By Lee Kaplan
FrontPageMagazine.com | November 26, 2003

THE "Skill Share Discussion Workshop" was entitled "Deconstructing Zionist Responses On Your Campus." The topic? How to dismiss concern over suicide bombings while debating the Israel/Palestine issue. "Refuse to discuss it", said one student. “Don’t get defensive,” said one. "Blame it on Israel," said another. Still another advised protesters to ask, "Would it be better if it wasn't a suicide bomber? Is this tactic so beneath reproach?"

Was this discussion of defending suicide bombers held in some clandestine basement setting? Actually, it was held publicly on the campus of Ohio State University, which hosted The Third Annual National Student Conference On Palestine Solidarity from November 7th to 9th. For three days, Islamist radicals gathered in America’s heartland to openly call for the destruction of Israel, the overthrow of the U.S. government and to take the side of the murderers in the War on Terrorism.


This meeting was originally set to take place at Rutgers University, but organizers moved it to OSU when Rutgers University had the good sense to cancel it. However, the cancellation only took place after Rutgers organizer Charlotte Kates publicly declared that Israeli children are "legitimate" targets of suicide bombers. Kates took part in the OSU meeting, where she was joined by many other radical activists advocating the destruction of Israel "by any means necessary."


Terrorism: It’s a Family Affair


ONE OF THE CONFERENCE’S main organizers was Fayyad Sbaihat, a student at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, who heads the pro-Palestinian group Al Awda. (Al Awda means "the Return" in Arabic. This refers to Yasser Arafat's call for everyone who considers himself a Palestinian - all 4.5 million people – to settle inside Israel's 1948 borders, flooding the Jewish state with Islamist elements.) According to Israeli security sources, Sbaihat and his entire family are active members of the terrorist organization, the Popular Front For the Liberation Of Palestine (PFLP). The PFLP was responsible for the murder of Israeli Tourism Minister Rahbaa'm Zevi in Jerusalem and has frequently engaged in terrorist attacks against innocent Israelis. Two of Sbaihat's brothers are active PFLP members in the West Bank.


Vietnam-Era Retreads


WHILE SOME PANEL GUESTS tried to obscure their family connections to death, others openly advocated murder at the conference. Vernon Bellecourt of the American Indian Movement (AIM), a group known for murdering two FBI agents in a 1975 shooting. Bellecourt, who introduced himself as AIM's "foreign minister," explained his group's relationship with the Palestinian movement started when AIM was invited on an all-expense-paid trip to Libya by terrorist chief-of-state Mohammar Quaddafi. Bellecourt called for activists to overthrow the U.S. government and declared the presidential candidates of both major parties as "war criminals," calling for "a people's tribunal to carry out a (death) sentence." Then he wrapped himself in an Arafat-style keffiyah as a gesture of his solidarity with the PLO. "I, too, am a Palestinian," he said.


Vernon Bellecourt later bemoaned the killing of Hussein's sons as "an assassination" carried out by the U.S. government. "Imagine," he bellowed, "if someone had killed President Bush's daughters in a similar way!" Hussein's sons were killed in a firefight in which American soldiers were wounded. And, of course, Bush's daughters did not torture and murder thousands of their own countrymen every single month. This not-so-subtle distinction eluded the rapt audience, which nodded and voiced its approval.


AIM's leftist fellow travelers on the Libyan visit, Kwame Ture's (better known as the late Stokely Carmichael's) All Afrika People's Revolutionary Party, were also at the OSU conference advocating the overthrow of the U.S. government. The APRP also seemed to take pride in being one of the earliest radical movements to seek the destruction of the State of Israel.


Al-Qaeda “Freedom Fighters”?


SPEAKERS ALSO HEAPED PRAISE upon al-Qaeda. Fatima Ayub, a female graduate student at Johns Hopkins University, spoke glowingly of "freedom fighters" in "Afghanistan, Palestine, Iraq and Chechnya." These are all locations where al-Qaeda has been active, two of them areas where Americans are being killed. Most people would question if the Taliban and al-Qaeda are freedom fighters and ask about the 3,000 murdered on 9/11, but this crowd did not give it a thought. Trying desperately to maintain the multicultural flavor of the day, Ayub pledged to fight for the "freedom of the Palestinian people and social justice with the Iraqis, Native and Black Americans."


Hatefest, Day Two


THE SECOND DAY began with high security. Anyone wishing to attend the "General Meeting and Reports Back & Assessment," at which chapters of the Palestine Solidarity Movement on 80 U.S. campuses reported their progress in fostering hatred of Jews and Israel, had to go through a metal detector. The high security measure was not designed to protect the well-being of the participants but to protect their “strategy.” The detectors were to make sure no one had a camera or tape recorder, since reports of the previous conferences at Berkeley and the University of Michigan leaked out. I waited in line a half-hour behind a pin-emblazoned backpack with multiple buttons calling for the release of cop-killer Mumia abu-Jamal before finally getting in.


