Israellycool » International Solidarity Movement Down Under Punditry in the Middle East Wed, 12 Aug 2015 09:14:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Where The ISM Calls A Terrorist A “Freedom Fighter” Mon, 01 Apr 2013 19:18:42 +0000

Samer Issawi: Freedom fighter #FreeSamerNOW

— ISM Palestine (@IsmPalestine) April 1, 2013


Here’s a reminder about Issawi’s “freedom fighting” activities”:

According to the Israel Prison Service, Samer Issawi of Issawiyeh, Jerusalem was arrested in April 2002 and sentenced to 26 years for attempted murder, belonging to an unrecognized (terror) organization, military training, and possession of weapons, arms and explosive materials. Issawi (identification number 037274735) was one of the 477 Palestinian prisoners released in the first stage of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange in October 2011. (The Prison Service lists him as Samir Tariq Ahmad Muhammad. Multiple names are not uncommon among Palestinians. The date of his arrest, birth, his sentence term and the terms of his release are consistent with the details provided about Samer Issawi in media reports.)

In an October 2011 letter to the editor of the Guardian, Amir Ofek of the Israeli embassy in London took that paper to task for failing to provide information about Issawi’s terror activities. He detailed:

Your centrefold (19 October) carries a double-spread photograph of released prisoner Samer Tareq al-Issawi in a cheering crowd, after being freed under the terms of the deal to release Gilad Shalit. It is important to point out the grave terrorism offences of which Al-Issawi was convicted, including firing a gun at a civilian vehicle in October 2001, indiscriminately firing an AK47 assault rifle at civilian buses, and manufacturing and distributing pipe bombs used in attacks on Israeli civilians.


Capt. Eytan Buchman, an IDF spokesman, has provided CAMERA with additional details about Issawi’s terror activities. He writes that Issawi

was convicted of severe crimes, which including five attempts of intentional death. This included four shootings, between July 2001 and February 2002, in which Isawi and his partners fired on police cars and buses travelling between Ma’ale Adumim and Jerusalem. In one attack, a policeman was injured and required surgery. On October 30, 2001, Isawi, together with an accomplice, fired at two students walking from the Hebrew University campus to their car in a nearby parking lot. In another case, Isawi provided guns and explosive devices to a squad, who fired on a bus. Finally, in December 2001, Isawi ordered an attack on security personnel at Hebrew University, providing a squad with a pistol and a pipebomb. Two of the squad members tracked security personnel but opted not to execute the attack.

And here’s some reminders of the ISM’s claims of supporting non-violence:

The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli apartheid in Palestine by using nonviolent, direct-action methods and principles.


The ISM does not support or condone any acts of terrorism – which is not legitimate armed struggle. The ISM does not associate, support, or have anything to do with armed or violent resistance to the occupation. The ISM does not assist or engage in any kind of armed resistance, no matter what form it may take.

They may as well give up the pretense.

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Did Baltzer BS? (Updated) Wed, 30 Jan 2013 19:28:25 +0000 Anna Baltzer, who I have mentioned on Israellycool before, is not your typical BDShole, for the sole reason that she’s aesthetically pleasing.

And while she looks good in makeup, important parts of her bio are apparently made up.

Lee Kaplan explains (while acknowledging her physical beauty in the first sentence):

anna baltzerAnna Baltzer, a pretty lady who heads the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (USCEIO) in Washington, DC., has developed a platform for herself going about the world lecturing as a Jew who once supported the State of Israel, but who had an epiphany and discovered that Israel and “Zionists” were exploiting and abusing the Palestinian people. The USCEIO is, in fact, the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) renamed for the purpose of lobbying Congress in Washington. It was created by Huwaida Arraf, one of the co-founders of the ISM who also serves on the group’s steering committee.

Placing Anna Baltzer as the titular head of the Campaign was intended to convince both Jews and non-Jews that opposition to Israel’s existence is fine because even Jews such as her believe in the necessity of destroying the Jewish state, especially through boycotts and divestment. Anna Baltzer is a modern day Tokyo Rose for the ISM against Israel: she speaks at anti-Israel events and promotes boycott and divestment campaigns against Israel, in support of terrorist groups such as Hamas in its plans to destroy Israel any way it can. She has participated or helped at demonstations staged by Code Pink, Global Exchange, the Gaza Flotilla, Viva Palestina and other anti-Israel groups that make up the ISM.

