International Solidarity Movement
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The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is an organization focused on assisting the Palestinian cause in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict using nonviolent protests. It was founded in 2001 by Ghassan Andoni, a Palestinian activist; Neta Golan, an Israeli activist; Huwaida Arraf, a Palestinian-American; and George N. Rishmawi, a Palestinian activist. Adam Shapiro, an American, joined the movement shortly after its founding and is also often considered one of the founders.
According to the ISM's website, "International volunteers who join the ISM are responsible for paying their own way and covering all their expenses in Palestine. The ISM does not receive any funding from any state, government or association. We rely on donations from average people all over the world that support peace and the Palestinian struggle for freedom." The ISM regularly sends speakers on fund-raising trips and encourages funding drives.
The organization calls on civilians from around the world to participate in acts of non-violent protests against the Israeli military in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. It has been criticised for working alongside other groups to pressure Palestinian artists to boycott the One Voice Peace Summit and for helping to undermine the Summit by creating a competing event. ISM and affiliated groups critical of the Summit say that One Voice fails to fully support Palestinian rights guaranteed under international law.
ISM's position on violence 
The ISM's website describes the organization as a "Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using nonviolent, direct-action methods and principles". It emphasizes international volunteers are not there to "teach nonviolent resistance" but to support resistance through nonviolent direct action, emergency mobilization and documentation. 
An article in the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph called ISM "the 'peace' group that embraces violence" because its mission statement recognises "armed struggle" as the "right" of Palestinians. The statement in question is taken from the ISM Mission Statement:
As enshrined in international law and UN resolutions , we recognize the Palestinian right to resist Israeli violence and occupation via legitimate armed struggle. However, we believe that nonviolence can be a powerful weapon in fighting oppression and we are committed to the principles of nonviolent resistance.
ISM further explains on its website:
The ISM does not support or condone any acts of terrorism – which is not legitimate armed struggle. The ISM does not associate, support, or have anything to do with armed or violent resistance to the occupation. The ISM does not assist or engage in any kind of armed resistance, no matter what form it may take.
This right to resist occupation applies not only to the Palestinian people, but to all peoples who are faced with a military occupation. The ISM regards all people as equals with equal rights under international law. We believe that nonviolent action is a powerful weapon in fighting oppression and are committed to the principles of nonviolent resistance.
During a CNN interview, Paula Zahn with Adam Shapiro and Huwaida Arraf asked about an article they had co-authored which stated: "Palestinian resistance must take on a variety of characteristics, both violent and nonviolent. But most importantly, it must develop a strategy involving both aspects. Nonviolent resistance is no less noble than carrying out a suicide operation." She noted that "some people could lead to the conclusion that you were promoting suicide bombing." Shapiro and Arraf replied:
The article that we wrote was actually in response to another article written by a Palestinian, who said the Palestinians could not be nonviolent. And so we were addressing within the context of the debate over whether the Palestinians could use violence or could not use nonviolence or could use nonviolence. So it was, first of all, within that context...
There already is violence. We’re not advocating it. It’s already there. It’s on the ground. We’re working with people and with Palestinians who want to promote nonviolence, and that was the context of the whole article.
Activism tactics 
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Past ISM campaigns have used the following tactics:
- Acting to deter military operations. Some ISM volunteers object to the use of the term human shield to describe their work because, they argue, in a Palestinian context the expression more usually refers to forced use of captive Palestinians by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) when searching Palestinian neighborhoods. They argue that the IDF is far more likely to shoot the darker skinned Palestinian civilians than white western looking activists, given the difference in international response. This tactic is colloquially referred to as the "white-face defense".
- Accompanying Palestinians to minimize alleged harassment by Israeli settlers or soldiers, for example ensuring that queues at Israeli checkpoints are processed efficiently and providing witnesses and intermediaries during annual olive harvests, which are often disrupted by settlers and police.
- Removing roadblocks. These are large unmanned mounds of earth and concrete on roads throughout the West Bank, and sometimes placed at the entrances of Palestinian villages by the IDF, thereby isolating those villages' inhabitants by preventing traffic in or out.
