George Mason University to host next ISM Conference Sept 7-9. 2007
By Lee Kaplan and StoptheISM.com
Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, the International Solidarity Movement is scheduling another yearly conference at a major American university to recruit and train still more activists to interfere with the Israeli army in the West Bank and to spread anti-Israel propaganda at other US campuses nationwide.
This event, as with past ones, should be seen as another Jew-hate fest that is being allowed at a major American university campus with behind-the-scenes support enabling it to take place. Previous campus conferences were listed as national conferences for the Palestine Solidarity Movement, the name ISM uses for its umbrella organizations found mainly on college campuses in the United States. However, due to bad press and exposure, as well as the recent takeover in Gaza by Hamas that the ISM is currently organizing aid for overseas, the Movement is now dubbing this new event the 6th Annual Organizers’ Conference of the Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and scheduling it for September 7th-10th at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia, right near our nation’s capitol. “Occupation,” of course, refers to all of Israel, according to the leadership of this campaign, not just the West Bank and Gaza. The event will be sponsored by the campus chapter of the Students for Justice in Palestine at George Mason U, an ISM-affiliated group, and is scheduled “to network, strategize, and decide upon the priorities for the upcoming year, and elect a new Steering Committee to guide the work of the coalition.”
Of interest is that Al Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, is not listed yet as one of the sponsoring organizations as in past years. This is likely because that group’s national conference was recently canceled at UC Riverside as reported here at Front Page Magazine after avowed support for terrorism and links to the American Nazi party were shown to the administration. Al Awda may still sign on later, though, because the campaign’s steering committee contains Al Awda founder Mazin Qumsiyeh and the same movement strategy to plan work in the United States to try and convince America that Israel is an apartheid state, to further promote “the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions work” against the Jewish state, and to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the “al-Nakba,” or what the Arabs call “the catastrophe” of the founding of Israel by the UN in 1948. A draft agenda is included that will encourage attendees to lobby on nearby Capitol Hill.
The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, based near our Capitol was created last year by Huwaida Arraf, one of the original founders of the ISM, who has openly admitted her group works with known terrorist groups such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the PFLP. The campaign has since spent time lobbying on Capitol Hill as well as organizing anti-Israel activities nationwide on US campuses.
The website for the new organization was originally registered to a Nadil Ghaith in the United Arab Emirates, however, despite this and the organization’s strident attempts at promoting a boycott against Israel and Jewish groups as specified by the Arab League boycott, the organization is not registered under federal guidelines as an agent for a foreign entity. It thus comes as no surprise that this conference is being hosted by George Mason U since they have just opened a satellite campus also in the United Arab Emirates. Of interest also is that there is a Suleiman Abu Ghaith, who is one of Al Qaeda’s key spokesmen. While no direct links to Nadil Ghatih can be easily proven, Arab clan names would indicate some familial clan contacts between these two men. A potential link between the ISM and Al Qaeda is not that far fetched, and Hamas is known to be allied now with Al Qaeda in Gaza. Of further interest, Suleiman Abu Ghaith was once in Iranian custody but is now free. One has to seriously wonder how far back the campaigning and lobbying of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation may stretch, even to Iran that has a stake in keeping the Israeli/ Palestinian dispute roiling as a means to destabilize American presence in the Middle East, or to al Qaeda that has the same goals.
These conferences do nothing to promote peace in the Israeli/Palestine conflict because they promote a one-sided agenda of Israel’s destruction and how to economically cripple Jewish-Americans and their businesses. Just as with Georgetown last year, George Mason U.’s satellite UAE campus, funded by a Gulf Sheik, certainly explains the motivations for allowing such an event on the Virginia campus despite the track records of the previous conferences. George Mason University’s administrators should be ashamed for allowing this event to be scheduled. It’s not too late for people to write or call the President of George Mason University, Alan G. Merten, and voice their objections, but it will be hard to out trump a new satellite campus in the UAE. A better bet would be to contact Virginia Governor Jim Kaine, who is above Merten, and object to another Jew-hate fest being held on a campus in his state that will only extend the Middle East conflict, as well as contacting the University’s Board of Visitors (Regents).