View Full Version : The bulldozer, the girl and reality

04-17-03, 12:23 PM
http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=7361 <br />
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April 17, 2003 <br />
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Solidarity With Terrorists <br />
By Brian Sayre <br />
FrontPageMagazine.com | April 17, 2003

04-17-03, 12:24 PM
For instance, on the death of Rachel Corrie, activists in the International Solidarity Movement flew to the media, releasing a series of pictures on their web site. The first showed Rachel standing off to the side of an advancing bulldozer, easily visible, shouting through a megaphone. The next, her broken, twisted body. The International Solidarity Movement used these pictures to imply to the media that Rachel Corrie was easily visible to the bulldozer's operator and therefore deliberately run down; the Associated Press released the first picture with a caption that read "Rachel was run over Sunday by the bulldozer that she was trying to stop from tearing down a building in the Rafah refugee camp, witnesses said." The respected Christian Science Monitor made the appropriate inferences, writing that the picture showed Corrie "moments before" the bulldozer ran her down.

Other media outlets did the same, buying the implied context - but, after a couple of days, the truth came out. The first picture was taken hours before the second; immediately before Corrie's death, when she was obscured by the bulldozer's blade, no photographs were taken. In fact, she was killed by a completely different bulldozer, a model with much smaller windows.

One shouldn't be surprised by this deceit. Anyone able to stop on the way to help a critically-wounded friend in order to snap a couple of propaganda shots isn't above falsifying the facts of her death. But as the saying goes, "Fool me once, shame on you - fool me twice, shame on me." Which is why the Associated Press' article of April 5th on the shooting of Brian Avery is so puzzling. It reports, quoting another ISM member, that Avery was shot in the face just after emerging from his apartment building, having heard gunfire. But the same ISM member told a very different story on their own website, clearly stating, in an otherwise self-serving story, that the Israelis fired at their feet.

The lesson learned? When reading ISM reports of Tom Hurndall's injury, err on the side of skepticism. Newspaper articles that claim Hurndall was 'shepherding children to safety' are merely parroting the International Solidarity Movement's claims. After perpetuating so many falsehoods, they've lost their right to the benefit of the doubt.

But, to be fair, Tom Hurndall is not Rachel Corrie not Brian Avery, and we need to take a closer look at their story before we dismiss it outright. Do the Reuters and Associated Press reports contain any information which might substantiate their claims?

Yes - but no. The Associated Press article does attempt to substantiate its claims with independent, non-ISM eyewitnesses, a refreshing change from the past. They quote both a Khalil Abdullah and a Khalil Hamra, who concur with the ISM's story. But neither of these individuals are without bias. Khalil Abdullah reported that, although not a member, he works with the group. And Khalil Hamra? A photographer on assignment for the Associated Press, Hamra works out of Rafah, specializing in pictures of armed Palestinian militants, the bodies of Palestinians killed by the IDF, and anti-Israeli protests. He seems to have enjoyed a particularly close relationship with the International Solidarity Movement, taking many of the pictures in the aftermath of Rachel Corrie's death and Tom Hurndall's shooting, as well as pictures of the ISM at anti-American protests - most notably, the infamous shot of Rachel Corrie screaming in rage as, surrounded by Palestinian children, she lights on fire a paper American flag. While the subjects of a photographer do not necessarily indicate his sympathies, we note from a 10 June 2002 statement by the Foreign Press Association that Khalil Hamra of Rafah was jailed for several days in 2002 by the Israeli Defense Force while working for Reuters in Ramallah. IDF spokesmen explained that the arrest was due to suspicions that linked him to terror activities.

A man who admits to working with a group of demonstrated liars and a photographer arrested for his links to terrorism - not exactly model witnesses. Not much better than reports from the International Solidarity Movement themselves.

On the other hand, do we have any evidence supporting the Israeli Defense Forces' claim - that Hurndall was armed, that Hurndall was firing? No - but yes. No direct evidence, but we can't deny the indirect evidence, the Kalashnikovs found in the office. This evidence shows the International Solidarity Movement is not nearly as committed to non-violence as they would like you to believe. This 'principle' of theirs, belied by their arsenal, has served them well in America, where the International Solidarity Movement has several branches.

