Washington, DC - March 7, 2014 8AM-5PM at the National Press Club

"..a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils."

-George Washington, Farewell Address


Speaker Transcripts Audio and Video

  In the Israel lobby's cross-hairs
(Video YouTube Audio MP3)

by Cynthia McKinney served six terms in the United States House of Representatives between 1993-2003.  McKinney was the first African-American woman to represent Georgia in the House. McKinney was the Green Party presidential candidate in 2008. McKinney earned a B.A. in international relations from the University of Southern California, an M.A. in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Before entering politics, she worked as a high school teacher and later as a university professor. 

Hi, this is Cynthia McKinney and I am please to be able to make this video presentation for the Washington Report on the Middle East [Washington Report on Middle East Affairs].

The way in which one can best understand the terrain is to do the research. One can go to the Congressional Record and read laying out the facts. Earl Hilliard was a member of Congress who served along with me. He was from Alabama, I was from Georgia. He was the first African-American to be elected to Congress from—since reconstruction and I was the first African-American woman to be elected to Congress from the State of Georgia.

So Earl and I together went to Washington, D.C. and we both served on the International Relations Committee and we both ended up being targeted by the pro-Israel lobby merely because we attempted to do our job and represent our constituents and represent the good people of the United States.

I've written a book. The name of the book is Ain't Nothing Like Freedom and it explains my experiences with the pro-Israel lobby from candidate to having a redistricting case go all the way up to the Supreme Court. And the Anti Defamation League becoming a party to that lawsuit joining in with five racists whites who did not want black representation for them and their community in Georgia in the Congress.

The next part of the comments that I'd like to make are around this issue of being caught in the eye of the storm. In a political campaign, the idea that's put forward is that you have to -- if you want to prevail, if you want to win, money, message and media are ways in which you can direct the torrents of the storm rather than to become a victim of the storm.

The pro-Israel lobby usually has a whole lot of money and those of us who act of conscience generally don't. You don't have to equal the dollars in the bank. What you do have to do is have enough money in order to do the things that are necessary in order to have a successful campaign. Enough does not necessarily mean the same as or equal to.

I ended up being extremely embarrassed for no fault of my own. And then only to be told when I challenged Andy [Andrew Young} and said what happened? Why did you do this? Then Andy said that he just didn't' want to make them upset. Him not making them upset meant that I became expendable to him and I was his friend, his -- my very first Chief of Staff was his daughter. And that was the way I was treated because he didn't want to make them upset.

Another item that I just jotted down in my notes was the need for critical discernment. Knowing who's who in the zoo. We need to read the media of the other side. So I make sure that I read Haaretz, I read Forward, I read the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Knowing who's who in the zoo will also lead you to my next topic, which is the 99 percent club. We have members of Congress who are wonderful on 99 percent of the issues, 99 percent of the votes. But it's the one issue when it comes to Israel and the United States relationship with Israel and holding Israel accountable for breaches of International law, breaches of U.S. law and our just sense of human rights and dignity, they're not good on those issues.

We have lots of members of Congress who are in the 99 percent club. But 99 percent unfortunately is not going to get that -- the 99 percent club are not going to be the members who will stop us from being involved in these wars. They're not going to be the members who will speak up when the United States is violating human rights and just basic dignity of other people.

The last item that I want to discuss is why is this important. It's important, one, because there's a group of us, we care about the dignity of the earth. We care about human dignity. We care about liberty. And we also know that you cannot support those war mongers, those who are ready to kill in an instant, those who hold cabinet meetings and decide that they're going to assassinate people. Those who are willing to support a President who by an executive order, by writing an executive order, will condemn to death an individual. Or those who will not stand in the way of the machine, the war machine when it decides that an entire country has to be destroyed.

We have to know who's who in the zoo. And 99 percent, that 99 percent club isn't good enough. It hasn't been good enough for the people of Palestine. It hasn't been good enough for the people of Libya. It hasn't been good enough for the people of Syria. It won't be good enough for the people of Ukraine. That 99 percent club is a club that at the end of the day is at the cutting edge of everything that we are against.

And so therefore, it's time for us to decide that we are going to win. It's time that we become the candidates who will say no to this awful agenda that dehumanizes, oppresses and represses.

I hope that you've received my message and that you understand that we have to utilize the tools that are there before us. The writings of others, the floor statements like Gus Savage's "Laying Out the Facts." That we have to understand who is our friend and who is in opposition to us. And sometimes our friends come from places where we least expect it. And those who are opposed to us come from places where we least expect it.

We have to understand that we have to remain open, our senses attuned to something new, to this new paradigm that has been thrust upon us. But if we want peace and not war, if we want dignity and not repression and oppression, if we want love and not division and hate, then we're going to have to adjust to this new political paradigm and find friends in places that we didn't find them before.

We're going to have to do things that we didn't think that we could do before. And we're going to have to step outside of our level of comfort. So for our sake and for our children's sake, let's do what we have to do to become winners.

Thank you.

Speaker Transcripts Audio and Video


Questions? Email to

© Copyright 2014.  All Rights reserved.