The study says that ISM, originally a network of anti-Israeli activists founded by a group of young, extreme leftist Americans, attracted to it leftist Arab activists and several extreme leftist pro-Arab Israelis. Later, the organization also recruited volunteers from various Western countries, some of them Jews, on a platform of hostility to Israel and its policies towards Palestinian Authority Arabs.
The study’s findings strengthen by Dafkainvestigative reporter Lee Kaplan to Israel National News. In relation to ISM’s activities outside of PA-controlled territories, Kaplan had said that the U.S. government is turning “a blind eye” to ISM’s illegal activities. He added that the U.S. government “is the reason the flotillas are allowed to survive and grow.”
The ISM, stressed Kaplan, was put together by the Arab communist and terror-linked PLFP group which is “allied with communist anarchists...and now with Hamas... to promote the destruction of the State of Israel. They are doing a great job. I believe they pose a greater threat than the armed terrorists do.”
The ISM's stated objective, according to the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, is “to give international support to the Palestinian cause and to demonstrate solidarity by using non-violent tactics which it refers to as ‘direct action’ (a term taken from the lexicon of extreme leftist revolutionary and human rights movements).”
As part of this direct action, during the second Intifada Between 2001 and 2005, ISM volunteers waged activities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip. These activities were not limited to simply helping the Arab population of these areas, but rather included the hindering of IDF operational activities. These included participating in Arab protest demonstrations and rallies, serving as human shields for terrorist operatives wanted by the Israeli security forces, locating themselves near IDF roadblocks throughout Judea and Samaria, providing terrorist operatives and their families with financial, logistic and moral support, hindering the razing and sealing of houses of suicide bombers, and holding protests along the security fence from Jenin to Jerusalem.
The study details two of what the organization considers its peak activities according to its website: the first is sending activists to serve as human shields at the entrances to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, and the second is doing the same thing, this time in former PA President Yasser Arafat’s headquarters in Ramallah in April 2002 (during Israel's anti-terrorist Operation Defensive Shield, which was carried out following a series of deadly suicide bombings carried out by Arab terrorists).
The ISM’s operations did not end with the second Intifada, emphasizes the study. After the second intifada senior ISM activists moved the center of their operations to the Gaza Strip, where Hamas was gaining a foothold before violently taking over it in June 2007. Four senior American ISM activists played a key role in founding an international pro-Hamas umbrella organization called the Free Gaza Movement, which sends ships to the Gaza Strip for the stated purpose of “breaking the siege,” but in fact aims to strengthen Hamas administration and intensify the delegitimization of Israel.
According to the study, senior ISM figures have devoted their time and energy to promoting FGM flotillas to the Gaza Strip since 2008, the highlight of this project being the IHH-organized last May. In addition to its involvement in the flotillas, the ISM has also been active in two main fields: sending volunteers to protest demonstrations at focal points of Arab-Israeli friction such as Bila’in. These activities are held in conjunction with local Arab popular committees and sponsored by the Palestinian Authority.
The group also takes part in anti-Israeli activities in the United States and European and other countries worldwide, which include calls for boycotting Israel and its products and protests against its policies toward PA Arabs. During these protests, Israel is repeatedly represented as racist, oppressive and employing an apartheid policy. The study also says that these anti-Israeli activities go far beyond demonstrations in various cities and agitation on campuses, but also make use of visual and digital media, the Internet, and books and plays to engage in anti-Israeli hate propaganda.