- Attempting to block military vehicles such as tanks and bulldozers.
- Violating Israeli curfew orders enforced on Palestinian areas in order to monitor Israeli military actions, deliver food and medicine to Palestinian homes, or escort medical personnel to help facilitate their work.
- Interfering with the construction of the West Bank barrier and placing political graffiti on the wall.
- Entering areas designated as "closed military zones" by the Israeli military. This is not really a 'strategy' as such, but is a prerequisite for ISM being able to conduct many of the above activities as areas in which the ISM is active are often summarily designated as "closed military zones" by the IDF.
- Attempting to break the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip by supporting and participating in initiatives to send vessels through the naval blockade to Gaza.
Noteworthy ISM events 
- The ISM received extensive media coverage of its presence in Yasser Arafat's compound in Ramallah and at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
- On Aug. 8, 2006, ISM activist Adam Shapiro announced that a group of ISM activists was traveling to southern Lebanon to attempt to deliver aid and show solidarity with suffering residents.
Nobel Peace Prize nominations 
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- ISM was nominated for the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize by Svend Robinson, a former New Democratic Party Member of the Parliament of Canada.
- Cofounder Ghassan Andoni was nominated for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize along with Jeff Halper of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions by the American Friends Service Committee.
ISM member casualties in Palestine and Israel 
ISM member casualties timeline 
- On 2 April 2002, Australian ISM volunteer Kate Edwards sustained severe internal injuries from rounds fired by Israeli forces during a protest in Beit Jala. The incident was captured on film and appears in the documentary by Palestinian film-maker Leila Sansour, Jeremy Hardy vs the Israeli Army.
- On November 22, 2002 Caoimhe Butterly, an Irish ISM volunteer was shot and injured by IDF in Jenin minutes before UNRWA relief works project manager, Briton Iain Hook was killed nearby.
- On 16 March 2003, United States ISM volunteer Rachel Corrie was killed while trying to block an IDF armoured bulldozer. See below.
- On 5 April 2003, US ISM volunteer Brian Avery was shot in the face and permanently disfigured by machine gun fire from an IDF armoured personnel carrier while he was escorting Palestinian medical personnel in the street.
- On 11 April 2003, British ISM volunteer Thomas Hurndall was left clinically brain dead after he was shot in the head by an IDF soldier. Initially the soldier claimed the shooting occurred during an armed firefight between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian militants but the prosecuted soldier later admitted firing at him "as a deterrent". Hurndall died on 13 January 2004. In early 2009, the family is reported to have accepted a payout of £1.5m payout and said that "the settlement was the nearest they could get to an admission of guilt from Israel".
- On September 6, 2007, ISM activist Akram Ibrahim Abu Sba was killed by members of Islamic Jihad in northern Jenin.
- On March 13, 2009, American demonstrator Tristan Anderson was critically wounded near Nil'in, during a clash between protesters and IDF troops over the West Bank security barrier.
- On April 24, 2010 Bianca Zammit, a 28 year old activist from Malta, was shot in the thigh with live ammunition by IDF soldiers during a demonstration in the so-called "buffer zone" inside Gaza Strip. Two Palestinian demonstrators were also shot during the same demonstration in Al Maghazi Refugee Camp.
- On May 31, 2010, Emily Henochowicz, a 21 year old art student from Maryland, lost her left eye when she was struck by a tear gas canister while protesting near Qalandiya checkpoint. Another ISM volunteer at the scene claimed that the Israeli soldiers deliberately aimed at Henochowicz.
- On 14 April 2011, Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni was abducted and killed in Gaza by the Jahafil Al-Tawhid Wal-Jihad fi Filastin Palestinian terrorist group.
ISM casualties by the Israeli Army 
According to ISM volunteer Joe Carr stated that Israeli troops were always careful not to hurt ISM volunteers. However, a number of controversial incidents have taken place.
