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.”

Logo – FIOE

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)

Global March to Jerusalem French promo video: “Peoples of the world against international Zionism”

It is not necessary to be fluent in French in order to understand the messages in this promotional video for the Global March to Jerusalem.

The abundance of yellow Hizballah flags and the keffiyah-covered face in the closing shot provide ample subtitles to the words of the grimacing, finger-wagging presenter.

“Tous ensemble contre l’oppression” – all together against the oppression – is the opening slogan. And what exactly is ‘the oppression”? We soon find out.

“Peuples du monde contre le Sionisme”  – peoples of the world against Zionism.

“France resiste et combat” – France resists and combats.

“La domination” – the domination.

“Le defense des peuples” –  the defence of the people.

“Contre le Sionisme international” – against international Zionism. 

The video was uploaded by ‘Le National Emancipe’ – a Left Nationalist (Gauche Nationaliste) organization which – according to its website – seems to have something of an obsession with Jews and Freemasons.

If President Sarkozy intends to follow through on his promise to clamp down on extremism in France following this week’s horrific racist murders in Toulouse – brought about by exactly such anti-Semitic rhetoric as promoted in this video – this would be a good place to begin.

Le National Emancipe

43, Avenue Le Foll

94290 Villeneuve le Roi

France

Leading Global March to Jerusalem organizers embrace Gilad Atzmon

As we know, the North American branch of the Global March to Jerusalem has been availing itself of the services of the well-known anti-Semitic anti-Israel campaigner Gilad Atzmon for fundraising purposes.  An album of music by Atzmon and collaborators is for sale via the GMJ-NA website and in February a benefit was held in Oakland, California, featuring Atzmon as its main attraction.

Atzmon’s obnoxious views are the subject of a statement published on March 13th by the US Palestinian Community Network entitled Granting No Quarter: A Call for the Disavowal of the Racism and Antisemitism of Gilad Atzmon which was signed by a number of well-known activists.

It would seem, however, that several of the signatories have not made the connection between the uncritical (to say the least) embracing of Atzmon by leading Global March to Jerusalem organisers and their own declared principles.

Signatory Hatem Bazian has endorsed the GMJ and his name appears on the same website as advertisements for Atzmon-related fundraising.

Signatory Hanna Kawas is chair of the Canada Palestine Organisation and co-host at ‘Voice of Palestine’. Both these organisations appear on the GMJ-NA website as endorsers.

Jamal Juma – a colleague of signatories Omar Barghouti and Rafeef Ziadeh at the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) – is a member of the GMJ International Central Committee. In late January, Omar Barghouti gave the keynote speech at the AGM of the UK’s Palestine Solidarity Campaign – also a GMJ endorser with its director Sarah Colborne sitting on both the GMJ International Executive Committee and International Central Committee.

Signatory Haidar Eid is both an endorser of (along with co-signatories Ali Abunimah, Nadia Hijab and Omar Barghouti) and activist with the ‘Gaza Freedom March’ organization which is promoting the Global March to Jerusalem on its website.

Signatory Nada Elia is a member of the organizing committee of the US Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel, alongside Joe Catron of the ISM (a GMJ organizer) and Al Awda (a GMJ endorser).

Signatory Adam Haniyeh is also a member of two GMJ endorsing organisations:  Al Awda and the ‘Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid’.

Signatory Mostafa Henway’s ‘Tadamon!’ promoted singer Shadia Mansour as recently as February 29th 2012. Mansour has collaborated widely with Atzmon in the past and appears with him on the fundraising album for the Global March to Jerusalem.

Signatory Abir Kobty (also Kopty) from Nazareth is a member of the board of the Coalition of Women for Peace which is an endorser of the ‘Free Gaza’ campaign – represented among the GMJ organisers by European Preparatory Committee member Mikalis Lukianos from ‘Ship to Gaza-Greece, Huweida Arraf and Feroze Mithiborwala (FGM International Co-ordinator in India).

Kobty also takes part in demonstrations organized by the ‘Popular Resistance Committees’ in places such as Nebi Saleh, Bil’in and Qalandiya.  It can therefore be assumed that she is familiar with both many of the Palestinian organisations supporting the GMJ as well as individual members of the GMJ International Central Committee such as Saeed Yaqeen of ‘Stop the Wall’ or Salah al Khawaja of the Nil’in Popular Resistance Committee.

Whilst many of the above named activists and their co-signatories hold views and express opinions not vastly removed from those of Atzmon (particularly on the subject of the dismantling of the State of Israel and the denial of self-determination to the Jewish people),  it is nevertheless curious that they are seemingly able to simultaneously condemn the “immorality” of his anti-Semitic and racist language  whilst – either personally or through the organisations with which they are connected – supporting and enabling the Global March to Jerusalem project which embraces Atzmon so warmly. 

Hizballah site promotes Holocaust-denying Global March to Jerusalem organizer

The Hizballah website ‘Moqawama’ features an interview with the GMJ media co-ordinator in Lebanon, Dr Abdul Malik Sukaryeh.

The interview’s introduction is written in typical dramatic Hizballah style:

“To there, they head.

Blood on the palms, eyes to the land, and hearts’ beats race the path. From all over the Globe they came with the same goal and one loud cry.

Al-Quds was, is, and will remain Palestinian.

Choosing an unprecedented path, they launched their move. From the close borders with Palestine they are to fulfill a dream and reiterate a vow.

