Members of Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights and other activists will gather this Sunday, March 6, to protest the annual community dinner of the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

According to local activist Michael Munk, protesters plan to pressure AIPAC, a pro-Israel lobbying organization, to take a stiffer line against Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

Past banquets sponsored by AIPAC have attracted Oregon's political elite, including U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Secretary of State Kate Brown, Attorney General John Kroger and former Gov. Ted Kulongoski. They have also attracted protesters and controversy, notably in 2009 when local antiwar protester Joe Walsh was arrested. Though a Multnomah County judge ruled against Walsh and in favor of Portland police, the case was eventually tossed out and Walsh's arrest ruled unconstitutional.

Munk, who attended last year's protest, said he recalled confusion about where protesters were allowed to stand. But he dismissed those as "technical issues."

"The question that I'm primarily concerned with is bringing attention to the role of Oregon AIPAC and its political influence," Munk said. "Its influence has led to the incredible isolation of the United States on the issue of illegal settlements, which Israel refuses to end, no matter who makes the suggestion."

The protest will be held from 4-6 pm at Mittleman Jewish Community Center, 6651 Capitol Highway.