Some of you might remember the name Adam Shapiro. He was the so-called American peace activist who rushed to the side of Yasser Arafat when Israel’s Defense Forces surrounded the Palestinian Authority compound in 2002. An even more controversial name is Rachel Corrie, who went to the Middle East under the auspices of Shapiro’s International Solidarity Movement. She died in what an Israeli inquiry determined was an accident when she got in the middle of Israeli demolition efforts in Gaza. The Israelis were destroying shrubs, used to conceal explosives and IEDs, and looking for tunnels used for weapons smuggling. Corrie said she was there to protect Palestinian homes from demolition.
I noticed I didn’t see any of these types rushing to help the Fatah leadership last week in Gaza as Hamas’s armed gangs began executing them. In 2002, when Israel was the bad guy, Westerners hurried to the defense of Palestinians. Now, with Islamic fundamentalists carrying out much more heinous intentional executions, the hard left in America and around the world is missing in action.
“As Hamas stormed Fatah strongholds in Gaza and began slaughtering members of its rival organization last Thursday, there were no Adam Shapiros racing to Fatah compounds to protect its members. Mr. Shapiro was the “peace” activist who made a beeline for Arafat’s compound in 2002 when Israel attempted to isolate the Palestinian leader in response to terrorism.
The Web site of a group Mr. Shapiro helped found, the “International Solidarity Movement,” was promoting “Freedom Summer 2007: Confronting Apartheid,” a campaign opposing Israel’s security fence.
Posts to the site, contemporaneous with the Hamas campaign in Gaza, display support for the effort to boycott Israel’s academic establishment and memorialize Israel’s “Occupation” since 1967.
A statement decrying last week’s violence was not found, if there even was one.
The television news channels and newspapers reported no present day version of Rachel Corrie rushing to place herself in between the Fatah and the Hamas gunmen. Corrie, purportedly in defense of a Palestinian home, was killed accidentally when she placed herself in front of an Israeli bulldozer, which was clearing brush and destroying arms smuggling tunnels.
On Friday, a Haaretz reporter, Avi Issacharoff, reported a few acts of violence in Gaza: “Two days ago, Hamas activists fired at a procession of unarmed citizens and killed two of them. On Tuesday they killed three women and a child. On Monday they threw a Fatah activist from the 18th floor of a high-rise building.”
Following these reports of Hamas violence, protesters did not take to the streets of cities in America or around the world. The television news was notably bereft of footage of candlelight vigils mourning the impending disaster.”
I write about this dynamic in my New York Sun column.