Students from all over the country took turns at microphones describing their successes (and, thankfully, failures) against the "Zionists" (Jews) on their campuses and what they had done that year to destroy Israel. Fortunately, many said they were not very successful - yet. But the West Virginia chapter boasted of having "infiltrated" the student government there and gotten divestment and anti-Israel amendments through. Wayne State in Michigan, the area in the U.S. with the largest Palestinian population, and Sbaihat's Al Awda at University of Wisconsin were the most successful in pushing their universities to divest and pass resolutions condemning Israel.


Jews for Genocide


SEVERAL PROMINENTLY FEATURED LEFTISTS JEWS joined the Islamists and aging hippies, forming a vital element of this pro-terror coalition. These leftist Jews lent invaluable cover to Palestinian radicals, casting their campaign of genocide as a "human rights" movement and deflecting the anti-Semitism so openly espoused at earlier conferences. Some of these, like Adam Shapiro of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), told me they no longer consider themselves Jews – but have no problem representing themselves as such to aid the Palestinian cause. Still others said they considered themselves "Israelis" but not Jews. Henry Hershkovitz, himself a "Jew For Palestine," lamented the arrest of Sami al-Arian as a "setback" for the movement. Al-Arian is the North American leader of the terrorist organization Palestine Islamic Jihad, which has murdered more than 100 people, including some Americans.


Abe Greenhouse of Rutgers University boasted of how he had smashed a pie in the face of Natan Sharansky, Israeli Minister for Diaspora Affairs. (Greenhouse famously whined, "But I'm a Jew, too," as he was arrested that day.) The audience and Abe chuckled about Greenhouse's "Biotic Brigade" and its physical assault upon a Jewish leader who stood up against Soviet repression and emerged as an international hero.


Adam Shapiro of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) took to the stage to announce that he would unveil the plans radicals would follow in the coming year to help dismantle Israel.


But the foremost "token Jew" at this event was Ora Wise, a rabbi's daughter and Hebrew teacher at Kol Chayeinu Synagogue in Brooklyn, New York. Ora chanted, "Zionism is racism," and called for the end of Israel, an "apartheid" state. Ora spreads Palestinian propaganda around the U.S., providing an invaluable Jewish spokeswoman to the enemies of the Jewish state. (1)


Wise points to her own ethnicity as proof that there is no anti-Semitism in the movement. She did her job well at the conference, calling upon the "mainstream Jewish community to reject unfounded accusations of anti-Semitism against the Palestine Solidarity Movement." However, she admitted to a colleague of mine she is aware that the Palestinians’ ultimate goal is to wipe out Israeli Jews and appropriate Jewish homes to themselves.


All of these Jewish speakers illustrated the success of the Palestinian movement’s most recent agenda: enroll Jewish speakers on behalf of Islamist terror. The conference itself offered one session on how to infiltrate Jewish campus groups and use mainstream Jewish spokespeople – especially those who marched against the Vietnam War - in the current campaign against Israel. Speakers even boasted that the “Birthright Program,” funded by Jewish philanthropists and designed to bring young Jews to visit Israel, was being manipulated to subsidize ISM volunteers, who interfere with anti-terror efforts of the Israeli army.




Another "Action Workshop" dealt with "Building the Caterpillar Campaign: Developing A National Structure." This workshop discussed the most effective ways to resurrect Vietnam-era tactics to financially harass Dow Chemical, applying them to the Caterpillar Corporation. Why Caterpillar? Because Israel uses Caterpillar equipment to bulldoze the homes of suicide bombers and Caterpillar tractors to build its security fence. Attendees were advised how to dress as lobbyists to infiltrate Caterpillar's offices, how to stage mock performances of Rachel Corrie's accidental death, and how to pour fake blood all over the sidewalk to make an impression. The goal here was to damage Caterpillar's business and hence, further weaken Israel's ability to protect its people from terrorism.


As the conference drew to a close, Ora Wise read the principles that the inner circle had privately drawn up for the next conference. The P.C. document demanded adherence to “democratic procedures,” even allowing a "transgendered" person on every organizing board. Of course, the Palestinians these people support do not share any of their high-sounding democratic principles and, given the chance, would liquidate transgendered people. This conference hastened the day they can do precisely that, scripting the radical Islamists' strategy for an American campaign to weaken Israel through divestment campaigns and campus protests until calls for the "Right of Return" can finish her off. Then, just as Vietnam fell to Communism after America's withdrawal, democratic Israel can fall to Islamofascism the same way. In this way, Americans - even Jewish/Americans - can be fooled into thinking they are supporting "human rights" and "peace." Meanwhile, the suicide bombers and terrorists can ply their trade with the knee-jerk support of those Americans they would most like to kill: pampered college students and Jews from all walks of life.