Global March to Jerusalem delegate Tweets love for Israel haters

Global March to Jerusalem participant and member of the SE Asia caravan Mansour Kiaei from Iran – who, as has previously been pointed out,  describes himself on his Twitter account as a ‘human rights activist’ – appears to have had a lovely time on the Turkish leg of the trip.

He informed his followers that:

Here are Kiaei’s fellow travellers in Konya, once again displaying their Hizballah and Islamic Jihad flags. 

However, Kiaei’s understanding of the concept of human rights seems to be about as extensive as his knowledge of the history and geo-politics of the Middle East. Whilst en route to Lebanon he also declared:

Global March to Jerusalem organisation inside Israel

Whilst much of the focus concerning the Global March to Jerusalem has been on the subject of organisation along Israel’s borders, events are scheduled to take place inside Israel and the Palestinian Authority controlled territories too.

Among the GMJ organisers are Mohammed Zeidan of the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee, Saeed Yaqeen and Jamal Juma’a of ‘Stop the Wall’ and Salah Al-Khawaja of the ‘Nil’in Popular Resistance Committee’. The Global March to Jerusalem is endorsed by Raed Salah – leader of the Hamas-linked Northern Islamic Movement – who was banned from entering the UK last year. Some 20 or so Palestinian organisations are backing the Global March to Jerusalem.

On March 26th a meeting was held in Ramallah to co-ordinate GMJ actions on Friday March 30th. Note the reference to “our people in occupied Palestine in 48″: terminology used by those who reject Israel’s existence.

“The meeting also addressed the need to organize the largest possible number of popular rallies in all Palestinian sites as a fulfillment for each drop of blood bled from a martyr or wounded and to every prisoner’s sigh lost freedom while defending our land to preserve its Arab identity. The Commission emphasized on the need for an active popular participation in the CENTRAL PEACEFUL MARCHES ” THE GLOBAL MARCH TO JERUSALEM” which begins after Friday prayers at 12:30 at Qalandia military checkpoint the North Gate of Jerusalem, the march of Bethlehem next to the apartheid wall, the march in our capital Jerusalem which will start marching from Damascus gate, as well as the march of our people in the occupied Palestine in 48 in Sakhnin and Deir Hanna, all these marches will coincide with the Global March to Jerusalem which will be launched in a number of Arab and international countries the same time.”

The website ‘Arabs 48′  suggests that demonstrations are also scheduled to take place in Kfar Kanna, ‘Arrabe and the Negev, as well as in Jaffa on Saturday. 

Regional organisation ahead of the Global March to Jerusalem.

A number of reports from parties associated with or sympathetic to the Global March to Jerusalem attempt to create an impression of a broad support base for the action.

According to the Iranian regime-controlled Fars news agency, Fatah has called for participation in the march.

In another article, Fars news agency reports on a demonstration by women in Gaza.

“Women in Gaza held a gathering outside the Palestinian Legislative Council in Gaza City to underline their support for the Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ).

Many of the women present were older, and carried keys to the homes they were forced out of in 1948. 

The gathering was addressed by Hamas spokesperson Mosher Al Masry, and Dr. Ahmed Abu Halabiya, head of the Gaza GMJ Committee, and member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. 

Throughout the speeches the women cheered and chanted, adding their voices to the demands for recognition of their rights as the indigenous people of Palestine, their right of return to their homeland, and their rights to hold their own religious and political beliefs, free from discrimination.”

The demonstrating ladies were obviously unmoved by the irony of the fact that the ruling  Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip which is heavily involved in the organization of the GMJ is a notorious abuser of the human rights of religious minorities, political opponents, women and gays.

Ahmed Abu Halabiya is reported by an Islamist channel as having stated that:

“[T]he Global march to Jerusalem which is scheduled to be launched next Friday will be “nonviolent.”

“The march is aimed to send a message to the Israeli occupation that the Palestinian people will not allow Israel to carry on its violations against its holy sites.”

“[T]he masses will start from all the governorates of the Gaza Strip on Friday afternoon heading to the northern Gaza Strip where they will be spoken to.”

