Home / Press Releases / The Fruits of Non-Violence

The Fruits of Non-Violence

1.The Fruits of Non-Violence; Building of the Illegal Settlement Metityahu Mizrah is Frozen
2.The Price of Non Violence
3.By Any Means Necessary; IOF Suppress Non-Violent Protest in Bil’in
4.Hebron Disengagement And Violence Begins; Settlers Attempt to Occupy Palestinian Home
5.IOF Soldier: “You are disgusting Arabs and you should be beaten like animals and stay in jail.”
6.Mohammed Mansour Refuses the Demands of the Occupation; Court Case Postponed Once Again
7.Three Checkpoints, One Day
8.Flap over young Jews’ visits to Holy Land

1. The Fruits of Non-Violence; Building of the Illegal Settlement Metityahu Mizrah is Frozen
January 13th, 2006

Following today’s hearing in the Supreme Court (HCJ 143/06) Judge Ayala Prokachya issued a new temporary injunction forbidding all building whatsoever in the Matityahu East compound in the settlement Modi’in Illit. The judge further ordered “to examine all permits already issued and to determine their position regarding their legality by 20 January.”
The appeal was made by Attorney Michael Sfard on behalf of Peace Now. Matityahu East is built on land stolen by the State of Israel from the West Bank village of Bil’in, a theft facilitated by the apartheid wall that is currently under construction.
Right next to Metityahu East, on their own land and with the permission of the Village Counsel, the residents of Bil’in set up an outpost of their own, dubbed “The Center For Joint Struggle”, which is subject to the same treatment: all further building is prohibited until the Israeli Supreme Court decides whether to demolish it or not.
Today at 11:00 am, the DCO, the IDF, Police and Border Police raided the Palestinian outpost and confiscated one level tool, a sack of cement and a map of the West Bank, in order to prevent further construction. However, the bulldozers, cement sacks, and tools on the construction site of Matityahu East have not been confiscated, which illustrates the difference in treatment for Palestinians and settlers in the face of Israeli “justice”.
This last Monday, in violation of the Supreme Court order, construction continued in Matityahu East, until Human Rights Workers and Palestinians helped to enforce the building halt by blocking the path of the construction vehicles.
For further information:
Michael Sfard (Attorney) – 054 471 39 30
Dror Etkes (Settlement Watch, Peace Now) – 054 489 93 51, 02 566 06 48

2. The Price of Non Violence
January 10th, 2006

The Israeli Military has been distributing leaflets in Bil’in threatening the residents not to demonstrate against the annexation barrier. When despite these threats the villagers continue with their non-violent protests the military raids the village during the night taking villagers from their homes. Seventeen villagers who have been taken this way are being held in Israeli detention.
Last night, another two were taken. 32 year-old ‘Issam Ibrahim ‘Ali Matar, father of a 3-day old baby, and 28 year-old Hosam Mohammad Hassan Hammad, were abducted by the Israeli Occupation Forces last night in Bil’in, a small village on the West Bank. No information has yet been given as to what they are accused of, or where they are being held at the moment.
At 2 o’clock in the morning, 10 military jeeps entered the village, looking for the two men. With their lights turned off they surrounded the house of Hosam, and banged on his door with their weapons. One Palestinian man who was watching this asked the soldiers to calm down to not scare the children, but his request was ignored. Instead the soldier threatened to shoot him if he did not go home. They took Hosam and his two brothers outside, checked their ID’s, and then released the two brothers.
The soldiers then forced the families of five other houses to go outside. They intimidated and harassed the people and checked everyone’s ID. After a while, the soldiers took away ‘Issam, and at three o’clock in the morning they finally left the village.
Leaflets, which were left in the village by the military during the night of January called on people not to demonstrate and warn residents: “Don’t follow the inciters, Security forces won’t let anyone hurt the wall, Don’t do things that will hurt your daily routine”
Meanwhile, fifteen nonviolent activists from the village of Bil’in are currently in jail in an attempt from the Israeli authorities to deter the villagers from protesting against the theft of more than half of their land by the wall.
For more information:
Abdullah (Bil’in): 054 725 82 10
ISM Media Office: 02 297 18 24

