The BDS movement: On the inside, Part I

A history and expose of the lethal BDS movement, who stands behind it and how it gets its funding.

Contact Editor
Lee Kaplan,

INN:LK
INN:LK
צילום: INN:LK

Understanding BDS: Definition and background

The term BDS refers to Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions conducted against the state of Israel, and also a way to attack the Jewish people both in Israel and worldwide. Partially funded by the PLO, the BDS movement grew out of the Arab League boycott of Israel begun in 1950 after Israel’s War of Independence.

The Muslim and Arab world and its Arab League, despite tentative agreements with Egypt and Jordan, began the boycott in 1950 and have never signed a peace treaty with Israel even after the cessation of hostilities in 1948. Five Arab armies back then sought to wipe the new Jewish state off the map but failed. The purpose of the Boycott was to starve the Jews out of their new homeland. 

The Boycott movement was given new life and recreated as Arab irredentists expanded the movement later in the academic arena, notably in American colleges and later in churches and through labor movements. The International Solidarity Movement was set up by Yasser Arafat in 2001 with the help of two “camp counselors,” Huwaida Arraf and Adam Shapiro, who were employees of Seeds for Peace, a camp set up and funded by the U.S. State Department, to  operate in the U.S. and Europe to promote  BDS and other anti-Israel activities on campuses and elsewhere (see StopthISM.com).

The BDS movement is a support mechanism for Palestinian terrorist groups in their efforts to de-legitimize and ultimately destroy Israel. Its leadership calls terrorism that kills Israelis “legitimate resistance.”

Some history 

The Vietnam War produced a revolutionary mindset among campus radicals in American colleges, a desire to bring down the capitalist U.S. government as Marxist-inspired self-defined “revolutionaries” sought to promote communism and the downfall of America and American interests both at home and abroad.

Israel was considered a staunch U.S. ally during the Cold War, one that one day might be called upon to protect U.S. interests in the Middle East in the event of war with the Soviet Union.

Ho Chi Minh dispatched North Vietnamese intelligence officers to U.S.  campuses to stir up opposition to the War which resulted in campus riots and demonstrations. The PLO leadership, at one time a proxy of the KGB against U.S. interests, learned from North Vietnamese advisors how to expand their support base by linking PLO goals to other popular political movements in order to swell their numbers and support.

The Vietnamese advised the PLO that in lieu of being too vociferous in announcing themselves as a revolutionary movement,  it would be more successful trying to pass itself off as a human rights movement to try and gain universal appeal. Terrorism was thus justified as a human rights necessity to fight against a Jewish state, accusing it of abrogating rights.

The Boycott was just another weapon to provide support for terrorism while claiming to be “nonviolent.”  BDS leadership never condemns terrorism, instead using the euphemism “legitimate resistance.” However, the Boycott, despite claims of its being “nonviolent” (as if trying to create starving Jewish families to support terrorists’ goals could be disguised as such), through its leaders like Paul Larudee openly recognize the right to use violence against Israelis to achieve the Palestinian Arabs’ revolutionary goals. This deception, and the insistence that the movement is “Palestinian-led,” as voiced in the recordings, are the two main mission obligations always mentioned.

Al Awda and its offshoots

Arab-American college radicals such as Jess Ghannam (a professor of psychiatry today at UC San Francisco), Zahi Damuni ( a biochemist, formerly of St. James University in Canada), and Mazen Qumsiyeh (a geneticist from Yale, fired for anti-Semitic emails), some of whom were born in the 'West Bank', used their professional incomes to start the group Al Awda (Arabic for “the Return”), an organization set up to promote PLO and later Hamas goals against Israel’s existence.

During this time, Al Qaeda was also founded by a Palestinian named Abdullah Azzam, the mentor for Osama Bin Laden. This is the Muslim jihadist link behind the BDS Movement to this day. Today, the leadership of Al Awda helps promote BDS along with myriad other groups and clubs that have sprung up to promote starving out the Jews in the Middle East and, by extension, linking to the worldwide jihad. Al Awda is still very active in the USA and in promoting BDS.

BDS was launched in Israel in 2005 by Palestinian Jamal Juma and later Omar Barghouti, an Arab student from Kuwait attending Tel Aviv University who helped to specifically launch the academic boycott in Israel and worldwide with the help of Jess Ghannam, Manzar Foroohar (an Iranian Muslim) and some other Arab professors in the USA in 2007 who comprised a steering committee.

