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 post event round-up: #GMJ #EpicFailure

Taking a post-event look at the Global March to Jerusalem, it is as important to identify what did not happen as it is to look at what did occur.

The most obvious conclusion is that the GMJ organisers failed to get the numbers of participants they declared having in advance, with only single percentage numbers of their vaunted one to two million marchers actually taking part. Despite GMJ organiser Ribhi Halloum’s feeble attempts at face-saving post-event spin, any objective observer can only conclude that the project’s organisers are clearly out of touch with majority concerns and opinion.

This was also reflected in the picture around the world with, for example, a mere 50 activists turning up for the GMJ event in Germany and 100 in Ottawa.  Even in London – a major hub of anti-Israel activism and home to a significant proportion of GMJ organisers and their various organisations – the turnout to shout at an empty Israeli embassy was not particularly impressive.

Significantly too, in Deir Hanna – the site of the main Land Day march in Israel – and other locations in the Galilee, participation in the event was low, with organisers already expressing their disappointment on Israeli radio by early Friday afternoon.

With the majority of the world’s mainstream media giving the event very low profile handling, it is also clear that the organisers failed to achieve another of their main objectives: the creation of an embarrassing PR event for Israel which would result in condemnatory headlines around the globe and create an opportunity for another Goldstone-style attack on Israel’s legitimacy.

That objective was in part thwarted by the actions taken by the authorities in the countries bordering Israel to contain the event to demonstrations and avoid the potentially fatal clashes which would have resulted had they allowed the would-be infiltrators to have their way.

In Syria the only GMJ event took place in Damascus, with the Iranian regime’s Press TV reporting that ” the Syrian government prevented them from reaching the nearest point to the Palestinian land, as a result of the accident that happened last year on Nakba Day where Israeli soldiers killed around 26 demonstrators who tried to cross the borders in the action called “Yawm al Awda”. One must also factor in to that decision the rifts which appeared early on among GMJ organisers of a pro-Iranian/Syrian regime persuasion and those loyal to the Muslim Brotherhood which is heavily represented among the Syrian opposition, as the proliferation of Hizballah flags and Assad portraits at the Damascus event reflects.  

Participation in the GMJ event in Lebanon, which was confined to the Beaufort castle, was reportedly low due to the fact that the Lebanese army declined to allow participants to approach the border. Some foreign activists expressed a clear – but typical – lack of understanding of the regional dynamics at play.

Here’s a GMJ-North America supporter, #Occupy “human rights” activist, and Mondoweiss contributor, Deppen Webber

 

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(Note that in fact, GMJ organisers – including Webber’s patron Paul Larudee – had been cooperating with Hizbollah since the early stages of preparation.)

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(Note that another – though no less unreliable – source would appear to contradict Webber’s claims.)

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Here’s Kunal Majumder, senior correspondent covering GMJ as a “reporter” for the Indian political weekly, Tehelka:

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The Global March to Jerusalem has undoubtedly helped shine the light of exposure on several important points, one of which is the unquestioning collaboration between so-called peace activists and human rights advocates from Western and other countries and extremist elements such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hizbollah, the Iranian regime and even the Syrian Nazi Party – SSNP – which was represented at the GMJ event in Lebanon.

In addition, it is clear that the professed GMJ slogan of non-violence is merely a tactic employed by this handful of extremists in order to gain sympathy and legitimacy for their cause among Western audiences. Just as there is nothing non-violent about intending to illegally breach a sovereign state’s borders and over-run its capital, there was nothing non-violent about Friday’s riots in Bethlehem, Gaza and Kalandiya (lead, incidentally, by a professor from the Sorbonne and with approximately 8% of the rioters being foreign activists – probably members of the ISM).

Equally clear is the end-game agenda of the organisers of the Global March to Jerusalem and its supporters. Their common denominator is the rejection of a negotiated two-state solution to the conflict, the rejection of recognition of Israel’s existence and the aspiration of achieving an imposed settlement which would bring that about. The ample rhetoric we have heard over the past few weeks on such subjects as ’64 years of occupation’ and ‘liberating Jerusalem’ is clear indication of their aims.

The Global March to Jerusalem project has clarified just how little understanding this bunch of professional and semi-professional activists have of the dynamics of the Middle East as indicated by their indignant objections to the fact that various authorities and security forces acted to prevent the escalation of their provocation into a potentially serious cross-border event.

Fortunately, it has also exposed just how out of touch its mostly foreign organisers are with the aims and priorities of people who actually live in the region and how outlandish the ideas of their relatively small – if loud – cult movement are to the majority of the people they seem to have somehow persuaded themselves that they represent. 

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 collaboration with Hizbollah & Lebanese terrorist warlord

H/T Challah Hu Akbar

The South-East Asian delegation to the Global March to Jerusalem is currently touring Iran.

It will then travel to Turkey, from where – according to the organisers – the delegates will take a passenger ferry to Lebanon, with the intention of reaching Israel’s northern border (or as they term it: “ the border of old Palestine of 1948″).

As Michael Totten observed whilst travelling to southern Lebanon to research his 2011 book ‘The Road to Fatima Gate’:

“…we had effectively left Lebanon and arrived somewhere else. Neither government soldiers nor police officers were allowed down there. The Shia-majority cities of Nabatieh and Tyre behind us were within the government’s jurisdiction, but the only authority near the border with Israel was Hezbollah. Tehran had more sovereignty there than Beirut did.”

