In an interview with the Palestinian news agency Ma’an on March 19th,
Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ) spokesman Zaher Birawi stated that
the organizers are “not interested in confrontation with the Israeli
army, after similar demonstrations a year earlier ended in bloodshed”.
Whilst it is difficult to imagine exactly what sort of effective
controls the GMJ organizers have been able to put in place in order
to prevent their aspired one million man march from descending into
violence, it should also be taken into account that a considerable
number of the GMJ organizers are veterans of the flotilla project who
still describe the Turkish activists aboard the IHH-sponsored Mavi
Marmara in 2010 as ‘humanitarian aid workers’.
Others are members of various ‘popular resistance committees’ which
define the weekly riots at places such as Bil’in and Nebi Salah
as ‘non-violent protest’. The heavy involvement of Hamas and the
Iranian regime in the march’s organization, together with support
from Hizbollah and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad also raises doubts
as to the sincerity of the professed commitment to non-violence.
Coincidentally, the North American chapter of the GMJ has put out a
new leaflet replete with messages of non-violence and invoking
Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King as role models.
When compared to the original publicity put out by the GMJ
organisers, it is rather obvious that someone appears to have reached
the conclusion that the North American audience is in need of a
somewhat softer approach.
However, over in South East Asia, audiences are apparently deemed by
local GMJ organizers as being susceptible to somewhat different
messages in the attempt to raise support for the project.
In Kuala Lumpur on March 18th a flashmob of students gathered in
order to “create awareness on the Global March to Jerusalem.”
Chairman of the Malaysian branch of the GMJ, Dr Mohd Tahir Abdul
Rahman, was present at the event and made the following erroneous
“Our focus is Jerusalem, where presently Muslims and Christians are
denied access to their sacred places and holy places of worship by
the Zionists,” he said after the flash mob today.”
The flashmob’s student organisers explained that:
“We wanted to create awareness about the oppression in Palestine by
recreating scenes of the march toward Jerusalem and also show
Palestinians being liberated”
As can be seen in the video of the event below, their idea of “scenes
of the march toward Jerusalem” apparently includes dead Israeli