New Zealand ‘journalist’ Julie Webb-Pullman lies about Hamas terrorist for Global March to Jerusalem cause

New Zealand’s ‘Scoop Independent News’ has published an article on the subject of the Global March to Jerusalem by Julie Webb-Pullman – a self-described freelance writer who has been working for Scoop since 2003.  

Abdul Aziz Umar, second from right

The article includes a video interview – made by Webb-Pullman and uploaded by Scoop to YouTube – with Abdul Aziz Umar, whom she describes as follows:

“After the meeting, I spoke with Dr Abdul Aziz Umar, one of the prisoners released in last year’s exchange. Dr Aziz Umar holds a PhD in English Literature, and was a Professor at An-Najah University in the West Bank. On his release from prison, he was exiled to Gaza.”

Webb-Pullman’s video opens with the title:

 

 

The claim by Webb-Pullman that Umar’s blindness is a result of Israeli inaction – and implied cruelty – is a lie.

In a 2008 appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court, Umar himself stated that he was blinded in both eyes as a result of an illness when he was about 20 years old – i.e. around 1980.

Webb-Pullman makes no attempt whatsoever during the interview to challenge Umar’s own lies regarding the “division” of Jerusalem, the “racist separation wall”, “attacks on holy places” or “damaging archaeology”.

Neither does Webb-Pullman apparently see fit to inform her readers that the reason for Umar’s detention by Israel was his involvement with a Hamas terror cell which carried out a suicide bombing in a Jerusalem café in 2003 in which seven people were murdered. She is equally silent on the fact that Umar recently toured South Africa in order to promote the Global March to Jerusalem among Muslim Brotherhood supporters there.

The disgracefully low standards of journalism displayed by Webb-Pullman and Scoop Independent News can, however, be better understood when one appreciates the fact that Julie Webb-Pullman is in fact not a journalist at all, but a seasoned political activist.

Webb-Pullman is a member of ‘Kia Ora’ – an activist group described by GMJ endorser and International Advisory Committee member George Galloway in an e-mail to the Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad’s media advisor as a “the Viva Palestina sister organization in New Zealand“.

Webb-Pullman was a member of the Kia Ora delegation to a ‘Viva Palestina’ convoy to Gaza in October 2010. Her fellow travelers included Global March to Jerusalem spokesman Zaher Birawi (whom she also recently interviewed for Scoop) and GMJ organizer Kevin Ovenden of ‘Viva Palestina’, as well as Welsh activist Pippa Bartolotti.

In fact, Webb-Pullman wrote an article for Scoop at the time, enthusiastically describing her meeting with Hamas leaders in Gaza and offering her autographed scarf for auction. Scoop therefore cannot claim not to be aware of Webb-Pullman’s political bias – which is made all the more ironic by the fact that in 2005 she filed a complaint with the New Zealand Press Council regarding alleged problems of “accuracy, fairness and balance and confusion of facts and opinion” by a journalist. 

George Galloway (centre) congratulates the Kia Ora Gaza team for their “significant contribution to the success of the international aid convoy to Gaza”. From left: Roger Fowler, Julie Webb-Pullman, Pat O’Dea, Hone Fowler, Mousa Taher and Chris van Ryn

Left to Right - Rahmah Zarrincalaki, Julie Webb-Pullman, Mahmoud Zahar, Samah, Pippa Bartolotti, Summaya Zahar

Julie Webb-Pullman (to the right with white hat) in conversation with Ismail Haniyeh and Mahmoud al Zahar.

Obviously, the general public in New Zealand cannot rely on the reports put out by Hamas sympathiser Julie Webb-Pullman and her enablers at Scoop Independent News for information regarding the Global March to Jerusalem or indeed any other event in the Middle East. 

 

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Global March to Jerusalem journalist/activist Kunal Majumder’s selective reporting

 Kunal Majumder, journalist for the Indian weekly political magazine, Tehelka, is embedded with the SE Asia delegation to the Global March to Jerusalem which, after having been joined by Turkish activists en route, is currently on its way from Turkey to Lebanon.

In his latest article Majumder appears to have succumbed to the phenomenon of an over-active imagination which seems to be plaguing so many GMJ participants.

