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November 29, 2015 / 17 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘march’

Marching On Jerusalem

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

A million Arabs plan to march on Jerusalem highlighting strange “accusations” that Israel is seeking to retain the Jewish character of its holy capital.

In a nutshell, the week’s news is this: A bunch of Islamic terrorists are organizing a million-man march on Yerushalayim, disingenuously portraying this potentially murderous initiative as a simple peaceful protest.

The march, which is to begin simultaneously from all four of Israel’s neighbors – Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt – has been billed as protesting the “Judaization of Jerusalem” – as if the Holy City has not been the capital of the Jewish people for nearly 3,000 years.

Known as the Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ), it is scheduled for this Friday. Its aim is to have one million people march on and infiltrate Israel’s borders, with the ultimate goal being Jerusalem. If they succeed in breaking through at just one spot, the dangers of bloodshed on both sides are clearly acute.

Who is organizing it? Outspokenly hostile Muslim terrorists: Members of Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, and others – all backed and sponsored by Iran.

CiF Watch, a pro-Israel organization tracking preparations for the march, notes that one of the senior organizers is Hamas MP Ahmed Abo Halabiya, who in 2000 said in a sermon, “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.”

Sitting on the GMJ’s advisory board members are President Obama’s former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright; Sheikh Raed Salah of the militant Islamic Movement in Israel; and Hamas leaders.

Why have they chosen to highlight Jerusalem, as opposed to the entirety of Israel? The answer is clear: They well know that our connection to our holy city is the key to our connection to the entire Land of Israel. Wherever they weaken our hold on Yerushalayim, they weaken the entire Zionist enterprise.

The IDF is concerned that the “non-violent” march could easily spin out of control, as happened last year when over a dozen Syrians were killed when they burst through the Israeli border in the Golan. Taking a broader view, some fear that, given the current volatile state of the Middle East, the true goal of the GMJ is to spark yet another intifada.

Israel is not taking the threat lightly and has explicitly warned its neighboring countries not to permit demonstrators near its borders this Friday, vowing it will take all means necessary against anyone trying to cross the borders.

Lebanon, for its part, has said it will allow marchers to reach only as far south as the Beaufort, three miles from the border. Lebanese sources say the country does not want a repeat of last year’s events. Jordan, however, has announced that it will permit its citizens to approach the Israeli border as long as they “do not act with violence.”

Of course, the most effective response to this affront to our sovereignty would simply be to constantly reaffirm exclusive Jewish rights to Jerusalem. The more we assert our rights, the more they will be respected.

Because amidst all the details, we must not lose sight of the big picture: The stated Muslim ideology behind this march is to prevent the “Judaization of Jerusalem.” Interestingly, there is an entire Wikipedia entry on this topic – and its history of Jerusalem does not even mention King David or the Holy Temples. Its overview begins instead with the generalization that Jerusalem “has a long history of settlement predating that of the three monotheistic faiths” and that “members of all three religions and others have made Jerusalem their home over the years.” The history of the city begins, according to this article, in the year 638, when it came under Muslim rule.

Let us therefore review some basic truths; though they are self-evident to readers of this column, they need to be repeated and disseminated at every opportunity:

Jerusalem has been central to the Jewish nation for some four millennia, ever since Abraham nearly sacrificed his son Isaac on Mt. Moriah; 1,000 years later, after nearly five centuries of Jewish control over the land, King David made the city Israel’s capital; we mention Yerushalayim constantly in our prayers, which we recite while facing it; we constantly remember its centerpiece’s destruction on days of mourning as well as happy occasions; Jerusalem is mentioned directly in the Bible some 650 times – and not even once in the Koran; Muslims actually turn their backs on Jerusalem when they pray.

Canadian historian Jacques Gauthier concluded in his doctoral dissertation that “Jerusalem belongs to the Jews, by international law.” His research is based on a non-broken series of international treaties and resolutions over the past 90 years, beginning with the 1920 San Remo Conference (later unanimously backed by the League of Nations), which affirmed the Balfour Declaration and create a Jewish national home in what is now Israel.

Global March Could Bring Thousands Of Arabs To Israel’s borders

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

JERUSALEM – If pro-Palestinian calls for a so-called Global March to Jerusalem are heeded, thousands of Arabs from the West Bank, Gaza, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria could converge on Israel’s borders.

The date of the march, March 30, marks Land Day, which commemorates the deaths of six Arab Israelis killed in 1976 during protests against Israeli government land policies.

While last year’s Land Day commemorations were held without incident, rallies two months later to mark the anniversary of what the Palestinians call the Nakba – the “catastrophe” of Israel’s founding in 1948 – brought thousands of Arabs from Lebanon, Syria and Gaza to march on Israel’s borders, and 13 marchers were killed.

A month later, on June 5, hundreds of Syrian protesters stormed the border with Israel on Naksa Day, the anniversary of the 1967 Six-Day War, and there were more casualties.

“The IDF is prepared for any eventuality and will do whatever is necessary to protect Israeli borders and residents,” the Israel Defense Forces’ spokesman said this week when asked how the IDF is preparing for Land Day.

Citing senior defense officials, Haaretz reported that the IDF is prepared for “relatively serious events.” The Israeli daily added that the most current intelligence assessments believe that the demonstrations Friday will be “limited.”

Marwan Barghouti

Preparations for Land Day security have used last year’s Nakba and Naksa day rallies as models, according to reports. Security forces have updated their knowledge of non-lethal crowd dispersal methods, while border troops have gone on higher alert and additional IDF troops have been moved to the borders.

