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September 3, 2015 / 19 Elul, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘International Solidarity Movement’

Court to Hear Appeal in Activist Death

Monday, May 19th, 2014

The Supreme Court is gearing up for the latest round of a 10-year-old lawsuit surrounding the death of Rachel Corrie, a radical activist who was killed by an IDF bulldozer while protesting on behalf of Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

Corrie was a 23-year-old student from Olympia, Washington who had travelled to Israel to participate in International Solidarity Movement activities against Israel. On March 16, 2003, she acted as a human shield to protect an IDF bulldozer from demolishing a Palestinian home on the Philadelphi Road, near the Gaza border with Egypt.

The incident occurred at the height of the Oslo War (al-Aqsa Intifada), at a time when  Palestinians routinely shot at IDF troops from homes along the Philadelphi Road. Corrie was killed while protecting one of those homes.

The Corrie family claims that their daughter made eye contact with the driver during the protest, who then proceeded to ignore Rachel and instead drove the machine over her, killing her. To support their claim, the family has produced photographic “evidence” that supposedly details the sequence of events leading to her death, including images of Rachel standing in front of the IDF bulldozer, and then a photograph of the dead body behind bulldozer.

But upon close examination of the photographs, it is clear that the  pictures are not a sequence of events,but rather were shot hours apart. The family has repeatedly refused to address questions by this reporter on the matter.

Following the incident, IDF  investigators ruled that the death was an accident because the driver didn’t see Corrie, and that in any event, the army bore no responsibility for her death because she had chosen to enter a Closed Military Zone in order to interfere with military operations in a wear Zone.

In August, 2012, the Supreme Court validated that finding and ruled that the military was not to blame for Corrie’s death.

Not Exactly Ghandi-like

Although pro-Palestinian activists view the ISM as a non-violent organization, the group hardly espouses the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ISM offices in B On April 30, 2003, two ISM volunteers blew themselves up at Mike’s Place, a bar on the Tel Aviv waterfront. Three people were killed and more than 50 injured. And group leaders Huwaida Arraf and Adam Shapiro  have written that “the Palestinian resistance must take on a variety of characteristics – both nonviolent and violent. But most importantly it must develop a strategy involving both aspects. No other successful nonviolent movement was able to achieve what it did without a concurrent violent movement…”

Even Mother Jones, a far-left magazine that is generally sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, was forced to admit that the ISM “embrac(es) Palestinian militants, even suicide bombers, as freedom fighters.”

Let’s BDS Turkey!

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

There is a country in the Middle East which makes a great play of being a democracy and about espousing Western ideals regarding human rights, and is forever bragging how different this makes it to its despotic Arab neighbors. But this self-same Middle Eastern country for decades now has been occupying the lands of one of its neighbors and conducting apartheid-like discrimination against its internal minority community. Its charismatic right-wing leader has one message for its close ally the United States and for the EU, with which it seeks closer ties, but quite another for its internal allies.

Isn’t it time this so-called democracy was held to account, and was made to face up to its hypocrisy? Isn’t it time the international community as a whole, and the International Solidarity Movement in particular, launched a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Turkey?

20100430AIM105901 The crux of the argument by those engaging in BDS against Israel is that, no, they don’t single out Israel because it’s a Jewish state or because it is an ally of the West. They choose to boycott only Israel, they claim, because it’s a democracy and should therefore behave like one – and because boycott of a tyrannical regime doesn’t work, whereas boycott of a democracy can influence its citizenry to lobby for change to the offending policies.

Well, dear friends of the BDS movement, now is your chance to prove that you are not just shills for terrorists and Arab rejectionism, that you are not closet antisemites or anti-western ideologues and that you really care for oppressed peoples everywhere.

Now that the eyes of the world are focussed on Turkey, here is your chance to say no to Turkey’s occupation of Cyprus. Here is your chance to say no to Turkey’s institutional discrimination against Kurds who, unlike the Palestinians, have no autonomy, no government, no parliament, no courts, no police, no education system of their own, and whose very language is suppressed by government edict. Now is the time to send your message to Prime Minister Erdogan and his cronies that the world will no longer tolerate their brutal repression of human rights.

So, you must lobby universities to boycott all Turkish academics; even if they personally oppose Erdogan’s thuggish ways, they are still complicit. You must urge all dignitaries not to visit Ankara and all politicians not to speak to their Turkish counterparts until the country mends its ways. You must lobby to cut all cultural contacts and exchanges. You must organise marches and university demonstrations against the racist Turkish entity. Above all, each and every one of you, must refuse to consume Turkish Delight and all other products of the region, and boycott and picket vociferously the shops and candy stores that sell them, even at the risk of appearing ridiculous in the eyes of the public. The cause demands it.

