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Philip D'Onofrio: Volunteer for Terror By: Lee Kaplan and StoptheISM.com
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, August 23, 2005

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Philip D’Onofrio

Philip D’Onofrio is an activist with the International Solidarity Movement, a PLO-led organization that interferes with counterterrorist actions of the Israeli army as a matter of policy. Originally from Oregon, D’Onofrio is the son of a minister in the Methodist church. The church, which is actively working to harm the state of Israel, is home to a lay movement that wants to excommunicate President Bush and Dick Cheney because of their "illegal war against and occupation of Iraq," among other transgressions against leftist orthodoxy. D’Onofrio’s father was a member of Students for a Democratic Society, the largest radical student group in the 1960s.

D’Onofrio seems to have inherited his father’s proclivity for radicalism. He was recently caught by the Israeli border police—thanks to a tip from StoptheISM.com (a group working to expose the ISM's support of terrorist groups)—when he tried to enter Israel to join protesters in attacking the Security Fence that keeps Palestinian terrorists from blowing up Israeli citizens. In keeping with the ISM’s standard operating procedure, D’Onofrio would likely have worked to provide cover for Palestinians, including children, who would throw rocks at Israeli soldiers and seek to create incidents undermining international support for Israel's anti-terrorist policies.

D’Onofrio is typical of many ISM members. No stranger to militancy, he has served time in jail in the United States for attacking another security fence—at the School of the Americas, where the U.S. trains security forces for other countries. D’Onofrio has also spent time in the insides of prisons, inspired by his apparent desire to show solidarity with criminals, who, in D’Onofrio’s judgment, are the blameless victims of "propaganda about inmates." As he writes in a June 2003 letter to his supporters, "The true criminals are making the laws and the profits off of the people and the taxes." By "true criminals" he means anyone who is the authority in power, like President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney; even the President’s mother doesn’t escape his ire. But D’Onofrio’s main enemies are his native United States and Israel -- the only democracy in the Middle East.

Given that he regards himself as a "peace activist" who is fighting "oppression," it should not be surprising that D’Onofrio has targeted Israel, viewed by radicals as the world’s biggest threat to world peace and the oppressor of the Palestinian Arabs. It is also why he returned to the West Bank to aid terrorists after being previously deported by Israel to agitate against Israel’s security fence. The fence has proven an effective deterrent, drastically cutting down the number of terrorists who have managed to infiltrate Israel and carry out suicide bombings. Nevertheless, ISM activists like D’Onofrio continue to demand the fence’s removal; his anti-Israel benefactors provided him with $1,700 for his efforts.

The ISM playbook instructs activists to refuse any request by Israeli officials to halt their obstruction of Israel’s counterterrorism efforts. Instead, they are supposed to avoid deportation and do a stint at an Israeli detention center. These incidents have propaganda uses and they drain Israeli resources. D’Onofrio did not quite follow these instructions during his last visit to the West Bank, allowing himself to be deported to Jordan. But his mission was not entirely a failure. A friend of D’Onofrio’s noted that, while in the West Bank, D’Onofrio provided a screen for Palestinian boys throwing stones at the fence.

His campaign to sabotage Israel’s security is further recorded in an e-mail he wrote that was intercepted by the StoptheISM.com, after the Israelis turned him back at the frontier. (You can read the full text of both intercepted e-mails here.) StoptheISM.com was able to get its hands on these emails because it has infiltrated the ISM worldwide -- to the point where the ISM has no idea who is really one of them or one of the StoptheISM.com.

In the first letter, D'Onofrio portrays the Israeli effort to protect its citizens from terror as a form of "oppression" and emphasizes his conviction that "the invasion and occupation of Iraq is immoral and is a crime against humanity." However, in the e-mail he also boasts of his plan to fool Israeli security, writing:

My plan was simple and fool proof. I had an itinerary to justify my time in Israel and it included staying at several Israeli homes. I had their contact information and we were on the same page as far as the story went...

D'Onofrio then projects racist or supremacist motives upon Israelis, claiming, "the guards are abrasive and look down at us as though we are lesser of humans." He continues to deride the security measures:

After getting through the simple metal detector everyone waits in another line. Waiting for us at the front of the line is this large machine that looks like a fancy metal detector. When my turn finally arrives a green light comes on and the machine says: "enter". Once within, the machine says: "firing gas", and bursts of gas were shot from approx. 6 locations on each side of me...I was very uncomfortable with this type of "security" and found it rather upsetting when I think about the history of the Jews and then a machine operated for Jewish security "shoots gas"....I am lead past the "gas machine" and ask the man: "what is this machine?" He snaps at me, "why are you so interested in our machines!"

