Thursday, April 19, 2012

ISM Exposed: How the ISM Sucker-Punched the IDF Again

By: Lee Kaplan
Published: April 18th, 2012
I’ve spent the last eight years of my life as a journalist
under cover and reporting on the inner workings of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), in the United States and abroad. I’ve been through their training orientations and I have their training manuals. I operate a website where it lists the history, tactics, and media manipulations of the ISM and their leadership. I’ve also been responsible for the deportation of over 200 ISM activists from Israel, including some of their North American leadership.

At their orientation sessions in the US and UK in which I posed as an ISM volunteer, we were instructed that our purpose was to harass the IDF in any way possible in order to frustrate their anti-terror operations. We were informed that the ISM coordinates with Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the PFLP, which were constantly apprised of our locations in the villages. If we encountered armed terrorists while in the West Bank or Gaza, we were told, simply say hello to them and move on, as they were keenly aware that we were there to assist them.

In a recorded interview at
the Ohio State national conference, Adam Shapiro, a co-founder of the ISM, personally told me there are plain-clothed Palestinian handlers at every ISM demonstration that direct the activities. I was also told about how ISM activists serve to draw sniper fire down on IDF soldiers when desired. Lisa Nessan, one of those ISM trainers, told me at an ISM Georgetown conference that standing as a human shield in front of an armed terrorist as he threw rocks or shot at an Israeli soldier was indeed considered “nonviolent.” Joseph Carr, a.k.a. Joseph Smith, another ISM trainer, told me in a recorded phone interview how he and Rachel Corrie retrieved the dead body of a Hamas terrorist in Gaza from a combat zone only weeks before she was killed by an IDF bulldozer.

When asked whether he feared arrest by the IDF back then he blithely replied ‘no’ because he knew that Arab snipers would be there to fire at them. Rachel Corrie, who was trained by the ISM and had read their manual, also knew that Arab snipers would shoot at the IDF soldiers driving that bulldozer had they exited it to remove her.

The ISM uses a motto coined by the late Malcolm X – “By any means necessary” – in implementing what they consider to be revolutionary tactics in bringing down the Jewish state, which they see as a first step in bringing down Western democracy. Lying and media manipulation are encouraged and elevated to an art form. Talk of ‘nonviolent resistance’ is solely for media consumption, since the ISM promotes armed revolutionary ‘resistance’ against Israel by serving as human shields for terrorists.

And so, it is in this context that for two hours leading up to the two minute video of Colonel Shalom Eisner striking Danish ISM activist Andreas Ayas, the ISM used their bicycles, bodies, and even physical assaults to obstruct the IDF in a closed military zone and prevent anti-terror operations. Earlier in the day, Colonel Eisner was struck by a stick-wielding ISM activist, leaving him with a couple of broken fingers.

11 seconds into the video Colonel Eisner can be seen ordering the ISMers to disperse, one of them to his right with a baseball cap. The Colonel is holding his weapon like a stick to create a line that should not be crossed. He holds the weapon in a way that suggests his hand is injured. Ayas has his back to the camera, and is facing the Colonel in the foreground.

The film is then manipulated by editing. The ISMer with the baseball cap walks behind Colonel Eisner to break up the dispersal line the Colonel set up with his weapon. ISM activists routinely mingle among the soldiers and police in attempts to separate and free their comrades that have been arrested, as this
video in Hebron shows. The ISM activists are trained to scream bloody murder, tug on the soldiers, and create mayhem before the cameras. Most of all, they do not allow the police or soldiers to create a line. They faithfully followed the script in this episode.

At 13 seconds, the film has been edited to show Ayas defiantly facing down the Colonel instead of dispersing as the other ISMers are seen doing. A casual viewer might think Ayas was just standing there. The Colonel’s eyes widen as Ayas challenges him verbally and refuses to move. This fits the ISM playbook, as the activists are told the soldiers cannot and will not hurt them for fear of punishment; and in the unlikely event that they do, cameras will be there to grab an edited Kodak moment for their weekly propaganda videos on YouTube. The Colonel, faced with an unrelenting and unmoved agitator and trying to hold the line with a couple of broken fingers, struck Ayas. The Danish consul may be demanding an explanation, but Colonel Eisner did nothing more than the Danish police do to unruly anarchists, as
this video shows.

