by Yusuf Dhia-Allah (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 41, No. 2, Jumada' al-Ula', 1433)
Hundreds of thousands of people from around the world have converged on countries bordering Occupied Palestine in an attempt to march to al-Quds (Jerusalem) in solidarity with the Palestinian people. Called the Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ).
Hundreds of thousands of people from around the world have converged on countries bordering Occupied Palestine in an attempt to march to al-Quds (Jerusalem) in solidarity with the Palestinian people. Called the Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ), it is scheduled to move into Palestine on March 30 to coincide with Palestine Land Day (after Crescent International goes to press). On this date, unarmed non-violent peace activists will march across the border into Occupied Palestine to join hands with the Palestinian people to draw attention to their plight and express solidarity with them.
The march will combine the efforts of Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, Christians, Jews, and all citizens of conscience in the world to put an end to Israel’s disregard for international law through the continuing occupation of Jerusalem and the rest of Palestinian land. At the time of writing, peace activists from Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Pakistan and Iran had already arrived in Turkey and Lebanon. They will attempt to use four entry points into Occupied Palestine: Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. It is one of the largest initiatives ever undertaken by civil society groups that builds on efforts made earlier through land and sea convoys attempting to deliver food to the besieged people of Gaza. While those initiatives were meant to deliver much-needed food, the GMJ has a different though no less noble objective.
On May 30, 2010, the Turkish boat, Mavi Marmara was attacked in international waters by Israeli navy commandos killing nine peace activists, all but one of them Turkish citizens. The ninth, 18-year-old Furkan Dogan, was an American citizen of Turkish origin. He was shot in the head and neck while filming the Israeli assault against unarmed peaceful activists. The US took little or no notice of this Israeli crime against its own citizen in international waters. The statement by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that “Israel had the right to defend itself” was beneath contempt. Israel was not being attacked; the aid flotilla carrying food, medicines, baby milk formula and toys posed no threat to anyone. It was not even destined for Israel; it was headed for Gaza to deliver much-needed food and medicines when it was intercepted and attacked in international waters in contravention of international law.
American politicians’ subservience to Israel is well known. The US Congress and the occupant in the White House dare not disobey orders issued by the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), an entity that acts as an agent of a foreign government but without registering as such. This is against US law but Israeli stooges in Congress and the White House cannot raise this point. The same holds true for the corporate media where Zionist presence is strong. There is not a single politician or elected official with clean hands or character, so the Zionists can throw at a lot of dirt at them if they dare step out of line. Blackmailing comes naturally to the Zionists so American officials keep mum and obey their Zionist masters.
In such an environment, how can one expect the US government to protest, much less protect the interests of American citizens? Dogan was of Turkish ancestry so for the American establishment, he was not important. But what about Rachel Corrie, the 23-year-old American born girl from Washington State who was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer on March 16, 2003? What was her crime? She had dared to stand in front of an American-supplied Caterpillar bulldozer to prevent the illegal demolition of the house of a Palestinian in Gaza. The arrogant Israeli driver drove his bulldozer over her back and forth to crush her. There was little official protest in the US. The story did not get much coverage in the mainstream corporate media. How could it? The crime was perpetrated by America’s Zionist masters and American officials could only apologize for inconveniencing them.
There are other attacks in which the Zionists have been involved. On June 8, 1967, the USS Liberty was attacked by Israeli jets for two hours killing 34 sailors and wounding 71 others. The ship was in the Mediterranean Sea and was monitoring the Israeli attack on Egypt, Syria and Jordan. The Zionists did not want this information to leak out to the world as they were the aggressors. They did not have to worry; US President Lyndon Johnson assured the Israelis that no such thing would happen. Incredibly, he accepted the excuse that the Israeli air force attacked the American ship in error. Sailors on the USS Liberty were able to read the markings on Israeli planes so how could the pilots not see the American flag on the ship and its markings during an attack that lasted more than two hours? This murder on the high seas in broad daylight was hushed up by the US.
What are the chances of the Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ), a new groundbreaking initiative organizing non-violent civil resistance, being successful? Given Israel’s violent nature, it would be difficult to imagine that even peaceful, unarmed activists will be allowed to enter Occupied Palestine. That will not deter them from trying, however. Additionally, marches will originate from Palestine (the 1948 sei-zures, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip) and the four neighboring countries, Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon. Already land caravans from Asia and Southeast Asia have generated much publicity in those countries even if there is deafening silence in the Western media.
Despite this, people from diverse backgrounds and from all continents including the US and Canada, have come together to draw attention to Israeli crimes and support the demands of the GMJ: an end to the Zionist State’s policies of apartheid, ethnic cleansing and Zionisation of occupied territories. Global participation in the march confirms that the racist policies and practices of the state of Israel against Jerusalem and its people are a crime not only against the Palestinians but against all of humanity.
Slowly but surely, people worldwide are waking up to Zionist crimes and are beginning to take steps to confront them. Even artists have joined in this effort. This is a hopeful sign. An album by international artists to benefit the “Global March to Jerusalem — North America” has been prepared. Titled Jerusalem for Us All, the album is available for sale at: www.cdbaby.com/cd/jerusalemforusall and www.gmj-na.org/album.html for $9.99. All proceeds benefit the GMJ-NA.