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War on Terror: from Gaza to Boston

The ISM still runs amok in the West Bank:
Hannah Mermelstein

By Lee Kaplan

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I've written several times here at Canada Free Press about the International Solidarity Movement and its activities in the West Bank. Most notably I wrote about the Northern California ISM leader named Paul LaRudee who was caught trying to get in through Ben-Gurion airport. I wrote that while LaRudee was caught and deported after a few weeks in detention and going through the Israeli court system (at the expense of the Israeli taxpayer), another ISM activist named Hannah Mermelstein from Boston got past Israeli security to do work with the ISM.

Hannah Mermelstein (far left) personally advocates for the dismantling of Israel as a state
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Hannah Mermelstein is so sanguine about Israeli security that she even wrote back to her ISM anarchist buddies in the US about how she helped an Arab woman named Najah sneak past a security checkpoint. Read Hannah's report to the "destroy-Israel-by-any-means necessary" crowd at the anarchist portal www.riseup.net :

" We walk on the path for a minute or two, and suddenly the group turns and walks down the stairs onto somebody's porch, then out through their yard, down more stairs, and so on. We silently weave in and out of people's porches and gardens, avoiding the checkpoint that is directly above us…We continue to walk, up and down on uneven paths in the dark. The women are sure of their steps, having done this walk so many times. The other internationals and I are less sure, and stay near the back, probably holding the group up slightly…I turn around and walk back to Najah and the others. She walks over to a nearby house, goes through their gate, and sits on the couch on their porch. The army drives by and we duck…

‘I ask Najah if the people whose yards we sneak through know about it. ‘Of course,' she says. ‘Sometimes they take us in when the army comes looking for us.' She tells us that the army threatens them with a fine of 10,000 shekels (more than 2,000 dollars) for harboring ‘Arabs without permits,' but they do it anyway."

Najah, the Palestinian who made a fool of Israeli security with the help of Hannah Mermelstein.
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Now we have proof that Hannah Mermelstein, a US guest in Israel, someone who the Israeli authorities were advised almost two months ago by me was in Israel for the ISM, has been knowingly involved in illegal activities. Back in the US, Hannah runs something called Birthright Unplugged , where she tries to recruit American-Jewish kids to hate Israel and seek its destruction, so her subversive activities in Israel should come as no surprise. She even "ducks" when the Israeli security drives by! But read more from Hannah as she helps Najah get past the security checkpoint:

"A jeep is driving down the road. Najah gets out to run back to the house where we've been hiding, tells us to stay because we have passports and it won't matter if the army sees us. The jeep stops at the larger bus in front of us. We can't see what they're doing.

‘People begin to tentatively get on our bus, Najah comes back, and the bus starts to go, hoping to drive past the other bus and the jeep without being stopped. No such luck.

‘A soldier stops our bus and Najah quickly takes her ID out of her purse and hides it in her shirt. The soldier boards the bus and asks for IDs. There are only a few of us on the bus at that point. My friends and I have passports so we're fine. Najah tells the soldier she left her ID at home. She doesn't want it taken or her name recorded. The soldier tells her to get off the bus and go home. She gets off, and we start to get off with her. The soldier tells us we can stay… We wait a minute and then get off. We see Najah, and she says, ‘Get back on, hurry, I'm getting back on.' We're perplexed, but we board the bus again, and she comes with us. She has just walked around the bus. The soldiers are still right there, right behind us."

So Hannah Mermelstein saw illegal activity going on and not only did not report it, she supports it. But wait until you read what Najah did on getting past the checkpoint:

"Najah removes her hijab (Muslim head scarf) and replaces it with a Jewish head covering, to look instead like a religious Jewish woman… We get off the bus and we're in the Bukhari neighborhood, a religious Jewish neighborhood right next to the even more famous religious Jewish Neighborhood, Mea Sharim…She shows us the building where she works, but we don't get too close because she says they won't let us in and she doesn't want to get in trouble(sic). She shows us back to the bus because she has an hour before she needs to begin work, and thus an hour before she can even enter the building… Our work for the morning is over. Najah's is just beginning."

Najah arrives at work near the Bukhari district. Do you think Israel's vaunted security can identify this West Jerusalem location that Najah needs to disguise herself as a Jew to enter after hiding her ID from Israeli Border Police?

Now, if Najah was not involved in illegal activity that poses a risk to the lives of the people of Israel, a democratic country and ally in the War on Terror, and she has a legitimate job in Jerusalem, why does she need to hide her ID and disguise herself as a Jewish woman to go to work? Is she working to plan a bomb attack? Is she going to aid a terrorist attack? Smuggling weapons? Is she visiting a Hamas cell? Or perhaps spotting for future missile attacks? It makes no difference to Hannah Mermelstein from Boston.

Meanwhile, the ISM announced today that newscasts that foreign nationals in the West Bank would be removed to clamp down on ISM activities were untrue. To quote an ISM news blast "A Flying Start to Freedom Summer 2006":

"Three weeks in, and the International Solidarity Movement's ‘Freedom Summer 2006' has gotten off to a flying start. More and more activists are coming to the West Bank every week, participating in two days of training before heading out to the regions of the West Bank that ISM is working in. Led by these Palestinian communities, the international volunteers, mainly from the USA and Europe, are supporting Palestinians in their non-violent resistance."

The announcement goes on to claim that reports that the Israeli authorities were clamping down on internationals in the ISM were a sham and that at least ten new ones arrive every week to harass the Israeli soldiers and border police in Bi'lin and other villages.

The ISM's purpose in part is to destroy Israel's sovereignty by shielding Arab terrorists with international anarchists just like Hezbollah's is to kidnap Israeli soldiers and shoot missiles into Haifa. And thanks to Hannah Mermelstein, we can only guess what Najah is up to. Who knows?

Like Paul LaRudee, Hannah Mermelstein has violated federal anti-terrorism statutes by conspiring and working to break laws in a country allied with the United States in the War on Terror. And as with Paul LaRudee, the Diplomatic Security Service, FBI and

Homeland Security are sitting on their hands when it comes to prosecuting or stopping these people when they return to the US and train others like them. ISM top leaders like Huwaida Arraf and Lisa Nessan have openly boasted they work with Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the PFLP.

Will Hannah one day bring her skills back to Boston to help a terrorist sneak into the US from Canada? Or will she aid one already here to smuggle weapons? At Duke University, an ISM leader named Abe Greenhouse said the ISM's activities in the West Bank are the training ground for the American Anarchist Movement to bring their "revolution" to US shores.

Want to bet Hannah's still there in Israel next week even though she's living in West Jerusalem? And when she comes back to Boston, want to bet she will recruit others like herself and train them on how to aid the enemy?

This is no way to fight the War on Terror.

Lee Kaplan is an investigative journalist and a contributor to Front Page Magazine. He is also a regular columnist for the Israel National News and a senior intelligence analyst and comunications director for the Northeast Intelligence Network.
Lee can be reached at: letters@canadafreepress.com
Opinion 2007 2006
















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