“As the Asian delegates prepare to leave for Beirut from the Port of Tasucu in Turkey, the talk among the protesters is whether Israeli forces will follow the Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ) ship like it did last time during the Asian convoy to Gaza. A cargo ship carrying pro-Palestinian activists was followed as it traveled from Latakia port in Syria to Al-Areesh in Egypt on 1 January 2011. The memories of the Mavi Marmara massacre in 2010 are still fresh in the minds of the Turks.”

“Even as activists of GMJ use multiple methods to publicise the event, counter publicity stunts allegedly on behalf of Israel is at work. An anti-GMJ website called http://www.gm2J.co has been constantly following the activities of the march and making numerous allegations. It claims to be a forum to expose “the truth about the Global March to Jerusalem.” Among numerous mails and online forums targeting GMJ, the most amusing attack came from “WORLD MUSLIM ZIONIST ORGANIZATION” based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. It claims that there is an extensive history of collaboration of GMJ organizers with the jihadist Palestinian war criminals in Gaza, the Fatah gangsters in Ramallah, and the Hizbullah heretics in Beirut.” The organisers have refused to respond to such allegations.”

Of course Majumder is being somewhat disingenuous here. It is difficult to believe that he does not know of the participation of Ajit Sahi – until fairly recently his former executive editor at Tehelka – in the 2010/11 Asian convoy to Gaza and that Sahi was on board the ship he mentions above as having been followed.

Ajit Sahi (right), senior journalist from India on the caravan

It is also difficult to believe that Majumder is unaware of the fact that among Ajit Sahi’s fellow travelers on that convoy were Global March to Jerusalem organisers Feroze Mithiborwala, Mustapa Mansour, Sandeep Panday, Shaheen Kattiparambil, Gauhar Iqbal, Shaheen Mohideen, Salim Ghafouri and Roohulla Rezvi.

Equally unlikely is the possibility that Majumder is unaware that the Asia to Gaza convoy was aided in its organization by the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas-linked IHH, or that it visited Iran, Turkey, Syria and Lebanon en-route with its participants meeting senior members of the Syrian Ba’ath party, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Khaled Masha’al , Ismail Haniyeh and Mahmoud al Zahar in person.

Gauhar Iqbal (first on the left)

Roohulla Rezvi visiting the tomb of Hafez al Assad whilst en route with the Asia to Gaza convoy

Feroze Mithiborwala presenting Khalid Masha'al with a gift in Damascus whilst en route with the Asian convoy in 2010

Mithiborwala meeting Mahmoud al Zahar upon the arrival of the Asia to Gaza convoy

Majumder must also be aware that Ajit Sahi has shown considerable support for and collaboration with both Jamaat-e-Islami Hind and its youth group the Solidarity Youth Movement’. He might even be privy to the fact that even whilst Sahi was still his boss, he was already on the GMJ organiserse-mail list.

He will of course know that just a few days ago Sahi, along with Muthu Krishnan, (both of whom will be joining the GMJ in Jordan) in Hyderabad organized by Hyderabad City Students Islamic Organization and Friends of Palestine in solidarity with the Global March to Jerusalem.

“Addressing the participants of this long March, Mr. Ajit Sahi, Editor Tehelka and a renowned journalist expressed his support for the proposed march and said that the atrocities on Palestinians should be stopped by Israel. He appealed to all the countries of the world to bring Israel to the talking table. It should be imposed many restrictions. Private companies of Israel should not be allowed to transact any business in our country. They should not be allowed to invest money here. Universities and academicians of Israel should also be boycotted. Economic sanctions should be imposed against Israel. Referring to defense deals, he told that all the defense transactions should be withdrawn. All diplomatic ties should be discontinued. Famous columnist Muthu Krishnan condemned the attack on Gaza.

Israel Govt. has deprived the Palestinians of their basic amenities. Even drinking Water and electricity supply has been discontinued. He appealed to the organizers of the rally to express their solidarity to Global Peace March.”

If Kunal Majumder is really unaware of all of the above, one wonders how on earth he got his job as senior correspondent for a magazine which describes itself as ‘investigative’.

If he is better at his job than would seem from his latest articles, then his indignant cries of wolf indicate that he has embraced the role of useful idiot’ for the GMJ convoy and that  ‘unbiased journalist’ he certainly is not.

Further in the above mentioned article, Majumder complained:

The anti-GMJ activists have even started targeting independent participants, including this writer, through Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites.”

He also Tweeted his displeasure with certain “anti-GMJ activists”.