Rachel Corrie 
ISM volunteer Rachel Corrie was killed as she attempted to block an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) bulldozer conducting military operations in Rafah in the Gaza Strip on March 16, 2003. An internal IDF investigation concluded that Corrie's death was an accident but ISM eyewitnesses dispute this account, contending that the bulldozer driver deliberately struck Corrie as she was protesting in plain view. The IDF says that tapes of the event show Corrie below the driver's eye level, and also say that the noise level was too loud for Ms. Corrie to be heard. The activities of the bulldozer she was blocking are also subject to disagreement — ISM claim it was preparing to demolish the home of a Palestinian pharmacist. Other accounts backed by the film footage claim that the bulldozer was not near the house but was removing shrubbery covering a structure that could be used as an arms smuggling tunnel or to cover terrorists shooting at the IDF.
George Rishmawi of the ISM told the San Francisco Chronicle that: "When Palestinians get shot by Israeli soldiers, no one is interested anymore. But if some of these foreign volunteers get shot or even killed, then the international media will sit up and take notice."
Corrie's parents brought lawsuits in the United States and in Israel, but in both cases, they lost the suit. In Israel, in August 2012, the court said that Corrie could have avoided danger. The court ruled that Israel was not at fault for Corrie’s death, and there was neither intent nor negligence involved in her death. The judge also said that Israel's investigation was appropriate and did not contain mistakes. The judge also criticized the U.S. for failing to send a diplomatic representative to observe Corrie's autopsy.
Tom Hurndall 
On April 11, 2003 Israel Defense Forces(IDF) soldier Sergeant Taysir Hayb shot International Solidarity Movement(ISM) volunteer Tom Hurndall in the head. Hurndall, who had been aiding Palestinians in Gaza, died of his wound in January 2004. Hurndall was unarmed, dressed in the bright orange jacket of the ISM, and steering two Palestinian children away from an Israeli tank-mounted machine gun shooting in their direction.
Hayb claimed he had shot at a man in military fatigues who was firing at the soldiers with a pistol, in the no-go security zone. This was at odds with the ISM's account, confirmed by photographic evidence.
Subsequently Hayb admitted fabricating his account of events. On 10 May 2004, Hayb's trial commenced on one charge of manslaughter in the death of Tom Hurndall, two counts of obstruction of justice, one count each of submitting false testimony, obtaining false testimony, and unbecoming behaviour. Hurndall's family pressed for a murder charge through the Israeli courts. In August 2005, Taysir Hayb was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to a total of eight years imprisonment, seven years for the manslaughter of Hurndall and one year for obstruction of justice.
Kate Edwards 
Australian ISM volunteer Kate Edwards sustained internal injuries from a bullet in Beit Jala. She and other volunteers marched on Israeli lines. After the event, Kate Edwards was quoted as stating "We were walking up the hill from Bethlehem when a tank came down the hill towards us. I could see a man in the tank and he was shouting at us to go back. We carried on going."
Caoimhe Butterly 
Brian Avery 
On April 5, 2003 Israeli Defense Force soldiers on a military convoy shot Brian Avery (born 1979) in the face, seriously disfiguring him, while he was volunteering for the ISM in the West Bank city of Jenin. He was wearing red reflector vests with the word "doctor" in English and Arabic. The IDF refused to order an investigation, saying there was no proof its soldiers had shot at anyone that day. Avery sued and in November 2008 accepted a $150,000 settlement from the Israeli government in exchange for dropping the lawsuit.
Tristan Anderson 
On March 13, 2009, American ISM volunteer Tristan Anderson was critically injured after being hit in the head by a tear gas canister fired by Israeli troops attempting to disperse a demonstration. Anderson was taken to a hospital in Israel, where he underwent brain surgery, and had to have a portion of his frontal lobe and fragments of shattered bone removed. ISM volunteer and Tristan's girlfriend Gabrielle Silverman (Israeli-American), who witnessed to his injury:
"We were at a demonstration against the wall, against the Israeli apartheid wall in the West Bank village of Ni'lin, which is about twenty-six kilometers west of Ramallah. I was very close to him when he was shot. I was only a few feet away. The demonstration had been going for several hours. It was wrapping up; it was almost over. Most people had already gone home. We were standing on some grass nearby a village mosque, and Tristan was taking pictures [when] he was shot in the head with the extended range tear gas canister."
