Global March to Jerusalem: Neturei Karta reaches a new low.

The collaboration of Global March to Jerusalem organisers and supporters with internationally designated terrorist organisations was one of the project’s key elements from its inception.

Even so, the spectacle of its Neturei Karta participants in Lebanon paying a visit to the tomb of Hizbollah leader and terrorist Imad Mughniyeh and laying a wreath there has to be one of the more repulsive memories of the event.

Tweeted by @Patrick_Baz, the MENA photo manager for AFP: ‘Anti-Zionist, ultra-Orthodox Jews laying a wreath on Imad Mughniyeh’s tomb in Beirut, Lebanon.’

Mughniyah was, of course, responsible for the deaths of scores of people of many differing nationalities, including citizens of the United States. That fact does not apparently preclude presumably US passport-holding members of Neturei Karta such as Yisroel Dovid Weiss from lauding a murderer or rubbing sympathetic shoulders with those who continue his bloody legacy.

Hezbollah Sheikh Nabil Kawooq greets delegates of Neturei Karta as they arrive in solidarity with Hezbollah and Palestinian factions for a "Global March to Jerusalem" to mark Land Day near Beaufort Castle in Arnoun village in southern Lebanon March 30, 2012 (Credit: REUTERS)

Delegates of Neturei Karta are escorted by Hezbollah bodyguards during their solidarity march with Hezbollah and Palestinian factions for a "Global March to Jerusalem" to mark Land Day near Beaufort Castle in Arnoun village in southern Lebanon March 30, 2012. (Credit: REUTERS)

That the miniscule fanatic fringe sect Neturei Karta long since left behind the consensus of common decency by participating in a Holocaust denial conference in Tehran is well-known.

Apparently though, their willingness to prostitute themselves to any and every Israel-hater around is not even curbed by respect for their fellow Americans, Canadians and Britons murdered by the various terror organisations with which they collaborate so willingly.

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.”

Indian members of Global March to Jerusalem detained in Lebanon (Then Released)

As the SE Asia delegation to the Global March to Jerusalem docked in Tripoli, Lebanon, after a ten-hour ferry ride from Turkey, hints of problems began to emerge.

The GMJ Facebook account in Arabic proffered further details:

“Quoting Page Arab nationalists: the ship carrying the delegation Asian participant in the Global March to Jerusalem, carrying one and forty participants from India, the Philippines and Iraq who have not received visas to enter the Lebanese territory to the moment, chanting “the people want the liberation of Palestine” 

Disclaimer: The Lebanese authorities have not allow photography ..”

“News last convoy Asian: Asian Convoy latest news 
is still on board the ship 41 Asian solidarity .. Political views and works to collect their visas from the Lebanese government .. Holy God we claim to be part of every one of them with us in the march … 
Out of one hundred fifty activists on board the Convoy ship GM J. Asian, 41 are still on board as some Lebanese political parties work with the Lebanese Government to get visas issued for them.”

“Caravan Asian: 15 hours in detention at the port of Beirut 
Asian Convoy: The convoy is being held for the past 15 hours at Beirut sea port 
Iraq, and 3 from the Philippines, 37 from India .. Are remaining on board the ship convoy Asian .. And still attempts to obtain visas for them to enter the Lebanese territory .. 
An Iraqi, 3 Filipinos, Indians and 37 are still on board the ship convoy Asian .. “

“Since yesterday at ten in the morning and until the moment the Lebanese authorities are holding 40 international solidarity inside the ship coming from Turkey. And prevent them from entering the territory of Lebanon to participate in the march of Jerusalem Global.”

A more complete account of the story comes from Kunal Majumder – the Indian journalist travelling with the convoy.

“The steamer arrived at the Beirut port early on 28 March carrying the 137 GMJ delegates from 13 countries. None of them were allowed to leave the vessel by the immigration authorities. Immigration officials boarded the steamer and handed out the visa on arrival forms, which once filled were taken away along with the delegates’ passports. After hours of wait, no explanations were given to the delegates for the delay in issuing the visas. As the delegates began to raise slogans in protest on the steamer, the immigration authorities allowed the Indonesian delegates to enter the port once their embassy intervened.

