International Solidarity Movement (ISM)
|In their own words||“a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using nonviolent, direct-action methods and principles.”|
- The International Solidarity Movement is a project of the Association for Investment in Popular Action Committees.
- In 2018, the Association for Investment in Popular Action Committees’ total income was $173,692; total expenses were $187,360.
- In the past, donations to ISM were funneled through 501(c)(3) classified organizations, such as the Middle East Children’s Alliance and the Brecht Forum.
- Claims not to “receive any funding from any state, government or association.” According to its website, “ISM is an entirely grassroots funded organization, with no corporate or fixed sponsors, and all of our volunteers are self-funded.”
- In 2014, A.J. Muste Institute, ISM-USA’s then “fiscal sponsor,” granted ISM $6,618.
- While ISM describes itself as “a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using nonviolent, direct-action methods and principles,” its own mission statement states, “we recognize the Palestinian right to resist Israeli violence and occupation via legitimate armed struggle” (emphases added).
- ISM rhetoric includes accusing Israel of “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” ”genocide,” “collective punishment,” and “war crimes,” as well as supporting a Palestinian “right of return.”
- In February 2020, ISM was part of a coalition to “Dismantle the Ghetto: Take the settlers of out of Hebron.” According to the campaign, “Before the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement…funded and instituted a program of settler-colonialism. This program carries on today, and with it, the elimination and erasure of indigenous Palestinian communities.”
- In September 2018, Joe Catron, an ISM volunteer, was a signatory on a petition to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda calling for the ICC to “immediately move forward to investigate and refer for prosecution by the International Criminal Court those violations of International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law committed by individuals acting or purporting to act on behalf of the State of Israel.”
- In October-November 2018, Huwaida Arraf, ISM co-founder, participated in a workshop at the National Lawyers Guild “Annual Conference,” titled “Killing Gaza: A Man-Made Humanitarian and Human Rights Disaster.” The workshop discussed the “ongoing Israeli massacres of 2018 during the Great March of Return, the illegality (multiple violations of international human rights & humanitarian law), and immorality, as well as of the possible avenues of redress – and their effectiveness in ending Israeli impunity. Emphasis on the role of the US in giving Israel carte blanche militarily, economically and diplomatically.”
- In May 2017, Huwaida Arraf, ISM co-founder, and Brad Parker, International Advocacy Director for Defense for Children International – Palestine, co-led an Eyewitness Palestine (formerly Interfaith Peace Builders) delegation with a focus on “Incarceration, Detention, and Political Prisoners” and hold meetings with leaders of the “No Way to Treat a Child Campaign.” The delegation was sponsored by CODEPINK and Defense for Children International- Palestine. (For more information on “No Way to Treat a Child,” read NGO Monitor’s report “The Origins of “No Way to Treat a Child”: Analyzing UNICEF’s Report on Palestinian Minors.”)
- In September 2016, ISM accused Israeli soldiers of “extrajudicial killings of Palestinian civilians” and stated that “this is yet another face of Israeli colonialism and the continuous genocide of Palestinian civilians living under occupation.”
- In February 2016, ISM referred to the “apartheid fence” as a “symbol of persecution and maltreatment” which “sum up Zionist Israel perfectly. Gutless and heartless in their ethnic cleansing of Palestine … They just want to make life so unbearable for these poor people, from every possible angle, so they quit and leave.”
- In 2015, NoTaxDollarsToIsrael.com, a site registered to Paul Larudee, co-founder of the Northern California branch of ISM, sponsored a bus ad campaign in San Francisco stating “Israel’s War Crimes, Your Tax Dollars at Work.”
- In September 2014, Larudee wrote an article referring to Israel as a “parasite” that is “feeding” off the United States and has “control” over US “media” and “government.” According to Larudee, “the Israel Lobby has grown with few constraints, fed by its domination of the American Jewish community, extensive control of publishing and the media, the establishment and control of strategic think tanks that provide governmental advisers, and by a well-coordinated and lavishly funded political campaign machine.”
- In November 2011, ISM activist Ben Lorber accused Israel of “oppression and ethnic cleansing,” as well as blaming the “settlers” in Hebron for Arab hostility as “ they are hated here because they bring an occupation that chokes the life of the city, and they are a symbol of a larger occupation that has choked the life of all Palestine.”
- In February 2009, Huwaida Arraf participated in a National Lawyers Guild delegation which traveled to Gaza to “document possible Israeli violations of international law and war crimes that may have been committed during Operation Cast Lead.”