In 2001, right after the attacks on 9/11, the Students for Justice in Palestine was created by Hatem Bazian and Snehal Shingavi, two Muslim lecturers at U.C. Berkeley who openly support Hamas and the so-called “Palestinian revolution.” The BDS Movement became a consortium of these groups promoting BDS.

Bazian, an activist with American Muslims for Palestine, a Hamas affiliated group, began the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) while calling for an “Intifada in America.” In a classic Rico-style conspiracy, American and Canadian college campuses were used to create satellite operations largely funded by the American and Canadian taxpayers funding campus clubs that promote BDS.  This was in part the Palestine Solidarity Movement network that was part of the International Solidarity Movement network worldwide. Both movements are part of that same network. 

Conferences that promote BDS in the past have been funded through the now-defunct Islamic Association for Palestine as a primer to use taxpayer money from college clubs to promote BDS and the goals of Hamas. At a UN Conference on Racism held 2001 in Durban, South Africa, BDS was further promoted worldwide as a method to bring down the Jewish state. The U.S. government was forced to withdraw from that conference because of the blatant misrepresentation and promotion of BDS and anti-Semitism.  Nevertheless, the die was cast and BDS became a national and even international movement.

The BDS Movement was not limited to just Arab-American or even American student radicals on the campuses.. As an outgrowth of the war in Vietnam, many radical revolutionary activist retreads from that era also organized to promote BDS off campus as well. This was done by approaching labor unions, libraries, environmental groups, any place there were groups of people among whom BDS could be promoted. .

California is a hotbed for BDS with its large college network but the BDS movement has found non-campus locations and groups throughout the entire U.S., from Washington State to Florida, from New York to New Mexico, where tactics, information and direct actions are organized.

Affiliated chapters abound of Al Awda, such as Students for Justice in PalestineSUSTAIN (Stop US Taxpayer Aid to Israel Now) and many other names.  The Marxist group ANSWER, started days after 9/11 to promote anti-U.S. bigotry, also became a large backer of BDS through cooperation in bringing large numbers of activists to demonstrations and sharing resources. The U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation was later created as a lobbying group in Washington, D.C. that consolidates over 100 chapters of the BDS movement according to their website.

BDS Groups such as Norcal ISM (the Northern California chapter of the International Solidarity Movement, a Marxist inspired group), 14 Friends for Palestine in Marin, Santa Cruz’s Resource Center for Nonviolence (some call it the Resource Center for No More Israel), South Bay Mobilization in the San Jose area and others emerged as off campus organizations promoting BDS “by any means necessary”.

Many of these groups are made up of older people still pursuing their revolutionary dreams from the 60’s with an assault on Israel as a U.S. ally being at the top of their Marxist or anarchist agendas.

The U.S. government and campuses allow the movement to grow

A major part of the problem with these groups is that they are almost always given 501 c3 nontaxable status despite the fact that their goal is to destroy a U.S. ally and attack Jews worldwide. An interview with an IRS officer this reporter had reveals they are able to get this status by lying on their applications saying they are educational groups promoting human rights. They are, in fact, support groups for terrorists such as in Hamas and the PLO.

What is even more alarming is they usually get this designated tax status in as little as thirty days while legitimate groups promoting human rights for real may have to wait for up to a year for the same status. These groups send money overseas that goes to aid the likes of Hamas and in the long run comes back to bite the United States and its ally, Israel.

Who is Paul Larudee?

Norcal ISM is one of the most active of these BDS promoting groups and is headed by a man named Paul Larudee. Larudee operates his Norcal ISM out of his home in El Cerrito, California where he has set up nine non-profits to promote BDS and anti-Israel goals, including one called the Free Palestine Movement. Larudee generally holds meetings at Grassroots House, a building in downtown Berkeley that is shared by myriad radical groups for organizing and planning anti-U.S. and anti-Israel activities like BDS.

Larudee once wrote an article about his joy at sleeping in the bed of a suicide bomber during one of his subversive trips to the 'West Bank' to show support for Hamas. Stop the ISM actually got Larudee deported from Israel in 2006 after uncovering that he entered the country under the false identity of Paul Wilder with a U.S. passport obtained for fraudulent purposes.

Radical elements in Israel tried taking his deportation order to Israel’s Supreme Court, but articles such as this one persuaded the court to deport him immediately. Larudee, never losing a moment, next went to Lebanon as a volunteer and human shield for the terrorist group Hezbollah. He returned to later participate in the Gaza Flotilla boat that sailed to support Hamas.

Larudee is one of the BDS movement's main leaders in the U.S. and yet the government, even the FBI, look the other way at his antics.

