Friday, September 26, 2008

Code Pink: Bikes for anti-semites

Code Pink Meets Ahmadinejad
By Jennifer Lawinski

Activists from the radical anti-war group CodePink met with the president of Iran in New York on Wednesday, pitching a “peace park” and investment in a bicycle maker as ways to patch relations between the U.S. and the Islamic republic.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in New York to address the U.N. General Assembly, met with CodePink co-founders Jodie Evans and Medea Benjamin and about 150 peace activists at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.

During the two-hour meeting, members of CodePink presented the Iranian president with a petition signed by 50 American mayors calling for diplomacy, not war, in dealing with Iran. CodePink wants to take the mayors who signed the petition to Iran to create “sister cities.”

“We’re modeling diplomacy,” Evans said of her meeting with Ahmadinejad.

The group proposed letting artists create a “peace park” in Tehran and suggested making grassroots investments in an Iranian business that makes green and sustainable products like bicycles.

Investing in businesses in Iran violates U.S. sanctions against Iran.

Ahmadinejad told the group that he wants a million Americans to come to Iran, but members of CodePink have had trouble getting visas to visit the country — including Benjamin, who is Jewish. “I’m sure it’s because she’s a radical activist,” Evans said.

At the meeting, Ahmadinejad said that he would make sure Benjamin could get a visa to visit Iran.

Benjamin has offered public support of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and has spoken out against U.S. sanctions against Cuba. She is also the co-founder of Global Exchange, a group that organizes tours of Venezuelan neighborhoods and Chavez-supporting media outlets.

Evans has given a total $4,600 to the Obama campaign and $1,000 to former Democratic presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich.

Reports in the media have called her a bundler — or someone who uses networking to maximize campaign fundraising — for Obama’s campaign. Evans told FOXNews.com that she has never raised money for Obama, but her husband, Max Palevsky, has been a longtime major fundraiser for the campaign and has supported Obama since he was an Illinois state senator. Palevsky has also given money to the campaigns of Kucinich and to Sen. Christopher Dodd.

Evans said she knows Obama and sees him at public events. “Every time I see Obama I give him a hard time on his stance on the war,” she said. “There’s no such thing as a good war. I wouldn’t say I’m a supporter. I’m definitely a thorn in his side keeping him on the right path about war.”

Ahmadinejad told the group his dream is that Iran makes friends with the West. He said that if America really didn’t want Iran developing nuclear weapons, the U.S. would have already disarmed Israel.

“He’s really about peace and human rights and respecting justice,” Evans said.
http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/09/25/activists-talk-love-not-war-with-iranian-president/

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