Towards the end of the day, with no fresh supplies of food or water, delegates from counties like the United States, Iran, Turkey were allowed to leave the steamer. Interestingly, citizens of these countries do not need a visa to enter Lebanon. The GMJ’s local contacts had been assured that the delegation would be issued visas on arrival as per norm. It was on this assurance that the Turkish authorities allowed the delegation to leave its port.

They are yet to return the passports and issue a visa on arrival to the Indian delegates. The authorities have not furnished any explanation for the delay in issuing a visa on arrival as promised. Even on day two, the delegates have not been allowed to step off the steamer even as water and food supplies run low and sanitation services are hampered.”

Majumder apparently expects his own government to intervene:

UPDATE: The detainees have apparently now been allowed off the ferry and into Lebanon.

 

Tweet Update:


American Global March to Jerusalem organiser in Lebanon: US Gov’t “living in fear of Zionist lobby”

According to this report, Global March to Jerusalem organiser in Lebanon Sarah Marusek recently told Hizballah’s ‘Al Manar TV’  that her participation in the GMJ project is intended “not only to provoke the American government, but to provoke those Americans who claim to support the Palestinians while at the same time support a solution that eliminates the right of refugees to return.”

Marusek is a board member of the Palestine Civil Rights Campaign-Lebanon (PCRC), an activist with the ‘Right to Return Committee –Lebanon’ , the ISM and ‘Viva Palestina Arabia’.

Further, Marusek stated in the interview that:

Decision makers in the U.S. are living in fear because of the Zionist lobby; if they made a decision that supports the Palestinians, they will be condemned and lose their jobs and the support they have.” [emphasis added]

Marusek’s willingness to collaborate with a TV station run by an Islamist fundamentalist terror group is in keeping with her other role as political analyst for Press TV – run by the Iranian regime. Here is Marusek in an interview from March 5th, expanding on the same theme of the American government “groveling”, “bowing to AIPAC” and claiming that the US President’s “loyalty lies with a foreign state”.

Global March to Jerusalem leader compares Israel to Nazis & declares their readiness for “martyrdom”

Prior to its departure for Lebanon from the Turkish port of Tasucu, the Global March to Jerusalem’s SE Asia delegation was joined by Turkish activists.

According to the Iranian Fars news agency, some of them previously took part in the 2010 flotilla aboard the IHH-owned Mavi Marmara.  The ‘Asian People’s Solidarity for Palestine’ website carries the same information.

At the SE Asia caravan’s final stop in Turkey – Konya – Global March to Jerusalem organiser Feroze Mithiborwala is reported to have made a speech somewhat contradictory to the march’s professed commitment to non-violence.

“Firouz Mitiborwala, representative for IEC and ICC, was invited to the podium to address the people of Konya. He stated that Palestine has become an element of unity for the people of Asia. In regards to Israel’s threats towards the GMJ – Asian Caravan, he stated, “Israel has gone crazy, and they are acting no different than Nazi’s. Our response to them is a response of bravery. We are ready for martyrdom for our Palestinian brothers.” 

Meanwhile in Lebanon itself, the Daily Star reports that the number of activists permitted to take part in Friday’s demonstrations may be limited to 5,000.

“The committee organizing the march, which is expected to attract several hundred international activists along with thousands of Lebanese and Palestinians, met Monday and decided that the number of people gathering at Beaufort Castle in Nabatieh would have to be limited in number.

They settled on Beaufort Castle, near the village of Arnoun, but members of the organizing committee visited the site Monday and voiced concerns that it could only handle 5,000 people.

Beaufort Castle is located on a steep hill. Members of the organizing committee, which includes representatives of Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, as well as civilian groups, expressed their worries about the venue, which is located on an outcropping with steep slopes on all sides.

A member of the committee, who requested anonymity, said that much of the enthusiasm for the event was waning because the authorities refused to give permission for a gathering south of the Litani River.”

Zeid Daher of Hezbollah and Yasser Ali of Hamas inspect the site.(Daily Star)

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: 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”.