Here we go again.
First, it was the various "Freedom Flotillas" that tried to enter Hamas-controlled Gaza by sea.
Now it's the "Global March to Jerusalem" (GMJ), slated for March 30th.
Whether by sea or land, the goals are the same: to provoke confrontations with Israel, give Israel a black eye in the world media, and pursue a strategy of delegitimizing Israel’s very right to exist.
For anyone willing to scratch the surface and understand their language and imagery, the organizers of GMJ are quite transparent about their outlook and objectives.
When they speak in their manifesto of freeing “Palestine,” they mean not just the West Bank and Gaza, but Israel itself.
When they show their logo, Israel is effectively encircled and engulfed by the movement.
When they speak of “the defense of Jerusalem and its liberation,” they mean the entire city, whether it was part of Israel before 1967 or not.
When they speak of “occupied” lands, they don’t mean from the 1967 war, when Israel was faced with threats of annihilation and emerged victorious, but from 1948, when Israel was first established.
When they speak of “protection of the Holy Places,” they mean Muslim holy places, not Jewish, since they don’t even acknowledge the Jewish people’s age-old connection to the city. As for Christian sites, I wouldn’t bet on it, regardless of the rhetoric.
When they claim that Israel seeks “to destroy the Muslim and Christian presence” in Jerusalem, they are turning truth on its head, as never before have all religious sites been as protected as they are today.
When they invoke the term “ethnic cleansing” to describe the “Zionist campaign” in “Jerusalem and the rest of Palestine,” they blithely ignore the demographic figures, which show dramatic increases since 1967 in the Arab population in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and what they refer to as “the rest of Palestine.”
When they invoke “apartheid,” they are conjuring up a situation that doesn’t exist, as anyone who understands the specific meaning of the term in white-ruled South Africa, including none other than Judge Richard Goldstone in his New York Times op-ed, readily grasps.
And when they speak of the “non-negotiable and inalienable rights of the Palestinian People, including their families, to return to their homes and lands...,” they mean flooding Israel with millions of Palestinians and four generations of offspring, ending Israel as a state, pure and simple.
Just look at some of those endorsing the GMJ.
Remember Reverend Jeremiah Wright?
The same Jeremiah Wright who rails against America, despises Israel, and doesn’t seem to have many good things to say about Jews.
He’s on the Advisory Board of the Global March to Jerusalem.
So is George Galloway.
Yes, the same George Galloway who was expelled from the British Labor Party, had rather cozy ties with Saddam Hussein's Iraq, and is deemed a friend by such “peaceful” groups as Hezbollah and Hamas.
There’s Hilarion Capucci of the Greek Melkite Church, who was arrested in 1974 for smuggling weapons to the Palestine Liberation Army and sentenced by Israel to 12 years in prison.
There’s Greta Duisenberg, the Dutch woman who famously said on television, in 2005, that she “understood” Palestinian suicide bombers responsible for killing Israelis.
There’s Judith Butler, a Berkeley faculty member and avowed anti-Zionist. She rejects the notion of Israel, believing instead in a happily-ever-after “binational” state, and supports the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement against Israel.
And there’s Richard Falk, a UN special rapporteur, who may be best known for his claim that 9/11 was an inside American job. His views about Israel, for which there is a long paper trail, aren’t any more cogent.
The list goes on, but the point should be clear about the GMJ mindset.
For the true believers who spearhead this effort, joined by some starry-eyed followers who don’t realize they’re being manipulated, the real focus is not on peace, coexistence, or human rights.
After all, had the advancement of peace, coexistence, and human rights been the goal, they might, for starters, have considered some other marches while in the neighborhood.
For instance, there’s a “caravan” from Asia coming to the GMJ. They’re traveling by land, passing through Iran, where, according to the website, the 120 participants are meeting with “Iranian prominent figures.” An Iranian delegation of “artists, poets, students, and activists, as well as some Members of Parliament, will then join the caravan.”
Hmm, that’s interesting.
Not a word about addressing, say, issues of human rights concerns in Iran, though the country suffers from no shortage of them.
Moreover, if Iranians are joining the “caravan,” what does that say about Tehran’s involvement in the GMJ?
After all, in a tightly-controlled country like Iran, politically-motivated caravans don’t just happen to arrive, meet, and leave. Nor do local groups spontaneously join the ranks without a green light from the political leadership – a leadership that seeks a world without Israel.
So, in the spirit of truth in advertising, the GMJ should simplify its mission statement to:
By hook or by crook, we are a movement to dismantle Israel. We have no interest in a two-state agreement between Israelis and Palestinians. We embrace absolutely anyone who shares our single-minded goal. We couldn’t care less what happens in any other country in the region, be it state-sponsored murder, repression, torture, religious persecution, or gender discrimination. After all, if it’s not about Israel, it’s not about us.