Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Global March to Jerusalem – another attempt to breach Israel’s borders

The Global March to Jerusalem – another attempt to breach Israel’s borders

Exposing the truth about GM2J
Exposing the truth about the Global March to Jerusalem
Hundreds of thousands of Muslims, anti-Israel activists and assorted ill-wishers are planning to take part in a “Global March to Jerusalem” tomorrow, March 30th, also known to Palestinians as Land Day.
Turbulent weekend in cards? International supporters and hundreds of thousands of participants are expected to take part in the Global March on Jerusalem Friday, as Israel braces for potential attempts to breach the Jewish state’s borders..
The event, which is expected to include marches and protests across the region, is entering its final preparations, as IDF forces are also deploying in a bid to prevent any disruptions on Israel’s borders.
The IDF is preparing for the possibility that attempts will be made to breach Israel’s borders. The forces have been directed to prevent any breaches of Israeli sovereignty with minimal injuries to the protestors, if they do approach the border.
Sources within the defense establishment have conducted talks with Palestinian security officials to coordinate the events and make sure they remain within the jurisdiction of Palestinian towns.
Sa’id Yakin, one of the protest organizers in the Palestinian Authority, told Ynet that rallies will be held at three West Bank focal points.
“We expect thousands of participants,” Yakin said. “We have no interest in confrontation, and this march will not give rise to a third Intifada. We hope this move will affect Israel and its government’s policy.”
Palestinian security officials are also preparing for the weekend’s events and are estimating that most marchers won’t be able to get through local roadblocks and approach Israeli territory.
In Lebanon, participants will convene for a prayer session on the Beaufort, which overlooks the border with Israel. Public figures are expected to deliver a speech at the site, with organizers looking forward to welcoming tens of thousands of participants.
According to Lebanese reports, security forces held a Turkish vessel carrying activists from Iran, Turkey and other Asian states for long hours. Hezbollah representatives reportedly mediated in efforts to resolve the crisis.
Jordan has set the gathering point at the site where it is believed that Jesus was baptized, a location overlooking Jerusalem. According to plans, this rally will also include speeches and masses of protestors.
Jordanian coordinator of the march, Ribhi Halloum, said: “We feel the immense interest in the event expressed through donations from private individuals and the Islamic Movement.”
The Al-Dustour newspaper reported that Jordanian Prime Minister Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh expressed his readiness to provide theJordanian government’s sponsorship to the march which he said would be non-violent.
In Morocco, recent mass marches in Rabat have been seen as the first signs heralding the Jerusalem march events. Plans for the event include a joint forum with students from Jordan and a declaration of a fast day in efforts to show solidarity with Jerusalem.
On Friday, a number of marches will be held simultaneously, leaving from Casablanca, Fes and Meknes. Two days later pro-Palestinian organizations will launch a mass rally in Casablanca expected to attract hundreds of thousands of people.
Syria did not allow the recent riots to interfere with rigorous planning of the events, while in Egypt the activity is set to be low key with just a central rally and a few small protests in the cards.
I highlighted certain sentences above in order to note that the IDF is right to be concerned about a possible breach of Israel’s borders. It happened before, last May, in the “Naqsa Day” disturbances, and all the signs are that despite the protestations of non-violence, the march has a huge potential to similarly turn very violent indeed.
The Times of Israel also reports on the diplomatic and military preparations being taken to prevent violence and a border breach:
The march’s organizers have predicted that two million participantswill join the protests. Israeli officials say they are braced for tens of thousands, and military sources said the army and policy have been instructed to act with maximal restraint while doing what is necessary to protect the country’s borders and citizens.
The security forces have been ordered to protect themselves and bystanders, to prevent any cross-border incursions, however brief, and to deny activists “a media victory,” Israel’s Channel 2 news reported Thursday night. In protests at the Syrian border last year, more than 100 activists broke through the border fence and entered Druze villages in the Golan Heights; one man even made his way to Tel Aviv.
Diplomatic officials sounded relatively unworried by the planned protests, although one source acknowledged that there was no way of knowing what might unfold on the Syrian and Lebanese borders, because Israel has no dialogue with anyone in authority on the other side of either of those lines.
Several hundred anti-Israel demonstrators are also planning protests in front of Israeli institutions worldwide.
