Investigative Group

Some Anti-Israel Activists Attempting To Block Ships From Docking In The US Have Alleged Ties To Terrorist Organizations

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Jennie Taer Investigative Reporter
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  • Anti-Israel activists continue efforts to block cargo ships with ties to the State of Israel and the organizations behind the protest are allegedly tied to terrorist organizations.
  • “Block the Boat” organized to stop a ship from unloading goods in Elizabeth, New Jersey this week.
  • Samidoun, one of the groups promoting the event, was accused by the Israeli government earlier this year of having ties with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a U.S. designated terrorist organization.
  • A number of other left-wing and/or alleged terrorist affiliated groups are also part of the effort.

A number of anti-Israel organizations attempting to block boats tied to Israel from docking in the U.S. and other countries have alleged links to terrorist groups.

“Block The Boat” organized a “mass picket” Sunday in Elizabeth, New Jersey in the hopes of stopping “Apartheid Israel Zim Ship.”


“Join us as we mobilize for another community picket line to let ZIM – apartheid Israel’s largest shipping company – know that they are NOT welcome in New York and New Jersey,” the event’s Facebook page states.

“In the spirit of honoring this show of militant solidarity and building upon the rich ties of internationalism that have long existed at the core of the global struggle for Palestine, our #BlockTheBoat picket line on 7/25 will also be one of the kick off events for Globalize The Intifada-NYC,” it adds.

“We’re responding in large part to Palestinian workers themselves, with trade union federations having put out a global call to action against ongoing violence again Palestine,” organizer Wassim Hage told The Jerusalem Post.

He added, “This call for solidarity has been met by activists worldwide, from Oakland to Livorno, Italy, to Durban, South Africa, to NYC. While it’s difficult to know what will happen, we see our success in Oakland [and] Seattle… and the basis for our action in NYC, as tied to the stand organized labor has taken globally against Israel and for Palestinian’s right to return and to be free of violence on their homelands.”

The targeted vessel, the Qingdao, is registered in Israel, according to shipping container company ZIM’s schedule. The ship was docked in Ashdod and Haifa last month before making its way to Europe and eventually the U.S. Maher terminal in Elizabeth confirmed to the DCNF Monday that the vessel had successfully offloaded its cargo and departed from the port Monday morning.

ZIM didn’t respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.

The Jewish Agency, Histadrut labor federation, and the Israel Maritime League started the company in Israel in 1945, according to ZIM’s website. Its first fleet was used to carry immigrants from war-torn Europe and to bring supplies to Israel during its War of Independence in 1948, according to the company’s website.

The Israeli government later sold its shares of the company to the Israel Corporation, which is owned by the Ofer Brothers Group, in 2004, the website also states.

Groups like Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network and Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC) focused their efforts on ensuring that the ship was blocked from offloading any cargo when it reached the port, citing its ties to Israel. Samidoun is partially funded by the Alliance for Global Justice (AFGJ) and, according to its donation page, online donations to Samidoun are processed as donations to AFGJ. AFGJ is partially funded by the Ford Foundation, the Tides Foundation and Tides Center, the Ben & Jerry Foundation, and left-wing megadonor George Soros’s Open Society Foundation, according to AGJ’s most recent form 990.

AROC declared “victory” in Oakland, California last month after “Block the Boat” protestors successfully prevented a ZIM vessel from offloading its cargo. The group said its protestors were joined by members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). The vessel, Volans, arrived in Oakland May 24 and departed June 4, according to ZIM’s schedule. The ship is part of a route that stops in parts of Asia and California.

“Oakland and the broader Bay Area have once again achieved a historic Boycott, Divest and Sanctions Movement (BDS) victory for Palestine,” AROC said in a press release at the time.

Samidoun was declared this year an affiliate of the terrorist organization the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) by the Israeli government. The PFLP has been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department since 1997.

The Israeli government also said that Samidoun was founded by PFLP members.

Samidoun, through its Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, focuses on fighting for Palestinians imprisoned in Israeli jails. (RELATED: Group Designated As A Terror Organization In Israel Is Active In The US)

The group co-sponsored a talk in 2020 that featured PFLP member Leila Khaled as one of its speakers. Khaled is responsible for two plane hijackings, one that took place in 1969 and another one that was attempted in 1970. However, before facing a potential terrorism conviction in a British court, she was freed in a prisoner exchange.