If successful your campaign would of course hurt the people of Turkey, especially the poorest, who might well lose their jobs. But that is a small price to pay for your moral stance and your sacrifice, and surely the Turkish people, even if unemployed, would take the long view and be grateful for your selfless attention. They will surely understand that you single out Turkey for BDS, for cultural isolation and economic deprivation, because you are their friends.

Sadly the last BDS you organised – against, naturally, the Israeli people – didn’t turn out so well. Indeed, the Israeli economy is thriving like no other. But you might have better luck against, sorry, with Turkey.

Visit CIFWatch.

Exclusive Interviews: Anti-Israel ‘Peacenik’ and Assaulted Israeli

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Frank H. Ogawa Park is a huge public space in Oakland, California.  It is located where San Pablo Avenue converges with Broadway and 14th Street, and is across from the Oakland City Hall.  Ogawa Park was named for a civil rights activist who was the first Japanese member of the Oakland City Council.  But Ogawa Park was “renamed” by Occupy Oakland protesters to “honor” Oscar Grant, a felon who had been imprisoned for drug dealing and weapons offenses, and who was shot by Oakland police 1n 2009, while resisting arrest.

An area in the Park is specifically designated for public expression; it has been the scene of many boisterous protests, including the long-term occupation by Occupy Oakland, last year.

Last week a perfect example of what so much of the anti-Israel movement is built on, was on display in Ogawa Park.  In this “free speech” park taken over by “peaceful” protesters of all kinds of oppression, a young woman who was drawing a message of peace was physically assaulted, cursed out with the foulest possible language, and thrown out of the public park by people who claim to be, and are referred to by the mass media, as “peaceful,” “non-violent,” “free speech” activists.  In truth, they are frequently abusive, intolerant, violent anarchists who believe the highest form of expression is provoking violence with what is usually aggressive resistance, but occasionally spills over into outright violence.

This is what happened.

On Wednesday, March 13, there were several anti-Israel events taking place and banners raised in Ogawa Park: one banner advocated the boycott of  a company that does business in Israel and with which the state of California does business, another was for the International Solidarity Movement, a virulently anti-Israel group.  The third one is the focus of our attention.

This third banner was in honor of Tristan Anderson, a California member of the International Solidarity Movement who was severely and permanently wounded when participating in a riot to protest the security fence in Ni’ilin, Samaria, on March 13, 2009.  The International Solidarity Movement describes itself as a “non-violent,” “direct action” organization committed to “helping the Palestinians resist the occupation of Palestinian lands.”  More on the ISM and Ni’ilin later.

The event associated with Anderson was called “Justice 4 Tristan,” and the banner shows a white dove – the symbol of peace – flying near his name.

“THE JEWISH PEOPLE LIVE” PROVOKES VIOLENCE BY THE “NON-VIOLENT”

Justice 4 Tristan Banner, Oakland Park

Justice 4 Tristan Banner, Oakland Park

In the late afternoon, Channa L., a 22 year-old from a rural part of Washington State, who made Aliyah in 2006 and who completed her IDF service in January, came to Ogawa Park.  Channa told The Jewish Press that she knew there were going to be some anti-Israel events happening there, and she went with a friend, Daniel Wencel, to see what it was about.

Channa met Wencel and his son when she volunteered in Israel on a Sar-El program.  It was then that she fell in love with the country, and after signing on for a second three week session, Channa decided she would make Aliyah.  After completing her military service, during which she served in a combat intelligence unit, Channa came back to the States for a visit with her family and her friends, including the Wencels.

After arriving at the Park on Wednesday afternoon, Channa told The Jewish Press, she went up to several people and asked them about what they were doing, and why they were doing it.

“It was so strange – they didn’t even want to talk about it, they just kept telling me to ‘Google’ it,” Channa said. “It was as if they weren’t interested in educating anyone, maybe even themselves,” she continued, “it was almost as if they knew it was just propaganda and didn’t want to get involved with someone who might have different information.”

“They didn’t have a peaceful message,” she continued.  “When someone told me they wanted to ‘tear down the state,’ and I asked, ‘what state?’ they told me to ‘Google’ that also.”  Channa’s conclusion was that all they were interested in was demonizing Israel and Israeli soldiers.