Adding its own embellishment to the rhetoric, al Resalah also claimed that:

“Israel sent a threatening letters to all of its Arab neighboring countries that “it would fiercely fight demonstrators in case approached the border area on the anniversary of Earth Day.” “

GMJ International Central Committee member Ahmed Abu Halabiya is renowned for his public speaking:

“Have no mercy on the Jews, no matter where they are, in any country. Fight them, wherever you are. Wherever you meet them, kill them. Wherever you are, kill those Jews and those Americans who are like them – and those who stand by them – they are all in one trench, against the Arabs and the Muslims – because they established Israel here, in the beating heart of the Arab world, in Palestine. They created it to be the outpost of their civilization – and the vanguard of their army, and to be the sword of the West and the crusaders, hanging over the necks of the monotheists, the Muslims in these lands. They wanted the Jews to be their spearhead …”

Meanwhile in Jordan, the Jordan Times reports that the authorities there have agreed to allow marchers to rally in the Jordan Valley on Friday.

“Jordanian authorities confirmed on Sunday that they will permit a planned march in the Jordan Valley on Friday as organisers denied any intentions to storm the Jordanian-West Bank border.

According to the Public Security Department (PSD), authorities will allow Islamist activists to lead a march as part of global demonstrations “in support of Jerusalem”.

PSD Spokesperson Lt. Col. Mohammed Khatib said a “heavy” security presence will be deployed to maintain order during Friday’s march, when Islamists and pro-Palestinian activists are expected to converge near the Kingdom’s borders with the West Bank.

Meanwhile, the Islamist movement stressed that the march will be “peaceful and well organised”, dismissing fears of participants attempting to storm the border as “baseless” .

Kathem Ayesh, a Muslim Brotherhood shura council member and march organiser, said they will ensure that participants will not stray from the designated rally site, pointing out that Islamists held a similar rally in the Jordan Valley last November without incident.

“This will be a peaceful rally in support of Jerusalem, not a call to storm Jerusalem,” Ayesh told The Jordan Times.

Activists from across the country plan to gather in the village of Kafrein near the Baptism Site, some 10 kilometres from the Kingdom’s border with the Palestinian territories, following noon prayers.

Organisers say they have no concerns about a repeat of May 2011, when clashes erupted between so-called thugs, security forces and participants at a rally marking the anniversary of Nakba, or catastrophe. The event also witnessed multiple attempts by activists to storm the border. “

Jordanian GMJ General Coordinator and head of the GMJ International Executive Committee Ribhi Halloum went so far as to claim that the number of participants has now doubled to 2 million. Halloum’s imagination may, in fact, be running away with him as it also appeared to do earlier this week.

“Global March on Jerusalem General Coordinator Ribhi Halloum said recently that he has been getting dozens of phone calls on a daily basis. According to Halloum, most of the calls are from Israel and the West Bank and callers identify themselves as news agency reporters, but he believes they were Israeli intelligence personnel.”

Someone else with no less a fertile imagination posted the following announcement on the official GMJ Facebook account in Arabic: 

Global March to Jerusalem rally in Morocco includes chant ‘In blood we’ll redeem Jerusalem’

H/T Elder

On March 25th a demonstration “in support of Jerusalem” held in Rabat, Morocco, attracted a reported 100,000 participants. Protesters also stormed the parliament building in which a meeting of EUROMED was taking place and the Israeli delegate had to be taken out via a side door and rushed to the airport under heavy security.

 Morocco’s majority Islamist ‘Justice and Development Party’ boycotted the meeting and was also apparently the organiser of the demonstration.

“One of the organizers told the press that the people no longer trusted the leadership to deal with the Palestinian issue, and they would therefore take matters into their own hands, beginning with the upcoming Global March on Jerusalem on Friday.”

The protesters chanted “The people want to free Al Aqsa” and “A million martyrs are going to Jerusalem”. Israeli flags were burned. According to a Moroccan Arabic-speaking source asked by this writer to examine the video, there are also chants of “The Moroccan nation supports Palestine” and “In blood we will redeem Jerusalem”. 

