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.
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
U.S. CAMPAIGN TO END THE ISRAELI
WEST COAST PLANNING
CONFERENCE SEPT. 19-21, 2014
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
He went on to
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
This flew in the face of
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
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
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.
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
did this also back then) and complained pointedly about the arrest of
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
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
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
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
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
Saturday was devoted to revolving sessions that
covered different planning and strategies to promote BDS against Israel in the
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