Saturday, October 25, 2003

This Associated Press article (on the IDF's arrests of a Hamas bombmaker and Fatah man hiding in Nablus hospitals) mentions "peace activist" Mark Turner. Turner is actually an ISM-er who speaks admiringly of suicide bombers (using the Palestinian term "martyrs"):
we're also trying to protect
the last of the homes of the balata martyrs. these
houses were once the homes of young men who went into
israel or to settlements to bomb.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

BBC2 is broadcasting a documentary on Rachel Corrie and Tom Hurndall on Nov 2. It will probably be the standard worshipful fare with a few token responses from uncharismatic Israeli spokespeople. But if you see it and notice dramatic misstatements, please send me the details.

Thanks to those who sent info about the Rutgers and Ohio conferences of the "Palestine Solidarity Movement". Evan Coyne Maloney's video about the Rutgers conference is here. To me it looks like the far-left loonies in these American groups are comparatively harmless. New Jersey Solidarity leader Charlotte Kates looks particularly silly.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

The ISM has been a bit slippery as to what they mean when they say that they want the end of "the occupation". But you don't have to look much to find the leadership or other ISMers talking about the "one-state solution", or ending "Zionism"; ISM sites often link to al-Awda etc. - for the ISM, Israel's mere existing is "the occupation".

Here's one example in the middle of a note from the ISM to the family of Tom Hurndall:
He brought with him the warmth and security of an international presence, something which the so-called Security Council has failed to achieve in over 50 years of occupation.

Monday, October 13, 2003

ISM Summer Camp These are supposedly "Letters to American children" written by Palestinian kids at an ISM-affiliated summer camp at Deir Ibzia. Judge for yourself.

Hello, My name is Raghda.

I am thirteen years old. I like to Intifada. I am in eighth grade. I am a Palestinian child. I live in Deir Ibzi'a.

We are the children of Palestine. We send this to all the children of the world and especially American children. We tell you here about our tragic situation in the shade of the unfair occupation who doesn't know the word mercy. The Second Terrorist After Bush (Sharon) kills the children, arrests the men, humiliates women, demolishes houses, destroys trees, pollutes the air, steals the goods of this country and has the movement of the citizens in his hands. ....

We ask American kids to help us, because we asked adults but they didn't listen. We hope that you hear our call for help and help us. We believe we will get our rights some day. We thank everyone of the Internationals who tried to help us, especially Mr. Jon (Jackson). Thank you very much.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

"Thus I feel comfortable supporting the intifada" This ISMer (October 7th entry) enthusiastically describes a Nablus rally that included various Palestinian terrorist groups:
Children and youths lined the roof-tops, waving smaller flags and headbands. Large 10ftx6ft flags were held above the crowd: Red for the Marxist factions (PFLP and DFLP), green for Hamas, black for Islamic Jihad and black and white keffiya-style for the ruling Fateh.

Ambulances and medical relief volunteers mixed in the crowd, participating and chanting down megaphones while remaining ready for any problems, shots gone astray and fainting.....

Enormous cloth paintings hanging from apartment and office blocks, some six floors high. Some were portraits of factional leaders and heroes, others expanded on political emblems. One particularly striking Hamas painting showed two courageous Hamas knights on horseback charging an Israeli octopus clasping the Al-Aqsa mosque in its tentacles. A third Hamas knight on foot had successfully severed a tentacle with his bloodied sword.

At one point, the crowd turned from the speakers to watch Hamas abseilers in masks fly down 9 floors, and a car-sized model of an Israeli F16 went up in flames, while Qtab (Fateh-supporting armed group) and Qassam (Hamas military wing) paraded in uniform, showing off their best weapons, shooting sporadically into the air.
I'm certain that there were kids with fake explosive belts and mockups of exploding Israeli buses as well, but ISMer Mika elected to leave out those parts. Nevertheless, Mika's admiration for Hamas et. al. is apparent.

Mika tries to soft-pedal the disturbing scene:
Most were fronted by young faction 'scouts' playing drums. The most organised were the Hamas and the PFLP ('Marxist' Popular Front) scouts, whose uniforms wre strikingly similar to British Scouts, except for the political insignia.
The crowd was reinforced by hundreds of schoolgirls in blue&white striped uniform, most not wearing hijab, reminiscent of the British schoolchildren that filled the streets when war began on March 20th.
In my perception, most of the means of the intifada is directed at widespread non-compliance with the military occupation and attacks on soldiers.
But ultimately Mika remains uncomfortable:
People supported the anti-apartheid movement despite opposing ANC attacks on white civilians (now generally forgotten). Others supported the Iraq war while opposing clusterbombs. Thus I feel comfortable supporting the intifada. (The concept of 'victory' is another matter.)
Mika, your Islamic Jihad friends blew up a cafe in my neighborhood a few weeks ago. You're obviously aware that such attacks won't lead to the end of the (so flexibly-defined) "occupation". I agree totally with those who say that you and your fellow ISMers are exacerbating the horrible situation here, and should not be allowed in. If you want to help the Palestinians, try joining a real humanitarian group. If the IDF's behavior disturbs you, you can even go work for a human rights group like B'Tselem or al-Haq (despite the deep and non-comparable flaws of the 2 groups).

The games that you play in your head (and the fact that you can't shake your discomfort) don't make what you are doing any less objectionable. The silliness of your claims that the IDF and Hamas/IJ are morally equivalent is made clear by the awkward circumlocutions of your own website.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Read the ISM's Orwellian response to Islamic Jihad's bombing of a Haifa restaurant that killed 19 yesterday. Sort through the various self-serving ISM garbage to get to the punchline paragraph:
ISM is unequivocally opposed to the killing of all innocent civilians, and sees the perpetuation of violence as a direct result of the Israel's military occupation of Palestinian land.....
Note to Independent columnist Johann Hari and others: the second half of that sentence unequivocally renders the first half meaningless. Does the ISM somehow object to the bombing or its perpetrators? "no, the bombing is a direct consequence of Israeli policies" and you can't object to or complain about natural consequences. The ISM has no complaints about Islamic Jihad (and Hamas) or objections to being buddies with them. If anyone has any doubts on the matter, see a previous Huwaida Arraf rant. The ISM continues:
...Earlier this afternoon two Palestinians, one a 9-year-old Mohammed Daraghmeh al-Nouri, were shot and killed by Israeli troops in the West Bank town of Tulkarem.
"two Palestinians" ... hmmm... one of them was Sarhan Sarhan, who shot 5 Israeli civilians dead (including a mother who was reading to her 2 children) at Kibbutz Metzer in November 2002 (report). Strange for the ISM to be mourning someone like him right after they claim that they're unequivocally opposed to the killing of civilians. The death of the 9-yr. old, tragic if true, has not been confirmed by non-Palestinian sources.

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