Bianca Zammit 
On April 24, 2010 Bianca Zammit, a 28 year old activist from Malta, was shot in the thigh with live ammunition by IDF soldiers during a demonstration in the so-called "buffer zone" inside Gaza Strip. Two Palestinian demonstrators were also shot during the same demonstration in Al Maghazi Refugee Camp.
April, 2012 
On April 14, a group of at least 200 pro-Palestinian activists were travelling on bicycles, and several buses in a silent protest. They were stopped by Israeli soldiers before entering onto Highway 90, and asked not to continue for their own safety. The legality of the protesters action is unclear as some news agencies state the cyclists got permission to protest but others state no permit was given. During the ensuing hour, the activists refused and blocked an entrance to a highway, a "scuffle" broke out. In an interview given by one of the members he stated "בשלב מסויים החלטנו לאתגר את החיילים ולנסות להמשיך בנסיעה" ("... at some point we decided to test the soldiers and continue to move") and after a few moments they had been assaulted. In an interview for JPost "After about half-an-hour, he said, the cyclists decided to push past the IDF, and that is when the violence began." Four activists sustained face and back injuries and had to be evacuated to a hospital in Jericho, West Bank. The next day, ISM posted a video showing an IDF officer hitting a Danish protester in the face with his assault rifle. The IDF officer said that he was attacked by one of the activists in the incident with a stick, breaking two fingers. The IDF said it was a "grave incident" and was suspending the officer and investigating the incident. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, and IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz all condemned the incident. NGO Monitor said that ISM "has a long record of encouraging activists to take ‘direct action’ that often places them in danger and in direct confrontations with the IDF."
ISM casualties by Palestinian militants 
Akram Ibrahim Abu Sba’ 
On September 6, 2007, ISM Jenin regional committee member and "co-founder of one of ISM’s first permanent presences" Akram Ibrahim Abu Sba’ was killed on duty by Islamic Jihad militants, while trying to "smooth tensions between Palestinian security forces and Islamic Jihad members", in the Palestinian city of Jenin. Akram was buried in the Jenin refugee camp graveyard.
Vittorio Arrigoni 
Criticism and controversies 
Position of Israeli Foreign Ministry 
The Israeli Foreign Ministry reported that two terrorists involved in the Mike's Place suicide bombing forged "links with foreign left wing activists and members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM)." The MFA also says that "ISM members take an active part in illegal and violent actions against IDF soldiers. At times, their activity in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip is under the auspices of Palestinian terrorist organizations, and that sometimes, "ISM members, who seek entry into Israel, often do so under false pretenses, via cover stories - entry for matrimonial, tourist, religious and other purposes - which they coordinate prior to arriving in Israel." However, ISM reports that visitors at the border who identify as ISM volunteers, almost always will be denied entry by the Israeli border control.
Member's work with Hamas and Islamic Jihad 
The Israeli government asserted ISM activist Susan Barclay had "ties with Palestinian terrorist groups". She stated she worked with representatives of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in organising a nonviolent protest.
Shadi Sukiya case 
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On March 27, 2003, Palestinian Shadi Sukiya was arrested in by the Israel Defense Forces in ISM Jenin. The Israeli government claimed that Sukiya was a senior Islamic Jihad member, and that he was aided by two ISM activists.
Both parties stated that Sukiya arrived at the ISM's office as he was being pursued through the streets of Jenin by IDF soldiers during an Israeli-imposed curfew. According to the ISM's account, he had been going door to door looking for a place to go, arrived at the building (which is also used by the Red Cross and Medecins Sans Frontieres) cold and wet, and was offered a chance to dry and warm up by an ISM volunteer.