At 26 seconds we see Ayas in the foreground of the shot sporting only a cut lip with no serious injuries and fleeing toward the camera. However, in the same frame we can also discern Colonel Eisner trying to restrain the man with the baseball cap, who moved to where Ayas had been standing and refused to disperse. The Colonel attempts to arrest him but due to his hand injury cannot hold him, and another ISM activist grabs the man in the baseball cap and helps him escape. The interloper is arrested by other soldiers, while Colonel Eisner is relegated to a spectator’s role as he clearly cannot use one of his hands. The rest of the video shows female ISMers breaking the line and interfering with the soldiers again; another anarchist tactic is to send women in so it can be claimed the soldiers abuse the fairer sex. Be that as it may, anyone caught interfering with an arrest or even touching a police officer elicits an uncompromising response in any Western country. The end of the film shows a woman that had been arrested sitting next to the male ISM activist who had run interference on Colonel Eisen’s arrest, and the Colonel chatting with them.

As mentioned, ISM activists like Ayas are told during training not to fear or even respect IDF soldiers. They are told that the soldiers really have no authority over them and are under orders not to hurt them, and the activists are thus encouraged to challenge the soldiers at every turn. If instructed by soldiers to back up ten feet, we were trained to back up only five feet, in order to maintain a consistent and intense level of interference. In training we were told that the soldiers are allowed to detain us but not arrest us, and that the soldiers must call and wait for police, a wait that facilitates a getaway. We were told to photocopy our passports so that if detained, we could slip away. Our training emphasized that when in closed military zones, such as the one in which Ayas was struck, and if ordered to disperse or leave the area, that we must refuse and demand to see the soldier’s orders in writing.

This elaborate tutelage has essentially turned interference with the IDF into a titillating game for college anarchists in America and Europe, who are recruited for “
summer vacations in Palestine” to mess with the IDF soldiers. In a perverse type of package deal, they can get that “revolutionary” experience and raise hell without the risk of being shot – as in Tiananmen Square or Tehran – or even endure the rough handling of an American police officer. Interfering with the IDF and aiding Arabs in attacking them has bestowed upon ISMers cult status within American universities, and now one university even has an ISM chapter dedicated to prepare students for such missions. Andreas Ayas wannabes are recruited every week on US and UK campuses, and Colonel Eisner was merely another pawn – and victim - in the ISM’s game plan.
These ISM activists from the US and Europe do more than just abuse free speech to interfere with the IDF, nor are they starry-eyed pacifists. They represent a definite security risk to Israel and are documented terrorist confederates. The ISM even organized an event called the Tel Rumeida Circus, which performed juggling and fire tricks at checkpoints to distract the IDF soldiers and facilitate the smuggling enterprise.
A Rogue’s Gallery
Paul LaRudee, one of ISM’s major organizers in the US, was caught and deported from Israel after I tipped off the Israeli government to the fact that he was traveling to Israel under an assumed name, Paul Wilder. Until that point, he had been slipping in and out of the country, regularly meeting with members of Hamas. After exhausting the appeals process in Israeli courts, he went on to Lebanon to assist Hezbollah during the 2006 war.

Paul LaRudee continues to hobnob with Hamas, having recently visited Hamas in Gaza to receive a medal the group had awarded him. He was among those arrested on the Mavi Marmara, where he was justifiably struck by Israeli personnel who were struggling to subdue him. Because their actions were justified, these personnel were not vilified in the media nor reprimanded by the government. But the only difference between them and Colonel Eisner is that their actions weren’t depicted in a grossly-manipulated video.

Here are a few more ISM activists I succeeded in getting deported from Israel.
Brian Malovany trains new ISM recruits on how to harass IDF soldiers. His father told me
ISM is a cult. Brian managed to reenter Israel by obtaining an Irish passport. ISM encourages obtaining multiple passports and identities so as to be able to reenter Israel and continue the harassment of the IDF and support for the terrorist groups in their ‘resistance’.
Joseph Carr has boasted about entering Israel four separate times from four different entry points to continue his “revolution” against the Jewish state after being banned from the country. Carr has been linked to the deaths of members of ISM, as he suspiciously managed to capture their deaths with photographs, and has dubbed the deaths as “worth the price of the revolution.”
Deppen Webber was Paul LaRudee’s replacement until I got him deported from Israel only a few months ago. He is not Jewish. Webber turned up in Beirut just weeks ago, where he was helping Hezbollah organize the Global March to Jerusalem. ISM’s support for Hezbollah is patent, and in the US it works with Hezbollah-linked groups, especially in Shiite mosques.