USCEIO has been frantically sending out fundraising email blasts and announcing on its website that Ms. Baltzer will appear in a debate about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to be presented by the distinguished Oxford Union in England on January 31st. According to the Oxford Union’s website, “The Union is the world’s most prestigious debating society, with an unparalleled reputation for bringing international guests and speakers to Oxford. It has been established for 189 years, aiming to promote debate and discussion not just in Oxford University, but across the globe.”

The Oxford Union has delivered these debates by distinguished academic, religious and national leaders from ex-President Ronald Reagan to the Dali Lama. The purpose of the debates is the furtherance of education and knowledge. The subject of this debate will be: “This House Believes That Israel is a Force for Good in the Middle East.”

The announcement of the three debaters for the anti-Israel point of view, however, disturbingly advertises propagandists and fabulists such as Ilan Pappe, Ghada Karmi and most importantly, Anna Baltzer, who is billed on the Oxford Union’s website as head of the USCEIO and who will apparently speak in opposition to Israel’s right to exist.

Ilan Pappe has already been proven to be bankrupt as a scholar after it was proven in court he was involved in fabricating a phony massacre by Israeli forces of the Arab village of Tantura in 1948. In a defamation and libel lawsuit brought by veterans of the Alexandroni Brigade in Israel, Pappe’s PhD student under his advice admitted on the witness stand that he fabricated the entire massacre with his supervisor’s knowledge and that he was paid $6,000 by the PLO to do so.

The other speaker alongside Anna Baltzer will be Ghada Kharmi, a Palestinian academic at the University of Exeter, Britain, and the author of Married to Another Man: Israel’s Dilemma in Palestine. Her writings are merely polemics devoid of any history or facts with which to back them up. She claims, incredibly, for example, that Israel has never made a peace offer to the Palestinians, along with standard slanderous Palestinian propaganda and claims that masquerade as facts — such as that Israel violates “international law” by the building of settlements, which are completely legal per UN Resolution 242, and the stopping of the Gaza Flotillas that was completely legal by international maritime law. Karmi encourages war by proxy, such as writing in support of the British boycott of Israeli academics and Israeli universities.

What is Karmi’s intellectual solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which she also claims is the reason for al Qaeda? She says Israel must become one state called Palestine; must withdraw to the 1949 borders; must give the Palestinians half of Jerusalem, and then allow seven million Palestinians to move inside Israel, creating a flood of Muslims that would demographically overwhelm the current Jewish population there. As for terrorism, she glosses over it as the desperate actions of some extremists who are fighting “colonialism.” Her writings hardly reflect anything in the way of solid research or intellectual balance.

Stephen Stotsky of has written an excellent exposé of Baltzer’s lies about Israel. However, new information has arisen about Baltzer’s background and history as a Jew.

In her Wikipedia entry and various speeches she has presented, mostly to Christian churches, Ms. Baltzer has claimed she comes from a Jewish family in which her grandparents were Holocaust survivors; that she was a Fulbright Scholar from Columbia University, and that at first she was pro-Israel. After touring with Fulbright in 2003 in Turkey, she alleges she visited “Palestine,” Syria and Iran and met “friends” who “educated” her on the suffering of the Palestinians at Israeli hands, so that today she is a dedicated anti-Zionist. She included a cry at the end of an interview recorded in Ireland in 2010 on an anti-Israel radio station that it is her hope “Inshallah, to one day bring down Zionism” — meaning to end the Jewish state.

More recently, Anna Baltzer, back in the United States, lent her name and prestige to an attempt by the Students for Justice in Palestine at UC San Diego to prompt the entire student body association there to boycott and divest from Israel. The appearance, presumably intended to be a springboard to spread the boycott and divestment to other campuses, failed. While the event was being debated at UC SAN Diego, Anna Baltzer made a video, which appeared on You Tube, in support of boycotts and divestments from Israel, and directed to the anti-Israel campaign at the UC Campus. In this video, she claimed that she went on a Birthright tour — a program that provides free trips to Israel for Jewish college students and recent graduates — in the year 2000 as an enthusiastic pro-Zionist Jewish girl. She claims that after finishing the tour, she researched the suffering of the Palestinians and became a supporter of the anti-Israel movement.

There is just one problem with this scenario: According to my research, Anna Baltzer never went on a Birthright tour of Israel in the year 2000 or any other time. Inquiries to the New York and Israel offices to ascertain if she went with Birthright, revealed absolutely no record of any Anna Baltzer attending the program ever, let alone in year 2000. In short, it seems that Anna Baltzer lied about her participation in Birthright to convey the false impression that she was once a loyal Jew who supported the Jewish homeland but had discovered the justification for Palestinians’ goals to overthrow Israel.

