Clandestine ISM conference of anti-Israel activists assures no peace between Israelis and Palestinians or on US campuses for years to come
By Lee Kaplan and Stop the ISM
A meeting was held clandestinely in Detroit on June 23- 25th as thirty-two of the most well-known Palestinian activists in the United States met to formulate and organize policy for continued attacks on Israel on American campuses, churches and elsewhere and through the media. Billed as the first mass national meeting in the USA of ISM and organized Palestinian anti-Israel activist leaders since 1988, the attendees produced what they called the “Detroit Declaration.” Its purpose was to guarantee that there will be no peace in the Middle East between Israel and the Palestinians as long as Israel continues to exist.
Since US foreign policy and the Road Map are predicated on a recognition of Israel’s right to exist and two democratic states living side by side in peace, this meeting only served to make sure the US taxpayer will keep footing the bill for a “peace process” that only aids the Palestinians to continue making war indefinitely on Israelis through terrorism coordinated with media propaganda in the United States against the Jewish state. It also assured continued violent and noisy demonstrations of US campuses as in the past against Israel, making any steps toward peace by the PLO and Hamas completely impossible.
An internal press release from the ISM made clear the goal of the meeting was to impact against a “political impasse and a political and economic siege” (referring to US rejection of the Hamas government that clearly supports terrorism) and as a “response to a call issued by participants of the Palestinian Shataat (Exile) Conference in Geneva held in December 2005.”
Their internal press release continued, “At the Shataat conference, Palestinians gathered from Europe, North and South America, Australia and the Arab World to discuss the need to re-invigorate grass-roots organizing and rebuild community-based institutions within the framework of a reformed, democratic, inclusive and genuinely representative Palestinian National Council.”
Translated that means Palestinian protests, fundraising for Hamas, the tearing apart of our campuses in America and the Western countries and
attacks on Jews and Jewish organizations and interests worldwide will be stepped up.
The Detroit Declaration virtually guarantees that war will be conducted by Palestinian activists directly against US foreign policy preventing any kind of peaceful settlement sought since 1993. It especially emphasizes the right of return, a euphemism used by the Palestinian ISM activism network and the PLO itself that says over 5.5 million Arab must be allowed to move inside Israel’s 1948 frontiers to overwhelm the Jewish population of 3.9 million and begin the process of dismantling the Jewish refugee state. Noura Erekat, niece of former PLP leader Yasser Arafat’s second-in-command, Saeb Erekat, and a law student from UC Berkeley, has made it clear that Israel may not exist even within borders established by the United Nations in 1948 even on land legally purchased by Jews. Noura was one of those drawing up the Detroit Declaration.
The document goes further in maintaining that all of Israel is “occupied” by “Zionists” (Jews) who are “colonizers” (even Jews whose families lived there prior to 1948 or since Biblical days) and demands all of Jerusalem that has been recognized for millennia as a Jewish city become Palestinian Arab.
To quote the document: “The Detroit meeting sought to gather Palestinians, irrespective of political affiliations or community and organizational membership, with a focus on developing ways to mobilize the Palestinian community in the US to affirm our Palestinian narrative and assert our rights to:
a. Self-determination and equality,
b. Return of the refugees to their original homes, lands, properties and villages (a natural right supported by international law and UN Resolution 194); and
c. End of Zionist occupation and colonization of Palestine, including Jerusalem.
Arab-Israelis have full equality and self-determination along with Israeli Jews in Israel’s pluralistic and democratic society. So any lack of self-determination would
happen in the Palestinian Authority that is currently run under Sharia Law, and only if the Palestinians would only create their “democratic state.”
After what the organizers termed “ a weekend of intense deliberation, brainstorming, and strategizing,” plans were also laid out by the participants to commit to certain activities.
One was to incite and fund the Palestinian community and its existing “grassroots organizations” across the U.S. as activists, organizers, recent immigrants, youth, women, and workers who face “particular challenges” in the US. They seek to accomplish this by establishing a loose network of Palestinian activists and organizations at a national level and focusing on three campaigns in the USA to be called “BDS” (boycott, divestment and sanctions), “breaking the siege,” and media advocacy. That translates to unending attacks on Jewish organizations in America that support or do business with Israel and promotion of the Arab League boycott that is illegal under US Law. “Particular challenges” refers to US rejection of Hamas as a terrorist entity that refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist.