Jeff Pickert was deported after my last visit to Israel because he was tasked with fomenting riots in a new Arab village in the West Bank that was intended to be the next Bi’ilin. Pickert was linked to a PFLP safe house in Chicago and was involved in the flotillas enterprise. He is now touring American campuses and churches on behalf of the ISM, recruiting for more ISM recruits.

I got Jonas Moffat, a professional ISM agitator, deported for security violations. He is the founder of the Tel Rumeida Circus and now has a sinecure, touring the globe to try and destroy Israel since he can no longer do so from within. Like other ISM activists, he assumed an alias so that he could reenter Israel, harass the IDF, and foment riots even after banishment and deportation.

ISM activities are not just limited to harassment of Israel’s security forces: they are behind boycotts of Israel; they are allied with neo-Nazis in the US, with Arab irredentist groups that are fronts for terrorists – particularly Hamas – in the US, and with Iranian interests. The ISM’s purpose is to destroy Israel’s sovereignty as a nation “by any means necessary” – by flooding the country with international anarchists who can create scenes such as those depicting Colonel Eisner.

Colonel Eisner, a hero of the 2006 war with Hebozllah in Lebanon, was set up by the ISM through video manipulation, and the Israeli government is once again falling all over itself just to fall into the trap. It appears that Israel’s leaders have short memories, as it was not so long ago that an IDF Navy SEAL, armed with a paintball gun, was literally disemboweled on an ISM flotilla ship and thrown overboard into the sea by ISM-affiliated activists on the Mavi Marmara. Colonel Eisner did nothing less than that Navy SEAL in protecting the People of Israel. And this disrespect of our soldiers and police must stop.

Colonel Eisner says he overreacted? The real overreaction was by the politicians and the media, who do not seem to fully apprehend ISM’s tactics and training and the context in which the episode took place, and who fear indiscriminate and sweeping condemnation by other nations. But Colonel Eisner’s contrition is understandable considering the unnecessary reprobation he received from Prime Minister Netanyahu and the IDF brass, who shot from the hip. But the fact is, it is the government that owes him an apology, as much as they owe an apology to that Israeli Navy SEAL for sending him on his mission with a paintball gun.

Colonel Eisner’s actions should not be considered a punishable offense, as they are an inevitable consequence of the monstrous worldwide campaign and solidarity network designed to defame Israel and the IDF. His actions should be understood as nothing less than the sensible application of self-defense in the course of maintaining order and preserving security, while under constant threat and stress. And it is the Israeli Foreign Ministry that should be asking for an explanation from the Danish Foreign Ministry: Why are you sending us your anarchists and subversives when you won’t even tolerate them on the streets of Copenhagen?

Lee Kaplan is an investigative journalist who has been published internationally and interviewed on over 200 radio programs and on television as an expert on the ISM. He is currently working on a book about the ISM and how it is part of the global war on terror. He can be reached at

Monday, April 16, 2012

MI6's Shameful Holocaust Attack

by Andrew Roberts

A new history of British intelligence reveals that in 1946-'48 they used explosives to attack ships bearing Holocaust survivors from Europe to Israel. Andrew Roberts on these stunning revelations.

As Jewish survivors of the Holocaust, the pitiful remnants of History’s greatest crime, tried to make their way across an often hostile Europe at the end of the Second World War, toward at least a semblance of safety in the Holy Land, they had no shortage of problems with which to contend, including disease and malnutrition, Polish anti-Semitism, Soviet indifference, Allied bureaucracy, and Arab nationalism. Now we discover that they faced yet another peril in the shape of bombs planted on their transport ships by Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, better known as MI6.

A new book to be published next week entitled MI6: The History of the Secret Intelligence Service 1909-1949, by the distinguished British historian Keith Jeffery, reveals the existence of Operation Embarrass, a plan to try to prevent Jews getting into Palestine in 1946-'48 using disinformation and propaganda but also explosive-devices placed on ships. Nor is this some speculative spy story that can be denied by the authorities: Dr. Jeffrey’s book is actually, in their own words: “Published with the permission of The Secret Intelligence Service and the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office.

