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STOP THE ISM

AN ISM VOLUNTEER ACTIVIST LEARNS THE TRUTH ABOUT THE ISM: HUMAN SHIELDS FOR TERRORISTS OUT TO DESTROY ISRAEL

Daniel Borg with Palestinian kids in Hebron

Daniel Borg is a Swede who was actively engaged in Swedish politics, passionately pro-Palestinian and went to join the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). His observations from within the ISM are explosive.

[Editor’s note: we’ve left this account in Daniel’s own voice so the English (which is not his first language) is a little idiosyncratic]

My Palestinian training, non-violence or violence?

Before joining ISM group in Hebron I had my training in Ramallah during two days. How to obstruct IDF ops? How to freely walk in a neighbourhood and alert the coordinators the movements of incoming IDF patrols? When to go out and show your presence to the military, so that they dont dare shoot at your direction? Shield a house that IDF want to demolish? Shield stone-molotov-throwing militants? Yes. Our job. PLO (now Fatah, but it is the same) uses well meaning idealistic western youngsters to aid, shield and make-possible their terrorist agenda. The Fatah-coordinators made it clear to us that ISM uses only non-violent means of resistence, but in the meantime stressed that if the Palestinians chooses to use violence our job is to shield them. It is the Palestinians that live under occupation and humiliation, not us western activists, so we should let them make the operational decisions and we internationals are there to act like human shields and protect them from the IDF.

We even spent a good amount of time practicing how to pitch-up extreme screams with the intent of scaring off settler kids. Our instructions were that if settler kids approach us and act violently we need to surprise them by screaming with the loudest of our abilities so that they get panic and run away. We did a lot of exercise in these high-pitch screams. If someone from downtown Ramallah reads this, I want to express my sincere apologies for your lost sleep during these days.

Committing Lawfare

During the first hour of the Ramallah training every activist gives the PLO coordinators a closed envelope of his name, address, family info, country residence, political affiliation etc, in case of arrest or death. They make abundantly clear that if I we were beaten up or killed by IDF it will lead to great damage to the state of Israel, great media coverage and of course maybe an end to the occupation. Since I was the chairman of the Social democratic youth organisation in my home town I was interesting and useful. If the IDF arrested me or killed me it would get headlines at least in Sweden.

In hindsight I understand that this is a perfect example of lawfare: With my presence as an international maybe the IDF won’t use the amount of force they are entitled to in order to complete a security-operation, and let the ones I am shielding go free (a win to the terrorists), or they disregard my presence and complete the mission with a possible end result of me being killed together with the terrorist. Also a win for the terrorists since they can use my death as an amazingly effective propaganda tool in international opinion.

I felt useful. I wanted to do whatever I could to help the Palestinians. I was un-afraid and idealistic. Then I went to Hebron. I actively chose to only do real pacifist work, mainly to stand in King David Street (Shuhada street) and in the IDF posts leading up to Tel Rumeida settlement. To monitor the Israeli soldiers present. A tough job, I thought, since all PLO coordinators, Btselem-people, random Palestinians etc. told me before hand that the soldiers are violent, throw stones at Palestinians, helps settlers attack Palestinian children, and what made me afraid, the soldiers occasionally arrest, handcuff and beats up ISM activists…..

How the IDF-soldiers acted

My first morning in Hebron: A young Israeli soldier was standing in his watching post at the entrance of the Jewish Tel Rumeida neighbourhood, where also some Palestinian families live. The soldier called upon a Palestinian ten year old boy that was walking up the hill to approach him. The boy was remarkably scared, and hesitantly dragged his feet towards the soldier. When the boy came up close the soldier made a move towards the kid. In this instant my heart started to pump faster since I was certain he was going to arrest or beat the boy, so I took up my camera ready to film the brutality. Instead, to my huge astounishment, he shakes the boys hand and put the other on his shoulder. The soldier started to speak casually with the boy. Instantly the Palestinian kid smiled and they spoke and joked for a couple of minutes in the July heat. I felt relieved, extremely surprised, took down my camera. Nothing here to film.

Yes I was extremely astounished. This encounter between the IDF soldier and the Palestinian kid contradicted everything I was being told and what I thought was the normal mode of IDF-conduct. Surely this soldier’s behaviour must be a very rare glimpse of humanism in the overrall aggressive IDF, like a dolphin swimming in a sea of sharks. But no, it was not. It was rather the normal mode of conduct. I monitored the same group of soldiers from early morning to late evening, and their basic way of treating the Palestinians was that of non-interference and respect. Not once did I see anything that comes close to a violation. I spent three weeks monitoring the IDF soldiers, with my camera around my neck. There was nothing to film, no transgressions whatsoever (except Palestinian war crimes, but I come to that a bit later).