In Jerusalem, access to the Temple Mount for Friday prayers will be limited to adult worshipers, and police have called in extra forces. Police deployments in hotspots nationwide are also being reinforced. Sources expressed concern at the prospect of violence in and around the Temple Mount in East Jerusalem as well as on the outskirts of Jerusalem, at known flashpoints such as the Kalandiya checkpoint.
“Messages have been sent through a third country to the Lebanese authorities, messages to the effect that border incidents are of no interest to anyone and that we expect them to enforce law and order,” a diplomatic source said. “But we all know who really controls the South of Lebanon, so we don’t know really know what to expect,” he added, referring to Hezbollah fighters who might seek violent confrontation with Israeli troops.
Israelis and Jordanians routinely cooperate on military issues and thus it was not necessary to send any warning messages to Amman, the diplomatic official said. “The Jordanians know it’s against their interests to have any cross-border incidents.”
“The big question is what will happen near our borders with Syria and Lebanon. Nobody can forecast what’s going to happen. There is no one in Syria we can send any messages to, not even indirectly.”
The Jerusalem Post has a good article detailing the press and propaganda war surrounding this “Global March to Jerusalem” (GM2J).  Meanwhile, Jeremy Havardi, writing in The Commentator, has written an excellent piece which rips to shreds the lies and distortions surrounding the Arabs’ pseudo-claim to Jerusalem.  Here is just a small excerpt but do go and read the whole thing:
The Palestinians and their backers have long resorted to diplomatic war in order to undermine Israel’s legitimacy. The Global March to Jerusalem, scheduled for March 30, is a classic example of this tactic. The organisers claim they are seeking “freedom for Jerusalem” and an “end to the Apartheid, ethnic cleansing and Judaisation” affecting the city.
In reality, they are distorting the historical record for political purposes. They seek to depict Israel as a malevolent custodian of the Holy places and a usurper of Muslim rights, so as to buttress an Arab and Islamic claim to the city. But as it happens, their claim does not stand up to serious scrutiny.
But by far the most thorough and far-reaching counter-attack on the GM2J is the websiteset up by Adam Levick and the team at CiFWatch. The site is very cleverly designed to be an almost exact replica of the official Global March to Jerusalem site (I won’t provide a link to that to avoid sending them traffic), including their logo. The only difference is that the logo has a red diagonal line through it. And of course the title of the site is “Exposing the Truth about the Global March to Jerusalem“.
The site has links to the organizers, the sponsors, the endorsers etc. of the GM2J and makes rather horrifying reading.
They have now produced a very useful factsheet which I urge you to read, and use the information contained within it to counter lies, distortions and plain old anti-Israel propaganda wherever you may encounter it. Here are some highlights:
The organizers of GMJ are made up of members of Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, far-left extremist groups and are backed by the Iranian government.
Official statements of the organizers of GMJ attempt to portray the movement as a peaceful protest aimed at highlighting the so-called “Judaization of Jerusalem”.
In 2011, GMJ general coordinator, Ribhi  Halloum stated “[t]he protest aims to move the right of return possessed by Palestinian refugees from theory to practice”.
In practice, the right of return is a rejection of the two state solution and subterfuge for the destruction of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. Coupled with that, employment of the term “Judaization of Jerusalem” is hateful rhetoric designed to negate thousands of years of Jewish history and incite the Muslim world.
Should we be concerned about GMJ?
Absolutely. With a bloody uprising in Syria, a Muslim Brotherhood dominated Egypt, the looming Iranian nuclear threat, a failed peace process and recent renewed violence from Hamas-controlled Gaza, the situation is highly volatile. Combined with the extreme terror groups behind GMJ and the rallying cry of “saving Al Aqsa (Jersualem) from the Jews”, it is our assessment that with sufficient numbers the organizers will seek violent confrontation with Israeli forces with the aim of sparking a Third Intifada.
Unfortunately the march (or attempted invasion) will be taking place on Friday, and if there are any repercussions, violent or otherwise, they will spill over into Shabbat, when I will be offline.  I will make this post a “sticky” post, so that it will stay at the top of my blog until after Shabbat so that readers not on my Shabbat time can leave updates in the comments section if they wish.
May the wishes of those who hate us be thwarted and may we all have a quiet and peaceful Shabbat and may the desires of those who hate us be thwarted.