Further, after researching Ms. Baltzer’s claims of being a Fulbright Scholar from Columbia in 2003, it has been determined from both Columbia’s and the Fulbright websites, as well as Fulbright officials, that Anna Baltzer was never a Fulbright scholar either. A list of Fulbright Scholars at the Fulbright website contains the names of all Fulbright scholars from the United States and abroad from the late 90’s to the present. Ms. Baltzer’s name is nowhere to be found.

Anna Baltzer’s claims about her personal and academic background should come as no surprise: it has gained her entrée to speaking engagements at colleges across the US and abroad where she spreads lies against Israel. At her presentation at St. Joseph the Worker’s Presbyterian Church in Berkeley, California in 2007, Anna Baltzer recounted a tale of a pregnant Palestinian mother who, in an emergency, was taken by ambulance, but forbidden to pass a checkpoint manned by Israeli soldiers, who had told her that her ambulance could not pass through the checkpoint until 7 am, although she had arrived in an a Code 3 state at 6:30 am. Baltzer claimed — drawing gasps from the audience — that due to this delay, the woman miscarried twin fetuses. In an implicit comparison of Israeli soldiers to Nazis, she alleged the IDF soldiers kept telling the poor woman that they “were just following orders” — a veiled reference to the Nazis’ excuses, at the Nuremberg trials after the World War II, for their role in the death camps. There was no mention that the checkpoints had been erected in the first place to stop what had been incessant terrorist attacks and suicide bombings.

When asked the name of the woman who had miscarried, the location of the checkpoint, the time of day, the names of reliable witnesses and the outcome of any military investigation of such cruelty, she said that she did not know, that she had not been there. She even said she was surprised to hear that the Israeli army would have received a formal complaint if such an event had actually occurred. Pressed still further about the authenticity of her tale, in a book she was selling that supposedly contained her personal eyewitness accounts of Israeli atrocities against Arabs, Baltzer admitted she did not know the details because the story had been told to her second hand by Lamis Deek, a well-known Arab propagandist from the ISM. In the 2010 radio interview in Ireland, however, Anna Baltzer changed the story and said, after recounting the same tale, that she interviewed the poor Arab woman who had lost the two babies — again with no names, dates or places.

The ISM with which Baltzer works regularly uses the imagery of Holocaust survivors who see the need to end the Jewish state. Hedy Epstein, in her eighties, is paraded around by the ISM at their boycott and divestment events in California colleges. Epstein also appeared on the ISM Flotilla Boats to Gaza, and has always been presented as a “Holocaust survivor” who is against Israel. Research has shown that as a child Ms. Epstein spent the war in the safety of England, and was never in a concentration camp or even on the European continent. Rather, in her youth, Ms. Epstein was party to several pro-Soviet communist movements, whose Stalinist leanings were anti-Zionist, and she even supported Pol Pot’s regime of mass murder.

Using the same “Holocaust survivor” imagery, Baltzer claims she is the descendant of Holocaust survivors who instilled in her a need to support Palestinian aims against Israeli persecution. After researching her grandparents through the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Israel, as well as the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, to see if her family were actually in concentration camps, nothing could be found. This, too, appears to be a fabrication by Baltzer, or at best an embellishment, like Hedy Epstein’s, of being a Holocaust survivor.

The Oxford Union’s President was distressed to learn these facts about Ms. Baltzer’s academic fraud and said she would share such information with the faculty advisers with the possible outcome of her being removed from the debate.

An educational debate, especially at a university as august as Oxford, should feature academics or speakers who are genuine, not imposters or fakes planted to distort facts and slander and demonize a fellow democracy. Anna Baltzer seems to be neither a Fulbright scholar, not a descendant of Holocaust survivors nor an alumna of the Birthright program. She appears to be just a fraud and a fabulist. So why is Oxford having her speak?

So far, Baltzer has not responded on Twitter to these allegations.

Update: Elder of Ziyon notes:

I am told that Baltzer changed her name; she did receive the Fulbright under the name Anna J. Piller. See this article that says her real name is Baltzer and that a 2006 lecture of hers was under the name Piller.

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ISMers Get The Judge Judy Treatment Wed, 28 Nov 2012 09:39:48 +0000 Now this is entertainment! (hat tip: Dave B)

Looks to me like Judge Judy is no fan of these numbskulls.

Notice Rose’s last statement about being confident about “getting through” and having a “backup plan just in case.” This is an allusion to the ISM’s tried and tested tactic of dishonesty.

As for Rose’s claim the ISM is an “aid” group, as Judge Judy says “Don’t Pee on My Leg and Tell Me It’s Raining!”

