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The “Global March to Jerusalem” logo leaves no doubt as to the campaign’s view of Israel.
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Protesters attempted to storm Israel’s borders from Gaza, Lebanon and Syria on May 15 last year, leading to confrontations with Israeli security forces.

The Latest Chapter in the Worldwide Campaign Against Israel: The Global March to Jerusalem

March 30 will see the culmination of the latest chapter in the international campaign against the Jewish state. This time it is the so-called “Global March to Jerusalem” (GMJ), timed to coincide with Palestinian “Land Day.”

From the Middle East, South Asia and beyond, supposedly thousands of individuals will be “Marching to Jerusalem,” aided by Israel’s most fervid enemies from Gaza, Lebanon and Iran. The GMJ is also organizing worldwide protests at Israeli diplomatic missions to run concurrently with the actions near and inside Israel on March 30. Meanwhile, from Europe and North America come endorsements of support from long-time Israel detractors.

Hateful Rhetoric

Besides the Global March’s “No Israel” logo, the use of certain phrases in official March statements makes clear its view of Israel, even as a slew of wild charges are made against the Jewish state. “Zionist Enemy, “the racist Zionist state of Israel,” “Israeli apartheid,” “crime against humanity,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “the occupation of Palestine in 1948” are just some of the terms employed.

Glaringly absent from the various statements is any hint of acceptance of the Jewish state in any borders, or any acknowledgement of Jewish historical links to Jerusalem.

The March’s organizing statement declares that “[t]he March will demand freedom for Jerusalem and its people and to put an end to the Apartheid, ethnic cleansing and Judaisation policies affecting the people, land and sanctity of Jerusalem. The march will confirm that the policies and practices of the racist Zionist state of Israel against Jerusalem and its people are a crime not only against Palestinians but against all humanity.”

A statement from March 13 “concerning criminal Israeli assassinations of Gaza civilians” declares:
“Just as defending and liberating Jerusalem are the duties of free people around the world, so is defending the safety and livelihoods of Palestinians throughout occupied Palestine.

“In light of the continued ethnic cleansing of Muslims and Christians in Jerusalem and the latest bloody attacks on the Palestinians of Gaza… we call on all people to join Palestinians and supporters: on March 30, 2012, we will march to Jerusalem or to the nearest possible points in neighboring countries to protest Israeli apartheid and ethnic cleansing. We demand access to Jerusalem for all peoples; to uphold Palestinian rights under international law, including all refugees’ right of return; and the end to Israeli attacks on the Palestinians of Gaza.”

Who’s Involved

An international “Advisory Board” of VIPs consists of detractors who have a history of virulently anti-Israel statements and actions. These include retired Archbishop Hilarion Capucci, who has defended Palestinian suicide bombers and more recently claimed that the ongoing upheaval in Syria was part of a “conspiracy” against the country, Omar Barghouti, founding member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, and University of Illinois Professor Francis Boyle, who has volunteered to represent the Iranian regime if it decides to sue the United States and described Israel as a “Jewish Bantustan, set up by the Western colonial powers, in the Middle East, to control and dominate the Middle East at their behest.”

The group has been bolstered by several high-profile endorsements from the likes of Noam Chomsky and former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, whose anti-Semitism is well-documented. They share a platform with members of the terrorist group Hamas, who serve on the GMJ’s International Central Committee and have been involved in its promotion.

Iran openly supports the marches planned for March 30 and is involved in their preparation. Meeting with GMJ participants earlier this month, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad described Israel as a “cancerous tumor” that is being paid by the West to “continue the criminal occupation of Palestinian territories.” Iranian involvement is also evident in Lebanon, where the Islamic Republic’s terrorist proxies Hizballah and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad are taking part in organizational efforts.

Out of concern that some of the groups in the international GMJ movement are subject to legal reprisals in the United States and Canada, a number of North American organizations and individuals formed an autonomous association, the “Global March to Jerusalem North America.” Endorsed inter alia by Richard Falk, the U.N.’s Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian territories, who has compared Israeli actions to those of the Nazis and was forced to apologize for posting an anti-Semitic cartoon, the North American coalition has adopted the rhetoric and principles of the international movement.

The GMJ’s Advisory Board issued a joint statement on March 6, declaring: “[We] are alarmed and deeply troubled by the continuing repression of Palestinians in Jerusalem and by the deliberate and systematic attempts to expel and reduce the Christian and Muslim Palestinian population of the city as part of the policy called “Judaisation,” which is being applied to every part of historic Palestine.

“The people of the world have therefore taken it upon themselves to prevent this abomination, by mobilizing themselves in every part of the world and representing all religious, humanitarian, and cultural backgrounds in a global march to Jerusalem (GMJ) aimed at guarding the City of Peace from becoming a wasteland of intolerance.

“We support the right of the Palestinian People to self-determination, to liberate their lands and to live on them in freedom and dignity like all other people on earth.

“We support the non-negotiable & inalienable rights of the Palestinian People, including their families, to return to their homes and lands from which they were uprooted.”

Different Tactics, Same Goal

Almost two years after the Gaza “Freedom Flotilla,” the Global March to Jerusalem is merely the latest embodiment of an unceasing campaign against Israel. As American Jewish Committee Executive Director David Harris commented, “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.”

And though the GMJ has gone to great lengths to portray itself as a mainstream political movement, its ties to extremist, violent actors, including Iran, Hamas and Hizballah, suggest otherwise.