Jewish news media was all atwitter with a news report about Camp Solomon Schecter in Washington state, a more than 60 year-old Jewish educational day camp, that states on its website that “Jewish camp can be one of the most rewarding and influential experiences a child has. A summer at Camp Solomon Schechter raises self-confidence, builds decision-making skills, improves social skills, and enables children to reach inside themselves and discover talents and abilities they never knew they had. These benefits last a lifetime – in fact, Jewish camping has been identified as one of the most important influences a child can have in building Jewish identity and commitment.” At issue was that the camp’s director and head administrator, Sam Perwin, chose to fly a PLO flag over the campgrounds for the world to see. This action was on the heels of several bloody terrorist attacks on Jews throughout Israel and Judea and Samaria including the Temple Mount that left several Israelis dead, both Jewish and non-Jewish, even an entire family, acts that were praised by the Palestinian leadership that such a flag represents.
A call to Sam Perwin, however, showed that decision-making and social skills from the camp’s director are sadly lacking. When asked in an interview whose idea was it to raise the PLO flag over the camp, Perwin immediately said arrogantly it was his alone, then he abruptly hung up the phone. He earlier said in other media it was suggested to him by the “Interfaith Peace Group” Kids4Peace, then changed the story again saying it was his idea alone, then again, the group’s suggestion.
Perwin ultimately apologized to the Jewish community, but was this sincere? Further research and a brief phone conversation with one of Perwin’s subordinates revealed Perwin did indeed make his decision during a visit to the camp by Kids4Peace. Perwin did so to promote “dialog”, he said, with a delegation of Muslim, Christian and Jewish children who visited as part of the Kids4Peace program. It seems unlikely that to Perwin, the idea of mounting a terrorist flag waved by Jew-killers over a Jewish day camp was an example of just how the Solomon Schecter camp’s director instills in his wards “benefits that last a lifetime.” But what Perwin has refused to recognize until this day was that he purposely allowed a Trojan Horse into a Jewish institution affecting Jewish youth to side against Israel for the future.
Pro-Israel Jews fell into the trap of declaring this event as just another example of “liberalism” run amok among the Jewish community when the scenario is far more sinister.
In 2003 and 2005, the Palestine Solidarity Movement held conferences at Ohio State and Duke university where seminars were held and plans were conceived to drive a wedge between American Jewish and Christian support for Israel, formerly deemed unbreakable, to end the Jewish state. Attendees were told this was achievable by their activists joining Jewish federations, day schools (and day camps) and other Jewish functions to promote the idea of Israel as a human rights violator and promoter of “genocide” against Arabs, a result of the “occupation.” Such activists and groups would act as a Trojan Horse to set the tone from within and target especially students and the young so future generations of young Jews who would be opposed to a Jewish state in the Middle East. Anyone who has witnessed what is going on at American colleges can see how such a plan has been growing rapidly. Once fueled originally by Saudi and Iranian money, it now is swimming in money from certain philanthropic organizations that promote George Soros style “social justice,” such as the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Fund and the U.S. State Department. This “social justice” front even fooled the World Zionist Organization into unwittingly donating money to the BDS movement.
As for Kids4Peace, one might argue how anyone could be against children. But the PLO and Arab terror groups have always used children as the cover for their fundraising. The Holy Land Foundation trial that was the biggest fundraising scheme ever closed down by Homeland Security always presented itself as a charity for children when it really raised money for terrorists in Hamas.
Kids4Peace is no different.
If one looks at the leaders of Kids4Peace and its Board of Directors the concept of a Trojan Horse comes into view: The President is Diane Nancekivell, who is, along with her spouse, a major sustaining donor to Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA) and has been so over several years according to the FOSNA newsletters. If one reads these newsletters, they are virulently anti-Semitic and filled with writings and lectures by ISM anti-Semites. The Anti-Defamation League, in a report to law enforcement, has described Sabeel as “…the “voice for Palestinian Christians” against Israel’s policies and has been a driving force behind various Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns against Israel, including those initiated by mainline Protestant churches in the U.S.” In 2013 and 2014, Nancekivell and her spouse were both listed as Sustaining Donors of Sabeel which is a Christian front for the Arabs designed to drive a wedge between American Christians and support for Israel. FOSNA is also a major part of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) that organizes the weekly riots in the West Bank and promotes BDS worldwide. Sabeel teaches “Palestinian Liberation Theology” in U.S. Churches where Palestinians replace the Jews in the Bible and Jesus is said to be not Jewish but a Palestinian. Sabeel is fiercely anti-Semitic and spreads that message to all churches according to NGO Monitor.
Sabeel’s newsletter also has listed as guest speakers and workshop teachers various leaders of the ISM who call for Israel’s destruction such as terrorism supporter Ali Abunimah, Middle East Children’s Alliance’s Barbara Lubin, and many other virulently anti-Israel and anti-Semitic groups all of which promote BDS and always praise terrorism as “resistance.” Sabeel also receives funds from American Muslims for Palestine that the Investigative Project has stated is a front for Hamas. The list of similar funders and supporters, such as the anti-Semitic Marxist front group Jewish Voice for Peace, that are all calling for boycotts or the end of Israel as a Jewish state that “occupies” “Palestine” is endless.
With a closer look at Kids4Peace’s Board of Directors one finds Abi Raik who served for nine years also on the Board of Directors of World Vision. World Vision is an anti-Semitic Christian organization now accused of being complicit in funneling $4 million to Hamas, which they used to build tunnels to conduct terror attacks. Another board director, the Reverend Judith Stuart, leads Witness trips to the West Bank where she has tourists “witness” alleged abuse of the Arabs by Israel. Kids4Peace also has hosted as a speaker, board member Mae Cannon. Cannon was Director of Public affairs for World Vision during the time the West Bank chapter of the organization was taken over by Hamas. Cannon is now head of the anti-Israel Churches for Middle East Peace that actively also promotes BDS.
Then there is the question of money. Kids4Peace received a grant for $800,000 from USAID, the U.S. State Department, then another one for $77, 500 from the U.S. taxpayer-supported U.S. Institute for Peace. That’s just a few drops in the bucket for this moneymaking operation worldwide. Kids4Peace was founded in 2002 in Jerusalem.
When queried if Camp Solomon Schecter Executive Director Sam Perwin was given remuneration either directly or through a donation to the Camp by Kids4Peace, leadership at Kids4Peace stonewalled repeated inquiries. Perwin, who changed his story more than once about the PLO flag, also would not talk to reporters. At the same time, Kids4Peace founder, Yakir Englander, titled as Director of a “Dialog for Action” department of Kds4Peace, claimed the non-profit has no money despite nearly the one million dollars cited above and many other donors. He further stated that regarding questions of any money paid out to Camp Schecter, it was necessary to speak with Executive Director Father Josh Thomas, the current top leader of Kids4Peace. Despite numerous requests for information, Father Thomas would not respond even when asked to by the Kids4Peace founder himself. Father Thomas has been linked to other BDS movements. Despite this, Thomas managed to speak before AIPAC. In addition, Kids4Peace leaders like Englander have stated they see nothing wrong with Boycotting Israel.
These “Interfaith” front groups serve a purpose, not for peace, but to allow young Jewish kids to be indoctrinated with the Palestinian narrative so they will grow up and be opposed to a Jewish state described repeatedly as an “occupation.” That is the wedge between US support for Israel that the Palestinians hope to create and they are well on their way. There are enough Jews and Christians who are more than willing to help along in this subversive scheme for money, sinecures and prestige. Groups like J Street and If Not Now that all are also funded by the Soros bloc are making great strides with college students and the adolescent Jewish market. The Palestinian ISM leader in the village of B’ilin who leads riots every week against IDF soldiers and the security Barrier is a convicted terrorist killer named Basem Tammimi. He recently spoke before a group of third graders in upstate New York about an “Intifada” and at UC Berkeley sponsored by FOSNA. He was brought to the US with money and help from just this type of “interfaith group” that links to Kids4Peace.
Further evidence shows that the director of the Kids4Peace organization has led other anti-Israel indoctrination tours which also partnered with Holy Land Trust, Israel Committee Against House Demolitions, and directly with Sabeel, all ISM-linked groups promoting BDS. Sami Awad of Holy Land Trust, an ISM and Sabeel apparatchik is also active in this front group mix.
If anyone still has doubts about all this, they need only to look at a brochure put out by Kids4Peace that shows its leader posing with Siraj Wahaj, who is an unindicted co-conspirator in the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 and has “preached that the bombing was a terrorist attack staged by the U.S. government and possibly Israel as a ‘conspiracy’ against Islam.” Englander and Wahaj pose arm in arm on the cover of the promotional brochure. This is the face of a non-profit that wants to create a “teachable moment” for Jewish day camp pupils at a young age.
Jewish schools and other places of Jewish learning need to stop this indoctrination and not simply claim it’s a liberal vs. conservative issue when it is subversive activity to bring down a Jewish state by misinforming future generations of young Jews and Christians. What better place to start than a in a Jewish day school camp that flies the PLO flag? The evidence is there and should be heeded for all concerned as it doesn’t bring peace, but is just more war by deception to end Israel as a Jewish state.
Sloan Rachmuth contributed to this report.
Lee Kaplan is an undercover investigative journalist and a contributor to numerous anti-terrorism websites. He is also a regular columnist for the Israel National News and Canada Free Press and a senior intelligence analyst and communications director for the Northeast Intelligence Network. He heads the organizations Defending America for Knowledge and Action (DAFKA) and Stop the ISM. He has been interviewed on over two hundred nationally and internationally syndicated radio shows and been a guest on Fox Cable TV’s Dayside with Linda Vester and Bill O’Reilly’s The Factor. Email him at leekaplan@stoptheISM.com.