“We’re to be back and pray in al-Aqsa Mosque and the Resurrection Church.”
March 30th, 1976: “Israel” massacred dozens of Palestinians striking “Israeli” decision to confiscate Palestinian lands. It was “Land Day”.

36 years later, freedom and justice seekers from all over the world gathered in a Global March to commemorate the anniversary and to raise a scream against “Israeli” continuous occupation of al-Quds Holy city.

In the body of the interview, Abdul Malik Sukaryeh stated:

“The move aims at redirecting the compass towards Occupied Palestine.”

“Amid what our region is witnessing, the Palestinian news have become at the end of our priorities and bulletins; this if Palestine was even mentioned.”

 “What Palestine is facing, particularly the Holy al-Quds city is much more dangerous than any development in any other Arab country,”

“The aim of participants is to draw attention to the systematic discrimination of Palestinians in al-Quds, and to make a concrete effort to end the occupation.”

“As the successive “Israeli” governments have created policies with one goal in mind: to get and keep Palestinians out of their homeland as well as to make way for a purely Jewish state; many Arab and Western governments stand idly by and watch as Palestinians endure systematic dispossession and displacement,” 

Sukaryeh went on to elaborate on the technical aspects of the march:

“Mass rallies will take place in bordering countries (Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan) and inside Occupied Palestine. However, Egyptian rallies are to be held in Liberty Square.”

“Part of the Global March will seize the “Israeli” embassies in Western, African, and Asian countries by protests that reflect the real nature of this suppressing terrorist entity,” 

He added that:

“Certain parties are pressuring to absent Syria from the global march scene under political pretexts,”

“The national Syrian committee is continuing its preparations as part of the move.”

“There are more than 700,000 Palestinian refugees in Syria who- with all the national Syrians, are to commemorate the anniversary of “Land Day” and to reassure their commitment to the genuine central cause; Palestine,” 

One cannot but wonder if Syrians engaged in the year-long struggle against Bashar Assad’s regime would agree with Sukaryeh’s priorities, but his statement does provide insight into the fact that any events on the Syrian border with Israel on March 30th will certainly be orchestrated and approved by the incumbent Hizballah and Iran-backed regime in Damascus.

Sukaryeh then went on to invoke the scepter of imaginary Israeli threats against the marchers – engaging in Holocaust denial along the way. (emphasis added)

“On the crossroads of hard choices, participants in the Global March to al-Quds are ready to face with their screams, banners, and position all types of “Israeli” brutality.

“Israel fears us,” Sukaryeh responded to “Israeli” threats of confronting the protesters with an iron fist.

“The Zionist front is witnessing a state of panic and dread. We estimate that the march has succeeded even before it started.” “

Sukaryeh recalled images from the flotilla “Israeli” massacre and May 2011 martyrs at the borders with Lebanon and Syria, wondering:

“Is ‘Israel’ going to massacre us? What is the international price for such an “Israeli” step? How much would “Israel” massacre, a thousand, or 10,000 civilians. This would be genocide, a real Holocaust not a pretended one.”

“The history of the Zionist entity is full of crimes and terrorism. We won’t be surprised if “Israel” attacks the peaceful protesters but we aren’t afraid and nothing will defeat our will even if the “Israeli” fulfilled its threats of air striking the rally. We are to continue,” the media organizer stressed.

Clearly, some GMJ organisers are actually seeking a violent confrontation which would serve their publicity purposes and provide an opportunity for further assaults on Israel’s legitimacy in bodies such as the UNHRC. Sukaryeh also reflects the approach voiced by some of the other non-Western organisers of the march according to which, the project aims to be the first leg of a ‘third Intifada’.

“He further noted that “Israel” fears a 3rd Intifada” welcoming “any public movement that redirects the priorities.”

“The so-called Madrid peace conference in which 100 countries gathered has achieved nothing along the past 20 years. Oslo offered nothing to the Palestinians. In front of the “Israeli” intransigence, one can see that Palestinians have nothing but to return to confronting the “Israeli” aggressions,” he stressed.”

Interestingly, Sukaryeh claimed that the GMJ project does not have its roots in the Middle East:

“What characterizes this move is that it was initiated and called for by international prominent and respected cultural, political, religious, academic, and sports figures from all over the world. It was not an event first launched by Palestinians or Arabs,”

This statement contrasts directly with that of GMJ organizer Paul Larudee who wrote:

“We hear some of the same arguments: that the project is too risky and confrontational. However, it is also true that the project was not the brainchild of any of these solidarity groups, or even of their Palestinian allies. Instead, it came from groups that represent large numbers of Palestinians – including many from the Palestinian expatriate communities in the border countries, such as the refugee camps, the Islamic movements and the supporters of armed resistance groups.”

What Larudee and Sukaryeh do have in common, however, is a somewhat strange definition of non-violence, which does not appear to include the storming and illegal infiltration of the borders of a sovereign country or trespassing in its diplomatic missions worldwide. Here is Larudee writing about GMJ plans in an ISM newsletter from December of last year. (emphasis added)

“The movement has no illusions about the difficulties, and its participants are not suicidal.  The plan is to challenge every part of every border – Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Gaza and the West Bank – to march peacefully to Jerusalem.  We will have hundreds of separate, imaginative plans for hundreds of separate groups, to overcome the obstacles at as many points of entry as possible, often creating our own entry points.  We will also have multiple contingency plans in case we are thwarted in some areas, as will inevitably be the case.  In many cases, the march may devolve into “Occupy” encampments and demonstrations.  Whatever happens, we will learn from it and make improvements the following year, for what we intend will be an annual event.”