The country that ought to be embarrassed by Operation Embarrass—indeed shamed—is Great Britain, which used explosives to try to stop truly humanitarian flotillas after the Holocaust, but now condemns embattled Israel for halting entirely politically-inspired flotillas to Gaza despite her rights of legitimate self-defense.
When on June 1 this year the British government denounced as “completely unacceptable” the way that the Israelis landed troops on the Turkish flotilla to Gaza we did not know that its predecessor had done much the same, actually blowing up one ship and damaging two more vessels of a genuinely humanitarian flotilla that was trying to bring Jewish survivors of the Nazi death camps to their people’s ancient homeland.

The Secret History of MI6. By Keith Jeffery. 832 pages. Penguin Press HC. $39.95 Of course, the hostility of the British establishment toward Jewish immigration into Palestine since long before the notorious 1939 White Paper on the subject is well-known—even King George VI wrote that year to say that he was “glad to think that steps are being taken to prevent these people leaving their country of origin”—nonetheless this is the first indication of the violent lengths to which post-war Britain was willing to go in order to appease the oil-rich Arab states of the region.

For it now emerges that in late 1946 the Labour government of Clement Attlee asked MI6 for “proposals for action to deter ships masters and crews from engaging in illegal Jewish immigration and traffic,” adding, “Action of the nature contemplated is, in fact, a form of intimidation and intimidation is only likely to be effective if some members of the group of people to be intimidated actually suffer unpleasant consequences.” Among the options contemplated were “the discovery of some sabotage device, which had ‘failed’ to function after the sailing of a ship,” “tampering with a ship’s fresh water supplies or the crew’s food,” and “fire on board ship in port.” Sir Stewart Menzies, the chief of the SIS, suggested these could be blamed on an invented Arab terrorist group called The Defenders of Arab Palestine.

Operation Embarrass was therefore launched after a meeting held on February 14, 1947 between officials from MI6, the armed services, the Colonial Office and the Foreign Office, the last represented by William Hayter, the head of Foreign Office Services Liaison Department, a high-flier who later became ambassador to Moscow. I knew Sir William Hayter in later life, but needless to say he never breathed a word about this operation. In his defense, it must be said that Hayter did order MI6 to ensure that arson “must be arranged, if at all, when the ship is empty.

The Operation Embarrass team was told that “the primary consideration was to be that no proof could ever be established between positive action against this traffic and His Majesty’s Government [HMG].” A special communications network, code-named Ocean, was set up with a budget of £30,000 ($47,000), a great deal of money in 1947. The operation had three aspects: direct action against refugee ships, a “black” propaganda campaign, and a deception scheme to disrupt immigration from Black Sea ports. A team of former Special Operations Executive agents—with the cover story of a yachting trip—was sent to France and Italy with limpet bombs and timers. If captured, “they were under no circumstances to admit their connection with HMG” but instead claim to have been recruited in New York “by an anti-Communist organization formed by a group of international industrialists, mainly in the oil and aircraft industries,” i.e., to lay the blame on rich, right-wing, unnamed Americans. They were told that this cover “was their final line of defense and, even in the event of a prison sentence, no help could be expected from HMG.

During the summer of 1947 and early 1948, five attacks were undertaken on ships in Italian ports, of which one was rendered “a total loss” and two others were damaged. Two other British-made limpet mines were discovered before they went off, but the Italian authorities did not find their country of origin suspicious, “as the Arabs would of course be using British stores.” Operation Embarrass even considered blowing up the Baltimore steamship President Warfield when in harbor in France, which later became famous in Israeli history as the “Exodus” ship that “launched a nation.”

The country that ought to be embarrassed by Operation Embarrass—indeed shamed—is Great Britain, which used explosives to try to stop truly humanitarian flotillas after the Holocaust, but now condemns embattled Israel for halting entirely politically-inspired flotillas to Gaza despite her rights of legitimate self-defense. The depth of the animosity that Establishment Britain, especially the Foreign Office, felt toward the Jews of Palestine clearly went even further than we had ever imagined, and even 70 years later is by no means extinguished.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The New Anti-Semitism

by Victor Davis Hanson (Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow)- March 28th 2012
Why does the international community hate Israel so much?

