How I Spent My Spring Break

The “do-gooders” are back. Uncritical reporters and correspondents describe them as “humanitarian-brave-heroic-peacekeeping-volunteers.”

They are members of the International Solidarity Movement, praised this week by George Monbiot, a columnist in The Guardian (UK), as displaying “extraordinary courage and self-sacrifice” to protect Palestinian “civilians by making hostages of themselves.” ISM volunteers are, in fact, a branch of a sophisticated Palestinian propaganda effort. The ISM website ( proclaims its full name as “International Solidarity with the Palestinian People.” According to its own publicity, ISM is “a Palestinian-led coalition of Palestinians and foreign civilians.”

And while ISM’s own literature and spokesman claim that they support non-violent “resistance to Israel’s occupation,” they also openly state, “We recognize the Palestinian right to resist Israeli violence and occupation via armed struggle.”

According to The Guardian, ISM “protesters have moved into the homes of people threatened with bombardment by the Israeli army, ensuring that the soldiers cannot attack Palestinians without attacking foreigners too. They have been sitting in the ambulances taking sick or injured people to hospital, in the hope of speeding their passage through Israeli checkpoints and preventing the soldiers from beating up the occupants. They have been trying to run convoys of food and medicine into neighborhoods deprived of supplies…”

Two members of the International Solidarity Movement have received considerable press attention for their work: Adam Shapiro of New York and Tzaporah Ryter of Minnesota. The press invariably points out that the two are Jewish.

Writing in various Palestinian publications, Ryter claimed last week that she witnessed Israeli soldiers in Ramallah “shooting at the women and children… They were chasing down people, hunting them like that in the fields.”

Ryter’s claims were not verified by any of the legions of reporters or international observers surrounding Ramallah.

Ryter has a record of slandering Israel. Writing in a local Minnesota newspaper last June, she called Israel “racist… fascist… war criminals” and accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing.”

Adam Shapiro received international attention last week after smuggling himself into Yasir Arafat’s compound and sharing a breakfast with the Palestinian. After interviewing Shapiro’s family, reporters wrote that Adam was influenced by the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi.

Strange, that is not what Adam Shapiro and his fiance, Huwaida Arraf, wrote in January in a Palestine Chronicle manifesto on the use of both violence and non-violence against Israel. They wrote:

“While we do not advocate adopting the methods of Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr., we do believe that learning from their experience… can be quite valuable and of great utility. The Palestinian resistance must take on a variety of characteristics — both nonviolent and violent. But most importantly it must develop a strategy involving both aspects. No other successful nonviolent movement was able to achieve what it did without a concurrent violent movement… in India militants attacked British outposts and interests while Gandhi conducted his campaign.”

Shapiro and Arraf, who is listed as a coordinator on the ISM website, wrote in the Palestine Chronicle: “[W]e accept that Palestinians have a right to resist with arms, as they are an occupied people upon whom force and violence is being used. The Geneva Conventions accept that armed resistance is legitimate for an occupied people, and there is no doubt that this right cannot be denied.”

The International Solidarity Movement is online at:

HonestReporting recommends monitoring the media closely to see how they present ISM’s partisan propagandists. These are not the pacifists they pretend to be. Notice how they do not sit in Tel Aviv cafes or Jerusalem pizzerias to protect Israelis from homicide bombers. They are disciples of Arafat who declared in the UN in 1974, “I have come bearing an olive branch and a freedom fighter’s gun.”

Read The Guardian’s paean to the International Solidarity Movement at:,4273,4390071,00.html

HonestReporting also objects to The Guardian’s main editorial on April 9, which says:

“Ignoring US, European and regional demands to desist, Israel continues to pursue a campaign of terror across the Palestinian territories… Mr Sharon must eschew the paths of terrorism and return to his senses — or stand aside.”,4273,4390003,00.html

The Guardian’s choice of words — calling Israeli actions “terror” — are noteworthy, considering how The Guardian has gone out of its way to avoid using the word “terror” to describe the perpetrators of the 63 suicide bombings against Israel civilians over the last six months.

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