Article by Toby Greenwald from an interview with Lee Kaplan in Israel
Is the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) composed of non-violent peace activists or supporters of terrorism?
The answer is clear to Lee Kaplan, investigative journalist, Senior Intelligence Analyst and Communications Director for the Northeast Intelligence Network, who is currently in Israel to consult to the Israeli Justice Department on the involvement of the ISM in the cases of the flotilla and Rachel Corrie. The trial has already determined that Rachel Corrie was not protecting a house as earlier claimed. Cindy Corrie, Rachel’s mother, is still claiming her daughter also served as a human shield to “protect” Palestinian water wells and municipal water workers from the IDF. Kaplan says those wells were in fact weapons smuggling tunnels and those workers were Hamas terrorists. Corrie, he says, was trying to help kill IDF soldiers as well as civilians in Israel.
Kaplan began his examination of the ISM seven years ago. He monitors their activities and fundraising and tries to alert both the American and Israeli governments to their activities in advance, he says, “to save Israel problems.” Both U.S. and Israeli security officials have used his reports to undertake legal action against ISM activists in Israel and the United States.
According to Kaplan, the ISM has consistently shown itself to be on the side of terrorist movements that prolong the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and prevent peace. At the same time, he says, Israel ’s fear of creating international incidents has prevented her from cracking down on foreign nationals who are trained to work in solidarity with Arab terror groups.
Kaplan cites sources statements made by ISM leaders at national conferences in the US and even a letter to the Washington Post in which ISM leaders such as Huwaida Arraf and Paul LaRudee, both well known ISM leaders, have openly stated they work with Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and even Hezbollah. This new effort on the part of the ISM, says Kaplan, is being organized to deliberately help the Hamas terrorist regime recruit more ISM activists again for Gaza to break Israeli control of seaports that can be used to smuggle weapons and terrorists into Gaza.
Kaplan says, “The ISM poses a greater threat to Israel ’s existence than the armed terrorists do. It is funded by Saudi Arabia, the PLO, Hamas, organized originally by the PFLP. They are the revolutionary communist party wing of the PLO and the ISM follows that line. This is one reason that they’re aligned with communist and anarchist groups in the US and Europe, for example, International ANSWER or its parent, the International Socialist Organization that calls for a violent overthrow of the US governmentto create a dictatorshop of the proletariat. They march in support of Hamas and all the terrorist groups, like Columbia’s FARC, and others. They are in close contact with all the terrorist groups in the US too.” He refers one to his website: www.StoptheISM.com.
Kaplan’s revelations about the movement and how they train volunteers to be supportive of terrorists are chilling. And how Kaplan fell into this role is a story of its own. In his youth, he worked out of college as a writer and editor, eventually becoming the owner of a successful jewelry business, one of whose stores was located on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley.
The change in his life occurred as he watched the growing presence of Hamas and similar groups on campus. But the watershed came in 2003 when, “I had gone over to the campus to participate in the Holocaust Day memorial ceremony. I was wearing a jacket with an Israeli flag on the back and reciting the names of the dead, and a young woman, from the Hillel organization, came over to me and asked me to not participate in the Yizkor service because of my Israeli flag jacket.
‘I asked her if she was joking and she said that it offended the ‘Jews for Palestine’ and pointed over to Sproul Plaza, the campus commons, where that group was having a demonstration for the Students for Justice in Palestine, targeted against Israel. I noticed that on the Pro-Palestinian side they had megaphones and signs and all kinds of displays and on the Jewish side they had nothing. I said to the pro-Israel demonstrators, ‘Doesn’t Hillel provide you any kind of support?’ and they said that Hillel didn’t give them any help at all. ‘I’ve got some money,’ I told them, because I had just sold my business.’I’m going to help you fight back.’
It was then that he created DAFKA (www.dafka.org ). It is, he says, “A perfect name. It’s an acronym for ‘Defending American for Knowledge in Action’ but it also means, in Hebrew, ‘in your face’ and ‘in spite of everything’.”
“It also refers to the time manna fell from heaven and saved the Jews when they were their most desperate, a most fitting name.”