Leave it to someone like D’Onofrio to compare a gas that is used to detect explosives to prevent the murder of Israelis and Jews from suicide bombers with the gas used during the Holocaust. The border checkpoint that he writes about is a state-of–the-art facility that eliminates the need for guards to pat people down and protects everyone there from suicide bombers. D'Onofrio then boasts of telling the interrogator he is not going to the West Bank, "I started with this story and I'm sticking with it through the thick and thin because I know they have a reputation for bluffing and if you change your story it's all over." He continues his tale of deception:

[The Israeli interrogator] looks at me with a played out startled look, "no!" Our records show that someone with your exact name was here last year. I said: "that's strange because there can't be many people with my name"...His next topic I found rather amusing as he told me about how peace organizations were causing problems in Israel. He then goes on to ask me about the ISM. Of course I have never heard of such an organization. He insinuates that I was with the ISM last year and I quietly listen....Soon an officer came out with my passport and told me I would have to return to Jordan. When asked why, I was informed that I was deemed a security threat.

D'Onofrio then laments that Israel "isolates herself" by regarding peace organizations as the enemy, but says Israel is not alone on this front: America does, too. "[O]ur government has a long history of targeting people and organizations of peace while supporting those who harbor violence," he insists. 

Since his deportation from the West Bank, D’Onofrio has once more attempted to enter Israel through the Jordan-Eilat border, apparently illegally. He was turned away once again because of volunteers for StoptheISM.com who alerted us to his actions. He also lied to the U.S. embassy in Jordan to obtain another new passport to disguise the fact he had been turned away at the Allenby Bridge entrance to Israel. He notes this himself in his letter:

At Border control the lady at the window began to question my new passport and wanted to know where my old one was, (the story was that I had lost it at Petra). She asked if I had been to Lebanon or Syria, which I had not. She wanted to know if I had been to Israel before, which I had last year. Nothing was mentioned about my denied entry at Allenby by either of us. Shortly two men came and asked me to follow. I knew the routine which was about to take place. I decided not to be as compliant as in the past and to be more of an entitled US tourist (this is a tough one for me)...

After being asked where his passport is, D'Onofrio recounts:

I replied: "you have it. It has not been not returned it to me". She got angry and snapped, "where is your other passport!". I said, "O you mean my old passport, the one I lost. I have no idea where it is. All I know is that it disappeared while I was at Petra". She continued to escalate, "you were denied entry at Allenby. Where’s the passport!" "I don't know" I replied. "Do you think we are stupid" she shouted....[I replied] "I was denied at Allenby. Then I went to Petra and lost my passport. My denial at Allenby is irrelevant, I was never given a reason for my denial, so why shouldn't I try to return to Israel to visit my Israeli friends?''...

D'Onofrio is then told he must return to Jordan, because the Ministry of Defense is not open to check out his story. He then returns to bashing the innocent Israeli guards, this one a female who apologized for his inconvenience:

I looked her in the eyes "Are you really sorry?" I said. She smiled and looked down, "No, I am not". "Why did you lie to me, if you are not sorry?" I asked. She looked at the armed guard that had escorted us and mumbled something to me. I then said, "Why have so many of my interactions with Israeli security, been met with a wall of lies and deceit in the name of security?" She shrugged her shoulders and turned to walk away. I continued, "This is the question you should think about while you lie in bed tonight" and I turned to retrace my steps back across the "no mans land" to Jordan.

Perhaps some self-examination is in order. This is an individual whose main objective is to facilitate terrorists' efforts to kill innocent Israelis, yet he contemptuously mocks the Israelis' security efforts to protect their own citizens from terror attacks. Also consider: it is a federal crime to lie, as D’Onofrio appears to have, when seeking a passport. It also raises the question: what did happen to the previous passport he "lost"? (Israel stamped his passport at the Allenby Bridge so he could not use it to enter Israel for five years.) It is against American law to obtain a U.S. passport for fraudulent reasons and to use one in the commission of a crime.

If you would like to volunteer to help Stop the ISM, please email us at StoptheISM@att.net. Readers can also call the comment line of the Department of Homeland Security at: 202-282-8495 and express their opinions about Mr. D’Onofrio.

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