My laundary business

At one point a soldier made a move of his hand at my direction to show that I should approach him. He wanted to ask me a few questions: How could I work for Fatah, call myself human rights activist, while they just killed a gay Palestinian by tying him up to a car and driving his more and more molested body through downtown Hebron? (a few metres from where we were standing) I was pretty shocked. Am I getting human rights lessons from an IDF soldier? I said whitewashing, pinkwashing, he did not understand my point about the washing business. But I thought about what he had said. I did not care. Those that I work for are Fatah people, moderates, peace activists, even Jewish Israelis. The Palestinian Sharia law, however unjust, does not justify the Israeli occupation. Hence the washing allegations I threw to the soldier.

Here you have Hamas

The next week was slightly different. I understood that the IDF-soldiers were really nice, they treated me and all Palestinians with respect. During lunchtime I decided to go up to the PLO apartment and take a coffee. I stood with my coffee cup looking out at downtown Hebron, with full view of the Hebron Arab zouk. From nowhere I see two guys going out from a car, taking out guns, starting to shoot intensively at the market. It was several hundreds of shots. The zouk was buzzing with families. They started their shooting spree, everyone tried to ran away, I filmed it from the onset. Their shooting spree lasting so long that I had the time to walk up to our rooftop continue filming while the shooting spree continued. Here you have Hamas.

Afterwards I ran down alerted my activist collegues, alerted the IDF soldiers, called our coordinators. The IDF closed the checkpoint. Beefed up all soldier presence. This was the first Hamas attack in the West Bank, their bid on gaining power after they succesfully did that in Gaza. PA president Mahmoud Abbas instated a state of emergency lasting several days. The only ones being safe was the small community of Palestinians, Jews and us distorted foreign activists being secure thanks to the IDF checkpoint and security within the Israeli controlled area. I was actually happy that the IDF had a checkpoint there, guaranteing our security from the crazyness of Hamas.

The irony did not cross my mind at the time, that I went to Hebron to document Israeli war crimes but came home with IDF-humanism and Palestinian war crimes.

What I did not know about Hebron

During my time in Hebron I did not know about the incessant terror attacks against the extremely small Jewish community of Hebron. I did not know that Jewish residents are killed whenever they are not protected, children, women, elderly. I did not know that Israel has effective control of a very small portion of Hebron. I did not know that the actual Apartheid in Hebron is directed from the Arabs against the Jewish community. I did not know the religious and historic importance of Hebron, as the number two capital of the Jewish people.

More over, I did not know that those I work for, the Fatah-led ISM, actively instructs Palestinian kids to throw rocks at Jews, sometimes killing the victim. Nor did I know that when Fatah wants us to shield someone or a house from IDF-operation, it is highly likely to be a terrorist on the brink of committing attacks against innocent Israelis. This was the case of Rachel Corrie’s last shielding-event.

How could I know? How could my collegues know? We are immersed in the pro-pal false narrative. Fueled by CNN, New York Times, Le Monde, all centrist and leftist poltical parties in Europe, all our left leaning teachers, all our cultural establishment. Among many others. I got social, political, educational status by joining ISM, an anti – Geneva Conventions, terrorist organisation.



 

A NEW KIND OF WAR: A REPORT AND ANALYSIS


        ON THE U.S. CAMPAIGN TO END THE ISRAELI


           OCCUPATION’S WEST COAST PLANNING


                    CONFERENCE SEPT. 19-21, 2014


 


                                By Lee Kaplan                               


                          


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


A New Kind of War on Israel and the Jews Just Took Place at BDS Conference in San Diego: Something To Be Afraid Of


 


By Lee Kaplan


I attended undercover the west coast national planning conference of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation last September 19-21 in San Diego, California. The US Campaign is, in fact, the International Solidarity Movement , sometimes known as Palsolidarity, having been renamed and repackaged to serve  as the main nerve center for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel in the United States. Over 400 groups statewide dedicated to bringing down the Jewish state were represented.


A repetitive theme of this event was that truth was irrelevant if it stood in the way of destroying Israel or interfered with the BDS movement’s goals. Lying by omission was a favored tactic that presented just enough information to convey a false impression without telling the whole truth or story at this event. Where this tactic failed, outright lying was the method of the day.


Deconstructing the truth about Israel and its irredentist terrorist neighbors like Hamas to fool an unknowing American public was the main goal and, in terms of training new legions to go out and do that, the event was successful. This wasn’t about peace, but about de-legitimizing Israel to strengthen Hamas, nor was it about academic freedom or accurate scholasticism as it tried to suggest it was.