“We were enormously effective,” says Kaplan. “We had Jewish students coming up and crying and thanking us for being there. We screened videos by the PLO and Palestinian television. The Muslim and Palestinian students would rant and rave and we’d say, ‘Show us one thing on the table not from your media,’ and they had nothing to say. One woman came up wearing a chador and she screamed, ‘You’re prejudiced against the Muslim people, and I’m going to complain,’ and I told her, ‘Take everything on the table into the office and complain’ and she did, and I didn’t hear anything after that because it was all from their own media.”
But Kaplan says, “We did not have as many problems with the Arab students as we did with the Jews.” DAFKA and the ZOA were voted out of theHillel Jewish student union because of leftists within conspiring against them and radicals of Jewish descent who really were helping the Palestinian group. “When they held the vote to vote us out, they didn’t notify us so our student leader did not attend, so it was a kangaroo court.”
Kaplan became immersed in investigative journalism, including working for Front Page Magazine, and he was hired by its editor, David Horowitz, as a campus organizer for Students for Academic Freedom. While he worked for that foundation, he began doing research on anti-Israel activism on the campus and on Middle East studies abuses on the part of the faculty, and on the part of campus organizations such as Students for Justice in Palestine.
A fly on the wall of ISM training
“While working freelance, I wrote an article called ‘Solidarity with Terror’, published in 2004,” says Kaplan. “I had found out that was having a training session on going to Israel. I was already identified as a pro-Israel activist, but when I was in my 20’s I had been an actor in film and TV, so I dyed my hair and eyebrows and colored my skin and made myself up to be a Pakistani and I went to the meeting.”
Kaplan infiltrated an ISM training session - the same sort of training that Rachel Corrie underwent -- and has the printed training manual to prove his points. At the ISM, he says, they were given instruction on how to falsify documents, how to lie to Israeli officials, and how to violate Israeli law by deceiving border guards about the nature of their visit, their destinations inside Israel, their identities and more. “Everything we were instructed to do in the course of our training while we were in Israel would involve some form of breaking Israeli law,” he says. Furthermore, he says, the ISM training manuals contain articles by radical groups including War Resisters League, Act Up, Direct Action and several “anti-global” organizations all that promote revolutionary violence and adhere to the concept of “by any means necessary” as voiced by Malcolm X which means violence.
ISM Complicity with Terror
The ISM website is filled with expressions such as “legitimate resistance” or support for “legitimate armed struggle as well as this ISM motto “by any means necessary.”
However, says Kaplan, documented ISM complicity with terrorism and cooperation with terrorists has included from all major newswires:
· Hiding terrorists such as Shadi Sukiya, arrested in an ISM office in the West Bank.
· Hiding of an arms cache that was also found in an ISM office
· Facilitating the entry to Israel of suicide bombers who gained entry for their murderous agendas under the auspices of the ISM. These Pakistani Muslims from Great Britain entered Israel through Jordan as clients of the Alternative Tourism Group, an operation set up by Andoni to aid ISM volunteers coming to Israel. They then met with the ISM at their offices for an entire day in Gaza before proceeding on to Tel Aviv where they bombed a popular beach bar, Mike’s Place, killing three people.
· According to ISM founder Adam Shapiro, the ISM has Palestinian “handlers,” or undercover supervisors at all demonstrations against Israel. These supervisors direct attacks against the West Bank security fence and IDF soldiers. One of the handlers is Hisham Jamjoun, a member of the PLFP who also manages the Faisal Youth Hostel in Jerusalem. “That’s ISM Central according to ISMer Joseph Carr who maintains he was with Corrie when she died. I wrote about the Hostel in my article ‘The ISM-Terror Connection,” he says. See: http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=2601
· ISM leaders speak openly of their desire to bring about the demise of the State of Israel in favor of a Palestinian State from the river to the sea. Yet ISM officials and volunteers have been photographed in the company of known terrorists, sometimes holding AK- 47 assault rifles. Some volunteers disguise themselves as Jews living in the West Bank. See: http://www.canadafreepress.com/2006/kaplan091406.htm
On March 16, 2003, 23-year-old Rachel Corrie from Olympia, Washington, was killed by an IDF bulldozer. As a volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement, Rachel was in Gaza supposedly opposing the bulldozing of Palestinian homes by the Israeli army. The ISM released photos showing Corrie in clear view of a bulldozer, then a second photograph reported to have been taken moments later with Rachel having been killed.