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ISM Called For Human Shields For Terrorists Thu, 22 Nov 2012 15:24:32 +0000 Those so-called “peace activists” of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) yesterday called for people to act as human shields for terrorists.

Rachel_CorrieHuman Rights Defenders Needed in Gaza: An urgent call for people of conscience

Due to the failures of the United Nations, governments and the International community to fulfill their obligation to protect the besieged civilians of Gaza, and the apparent failure of ceasefire negotiations, we urge people of conscience to come to Gaza to act as human rights defenders against the wanton lethal attacks unleashed by Israel against the civilian population.

At this time, 139 people have been murdered, including 23 children. By the time you read this, the death toll will be higher. We call on all people of conscience to do what the UN and international governments are failing to do: break the siege on Gaza by entering in groups to act as human rights defenders. We will be entering Gaza as affinity groups and the groups will remain together for the duration of their stay. In Gaza, Palestinian human rights workers will coordinate our work.

We will collectively document and report on the war crimes committed by Israel in Gaza and be present to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people. Through our efforts we will bring the reality of life in Gaza to our own communities. Activists have the option of forming groups or delegations in their home countries, or traveling to Egypt to join other human rights defenders there. Groups will enter Gaza via Rafah crossing.

To endorse this action and join us in breaking the siege, contact:

I say “terrorists”, because the ISM have not distinguished between palestinian terrorists and civilians when mentioning the number of fatalities (even the biased PCHR admits to about one third being combatants, although I suspect it is a higher proportion).

We know from past experience this is no accident.

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ISM Explicitly Supports Rockets On Israel Wed, 14 Nov 2012 20:25:35 +0000 Those peace-loving activists of the International Solidarity Movement (the movement to which Rachel Corrie belonged) are very quick to condemn Israeli actions against Gazan terrorists. But today they let their guard down and actually justified rocket attacks against Israeli civilians.

They are getting rather sloppy these days. I guess keeping up a pretense is not all its cracked up to be.

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That Awkward Moment When The ISM Shows Support For Terrorist Organizations Fri, 09 Nov 2012 12:44:39 +0000 The International Solidarity Movement – of which Rachel Corrie was a part – long claims to oppose “violent resistance.” For instance, from their About section:

The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli apartheid in Palestine by using nonviolent, direct-action methods and principles. Founded by a small group of primarily Palestinian and Israeli activists in August, 2001, ISM aims to support and strengthen the Palestinian popular resistance by providing the Palestinian people with two resources, international solidarity and an international voice with which to nonviolently resist an overwhelming military occupation force.

And their FAQS:

What is the ISM position on suicide bombings?

Attacks on innocent civilians, be they Israeli or Palestinian, are forbidden under most understandings of international law and ISM seeks nothing more for Israelis and Palestinians than the implementation of international law. We oppose the tactic of suicide bombings, especially those that have been carried out against civilian targets. We don’t however think that it is a more brutal tactic than dropping a bomb from a fighter plane on a civilian-occupied apartment building, firing a tank shell down a crowded city street, or placing dynamite in a family home. They are all brutal and repulsive acts.

But besides stopping Israeli and Palestinian attacks on innocent civilians, compliance with international law requires ending a long list of Israeli violations, starting with Israel’s military occupation of Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, and including the occupation’s cornerstones: construction of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories, seizure and destruction of Palestinian land and homes, restrictions on Palestinian freedom of movement within the Occupied Territories with checkpoints, road blocks and curfews, denial of Palestinian rights to health, education and employment, arbitrary detention and multiple forms of collective punishment.

In order to stop attacks on Israeli civilians, we must look at the source of violence and address that, instead of arguing about whether one act of violence is worse than another. We need to treat the disease of all the violence and not just one of its symptoms. Occupation forces and policies are degrading and dehumanizing; they injure, kill the soul and make life near impossible for Palestinians, and all this even when the Israeli army is not actively attacking (i.e. carrying out operations in Palestinian villages, towns and cities).

That some Palestinians have turned themselves into weapons is not something inherent to Palestinians or Muslims. Rather, it is a tragic weapon of those who have nothing else to fight with. This does not justify the action. The ISM maintains that all military tactics should be stopped by all sides in favor of nonviolent alternatives. Most importantly, we’ve concluded from experience that as long as the occupation continues and the Palestinian people are denied freedom, human rights and self-determination, there will be those who will use violence against the underlying, systematic and foundational violence of the occupation.

The Palestinian community is almost completely united its call for an end to violence on all sides, starting with an end to occupation. The ISM joins the broader Palestinian community in this call.