3. By Any Means Necessary; IOF Suppress Non-Violent Protest in Bil’in
January 14th, 2006

The weekly non-violent protests against the Israelis Apartheid wall continued yesterday, when Palestinians from the village of Bil’in displayed their resistence to the ongoing theft of their village’s land. Accompanied by international and Israeli activists, the crowd of approximately 100 people marched to the construction site where the Apartheid Wall is gradually cutting off the village from much of its land. At least 50 IOF and Israeli Border Police were on hand to prevent the demonstrators from crossing the barrier and reching the recently established “Centre for Joint Struggle” adjacent to the illegal settlement outpost of Metityahu Mizrah.
Early into the demonstration, the IOF began shooting tear gas canisters from their rifles directly at the Palestinian, Israeli and International activists, hitting one international in the leg. Later on, and without any provocation, the soldiers and Israeli Border Police attacked the crowd and detained one Palestinian man with an umbrella in his hand. The soldiers then used the Palestinian man as a bargaining chip, saying that he would be released if the demonstration ended. A Palestinian detainee can be kept in custody for up to six months without charges, so this vulgar display of arbitrary force from the IOF soldiers eventually caused the demonstration to recede.
Approximately half of Bil’in’s lands are being isolated from the village by the Wall. The Israeli government argues that the route of the wall in Bil’in was determined purely for security reasons. However, a brief visit to the village shows this to be false.
The olive groves were in a cloud of teargas, and soldiers fired rubber-coated metal bullets at will while the demonstrators started to walk back towards the village. It seems that when faced with non-violent protest, the IOF has no interest in any response other than indiscrimminate violence.

4. Hebron Disengagement And Violence Begins; Settlers Attempt to Occupy Palestinian Home
January 13th, 2006
A mob of 30 female settler teenagers rampaged through Tel Rumeida on Thursday, January 12. Ten of them wore black ski masks to hide their identities, and attacked everyone they encountered, including IDF soldiers and Israeli police, with spit, paint bombs and insults, and surrounded an HRW, violently stealing the battery of his camera.
Six male settlers have begun attempts to illegally occupy an empty Palestinian home located on the path near a Palestinian girls school. Settlers entered the home on Tuesday, the 10th of January, cleaned out two rooms and broke a hole in a wall to access other rooms. Police were called and made the settlers leave but they have returned periodically to continue their preparations to occupy the house. Palestinian girls are already routinely stoned and harassed on their way to the school located near this home. But the attacks would only increase if they had to pass directly in front of a settler-occupied home.
HRWs who live in Tel Rumeida witnessed the arrival of approximately 60 settlers on Wednesday, the 11th of January. They are the first to respond to a call by Hebron’s settlers for Israelis “to flock to Hebron” to resist the planned disengagement of the illegally occupied Palestinian wholesale market in Hebron’s Old City. Settlers arrived with belongings meant for a long stay in response to the settler call sent out by email to “bring sleeping bags, warm clothing for an extended stay and a strong spirit.”
Brian, a Human Rights Worker (HRW) living in Tel Rumeida, said “It is a very dangerous situation. Many of the settlers who live here are members of Kahane, an organization which Israel has declared racist and illegal. We see their violent hatred on a daily basis. We call on the international and Israeli community to pressure the police and IDF to enforce the law against violent settlers immediately; stop them, arrest them and prosecute them.”
Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz stated that the removal of the settlers from the wholesale market will be completed by the 15th of February. Settlers were ordered to leave the Palestinian-owned shops by January 15, or face forcible eviction. Settlers have already clashed violently with police and the IDF when eviction orders were issued on January 3rd, injuring 4 police officers, including a policeman who was hurt by a liquid that burned his eyes. Violent resistance from the settlers between these dates is expected and could be worse than the Gaza pullout due to Hebron’s religious significance to settlers. This is a threat to both Palestinian residents and IDF soldiers in the area. Press are invited to join human rights workers in Tel Rumeida to witness the settler violence first hand during this period.
For more information:
David, International Solidarity Movement – 054 651 7234
Luna, Tel Rumeida Project – 054 557 3154 www.telrumeidaproject.org

