Op-Ed: Nipping ISM in the Bud
Lee Kaplan, Head of Stop the ISMThe writer heads Stop the ISM. He is an investigative journalist and contributor...
As elections approach in Israel and violence continues on a daily basis in Judea and Samaria, it is time the present government takes preventative action to avoid the propaganda bonanza the Arabs have been reaping in the there.
The International Solidarity Movemen (ISM), the communist-anarchist inspired front put together by the Palestinian propaganda machine, continues unabated in the game of incitement against Israel at home and abroad.
But one bit of refreshing news is that Paul LaRudee, the head of Norcal ISM, the US west coast branch of the ISM in the USA, was kicked out of India by the Indian government. LaRudee visited India to incite anarchists and communists and anti-Semites there to rally behind him in for a new march on Jerusalem, “7,000 strong” to defy the Israeli police and flood the country with anti-Israel activists.
But more important, LaRudee wanted to pitch his next project: since the Flotillas to Gaza weren’t working as well as they had earlier: he wants to purchase an airplane to fly into Gaza and challenge Israeli control of Gaza’s air space.
The Indians, possibly still reeling from the massacre in Mumbai, deported LaRudee. It didn’t take long for them do so unlike the many years LaRudee would enter, be deported, then reenter Israel even under false identities to incite riots and aid Hamas . I finally helped put a stop to this in 2006. A few communist-inspired attorneys in Israel tried to have him admitted even though he entered under a false identity, but it wouldn’t fly.
Undaunted in his hatred for Israel, LaRudee returned to San Francisco to lay down in front of traffic in front of the Israeli consulate and cause another scene. He then immediately went to Lebanon at the start of the 2006 war to serve as a human shield for the Hizbullah.
Rudee once boasted of his joy at sleeping in the bed of a suicide bomber as he sat inside a house used for that purpose that was slated for demolition. Along with Huwaida Arraf, an ISM founder with both Israeli and US citizenship who admits openly she works in support with Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the PFLP, LaRudee founded the Free Gaza or Flotilla Movement. The idea of sailing a boat full of pro-Palestinian activists to Israel actually took place in 1988 with another ISM affiliated member, Scott Kennedy, also from California, who recently passed away.
That boat never left the port in Cyprus. But the new Flotilla plan by LaRudee slowly gained momentum and raised enough money to launch a first boat nearly twenty years later.
That first boat was supposed to be stopped in the middle of the night by the IDF Navy - to nip the propaganda purpose it was to serve by aiding Hamas in Gaza. Instead, at the last minute, the IDF Navy was told to stand down and let the boat through. The logic went that this would deny the ISM and the Arabs a propaganda moment. Instead, it only encouraged the ISM and their Hamas allies to go out and seek donations for an even bigger boat next time.
Incredibly, the Israeli government allowed the same first boat to return to Cyprus so its passengers could declare their victory over the Israeli blockade of Hamas. Five more flotillas followed and each one was allowed to enter Gaza in defiance of the security blockade. LaRudee, Arraf and company were able to raise more money after each trip to buy bigger and better boats. Iranian agents were also on board posing as Press TV reporters since the opening of the sea lanes to Gaza would facilitate weapons smuggling by sea to attack Israel.
These activities were so successful over a period of years, they inspired the ISM to contact other states hostile to Israel to contribute money, men and resources to the Flotillas. This culminated in the Mavi Marmara debacle as Muslims from Turkey joined in with the blessing of the Turkish government. We all know the result of that.
One of the mistakes of all the Israeli governments during the nearly 20 year-long Oslo debacle has been to not demand of the Palestinians prior to Hamas taking over in Gaza, that any incitement by the ISM and its “affinity groups” like Christian Peacemaker Teams must be stopped by the Palestinians themselves before any funds, or no cooperation will be received from Israel.
For unknown reasons, past Israeli governments have allowed foreigners to come to Judea and Samaria and work under Palestinian leadership in the mosques to incite the local Arab populations to riot and carry on at the Security Fence. Weekly stone throwing with deadly slingshots has become sport for the Arabs and even their children who have little fear about attacking IDF soldiers and border police.
In Gaza, it was the same until the Disengagement and after the ISM activist Rachel Corrie sat in front of a bulldozer clearing weapons tunnels and was killed. Her death was considered a media windfall by the ISM and is still being played up overseas on a constant basis, particularly in the United States.
LaRudee and company now use the strategy of portraying settlers in Judea and Samaria as violently attacking peaceful Arabs and that Israel is waging war on Arab children and Christians. This is the new ISM campaign in America’s colleges and in public spheres. If you think the Rachel Corrie clown circus was a headache for Israel, wait until a planeload of suckers for the ISM try flying into Gaza and get shot down.
Rely on LaRudee and company enlisting the Iranians to join in for financing and “protection.”
Speaking in India, LaRudee complained that “Palestine and even the United States is ‘occupied’ by Israel.” No doubt he was referring to fact that most American citizens still feel a need to support a democratic state like Israel rather than Arab fascism posing as “national liberation.”
But there is a growing constituency of Arab-Americans who will gladly fund LaRudee to help him dominate the Jews and end the Jewish “occupation” of “Palestine.”
LaRudee held his first fundraiser for his 'airplane to Gaza' plan at a Pakistani restaurant in Newark, California about two years ago. Since then, he has fallen out of favor with other groups making up the ISM due to suspected embezzlement of donation funds and for taking credit for other ISM actions he didn’t organize or follow through on. This list included the Flotilla boat operations, although he was on board the boats during the Mavi Marmara incident. His deportations from Israel got him banned for 10 years so he can’t sneak in again and raise havoc himself. This is why he went to India where he is less well-known among the destroy-Israel-at-all costs crowd there.
If Israel doesn’t want a repetition of expensive ISM stunts this time, with airplanes and a new batch of adolescent martyrs like Rachel Corrie to deal with, the government must make it clear that any planes flying into Gaza will be shot down immediately. It also needs to alert the US and other Western governments that internationals who would board such a plane will be putting their lives at risk so that their respective governments understand there was fair warning, well in advance.
Nobody believed the ISM and LaRudee would ever sail that first boat to Gaza and they never should have been able to. Israel now has a chance to do something pro-actively to stop the ISM from playing on this new scenario well in advance.
Note: Below is a video of LaRudee speaking in India. The first 3 minutes are the emcee's introduction, so wait or move to LaRudee's speech on ISM, which is in English, as he exhorts his audience to help end the "occupation" of "Palestine", a goal that needs outsiders to succeed against Israel's racism. Israel, he says, treats "Palestinians" as if they are not humans, but it thinks the foreign agitators are human...