When it comes to publicity stunts designed to demonize Israel and attack the legitimacy of the Jewish state, the Palestinians are the undisputed media manipulators par excellence. Today's "Global March to Jerusalem" (GMJ) is a prime example.
Just like the 2010 Gaza terror flotilla and the 2011 Nakba Day protests before it, the GMJ's sole purpose is to confront and provoke the Israelis, with the hope of eliciting a violent reaction and creating a public relations bonanza.
According to organisers of the event, one million people are expected to be convoyed from neighbouring Jordan, Eygpt, Syria, and Lebanon to march to Jerusalem (or to the nearest point).
Their aim? Ostensibly to demonstrate solidarity with the Palestinian people and to protect the sanctity of Jerusalem against what they claim is its ethnic cleansing and "Judaization."
Let's take aside for the moment that the only time the sanctity of Jerusalem has actually been protected and open to all religions has been under Israeli sovereignty (between 1948 and 1967, when the Jordanians controlled the eastern part of the city, they prevented Jews access to the Jewish holy sites).
Zahir Al-Birawi, the spokesman of the GMJ has insisted the group does not intend to use violence and that the march will be peaceful. Oh really?
Let's start with the event's logo -- a map of "Palestine" that does not include or acknowledge the existence of the State of Israel.
Now, let's look into some of the "leaders" of the march.
According to CiF Watch, who have created a website to help expose the truth about the GMJ, the organizers and leading individuals are a global conglomerate of radical Islamist, terrorist, and far left groups (such as Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood & International Solidarity Movement).
One such senior leader is Ahmad Abu Halabiya, a Hamas MP and GMJ International Central Committee member, who has previously said: "Have no mercy on the Jews, no matter where they are, in any country. Fight them, wherever you are. Wherever you meet them, kill them."
Another is Abdul Razzaq Maqri, the GMJ co-ordinator for Algeria and North African, who said in 2010 video that "all our blood is Palestine," adding that "Israel will be annihilated soon." Maqri was also one of the leaders of the 2010 Gaza Flotilla.
Mansour Kiaei, a member of the GMJ South-East Asian delegation, recently displayed his intentions of "peace," when he tweeted "death to Israel."
And then there is Abd al-Aziz Amru, a senior Hamas terrorist who was released last year during the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap. Amru was serving seven life sentences in Israel for involvement in a deadly suicide attack in Jerusalem in 2003. Clearly, a display of what he thinks about the "sanctity" of Jerusalem. He recently travelled to South Africa to help promote the GMJ.
The GMJ "Advisory Board" is no less illustrious, and counts amongst its members George Galloway, an antisemitic former UK politician and supporter of Hamas and Hizbullah. He has previously described Jerusalem as being "raped" by "foreigners." Those "foreigners" being Israel of course.
One of Galloway's cohorts on the advisory board is Sheikh Raed Salah, an Israeli-based radical Islamic cleric. In 2005, Salah was convicted in Israel for raising millions of dollars for Hamas and having contacts with an Iranian intelligence agent.
In a fiery Jerusalem sermon in 2008, he also invoked the infamous "blood libel" accusing Jews of using non-Jewish children's blood to bake bread and called for an "Islamic-Arab Intifada from ocean to ocean, in support of the holy Jerusalem." Immediately after, the 1,000-plus strong crowd began rioting. You can only imagine what a million-plus crowd would do after a similarly incendiary speech.
Omnipresent in all this is Iran's unmistakable web of influence, stoking the flames of violence and unrest.
The respected Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center produced a detailed report outlining how Iran is the primary force behind the initiative, both directly and through its proxies such as Hamas, Hezbollah, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
The Islamic Republic's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, personally proclaimed Iran's open support for the march, saying it was an expression of Iran's policy to strengthen "resistance operations" against Israel.
Hussein Sheikh-ul-Islam, the Senior Advisor to the Parliament Speaker for International Affairs of Iran, was appointed Secretary of the Board for GMJ in Iran, and promptly proclaimed the march "a symbol... against the occupation, oppression, injustice and Judaization of Jerusalem."
Ahmadinejad himself even met with some of the participants of the GMJ in Tehran only two weeks ago and told them, "The Zionist regime is like a malignant cancerous cell," adding it was no longer legitimate for Israel to occupy any part of Palestine and that "we must prepare for the great day that arrogance will be wiped from the face of the earth."
So, let there be no doubt -- Iran's terrorist tentacles are all over this march, down to the very last detail. Should violence ensue, the blood will be solely on the hands of Tehran and those foolish enough to be duped into participating in this Jihadist march to Jerusalem.
Follow Arsen Ostrovsky on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@ArsenOstrovsky