5. IOF Soldier: “You are disgusting Arabs and you should be beaten like animals and stay in jail.”
January 12th, 2006
By Raad
After a successful non violent demonstration against the illegal Israeli apartheid wall in the West Bank village of Bil’in, we came back to the ISM apartment to hold our regular evaluation meeting to discuss what had succeeded in the demonstration and what we could improve. During the meeting we received updates regarding a small village called Bardala in the Jenin region which is closed by a checkpoint controlled by the IOF.
The people of Bardala and some local organizations were holding a nonviolent demonstration against the checkpoint which not only prevents freedom of movement for the people, but also their ability to trade in farm products. We decided that some ISM activists would go there and stand in solidarity with the Bardalla farmers in their struggle against the illegal checkpoint. A Palestinian was needed to go with the international activists so I offered to accompany them and we traveled back to Ramallah to take a taxi to go to Jenin. After changing and packing our bags, we left Ramallah at noon in a taxi and started our journey in my beautiful Palestine. We traveled for more than two hours and arrived in a small village called Al Zababda close to the place of the demonstration. We stayed at the Na’eem Khader Center where we were given a gracious welcome. We hung out for a bit and I told my friends that we should go to sleep early because we have to be ready at 9 AM to start travel towards the demonstration at Bardala.
In the morning we took a car prepared by PARC, Palestinian Agricultural relief committees, the organization who asked us to come to the demonstration.
On the way we realized that we had to pass the Tayaseer checkpoint. Unfortunately, when the driver saw one of the soldiers at the checkpoint he said this soldier is the worst of all of them. When I saw how the soldier was treating the people in front of us I realized he was right.
When it was our turn in line the solider collected our IDs and the passports from us and suddenly he asked us to get out of the car and stand in one row. He was speaking in Hebrew, I told him “we don’t understand you, what are you saying ?” and then he started screaming at me saying “Shut up, at this checkpoint we only speak Hebrew!”
Suddenly we realized there was a soldier speaking in English at the checkpoint, it was an American guy who was serving in the Israeli military and after approximately 40 minutes, the really aggressive solider called the American soldier over to give the international volunteers their passports. They decided to hold me and my friend until they got an answer from the secret service and they told us to stand with our backs to the checkpoint and that we could not use our phones. They also asked the driver to drive the international volunteers away from the checkpoint. The aggressive soldier kept screaming at us saying “You are disgusting Arabs and you should be beaten like animals and stay in jail, you shouldn’t be going around with pretty American and European girls.”
Our friends tried to call us but he wouldn’t let me answer the phone and told me to turn it off. Instead I made the phone silent and kept in touch with the rest of the group, who were approximately 100 meters away, via text messages.
The aggressive soldier told me I was a Hizballah terrorist and that he would break my bones. I told him “ok” and he responded by saying “Shut up!”
After another 40 minutes the officer received and order from his command to take our phone numbers so we gave them to him and I found an opportunity to talk because he told us to keep our phones on because the Shabak might call us to check. After just three minutes I got a phone call from a friend who was working with ISM asking if we passed the checkpoint or were we still detained. When I started talking to him the aggressive soldier started screaming at me to shut off my phone but I told him the Shabak called me back and I’m talking to them. I don’t know why, but the soldier believed me. After just 15 minutes they received and order to release us but the officer refused and sent back a message saying he needs the commander of the area to tell me to release them.
The officer received the order to release us three times and he was just looking for a reason to keep us and beat us. When they received the order for the first time, an officer of the checkpoint told the aggressive soldier “go eat so you can be strong and ready to beat them.”
But after another 15 minutes two international girls who came with us decided to walk toward the checkpoint to see why the soldiers were still detaining us. Suddenly the crazy soldier who has no regard for the language problem just ran toward the roadblock and hid himself behind it so both of the girls could not see him. He started screaming in Hebrew, the girls could neither hear him nor understand him, so he cocked his gun and pointed it at them and when I saw that I got kind of crazy because I was afraid he was going to shoot them. His commander was screaming at him asking him not to shoot and suddenly the American soldier appeared again and screamed “stop! stop!” and told the girls to walk away from the checkpoint. The crazy soldier put his gun down and walked away and the American soldier just followed the two girls to see what was going on and why they wanted to talk to him. They spoke to him and asked when we would be released and if there was some kind of problem.
Then the crazy soldier came back to the checkpoint and his commander asked him to clean his gun and said “it is a very terrible thing for this to happen at my checkpoint, and before you talk to me clean your gun.” After that he asked him why he got crazy and tired to shoot the internationals because they are not dangerous like the Palestinians. The soldier answered saying “you know the orders that we have” (if someone comes toward the checkpoint and you ask them in Hebrew to stop and they continue, you should shoot them with no regards as to whether the person in front of you doesn’t know Hebrew or even is deaf or crazy, just shoot!). After that the commander called the American soldier and gave him our IDs and told him to tell the internationals that it is because the Israelis respect them that they will release us.
Israel’s policies of apartheid and racism will never succeed or help in solving the conflict, and they have nothing to do with ’security.’ They will just increase the hate and the bloody situation we are in will continue. This is against the interests of us all, and international law and the Geneva conventions are clear; UN Resolution 242, 338 call for Israel to end the occupation of Palestine and 194 asks Israel to solve the refugee problem. The Geneva convention and the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Man say that people under occupation have the right to resist, and that occupying forces should respect the rights of civilians.
The international community should guarantee human rights for all, yet they have failed the Palestinian people miserably. The individual activists who are coming from all over the world to support us in our non-violent struggle against the illegal Israeli occupation show real support for human rights. We see these activists risking their lives along with us, and they come because they believe that we all have the same dreams, even if we live in what’s called the Third World.
I call on people from all over the world to just visit Palestine, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nablus, Ramallah, Hebron all of these places and just to observe the situation here. I wish you all everywhere a happy new year full of love and peace and hope to see you in Palestine.