The ISM seeks to bring about an end to violence by actively resisting the occupation through nonviolent means. The Israeli government has long worked to crush peaceful resistance, making it very difficult for Palestinians to act nonviolently on a large scale. We’re working to develop an alternate way of resisting – nonviolently– that can be effective. We will continue and we invite you to join us..

I’ve blogged before the proof that this is a bunch of ISM hogwash (see here for one example), but now they’ve once again let down their guard, retweeting the following on Twitter.

In case you are not following, those organizations listed are HamasDemocratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and The Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine, all brutal terror organizations responsible for the deaths and injuries of countless innocent civilians.

ISM, you’ve once again been sprung.

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Palestinian Scouts Honor Murderer Sat, 12 Nov 2011 20:22:18 +0000 The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) reports:

Palestinian Scouts and their families rallied in the Gaza YMCA Friday afternoon to honor former Palestinian political prisoner Christian al-Bandak and welcome him to Gaza.

Al-Bandak, who donned a Scout uniform to receive a commemorative plaque, is one of 447 prisoners already released by Israel in its ongoing exchange of prisoners with the Palestinian government in Gaza.

After sentencing al-Bandak to four lifetimes in occupation prisons in 2003, Israel illegally exiled him to the Gaza Strip from his home in Bethlehem following his release, along with over 160 other West Bank residents.

The only Christian among the released prisoners, he had remained behind in Gaza while most others traveled from it, the West Bank, Israel, or foreign exile to Mecca, Saudi Arabia for the Muslim Hajj.

“People were here of different ages, religions, and parties,” al-Bandak said afterward. “This illustrates the unity and patriotism of the Palestinian people. My welcome in Gaza has been excellent.”

This man the ISM touts as a “political prisoner” was convicted of several shooting attacks which claimed the lives of two Israelis and seriously wounded a third in 2002.

So much for their claims they support “non-violent resistance” only.

As for the Palestinian Scouts who honored this murderer:

In 1948, thousands of Palestinians fled from or were driven from their homes and formed a Palestinian Scout Association in exile. This association was refused membership in the World Organization, but Scouting continued nonetheless. (WOSM recognition of Scout movements is possible only when Scouting is active and operating within the borders of its own national state and that state having a seat in the United Nations.)

In 1993, an agreement was reached and slowly land was returned to the Palestinians. The Palestinian Scout Association immediately resumed its activity in this region. Palestine was not recognized by the United Nations, but WOSM decided to give the Palestinian Scout association a special temporary status. Before the proposal was brought to a vote, the president of the Israel Scouting Federation made a statement asking the World Scout Conference to support the proposal. His speech was received with a standing ovation [1]. The Palestinian Scout Association was accepted as an Associate WOSM Member.

You can contact the World Organization Of The Scout Movement here:

World Organization of the Scout Movement
Rue du Pré-Jérôme 5
PO Box 91
CH-1211 Geneva 4 Plainpalais
Tel.: (+41) 22 705 10 10
Fax.: (+41) 22 705 10 20

Or you can send the feedback directly here.

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Provocation Flotilla News Fri, 01 Jul 2011 09:41:10 +0000

One of the biggerst stories during my absence has been the latest flotilla to Gaza, dubbed by Prime Minister Netanyahu the “provocation flotilla.”

I have a lot of catching up to do regarding this story, but for now, here’s some relevant news and information regarding it. 

Flotillards claim Israel sabotaged their boats.

Irish anti-Israel activists, meanwhile, have accused “agents of Israel” of “sabotage” after a ship that was set to join the flotilla was allegedly damaged on purpose while docked in Turkey on Thursday.

“Terrible news has reached us in the early hours of Thursday – the Irish ship to Gaza, MV Saoirse, has been sabotaged, presumably by agents of Israel,” the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign said on its website.

“The damage is extensive, and indeed, if it had gone undetected, apparently may have been life-threatening if the ship had been at sea,” the group claimed.

“This wasn’t designed to stop the ship from leaving its berth. Instead it was intended that the fatal damage to the ship would occur while she was at sea and would have resulted in the deaths of several of those on board. This was a potentially murderous act,” the NGO maintained.

Calling it “an unacceptable act of aggression” against an Irish vessel in sovereign Irish territory, and “against the people of Palestine which this flotilla was intending to reach in an act of humanitarian solidarity,” the group called for an all-night demonstration outside the Israeli Embassy in Dublin on Thursday evening.

The activists urged people to bring sleeping bags to stage the overnight sit-in, hoping that they would shut down the embassy.

“We are calling on people to assemble at 6 p.m. at the Spire in O’Connell Street. From there we will march to the Israeli Embassy and stage an overnight sit-in outside (so bring sleeping bags etc).

