Global March to Jerusalem: damage control begins

Ha’aretz reported the following on March 28th:

“Haaretz has learned that major disagreements have developed between leading, mostly Palestinian, protest organizers in the West Bank and neighboring Arab countries, and other activists identified with Iran, Syria and Hezbollah.

It has also been learned that the protest organizers, who are billing the event as the Global March to Jerusalem, are attempting to refine their protest message and avoid a physical confrontation with Israeli forces.”

…….

“On Tuesday, the organizers of international protest marches scheduled for Friday expressed concern that the demonstrations could get out of control due to the involvement of outside activists, some from as far away as East Asia.

The rift between the initial organizers and the outsiders developed after a delegation of pro-Palestinian activists from East Asia and some Arab countries promoting the Global March to Jerusalem arrived in Iran and met with a senior Iranian adviser to the country’s spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Iran promised support for the protest, which was not widely welcomed by the initial group of mostly Palestinian organizers of the protest, who wanted to maintain their independence.

Particular concern is being expressed that the outsiders will take over protest marches and seek confrontations on Israel’s borders, particularly the Lebanese and Syrian frontiers, and that the outsiders will convey messages contrary to the original organizers’ wishes.”

These claims are of course disingenuous. On January 17th & 18th 2012, Mustafa Barghouti and other Palestinian representatives attended the Global March to Jerusalem Central Committee meeting held in Beirut. The committee’s final communique clearly stated that:

“The conference was attended by members of the Central Committee and representatives from national and international committees for the march, representing a large number of Arab countries and various continents of the Globe.”

The International Central Committee and the International Executive Committee and National Committees which were ratified at that meeting already included members from Iran and with connections to Syria and Hizballah as well as several representatives from “as far away as East Asia”. George Galloway – a former Iranian regime Press TV employee with links to both Hizballah and the Syrian regime – spoke at the meeting and the event was covered by PressTV, to which at least one committee member gave an interview.

Pre-meeting publicity stated the intention to organize convoys – including from Asia.

“The conference will also discuss the national events and actions that will be launched in all countries starting from mid January, 2012 and until the date of the march towards Jerusalem or the nearest possible point to it, from inside Palestine and the neighbouring Arab countries, as well as the convoys from Asia, Africa and Europe that will converge on the march date.”

Barghouti himself produced a video at the meeting calling for world-wide participation in the march.

However, now apparently some Palestinian GMJ organisers would like to persuade us that they were unaware of the march’s extremist connections. For their benefit, here is the Beirut meeting report which they seemingly neglected to read.

GLOBAL MARCH TO JERUSALEM (G M J) / Beirut Meeting Report
VENUE: DAL AL NADWA, HAMRA, BEIRUT, LEBANON.

As part of our ongoing effort to build an international mass popular movement centred on Jerusalem, we convened our first collective gathering of leading representatives from across 15 nations & 4 continents.

The agenda was to build a people’s movement across the world, wherein the issue of Jerusalem comes to the centre stage of International politics. The Israeli occupation of Palestine, lies at the centre of the geo-political crisis of our times & at the heart of that conflict, lies the core issue of Jerusalem.

The International delegates included:
1) Mustapa Mansour (Malaysia)
2) Feroze Mithiborwala, Gauhar Iqbal & Shaheen Kattiparambil (India)
3) Sabir Ejaz Karbalai & Maulana Qazi Ahmed Nourani Siddiqui (Pakistan)
4) Salim Ghafouri & Roohulla Rezvi (Iran)
5) Yalkin Gok & Omer Kesmen (Turkey)
6) Dr. Ribhi Halloum & Saud Mahfuz (Jordan)
7) Maan Bashour, Isaam Namaan, Nabil Hallak, Dr. Ali Fayyad, Prof Mohsen Saleh, Ali Barakeh, Visam Hassan, Dr. Nasir Haider, Munir Shafique, Rihab Mokahal (& other names that brother Nabil needs to complete & add from the lists) – (Lebanon)
8) Palestinians were present from Jordan, Lebanon, UK & other countries of the diaspora.
9) Dr. Magdy Hossein (Egypt)
10) Khalid Soufiani & MansourI Abdelah (Morocco)
11) Algeria:
12) Zaher Birawi (UK)
13) Paul Larudee (USA)

We also discussed the process with Ronald Kesliris (South Africa), George Galloway, Ghada Karmi, Kevin Ovenden, Rob Hoveman(Britain), Rami Zurayk, DR. Haidar Dekmark, Dr. Yehya Ghaddar, Hisham Yacoub, Dr. Abdul Malaksukkarie (Lebanon), Dr Abbie Bakan(Canada), Fra Hughes (Ireland) amongst others, who we met at the “Palestine Summer University” or then at smaller meetings in Beirut at our hotel.

Continued here, including the expression of clear intentions to have an Asian convoy visit Iran.

 “For example, the Asian convoy starting from India, would have to embark by the 1st of March & wind its way across Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Syria & into Jordan & plan to arrive atleast 3 days prior to our stated date.”

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.  

International Conference for the Defence of Occupied Jerusalem

The Emir of Qatar will host an international conference in Doha on February 26th & 27th 2012 on the subject of ‘the defence of Al Quds’. According to the Gulf Times, “[t]he conference will tackle ways to rescue Jerusalem and the Arab vision against the Israeli plan”.

The official conference website states that among the subjects to be discussed is ‘Jerusalem and History’:

“This theme reviews the succeeding periods of Jerusalem’s rich History. It aims at pointing out the weaknesses of the Jew’s historical arguments backing their claims to the holy city. Of paramount importance is the disclosure of Israel’s deeds at falsifying History and archeology by means of destruction, omission, modification and fabrication of historical and archeological facts. By contrast, an emphasis should be put on the overwhelming set of evidence spread across the city showing its rooted past as an inalienable part of Palestine and a holy place for the divine religions.”

The list of participants in the conference includes GMJ organisers  Ghada Karmi and Ismail Patel. The UK Palestine Solidarity Campaign – a GMJ supporter – will be represented by Hilary Wise and its patron Baroness Jenny Tonge will also be present.

Update: for analysis of the conference see here.