6. Mohammed Mansour Refuses the Demands of the Occupation; Court Case Postponed Once Again
January 10th, 2006
Mohammad Mansour, a non violent organizer against the illegal Apartheid Wall from Biddu, who works with the International Solidarity Movement, had his trial today at 8:30 in the “Peace Court” in Jerusalem. He was initially arrested in June 2004 at a non-violent demonstration against the illegal apartheid wall in Al Ram. A father of five, he was falsely charged with assaulting a police officer, throwing stones and presiding illegally in an “Israeli area.”
The prosecution had offered earlier to close the case if Mohammed would agree to stop participating in demonstrations for the next two years and pay a 3,500 shekel fine. “I would rather go to jail than pay one shekel to the Occupation. It is not I, but those that build the wall that are the criminals” said Mohammed.
Judge Alexander declared his intention to “close the case” today and offered to let Mohammad go without conditions if he paid the sum of his bail. Mohammad reiterated his refusal to the judge. Mohammad’s stance of not giving any legitimacy to the Occupation, in the face of a possible prison sentence, is setting an example for all non-violent resisters in Palestine.
During the hearing, the judge did not look once straight into Mohammad’s eyes and seemed uncomfortable in his presence. He again set a date, February 16, for another “final hearing” and asked Mohammad’s lawyers and the prosecution to try to reach an agreement in the meanwhile.
The International Solidarity Movement once again condemns the Israeli legal system’s defence of war crimes committed by Israeli soldiers and settlers and its criminalization of non violent protest against the Occupation and the Apartheid wall.