Tweet by Majumder

Additional Tweet by Majumder:

In fact, one cannot but wonder if his former executive editor’s well established connections to the Global March to Jerusalem organisers had something to do with his getting the gig in the first place.

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: 

Who’s fundraising for ‘Global March to Jerusalem’ in Canada?

On March 17th a fundraising event for the Global March to Jerusalem was held in Hamilton, Ontario, featuring Eva Bartlett and Khawla Ibrahim.

Eva Bartlett is an International Solidarity Movement activist who was deported from Israel and disqualified from re-entry for ten years in early 2008 due to her not being in possession of a valid visa.

Bartlett has worked for Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) in Gaza and written for Electronic Intifada. She is married to Emad Badwan, a film-maker and journalist from Dir el Balah in Gaza. 

According to her blog (where, in her latest post, she perpetuates the myth that Israel was responsible for the death of Nayif Qarmout and writes of “25 martyrs” – most of whom were members of terrorist groups),  Bartlett apparently intends to join the Global March to Jerusalem in Lebanon.

“I will be joining the Global March to Jerusalem in Lebanon and staying on for some weeks after to write from Palestinian refugee camps and historically important places in Lebanon related to the Palestinian struggle.”

Khawla Ibrahim is an executive member of Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War and a member of the Palestinian Association of Hamilton, both of which are endorsers of the Global March to Jerusalem.  According to this petition which Ibrahim signed in 2010, she rejects negotiations as part of the peace process.

The fundraising event was organised by Wael Ghuneim – another member  (and president) of the Palestinian Association of Hamilton. Ghuneim is one of the GMJ organisers in Canada, together with Ali Mallah and Ken Stone, who put out this document on behalf of the three of them.  

Ghuneim, Ibrahim and Stone were all involved in the Canadian Boat to Gaza flotilla project in 2011, along with their associated organisations; the Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War, the Palestinian Association of Hamilton and Independent Jewish Voices (also a GMJ endorser), of which Stone is a member.  

Unsurprisingly, the apparently not defunct ‘Canadian Boat to Gaza’ website is now promoting the Global March to Jerusalem.

In his IJV capacity, Ken Stone signed the Stuttgart Declaration which rejects a negotiated two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

In addition to having acted as treasurer for the flotilla project, Ken Stone is also a member of the steering committee for the Canadian Peace Alliance (an organisation which campaigns to have Hamas and Hizballah removed from the list of terrorist organisations in Canada and is yet another endorser of the GMJ) and in that capacity will be speaking at a conference in the United States on March 23rd-25th, where he will lecture on Iran, apparently representing the non-intervention viewpoint at a workshop entitled “Targeting Iran: The Truth Behind the Hype”.

A branch of the Canadian Peace Alliance previously promoted Eva Bartlett on a 2011 tour:  

“Through her photographs and videos Eva argues that Israel’s bombardment and incursions into Gaza are not against Hamas, stopping rockets from entering Israel, or achieving peace, but are part of a longer historical process of the destructive discrimination against Palestinians.” 

 

Global March to Jerusalem: denying Jewish rights and history

Written by Petra Marquardt-Bigman, & originally published at the Jerusalem Post. Marquardt-Bigman blogs at The Warped Mirror

Last week, a panel devoted to the question of Jerusalem’s importance to Muslims highlighted a few politically incorrect truths: from the days of Islam’s founder Muhammad, Muslims have been “raising or lowering Jerusalem’s importance in accordance with [their] political concerns.” As a matter of fact, the city that has been holy to Jews for millennia is not mentioned even once in the Koran.

But while Muhammad decided to downgrade Jerusalem’s importance for the followers of his newly established faith when his hopes to be accepted as a prophet by the Jews of what is now Saudi Arabia proved futile, Ayatollah Khomeini concluded that the chances to export his “Islamic revolution” beyond Iran would greatly benefit from efforts to rally all Muslims – whether Shiites or Sunnis – around the city that the re-established Jewish state had re-united in 1967. Khomeini lost no time, and in August 1979, shortly after taking power, he called on “Muslims all over the globe to consecrate the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan as Al-Quds Day and to proclaim the international solidarity of Muslims in support of the legitimate rights of the Muslim people of Palestine.” Khomeini also expressed his hopes “for the victory of the Muslims over the infidels.”
 
