The Olive Tree Initiative and Terror

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In fact, frequent OTI campus speaker and ISM co-founder George Rishmawi (there are in fact two George Rishmawis involved in the OTI and both are co-founders of the ISM) has explained that the recruitment of American student volunteers is useful to the Palestinian Movement because “if some of these foreign volunteers get shot or even killed, then the international media will sit up and take notice.”

That certainly was the case with American college student Rachel Corrie who, in March 2003, was accidentally killed by an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza as she acted as a human shield for a weapons smuggling tunnel that was being demolished by the IDF. Other ISM activists have been maimed or killed, in some cases by Palestinians themselves.

In 2004 British activist Tom Hurndall was shot and killed in Gaza, and in April 2011 Italian Vittorio Arrigoni was kidnapped and later hung to death by a group of Palestinians in Gaza.

While ISM leaders publicly mourned all their deaths, a more accurate description of their feelings has come from ISM co-founders Adam Shapiro and Huwaida Arraf who have written in the past:

The Palestinian resistance must take on a variety of characteristics, both non-violent and violent.  Yes, people will get killed and injured, but these deaths are no less noble than carrying out a suicide operation.

So, the question arises, if those allied with the ISM cause can be openly kidnapped and murdered, then what is the fate of innocent American college students traveling around the West Bank — led around by ISM activists like Rishmawi — to dialogue with a diverse collection of nefarious individuals and organizations?

These dangerous individuals even lurk in some networks in Jerusalem; networks which are likely connected to the ISM. Early in September, Israel’s Shin Blet security service foiled a suicide terrorist attack only 24 hours before the planned strike in a Jerusalem neighborhood. Discovery of the plot was part of a larger-scale operation carried out by Shin Bet against Hamas terrorists in the West Bank, an operation that led to the arrest of 13 separate Hamas terror cells.

The main Hamas cell, which was in charge of the planned suicide attack, was also responsible for a March attack in Jerusalem that killed a British tourist and wounded 47 others. Another terrorist cell exposed by the Shin Bet was operating from within Israel’s Ketziot prison where it had recruited around twenty militants whose prime objective was to kidnap an IDF soldier.

These arrests followed a similar operation in June by Israeli security forces in which they uncovered a terror cell belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PLFP). In addition to planning the abduction of an Israeli soldier, the PLFP cell was also planning a series of shooting attacks in Israeli settlements around Ramallah; placing explosive devices in Jerusalem; and murdering those they determined to be Israeli sympathizers.

Unfortunately, the OTI’s links to groups that aid and abet such terror organizations has only served to heighten the potential danger students face when going to the Middle East on an OTI sponsored trip.

Yet, sadly, the OTI’s purposeful misuse of American students has been amply rewarded, not only through funding from the UC System but also through community support from various Jewish, Christian and Muslim organizations. Moreover, that support has enabled the OTI to garner numerous awards and honors, including from the US State Department.

So as the dangers continue to mount in the West Bank and Gaza, perhaps, some of these benefactors may want to revisit their support of the OTI before the next student trip takes place in 2012.

For in depth information on the Olive Tree Initiative and how you can stop support for the organization, please visit

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  • Flipside

    Wow. Not only does Frank Crimi LIE about the murder of Rachel Corrie, but he reposts tripe from the racist website Masada2000.

    This seriously impugns your credibility. As does the fact that all this in-depth "analysis" only appears on blogs.

    • jacob

      FLIPSIDE :

      And according to you,may I ask how was this foolish girl killed ???
      You call it MURDER and I call her stupid….
      Like laying down on railroad tracks and expect the locomotive engineer to
      see me and stop the train…

      It is time for these people to learn that, while it is true that the IDF is among
      the most humanitarian armies in the world, everything has a limit…

      And there are no holds barred to PALI propaganda, even killing one of their
      own to blame ISRAEL…
      Do you remember the 5,000 Palis dead of the JENIN "massacre" which
      turned out to be 36 gunmen killed and one "ressurection" of the corpse at
      a burial right in front of the UN commission when shots were fired nearby ???
      I rest my case

      • Flipside

        Yes. You may ask. The facts are that she was mowed down in plain view while standing directly in front of the front window at a visible angle and then also clambering atop a dirt pile before a savage IDF teenager in an armored bulldozer. Otherwise you are saying that Caterpillar designs bulldozers with no forward line of sight. Anyway, THERE ARE PHOTOS OF THE KILLING.