7. Three Checkpoints, One Day

January 10th, 2006
By Suneela
It is overwhelming to be awakened to the reality of a military occupation all of a sudden.
Qalandia terminal, is supposed to be the clean and efficient face of the occupation, like an airport terminal with electronically operated metal gates with stop and go signals and X-ray machines, or ultramodern sanitized humiliation.
As soon as I got there, I could see dozens of people crammed up against the metal gates, pushing, yelling, begging the teenage brat Israeli soldiers to let them through.
The only way I was able to get through was by flashing my American passport all over the place and arguing with the soldiers myself to let me through. It was one of the most personally and collectively humiliating experiences I have been through, and confirmed that what is going on here is not just similar to apartheid, but in fact is apartheid. I know it’s massaging my guilt about my own personal privilege, but it really made me feel complicit in the system to be let through while dozens of desperate people who had been waiting much longer than me were pushed back forcibly, just because of the passport I have, which effectively makes me “white”. I know that rationally speaking, I was there alone and could not have done anything to show my solidarity effectively even if I had stayed back and waited, and that in this case I was not an ISM activist but simply an individual “tourist”, but I still felt like a participant in the apartheid system, and I was sweating all over and weak by the time I got out. Especially after seeing one Palestinian man almost get shot in front of my eyes. This poor man had apparently lost it and was trying to climb above the metal gates and yell at the soldiers, and this oversized high school jock got pissed off (as he is properly trained to do) and had his gun pointed and loaded, ready to fire. On the other side (my side) the other people around this man were frantically trying to pull him down before the soldier boy lost his patience and pulled the trigger. Thankfully, that did not happen, and I was happy that as the man was pulled down by the people around him, he managed to twist up a sign above the gates that said something like “One by one. Please be patient.”
That wasn’t the end of it. The taxi I had to take from the checkpoint to the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem was stopped by soldiers at another(”normal”) checkpoint, and another Incredible Hulk got on the bus to “inspect” everyone’s IDs. By bad luck, my suitcase was the one that didn’t fit in the back, so I had it on me and had to open it all up.
And all this was after having gone through two other checkpoints in the same day, the first of which was in the Jenin region, where we were refused to be let through and the two Palestinian ISMers with us made to stand for an hour and a half apart from us. When the two girls in our group tried to go to talk to the soldiers to say what is going on, why are you holding them if their security has been cleared, one soldier who communicated only by yelling pointed his gun at them. I don’t know if this was all an act to make himself feel better, as if it makes him feel more well endowed to aim it, or whether he actually wanted to shoot. All Palestinians going through checkpoints have to be “cleared” to make sure they aren’t “wanted” for heinous crimes such as resisting illegal military occupation. I have seen guys with big guns plenty of times, but to see one pointed and loaded in front of me several times in a day is something else. They had this whole good cop bad cop routine going on, with this obviously American guy who identified himself as a “volunteer” in the army being the good cop and speaking in English, and the bad cop being the above soldier who understood perfectly well what we were saying but wanted to scare us by only barking in Hebrew. And by the way, before it was our turn for special treatment, we had to watch these two guys in a furniture truck be made to unload every piece of furniture and tear open all the wrapping just to “check”. This is ridiculous. I don’t understand any justification for “security” for this. If someone wants to sneak a bomb past a checkpoint, would they really hide it in a piece of
furniture, in 2006? Hello? The only object of this was humiliation, racist humiliation that is state sanctioned.
To get back to Ramallah as well we had to go through the Nablus region and through the Huwarra checkpoint, which is another “terminal” style cattle cage, notorious because it is close to an Israeli military base as well as settlements (which always makes it harder for Palestinians to move). This was the second checkpoint of the day, before Qalandia but after Tayaseer (the above). It was raining and of course me and my fellow internationals cut the line with our wonderful blue passports, but we waited right at the other side in solidarity with our Palestinian friends, even though several different soldiers yelled at us to move here and move there, stand here and stand there, why are you standing here, go away, etc etc, and one soldier with a vaguely American accent came up to us and started asking us why we are in this region, and what “tourism” is there to do here. He seemed to be talking as if there are no people in this area, only some kind of subhuman species that happen to be called Palestinians or “Arabs”.
I noticed from here and the Bil’in demo that the “minorities” within the military, women and Israeli Palestinians who volunteer (mostly Druze) are often way meaner than the Jewish men. The women seem to need to prove they’re more manly than the men, so often they’ll enjoy treating Palestinian men worse, and the Druze need to prove they’re just as loyal to Israel as Jews, so they will treat their Arab brothers and sisters like shit as well.
I’m sorry if this post has been a little chronologically scattered, but it’s been really hard for me to write this out. My mind keeps drifting somewhere else because it doesn’t want to relive this again, but I know I need to write it so that you can read it. I’ll try to write more later when I can deal with all this stuff better.
Also, so that you get a better visual sense of what I had to go through in terms of the cantonization of the West Bank by checkpoints and the wall, here is a link to a really useful map:
electronicintifada.net /bytopic/maps/372.shtml

8. Flap over young Jews’ visits to Holy Land
January 12th, 2006
By Matt Bradley
Originally published in The Christian Science Monitor

