A guest post by Hadar Sela
As we saw in part one of this report on the ‘Global March to Jerusalem’ (GMJ) scheduled for March 30th 2012, the organisers are a conglomerate of people representing the ‘red-green alliance’ the world over. Radical Leftists, Muslim Brotherhood-connected Islamists and representatives of and sympathisers with the Iranian regime have once more come together with the aim of engineering an event which will result in PR disaster for Israel and advance their long-term assault on the legitimacy of the Jewish state.
The European chapter of the GMJ also represents a text-book example of what the Reut Institute termed the ‘red-green alliance’ in 2010 and in particular indicates that the naming of London as a hub of systematic assault on Israel’s right to exist in the Reut Institute’s report is still – two years on – very relevant indeed.
GMJ – the European chapter:
Jerusalem has been a centre of the three monotheistic world religions for more than 1,000 years. This plurality has been threatened since the creation of the state of Israel and more so with the occupation of east Jerusalem and its annexation, in violation of international law. Jerusalem’s Palestinian inhabitants are subjected to a continuous process of expulsion from the city.
85% of its territory has been robbed by foreign settlers, while the Israeli state systematically destroys the livelihood of Palestinians. Every day, the Apartheid state of Israel demolishes Palestinian homes. Armed Israeli gangs, supported by the state, terrorise the old city’s inhabitants demanding, “Arabs out, Jerusalem is Jewish!” Jewish religious fanatics even attack Jewish women if they don’t abide by the rules emanating from their extremist interpretation of religion. All this is happening while the people of the Arab world are clamouring for democracy and self-determination
After decades of submission to a world order dominated by NATO and Israel, the Arab masses have begun to rid themselves of their dependent and dictatorial regimes.
The sole reaction of the last settler colony in the world to the growing protest is increased brutality. The Apartheid state of Israel is hastening to create more facts on the ground, particularly in Jerusalem, before the balance of forces in the region turns completely against them. Once again, Israel’s claim to be the only democracy in the Middle East is exposed to be a racist fallacy – as only Jewish citizens are entitled to it.
As may be concluded from the type of language used above, many (though not all) of the endorsers of the European branch of the GMJ come from the radical Left
Fatima Radjaie, Peace Movement, Karlsruhe, Germany
Thomas Zmrzly, Initiativ e.V. Duisburg, Germany
Ron Ridenour, author, Denmark
Benjamin Monnet, World Assembly Member, USA/Korea
Raymond Deane, composer and political activist, Ireland
Dekmak Haidar, coordinator Quds association in Lebanon
John Beeching, Hon. Chair Canadians for Peace and Socialism
Yvonne Ridley, Vice President of the European Muslims League, England
Dr S Sivasegaram, retired professor, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
Nadine Rosa-Rosso, senior anti-imperialist activist, Bruxelles, Belgium
Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, publicist, Germany
Franz Fischer, Palestine activist and CC of the Labour Party, Switzerland
Canada Palestine Association, Vancouver, and the Voice of Palestine, Canada
Campaign against the Occupation and for the Sovereignty of Iraq, Spanish state
Among the organisers, we find an interesting mix of radical Leftists and Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas-linked veteran activists.
European preparatory committee for the Global March to Jerusalem
Rome, January 14, 2012
Zaher Birawi, leading Palestine activist, Britain
Gretta Duisenberg, Chair Foundation “Stop the Occupation”, Board member Free Gaza Movement, Netherlands
Leo Gabriel, Journalist and Anthropologist, Member of the IC of the World Social Forum, Austria
Dr. Hafiz al Karmi, Chairman Palestinian Forum in Britain
Mohammad Kozber, British Muslim Initiative
Wilhelm Langthaler, Anti-imperialist Camp, Gaza must live coalition, Austria
Mikalis Lukianos, Ship to Gaza, Greece
Daniela di Marco, Chair of Sumud – Anti-imperialist Voluntary Association, Italy
Moreno Pasquinelli, Anti-imperialist Camp, Italy
Ismael Patel, Chairman Friends of Al Qqsa, Britain
Attia and Verena Rajab, Palestine Committee Stuttgart, Germany
Elsa Rassbach, Film maker, journalist and peace activist, Berlin, Germany
Massimo de Santi, President of the International Committee for Education for Peace, Italy
Mikalis Lukianos is, as stated, connected to ‘Ship to Gaza, Greece’ which is part of the coalition of groups behind the organisation of the flotillas and which includes the ‘European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza’ which was established by the Muslim Brotherhood’s European arm, the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe, (FIOE) in 2007 and includes Hamas operatives among its senior figures.
