speech on the floor of Congress praising their patriotism, the FBI raided the offices of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and seized computer hard drives on August 27, 2004. CBS News broke the story that same day that the FBI was investigating a possible spy in the Department of Defense working for Israel. By the time Mr. Schiff made his speech, the involvement of the American Israel Public Relations Committee in spying for Israel against the national interests of the United States was already publicly known.
Mr. SchiffÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s speech was an obscene example of the power the Israeli lobby wields in Washington. Adam Schiff is a former federal prosecutor best known for convicting a FBI agent for espionage. It was no accident that as part of the Israeli lobbyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s damage control when publicly exposed as a nest of spies for Israel, Mr. Schiff was tasked to stand up on the floor of Congress to sing their patriotic praises. WhatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s now clear is that there is nothing Ã¢â‚¬Å“AmericanÃ¢â‚¬Â about the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The upcoming trial of this case will expose the Israeli lobby for what it really is: the eyes and ears of the Israeli intelligence agency the Mossad in Washington. As we have demanded that end of the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon and Gaza, we also must demand the end of the Israeli occupation of Washington, DC.”