After free trips to Israel, some activists stay on in the Middle East – to work for the Palestinian cause.
About 10,000 young Jews from 29 countries will enjoy a generous gift this winter: a vacation to Israel – with the Israeli government and Jewish philanthropies picking up the tab for transportation, food, and lodging.
Those who fund the trips say the opportunity to experience Israel is the birthright of every Jew. But to donors’ chagrin, handfuls of young activists have used the trips in recent years to volunteer for pro-Palestinian organizations in the West Bank – some of which directly oppose the Israeli government and Zionist ideology.
The small movement has some in the Jewish community wondering whether the Taglit-birthright Israel program is being hijacked. But as the Holocaust shifts from memory to history, it also points to efforts of young diasporal Jews to define their own ideologies, symbols, and institutions within a religious tradition that has long been at the forefront of social change.
“They have the right to explore” all sides of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, but not using the money given “to explore certain values,” says Allyson Taylor, with the American Jewish Congress’s Western Region. “You have the right to buy a movie ticket, but do you sneak into another theater to see a different movie?”
While some American Jews say the issue is much ado about nothing, others see a premeditated attempt to defraud the Israeli government and Zionist advocacy groups. Some young Jewish leftists, meanwhile, say volunteering in the occupied territories is in keeping with the goals of Taglit-birthright Israel: It is an essential part of their Israel experience.
“For me, being a Jewish person means supporting social justice. For me, being Jewish doesn’t mean supporting Israel,” says Jessica, who traveled to Israel with Shorashim, a Birthright travel organizer, during the summer of 2004. “The lessons of the Holocaust and the lessons of Jewish history mean we need to stand up for people’s rights. Otherwise, who’s going to stand up for us?” Jessica asked that her last name not be used so as not to jeopardize her work on behalf of Palestinians.
Since Taglit-birthright Israel’s inception in 1999, it has provided 10-day trips for some 88,000 young people – any Jew aged 18 to 26 who has never been to Israel with a guided group. The goal, say organizers, is to strengthen the commitment of a new generation of Jews to the world’s only Jewish state. As for the number who volunteer for pro-Palestinian activist organizations while abroad, some say only half a dozen while others cite growing ranks of activists trained to exploit the program’s generosity.
Taglit-birthright Israel declined to comment for this article.
Among pro-Palestinian organizations aided by non-Israeli Jewish activists – including an unknown number of former Taglit-birthright volunteers – is the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). The organization, according to its website, is “committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using nonviolent, direct-action methods and principles.” The Israeli government, though, accuses it of supporting terrorism. Since the group’s founding in 2001, several activists have been killed or injured while participating in ISM protests and nonviolent resistance efforts.
“If you go to an organization like ISM, which clearly advocates suicide bombers and things like that, I would say it’s not a very honest way of using this program,” says Meir Shlomo, Israel’s consul general to New England.
ISM advocates an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories, says cofounder Huwaida Arraf. But members deny that ISM endorses violence or supports political terror. Beyond that, says Ms. Arraf, ISM does not specifically encourage its Jewish volunteers, which she estimates make up about 25 percent of the group’s staff, to travel for free via Taglit-birthright.
“Birthright Israel does nothing to expose these students to the occupation that the Palestinians are living through,” says Arraf. “To … take the initiative to see more than what the Birthright organizers want them to see – we guarantee their lives will be changed.”
Last summer, this reaction to the Taglit-birthright program became more institutionalized. Birthright Unplugged, a group that gives guided tours of the West Bank, offers “an educational project that primarily seeks to expose young Jewish people to the realities of Palestinian life under occupation,” its website states. By design, the six-day Unplugged tours coincide with Taglit-birthright Israel’s programs. Geographically, chronologically, and ideologically, Birthright Unplugged picks up where Taglit-birthright leaves off.
Last year Taglit-birthright Israel filed a “cease and desist” complaint for trademark infringement against Birthright Unplugged and charged it with “unfair competition.” A lawsuit is pending.
For the many Taglit-birthright participants who don’t volunteer in the West Bank, their peers’ actions can elicit feelings of betrayal.
Catherine Heffernan, a Birthright participant who attended Shorashim with Jessica in 2004, felt outraged. “Whatever respect I ever had for you and your beliefs is gone,” she fired off in an e-mail last summer after learning how Jessica had spent her remaining time in Israel.
But even Ms. Heffernan, who considers herself a “peaceful Zionist,” says Judaism is what has informed Jessica’s misguided struggle for social justice. “Jessica … [has] a desire to see justice done in the region, and that is something [she has] learned through [her] Judaism,” says Heffernan. “It seems that it is very politically savvy to be anti-Israel, and Israel has a lot of problems. I don’t think that should mean joining an organization that hurts Israel.”