Showdown between IDF and ISM

06.02.03

There’s an interesting article in the Jerusalem Report about the showdown between the IDF and the International Solidarity Movement:

But now, say Israeli officials, things had taken a major shift for the worse. Their inquiries showed that the two suicide bombers involved in the Mike’s Place attack, both British nationals, had actually been hosted by ISM. “For us,” says the Foreign Ministry’s Information Chief Gideon Meir, “that was the turning point.” Defying army bulldozers was one thing; providing cover for suicide bombers to slip into the country quite another.

[ . . . ]

We have nothing against the internationals,” says a senior IDF officer. “But, as far as we are concerned, ISM is not an international organization or a peace organization. It’s a pro-Palestinian organization, set up by Palestinians, funded by Palestinians and linked to Palestinian terror.”

[ . . . ]

“There is no other country in the world that would have allowed these people so much scope, and in the end Israel gets blamed,” complains a senior IDF officer who has been closely observing the ISM. He says the activists are divided up into three categories: human shields, witnesses and spokespeople. “It’s almost like a paramilitary organization,” he charges. “The human shields obstruct IDF work, while the witnesses and spokespeople give a deliberately distorted picture of what is going on.”

The officer also accuses the ISM of deliberately protecting Palestinian terrorists. In late March, he says, an American ISM activist, Susan Barclay, 26, tried to prevent soldiers from entering the organization’s Jenin offices where a wanted Islamic Jihad terrorist, Shadi Sukia, had sought refuge.

The Prime Minister’s Office has come out with a report directly linking the ISM to terrorism in the case of the bombing at Mike’s Place, and accusing the international activists of using elaborate cover stories that are coordinated in advance to get into the country.

I understand Israel’s frustration with these very un-useful idiots. And I also have no doubt that they’re right about the ISM’s support and facilitation of terrorism. But, like the Jerusalem Report article states, this could turn into a giant PR disaster for Israel, since to the rest of the world, it’s all too easy for ISM to put on that innocent, “non-violent activist” face and claim to be persecuted. As usual, Israel is making serious blunders in the media war that have already been far too costly.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 thatguy 06.06.03 at 7:26 PM

Oh segacs, here you are blindly believing whatever it is that the Israeli right tells you (I notice how you refer ad nauseum to the Jerusalem Post-get something more balanced, try Haaretz).
Anyways, the only way that the suicide bombers were connected to the ISM was that they may have attented a public memorial service (eg open to anyone) for Rachel Corrie (remember, the young American murdered in Rafah by the IDF?). I would also point out that the ISraeli government was cracking down on the ISM before the revolting attack in Tel Aviv.
Next time, don’t take what the Likud nutballs tell you at face value.

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2 segacs 06.07.03 at 6:45 AM

If you read my blog more often, you’d notice that I refer to a variety of sources, including frequent links to Ha’aretz. And in this case, I’ve also linked to the Jerusalem Report, which perhaps you are confusing with the Jerusalem Post. And I certainly don’t take much of anything at “face value” as you put it.

You, however, seem to take the ISM’s explanation at “face value” without accounting for much of the other evidence that points to the ISM’s facilitation of terrorism. Why not try taking your own advice?

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