In May 2003, Adam Shapiro from ISM stated that Sukiya was not named a "senior Islamic Jihad terrorist" by any official Israeli military or government source, and was being held in administrative detention in Israel without any charge.
See also 
- "About ISM". Retrieved 2012-11-25.
- About ISM on ISM website.
- Harnden, Toby (2004-01-15). "The 'peace' group that embraces violence". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2010-08-04.
- "Does the ISM support suicide bombers and terrorists?" (FAQ). International Solidarity Movement.
- Interview with Adam Shapiro, Huwaida Arraf, Activists (May 10, 2002)
- Activists trickle to Lebanon to protest Israel war (via Yahoo! News)
- "Canadian MP nominates ISM for Nobel Peace Prize". Pulse of the Twin Cities. 2003-05-14. Archived from the original on 2004-10-20. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
- "All Wet in Toronto". Honest Reporting. 2003-06-05. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
- Full Letter
- "Jeff Halper nominated for 2006 Nobel Peace Prize". Tikkun magazine. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
- "AFSC's nomination for 2006 Nobel Peace Prize: Ghassan Andoni and Jeff Halpern" (Press release). American Friends Service Committee. 15 February 2006. Retrieved 2008-04-20. "The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a Quaker social justice organization, has nominated two candidates for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize: Jeff Halper, an Israeli Jew and Ghassan Andoni, a Palestinian Christian from the Occupied Palestinian Territories."
- Jeremy Hardy vs the Israeli Army (documentary)
- Trailer of Jeremy Hardy vs the Israeli Army
- "She Took a Bullet for Peace" TIMEeurope Magazine | Heroes 2003 - Activists
- Sniper target laser 'fell on man' BBC 12th December 2005.
- What price a life? The Israeli army shot my son Guardian 10 January 2004.
- Family of cameraman killed by Israel army accepts £1.5m payout The Times, 2nd Feb 2009.
- ISM-Member Akram killed during clashes in Jenin
- US demonstrator critically injured at West Bank protest, Jerusalem Post, March 13, 2009
- American citizen critically injured after being shot in the head by Israeli forces in Ni’lin
- Oakland man critically wounded in clash with Israeli military
- SF Gate: Ex-Cal tree-sitter hurt in West Bank protest
- San Jose Mercury News: Rally planned for Berkeley tree-sitter injured in West Bank protest
- The Daily Californian: Former UC Berkeley Tree-Sitter Injured in West Bank
- AP: American wounded by Israeli troops has surgery
- Democracy Now! | US Consul General Says Awaiting Israeli Report on IDF Shooting of American Citizen
- Israeli forces shoot unarmed demonstrators in Gazan ‘buffer zone’
- Malta protests to Israel over shooting of national in Gaza
- American hit in anti-Israeli protest loses eye The Associated Press, June 1, 2010.
-  International Solidarity Movement, June 1, 2010.
- "Hamas: Body of kidnapped activist found - Israel News, Ynetnews". Ynetnews.com. 2009-08-23. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
- Israel e-News: The Myth of Rachel Corrie
- BBC Profile: Rachel Corrie
- Hammer, Joshua. The Death of Rachel Corrie. Mother Jones. September/October 2003.
- S.F. Jewish activist held as security threat in Israel (via San Francisco Chronicle)
- Friedman, Matti (August 28, 2012). "Haifa District Court rejects damages claim in Rachel Corrie case". The Times of Israel. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
- Bob, Yonah Jeremy (August 28, 2012). "Haifa court rules against Rachel Corrie family in suit". The Jerusalem Post. The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
- ISM: Israeli soldier shoots British ISM activist Tom Hurndall in Gaza (11 April 2003)
- ISM Rafah: Statement on the shooting of Thomas Hurndall (12 April 2003)
- "As IDF rifle fire hit the mound, the children fled. But three, aged between four and seven, were paralysed by fear". The Guardian Obituary, January 22, 2004.
- Soldier jailed for activist death, BBC News, August 11, 2005.