We intend to shut down the Israeli Embassy! We need this demo to be as loud as possible, so if you have drums, bodrans, whistles, whatever, please bring them along.

“This act of sabotage against a peaceful humanitarian civil society mission (which has been paid for by 1000s of ordinary Irish people) must be protested in the strongest terms possible,” the group stated.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor, meanwhile, dismissed the charges, saying “they think they live in a James Bond movie. They should come out of the film world and start getting real.

“This is not Hollywood, and Israel is not the bad guy,” he said. “We are not surprised that the rule they live by is that if anything goes wrong, accuse Israel. This was an Israeli-bash fest since day one, and that it continues that way does not surprise anyone.”

I personally think it was Zionist Death Sharks.TM

Gazans have confirmed that the whole flotilla enterprise is a sham, since they don’t need humanitarian aid.

Israel has been claiming for quite some time that the desire to break through the blockade on the Gaza Strip is devoid of any basis since it is possible to transfer essential goods to Gaza through the monitored crossings. This claim received unexpected reinforcement on Thursday from none other than the Gazans themselves.

In a conversation with Ynet Palestinian businessmen expressed veiled criticism saying that the flotilla organizers were missing their target since the main problem wasn’t getting goods into Gaza – but exporting them outside of the strip.

“The flotilla isn’t bringing things that reach the man on the street,” says Salah Ayash a textile manufactory owner in the strip who, until the beginning of the month worked with Israeli fashion labels who would produce their goods at his factory.

“I think they might be bringing medication, but I’m not sure what they are bringing if anything. The only important thing from our perspective is not importing equipment but exporting goods,” said Ayash adding that there is no shortage of stock – but they can’t get it out.


The Gisha movement has criticized both the flotilla organizers and Israel over their remarks and claim that they are misleading. “Gaza doesn’t need anymore humanitarian aid. There is only one way to allow Gaza residents long term economic development while maintaining Israel’s legitimate security needs and that is a removal of the sweeping limitations on transfer of goods subject to individual security checks,” said Sari Bashi the Director of Gisha. 

An ISM activist has admitted the flotilla’s priority is not humanitarian aid.

The Freedom Flotilla is indeed “a political provocation.” Why shouldn’t it be? And when has it pretended to be anything else?

Mark Regev, International Media Adviser to the Prime Minister of Israel, raises some good points.

 Yet more proof that the flotilla is more a floterror.

Now it suddenly becomes clear that the infamous Dutch Hamas chief Amin Abou Rashed has also been attending the crew’s training sessions over the past few days in Greece. El Maroudi: “Amin was attending the day on which the Dutch delegation studied a part of the non-violence course. Wilfred van de Poll, journalist for Trouw, talked a bit with Amin about his presence and his role within the organization. “The master-mind behind the fleet” took care of the acquisition of the boat. He also took care of the lion’s share of the financing.”

This has prompted a “human rights activist” to leave it.

Why I am not sailing aboard the Dutch ship after all

I have been to the Greek island of Corfu over the past few days. I got to know the activists and journalists intending to sail to Gaza and received training on non-violent resistance from Anne de Jong, a passenger in the previous flotilla.

Although I had intended to report on the sail for Uitgesproken Vara and Joop, I was going first and foremost as an activist. I want Israel to lift the illegal blockade on Gaza and give the people that which they are entitled to have: Self-rule.

And that is also the issue for me: The population there. The Palestinian youths who published a document last year in which they expressed their longing for leading a normal life. I didn’t go for any political movement or for those in power.

When I decided to subject myself to the sail and the long list of preparatory engagements and training sessions it entailed, I presented the organizers with one single crucial demand: I wanted to know exactly who would sail with me on the Italian-Dutch ship and requested to have the opportunity to meet them all in advance before embarking on the trip.

I did not want to be surprised by the presence of figures or organizations with which I did not want to become involved. I was told that my demand was self-evident: There would be team-building and “we are going to have it in Greece.”

Despite assurances to the contrary, the Italian activists who were supposed to sail with us were nowhere to be seen upon our arrival in Corfu. More crucially, the Dutch delegation was isolated on the island. The rest of the flotilla was in Athens.

I repeatedly I asked to receive a tentative list of all the passengers. Realizing that many difficulties had been put in the organizers’ path, I did not expect to receive a complete list of participants. I would have been satisfied with the available information. None such information was given. Despite my insistence on receiving the list in advance, it was given to me when I decided to return to Holland. Too late.