Another goal was to build for the US Popular Palestinian National Conference to take place no later than 2008 to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba (their Arabic word for the creation of Israel, meaning “the catastrophe”). “We seek to make the Conference as inclusive as possible shaped by input generated amongst local Palestinian communities across the U.S. as well as a preparatory meeting set for November 2006,” the internal press release announced.
In other words, they intend to incite American-Palestinians, other Arab groups and their anarchist/communist allies in the US to campaign unceasingly to continue the war to destroy the Jewish state. Israel was created 60 years ago and the very wording does not limit their goals to the West Bank and Gaza currently under peace negotiations.
The Conference boasts a similar successful conference held in Sweden last May organized to ignite anti-Israel and anti-Semitic demonstrations and activities against Israel on the European continent.
The list of the participants in Detroit reads like a Who’s Who List of ISM and other anti-Israel activists in the United States and includes names like Fayyad Sbaihat, whose brothers Laith and Mohammed are known PFLP terrorists. According to Israeli security sources, Sbaihat’s entire family is active in the PFLP, an illegal terrorist organization per the US State Department’s terrorist list. Others include Noura Erekat, whose uncle has always maintained he supports the two state solution but whose words and actions, like his niece’s, convey a different message; Jess Ghannem of the San Francisco Chapter of the American-Arab anti-Discrimination Committee, who just led an anti-Israel demonstration at the San Francisco Israeli consulate on July 3rd where chants were heard in Arabic to “slaughter the Jews” and for blood vengeance against Israelis; Hatem Bazian, former head of the Palestinian club at SFSU and now a UC Berkeley professor who called for an
“Intifada” in America and called for killing Jews per the Koran at a Santa Clara conference; and Mazen Qumsiyeh, founder of Al Awda, (the Return) who was fired from Yale University for abusing the University’s email system to send out anti-Semitic messages. Al Awda’s activism against Israel was recently linked to the American Nazi Party.
Below is the entire list of attendees that even included CAIR’s onetime spokesman and Arabic rap singer against Israel, Will Youmans, and the areas of the US represented by each activist:
Muhammad Abdullah Chicago, Illinois
Hatem Abudayyeh Chicago, Illinois
Muhsin Abu Khdair St. Louis, Missouri
Haidar Abushaqra Ellington, Connecticut
Musa Al-Hindi Omaha, Nebraska
Mahmud Awad Detroit, Michigan
Hatem Bazian San Francisco, California
Quaseem Blan Chicago, Illinois
Jamal Dajani San Francisco, CA
Ahmad Diab New York, New York
Lamis Deek New York, New York
Munadel El-Abed San Francisco, California
Noura Erakat Washington DC
Jess Ghannam San Francisco, California
Abbas Hamidah Cleveland, Ohio
Yunis Jazara Chicago, Illinois
Rama Kased New York, New York
Senan Khairy San Francisco, California
Joanne Manna Detroit, Michigan
Nadine Naber Ann Arbor, Michigan
Sufian Nabhan Detroit, Michigan
Hasan Newash Detroit, Michigan
Shereen Newash Detroit, Michigan
Majdi Odeh Chicago, Illinois
Mazin Qumsiyeh New Haven, Connecticut
Atif Said Ann Arbor, Michigan
Yasser Said Chicago, Illinois
Fayyad Sbaihat Madison, Wisconsin
Jamilah Shami McLean, Virginia
Shareef Shamroukh Detroit, Michigan
Sameer Tufaha Boston, Massachusetts
William Youmans Washington DC
The main outcome of this conference is that the US taxpayer and government will continue to fund fruitlessly a “peace process” that will never take place. The activists above all coordinate their activities with Ramallah and their message is clear: Keep roiling the war to destroy Israel in America on college campuses and elsewhere until that goal is achieved.