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

 

Tweet 1

Tweet 2

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

Tweet 3

Tweet 4

Tweet 5

Tweet 6

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

Tweet 7

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

Tweet 1

Tweet 2

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. 

Advertisements

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: