In March 2012, the highly anticipated march to Jerusalem will commence with Palestinian activists from all across the globe coming together at the Jordanian borders with hopes of entering the capital of Palestine. Since 1967 Jerusalem has been the center of conflict, with the West being completely settled by Israelis and the East occupied by Israeli Occupation Forces. As a result, the capital became under Zionist (Israeli) control. What is considered one of the holiest lands for all monotheistic religions has become a warzone and breeding ground for violence.
With the success of the Asia to Gaza aid convoy, which penetrated the siege of Gaza in January 2010, still fresh on the minds of Palestinian activists, the Unified Ummah organization invited tens of activists from every continent on a tour of Iran and to orchestrate another mission to occupied Palestine. In Tehran, where you will find Felestin Square (Palestine Square) and Al Quds St. it seems that there would be no better place for Palestinians to settle and think of ways to get closer to a freer Palestine.
What was unique about this conference was that these weren’t ordinary activists, but cyber activists of different ethnicities, religions and backgrounds. They have been handpicked from the web because of their devotion to the Palestinian cause. I was asked to join and with great honor and humility, I watched as these amazing people brought into existence extraordinary ideas to prepare the world for what was about to come- a march like no other that will once and for all emphasize the dire situation of Jerusalem. The job given to the cyber activists was to propagate a buzz on the World Wide Web, to gain solidarity from the Arab world and the Western world alike.
Embarking from India, the convoy will travel through Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, Syria and Jordan while another convoy commencing from London will travel through Europe picking up activists for the March 30th protests. Countries surrounding occupied Palestine will partake in large protests across the borders, similar to the May 15 Nakba remembrance protests, and join the convoys by peacefully attempting to enter Palestine.
On the Global March to Jerusalem Youtube channel, representatives from across the region ask for solidarity from the people.
Ismail Haniyeh, leader of the Hamas movement and present government of Gaza, also held a speech endorsing the Global March Jerusalem.
An official communiqué posted on the website of the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah stated:
“The city of Jerusalem has always been a beacon of emancipation and hope to the downtrodden. It has symbolized the unity and equality of all of God’s creation and the message of love, mercy and compassion. Millions of people who love Jerusalem are concerned for the safety and sanctity of the Al Aqsa Mosque, the Dome of the Rock Mosque, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and other sacred properties under the Zionist plan to change and dismantle the structure of the society of Jerusalem, obliterating its Arab identity and changing the character of the city.”
Israeli security officials have become aware of the march yet have not issued a statement vowing to stop the convoys. But with controversies like the attack on an aid ship heading to Gaza in June 2010, where Israeli soldiers invaded the Mavi Marmara killing 9 Turkish activists, there is no telling that Israel may attempt to halt the GMJ plans.
Views expressed in articles are the author’s and do not represent Comment Middle East