But there was more going on. The ship’s funding remained unclear. Also regarding this point I repeatedly asked for information but as answers I was told of a loose web of associations under different umbrella and daughter organizations. The Nederland Gaza Association [the organizers of the Dutch boat ride] claims to be fully transparent. To me, this means publication of subsidies.

If this complicates fundraising and scares off donors, so be it. It’s the only way to show an already-suspicious Netherlands that you have nothing to hide.

The presence of Amin Abou Rashed suggests there is something to hide. He, too, sailed last year to Gaza with the flotilla, and he was arrested by Israel. According to various media, he is Hamas’ top figure in the Netherlands. He is also affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. How much of this is true, I do not know. How much of this is not true, I know even less. That is the problem, and it creates an atmosphere of suspicion.

Over dinner Anne de Jong insisted that it was all lies and that Amin is a terribly nice man with an unbelievable amount of love for the Palestinians. However much I wished I could believe her and those blue eyes of hers, I could not do it. Simply because his involvement with the flotilla was kept secret until the arrival to Greece. And not only vis-à-vis the rest of the world, but also when it came to the flotilla participants. I find this to be detrimental.


Amin was there the day the Dutch delegation received a non-violence training but hung in the background. Wilfred van de Poll, a journalist for Trouw, spoke briefly with Amin about his presence and role within the organization. “The brain behind the flotilla” as the man elected to be described, arranged the purchase of the boat. He also provided for the lion’s share of funding, according to Anne de Jong. If he played such a vital role, then why was it kept secret and why couldn’t I know who or what he was?

Our activists were told that the goods [aboard the ship] will be distributed by UNHCR, but it later turned out that this was not 100 percent sure. Few organizations beside UNCHR are capable of performing this task in Gaza. In fact, only one other such entity remains. Hamas. And I wanted to have nothing do with them.


The moment I expressed reservations about the information which was given out,  Anne de Jong’s reacted accusatory and snappy. “Would you rather we told you nothing at all?” she demanded, as though I should applaud her right away for getting to hear anything at all. And as though I had failed to understand the magnitude of the task of setting out against a great power such as Israel.

Good sites on the flotilla

Flotilla Facts

Gaza Flotilla 101

Flotilla Cruise Line

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ISM Organizing Murdered Tool-Inspired Convoy To Gaza Sat, 23 Apr 2011 21:23:04 +0000 vittorio_arrigoni_flagAnti-Israel-organization-masquerading-as-group-of-peace-activists, the ISM, has announced its latest initiative in the wake of the murder of Vittorio Arrigoni, one of their own.

Needless to say, it does not involve acting against the types of palestinian terrorists who murdered Arrigoni and are severely curtailing the freedom of their “beloved” palestinians.

Let’s go to Gaza!

On the 21st April, a meeting regarding the discussions and reflections on the murder of Vittorio Arrigoni was held in Rome amongst different activists. From the gathering, the need to organize a convoy to Gaza through Egypt was decided.

Let’s start this process by sharing those points:

– We want to go to Gaza through Rafah Border Crossing with all in the world that need to say aloud what Vittorio used to say: Stay human!

He also used to call Zionists “rats.”

We want to do it from Egypt because, in the post Mubarak era, that border must be opened to break the siege imposed for too long on the people in Gaza.

– We want to be in Gaza on the 15th May which is the 1 month anniversary of Vittorio’s death. It will be also Nakba day, when thousands of young Palestinians, as already announced, will go back to the street all over the world to ask for the end of the occupation

The “occupation” being the establishment of the entire State of Israel in 1948, which is what Nakba day commemorates. Not the so-called occupation of lands after the 1967 war of self defense.

and also, a new unity and the end of the internal division within the Palestinian authorities.

i.e. Fatah and Hamas. Yes, these people see Hamas as a legitimate authority of the palestinians, and not the terrorists that they are (it goes without saying they see Fatah this way)

We want to go to Gaza for different reasons:

– Although Vittorio was killed, it has to be clear that they can not stop the international support for the Palestinian people. Also thanks to him now the international support is much stronger and united against the occupation both of Gaza and of the West Bank.
– We want to give voice and continuity to the work that Vittorio, together with palestinian men and wemen was bringing forward. Partucularly the independent information that he managed to pass to the world from the besieged gaza strip. For this reason, we will bring materials, tools and all we need to give life to a Media Center dedicated to Vittorio.

It goes without saying they will be be bringing tools.

– The Freedom Flotilla will soon sail towards Gaza. Even though the two initiatives are organised separately, the two journeys, both via land and via sea, could reinforce each other to break the siege of Gaza.

