ISM or International Solidarity Movement
International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is an organization active in the West bank and Gaza, the group under whose auspices Tom Hurndall was in Rafah lin April 2003. The organization is self-appointed "peace organization", other than a piece by Toby Harnden in the Telegraph, regularly referred to in the UK as a peaceful human rights organization. This could not be any further from the truth.
The ISM is an absolutely one-sided supporter of the Palestinian and Arab inspirations and actions in the Middle East, frequently also of their illegal activities, in certain cases even of their terror activities, both ideologically (see below) and physically, like hiding terrorists and weapons.
Some information and talking points: .
- The ideological and political agendas of ISM are camouflaged behind the facade and discourse of human rights and the heritage of freedom fighters such as Martin Luther King. Although ISM does sometimes have the courage to criticize the Palestinian leadership and no doubt attracts many genuine volunteers, it does not promote an honest agenda. Its lack of acknowledgement of the suffering of both sides, its whitewashing of Jewish tradition and its endorsement of Palestinian terrorism prove that it is far from committed to universal human rights and to peace.
- If the ISM were truly interested in peace and universal human rights they would also offer solidarity with Israeli men, women and children by traveling with them on Israeli buses, sitting with them in Israeli cafes and standing with them outside Israeli schools, all of which are regular targets for Palestinian suicide bombers, shootings and other terrorist attacks - attacks that are defined by international law as human rights abuses.
- The ISM is silent on Palestinian terror attacks, and the deliberately targeting of Israeli civilians, thereby tacitly endorsing these crimes against humanity. They have even employed their members to protect known terrorists and members of groups such as Islamic Jihad and Hamas. On one occasion Israel Security Services found a leading member of Islamic Jihad, Shadi Sukia, hiding in a house being shielded by ISM volunteers.
- In addition, one of the last known activities of Omar Khan Sharif and Assif Muhammad Hanif, the two British Suicide Bombers who claimed the lives of three and injured many more in Mike's Place Bar in Tel Aviv, was tea with members of ISM.
- ISM also regularly uses the term 'martyr' - even for those Palestinians who died in suicide missions murdering many Israeli citizens, thereby legitimizing these attacks. In a 2002 article, the movement's co-founders, Adam Shapiro and Huwaida Arraf, wrote: "The Palestinian resistance must take on a variety of characteristics, both non-violent and violent...yes, people will get killed and injured [but the casualties] would be considered shaheed", using the Arabic term for martyrs applied to suicide bombers.
- The ISM is also known to question Israel's existence. Flo Rosovski, an ISM "media co-ordinator" wrote that "'Israel' is an illegal entity that should not exist."
- The International Solidarity Movement is anything but an innocent, pacifist, human rights-orientated peace organization. On its website, ISM's 'non-violent' declarations and 'pro-freedom' proclamations are followed by the sentence, "we recognize the Palestinian right to resist Israeli violence and occupation via legitimate armed struggle." It also calls for "direct-action methods of resistance that will oppose the Occupation and force Israel to withdraw from the ! West Bank East Jerusalem, and Gaza." Such "direct actions" include literally placing volunteers between the Israeli army and Palestinians, some of whom are known terrorists. When volunteers are wounded, Israel is falsely blamed as having deliberately targeted them.
- The organization declares that it "supports the unarmed, civilian-based intifada" and aiding the provision of humanitarian help. In violation of its commitment to 'non-violent methods', however, it effectively endorses the tactics that the Palestinian leadership and the main political factions of Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad have employed that have lead to the indiscriminate murder of Israeli civilians. Their methods include suicide bombings in public places with no warning, shooting indiscriminately at women and children, sometimes in their homes, sometimes on the roads.
- The death of Tom Hurndall was a tragic waste of a clearly talented young person. Whilst attention is focused on the individual soldier who is accused of shooting Tom in a crisis situation, it is also important to consider those individuals who used and placed Tom, and many others like him, in the situation, to begin with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM)
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