(Go to JAT-Action Home Page or ISM Section)

The 'peace' group that embraces violence

By Toby Harnden, Middle East Correspondent
(Filed: 15/01/2004)

This article appeared in the Telegraph newspaper online, telegraph.co.uk.
The original article is/was available at the following link.

The International Solidarity Movement is often described as a peace group but its founders back the Palestinian right to wage an "armed struggle".

Launched in 2001, the ISM says it uses "non-violent direct action" in the style of Gandhi, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Dr Martin Luther King.

A closer look reveals that the leadership sees volunteers not as pacifists but as combatants on the Palestinian side.

In a 2002 article, the movement's co-founders, Adam Shapiro, a New York Jew, and Huwaida Arraf, a Palestinian Christian, urged: "The Palestinian resistance must take on a variety of characteristics, both non-violent and violent."

Mr Shapiro and Miss Arraf predicted that "yes, people will get killed and injured" and suggested that the casualties "would be considered shaheed", using the Arabic term for martyrs applied to suicide bombers.

In its mission statement, the movement says that, for Palestinians, "armed struggle" is "their right". Activists have shown their hatred for the Jewish state.

" 'Israel' is an illegal entity that should not exist," wrote Flo Rosovski, an ISM "media co-ordinator" who was deported last year.

Some links between ISM activists and Palestinian terrorists have emerged. Less than two weeks after Corrie's death, ISM members allegedly tried to prevent Israeli troops from searching their office in Jenin in the West Bank. When the soldiers forced their way in, they discovered Shadi Sukia, a leading member of Islamic Jihad.

The movement claimed that it had known nothing about Sukia but had simply offered him tea, clothes and a blanket when he appeared unannounced off the street.

ISM members also shared tea with Omar Khan Sharif and Assif Muhammad Hanif, Britons who visited the site of Corrie's death with the group last April before carrying out a suicide attack on Mike's Place, a Tel Aviv pub, killing three and injuring dozens.

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