Greta Duisenberg is a long-time anti-Israeli activist from the Netherlands. She sits on the board of the ISM-linked ‘Free Gaza‘ movement chaired by Huweida Arraf and is the founder of ‘Stop the Occupation’ . In 2003, during the second Intifada, her use of a Dutch diplomatic passport in order to visit Yasser Arafat in Ramallah provoked scandal , as have many more of her actions and statements.
Leo Gabriel is a member of the Austrian Social Forum who took part in the failed 2011 flotilla. A long time anti-Israel activist, Gabriel has participated in demanding that the partial embargo on the Gaza Strip (aimed at preventing the flow of weapons into that area) be lifted. He also campaigns for the removal of Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups from the European list of proscribed terror organisations. Here he is speaking in 2009 at a protest against the ‘Tel Aviv Beach’ project in Vienna.
Wilhelm (Willi) Langthaler is the other GMJ organiser in Austria and spokesman for the far Leftist Anti-Imperialist Coordination (AIK) – mainly active in Austria and Italy – which courted controversy with its 2003 ’10 Euros for the Iraqi resistance’ campaign. According to the Stephen Roth Institute:
The AIK (Anti-Imperialist Coordination), in particular, is involved in anti-Israel and anti-American propaganda activities and collaborates with Muslim extremists. During a “solidarity trip” to the Palestinian refugee camp Baka near Amman, leading AIK activist Wilhelm Langthaler asserted that the destruction of Zionism and the so-called state of Israel was “the only way to achieve justice” in the Middle East. He branded Israel “an apartheid regime worse than the one that existed in South Africa.” Before and during the US-led campaign in Iraq, the AIK together with other extremist left-wing and Muslim organizations organized pro-Ba`ath demonstrations against the US. In AIK publications, the murder of Israeli citizens (“occupants”) is supported.
Moreno Pasquinelli from Italy is also part of the Anti-Imperialist Coordination and a GMJ organiser. This former chef and long-time communist has, as mentioned above, been involved in supporting the Iraqi ‘resistance’ as well as Turkish extremists. In November 2011 he attended an ‘Anti-Imperialist’ conference in Bangladesh (together with Maan Bashour; see part one of this report) and the previous month was to be found in Tehran at the regime organised ‘Fifth International Conference for Defending the Palestinian Intifada’, also attended by Khaled Masha’al and the General Secretary of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Daniela di Marco is secretary of ‘Sumud Volunteering and Resistance’ which appears to have interests in Lebanon. Sumud is also involved with the Italian branch of the ‘Freedom Flotilla‘ movement which is also planning another ‘flytilla’ on April 15th 2012 together with ‘Welcome to Palestine’.
Massimo de Santi is a professor of nuclear physics at the University of Pisa who last year attended the Iranian regime organised ‘International Conference on Global Alliance Against Terrorism for A Just Peace’ at which Ahmadinejad stated that “The Zionist regime is the main base for exerting cruelty and terror acts of the main terrorisms around the world including South America, Africa and the Far East; and this regime is the main pillar of terrorism and the unjust system of arrogant world“. De Santi is director of the ‘International Committee of Education for Peace’ and apparently thinks that France is a “danger to world peace” and promotes the idea that Israel is the ‘real threat‘ in the Middle East.
