The Cape Cod Times whitewashes the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement (ISM) in its July 5, 2004 feature “Mideast sojourn inspires activist” by Karen Jeffrey. The article lionizes the group and one of its activists, Neal Ahern. While the piece notes that a member of the Canadian Parliament nominated the organization for a Nobel Peace Prize, it does not include a single mention of the many controversial statements or actions of ISM and its members.
ISM supports Palestinian “armed struggle”
* The group’s Web site states:
As enshrined in international law and UN resolutions, we recognize the Palestinian right to resist Israeli violence and occupation via legitimate armed struggle. However, we believe that nonviolence can be a powerful weapon in fighting oppression and we are committed to the principles of nonviolent resistance.
* In a January 2002 article for Palestine Journal, ISM founders Adam Shapiro and his then-fiancée (now wife), Palestinian-American Huwaida Arraf, wrote that non-violent activities should take place in addition to (not in place of) armed resistance, because the non-violent activities are good for PR purposes. Shapiro and Arraf wrote in the Palestine Chronicle (1/29/02):
[T]he use of nonviolence is about control and power – those who maintain nonviolence and exploit the use of violence by the oppressor maintain control and power, which is something that can be manipulated to present a story, a case or an image.
… we accept that the Palestinians have a right to resist with arms … Palestinian resistance must take on a variety of characteristics – both nonviolent and violent…
* Currently on the ISM Web site are links such as www.freebarghouti.org, which justify Marwan Barghouti’s “right” to commit terrorism, or what they call “armed struggle.”
Founders of ISM glorify terrorists, seek to prevent the arrest of terrorists and justify terrorism
* Shapiro and Arraf also characterized “suicide operations” as “noble.” in the January 2002 article. They stated that Palestinians killed in nonviolent protests will have died in a manner:
… no less noble than carrying out a suicide operation. And we are certain that if these men were killed during such an action, they would be considered shaheed Allah…
* The March 20, 2003 Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported that ISM activist Susan Barclay told the paper “she knowingly worked with representatives from Hamas and Islamic Jihad.” Hamas and Islamic Jihad are terrorist organizations.
* International Solidarity Movement members inserted themselves between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian terrorists after terrorists took over the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem in April/May 2002. The New York Times reported on ISM’s participation:
On a day of more fatal gunfire, and a scramble by foreign peace activists carrying food into the Church of the Nativity, Palestinian negotiators offered a compromise to end the month long standoff between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian gunmen inside…But a high-ranking defense official said it was unlikely the proposal would be accepted because Israel classifies about 25 men inside the church as the most dangerous of terrorists…
…The activists are members of the International Solidarity Movement…
…Ms. Schurr (ISM activist) said she was happy to be inside the compound in solidarity with the Palestinians… “Our intention is to stay until the Palestinians are allowed to leave without fear of being arrested or killed,” Ms.Schurr said. (New York Times,May 3, 2002)
* ISM members sit in terrorists’ houses scheduled for demolition and act as “human shields” for Palestinians during military incursions, hindering Israeli soldiers’ movements and placing the soldiers and themselves in grave danger.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Brian Avery, an ISM activist injured in Israel, sent his family an email shortly before he was wounded explaining that “the group’s main ‘actions’ … consisted of ‘being monitors and witnesses at military checkpoints’ and ‘lodging in the homes of the families of individuals who chose suicide bombing as their method of resisting the occupation.’ “(Oct. 26, 2003)
Illinois resident and ISM activist, Kevin Clark told the February 13, 2003 Palentine Countryside that “he stayed at the family home of Burak Khelfi, who carried out a Jan. 5 suicide bombing in Tel Aviv. Clark stayed in the home with other internationals to protect it from demolition by the Israeli Occupation Forces.”
* Clark, on the Web site “Stop US Tax-funded Aid to Israel Now!” (SUSTAIN), a group of which Clark is a member, glorified the suicide bomber as a “martyr.” His article also highlights the type of irresponsible actions ISM activists engage in.
Last evening, I along with two young “internationals”, stayed at the home of one of the Tel Aviv Martyrs’ families to protect them should the IOF appear to demolish their home. This is the same home that I have stayed in several nights and have been honored by their warmth. This morning at approximately 4AM, I had a sense that something was wrong and a few seconds later the sound of a car motor prompted me to look out the window as 6 military vehicles pulled up in front of the home. We quickly awaken the family and got them away from windows that could be shattered by bullets. The three ISM (International Solidarity Movement) volunteers took our positions in windows and witnessed the soldiers with M16 rifles enter a home across the street to arrest a young man.
* On April 30, 2003 Asif Muhammad Hanif murdered three people and wounded more than 50 in a suicide bombing at Mike’s Place, a Tel Aviv tavern. Five days earlier, he and his collaborator, Omar Khan Sharif, were among a group hosted by ISM members at their Gaza apartment. According to the May 2, 2003 Guardian, “the Britons who mounted the suicide attacks in Israel attempted to join the peace movement as cover for their activities, the Guardian has learnt.” ISM claims they were unaware of the terrorists’ intent. Either they were “useful idiots” who helped ease the terrorists’ movements, or they intentionally aided them. Either c hoice does not speak well of them.