Evergreen State — a Total Immersion Experience

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Recently I wrote a couple of posts about Rachel Corrie (here andhere). I was particularly interested in what prompted her to go to Gaza with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), a group which sends idealistic young Westerners to serve as human shields for Hamas or PLO guerrillas in the front lines of the low-intensity Arab war against the Jewish state.

A few of these ‘internationals’ have been seriously hurt, or, like Corrie, killed, sacrifices on the altar of anti-Israel propaganda.

How does it happen that young people are prepared to risk everything for a cause which, by any logic, is not theirs; and which, as causes go, is not especially pressing (the Palestinian Arabs in Gaza or Judea/Samaria are better off in every way than Palestinians in Lebanon, Copts in Egypt, Sunnis in Syria, etc.)?

The answer is that there are well-tuned systems set up on many of our campuses which recruit, process and send students off in service of the Palestinian Cause. These machines have a permanent nucleus of a few dedicated faculty members, which is orbited closely by student organizations like Students for Justice in Palestine, the Muslim Student Association, Jewish Voice for Peace, and more.

There are also peripheral groups that support the projects of the central players, usually because of a perception of shared ‘colonial oppression’ — this sometimes includes LGBT groups, immigrants’ rights organizations, etc.

Students drawn into these psycho-political cyclotrons are insulated from all other voices, and what begins as a concern for human rights is amplified by contact with more and more extreme expressions of anti-Israel ideology until they fly off, completely one-dimensional, often white-hot with hatred for the Jewish ‘colonialists’, prepared to cooperate if need be with murderous terrorists because of their perception of the overwhelming justice and need of their Cause.

The Evergreen State College [TESC] of Olympia, Washington, where Rachel Corrie was recruited, has provided a disproportionate number of ISM volunteers. As I wrote before, faculty members Steve Niva and (former faculty) Simona Sharoni were mentioned several times in Corrie’s diaries as important influences on her decision to go to Gaza.

If we look at the overall environment of Evergreen, perhaps we can understand the way today’s Corries are submerged in the Palestinian narrative and Israel-hating ideology. A student group called “TESC Divest!” — which, for some reason does not appear in the list of official student organizations on TESC’s website — is the center of several boycott-divestment-sanctions [BDS] projects, as well as various “informational” activities and events.

TESC Divest! probably represents the majority of the students and faculty at Evergreen. For example, in 2010, Evergreen students voted to pass two BDS resolutions with huge majorities, both over 70%. And here is a list of faculty and staff that endorsed them:

Anne Fischel, Ph.D, Communication Anita Lenges, Ph.D, Curriculum and Instruction Bob Woods, M.F.A. Sculpture Carolyn Prouty, D.V.M., Veterinary Medicine Davi Zielinski Koska, Evergreen Staff, Community Activist E.J. Zita, Ph.D., Physics Elizabeth Williamson, Ph.D., English Literature Erik Thuesen, Ph.D., Biological Sciences Gillies Malnarich, Co-Director of the Washington Center for Improving Undergraduate Education Jean Eberhardt, Evergreen Staff — [advisor mentioned in Rachel Corrie Diaries — ed.] Jon Davies, Ed.D Jose Gomez, J.D. from Harvard Law School Judith Gabriele Larry Mosqueda, Ph.D., Political Science, Laurie Meeker, M.F.A., Film Production Lin Nelson, Ph.D., Spanish Liza Rognas, M.A., Information Resources and Library Science, Lori Blewett, Ph.D., Speech Communication Marianne Hoepli Michael Vavrus, Ph.D., Instructional Development and Technology Paul McMillin, M.L.I.S., Library and Information Science Peter Bohmer, Ph.D., Economics Ruth Hayes, M.F.A., Experimental Animation Sarah Ryan, M.A., Labor and Industrial Relations Savvina Chowdhury, Ph.D., Economics Susan Preciso, M.A., English Ted Whitesell, Ph.D., Geography Therese Saliba, Ph.D., English; Fulbright Scholar, 1995 Tony Zaragoza, Doctoral Studies, American Studies Zahid Shariff, Doctor of Public Administration Zoltan Grossman, Ph.D., Geography And here are student organizations that also endorsed the resolutions:

Student of Color Union (SOC-U) — [because we are all colonized — ed.] Black Student Union (BSU) — [because Palestinians aren’t racists — ed.] Native Student Alliance (NSA) Women of Color Coalition (WOCC) Asian Pacific Islander Coalition (APIC) Synergy Evergreen Bike Shop — [because Palestinians are green — ed.] Counter Point Journal (CxPJ) Mideast Solidarity Project (MSP) Latin American Solidarity Organization (LASO) Committee In Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA) Developing Ecological Agriculture Practices (DEAP) Women’s Resource Center (WRC) — [because Palestinians are feminists — ed.] Evergreen Queer Alliance (EQA) — [because Palestinians are LGBT-friendly — ed.] Hip Hop Congress Evergreen State College is a total immersion experience — immersion in anti-Israel propaganda.