        “These people” are me. What do you think we are going to “learn” when you murder us and claim you are pushed beyond your limit? Do you think we would tolerate that line of reasoning from a hit and run in the US? From a rapist? A burglar? A Crip? Our own police? Your alleged limit after which you would murder a girl is no limit I am going to respect. It has nothing to do with Palestinians. If Israelis are so craven that they run girls over and absolve themselves by claiming they have a tough life, then Israelis deserve the world’s scorn.

        • UCSPanther

          A lot of those photos were found to be photoshopped.

          The ISM lost a LOT of credibility over that one.

          • Flipside

            Israel’s entire public image is photoshopped.

          • jasonz

            nice comeback. so you admit that the pix were faked..and another palestinan scumbag lie debunked with truth. palestine needs to write their lies down to keep track since they tell so many. but i guess its hard to keep trac with so many lies told invbetween murdering innocent children and sending rockets in. make the world a better place. eliminate islame!. and dont bother your ruushing to kill another infant to retort, if you support palesting then i know you are a coward and a liar. as for the pix of rachel…i laugh my butt off wathing that traitorous whore die!! hahahahahah

          • jasonz

            nice comeback, .yeah its photoshopped by lying palestinans caliming victimhood after they cause problems. so you admit ism lied…hmmmm seems thoes poor wittle palestinians do an awful lot of killing an lying about it. must be a muslim trait! islames and palesitnian total history is photoshopped

          • UCSPanther

            Nice try at projection, Mr. Like-Ron-Paul/George-Soros-or-else.

  • Jim

    If the so called Idealist students wish to go to Palestine and be murdered by the Palestinians or to engage in acts of war against Israel and have the Israeli shoos back then let them go. Who are we to argue with upside down logic.

    Perhaps the funders should go to.

  • jacob

    Bleeding hearts and political corrrectness will bury us all….
    After the 1954 failed attempt to capture the MONCADA army barracks in HAVANA
    and capturing all attackers (CASTRO the last), BATISTA's Chief of Police told him
    sharks were going hungry after WWII ending and proposed to drop ALL of them,
    conveniently "ballasted" from an aircraft at the deepest place of the Caribbean, the
    HAVANA Archibishop and then Senator DIAZ BALART(father of same name
    brothers, Florida reps. to Congress) pleaded with BATISTA and got him to exile
    them to MEXICO….
    How much blood, tears and suffering would have been spared the Cuban people
    if the Chief of Police wish would have been carried on ????
    Same case happened with CASTRO's disciple, CHAVEZ…
    ISRAEL wouldn't be facing any PALI problem nowadays, had SHARON been
    allowed to eliminate ARA-RAT and his cutthroats when in 1982 he had them
    between the sea and the Israeli armor at the Tripoli beach in Lebanon, instead
    of being forced to let them ship out to TUNISIA…..

    • WilliamJamesWard

      Not leaving and enemy behind is the only way to be sure of peace. Did any
      of these repent and ask for mercy,no not one. In the case of Arafat and the
      PLO, it may be the biggest mistake of Israel in modern times not to have
      ended his career of evil at Tripoli……………..William

  • StephenD

    As soon as I hear terms like International Solidarity or Equality or Peace or any other descriptor presented to put me at ease, my guard goes up. I immediately expect the opposite. Nine times out of ten, my assumptions are correct. My concern is for those well meaning students sucked in by these wolves in sheep’s clothing. Like Wide Mouth Bass they swallow the bait. Before long they have become "useful idiots" and have lost perspective. How sad they would voluntarily succumb to lies that make them feel good but produce only rot and decay.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    This is so insane that all I'm reading is the first few paragraphs. Indeed, there is only one balanced approach, which is the Islamic world via their proxy – the so-called Palestinians – are waging a permanent genocidal jihad of conquest against the Jewish unbelievers in Israel perpetually. Indeed, any other position is a dangerous distortion of reality.

    This OTI is masquerading as being a balanced non-biased approach, but what it really is, is stealth and deceptive non-violent jihad, and the useful idiots involved in fostering this monstrosity on the college campuses involved need to all be fired and blackballed.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    It is a live and learn world. OYM is absolutely correct, Palestinians are at war with
    Israel and their only goal is to destroy Israel, kill all Jews while suckering in every
    innocent and not so innocent person available. Colleges are notoriously free game
    zones for criminal and subversive elements of the war against the good by evil.
    Naivete can be a through going disease and quite fatal, College officials should
    ban all type of ISM activities for the protection of students. Where I part with
    OYM on this issue is I would not just blackball I would imprison and not let
    these leftist fiends ever see the light of day again…………………William

    • UCSPanther

      They like ISM because it gives them an additional source of English speaking mouthpieces and meat shields.

  • skai

    There is no religion as evil as Islam. Down with pals. see and