Further info:
– The convoy will last six/seven days in order to give the possibility to participate for as many people as possible.
– It will take place between the 11th and 19th May.The exact dates will be agreed in few days with the people in Gaza that will host us.

So, lets start to get ready!
– It will cost around 450/500 Euros all included. And depending on the number of participants, it might be cheaper.
– For any question and to join the caravan please contact us using this e-mail or this phone number
+39-3333666713. These contacts will be running from monday 25th of April.
– We are opening a website called ‘vik2gaza’ to publicise information.
– We will activate a bank account where we will start to collect feas for accommodation and transport costs and the visas from Egypt.
– We will need some personal preparation to engage in this trip.

CO.R.UM.- Convoglio Restiamo Umani – Stay Human Convoy

CO.R.UM? I think a better name would be R.E.C.T.U.M (Really Evil Convoy of Tools Understanding Murderers)

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The ISM’s Cynical Exploitation of Vittorio Arrigoni’s Murder Sat, 16 Apr 2011 18:13:15 +0000 Following the murder of their fellow activist Vittorio Arrigoni, the ISM has responded against those palestinian groups who reportedly murdered him.

Just kidding. They’ve cynically exploited his death by protesting against Israel!

arrigoni hamasBilin Protester Shot with Live Ammunition by Sniper

The protester, a 35 year old resident of the village was hit in his shoulder and foot by 0.22 mm live bullets shot at him by a sniper during a protest in memory of Vittorio Arrigoni, murdered last night in Gaza.

Around 300 people participated in the weekly demonstration against the Wall in the village of Bilin today. This week’s march was dedicated to the memory of Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni, and protested his murder in Gaza City last night. As the peaceful procession approached the gate in the Wall, soldiers immediately began shooting tear gas projectiles at the protesters.

While most protesters were forced to retreat due to the gas, smaller groups of protesters remained in the area of the Wall, where clashes ensued. At some point, Samir Bournat, a 35 year-old resident of the village and regular demonstrator, noted that a sniper was aiming his rifle at a group of protesters standing near the iron gate in the Wall. He approached in order to warn them, and was shot by the sniper twice. One bullet hit his right shoulder, while a second bullet penetrated his left foot.

A Red Crescent ambulance which rushed to the sport to evacuate Burnat was also attacked with tear-gas projectiles shot directly at him by the soldiers. Burnat was eventually taken to the hospital in Ramallah, where an x-ray was taken and proved beyond a shadow of doubt that he was indeed hit by 0.22″ caliber live bullets.

A short while after Burnat’s injury, a few Border Police officers crossed the Wall in the direction of the village and proceeded to clash with the youth using tear-gas and rubber-coated steel bullets. Moreover, one of the soldiers, even threw rocks at protesters. (irony alert: they are complaining we throw rocks at them, yet they are constantly doing this at these protests – ed)

Following a number of deaths and subsequent ballistic tests held at the Adam military shooting range in 2001, the Judge Advocate General ordered the classification of 0.22″ bullet changed from “less-lethal” to “live ammunition”, forbidden for use as crowd control means. Despite the classification change, the Israeli Army resumed using these bullets against demonstrators, causing at least two deaths – 14 year-old Az ad-Din al-Jamal from Hebron on February 13th, 2009, and Aqel Srour from Ni’ilin on June 5th, 2009.

Two other protesters who were lightly injured were treated by a medical team on the ground and did not require being evacuated to the hospital.

You have to ask: If Arrigoni was murdered by palestinians, why are these people protesting against Israel?

In my opinion, they were trying to create an incident, in order to once again divert attention towards Israel, and paint us as the real villains of the piece. They’ve been using these diversionary tactics on the internet since Arrigoni’s murder.

Another example: Here’s ISM co-founder Huwaida Arraf speaking about her murdered friend and being extra careful not to blame palestinians for the murder (hat tip: Walt).

In fact, if you look at the ISM website, there have released press releases mourning Arrigoni, but none condemning his murderers. Why is that?

Clearly, what we have here is another insight into the ISM, whose real agenda is the destruction of Israel.

Update: Photo of the day

Arrigoni mourning

Palestinians carry a placard and a simbolic coffin during a ceremony to mourn and denounce the kidnapping and killing of Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni, 36 (portrait L), by a Salafist group of radical Islamist, in Gaza City, on April 15, 2011. International Solidarity Movement member Vittorio Arrigoni, 36, was kidnapped in Gaza City on April 14 by a previously-unknown Salafist group who posted video outlining their demands online. But hours before the 30-hour deadline expired, he was found hanged in an abandoned house in northern Gaza. (MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images)

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