Dr. Paul Larudee spent 14 years in Arab countries as a student, teacher, Fulbright-Hays lecturer, and U.S. government advisor. He has been to Palestine many times since 1965, and is active with the International Solidarity Movement, a nonviolent resistance group. He is a co-founder of the Free Palestine Movement (FPM) and the Free Gaza Movement (FGM), whose boats broke a 41-year-old Israeli naval blockade of Gaza in August, 2008, and he was a member of the U.S. delegation aboard the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, which was attacked by Israeli forces on May 31, 2010.
Paul Larudee was born to an Iranian Presbyterian minister and his American missionary spouse in 1946 and grew up in the American Midwest. He has a Ph.D. in linguistics from Georgetown University and spent 14 years in Arab countries as a contracted U.S. government advisor, Fulbright-Hays exchange lecturer, teacher, training administrator and graduate student.
Paul has visited the Palestinian region many times since 1965, including four times with the International Solidarity Movement, a Palestinian-led movement that applies nonviolent principles to resist Israeli human rights violations. Paul was among seven ISM volunteers wounded by Israeli gunfire in April, 2002 in an otherwise nonviolent attempt to help Palestinian families. In 2006, he was held in Israeli detention for two weeks while unsuccessfully appealing a decision to deny him entry. He helped organize nonviolent resistance in Lebanon during the 2006 Israeli invasion. He is one of the founders of the Free Gaza Movement, whose boats, on August 23, 2008, became the first in 41 years to enter Gaza by sea, breaking the Israeli naval blockade. He is also a founder of the Free Palestine Movement, which also seeks to challenge Israel's blockade and denial of access to all of Palestine by sea, air and land.
Paul, a former student of Noam Chomsky, became a Professor of Linguistics himself and remains a good friend and colleague of Professor Chomsky. Working with the NorCal branch of the International Solidarity Movement, Paul is very much a believer in and practitioner of Gandhi's principles of non-violence. Paul was one of the 5 USA delegates aboard the Sfendoni, a ship of the Freedom flotilla attempting to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza.
When Israeli commandos boarded the Sfendoni in 2010, Paul non-violently resisted, refused to sign any papers without his lawyer and as a result the Israelis tased, tied-up, twisted his limbs, slammed his head into concrete repeatedly, and hit him with a flash bomb. Paul suffered multiple bruises, 2 black eyes, but refused to be treated by Israeli doctors as he did not trust them, especially since he suffers from Diabetes and needed special treatment and compatible medication. Paul was kept in prison for two days at Givon Prison, Ramle, Israel.
Paul also serves on the steering committee of Syria Solidarity Movement...