Not long ago, the Economist ran an unsigned editorial called the “Auschwitz Complex.” The unnamed author blamed serial Middle East tensions on both Israel’s unwarranted sense of victimhood, accrued from the Holocaust, and its unwillingness to “to give up its empire.” As far as Israel’s paranoid obsessions with the specter of a nuclear Iran, the author dismissed any real threat by announcing that “Iran makes an appealing enemy for Israelis,” and that “Israelis have psychologically displaced the source of their anxiety onto a more distant target: Iran.”

It is hard to fathom how a democracy of seven million people by any stretch of the imagination is an “empire.” Israel, after all, fought three existential wars over its 1947 borders, when the issue at hand was not manifest destiny, but the efforts of its many enemies to exterminate or deport its population. I would not otherwise know how to characterize the Arab promise of more than a half-century of “pushing the Jews into Mediterranean.”

While it is true that Israeli forces stayed put on neighboring lands after the 1967 war, subsequent governments eventually withdrew from the Sinai, southern Lebanon, and Gaza—areas from which attacks were and are still staged against it. The Economist’s choice of “appealing” is an odd modifying adjective of the noun “enemy,” particularly for Iran, which has both promised to wipe out Israel and is desperately attempting to find the nuclear means to reify that boast.

The Economist article is fairly representative of European anger at Israel, a country that is despised by most of the nations that make up the UN roster. Or as Nicky Larkin, an Irish documentary filmmaker and once vehement anti-Israel activist, recently confessed, “An Irish artist is supposed to sign boycotts, wear a PLO scarf, and remonstrate loudly about The Occupation. But it’s not just artists who are supposed to hate Israel. Being anti-Israel is supposed to be part of our Irish identity, the same way we are supposed to resent the English.”

What then are the sources for widespread hatred of Israel? Such venom cannot be explained just by political differences with its Arab and Islamic neighbors. After all, take any major issue of contention—occupied land, refugees, a divided Jerusalem, cross border incursions—and then ask why the world focuses disproportionately on Israel when similar such disputes are commonplace throughout the globe.

Does the world much care about the principle of occupation? Not really. Consider land that has been “occupied” in the fashion of the West Bank since World War II. Russia won’t give up the southern Kurile Islands it took from Japan. Tibet ceased to exist as a sovereign country—well before the 1967 Middle East War—when it was absorbed by Communist China. Turkish forces since their 1974 invasion have occupied large swaths of Cyprus. East Prussia ceased to exist in 1945, after 13 million German refugees were displaced from ancestral homelands that dated back 500 years.

The 112-mile green line that runs through downtown Nicosia to divide Cyprus makes Jerusalem look united in comparison. Over 500,000 Jews have been ethnically-cleansed from Arab capitals since 1947, in waves of pogroms that come every few decades. Why are they not considered refugees the way the Palestinians are?

The point is not that the world community should not focus on Israel’s disputes with its neighbors, but that it singles Israel out for its purported transgressions in a fashion that it does not for nearly identical disagreements elsewhere. Over 75 percent of recent United Nations resolutions target Israel, which has been cited for human rights violations far more than the Sudan, Congo, or Rwanda, where millions have perished in little-noticed genocides. Why is the international community so anti-Israel?

A new sort of fashionable and socially acceptable anti-Semitism looms large. For much of the past two millennia in the West, hatred of the Jews was a crude prejudice, rich with state-sanctioned religious, economic, and social biases. By the same token, dissidents, leftists, and anti-establishmentarians once took up the cause of decrying anti-Semitism, an Enlightenment theme until well after World War II.

No more—with the establishment of Israel, anti-Semitism metamorphosized in two unforeseen ways. First, it became a near obsession of the modern Left, which associated the creation of the Jewish state with a sort of Western hegemonic impulse. That Israel was democratic and protected human rights in a way unlike its autocratic neighbors mattered nothing. To the international Left, Israel was a religious, imperialistic, and surrogate West in the Middle East.

