ISIS victim Kayla Mueller – Heroic do-gooder or anti-Israel zealot?

Before traveling to Syria, Mueller spent time in Israel and the territories, allying herself with International Solidarity Movement.

February 13, 2015 19:28
2 minute read.
Kayla Mueller

Kayla Mueller, 26, an American humanitarian worker from Prescott, Arizona. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Conservatives on the Internet and social media scoffed at the notion that Kayla Mueller, the young woman from Arizona who was recently confirmed killed by Islamic State radicals in Syria, was an innocent victim worthy of admiration.

Indeed, many right-wing Twitter users and web commentators expressed glee at the news of Mueller’s death after reports emerged that she had participated in demonstrations alongside Palestinian and international peace activists in the West Bank.

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Mueller, who fell into ISIS captivity last year after traveling to Syria to help the war-ravaged country, also spent time in Israel and the territories, allying herself with International Solidarity Movement.

ISM is most active in largely nonviolent demonstrations against Israeli security forces in the West Bank.

Earlier this week, ISM posted a notice on its website paying homage to Mueller, who spent a month with the organization in 2010.

“Kayla came to Palestine to stand in solidarity with us. She marched with us and faced the military that occupies our land side by side with us,” wrote Abdullah Abu Rahma, an ISM official known for organizing protests in the West Bank village of Bil’in, a frequent flashpoint of clashes.

“For this, Kayla will always live in our hearts. We send all our support to her family and will continue, like Kayla, to work against injustice wherever it is.”


“With the ISM, Kayla worked with Palestinians nonviolently resisting the confiscation and demolitions of their homes and lands. In the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Occupied East Jerusalem, she stayed with the Al Kurd family to try and prevent the takeover of their home by Israeli settlers.”

Mueller’s sympathies with the Palestinians did not sit well with conservative observers. Blogger Debbie Schlussel opined that Mueller was “a Jew-hating, anti-Israel bitch."

“No tears for the newly-departed Kayla Mueller, the ISIS hostage whose parents confirmed today that she is dead,” she wrote.

“Mueller was a Jew-hating, anti-Israel piece of crap who worked with HAMAS and helped Palestinians harass Israeli soldiers and block them from doing their job of keeping Islamic terrorists out of Israel,” Schlussel wrote.

“I have no sympathy for any of these ‘American’ (in name only!) hostages of ISIS. And my attitude when I hear they’ve been snuffed out is, so sad, too bad.”

“The fact is that Kayla Mueller was a Cultural Marxist who talked about her ‘privilege’,” wrote the Council of Conservative Citizens. “Starting in 2009, she worked with different not for profits in Arizona, India, Israel, Palestine. Before going to Syria, she was in France to learn the French language in preparation for going to Africa. She ended up going to Syria instead of Africa.”, another conservative site, wrote of Mueller: “The truth of how Kayla Mueller, 26, died may never be discerned. However, the myth that she was a wonderful altruistic young woman needs to be exposed. Even Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu extolled the woman as virtuous. But little did he know this is another Rachel Corrie propaganda story in the making, and the Western media is falling for it again.”

The reactions to Mueller’s death were reported by the website RawStory.

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