What also distinguished this planning event over previous years was that of the approximately 350 individual attendees and leaders, at least half were disaffected “Jews” who were dedicated to discrediting American Jewish and Christian institutions that support a Jewish state. The Arab front group Jewish Voice for Peace and the Jewish anti-Zionist Network were prominent promoters of schemes and propaganda working alongside Arab groups and BDS leaders   to devise “direct actions” and other methods of supporting Hamas and Palestinian terrorist goals under the guise of doing “humanitarian work” and fighting an imaginary “apartheid” and “genocide.” Such atrocities are allegedly perpetrated by Israeli and American Jewish groups   against “innocent” Arabs according to the conference.  A few radical homosexuals, some Jewish, also attended the event from Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism (QUIT) to lend support to Arab irredentist goals despite the Arab world’s persecution of gays.


At no time during the three day event was the idea of “peace” used in any context where Israel’s survival as being part of a two state solution conveyed. Instead, assorted student leaders from the Students for Justice in Palestine, assorted Arab and U.S. academics, a large contingent of retirees and even some Christian pastors all gathered to find out how best to boycott the Jews and de-legitimize Israel. Only here the word “Jew” was substituted with the word “Zionist”, followed by a plethora of false accusations, stale communist revolutionary slogans and assorted pseudo-academic anti-colonialist rhetoric so popular on college campuses. “Racism” was also mentioned frequently while advocating racism against Jews in Israel as part of the program.   Hamas was scarcely mentioned, nor terrorism unless the words “Israeli terrorism” were used. Rockets being fired into Israel from Gaza were also not mentioned, save one remark from   attorney Marjorie Cohn from the National Lawyers Guild who spoke about what she termed the “one single little rocket” that was fired on Israel from Gaza (there were actually over 3,000 and many Israelis, even Arabs, were killed).


Terrorist Enablers Led the Charge


The conference began on a Friday night with a panel that featured Rahim Kurwa of the UCLA Students for Justice in Palestine chapter;   Rabab Abdulhadi, an Ethnic Studies “scholar” who is really more of an activist from San Francisco State University; Bill Mullen from the American Studies Association; and Marjorie Cohn from the National Lawyers Guild.


Kurwa introduced the audience to the event: “For what promises to be an amazing weekend of education and organization in solidarity work in the Palestinian struggle for liberation,” and said the event would serve for “the refreshing of Palestinian solidarity activism.”  He recounted changes in the BDS Movement from 2009, 2010 and 2012 to 2014 today. In 2009, he said, “Professor William Robinson at UC Santa Barbara was called to task for using his university website to promote boycotting Israel outside his field of study and objections were raised then by Jewish groups.” Robinson managed to weather the campaign when the University decided he could do so as part of “academic freedom,” Kurwa said. Part of Robinson’s campaign back then, which Kurwa didn’t discuss, was his use of photos of Palestinian “victims” of Israeli “atrocities” placed alongside photos from the Holocaust. In fact, many of the photos of alleged Palestinian “victims” were actually photos of Israelis being beaten by Israeli police as they were deported from their homes in the West Bank, or staged scenes of Arabs that had no comparison with the Holocaust despite claims to the contrary:


 Kurwa declared also that in 2009 that Jewish groups had attacked UCLA’s Center for Near East Studies as being biased against Israel particularly during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. He declared these attacks as being engineered solely because the Jewish groups didn’t like the message rather than being due to academic bias or propaganda. “What they are doing today,” he said, “is asking for the same thing they asked for five years ago: for Middle East studies to stop producing scholarship.”


 He went on to describe the disruption of Israeli ambassador Michael Oren’s speech at UC Irvine by UC Irvine’s Muslim Students Association and some Students for Justice in Palestine as a “brief disruption” (the event was closed down) that the Orange County district attorney misrepresented from “an exercise in free speech to an illegal conspiratorial act” (a conspiracy was proven about the event in court ) and various chapters of the SJP considered the action as part of a valid new system of “disrupting pro-Palestinian speakers throughout the UC system so they could not speak.” Kurwa accused the Orange County District Attorney of “twisting the law.”


Kurwa also alluded to the case of Palestinian activist Rasmea Odeh in Chicago who is currently facing deportation   hearings due to what he again termed “twisting” of immigration laws to punish her for being pro-Palestinian. He conveniently ignored the fact that Odeh murdered two men in a supermarket bombing in Israel in 1989 for which she was sentenced to twenty years in prison but paroled by Israel after ten. Odeh later lied on her entry papers to the United States saying she had never been convicted of a felony. To avoid the deportation, Odeh and her supporters fabricated claims of torture while she was in prison in Israel, and of her father being brought to her cell in front of 45 Israeli policemen and being forced to disrobe in front of her and coerced to rape her in front of everyone. This is her argument for not being deported and it is a lie, especially since people do not realize that if Odeh’s deportation orders go through, she would not be sent back to Israel but to Jordan, the country she left from to go to the United States and where she lived after her parole. Odeh’s plight was a recurring cause celebre at this conference to try and get her deportation canceled.