The primary purpose of the International Solidarity Movement in America is to spread information about the group and recruit participants for travel abroad. Representatives of the International Solidarity Movement can be found in Ann Arbor, Boston, Colorado, New Jersey, North Carolina, New York City, San Francisco, Washington state, and Washington D.C; while not all of these groups provide contact information, several have their own recruiting websites and all actively organize for the creation a Palestinian state. Some, like Ann Arbor's Thom Saffold, have been supporting murder campaigns for decades. A former Baptist minister, Saffold first got involved in what he terms 'peacekeeping' by defending the communist Sandinista government of Nicaragua back in 1983. His twisted logic is apparent when he states that "the tragic death of our Jewish Israeli sisters and brothers is a result of Israel's repression" - anything but the suicide bombers, it seems. All the while he attempts to sent young people to the Middle East to aid terrorists, using the college town of Ann Arbor as his stalking ground.


04-17-03, 12:25 PM
Other branches of the International Solidarity Movement hide behind more 'mainstream' Palestinian support groups - the International Solidarity Movement in Boston hides behind an organization called the Boston Committee for Palestinian Rights, while the International Solidarity Movement in Colorado is a subset of the Colorado Campaign for Middle East Peace. These organizations use their more respectable front to funnel money to the more extreme International Solidarity Movement. For instance, the Colorado Campaign for Middle East Peace funds itself in part by directing donors to make their checks out to the A. J. Muste Memorial Institute, a tax exempt 501c3 organization in New York City which provides funding and/or office space to a wide variety of leftist organizations, including groups linked to Muslim terrorists.

The Muste Memorial Institute has adopted the Colorado Coalition for Middle East Peace as a 'fiscal sponsor,' accepting tax-deductible donations for the coalition and passing them on. Therefore donors can help undermine the security of one of America's staunchest allies, all while getting a break on their taxes. In 2001, the last year for which tax returns are available, the Muste Institute chipped in two thousand of its own money. The main branch of the organization funnels its cash through a 501c called, oddly enough, the Africa Fund - why concern yourself with geography when you can get a tax break? If you're not worried about savings from the IRS, they provide an overseas bank account in Tel Aviv.

Some of the International Solidarity Movement's tactics are old. In hiding their positions behind the rhetoric of 'peace', while fully backing the terrorist opponents of peace, they resemble 1980s organizations like the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), set up in America by high-ranking members of the Salvadoran Communist Party and Cuban intelligence to support El Salvador's murderous guerrilla bands. This committee, part of the Soviet-controlled World Peace Council, also attempted to influence American public opinion through protests and one-sided disinformation, all the while fundraising for their guerrilla sponsors. Through their efforts, CISPES also won the support of leftist Democratic congressmen.But some of the tactics of the ISM are new. Their physical defense of terrorism on the front lines of the war against it is most disturbing - especially after 9/11, when America woke to the extent of the terrorist threat.

Unfortunately, the International Solidarity Movement's disinformation campaign has had a certain amount of success, both in America and in Israel. In America, the International Solidarity Movement has found a congressman willing to stump for it - Democratic Rep. Brian Baird, who has been calling for yet another inquiry into the death of Rachel Corrie; this despite the findings of the previous one, which placed the responsibility for her death squarely upon herself. And in Israel, the leftist wing of the Labor Party has begun to use Hurndall's unfortunate adventure to argue for the blunting of the IDF - the former Minister for Immigrant Absorption, Yuli Tamir, has called for an inquiry into the IDF's use of force. "The fact that these people come here for a good cause and are harmed bothers people," Ms Tamir said. But no 'good cause' hides terrorist recruiters in their offices. If the IDF had not come barging in, Shadi Sukia, arrested on their premises, could have arranged many more deaths.

When the facts are out, no one should be fooled by the International Solidarity Movement's attempts to turn Rachel Corrie and Tom Hurndall into martyrs. These people defended the most depraved type of violence - the violence of bombs in marketplaces, the violence of 9/11, the violence of dictators like Saddam Hussein. It's no coincidence that Hurndall served as a human shield for the Iraqi dictatorship before arriving in Israel. His claim, that he was in Iraq taking pictures for a college course, rings hollow - most young men don't travel to war zones for a few credit-hours.

If Hurndall lives, and is competent to stand, he should be tried for his actions by the Israeli government. The governments of America and Britain, so strongly committed to the war on terrorism, should support them, allowing the trials of Hurndall and future cases like his to proceed without interference and launching a thorough investigation of the International Solidarity Movement's activities on their own soil. By virtue of their Western origins and non-violent rhetoric, these radicals think they can get away with crimes others cannot. It is time to put this delusion to rest, and teach them the truth - a terrorist is a terrorist, no matter what their nationality.

Two Tom Hurndalls. The defenders of the peace call him violent; the harborers of terrorists, peaceful. Who will you believe?