Letter from Natan Nestel to Jordan Fruchtman of Hillel
"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act" George Orwell
Email to Jordan Fruchtman Director of Hillel, 22nd November 2010
I am still in Israel. I checked for you about George S. Rishmawi, today's speaker at UCI’s Olive Tree Initiative (OTI). George S. Rishmawi is indeed a co-Founder of the infamous anti-Israel International Solidarity Movement. And so is his cousin, George N. Rishmawi.
The fact that George S. Rishmawi is a co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) also appears in his Siraj Center bio and is emphasized on his flyer.
I don't have to tell you what the the ISM is all about. It claims to advocate non-violence and peace, but in reality it supports Hamas and justifies its terrorism. The ADL placed the ISM on its list of the top 10 anti-Israel groups in the US.
Here are some additional facts about the ISM:
ISM describes itself as “a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using nonviolent, direct-action methods and principles.”
Encourages activists to take “direct action” that often places them in danger and in direct confrontations with Israeli Defense Forces.
In a 2002 article, ISM co-founders Adam Shapiro and Huwaida Arraf wrote, “The Palestinian resistance must take on a variety of characteristics, both non-violent and violent...Yes, people will get killed and injured,” but these deaths are “no less noble than carrying out a suicide operation. And we are certain that if these men were killed during such an action, they would be considered shaheed Allah.”
Arraf and ISM volunteer Greta Berlin were organizers and spokespersons for the “Free Gaza flotilla” (May 2010) which attempted to run the blockade of Gaza and caused violent clashes with the Israeli Navy.
Berlin stated, “For 60 years the Palestinians have waited for justice. How much longer must they pay the price for what Europe did to the Jews?”
ISM has been responsible for endangering the safety of many foreign nationals, including American citizen Rachel Corrie and UK citizen Tom Hurndall. Both were killed while participating in ISM activities.
Involved in the violent protests against the security barrier at Ni’lin. Tristan Anderson from California was injured in March 2009 during such an event.
Attempted to help terrorists taking refuge in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem in 2002.
In March 2003, senior Islamic Jihad terrorist Shadi Sukiya was arrested while he was hiding in ISM’s Jenin office and being assisted by two ISM activists.
In 2003, terrorists originating from UK attacked the Mike’s Place bar in Tel Aviv, murdering three people. An official Israeli report showed how the terrorists covered their tracks “by forging links with foreign left wing activists and members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).” According to this report, “ISM members take an active part in illegal and violent actions against IDF soldiers. At times, their activities are under the auspices of Palestinian terrorist organizations.” Mike's Place bombers entered Israel with ISM's Alternative Tourism (similar to what Siraj does).
One of the dubious and effective strategies of the ISM has been to dupe and indoctrinate naive young students, turning them into anti-Israel activists. The anti-Israel coalition has been specially focusing on co-opting impressionable Jewish students on college campuses. To this end, one of their effective methods, has been to create front groups conveying a most appealing mission statement to attract impressionable and caring students.
During the 2008 and 2010 Olive Tree Initiative trips, the participants met with George N. Rishmawi, the ISM leader. He is the one who said: "if some of those foreign volunteers get shot than the international media will take notice."
As indicated above, ISM also used its alternative Tourism (similar to what Siraj does) to get terrorists into Israel. Students who were co-opted by ISM and its front groups, have been participating in violent and terror terror activities. Their safety has been endangered and some were killed. Siraj promotes the Palestinian narrative and is ideologically aligned with Sabeel (also on the ADL list of ten most anti-Israel groups).
The fact that the Olive Tree Initiative (OTI) invited a co-founder of the ISM and that in its trips the students meet with leaders of the insidious ISM, speak for itself. Hillel students should be warned about the OTI. They should not collaborate with such organizations and should not fall into their honey trap. Hillel should not allow an organization that organizes a co-founder of the SM to come into Hillel. Hillel students should have nothing to do with groups which are trying to co-opt them. There is still time to for Hillel to warn the students about George Rishmawi and to disassociate itself from the group which is presenting him. Doing it will save Hillel considerable future embarrassment.