- In 2007, Greta Berlin, one of the founders of ISM, stated “For 60 years the Palestinians have waited for justice. How much longer must they pay the price for what Europe did to the Jews? How much longer will the international community turn away and say, “We didn’t see, we didn’t know…Wake up. You can’t turn away from the crimes of Israel. You can’t close your eyes any longer to the slow-motion genocide of the Palestinians.”
- Encourages activists to take “direct action” that often places them in danger and in direct confrontations with Israeli Defense Forces during military operations. ISM has been described as “Embracing Palestinian militants, even suicide bombers, as freedom fighters,” and “entering military zones to interfere with the operations of Israeli soldiers.”
- In June 2018, during the violence on the Gaza border, ISM called for volunteers to come participate in the protests. According to ISM, volunteers are needed because “the brutal siege of Gaza has transformed the strip into an open air prison camp… They are marching out of the concentration camp that Israel has transformed Gaza into. They are marching to claim the international human right of refugees to return. Because of this, the Israeli occupying forces are murdering them in cold blood. The courage and sacrifice of this March demands all to stand up and end Israeli impunity and apartheid.” ISM ignored the violent nature of the protests, which have consisted of an organized armed attack on the Israeli border and IDF positions, attempts to destroy and breach the border fence, and sustained arson, rocket, and mortar attacks on Israeli civilian communities.
- In October 2016, ISM defended the Palestinian’s use of stones as a method of resistance, as “Each stone thrown today, holds the significance and weight of each thrown before it. As Israeli colonialism continues to spread, the stones of the earth continue to build a foundation for Palestinian resistance to stand on. They have acted as this from the beginning of the occupation and will continue to for as long as the oppressive policies of the Israeli state persist.”
- ISM has been responsible for endangering the safety of many foreign nationals, including American citizen Rachel Corrie and UK citizen Tom Hurndall. Both were killed while participating in ISM activities. In response to Corrie’s death, ISM co-founder Thom Saffold said, “It’s possible they [the protesters] were not as disciplined as we would have liked. But we’re like a peace army. Generals send young men and women off to operations, and some die.”
- Arraf and ISM volunteer Greta Berlin were organizers and spokespersons for the “Free Gaza flotilla” (May 2010) which attempted to run the blockade of Gaza and caused violent clashes with the Israeli Navy.
- Involved in the violent protests against the security barrier at Ni’lin. Tristan Anderson from California was injured in March 2009 during such an event.
Support for Terrorism
- ISM has stated that it “supports Palestinian communities in protesting collective punishments such as checkpoints, roadblocks, massive round-ups, curfews and home demolitions, and encourages popular nonviolent actions against them.”
- According to an official Israeli report, “ISM members take an active part in illegal and violent actions against IDF soldiers. At times, their activity… is under the auspices of Palestinian terrorist organizations.”
- 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…In actuality, nonviolence is not enough…Yes, people will get killed and injured,” but these deaths are “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.”
- Paul Larudee has expressed support for terrorism, euphemistically called “armed resistance.” In a 2015 interview on the Berkeley, California radio station KPFA, Larudee said: “Although we are totally dedicated to non-violence, we recognize that not everybody that we work with in the Palestinian community is necessarily devoted to non-violence. And under international law, it is permitted for oppressed and occupied peoples to resist using armed resistance. This is permitted and we recognize their right to do so.”
- In 2008, ISM member Richard David Hupper was convicted by a U.S. federal jury for materially aiding Hamas, “giving about $20,000 to Hamas while working in Israel with the International Solidarity Movement, a non-governmental organization.”
- In 2003, ISM activist Susan Barclay “said in an interview with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, she knowingly worked with representatives from Hamas and Islamic Jihad.” The U.S. State Department designates both these groups as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs).
- In 2003, terrorists originating from UK attacked the Mike’s Place bar in Tel Aviv, murdering three people. An official Israeli report showed how the terrorists covered their tracks “by forging links with foreign left wing activists and members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).” According to this report, “ISM members take an active part in illegal and violent actions against IDF soldiers. At times, their activity….is under the auspices of Palestinian terrorist organizations.”
- In 2003, ISM activist Ewa Jasiewicz wrote about a shooting attack against Israeli civilians: “Lawd – S-T-R-A-T-E-G-Y, I understand its about attacking civilian life the way civilian life has been crushed and continually denied under the occupation and showing Israelis that they are not safe… from the indefatigable Palestinian resistance etc But that mesage (sic) has been got loud and clear. I don’t get why activists can’t go and do the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) or something, or do a sophisticated politician bump-off.”