Elsa Rassbach is an American film-maker living in Berlin. She is the founder of ‘American Voices Abroad Military Project’; an “initiative to support GIs who resist in Europe” and is involved with several other ‘anti-war’ groups. Her particular bête noire appears to be American military bases in Germany. Rassbach is also a member of ‘Codepink‘ and took part in the organization of the ‘Welcome to Palestine’ ‘flytilla‘ in 2011 together with Mazin Qumsiyeh (see part one of this report).
Attia & Verena Rajab are prominent members of the Palestine Committee of Stuttgart and were involved in the organization of the 2010 Stuttgart Conference that produced the ‘Stuttgart Declaration’ which rejects a negotiated two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Ismail Patel is a well-known anti-Israel activist in the United Kingdom. An optician from Leicester, he founded ‘Friends of Al Aqsa‘ in 1997, which he also chairs, and which is described as being “concerned with defending the human rights of Palestinians and protecting the sacred al-Aqsa Sanctuary in Jerusalem”. ‘Friends of Al Aqsa’ is one of the organisations which collaborate with the Khomenist ‘Islamic Human Rights Commission’ in organizing the annual ‘Al Quds Day‘ events in London. It is also part of the ‘Britain 2 Gaza‘ campaign.
Patel is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood-linked British Muslim Initiative (BMI) and also sits on the board of ‘Conflicts Forum‘. He has been involved with Islam Expo and the Stop the War Coalition and collaborates with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. He took part in the 2010 flotilla aboard the Mavi Marmara and has also participated in the ‘Union of Good’-linked ‘Miles of Smiles‘ convoy to Gaza organized by Interpal – a banned organization in Israel due to its Hamas links. Here he is in Gaza, meeting Ismail Haniyeh (far right, second row).
(Note: second from the left at the back is Mohammed Kozbar; see below.)
‘Friends of Al Aqsa’ was one of the groups involved with the UK speaking tour by Raed Salah of the Northern Islamic Movement last year and Patel was one of the public figures who rushed to Salah’s defence after his arrest.
Patel has made much of his self-described status as a “survivor” of the Mavi Marmara incident, using it as a platform to spread his anti-Israel rhetoric. Here he is at a ‘Rage against Israel’ rally in London in 2010 stating that Israel’s “days are numbered”.
Hafiz al Karmi is Chairman of the ‘Palestinian Forum in Britain’ (PFB) – another one of the organisations involved in the sponsoring of a speaking tour in the UK by Raed Salah, whom he also in prison.
(More on Ahmad Nofal here)
Al Karmi is also director of the Qatari funded Mayfair Islamic Centre in London (a registered charity), a member of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) and is associated with the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Muslim Association of Britain (MAB). In addition, he belongs to ‘The Coalition of British Muslim Organisations Concerned with the Rights of the Palestinian People‘ which produced this letter in 2009.
In 2010 al Karmi took part in a conference on the subject of European foreign policy towards the Palestinian issue alongside Osama Hamdan of Hamas, Istanbul Declaration signatory Daoud Abdullah, Alistair Crooke of ‘Conflicts Forum‘, Tariq Ramadan and a member of the Lebanese Al-Jama’a Al- Islamiyah.
Members of the Palestinian Forum of Britain are old hands at organizing anti-Israel demonstrations in collaboration with other Hamas/ Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups and the Iranian-linked ‘Islamic Human Rights Commission’.
MAB: PALESTINE RALLY, London, UK
13 April 2002
Transport will be arranged from:
Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham
MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD LAUNCH BIGGEST PALESTINE RALLY IN THE UK, INSHA ALLAH
Supported by Muslim Council of Britain, UK Islamic Mission, Islamic Human Rights Commission, Stop the War Coalition, Palestinian Return Centre, Mayfair Islamic Centre, Palestinian Forum, Dawat-ul-Islam.
Date: 13th April 2002
Venue: from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square: CONFIRMED
Join the Children’s Demo to show solidarity for the children in Gaza and all over Palestine. Bring your children along; let us not be silent any more.
