ISM planning yearly conference
at Columbia or CUNY
By Lee Kaplan and Stop the
Just this past week an article with photos of International Solidarity Movement (ISM) activists and coordinators in the West Bank holding AK-47 assault rifles in the presence of an Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade terrorist ran all over the Internet (see articles below after this one). That article, the ISM-Terror Connection, can now be found all over the Internet with a longer, less redacted version at http://www.homelandsecurityus.com/ISMReport1.pdf .
Without missing a beat, the ISM this week announced that on Monday, September 25,th they will meet so that yet another US campus in November can be used to promote their terrorist-supporting agenda. ISM leadership has admitted openly to working with terrorist groups such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the PFLP, yet American college campuses are still being used as a venue and recruiting source for the group.
Georgetown University, the previous host of the Palestine Solidarity Movement Divestment Conference, has just been sued for $8 million dollars by an elderly Jewish attendee who was beaten by Georgetown staff when he asked a panel what the group's position was on suicide bombings against Israeli civilians. The Palestine Solidarity Movement, or PSM, the name the ISM uses in the USA, tries to maintain they have no links to the ISM, yet their conferences host ISM training sessions to go to the West Bank, have many affiliates named ISM such as Norcal ISM, ISM-NY, etc., and its leaders are funded by donations made out to “ISM-USA.” ISM co-founders, also a husband and wife, Huwaida Arraf and Adam Shapiro, both actively lead and organize the national conferences on US campuses. Huwaida Arraf was also involved as a human shield for PLO terrorists inside the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem when it was used by Palestinian terrorists to hold hostages for 59 days in 2002, a criminal activity for which she was never prosecuted.
The image of the ISM has deteriorated so much due to exposure of their terrorism connections that the New York ISM chapter has decided to change its name to the “Ad Hoc Coalition for Justice in the Middle East.” A communiqué (posted below) intercepted by Stop the ISM reveals plans to schedule another national ISM/PSM conference on November 11th or 18th, the same as the one at Georgetown, to be held at either the City University of New York, a taxpayer-funded institution, or Columbia University. Columbia recently was in the headlines for inviting Iranian strongman Ahmadinejhad to speak on campus, but rescinded the offer after pressure from faculty and students.
Emiliano Huet-Vaughn, an ISM activist who was featured in the article and photos of ISM activists with guns, and who was also sent to the West Bank by funds provided by ISM-NY as a “grant,” is also now back in New York and working actively as one of those planning which US college to once again use as a training venue for more ISM “volunteers” to go to the West Bank and work with Palestinian terrorist groups. The planned November conference will also be held to promote the interests of the Iraqi resistance that is killing American soldiers in Iraq as well as support for Iran against the United States.
The advance information of what the ISM is planning on yet another US college campus should allow no excuses for CUNY or Columbia administrators to claim they are unaware of
the ISM’s real goals or shady past in aiding overseas terrorist groups or that the organization is a “peace group,” as Georgetown administrators attempted to do. The ISM will be conducting recruiting and training sessions for students to go to the West Bank to destroy the Israeli Security Fence against terrorists, a clear violation of 18 U.S.C. 2339a and b of US anti-terrorism laws. Given this advance notice, there is no excuse for either of the two New York colleges mentioned to allow such an event on campus. The text of the ISM communiqué follows below:
Ad-Hoc Coalition for Justice in the Middle East
Conference Planning Meeting
When: Monday September 25, 2006 @ 7:00PM
Where: St. Mary's Church - 521 West 126th Street between Amsterdam and Broadway ( Take 1 to 125th St and go east on 125th or Take A/B/C/D to 125th St and go west on 125th to Amsterdam, then north one block on Amsterdam, and then left on 126th (west).
What: During the last Ad-Hoc Coalition General Meeting held on September 6, 2006, a decision was taken to carry out an activism based educational conference in November, possibly to coincide with Call for Action during the November 9-16 international week against the Wall.
A follow-up meeting was carried out by the Program Committee on September 16, 2006. Below are the major points that were raised and discussed during this meeting.
The Ad-Hoc Coalition for Justice in the Middle East invites you to attend the next Conference Planning Meeting on Monday September 25, 2006 at St. Mary Church. The meeting will include discussing various conference components including:
· Location (up date from logistics)
· Program (summary from educational / activism and cultural program coordinators)
·Outreach â€“ endorsements and mobilization of other organizations to participate
· Coordinating Committee (and possibly point person)
Please join us as Your input is essential to making this action a success !!!!
Program Committee Meeting Minutes on September 16, 2006
A discussion of goals of conference:
-both to gain a better understanding of the situation in the Middle East and to promote and strategize for activism
-both to allow activists to discuss and network and to attract, educate, and involve a broader audience
B. suggestions for what might be included:
-workshops by groups discussing activist tactics
-panel discussions on issues (eg Palestine, Iran, Lebanon, oil, Islamophobia, US goals)
-debates (eg 1 state / 2 state, support for armed resistance)
-tables from many antiwar groups including those not in the coalition
-displays of Palestinian art, other cultural events
C. debate over the central theme and title - Palestine or colonialism/imperialism more broadly?
-Palestine is crucial to the area and is a central weakness of the US left
-drawing connections and pulling in people angry about Iraq, etc, is key, as is preparing for possible future wars on Iran, Syria, etc
-conclusion with consensus, broad title and wide-ranging workshops but also specific focus on Palestine and workshops about details of events on the ground there
-proposed title - From Iraq to Palestine: The Struggle for Justice in the Middle East
D. proposal for structure of conference, with amendments:
-one day conference in order to avoid problems with housing
-three successive sets of workshops, the first two educational and the third activist-focused, followed by evening event
-cultural components: all-day display of art near groups tables, music/movies/party/whatever during lunch, dinner breaks, at night, possibly as evening event
-adopted by consensus
E. discussion of location of conference:
-CUNY Grad Center, nice space, centrally located, not intimidating, but possibly expensive and possibly difficult to get
-Columbia, with a history of being a center for battle around Palestine, can be paid for by student group, but possibly difficult to get and restricted by university
-decision by consensus to attempt to get space at each, see what works
F. discussion of date of conference:
-November 11, a Saturday, at the beginning of an international week of action against the wall, allows conference to lead people into participation
-November 18, next Saturday, backup in case space not available on 11, allows conference to be debriefing and built at earlier actions
-direct action to be left for other days of week of action, not crammed into day of conference
G. breakdown into working groups - if anyone has suggestions for any of the proposed segments of the conference please contact the temporary coordinators for each section - the temporary coordinator is responsible for collecting ideas and presenting them at the next general meeting of the Ad-Hoc Coalition:
-activism workshops, coordinated by Daniel - firstname.lastname@example.org
-education workshops, coordinated by Mostafa - email@example.com