This article is sourced from Democracy Now and based on their report (as linked).
Text Reproduced from Democracy Now:
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech was warmly received by Democrats and Republicans in Congress on Tuesday.
According to ABC News, he received 29 standing ovations during his address—four more than President Obama received during his State of the Union address earlier in the year.
However, there was at least one dissenting voice inside the halls of Congress on Tuesday. Rae Abileah, a Jewish-American activist of Israeli descent with the peace group CodePink, disrupted Netanyahu’s speech.
Standing in the congressional gallery, she yelled, “No more occupation! Stop Israel war crimes! Equal rights for Palestinians! Occupation is indefensible!”
As she screamed, members in the audience tackled her to the ground, and undercover security forces later dragged her outside. She was taken to George Washington University Hospital where she was treated for neck and shoulder injuries.
At the hospital, police arrested Abileah and charged her with disorderly conduct for disrupting Congress. Her protest came as part a week-long series of actions organized by CodePink called Move Over AIPAC. We speak to Abileah about why she used nonviolent civil disobedience to disrupt Netanayahu’s speech.
Transcript excerpts from the Democracy Now interview, reproduced by KRC and appended here:
Rae Abileah: “It was absolutely despicable to see our Congress pandering to Netanyahu as if he was the President of the United States. And I think after seeing this speech every American should be outraged…”
Amy Goodman: “What were you just saying? You were tackled by members of APEC?”
Rae Abileah: “…the people that were sitting around me in the gallery of Congress yesterday were mostly wearing badges from the APEC-Israel lobby conference and I did not expect that people holding such power and representing such a huge lobby group would respond so violently to my peaceful disruption…
…if this is what democracy looks like, that when you speak out for freedom and justice you get tackled to the ground you get physically violated and assaulted and then you get hauled off to jail, this is not the kind of democracy I want to live in…”
Rae Abileah: “I feel this tremendous responsibility as a Jewish-American to speak out for justice and against these war-crimes that are being committed in my name, as a Jew, as a US tax-payer…”