Date: Sunday 8th February 2009
Time: 1.30pm – 3.00pm
Place: Outside 10 Downing Street
Nearest Tube Stations: Charing Cross (Northern Line), Westminster (Jubilee Line) and Embankment (District and Circle Lines)
Organised by: Islamic Human Rights Commission and Palestinian Forum of Britain.
Supported by: Islamic Forum of Europe, Friends of Al-Aqsa, British Muslim Initiative, Muslim Association of Britain, Young Muslim Organisation UK, Palestine Internationalist, Muslimaat UK, Friends of Lebanon, FOSIS, CAMPACC, Islamic Centre of England, Innovative Minds and Palestinian Return Centre.
Join us to protest for the rights of the oppressed and innocents in Gaza. Join the Struggle for Justice.
In 2010 the Palestinian Forum in Britain organized an ‘Al Aqsa in Danger’ gala which featured among others Ennhada‘s Rachid Ghanouchi and Kamal Helbawy who joined the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood at the age of 12 and functioned as its official spokesman in the West between 1995-7, establishing both the MCB and MAB. At the gala, Helbawy reportedly stated that:
“the resistance is the active heart of the Islamic nation, that resistance is the only language that the occupation understands, which Khaled Mashaal, the head of Hamas’s political bureau, grasps well.” Helbawy called for action by everyone according to his capacity, “to liberate Palestine — all Palestine “.
Mohammed Kozbar (aka Kozber) is a senior member of the British Muslim Initiative (BMI) and a former director and member of the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), both of which are connected to the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE) – the Muslim Brotherhood’s European arm. He is also a trustee of the Finsbury Park Mosque (also known as North London Central Mosque) and a project director for IslamExpo.
In his BMI capacity, Kozbar is involved with ‘anti-war’ groups such as the Stop the War Coalition and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. In the same role, he also collaborates with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and in December 2011 was to be found calling for the “end of Israel” at a London rally.
Here he is in 2010 at one of a series of anti-Israel rallies following the flotilla incident:
Kozbar is also a member and former director of the Lebanese Association (or League) of Britain and represented that organization (alongside Hafiz al Karmi, see above) at a memorial to Lebanese Muslim Brotherhood leader and Union of Good trustee Faisal Mawlawi. In this announcement from last year, Kozbar is also described as a member of the Lebanese Islamic Association.
Kozbar is a trustee of a registered charity named ‘Lebanese Relief’ with an offshoot – also a registered charity – named ‘UK Care for Children’, of which he is also a trustee. Also on the board of trustees of the latter charity is Jihad Qundil – a senior Interpal employee. Interpal is proscribed by Israel and the United States due to its links to the Hamas-supporting and financing ‘Union of Good’.
Here is Kozbar (second from the right) posing for a photograph at the Gaza Legislature with members of an Interpal mission.
Zaher Birawi (also al Birawi) is official spokesman for the ‘Global March on Jerusalem’. He is also spokesman /media officer for the Palestinian Forum in Britain (PFB) headed by Hafiz al Karmi (see above). The PFB states that it maintains the principle that “Palestine with its historic borders is an Arab Islamic land”.
As can be seen in the above announcement for the Raed Salah speaking tour, the PFB is involved in fundraising for the Manchester-based ‘Human Appeal International’ (HAI) – another registered charity in England & Wales proscribed by Israel due to its links to the ‘Union of Good’ headed by Yusuf Qaradawi. Human Appeal International was also directly named (along with Interpal) in the case of a Hamas activist tried for having been involved in fundraising for suicide bombings inside Israel. HAI is linked to the Muslim Association of Britain and partners for fundraising purposes with another registered charity entitled ‘Syria Relief’.