Update: according to a report from Al Arabiya, the presence of an Israeli representative at the EUROMED meeting was condemned by Khaled Sofiani of the National Action Group to Support Iraq and Palestine. Sofiani (also spelt Soufiyani or Soufiani) is the Global March to Jerusalem coordinator in Morocco.

‘Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe’ issues rallying call supporting Global March to Jerusalem

In a manner reminiscent of the way some animals and birds puff themselves up in order to appear larger to their adversaries, organisations associated with various organisers of the Global March to Jerusalem are issuing endorsements and statements which, at first glance, suggest a much wider support base than actually exists.

Into this category falls the March 22nd communique issued by the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE) and reproduced on the GMJ website. The press release opens:

“The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE) invites Muslims, and the management bodies of organisations, Islamic centres, and mosques across the European Continent to dedicate the last week in March 2012 to intensive activities in support of the city of Jerusalem (al-Quds) and the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque, given the escalating Israeli threats to the city, its holy sites, and the Palestinian inhabitants.

This initiative comes as part of worldwide efforts to support the just cause of Jerusalem, including the ’Global March to Jerusalem’ on 30 March 2012 in opposition to Israeli occupation and prevailing for the values of truth, justice, liberties of peoples, and human dignity.

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE) voices its deep concern regarding the situation in the city of Jerusalem, and the violations of the sanctity of the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque, and Muslim and Christian holy sites by the Israeli Occupation and its extremist groups. Furthermore, the Federation affirms its solidarity with the Palestinian people, demanding they be allowed to regain their stolen rights, and realise their legitimate demands. The Federation emphasises the importance of universal, concerted effort and cooperation to confront the arrogance of the Israeli occupation persisting in its unrestrained and aggressive policies against the city of Jerusalem and its inhabitants, as well as engaging in effective action to bring an end to these flagrant violations.”

The FIOE is, however, hardly an objective bystander. It is the umbrella organization of Muslim Brotherhood groups in Europe, with much of its funding coming from Gulf sources.   Several of the GMJ organisers are functionaries of one or more of those groups or branches of the Ikhwan elsewhere whilst still others among the GMJ organisers are members of or associated with Hamas – a Muslim Brotherhood offshoot.

In addition, the FIOE has ties to groups and personalities engaged in fundraising for Hamas.

Head of the Dublin-based ‘European Council for Fatwa and Research – established by FIOE in 1997 – is Yusuf Qaradawi, who also heads the ‘Union of Good’ which is banned by Israel and the United States because of its provision of funds to Hamas – a proscribed terror organization.

The ‘Union of Good’ includes the owners of the Mavi Marmara – the IHH – (representatives of which are among the GMJ organisers) and a British charity named ‘Education Aid for Palestinians’ of which GMJ spokesman Zaher Birawi is a trustee.

Qaradawi is of course noted for his extreme anti-Semitism, admiration for Hitler and homophobia. He resides in Qatar, where he has a regular slot on the regime-owned TV station Al Jazeera, and has recently been banned from entering France. 

The FIOE’s expression of support for the Global March to Jerusalem is, therefore, akin to a glowing review of a book on Amazon written by the author’s mother. 

Global March to Jerusalem fundraiser Gilad Atzmon’s odious conspiracy theory on Toulouse murders

As has previously been reported on this blog, the organisers of the Global March to Jerusalem have been quite happy to accept operational support from Gilad Atzmon, particularly in the field of fundraising for the North American chapter.

Several individual or group endorsers of the march apparently see no dissonance in supporting a project which makes use of Atzmon’s public profile whilst at the same time condemning his anti-Semitism.

This last week, in the wake of the horrific racist murders of three small children and an adult in Toulouse, Atzmon has once again shown his true colours by writing the following on his personal blog:

“Israeli press reported this evening that French gunman Mohamed Merah had been on a trip to Israel in the past.

