International Solidarity Movement Culpable in the Death of Rachel Corrie
JERUSALEM – In anticipation of the expected verdict on Tuesday, August 28 in the civil court case brought by the parents of Rachel Corrie, Jerusalem based NGO Monitor released the following statement:
“Rachel Corrie’s death was a tragedy, but it could have been prevented. Leaders of the ISM movement have repeatedly made statements in support of violence,” said Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor.
The International Solidarity Movement describes itself as “a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using nonviolent, direct-action methods and principles.” The ISM has a long record of encouraging activists to take “direct action,” even if that means putting them in harm’s way, often in direct confrontations with the Israel Defense Forces. Rachel Corrie’s actions as an ISM activist were very much part of this strategy of dangerous confrontation.
In 2002, ISM co-founders Adam Shapiro and Huwaida Arraf stated, “The Palestinian resistance must take on a variety of characteristics, both non-violent and violent…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.”
According to Steinberg, “ISM’s cynical and immoral strategy endangers the lives of its members. ISM co-founder Thomas Saffold showed an utter lack of regret over Corrie’s death, boasting afterwards that ‘we’re like a peace army. Generals send young men and women off to operations, and some die.’ Her bereaved parents should address the ISM for causing her wrongful death, and not target the IDF that is charged with protecting Israeli civilians against terrorism.”
ISM has made no effort to hide its affiliation with organizations that seek the destruction of the State of Israel. In 2002 activists with ISM attempted to act as human shields for terrorists occupying Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity. In 2003, ISM activist Susan Barclay acknowledged that she worked with representatives of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. More recently the ISM has been involved with the “Free Gaza Flotilla” and violent protests against the security barrier in Ni’lin, where an ISM activist was injured. Despite the number of casualties, ISM continues to encourage activists’ entry into conflict zones, further endangering them. Rachel Corrie’s parents are compounding the tragedy by lending their names to the immoral campaigns to demonize Israel.
For more details on ISM, go to this page on the NGO Monitor website.