By Lee KaplanSunday, June 11, 2006
Last Monday I read that the Israeli Security services detained at Ben Gurion airport the ISM's Northern California leader, Paul LaRudee, as he tried to enter Israel. I've written more than one expose of LaRudee and his chapter of the ISM, Norcal ISM in the San Francisco Bay area.
I even went through one of his training sessionsin disguise and obtained an ISM training manual he helped to write.
In that manual and training session we were taught how to lie to Israel's border police in order to get into Israel or the West Bank and act as human shields for Palestinians who attack Israeli soldiers or border policemen in military zones. We were also isntructed not to�tell the shebob to not throw stones at Israeli soldiers and border policemen.
We were also told to tell people we were "peace activists" because it sounded better than "human shields," and that we would have nothing to fear from terrorist groups in the West Bank because the ISM worked in cooperation with them. One aspect of that training was that if we were caught, we should refuse deportation because a lawyer would be furnished for us free of charge paid for by unnamed sources. We were told that lawyers from the National Lawyers Guild, an organization started by Josef Stalin in the 1930s to protect US communists, would help and that there were lawyers in Israel who were of a similar political bent to try and spring ISMers from detention in Israel. So it's no wonder that LaRudee is now adhering to his own training manual by refusing deportation.
after I completed that training session, I alerted the Israeli security services that Jamie Spector, the lead trainer at the event I attended was going to be in Israel to lead ISM activists in exercises that would threaten the lives and well being of Israeli soldiers and border policeman. That case went to Israel's Supreme Court because Spector was a Jew . The court decided she was still a security risk and deported her. Gaby Lasky was her attorney back then. Jamie Spector was in fact a lieutenant of Paul LaRudee's in Norcal ISM.
Now, Gaby Lasky is Paul LaRudee's attorney. and, unbelieveably, an injunction was just handed down from an Israeli magistrate against LaRudee's immediate deportation pending a hearing this week. LaRudee, of course, and Lasky are playing the government of Israel for fools; LaRudee is claiming he's a "peace activist" going to the West Bank to tune pianos. The fact that he once wrote on the Gush-Shalom website of his pride in sleeping in the bed of a suicide bomber as a human shield to prevent the demolition of the house where the bomber came from was either irrelevant or unknown to the magistrate. The fact that LaRudee is also Jamie Spector's leader in San Francisco for the ISM, responsible for organization, training and fundraising also must mean nothing at the moment despite thier being a legal precedent to jsutify LaRudee's immediate deportation from the country. I live near LaRudee in the Bay area and encountered him on more than one occasion when he bragged about the ease with which he got in and out of the West Bank. after all, why shouldn't he, if Israel will let him?
Huwaida arraf, one of the original founders of the ISM acknowledged in a letter to the Washington Post last February that the ISM works in cooperation with Hamas, Palestine Islamic Jihad and the PFLP. arraf says it's "ok," though, because these are "nonviolent groups." In my own Village of Chelm called america I'm trying to get this woman and her ISM cronies like LaRudee indicted for violating laws against giving logistical aid to terrorist groups. There are ways to help terrorists kill people besides wielding a gun or bomb for them and that's exactly what the ISM does. The Middle East Children's alliance in Berkeley is another ally of LaRudee's in the San Francsico Bay area that launders money from ISM groups all over the US and sends it to Hamas via NGOs. LaRudee works closely with MECa in fundraising and anti-Israel activities in the San Francsico Bay area. His visit to the West Bank is not likely to be for tuning pianos, but to play a different and more dangerous tune. LaRudee's website lists his personal home address on it for soliciting donations to fund ISM activities against Israel.
Now, just this morning I learned that an ISM activist named Hannah Mermelstein arrived in Jerusalem last Thursday, June 8th with another ISM "volunteer" in tow named "Sierra." Mermelstein runs "Birthright Unplugged" an ISM alternative railroad to get ISM activists into Israel when they can't go for free by duping Birthright. "Sierra" was turned down by the Birthright people when they learned she was seeking a free ride to Israel to work for the ISM.
Hannah Mermelstein raised enough funds to get Sierra into Israel for free to work as a human shiled for terrorists in the West Bank. and the Israeli security people, the same ones who protect you and your children, allowed them both in. Here's Hannah's email:
From: "Hannah Mermelstein" Subject: [hannahreports] I'm in, and thanks from Sierra
Date: Thu, 08 Jun 2006 14:40:29 -0400
Hi everyone, Just a quick e-mail to say I've arrived in Palestine in one piece! I'm writing to you from Jerusalem and will try to go to bed soon and get over jetlag. In the meantime, I want to thank everyone for your support regarding Sierra's case. She has a few words of her own below, but I just want to say that we've raised enough money for her ticket and she'll be coming on Birthright Unplugged!
Subject: [hannahreports] I'm in, and thanks from Sierra
Date: Thu, 08 Jun 2006 14:40:29 -0400
Hi everyone, Just a quick e-mail to say I've arrived in Palestine in one piece! I'm writing to you from Jerusalem and will try to go to bed soon and get over jetlag.
In the meantime, I want to thank everyone for your support regarding Sierra's case. She has a few words of her own below, but I just want to say that we've raised enough money for her ticket and she'll be coming on Birthright Unplugged!Thanks!
I've been thinking of words to pass on to those who have contributed extraordinary support in letters, phone calls, emails, donations, and other avenues all towards a sense of community. Some such words have been OVERWHELMING HONOR and OUTSTaNDING GRaTITUDE.
These past few days have been a whirlwind of unexpectedness and complications. I didn't know where to look and found support anyways. This is my utmost thank you to those that have provided support for me in search of making positive outcomes from unfortunate events.Sincerely,
Frankly, I'm amazed that Hannah didn't just write a letter to the Shabak and the border police thanking them for making hers and Sierra's entries into Israel so easy. Maybe next trip she can come in for al Qaeda, or at least Hamas , the organization the ISM loves to act as human shields for.
If anyone reading this column has a son in the IDF serving in the West Bank or with the border police, I urge you to contact that magistrate and give him or her a piece of your mind about LaRudee. and while you're at it, contact the border police and demand Hannah and Sierra be deported. The ISM is considered by Israeli security services a terrorist group now, but the ISM still has a media office presence in Jerusalem and is bringing in foreigners who want Israel destroyed by "any means necessary" to make it arab dominated Palestine. When stupidity causes loss of life or can put Israeli soldiers' lives at risk, the cost of being the Village of Chelm for Israel is much, too high. Take action and make sure LaRudee is deported. Israel should not be a village of idiots, but one has to seriously wonder if it is.