- In a 2003 interview on the ISM-London website, Saif Abu Keshek, ISM’s Nablus coordinator at the time, said: “we recognise the right of the Palestinians to choose their way of resistance. To join our way of resistance or to choose armed struggle.”
- In March 2003, senior Islamic Jihad terrorist Shadi Sukiya was arrested while he was hiding in ISM’s Jenin office and being assisted by two ISM activists.
- During the April 2002 standoff between the Israeli army and terrorists in Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, Arraf and a group of activists acted as voluntary human shields on behalf of the terrorists.
- In March 2018, PayPal stopped providing services to the French branch of ISM due to its support for BDS campaigns against Israel.
- Adam Shapiro, Co-Founder of ISM, is an endorser of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, a “U.S. campaign focused specifically on a boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions.”
- Huwaida Arraf has advocated for BDS against Israel stating, “There’s a global movement of citizens working against occupation and apartheid, which includes the Boicott, [sic] Disinvestment and Sanctions movement. This is a very effective tool, which helps make Israel feel accountable for what is happening. Governments are not doing it, so civil society must… The BDS is also growing bigger as part of global citizenship pressure. We´re creating an alternative voice to contest Israeli narrative.”
- In April 2019, ISM endorsed the “cultural boycott of the Eurovision Singing Contest …Whilst the colonization forces prepare historical Palestine for the upcoming Eurovision singing contest, the stage is also being set for further oppression and genocide of the Palestinian people.”
- In October 2018, Huwaida Arraf participated at an event at the University of Michigan titled “What is BDS? And Why Does it Matter?” Following the event, Arraf tweeted “Honored to take part in excellent groundbreaking event on #BDS sponsored by university departments at @UMich Hopefully just the beginning b/c just as UM divested from apartheid South Africa, it should divest from apartheid Israel.”
- In Fall 2017, the Northern California branch of ISM and Al-Awda sponsored the North American Nakba Tour. The Nakba Tour called for individuals to “Keep up the pressure on Congress. Tell your representatives to stop U.S. aid to Israel now” as well as to “Build the boycott of Israel– including academic, cultural, economic and military boycotts. The Israeli state doesn’t accomplish its ongoing Nakba alone; the support of complicit governments and corporations is critical. By joining boycott campaigns, people of conscience can provide a material boost to Palestinians’ struggle for return and liberation.”
- In November 2016, ISM called on individuals to write to their elected government officials to “stop funding the various degrees of genocide that Israel is committing here in Palestine… Speak up. As long as our country continues to support the behavior of Israel with our tax dollars we are all responsible!
- In October 2016, Arraf signed a letter to the editor sent to The New York Review of Books welcoming their “shattering of the taboo against boycotting Israeli entities that are complicit in—at least selective—violations of Palestinian human rights,” however stating that “the statement calls for boycotting settlements while letting Israel, the state that has illegally built and maintained those settlements for decades, off the hook. Moreover, shouldn’t Israeli banks that are not based in settlements but finance their construction be targeted as well?”
- In July 2016, Paul Larudee, co-founder of the Northern California branch of ISM, sent a letter to the New York State Commissioner of the Office of General Services reporting that the Association for Investment in Popular Action Committees (the fiscal sponsor of ISM) “boycotts all Israeli products and services, and encourages other institutions, companies and individuals to cease and avoid all economic, academic and cultural activity that supports the racist state of Israel until that state dissolves itself, welcomes all Palestinians to return to their homes, restores all of their property and pays damages for the harm it has done to Palestinians and their property.”
- In April 2014, ISM signed a joint “call to action” urging the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to “divest their shares” from the “Israeli prison contractor G4S” because of “its role in Israel’s abhorrent prison system….through its holdings in G4S, the Gates Foundation is legitimising and profiting from Israel’s use of torture and mass incarceration.”
- In April 2010, ISM participated in a protest against Ahava to “voice their opposition,” as “Ahava’s factories are on stolen Palestinian land, it acts to ethnically cleanse the West Bank of Palestinians and also increases the stability of these illegal settlements by making them economically viable.”
- In February 2009, ISM issued a statement calling for an “escalation of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction campaign” as BDS is “necessary to resist the intensification of the collective punishment, imprisonment and ongoing war on the people of Palestine.
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