According to the report, Merah’s passport had Israeli stamps in it. The purpose of his visit is unknown. Israeli analysts suspect he was either trying to visit the Palestinian territories or preparing for a terror attack.

However, I won’t rule out the possibility that Merah was actually trained by Israeli forces. Marah may have conducted a false flag operation. By way of deception is, after all, the Mossad’s motto.”

GMJ endorsers and International Advisory Board members such as Ghada Karmi and Susan Abulhawa have claimed that the march should appeal to “people of conscience”.

The Global March to Jerusalem’s association with Gilad Atzmon is an indication of the extent to which its organisers and endorsers in fact suffer from self-imposed selective hearing on issues of conscience.  

Turkish delights for the Global March to Jerusalem in Istanbul.

As previously reported, the SE Asia delegation of the Global March to Jerusalem (which has picked up some Iranian fellow travellers along the way) is currently in Turkey.

One of the Iranian delegates has provided photographs of the caravan’s reception at a sports centre in Istanbul on March 25th.

The event appears to have been hosted by the Turkish organisation ‘Mazlumder’ – otherwise known as ‘The Organisation of Human Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed Peoples’.

Mazlumder is part of the Muslim Brotherhood’s network in Turkey. It was founded in 1991 and declares itself to be associated with Islamist organisations tied to Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, Iran and the Jamaat-e-Islami of Pakistan. Its chairman, Ahmet Faruk Unsal was an AKP member of parliament from 2002-2007 and is also a senior member of the Hamas supporting organization, IHH.

Mazlumder collaborated with the IHH and George Galloway’s ‘Viva Palestina’ on a 2010 convoy to Gaza, where its chairman Unsal was received by Hamas  leader Ismail Haniyeh, along with the IHH’s head Bulent Yildirim. Also present on the convoy was GMJ spokesman and known Hamas activist Zaher Birawi.  Ahmet Unsal also took part in the 2009 ‘Masjid Al Aqsa Symposium’  in Istanbul together with Raed Salah.

The wording on the banners decorating the reception’s venue therefore comes as little of a surprise.

Neturei Karta endorses Global March to Jerusalem

The Global March to Jerusalem is orchestrated by a whole host of seemingly incompatible groups including Sunnis and Shiites, extreme Leftists and extreme Rightists, ardent secularists and religious fundamentalists, terrorists and men and women of the cloth.

The one common denominator between all these groups – which under normal circumstances would have little if any incentive to co-operate – is expressed by self-appointed spokesman for the Jewish people Yisrael Dovid Weiss (representative of the miniscule fringe sect Neturei Karta) in the filmed address below made to a GMJ fundraising dinner held in Ottawa on March 23rd.  

Weiss explains his sect’s reason for supporting the Global March to Jerusalem as part of their aim to see the “speedy and peaceful dismantling of the State of Israel”. That wish (at least the speedy and dismantling parts) is in fact the bond between all the unlikely collaborators involved in organising and supporting the march. 

And, here’s Neturei Karta expressing support for GMJ on Twitter:

Global March to Jerusalem: Change of plans for Lebanon?

The Lebanese newspaper ‘The Daily Star’ reported on March 23rd that GMJ organisers have abandoned plans to mass on the border between Israel and Lebanon.

“Organizers of the Land Day march by Palestinians decided Friday to change the route of the procession so that it concludes at Beaufort Castle, east of Nabatiyeh instead of the Israeli-Lebanese border, as was originally announced.

Sources close to Global March to Jerusalem said that participants in the 26th annual Land Day protest, scheduled for March 30, will march from Palestinian refugee camps, converge and head toward Beaufort Castle, the Crusader fortress that served as a military base of operations for Israeli troops during Israel’s occupation of south Lebanon.

The sources attributed the change of route to the organizers’ desire to avoid any violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701, which aims to prevent Lebanese-Israeli friction in border areas.

They added that organizers do not want to strain their relationship with the Lebanese army or the U.N. Interim Forces in Lebanon.”

The news follows reports that Israel approached the surrounding countries with requests not to allow demonstrators to reach the borders.