After the 1967 war, when a once vulnerable Israel emerged victorious and apparently unstoppable, Jews lost any lingering sympathy from the horrors of World War II and Israel became a full-fledged Western over-dog, closely associated with its new patron, the much envied and hated United States. Not only were the new anti-Semites no longer just buffoonish skinheads, neo-Nazis, and Klansmen, but they were polished and sophisticated intellectuals. Deploring anti-Semitic illiterates in white sheets was rather easy; but countering Hamas cartoons of Jews as apes and pigs in West Bank newspapers was difficult when they were disseminated in the name of free speech at U.C. Berkeley.

There was a second facet of the new anti-Semitism. The establishment of the state of Israel itself also served as a respectable cloak for anti-Semitism. One now spoke not of disliking Jews, but only of despising the Jewish state and seeing Palestinians as if they were victims analogous to minority groups within the West. From Oxford dons to award-wining novelists, it became socially acceptable to decry the creation of Israel in a way it was not to say that the Jews were again causing trouble. Alleging that “Jews” had too much influence was still retrograde, but worrying about the power of the “Jewish lobby” was suddenly politically-correct.

Oil, of course, played an even larger role. By the 1960s, the West was heavily dependent on Persian Gulf and North African oil and gas, and by the 1990s, was in a rivalry with emerging economies in India and China to ensure steady Middle East supplies. After the deleterious oil cutoff of 1973, the Arab world proved not just that it was willing to use oil as an anti-Israel weapon, but also that it could do so quite effectively.

On the flip side, since the 1960s, trillions of petrodollars have flowed into the Islamic Middle East, not just ensuring that Israel’s enemies now were armed, ascendant, and flanked by powerful Western friends, but through contributions, donations, and endowments also deeply embedded within Western thought and society itself. Universities suddenly sought endowed Middle East professorships and legions of full tuition-paying Middle East undergraduates. Had Israel the oil reserves of Saudi Arabia, then “occupied” Palestine might have resonated at the UN about as much as Ossetia, Kashmir, or the Western Sahara does today.

Size matters as well. Israel is tiny; its enemies, legion. For many in the world, demography is everything: would an opinion-maker or journalist rather side with seven million Israelis or 400 million of their enemies in the largely Islamic Middle East? And if Israel had clearly done well in the 1947, 1956, and 1967 wars, after the next round of fighting in 1973, 1982, and 2006, critics smelled weakness and found it more comfortable to prefer the soon-to-be winning side. As a result, diplomats, military officers, journalists, writers, and actors found it easier to count heads and choose the path of least resistance—given Israel’s recent inability to defeat quickly and decisively its Arab adversaries.

The terrorism of the last thirty years loomed large as well. If in the 1970s, Western governments feared that their Olympic games, their jet airliners, their embassies, and their sports teams might by attacked by secular left-wing Palestinian terrorists, by the late 1990s they were even more afraid that radical Islamist suicide bombers and terrorists would strike not just abroad, but inside Europe and North America itself. After 9/11, to draw a cartoon in Denmark mocking a Jewish rabbi would earn either praise or indifference; but to caricature Mohammed or the Koran ensured threats of assassination in the heart of postmodern, humanitarian Europe.

Intellectuals are not moral supermen, and supposedly courageous muckraking writers and journalists prefer, we have seen, to live without fear than to accurately describe the situation on the ground in the Middle East. For many intellectuals, the choice of lauding or disliking Israel was not just based on careerist self-interest, but also on a careful calculus that Western nations, for all their talk of free speech, were as terrified of terrorists as were the latters’ targets. Criticize or caricature radical Islam, and a terrorist was more likely to get you than your fearful Western government was to protect you. Ask Salman Rushdie or Kurt Westergaard.

Finally, Israel in the West has become analogous to something like the uncool image of Sarah Palin—a target of mindless and uniformed invective that nevertheless serves as a sort of cachet or membership card into the right circles. Filmmakers do not usually shoot sympathetic documentaries about Israel—not if they want grants from foundations and social acceptance from their peers and overseers. Visiting journalists and authors might hotel in Israel, but their professional work on the West Bank will be praised and supported to the degree that it is pro-Palestinian and shunned should it be either balanced or pro-Israeli.

Will the image of Israel ever be reversed? Only if the above criteria are altered—a damning indictment that popular antipathy has little to do with the reality of Israel’s predicament.