It is clear that any delegation of foreign visitors intending to mass on Israel’s northern border needs Hizbollah approval and permission in order to do so.

On March 14th a Hamas delegation headed by Mousa Abu Marzouk (deputy leader of the Hamas politbureau) met with Hizbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah in Beirut. According to Al Manar (which is Hizbollah-run) the Global March to Jerusalem was among the subjects discussed.

“Hamas delegation also informed Sayyed Nasrallah about the preparations of the Global March to Jerusalem, organized by Lebanese parties and Palestinian factions on March 30, 2012 on Earth Day.”

However, this is not the first evidence of collaboration between Hizbollah and the GMJ organisers.  The Meir Amit Intelligence & Terrorism Information Centre reported that according to the Lebanese media outlet As Sapir, Hizbollah was represented by Sheikh Abd al-Majid Omar (also Ammar) at a GMJ meeting held in Beirut on February 21st 2012 at which representatives of the Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad were also present.

 GMJ organisers (including Hamas-linked Zaher Birawi and Mohammed Sawalha as well as Feroze Mithiborwala and Nabil Hallak) also met with Lebanese organisers of the 2011 border infiltrations.

An earlier report also reports that according to the Lebanese website Al Markazia, “local committees were appointed in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon to deal with organizing and supervising the march.” The figure heading the organization of the committees in the camps is Munir Maqdah from Ain al-Hilweh who was also involved in the organization of the 2011 Naqba and Naqsa Day events.

Maqdah has given interviews on the subject to various outlets:

“On February 11, 2012, he told the Lebanese website Al-Markazia that ‘thousands of our people will go to the border with Palestine. Extensive preparations are being made to organize marches of the return on Land Day, March 30, 2012.’ He added that they were ‘peace marches,’ whose objective was to ’emphasize the right of return.’ He claimed that following the failure of the negotiations with Israel, the event would initiate a third intifada, whose first sparks would be lit on Land Day.”

“Interviewed by PNN, Munir Maqdah (indirectly referring to the events of Nakba Day 2011) said that whoever killed a [Lebanese] citizen on the Israeli border would [himself] be killed. He said after the negotiations with Israel had stalled, the events planned for Land Day might signal the beginning of a third intifada, in which all options to ‘realize Palestinian rights” were open, including an armed struggle.’

Munir Maqdeh (also Mounir al Makdah) is often described as a Fatah commander. He is a former member of Arafat’s ‘Force 17’ and the founder of the ‘Black September 13 Brigades’, established in opposition to Fatah’s signing of the Oslo Accords. In December 1999 Maqdeh was among those (including Abu Qatada of the UK) implicated on suspicion of intention to attack Israeli and American targets in Jordan in the so-called ‘Millennium plot’ and in 2004 was sentenced to death in absentia.

 During Operation Defensive Shield in 2002, documentary evidence was found of Maqdeh’s involvement in the transfer of funds (presumed to originate in Iran and possibly transferred via Syrian intelligence) to terror organisations such as the Tanzim and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade operating out of PA controlled areas.

Maqdeh was dismissed by the Palestinian Authorityfrom both his post as Fatah leader in Ain al-Hilweh and membership of the PLO in February 2010. Together with some 2,000 men from his militia, he defected to Hizbollah, apparently undergoing training by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

Here is an interview with Munir Maqdeh from 2009 and below another from 2006.

In a 2011 interview with Al Manar, Maqdeh stated that:

“…the Resistance was the only road to liberate the land and restore the rights. He stressed that Fatah movement has never abandoned this choice, and described it as sacred. He said in contrast that negotiations with the Zionist enemy were absurd and useless.”

The collaboration of Global March to Jerusalem organisers with a known terrorist figure such as Maqdeh with his Iranian and Hizbollah links once more indicates that the march’s ‘peaceful popular protest’ meme is nothing more than a public relations exercise to soften its image and increase its appeal to gullible Western audiences. 

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Radical Canadian Jewish group endorses Global March to Jerusalem to prevent ‘Judaization’ of Jerusalem

On February 28th 2012, Independent Jewish Voices Canada announced its endorsement of the Global March on Jerusalem and the sending of a representative to take part in the project.

“IJV Canada will be represented at the Global March by Vancouver Chapter member Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta, author of Refusing to be Enemies: Palestinian and Israeli Nonviolent Resistance to the Israeli Occupation. Maxine will travel to Jerusalem to join the event in person.”

Clearly reflecting the Islamist rhetoric and incitement used by some of the march’s organisers and supporters – as well as their rejection of a negotiated two-state solution – IJV Canada states in its press release:

“This year, Palestine Land Day is being marked by a Global March to Jerusalem, an International non-violent event to demonstrate solidarity with Palestinians and to protect Jerusalem against the Netanyahu government’s efforts to “Judaize” it.”

“Participants will demand freedom for Jerusalem and an end to Israel’s apartheid policies, regional ethnic cleansing, and attempts to Judaize the city by driving out Palestinian inhabitants.”

“It is hoped that the event will be a turning point in the ongoing crisis by forcing the government of Israel to face the marchers’ demand of freedom for Palestine and its capital Jerusalem.”