Codepink’s Elsa Rassbach – a member of the Global March to Jerusalem’s European Preparatory Committee – has interviewed GMJ endorser and activist Dr Mustafa Barghouti for a Codepink press release.
The article propagates the usual falsehoods regarding the freedom of worship in Jerusalem in an attempt to build support for the GMJ project.
“The Israeli government has long denied most Palestinians — whether Muslim or Christian — access to Jerusalem, even to visit holy sites. The organizers of the Global March allege that through methods of ethnic cleansing, Israel has been forcing Jerusalem’s remaining Arab inhabitants out, thus endangering the multi-religious, multi-ethnic character of the city that is the intended capital of Palestine.”
In fact, statistical evidence shows that whereas in 1967, 74% of the city’s inhabitants were Jewish and 26% Arab, in 2006 the Jewish population of the city had fallen to 65%, with the Arab population comprising 34% of the total (32% Muslim, 2% Christian).
In contrast to the situation which existed during the 19 years of Jordanian annexation of the eastern part of Jerusalem (recognized by only two nations worldwide), under which Jews were denied access to their holy sites, since 1967 Israel has implemented a policy (protected by law) of freedom of worship for members of all religions.
In 2010 alone, some two million Christians visited Jerusalem. The Mosque of Al Aqsa and Temple Mount as a whole are under the religious, economic and administrative control of the Islamic Waqf and have been since 1967.
Barghouti further invokes the ‘apartheid’ and ‘ethnic cleansing’ calumnies:
“Today in Jerusalem you see the Israeli system of segregation, apartheid and ethnic cleansing in the sharpest possible way. If a Palestinian man from Jerusalem marries a woman in Ramallah, only 16 kilometers away, he will not be able to live with her. The Israelis will never grant her the right to move to Jerusalem, but if he moves to Ramallah, he will lose his ID and his residency permit in Jerusalem.”
In fact, Barghouti’s theoretical woman from Ramallah (who holds Palestinian citizenship) has every right to apply to change her status, just as would be the case if she married someone from the United States or the UK.
Rassbach also writes:
“Equally unprecedented is the Israeli campaign against the March, which has included faux Websites and Facebook pages to mislead participants regarding gathering places.”
Actually, Elsa, the aim of this clearly labeled site is to expose exactly the kind of distortions, deceptions and fabrications regarding the Global March to Jerusalem as those you continue to spread in this article – just as it clearly says on the heading.