About ISM London

ISM London is a group of activists in London and around the UK who have volunteered with the International Solidarity Movement in Palestine.

Although it started as a group of ISMers in London, over the years the group has expanded to include ISM activists from all over the country.

Our Aims

ISM London works in support of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). The ISM is a Palestinian led movement of internationals and local Palestinians, based in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It has been frequently reported in the Israeli press that the presence of international and Israeli volunteers at Palestinian demonstrations reduces the level of the soldier's violence against the demonstrators, as the Israeli army has different rules of engagement if we are involved -- e.g. it is much less likely that they will use live rounds.

ISM London carries out direct actions in the UK, working with Jewish and other peace groups, bringing attention to the violent apartheid system and illegal Israeli occupation under which Palestinians suffer. As with the anti- apartheid movement in South Africa, the ISM works to promote a sporting, cultural and academic boycott of Israeli goods. The ISM also holds fund-raising gigs and parties.

We need you in Palestine

The International Solidarity Movement needs international volunteers like you to come to the Occupied Palestinian Territories. We need you to stand with Palestinians against attacks on their very existence.

A large powerful army continues to use its military might on a civilian population, largely unarmed and struggling for its freedom and independence. The international community fails to meet it’s obligations to protect the Palestinian people. Israeli colonial policies continue to strip Palestinians of their human rights and deny them human dignity. Violations of human rights and international law are committed by the Israeli occupation forces every day as tanks and armored personnel carriers roam the destroyed streets of Palestine shooting at civilians and their houses and infrastructure. The Israeli army attacks the Gaza Strip, hundreds of homes are demolished, Palestinian children are systematically denied their education and their parents are denied the right to live and make a living. The International Solidarity Movement has been witness to war crimes and is expecting more of the same, WE NEED YOU to come stand with us against this injustice.

With the current United States government the most Israel-friendly in history and mired in the occupation of Iraq, the Palestinian people fear the worst. With the attention of the international community on Iraq, the Israeli government has stepped up its war on the Palestinian people, viciously striking them while the world is distracted. The International Solidarity Movement wants to make sure the world is watching. Come and join us in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and join the Palestinian people’s struggle for freedom, truth and justice.

In addition to maintaining presences in various areas repeatedly attacked by Israeli settlers and the military, the ISM will focus on supporting people resisting the building of the “wall” which is destroying and isolating their farmland and will effectively put thousands of Palestinians in a cage.

Our call to the world is ongoing. We hope you plan to join us here in Palestine.

Please see the training page for specific advice about travelling to Palestine.

Fact Sheets

ISM Mission Statement

A Campaign Against Israeli Occupation Of Palestine and For A Just and Viable Peace

Palestinians have lived under an illegal occupation for decades. Through UN resolutions, the nations of the world have repeatedly asked Israel to respect international law, to stop brutalising Palestinians, and to end the Occupation of their land. Under the protection of its powerful ally and benefactor, the United States, Israel has been able to continue the occupation, build illegal settlements, deny the most basic of human rights, and pursue policies aimed at removing all Palestinians from their homeland.

Israeli Prime Minister Sharon and the Bush administration say that there can be no negotiations under violence. That is true. However, what they do not admit is: The Occupation is violence. The Occupation must end before there can be true progress toward justice, and justice is the only basis there can be for true and meaningful peace.

The Palestinian response over the years has been some attempts at armed struggle (as is their right), but mostly peaceful protests, demonstrations, and appeals to Israeli courts. The vast majority of Palestinians are peaceful, and want only for the Israelis to treat them with justice and respect, and to live in peace with them as neighbours. Although Israel points to the occasional acts of Palestinian violence as a grave problem, it is clear that the Occupation itself is the overwhelming, and continuous act of collective violence in the area.

Because Israeli violence against civilians in Palestine has worsened, and the repression of the Occupation has tightened, many international allies of the Palestinian cause want to do more than write letters, demonstrate, present programs, form solidarity delegations, or send humanitarian aid. They want to do something more dramatic to stop Israeli attacks on Palestinian neighbourhoods and people with bombs and bullets, or closures and curfews, and to stop the United States from massively rewarding Israel for its brutality and protecting its occupation of Palestine. They want to take direct action that will oppose the Occupation and force Israel to withdraw from the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza.

If this describes your feelings, this call is for you.

An international citizen’s peace-making campaign formed in August 2001, using the proactive tactics of non-violent direct action epitomised by Gandhi, Archbishop Tutu, Dr. Martin Luther King, and other practitioners of creative non-violent resistance.

This is an invitation to join that campaign, to support it financially, or to join our efforts to influence the news media.

The International Solidarity Movement aims to do four things:-

Scope And Ground Rules

International activists have already played a significant role in bringing attention to the Occupation, and protecting Palestinians who try to protest Israeli brutality peacefully. The usual response of the Israeli military to peaceful demonstrations by Palestinians is to fire tear gas, rubber-coated bullets, and sometimes live ammunition at the crowds.

For example: “Shedma” is an Israeli military base that caused tremendous suffering for the peaceful people of Beit Sahour during the first three months of the Intifada. More than 200 homes were damaged, two mothers and a young man were killed, and ten people were injured. On December 28th 2000, hundreds of Palestinians, Israelis and Internationals marched together demanding an immediate evacuation and dismantlement of this military base. The presence of internationals kept the Israeli military from using violence. Italian member of parliament Lousia Morgantini (member of the European Parliament) and the Italian Peace association (Associazione per la pace) deserve special thanks for being part of this and other international actions.

The same thing has been true of demonstrations at checkpoints and roadblocks, which are important targets for action because they are examples of the Occupation’s disruption of everyday life for Palestinians. They prevent thousands of people from accessing work, trade, basic services and even emergency medical treatment. International observers prevent Israeli soldiers from committing the usual harassments and brutalities done when only Palestinians are present. An organisation, International Checkpoint Watch has formed because of the success of this tactic. Internationals have often participated in dismantling roadblocks with their bare hands. They have prevented untold numbers of Palestinians from being wounded or killed.

Another, very dramatic, tactic is to provide human shields against Israeli military or settler attacks against Palestinians. An Israeli woman, Neta Golan, did that very thing to protect Palestinians from her own nation’s troops and settlers, as they picked olives. As the Christian Peacemaker Teams motto says, Neta “got in the way” by putting her life on the line for true peace.

The International Solidarity Movement is also dedicated to creating ongoing and continuous support for justice efforts there by encouraging internationals to volunteer for ongoing programmes of civil disobedience and development of Palestinian economic infrastructure, and in other ways to work for justice in Palestine, an end to Israel’s occupation and its subsidisation by the United States, and a reconciliation between the government and people of Israel with their Palestinian neighbours.

The non-violence ground-rules for the ISM are as follows :-