Some ten years later, during the First Intifada in January 1988, the Jerusalem Committee of the Organization of the Islamic Conference found it useful to follow suit and decided that “Quds Day” should be commemorated in public events throughout the Arab world.
 
By now, many in the Western media have dutifully taken to describing Jerusalem as Islam’s “third holiest city” – while mentioning Jerusalem’s status in Judaism and Christianity is somehow less popular.
 
To take matters a bit further, there are now efforts to popularize the rather ridiculous concept of the “Judaization” of Jerusalem. A recent conference on Jerusalem in Qatar ended with a (not entirely coherent) declaration that invokes this notion repeatedly.
 
Yet another effort to protest the “Judaization” of Judaism’s millenia-old spiritual capital is being planned for the end of this month, when activists hope to mobilize one million people to set out from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt to storm Israel’s borders and march on to Jerusalem.  Thanks to a great initiative by Cif Watch, all the relevant information about this planned “Global March to Jerusalem” (GMJ) is available on a special website.
 
The most recent post on the site’s blog provides a good idea about the people behind the planned march: as explained there, the official GMJ website has sided with Gaza’s terrorists by issuing a condemnation of what it termed “criminal Israeli assassinations of Gaza civilians.” Referring to the recent events in Gaza, the GMJ website declared: 
“We, the Global March to Jerusalem, condemn the Zionist campaign of killing Palestinian citizens and imprisoning the Palestinians of Gaza in an open-air prison, just as we condemn the continued occupation of Palestinian land and the intentional destruction and Judaisation of Jerusalem, as well as all of historic Palestine.”
Another recent post provides a comprehensive background paper originally published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. In addition to lots of interesting information on the already mentioned Qatar conference on Jerusalem and other relevant issues, you can find there gems like this declaration by the European Preparatory Committee for the Global March to Jerusalem: 
“We say no to Zionism; and to an exclusive Jewish colonial state, which reacts to the legitimate struggle of the indigenous Palestinian people with the expansion of its Apartheid rule.”
It may sound like a lot of pathetic sloganeering, but the intent of the people who put so much energy into organizing this “Global March to Jerusalem” is clear enough: to “de-Judaize” Jerusalem and the Jewish state. And yes, we live in a time when such an odious idea attracts a lot of enthusiastic support – and very little official condemnation.

Global March to Jerusalem’s official website backs terrorists in latest violence from Gaza

The official Global March to Jerusalem website issued a condemnation of what it termed “criminal Israeli assassinations of Gaza civilians” on March 13th, referring of course to last weekend’s actions to stop the firing of hundreds of missiles at Israeli civilians.

“We, the Global March to Jerusalem, condemn the Zionist campaign of killing Palestinian citizens and imprisoning the Palestinians of Gaza in an open-air prison, just as we condemn the continued occupation of Palestinian land and the intentional destruction and Judaisation of Jerusalem, as well as all of historic Palestine.”

In fact, contrary to the GMJ statement, the vast majority of those who died were not civilians, but terrorists actively involved in perpetrating attacks on Israeli civilians. Fourteen of the people killed were members of the proscribed Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror organization and six were members of the Popular Resistance Committees.

Of the six others killed in the latest bout of fighting, at least two appear to have been used as human shields by terrorists, one died as a result of gun-fire at a Gaza funeral and another appears to have been carrying or operating some sort of explosive device.

Given the prominent involvement of the Iranian regime in the Global March to Jerusalem project it is hardly surprising that the GMJ organisers would find it necessary to express support for the Iranian-backed and financed Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Popular Resistance Committees which were the main players in the latest round of terror attacks on Israeli civilians.  

The GMJ organisers’ whitewashing of Iranian sub-contracted terror groups in Gaza does, however, expose its much-touted commitment to ‘non-violent protest’ as a farce.

Global March to Jerusalem spokesman Zaher Birawi in Gaza

A New Zealand freelancer currently in the Gaza Strip has reported on a press conference held on March 12th by the GMJ Gaza National Committee (headed by Hamas member Ahmad Abo Halabiya) with the participation of GMJ organiser and spokesman Zaher Birawi from the United Kingdom. 

Birawi in Gaza on March 12th – second row, in the light blue jacket. Ahmad Abo Halabiyah is in the middle of the front row.

The press release:

Later, Birawi gave an interview to the reporter in which he accused Israel of trying to make Jerusalem the “capital of racism”, “for Jewish only”.