Hopefully, this news – if accurate – will counter the rather different picture of the ongoing organization in Lebanon as presented several days earlier by the ‘Uprooted Palestinians’ blog in a post which originally appeared on the Hizballah website.

“In Ein El Helwe refugee camp, the preparations for the march are taking place efficiently. The event organizers stated that “children, men, women, and elderly of the revolution will be marching to al-Quds (Jerusalem)”. Here, in Fateh quarters, Palestinians from all ages rushed to register their names in the march to al-Quds (Jerusalem). Taghrid al-Sadik, a participant in the march said “I am more than excited to take at least a whiff of my country”. However, this girl who signed up for the event will not be taking the bus to the march, instead she will, with tens of her friends, go to the specified location on foot to join the march later on. They will go there two days earlier, on the 28th of March. The organizers confirmed that the location on boarders is yet to be specified for further notice because of logistic and security matters that concern the Lebanese legal forces.

At the registration centers, Abo Mahmoud el-Housein pleads loudly “you honorable ones, al-Aqsa is calling, what are you waiting for? al-Aqsa gates’ are sealed, and will only open by our martyr”. Abo thaer, a fateh soldier, wrote down in his registration form “blood group: my blood is Palestinian, and my wounds are Palestinian”. This soldier is aware that he is going to the battlefield empty handed in the march to south Lebanon with his fellow refugees. He said “even though we don’t bear weapons, we fight with our bare hands.”

Upon the excited shouts of those signing up to the march, stands out the voice of the chief of the advisory board of GMJ, Abo Bassam al Makdah “We die for the prosperity of Palestine” he said. “Millions of people of more than sixty countries, was it Arab, Islamic, Asian, or African will be rallying to the Palestinian borders along with its surrounding countries,” Abo bassam elaborated. El makdah emphasized that “we dream of civilizing our struggle with the enemy for the sake of al-Quds (Jerusalem) and Palestine”.

Atif mousa, a member of the media committee of GMJ, describes this movement “as a kind of referendum for this struggle,” adding “it is a big Yes for al-Quds (Jerusalem)”. He also pointed out that “there are five registration centers in Ain el-Helwi refugee camp that have widely opened their doors towards those who wish to join GMJ, the strikes, and the photo exhibits that would be held prior to the march. As for Maher Shabayta, a Fateh Leader at Ain el-Helwe, pointed out that the event organizers are working so hard to comprise a large number of participants from the refugee camp, not to mention maintaining the security in this peaceful march, where no flag will be raised but the Palestinian national flag, in addition to the flags of participating countries and the unified slogans and calls.

Still the above doesn’t completely erode Palestinian fear of the march being canceled any second because of the dangerous situations in Lebanon, or the gathering points being too far from the Palestinian soil , consequently ” We won’t be able to take a whiff from home”, says the activist in the “The activist” group, mohammad Saed. He also adds “it’s ok if the “Israeli” enemy shoots live bullets on unarmed civilians, as they did before in the march of the Return at the anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, paving the way to Palestine”. “

A subsequent ‘Daily Star’ report from March 24th suggested that the rallying point has not yet been finalized.

“But another source from the committee organizing the march told The Daily Star that the group had submitted three possible end-points for the protest to the Lebanese Army for approval, none of them on the Blue Line: Beaufort Castle, Bint Jbeil and Naqoura.”

The report also states that some of the expected 30,000 participants from the Lebanese Palestinian refugee camps “are being asked to give their blood types”.

Global March to Jerusalem participant Mansour Kiaei Tweets “Death to Israel”

Courtesy of self-described Iranian “human rights activist” Mansour Kiaei on Twitter, we have pictures of the SE Asia delegation of the Global March to Jerusalem, of which he is part, on the Turkish leg of its journey. Written commentary from another member of the delegation describing the journey – including the demonstration outside the residence of the Israeli Ambassador – can be read here.

* An example of a Tweet by a ‘human rights activist’:

(Note the yellow Hizballah and black Islamic Jihad flags)