Op-Ed: Egypt Deports Code Pink Leader: 'Stop the ISM' Did It
Lee Kaplan, Head of Stop the ISMThe writer heads Stop the ISM. He is an investigative journalist and contributor...
The news wires were all abuzz today with the report that Medea Benjamin of Code Pink was deported from Egypt on trying to enter Gaza through the Rafah crossing. Stop the ISM, a division of DAFKA.org was responsible for this.
Upon learning that Benjamin was planning a trip to Gaza under the ruse of bringing lanterns to the Palestinian Arabs, our agency contacted the Egyptian embassy in Washington D.C. and alerted them to her plans. The result was Egyptian officials met her airplane when she arrived and immediately arrested her.
Benjamin, who exults in creating media scenes, attempted to resist the Egyptian police who, she claims, then dislocated her shoulder as they dragged her to a holding cell prior to her deportation to Turkey.
Benjamin is a lifelong communist and funds the BDS movement in the United States through one of her nonprofits, Global Exchange, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Until recently, Benjamin was employing Dalit Baum of Who Profits in Israel to tour the U.S. and promote BDS against Israel and Jewish institutions as well as corporations that do business with Israel.
Baum now works for another part of the ISM, the American Friends Service Committee, whicht helps her organize her tours, mainly of college campuses.
Benjamin has become famous by creating rackets and demos in the U.S., demonstrating against the United States and Israel, appearing topless on more than one occasion. She even interrupted President Obama during a speech in Washington to scream about drones being used against al Qaeda in Yemen. In that instance, she was not arrested, as usual, and got away with her antics.
Benjamin’s arrest and deportation show a serious shift in Egypt’s relationship with Hamas since the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi from that country. Only days ago, Egypt closed the Hamas office in the country and put out a clear signal that Egypt recognizes that the threat from Hamas extremists poses just as much of a threat to stability in Egypt as elsewhere in the Middle East.
Benjamin is part of the ISM network in the United States and was involved in several excursions to Gaza where her NGO’s would bring support to the Hamas terrorist leadership in Gaza.
Egypt is to be commended for finally putting a stop to this woman’s penchant for encouraging aid to a terrorist organization and disguising that aid as “humanitarian work.” In any case, her arrest and removal by the Egyptian authorities is the first concrete step taken toward reining in Hamas in Gaza.
Hamas has been aligning itself more and more with Iran, also increasingly supported by Benjamin, so that she is seen as posing a security concern for Egypt.