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ISM Freedom Summer Campaign Approaches – Slander Campaign Against ISM Stepped-Up

Freedom Summer 2006 is nearly here. Palestinians are continuing to employ a greater variety of creative, non-violent resistance to the occupation and you’re invited to participate.

Boosted by international support, including the recent advances in the boycott, sanctions and divestment campaign, Palestinian non-violent resistance is growing and needs your support! The International Solidarity Movement’s (ISM) annual Freedom Summer Campaign is a vital effort that has brought thousands of international citizens to occupied Palestine. Now it is time once again to lend your support to Palestinian non-violent resistance and join the ISM Freedom Summer Campaign set for July and August!

Supporters of the occupation are desperate to undermine growing international support for the Palestinian non-violent movement because they know that this is one of the most powerful mechanisms to end the occupation. For the past several weeks, their slander campaign against the ISM and individual ISM activists has escalated.

This campaign only encourages us! Our work to support Palestinian non-violent resistance bothers those who support the occupation. It worries them enough to attempt to sabotage our movement and activities. Like the FBI’s COINTELPROs of the 60s and 70s whose aim was to “disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize” civil rights and anti-war groups, these campaigns aim to turn us against each other and create divisions within our movement by spreading lies.

The aim of this campaign is to discourage visitors from overseas from coming to the occupied territories and from acting in solidarity with peaceful Palestinian resistance. Two methods are current – sending names and pictures to the Israeli authorities and claiming the people are a “security threat,” and spreading false rumors that cast doubt on the reputation of the ISM in general as well as some of our most prominent and active individuals (Palestinian and international). There is also an attempt to damage the reputation of the ISM within Palestinian communities.

Some of the people behind these slanderous assaults are the usual extreme right-wing conspiracy theorizing, suspects who discredit themselves with their own words. Other aspects of the campaign are more sophisticated. Unknown and unaccountable individuals pretend to be concerned about the future of ISM and its reputation within Palestinian communities, while at the same time spreading lies, making veiled threats, and calling for us to stop operations. Some of the false rumors bare striking resemblance to lies that Israeli security officials have told notable Palestinian non-violent activists when they pass through the border on their way to trips outside the country, in an attempt to divide Palestinians from internationals.

Join us in Palestine this summer during our Freedom Summer Campaign. Stand in solidarity with Palestinians, Israelis and internationals calling for justice for the Palestinian people – for an end to the occupation!

For details on how to join us see our website:
http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/join/

Freedom Summer 2006 Training Sessions are held every Sunday and Monday, so please plan your trips so that you can maximize your time working with Palestinian communities. The training dates are:
July 2-3,
July 9-10,
July 16-17,
July 23-24,
July 30-31.

For the original call for Freedom Summer 2006, see:
http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2006/02/19/freedom-summer-2006-building-bridges/

Statement by ISM Media Group