Rachel Corrie and Evergreen State

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

I recently wrote about the tragedy of Rachel Corrie (it’s always tragic when a young person dies, more so when she dies for a mistaken cause, and even more when she is cynically brainwashed by a group like ISM which is directly connected to terrorist groups).

Rachel was a student at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, when she proposed an independent study project for her senior year to establish a sister-city relationship between Olympia and Rafah, a town that lies directly on the border between the Gaza strip and Egypt, a nexus of conflict between the IDF and terrorists smuggling weapons into Gaza.

Evergreen is a paradigm of the progressive cause-based model of education, where you can get what author Howard Jacobson (The Finkler Question) called a “modular degree.” For example, the home page for the “Gender and Sexuality: History, Culture and Politics” program includes this bemusing note:

Enrollment is open to any Evergreen student with sophomore through senior standing. It is likely that many students will have a sexual or gender identity, but this is not a prerequisite for enrollment. If you have such an identity, switching it out at any time is also perfectly fine.

Hmmm… everyone that I know has a “sexual of gender identity,” although they don’t “switch it out” too often (not that there would be anything wrong with that).

Among the many courses in gender and ethnic studies, activism, etc., I did not find anything like a course in Western Civilization. The closest to one in American History was “The Formation of the North American State,” described thus:

This program will examine the movement of the North American colonies in their separation from Britain to the emergence of the United States through the election of 1800. It will investigate the conflict; the social, racial and class divisions; and the distinctly different visions of the proper social, economic and political system that should predominate in the new nation. Much conflict surrounded the separation of the settler colonies from Britain, including a transatlantic revolutionary movement, development of slave-based plantations and the birth of capitalism. Capitalism was not a foregone conclusion….

I just bet it wasn’t.

Rachel didn’t get her sister-city project off the ground, although it is presently being pursued in her name. What she did do on arrival was join up with several ISM activists (Olympia and Evergreen have provided a disproportionate number of members to the ISM) for a training session, then traveled to Gaza, where she did her (unfortunately effective) best to throw herself against the machine of Occupation.

Shockingly, Evergreen State College is proud of her, and offers an annual scholarship in her name:

Rachel Corrie, a lifelong Olympia resident, Evergreen student and community activist was killed by an Israeli bulldozer in Rafah, Gaza, on March 16, 2003, while defending the home of a Palestinian family against unlawful demolition.

This [$2,000] scholarship is for students dedicated to gaining a better understanding of the Middle East and to working locally or internationally to further Middle East peace. Applicants must show how they will use their studies to promote human rights and social justice through community activism and/or political advocacy.

Areas of interest related to the Middle East may include: Arab culture and Arabic language, U.S. Policy in the Middle East, and peace, justice and conflict resolution studies.

There has been some speculation about the faculty members who encouraged her and perhaps approved her “independent study.” Simona Sharoni, who called Rachel her “beloved student and friend,” and Steve Niva, who “met with Rachel Corrie before she left for Gaza,” appear to have been among them.

Sharoni is aggressively anti-Zionist. Now department chair of Gender and Women’s Studies at SUNY Plattsburgh, she coined the term “compassionate resistance” as she

struggled to reconcile my grief, frustration and anger with the empathy, love and compassion I felt for people who put their bodies on the line to resist oppression.

I could find no expression of empathy, love or compassion in her writing for the Jewish victims of Palestinian terror, except insofar as she sees them as misguided. Indeed, she criticizes left-wing Israelis who are involved in dialogue with Palestinians because they don’t sufficiently understand that the needs of the occupied Palestinians take priority over those of the Jewish occupiers, even leftist anti-occupation types.

Put International Solidarity Movement on Trial for Rachel Corrie’s Death

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Today, an Israeli court rejected a lawsuit filed by the family of Rachel Corrie, the 23-year-old American who was killed by a military bulldozer nine years ago, ruling that the death was an accident for which Corrie was responsible and, further, that there was no proof the soldiers acted with intent to harm or criminal neglect.