However, a careful examination of the photos showed that the scenes were staged with different tractors and at different times. See: http://www.israelbehindthenews.com/bin/content.cgi?ID=1676&q=1
One photo with a superimposed tractor in the foreground and Corrie superimposed with another ISM activist in front of a “doctor’s house,” when enlarged, not only revealed the superimposition techniques, but that the ISM (or ISMer Joe Carr and others who doctored the photos) left off the feet of the two ISM activists.
ISM and Palestinian sources claim that the home Rachel Corrie was trying to save belonged to a Palestinian doctor and his family.
Rachel Corrie wrote the following in emails home to her mother who is now suing the IDFl in a wrongful death suit, indicating that she knew that the Palestinians she was supporting were using violence: "Think about the relative positions of the fighters and occupiers in this monumentally unequal struggle.... the few young fighters have NOTHING BUT THEIR WEAPON (and this not the most modern) - no helmet, bullet proof vest, radio contact or other protection. No back-up, no plane, helicopter, tank, APC, searchlight, dogs, flares, ambulance or refuge... every time the Israeli Command terrorizes Nablus, more Martyrs are ready to defend the honour of Palestine and fight for the freedom of surely the most gentle, generous and peaceful people on earth." ( New Zealand Herald, 10 February 2003) [ http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0302/S00049/courage-and-more-martyrs.htm ]
"The internationals recognized symbols and banners from numerous school and community-groups, Fatah, DFLP, FIDA, PFLP, Hamas and many individual demonstrators among those marching" (private email admitting that Corrie’s gang was involved in bringing out bodies from smuggling tunnels in an ISM media report).
According to Kaplan, one ISM activist, Joe Carr, while employed by Christian Peacemaker Teams in Rafah said the following on the death of Rachel Corrie in an interview in a Washington State newspaper, The Stranger:
“The spirit that she died for is worth a life. This idea of resistance, this spirit of resisting this brutal occupying force, is worth anything. And many, many, many Palestinians give their lives for it all the time. So the life of one international, I feel, is more than worth the spirit of resisting oppression.”
Another quote was made by an ISM co-founder from the Alternative Information Center who also operates an office in Pasadena, California to recruit “tourists” for the ISM (the Mike’s Place bombers entered the country as “Alternative Tourists.”
"If some of these foreign volunteers get shot or even killed, then the international media will sit up and take notice." - George Rishmawi, Director of the Solidarity Movement.
"Her death serves me more than it served her. Her death will bring more
attention than the other 2,000 martyrs." - quoted by Hamas member in The Stranger at Corrie’s mock funeral in Gaza as a “martyr.”
ISM Training: Be ready for Violence
Kaplan says, “At an ISM training session, I asked ISM trainer Brian Molvany, ‘But what if we see kids throwing stones at tanks or putting themselves in danger. Shouldn’t we tell them not to and urge them to stay away? Molvany responded, ‘We can’t tell kids not to throw stones!’ Obviously the same rule applied to suicide bombers as we were advised that we might be used as human shields inside houses slated for demolition by the Israeli army because they were used as bomb making factories.
“Later, trainer Mary Erwin told me that our allies from the Israeli anarchist and communist movements were ready to lie to the border guards on our behalf to verify false stories given in order to get the ISM volunteers into Israel".
“Not once all day, in any way, did members of our group - trainers or trainees - express a negative word about suicide bombings, or the shooting of women and children by Palestinian terrorists. But we were told repeatedly not to tell the Palestinians how to ‘resist.’
“At the conclusion of our session, Jamie used her training as a social worker to prepare us to deal with long term trauma once we returned to the Bay Area. I thought it was an interesting lesson for people going to the Middle East to engage in ‘nonviolent’ activities for peace. ‘Be ready for lots of violence,’ she said.
