RECOMMENDED READING: “Global March to Jerusalem Post Event Round-Up”By
The CIF Watch has published another summary of the failure of the Global March to Jerusalem to achieve anywhere near its intended results. According to the report:
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.”
Another post from the beginning of the month describe a similar outcome.
The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) has published a report titled “The Global March to Jerusalem: Part of the International Campaign to Delegitimize Israel” by analyst Ehud Rosen. The conclusions of the report are as follows:
- Over the past few years there has been a Palestinian campaign focusing on the so-called “Judaization” of Jerusalem. A number of related topics have been raised recently in what appears to be an orchestrated campaign initiated by leading figures in the PA, Hamas, and Muslim Brotherhood.
- In January 2012, the European Preparatory Committee for the Global March to Jerusalem published an invitation for participation and support. The organizers are aiming to hold marches to Jerusalem “or the nearest point to it” on March 30, to coincide with the annual Palestinian “Land Day.” Originally, marches were planned in Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and the four neighboring countries: Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria.
- The European Preparatory Committee is comprised of members of UK Muslim Brotherhood circles and a member of the Free Gaza movement (founded by the International Solidarity Movement, ISM), this time joined by the anti-imperialist camp. The original idea is said to have come from participants in the December 2010 “Asia to Gaza Solidarity Caravan.”
- In February 2012, various national committees began their preparations, including in Jordan, Turkey, Pakistan, Lebanon, and Iran. More than twenty Palestinian organizations have endorsed the march.
- It is hard to predict the results of these preparations. However, the participation of Sunni-Islamist circles is increasing, encouraged by their rise due to the Arab Spring. Fatah, the PLO, and the PA are becoming more involved as well, as are more Islamist jihadi forces and far-right European elements.
- Read the entire report here.
A post from February reported on a conference held by the Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI) Pakistan to discuss preparations for the march where conference speakers claimed that mosques in Jerusalem and Medina are “Under Direct Threat of Jewish Designs” and one speaker described Israel as a “cancer. Others posts discussed planning by the U.K. Muslim Brotherhood for the march and another planning conference that took place in Istanbul. Yet another post discussed the invitation to the march that was posted on a far-left website. As noted in that post, six of the twelve individuals listed as sponsoring/endorsing the initiative are either leaders in or closely tied to the Global Brotherhood.
It should be noted that this is the second failure of the Global Muslim Brotherhood to mount a meaningful public relations event directed against Israel, the second Gaza flotilla having also been a notable flop. There is not yet any obvious indication of what, if anything, will follow although given the ongoing events in the reason, there is no reason to believe that another challenge will not materialize.