Flashing forward to the more current events, Kurwa also bemoaned the recent sacking of Professor Stephen Salaita   from the University of Illinois at Champlain   because of his outspoken support for Palestine which Kurwa also deemed an abuse of academic freedom. Salaita was in fact sacked before he begin a term at that university after it was determined he had made multiple anti-Semitic public remarks against Jews and declared Israel an “apartheid state” when it is in fact the only state in the Middle East that does not practice apartheid. Given that the entire conference was based on half-truths and at times outright lies to forward its destroy- Israel- at- all -costs agenda,   it’s not much of a surprise that support for Salaita would be such a strong issue also at this event. The attendees were encouraged by Kurwa, “to find Professor Salaita a job someplace, somehow, so he could continue his work” and he, too, was named a cause celebre for those in attendance.


Next up to speak was Rabab Abdulhadi of SFSU. Abdulahdi, as a Professor of Ethnic Studies has had a career as a pro-Palestinian activist against Israel and the US on the California taxpayer’s dime and recently came under criticism for spending $7,000 of California tax dollars on a trip to the Middle East to “show solidarity” and meet with PFLP terrorist Laila Khaled . Khaled was one of the first terrorists to start airplane hijacking and is under house arrest in Jordan.


Abdulhadi devoted part of her speech to attacking AMCHA and Stand With Us campus, two Pro-Israel advocacy groups that exposed Abdulhadi’s expenditures and statements in support of groups like Hamas. She thanked the conference organizers for “...the amazing support they have shown me after I have been attacked by the AMCHA Initiative campaign. It could not have happened without you.” Abdulhadi accused such groups of violating “academic freedom” and her right to free speech.


Abdulhadi complained of what she termed a “collection of attacks” that she alleged were from pro-Israel groups during the war on Gaza “and what this means to us in terms of repression.”


Citing attacks on “pro-Palestinian students and myself” she alleged took place not only at San Francisco State, she elaborated a list of other colleges to include “UC Santa Cruz, UC Davis, San Jose State, UC Berkeley, UCLA, University of Vermont, Northeastern, Northwestern, University of Michigan, NYU, Brooklyn College and elsewhere...” that she said were conducted by AMCHA, Stand With Us, Simon Wiesenthal and other pro-Jewish groups as being further examples of “a campaign of repression” and “denials of academic freedom.”


She and the other speakers on the panel scoffed at requests by such pro-Israel groups for “civility” from pro-Palestinian and BDS groups on campuses, such requests deemed as being “merely attempts to stifle debate.”   This flew in the face of numerous physical attacks on pro-Israel students, even non-Jews, across the country by BDS groups.


She continued, “These attacks [by pro-Israel groups] are part of a very long history of repression and I’d like to send some as old as myself back to the Los Angeles 8 who were attacked by President Bush who then failed in trying to intimidate debate.” The LA 8 were prosecuted over twenty years ago for deportations after the FBI found fundraising and connections from them to the PFLP terrorist group, the same one Leila Khaled belongs to. Abdulhadi then said the government “...wanted to build internment camps for the citizens of 7 Arab countries and Iran and put people like the Japanese during World War II in them.”


Abdulhadi went on to praise the current SFSU President who she maintained in private had assured her he would never let groups like AMCHA or Stand with Us deny her “academic freedom”   whereas “...the previous president had sought to control my behavior.” She continued adamantly, “I have a right to spend public tax dollars to teach social justice if I want to.”  


She then went into a litany of revolutionary dialog, declaring Israel guilty of colonialism, an example of “white settlers taking advantage of an indigenous population.” She even included the situation in Ferguson as an example of where what the termed the indigenous black population was being abused by “the white settler community and the police department”—a rather silly statement.   Incredibly, she also said the police officer who slew Michael Brown had  been trained by Israel ( a complete lie) and complained about the “militarization” of the police “as a way of taking advantage of the haves and have- nots.”


She extended this idea to the recent war in Gaza as an example of the “haves” (Israel) taking advantage of the “have-nots” (the Palestinians). But then she claimed the Palestinians would rather live under bombardment by the Israelis and “stand tall” than capitulate to the Israeli government and she predicted a Third Intifada in the near future. She alluded to Palestinian cooperation with the ANC in fighting South African apartheid from SFSU in the 80’s   (Jewish students did this also back then) and complained pointedly about the arrest of Sami al-Arian who was the US head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad in 2001, as if this was some form of oppression (Al-Arian was responsible for the deaths of over 100 people including some Americans through terrorist attacks).  She attributed these events to racism by the “Zionists.” She declared in spite of setbacks like the war in Gaza and against BDS that their movement “...is more legitimate today for Palestinians than it ever was.” Abdulhadi, who went to the Middle East to show “solidarity” with a PFLP terrorist and consistently spoke of Palestinians aligning themselves with the likes of Hamas, concluded her speech by saying the BDS movement that day would mean “ ‘Never Again’ for anyone,” referring to Jewish resolve against another Holocaust. Considering her support for groups and individuals whose charter and verbiage call for the annihilation of all world Jewry, her concluding remarks were surreal.



The evening concluded with Marjorie Cohn of the National Lawyers Guild, who, in addition to her shoddy math about rocket attacks on Israel, gave a long lecture on how BDS and anti-Israel advocates on campus could preserve their right to speak on campus, explaining what was legal and what was not legal. A pamphlet was also circulated to everyone in attendance. It was mentioned that some campuses had tried to “silence” pro-Palestinian speakers and she explained the law to everyone to see they would not be “silenced.” She mentioned earlier in the evening that she and the NLG were excoriated by Alan Dershowitz, an Israel supporter, for dishonesty and use of the law to promote BDS in America . She stated that she was very proud of Dershowitz’s vituperation against her. “I took it as a badge of honor,” she said.


 


Next up was Bill Mullen, a history professor and   faculty advisor to SJP at Purdue. Mullen spoke about the Academic Studies Association’s (ASA’s) recent vote to boycott Israeli academics and programs. Mullen was highly critical and derisive of pro-Israel groups who opposed this, citing his own interpretation of academic freedom. According to Mullen, such opposition groups called for “civility” in academia when it came to discussing the Israel-Palestine conflict, Mullen declaring such requests an attempt to control unpopular ideas from the pro-Palestinian camp that would hinder critical thinking. Actually, such “civility” is supposed to mean not lying about Israeli history and actions (a frequent tactic at this conference also) or condoning terrorist groups   and their  tactics (such as defining terrorism as “legitimate resistance.”). Mullen further suggested it referred only to legitimate criticism of Israel and its policies and was just an effort to indoctrinate students from learning for themselves. He didn’t bother to mention that the vote and lobbying for this boycott activity in the ASA was carried out by Noura Erekat and some Palestinian plants along with some 80 Arab professors in the ASA who promote BDS and whose sole purpose of being there was to be a stacked deck to push for a boycott of Israeli institutions and to do so by misrepresentation if need be. Noura Erekat is the niece Saeb Erekat, Arafat’s second-in-command of the PLO and no slouch when it comes to lying about Israel committing atrocities against Arabs (Saeb claimed, for example, that the entire city of Jenin and its Arab population were wiped out by Israel; as a result he was banned from several television stations for doing so). In keeping with the tactic of lying by omission, Mullen failed to point out that boycotting Israeli academics and professors, rather than being an exercise in academic freedom was in fact a way to deny academic freedom to the pro-Israel camp by silencing anything they had to say and preventing them from proving when the BDS advocates in the ASA were lying. Documentation from the US Campaign who staged this conference, documentation that is generally fraudulent or leaves out details, was used as a basis for   a petition to boycott Israel from within the ASA.

                                                                     


The evening concluded with Marjorie Cohn of the National Lawyers Guild, who, in addition to her shoddy math about rocket attacks on Israel, gave a long lecture on how BDS and anti-Israel advocates on campus could preserve their right to speak on campus, explaining what was legal and what was not legal. A pamphlet was also circulated to everyone in attendance. It was mentioned that some campuses had tried to “silence” pro-Palestinian speakers and she explained the law to everyone to see they would not be “silenced.” She mentioned earlier in the evening that she and the NLG were excoriated by Alan Desrhowitz, an Israel supporter, for dishonesty and use of the law to promote BDS in America . She stated that she was very proud of Dershowitz’s vituperation against her. “I took it as a badge of honor,” she said.

 


 THE BREAKOUT AND PLANNING SESSIONS


Saturday was devoted to revolving sessions that covered different planning and strategies to promote BDS against Israel in the United States.


The morning session was titled Mainstreaming BDS & Connecting Struggles and featured several speakers, but notably Suhad Khatib from the US Campaign and Gabriel Schivone, a “youth organizer” with UNIDOS intelligence-bas