Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Yonatan Shapira Speaks in Kingston

“What I am asking for is a new Jewish lobby in America, one that acts in the love of Israel.”

So spoke Yonatan Shapira at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Catskills in Kingston on Sunday, April 29. Mr. Shapira, a former Black Hawk Helicopter pilot in the Israeli Defense Force, talked about his growing sense of unease about the Israeli occupation of Palestine. In the end, Mr. Shapira refused to serve in the West Bank and Gaza, and instead helped organize a group of like-minded veterans in Israel, Combatants for Peace combatantsforpeace.org.

Mr. Shapira described in detail the role of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in controlling the US Congress and stifling debate about the suffering of the Palestinians. “There is a joke in Israel,” Mr. Shapira said. “We were offered a chance to become the 51st state, but turned it down. That would give us only two US Senators.”

Describing himself as a lover of Israel, Mr. Shapira is traveling around the United States, trying to free the American people from the influences of the Israeli lobby, an impediment to genuine peace for the Israeli people. "As a Jew, as a lover of Israel, you must stand up and criticize the government of Israel. No one can call you an anti-Semite. It is your job to be a non-insane Jew."

Yonatan Shapira’s talk was sponsored by the Middle East Crisis Response http://www.mideastcrisis.org.

Permission granted to use text and photographs in any news article.

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