- Simon Atkinson, British peace activist was ‘intentionally killed’, The Guardian, April 10, 2006.
- Townsend, Mark (2005-01-30). "Parents fight to learn why Israeli sniper shot their son". The Guardian, 30 January 2005 (London). Retrieved 27 May 2007.
- ISM statement on the killing of Tom Hurndall
- ISM Rafah Statement on the shooting of Tom Hurndall
- BBC: Soldier jailed for activist death (11 August 2005)
- '"I never thought they would fire live rounds"
- "TIME magazine". Time. 2003-04-28. Retrieved 2010-05-05. Text " The Heroes Issue 2003 " ignored (help)
- "Wounded activist testifies against IDF". Jerusalem Post, Sept 20, 2007.
- Dan Izenberg, State to compensate wounded ISM activist, Jerusalem Post, November 19, 2008.
- "U.S. Peace Activist Brian Avery Returns to Israel Two Years After Being Shot in the Face". Democracynow.org. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
- Democracy Now! | US Consul General Says Awaiting Israeli Report on IDF Shooting of American Citizen, Democracy Now, March 16, 2009.
- Goldman, Yoel (2012-04-16). "The blow heard 'round the world". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
- "IDF officer who beat activist suspended - Israel News, Ynetnews". Ynetnews.com. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
- They had meant to travel down Route 90 in the Jordan Valley but the IDF blocked their path., Jpost
- Tzippe Barrow (2012-04-17). "IDF Investigates Incident with ISM Protester - Inside Israel - CBN News - Christian News 24-7". CBN.com. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
- Occupation Magazine, 2012 , http://www.kibush.co.il/show_file.asp?num=52608
- "Palestinians and internationals attacked during biking trip in Jordan Valley". Palsolidarity.org. 2012-04-15. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
- בצבא הכיבוש כל אלימות מוצדקת,walla news  16 April 2012
- Gili Cohen (2012-04-15). "VIDEO / Senior IDF officer beats pro-Palestinian activist with rifle". Haaretz.
- Peres slams IDF officer for attack on activist
- IDF officer suspended for hitting activist in face with rifle
- ISM-Member Akram killed during clashes in Jenin, ISM website, September 7, 2007.
- Salamat Sahbi Akram, ISM website, September 11, 2007.
- "Italian peace activist killed in Gaza - Middle East". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
- Details of April 30, 2003 Tel Aviv suicide bombing
- Travel Information & Tips
- Sam Skolnik, Activist's death focuses spotlight on Mideast struggle, Seattle Post-Intelligencer March 20, 2003
-  Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- "ynet ג'נין: המבוקש נעצר כשהסתתר במשרד של ארגון בינלאומי - חדשות". Ynet.co.il. 1995-06-20. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
Further reading 
- Ghassan Andoni, Huwaida Arraf, Nicholas Blincoe, Hussein Khalili, Marissa McLaughlin, Radhika Sainath, and Josie Sandercock, ed. (2004). Peace Under Fire: Israel, Palestine and the International Solidarity Movement. Verso. ISBN 9781844675012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: International Solidarity Movement|
- Official site
- ISM FAQ's
- ISM at the crossroads: the evolution of the International Solidarity Movement (.pdf), C. Seitz, Journal of Palestine Studies 22, 4 (Summer 2003), 50-62.
- Peace Under Fire: Israel/Palestine and the International Solidarity Movement Edited by Josie Sandercock, Radhika Sainath, Marissa McLaughlin, Hussein Khalili, Nicholas Blincoe, Huwaida Arraf and Ghassan Andoni. 2004; Verso:London
- Profile of ISM founder Adam Shapiro from the Israeli Haaretz newspaper
- International Solidarity Movement by senior Israeli columnist Nahum Barnea, original published in Yedioth Ahronoth.
- Adam Shapiro Ranks As a Mideast Hero, New York Newsday article
- Palestine Center briefing by Ghassan Andoni: “The International Solidarity Movement: Challenges and Prospects”