In reports on the trial over the past few days, the media mostly ignored the role played by International Solidarity Movement (ISM) in the young woman’s tragic death.

For instance, in three reports by the Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent about the trial, Harriet Sherwood, (here, here, and here), all Sherwood wrote about ISM were that they were pro-Palestinian activists involved in “direct action”, and that they were “accused by [the IDF] of illegal, irresponsible and dangerous” behaviour.

Sherwood, like much of the media, didn’t think it was relevant to provide her readers with even a short description of ISM’s reckless and extremely dangerous behavior – dangerous for both Israelis involved in anti-terror operations, as well as for the ISM volunteers, like Corrie, cynically exploited for “the cause”.

ISM was founded in 2001 by a group of young, extremist left Americans. According to the Terrorism Information Center, between 2001 and 2005, the years of the second intifada, ISM volunteers engaged in activities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and “did not merely help the Palestinian population, but intentionally hindered IDF anti-terror activities.”

Their activities included “serving as human shields for terrorist operatives wanted by the Israeli security forces”, and “provid[ing] Palestinian terrorist operatives…with financial, logistic and moral support, hindering the razing and sealing of houses of suicide bombers.”

Since the end of the Intifada ISM activists were among the founders of the pro-Hamas umbrella ‘Free Gaza Movement’, and consistently send volunteers to protest demonstrations at focal points of Palestinian-Israeli friction, such as in Bil’in.

While ISM describes itself as “ committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using nonviolent, direct-action methods and principles”, Paul Larudee, the Northern California head of the ISM, has said that “We recognize that violence is necessary and it is permissible for oppressed and occupied people to use armed resistance and we recognize their right to do so.”

Similarly, in a 2002 article, ISM co-founders Adam Shapiro and Huwaida Arraf wrote, “The Palestinian resistance must take on a variety of characteristics, both non-violent and violent,” adding that “[i]n actuality, nonviolence is not enough…Yes, people will get killed and injured.”

Shapiro and Arraf lauded such deaths as “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.”

ISM activists and organizers have time and again justified terrorism and associated with terrorists.

In 2003 alone, for example, ISM activist Susan Barclay admitted in an interview that she worked with representatives of Hamas and Islamic Jidhad; terrorists originating from UK who had attacked the Mike’s Place bar in Tel Aviv, murdering three people, had, according to an Israeli report, “forg[ed] links with foreign left-wing activists and members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM)”; and senior Islamic Jihad terrorist Shadi Sukiya was arrested while he was hiding in ISM’s Jenin office and being assisted by two ISM activists.

(See NGO Monitor’s page documenting ISM’s terrorism associations).

IT SHOULD NOT be surprising that the 2003 incident involving Corrie took place in the “Military Installations Area,” along the Egyptian border, at the Philadelphi Route, which was considered a hostile battlefield because of the large number of attacks carried out by terrorists.

Between 2000 and March 2003, the area was also notorious for being the primary smuggling route for terrorists bringing weaponry into Gaza and the West Bank from Egypt. Terrorist activities during this period included thousands of grenade attacks, 184 anti-tank missile attacks, 147 road-side explosives, and 41 mortar attacks.

Indeed, the IDF mission on the day in question, which ISM was trying to impede, was merely an effort to level terrain and clear debris near the border in order to remove cover for future terrorist attacks.

Judge Rules Rachel Corrie’s Death an Accident

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Judge Oded Gershon of Haifa District Court ruled today that the death of Rachel Corrie in 2003 was an accident.  In a 62 page verdict, the judge stated there was no liability on the part of the Israel Defense Force.  He also found there was no fault in the month-long military investigation which the Israeli military undertook immediately following Corrie’s death.  The Israel Defense Force has been cleared of responsibility.

The judge found that Corrie was in a closed military zone.  Further, he ruled that, based upon the evidence, the driver of the bulldozer,  whom the plaintiffs had claimed intentionally or negligently killed Corrie, could not have seen the International Solidarity Movement volunteer before she was struck.  Corrie could have saved herself, the judge found, if she had removed herself from the situation.

All claims of negligence against Israel in the death of Rachel Corrie have been dismissed.  Corrie’s parents, the plaintiffs in the wrongful death case, will not be charged with court costs.

Read: Why US Ambassador Condemned IDF Probe, Boosting ISM’s Rachel Corrie Myth

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/judge-rules-rachel-corries-deathan-accident/2012/08/28/

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