It also supported convicted terrorist Rasmeah Odeh’s 2019 speech in Berlin. Odeh was responsible for a 1969 bombing of a Jerusalem supermarket that killed two university students.

She was deported from the U.S. and had her citizenship cancelled in 2017.

Samidoun expressed support in 2020 for Nerdeen Kiswani, a law student from the City University of New York’s (CUNY) Hunter College who has been accused of antisemitism and of aligning herself with terrorists. Watchdog StopAntisemitism.org named Kiswani its “Antisemite of the Year” in 2020, citing Kiswani’s alleged social media posts showing her with terrorists and her violent rhetoric.

Kiswani was a speaker at Sunday’s protest.

Kiswani posted in 2019 and later deleted a photo with Odeh that was captioned “What an amazing woman with an inspiring revolutionary spirit,” according to StopAntisemitism.org.

CUNY law released a statement condemning the post, but CUNY law dean Mary Lu Bilek later retracted the statement and apologized for failing to recognize Kiswani’s “First Amendment right to express her opinion,” according to the Algemeiner.

Several major corporations, including PayPal and Mastercard, blocked funding to Samidoun on their platforms in 2020.

Samidoun didn’t respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

AROC is partially funded by the left-leaning Tides Foundation, according to Tides’ website. The group posted a 2011 blog post on its site advocating against the arrest of Bassem Tamimi, who was convicted by an Israeli court in 2012 of encouraging Palestinian kids to throw rocks at Israeli soldiers and has been arrested on numerous occasions.

Tamimi reportedly had his U.S. visa revoked in 2016, according to a picture of a letter posted by pro-Israel blog IsraellyCool.com. Tamimi also had his visa revoked in 2017 by the Australian government, according to Australian media which obtained official government documents.

“I don’t believe that is the reason because a lot of people go to Australia would make people angry like [Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu] who visited Australia last month,” Tamimi told Buzzfeed News of the Australian government’s decision at the time.

“Not only is Palestine occupied, but the whole world is occupied with pro-Israeli people and I think there are people who pushed the Australian government to cancel my visa,” he said.

“I was going to speak about my experience of the occupation in daily life and why we use the method of non-violent resistance, and what we gain and what we suffer from the violence we face from Israeli occupations,” Tamimi added.

The Anti-Defamation League condemned Tamimi in 2015 for a Facebook post that claimed the Israeli government ‘steals’ the organs of Palestinian youth and that “The same Zionists doing this control the media.”

NY4Palestine, Jews for Palestinian Right of Return, Within our Lifetime, Labor for Palestine, Al-Awda NY: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, American Muslims for Palestine, and ANSWER Coalition are also behind the recent “Block the Boat” effort. None of the aforementioned organizations responded to the DCNF’s requests for comment.

NY4Palestine started the Palestine Freedom Fund “to support bail and legal expenses for Palestinian organizers, activists for Palestine and community members targeted for persecution.” The fund’s donations are processed by the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network and card donations show as donations to AFGC. The fund is also partly managed by Al-Awda and Within our Lifetime. Al-Awda NY founded Labor for Palestine, a pro-Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions group (BDS), according to Labor for Palestine’s website.

BDS is an economic boycott against Israel that has ties to terrorism, according to a 2019 DCNF investigation. The U.S. State Department said last week that the Biden administration “firmly rejects” BDS.

The fund raised money in May to bail out protestors in New York reacting to the recent Israel-Hamas conflict.

Founded just days after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, ANSWER Coalition has stood against war and racism, according to its website.

ANSWER Coalition director Brian Becker told Fox News in 2006 that he didn’t consider Hezbollah to be a terrorist organization, according to a transcript of the interview.

American Muslims for Palestine was accused in a 2019 complaint of having alleged ties to Hamas, a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, including providing fundraising opportunities “for groups that funnel money to Hamas.”

The Zionist Organization of America, a pro-Israel group, released a statement in June pointing to the issues with the affiliated groups and accusing them of engaging in the BDS movement against Israel, urging “Congress, the National Labor Relations Board, the Commerce Department, and federal, state, and local law enforcement to take all necessary actions to stop these dangerous ‘Block the Boat’ riots from further interfering with American ports and shipping.”

“It’s time to take strong action against these dangerous antisemitic groups’ violent actions endangering Jews and interfering with U.S. commerce and workers,” the letter stated.

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