The Palestinian Forum in Britain is also part of the coalition of organisations including Ismail Patel’s ‘Friends of Al Aqsa’, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the Stop the War Coalition and the BMI which came together to form the flotilla supporting and enabling ‘Britain 2 Gaza’ forum. The PFB also collaborates with many of the same organisations and additional ones on other anti-Israel projects.
In addition, Birawi is a trustee of the registered charity ‘Education Aid for Palestinians’ – also part of the ‘Union of Good’ – and acted as head of programming for the Muslim Brotherhood’s Al Hiwar TV established by Azam Tamimi. He has also acted as spokesman for George Galloway’s ‘Viva Palestina’ convoys.
Birawi is most well-known, however, for his activities as a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood-linked ‘Palestinian Return Centre’ (PRC) in London – an organization also banned in Israel due to its Hamas affiliations. Prominent PRC figures are connected to Hamas and to the Muslim Brotherhood established ‘European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza’ (ECESG -which shares PRC office space), Interpal, MEMO and the MCB.
Here is Birawi sitting on Ismail Haniyeh’s right at a function in Gaza. Readers will also recognize Kevin Ovenden (to Birawi’s right; see part one of this report), Hamas Shura council member Mahmoud al Zahar and – on the far right – one of the Mavi Marmara participants.
Below we see Birawi (second from the left) at a classic red-green alliance event in Downing Street last September together with Sarah Colborne of the PSC, Mohammed Sawalha (see part one of this report), Lindsey German of the StWC, trade unionist Hugh Lanning, MP Andy Slaughter, former MP Martin Linton and member of the House of Lords and PSC & ECESG patron Jenny Tonge.
The Global March on Jerusalem should be seen not only in the context of the broad alliance of anti-Israel activists of differing stripes brought together in order to get the project off the ground. It must also be assessed in terms of the interests of those providing considerable financial resources for its promotion and execution.
As pointed out on the ALAH blogspot , the campaign is obviously well-funded, allowing for publicity in several languages and frequent meetings of the organisers worldwide, including one for the European chapter scheduled for February 21st in London.
The financial and ideological backers of the GMJ are –each for their own reasons – currently in need of a high-profile event with substantial media coverage in order to compensate for their failures on other fronts.
With Hizbollah having been unable to produce anything of major significance in the past four or five years and its ally in Damascus under ever-increasing pressure, and with Hamas feeling the financial pinch as a result of sanctions on Iran and ideological differences with the Tehran regime over Syria, a major and well-publicised distraction is at this time of vital importance to all.
Unfortunately, as we saw in the case of the 2010 flotilla, such a need for a high-profile event is likely to result in tragedy.
The deliberate exploitation of the subject of the Al Aqsa Mosque – unparalleled in its sensitivity in the Muslim world – by the organisers of the GMJ makes this unnecessary provocation even more potentially volatile.
It is to be hoped that governments worldwide will recognize this counter-productive assault on a fellow UN member state for what it is. Hopefully they will also realize that the ability or will of surrounding countries to prevent their being used as a launching pad for the GMJ provocation is severely diminished and that they must therefore step up to the line and take action to prevent their citizens becoming involved in this foolhardy and potentially dangerous publicity stunt engineered by hardline terrorist sympathisers, the terrorist organisations themselves and their financial backers.
- CiF Watch Special Report: Extremists & terror supporters organizing ‘Global March to Jerusalem’ (cifwatch.com)
- Following CiF Watch post & reader complaints, Guardian’s Travel page adds “Israel” to the Map (cifwatch.com)
- CiF readers blast Jonathan Freedland’s critique of Guardian Left orthodoxies on Syria, Iran & Israel (cifwatch.com)
- CiF Watch @ ‘Big Tent for Israel’ conference in Manchester, Nov. 27th (cifwatch.com)
- CiF Watch Gossip of the Day: Harriet Sherwood “Head Spinning” Edition (cifwatch.com)
- More proof that J Street is clearly outside even the broadest Zionist tent (cifwatch.com)
- Racist Alliance: Behind the scenes of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine and Pluto Press (cifwatch.com)