ISM volunteers at that meeting included:
-Arlene, a 62-year-old Jewish woman from Oakland. She expressed grief for the Israeli execution of Sheik Yassin, the former head of Hamas who was responsible for the murders of over 350 people inside Israel. She spoke of sabotaging IDF army vehicles and how she entered Israel once to help hewr enemies by using her parents' own funeral as a ruse to enter. She mentioned going to North Vietnam during the their was with US and being told by "the comrades" to go back to America and fight the war from within. Clearly, she was a 60's commnist revolutionary retread. Kaplan dubbed her "Hanoi Arlene" in his article Solidarity With Terror."
From the ISM training manual
“Some pacifists are uncomfortable with property damage. For myself...I see it as a great tool.”
“[Some] settle for tactical nonviolence, but given the right historical circumstance, armed struggle would be justified...”
“When VIOLENCE is mentioned, say RESISTANCE or RESISTANCE TO INJUSTICE.”
“When TERRORISM is mentioned, emphasize STATE TERRORISM.”
“Instead of OCCUPATION say MILITARY OCCUPATION to make people think the occupation is a MILITARY DICTATORSHIP.” The only military dictator in Israel and the West Bank is Yasser Arafat. The page this appeared on was supplied by the Muslim Public Affairs Council, yet another purportedly Muslim “civil rights group” like the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
Paul LaRudee is a leader of the Northern California branch of the ISM. He has been deported from Israel more than once for disrupting IDF activities and endangering himself and others, and has visited Lebanon to act as a "human shield for Hezbollah" against IDF fire. LaRudee said in an interview on June 15, 2005, with Khalil Bendib, "Although we are totally dedicated to non-violence. We recognize that not everybody that we work with in the Palestinian community is necessarily devoted to non-violence. And under international law it is permitted for oppressed and occupied peoples to resist, using armed resistance. This is permitted and we recognize their right to do so. However, we do not participate in it in any way, so our devotion is to non-violence."
At a recruiting meeting in Berkeley, LaRudee was asked if they would smuggle guns to Hamas. He said if the Israeli navy stopped them and found guns they would just say the Israelis planted them or that they did not belong to the ISM.
In an e-mail reportedly sent out by Huwaida Arraf in September, 2002, Paul LaRudee, in an essay titled, “Sleeping in the Bed of a Suicide Bomber”, writes, I do not see wild-eyed religious fanaticism as the reason for the attacks. I see instead a resilient people without other means of resistance, pushed to desperation by the increasing pressures of ethnic cleansing, while their cries for help are ignored. Is there a proud people anywhere that might not be driven to such measures to defend themselves?
According to Kaplan, the ISM has played a role in facilitating the Hamas takeover in Gaza. For years Israel tried to prevent weapons smuggling tunnels from Egypt that brought arms and missiles into Gaza to be used to kill Israelis. “The border area with Egypt, the town of Rafah, and the border area that is known as the Philadelphi Corridor became hangouts for ISM anarchists and communists from foreign countries to interfere with anti-terrorist operations and avowed anarchists like Rachel Corrie,” says Kaplan, “to garner enough adverse publicity in worldwide media that Israel eventually relinquished control of the Egyptian border under pressure from the Europeans and the US State Department. ISM activist and anarchist Joseph Smith, a.k.a. Joseph Carr, who was intimately involved in developing propaganda during the deaths of both those young people, who said Corrie’s death was ‘well worth the price of the revolution,’ is still an ISM member. Carr’s photos and contributions can be found on the Free Gaza recruiting website.”
The ISM eventually accomplished the goal of forcing Israel to open the Egyptian border to new flows of weapons and terrorists. Israel ’s attempts to simply try to protect its citizens resulted in diplomatic pressure being brought to bear by the Quartet and Condoleeza Rice to open up that border enabling the smuggling of Kassem rockets now falling on the heads of Israeli civilians.
Kaplan says that, “It appears that newer restrictions on ISM activities, by Israeli security services in the West Bank, have finally slowed down the effectiveness of this organization. It is in the interest of all Western countries, and of the State of Israel in particular, to use all legal tools and means to expel ISM activists to their home countries and to ensure they cannot continue their perfidious work masquerading as "peace activists" when they are human shields for terrorists that murder Israelis."