Larudee recently started yet another 501 c3 entity called the Syria Solidarity Project. Below is an email he recently sent out soliciting tax free donations for his group. The Syria Solidarity Project is also billed by him as a human rights organization, but its real purpose is to support the regime of Bashir Assad, one of the worst human rights abusers in the world today, a Syrian leader who has used poison gas even against his own people.

Larudee’s “human rights” non-profit in fact provides support, propaganda and probably even money to the Assad regime to continue abusing human rights and murdering people, all thanks to Norcal ISM and Larudee (see intercepted email then donations page below in emails intercepted by Stop the ISM): Security analysts have stated they think Larudee’s creation of yet another 501 c3 is to find yet another nontaxable means to raise  money for BDS.

FW: [syriasolidarity] Syria needs your help. We need your

help. Next week we will be in Syria.

Subject: Fw: [syriasolidarity] Syria needs your help. We need your help. Next week we will be in Syria.

On Friday, November 27, 2015 4:08 AM, Syria Solidarity Movement

<solidarity@syriasolidaritymovement.org> wrote:

Dear Friends of a Sovereign, Independent and Unified Syria,

At the invitation of the Syrian Ministry of Reconciliation, a delegation of 6-8 members of the

Syria Solidarity Movement will arrive in Syria on Dec. 4, 2015. Its mission is to pursue all

means of supporting the internal efforts of Syrians to overcome divisions and to end foreign

intervention.

The delegates include analysts, researchers, commentators and organizers like Ajamu Baraka

(US, living in Colombia) and Glen Ford (US) of the Black Agenda Report, Eva Bartlett (Canada)

and Paul Larudee (US) of the Free Palestine Movement and human rights advocates Vanessa

Beeley (UK) and Jacob Cohen (France). Palestinian organizer and civil rights campaigner Amal

Wahdan will also join us from Ramallah, and hopefully community organizer Dr. Issa Chaer

from the UK, as well. Many of us are on SSM governing committees.

We will meet with former armed opposition members that have accepted government amnesty,

with representatives of civil society groups, religious leaders and community representatives. We

will try to arrange for some of them to come to Europe and North America on speaking tours and

to meet with their counterparts, as well as government officials. We hope to challenge

established thinking on the issues that are driving the conflict.

But we are in desperate need of your help in order to make this happen.

We do not need a lot of financial support to accomplish what we have in mind, but we need

some. In fact, we need only $3000 to make this mission possible without cutting corners and

causing hardship to the participants. But until now we have managed to raise less than $850.

PLEASE, PLEASE help. We do so much on a volunteer basis, and we’re willing to sacrifice.

But we have been unable to pay even the meager stipend of $250/month that supports our

hardworking webmaster, Eva, who has nonetheless accepted to continue on a volunteer basis.

SNAG, our weekly news magazine has almost entirely been the volunteer work of the tireless

Rick Sterling.

Please help us bring a different voice to the issues affecting Syria, one that is not well heard or

understood. Shouldn’t we hear all the points of view? What is the point of having an open mind if

some viewpoints are inaccessible?

SUPPORT OUR WORK with your donations, at

. Please be generous. Thank you.

The Syria Solidarity Movement

PLEASE NOTE: A group in the UK is illegally using our name and also recommending

illegal actions against Syria. We are pursuing legal remedy to compel them to stop using

our name, but the process is slow. Please be aware of this problem. Your donations to help

with our effort are gratefully appreciated.

The donations page ad:

image012

Despite the issue of human rights in Syria that Larudee’s page above claims it is promoting and using to solicit funds for political advocacy,  here is what his mission statement page says about human rights in Syria: “Some argue that we should include other principles, such as advocacy of a secular society and a government based on nondiscrimination and human rights.  Although we understand and respect such arguments, we believe that it is not our place to make such declarations, but rather to support Syrian declarations of their principles.”

In other words, Larudee’s Syria Solidarity Project talks about human rights,  but supports the human rights abuser Bashir Assad’s interpretations of them.

One wonders who at the IRS decided he deserves nonprofit status for his fund raising? 

It is this constant deception using the U.S. tax codes and taxpayer money such as for university campus clubs that endlessly fuels the BDS movement in the United States and abroad and makes peace impossible in the Middle East. (For more on this, click here.) The Syria issue is one example of how BDS links to the worldwide jihad and terrorism.

Stop the ISM, by going undercover, has exposed the likes of Larudee on more than one occasion. To see how that was done, see part II tomorrow.