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Monday, March 26, 2012

Government ready for 'Global march to Jerusalem'

Israeli officials said on Sunday that they are ready to handle the 'global march to Jerusalem' which is scheduled to take place on Friday.
Organizers of the event – known as “GMJ” – say they are planning peaceful marches on the Israeli border in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt, at checkpoints in the West Bank and at entrances to the Gaza Strip.

“Our aim is to end the Zionist policies of apartheid, ethnic cleansing and Judaization, which all harm the people, land and sanctity of Jerusalem,” they wrote on the event’s official homepage. “The GMJ is comprised of a diverse coalition of Palestinian, Arab and international activists who are united in the struggle to liberate the holy city of Jerusalem (the city of peace) from illegal Zionist occupation.”

Organizers said processions would also be organized in Arab and Muslim capitals worldwide, and in front of Israeli embassies in a number of unspecified countries.

Friday marks 36 years since the first Land Day, when tens of thousands of Israeli Arabs – and Palestinians marching in solidarity in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Lebanon – rallied against government plans to take control of hundreds of hectares of land in the Galilee and the Negev. Six Israeli Arabs were killed and around 100 were wounded in the protests.

On Sunday, officials said security forces had been given refresher training on non-lethal crowd dispersal techniques. They said border police have been put on alert in Israel and the West Bank, and additional officers deployed to the northern borders to reinforce IDF units.
Of course, the big issue is what will happen on the borders, since we all recall what happened last year, when 'Palestinians' breached the border with Syria and attempted to breach the border with Lebanon.
Another official said all necessary precautions were being taken, and that Jordan and Egypt had an interest in keeping their borders quiet.

The situation in Lebanon is less clear. One Israeli official said marchers would likely proceed as far as Beaufort – a Crusader castle several kilometers north of the border – while another warned that Iranian involvement in Lebanon’s south means no scenario could be ruled out.


This month, the GMJ website claimed a Jewish-Iranian umbrella group had thrown its support behind the marches. “We the Iranian Jewry alongside the strata of Iranian people, under the guidance of the leadership, announce that we shall fight against imperialism and Zionism until all the lawful rights of the valiant nation of Palestine are met,” the Society of Iranian Jews was quoted as saying.

“We the Iranian Jewry would also like to show the disassociation of the anti-humanitarian works committed by the occupying Israeli regime and their usurping army with the commandments of divine laws of Prophet Moses (P.B.U.H). We would like to show our support with all those who desire the lawful rights of the valiant nation of Palestine,” the group said.

The statement was signed by Ciamak Mordesadegh – who holds the one Iranian parliamentary seat reserved for Jews – and Rabbi Mashallah Golestaninejad, a Jewish leader in the country.
The prime mover behind the march is Iran, and JPost goes on to cite a DEBKA report (highly unusual) which claims that the Iranian Jewish community is being forced to send Jews to Lebanon to march in the 'global march.' The Post says that the report cannot be independently verified, but it sounds plausible to me.
Jewish communal leaders were instructed by the Iranian authorities this week to have at least 10 young men aged 18 to 22 ready for the march. They were to be given “the honor” of acting as vanguard for breaking through the Lebanese-Israeli border fence and leading a mass incursion across the border.

They suspect that this ploy is meant to prevent Israeli soldiers from firing on the trespassers for fear of killing the Jewish contingent, while at the same time, exposing them to violence when the event is over at the hands of al-Qaeda linked Palestinian groups under Hizballah protection.


Our sources report an Iranian scheme to send the Jewish marchers on a visit to Ain Hilwa to show their solidarity with the most radical Palestinian cause.

Last week, Jewish leaders were obliged to sign a declaration of solidarity with the Global March and condemnation of Israel. The text put before them for signing was as follows: We the Jews of Iran strongly condemn the barbaric crimes of the occupation regime in Palestinian and declare the Zionist state in violation of the principles of Our Teacher Moses and the Will of God. We are totally at one with the aspirations of the heroic Palestinian people.”

Signed: Dr. Syamak Mare Dedeq, Jewish Member of Parliament, and Rabbi Mashallah Golestani-Nejad, described as the Chief Rabbi of Iran.
Israel has already announced that it will treat anyone who breaches the border as an infiltrator, i.e. as an enemy combatant. It will be interesting to see whether the IDF might attempt to 'kidnap' any Jews who are part of the march.

In the meantime, I am sure that the New York Times will publish an op-ed from Roger Cohen this week that will claim that Iranian Jewry is a willing participant in the march.

What could go wrong?

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