31 January 2004

A few tidbits about ISM that are new to me. "The ISM is in fact a Palestinian-led movement founded by one Ghassan Aduni, formerly leader of an outfit named Alternative Tourism-another effort at bringing foreigners to Israel to expose them to the Arab point of view. Once the tourism dried up, Aduni turned his attention to a more activist program. According to the Palestinian weekly, the Jerusalem Times (January 9, 2003), the ISM was also "spearheaded" by Palestinian activist Mustafa Barghouti, brother of Marwan Barghouti, tried by Israel for terrorist activities."
"The ISM first gained publicity in 2001, when a Brooklyn-born Jewish student named Adam Shapiro, joined forces with Huwaida Arraf, an American-born Arab woman, to defend Yasser Arafat in his Ramallah compound."
In a May 2003 interview, International Solidarity Movement member Radhika Sainath, an Orange County, California resident and former union organizer, told Judy Lash Balint that one of her main goals was to help people detained by the Israeli Army get through checkpoints. When asked how the ISM knew who they were enabling to pass through the checkpoints, she looked stunned and said she didn't know. "In Tulkarm people who are wanted by the army aren't going to attempt to walk through a checkpoint. Anyway, it's not our job to check to see if someone's carrying explosives or not."