Israeli officials reportedly were most concerned about the Lebanese border and asked the Lebanese government to rein in protesters. The main Lebanese demonstration is planned for the Beaufort Castle, which is several miles north of the Israeli city of Metullah, rather than the border with Israel, the Lebanese branch of the Global March to Jerusalem announced last week.

The number of demonstrators at Beaufort will be limited to 5,000, according to the Lebanese Daily Star newspaper, citing organizers of the march.

March general coordinator Ribhi Halloum told reporters earlier in the week that the march would be peaceful.

“The aim of the Al Quds march is to express a message of protest and condemnation against the policy of Israeli occupation in the occupied Palestinian territories,” he said, using the Arabic name for Jerusalem.

“We will under no circumstances agree to violence or a violation of the borders. We will maintain the policy of nonviolent protest we have agreed to uphold.”

Land Day events also will be held inside Israel’s borders under the auspices of the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee with the banner “Save the lands and prevent the Judaization of Jerusalem.”

Israeli police have been cautioned to keep out of Arab villages in Israel in order to maintain calm.

Meanwhile, jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti, who is serving five life sentences in an Israeli prison for his role in five murders during the second intifada, called on Palestinians to launch a popular resistance campaign against Israel.

His statement, issued in advance of Land Day, called on the Palestinian Authority to stop all coordination with Israel in the economic and security realms and to stop peace negotiations.

Israel and the Palestinian Authority currently are not engaged in negotiations.


Mixed Messages About Violence from the Global March to Jerusalem

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

In an interview with the Palestinian news agency Ma’an on March 19th, Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ) spokesman Zaher Birawi stated that the organizers are “not interested in confrontation with the Israeli army, after similar demonstrations a year earlier ended in bloodshed”.

Whilst it is difficult to imagine exactly what sort of effective controls the GMJ organizers have been able to put in place in order to prevent their aspired one million man march from descending into violence, it should also be taken into account that a considerable number of the GMJ organizers are veterans of the flotilla project who still describe the Turkish activists aboard the IHH-sponsored Mavi Marmara in 2010 as ‘humanitarian aid workers’.

Others are members of various ‘popular resistance committees’ which define the weekly riots at places such as Bil’in and Nebi Salah as ‘non-violent protest’. The heavy involvement of Hamas and the Iranian regime in the march’s organization, together with support from Hizbollah and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad also raises doubts as to the sincerity of the professed commitment to non-violence.

Coincidentally, the North American chapter of the GMJ has put out a new leaflet replete with messages of non-violence and invoking Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King as role models.

When compared to the original publicity put out by the GMJ organisers, it is rather obvious that someone appears to have reached the conclusion that the North American audience is in need of a somewhat softer approach.

However, over in South East Asia, audiences are apparently deemed by local GMJ organizers as being susceptible to somewhat different messages in the attempt to raise support for the project.

In Kuala Lumpur on March 18th a flashmob of students gathered in order to “create awareness on the Global March to Jerusalem.” Chairman of the Malaysian branch of the GMJ, Dr Mohd Tahir Abdul Rahman, was present at the event and made the following erroneous statement:

“Our focus is Jerusalem, where presently Muslims and Christians are denied access to their sacred places and holy places of worship by the Zionists,” he said after the flash mob today.”

The flashmob’s student organisers explained that:

“We wanted to create awareness about the oppression in Palestine by recreating scenes of the march toward Jerusalem and also show Palestinians being liberated”

As can be seen in the video of the event below, their idea of “scenes of the march toward Jerusalem” apparently includes dead Israeli soldiers.

Somebody obviously missed out on the ‘non-violence’ memo.

Clashes Expected between Marching Neo-Nazis and Protesters in Dresden Tomorrow

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Stephan Kramer, who leads the Central Council of Jews in Germany, gave his unequivocal support to planned sit-ins on the 67th anniversary of Dresden’s firebombing by the allies on February 13, 1945. The sit-ins are intended to block neo-Nazis from commemorating the event and using it as an argument against German responsibility for WWII atrocities.

According to Deutsche Welle, in 1998, far-right and neo-Nazi groups staged their demonstrations on the anniversary of Dresden’s destruction, to deny German war guilt and the Holocaust. What started with less than 100 participants grew into mass demonstrations with at least 6,500 neo-Nazis marching in the 2011 protest, dubbed the “funeral march.” The city said it expects between 1,000 and 2,000 to take part in the march this year.

The people of Dresden, as well as many from outside the city, have organized large-scale protests against the annual far-right marches. In 2011, close to 15,000 engaged in sit-ins, and formed human chains to obstruct the march’s path.

Police forcibly removed protesters, to allow skinheads and neo-Nazis access to the city streets, while the sit-ins were treated as criminal obstructions of an authorized demonstration.

Kramer called the Dresden authorities’ action last year a “reversal of justice.” The head of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, Aiman Mazyek, also supported the “Nazi-free Dresden” movement.

Jordan’s million man march on Jerusalem

Friday, November 25th, 2011

Arab sources are reporting several injured after some members of the Jordanian ‘Million Man March’ to “liberate Jerusalem” tried to cross the Jordan-Israel border. Jordanian authorities shot tear gas at the protesters.

Arab sources are claiming 1000 buses and 100,000 protesters arrived at the Jordan Valley town of Sweimeh 50 kilometers south of Amman and two kilometers from the Jordanian-Israeli border.

For photos and more information, see this Scoop.

Boys To Men: The Fighters Who Gave Us Israel

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

The early morning air drifting off the port of Haifa passed through the tents housing the sleeping new recruits secretly based at Kibbutz Ein Shofat.

Six to a tent, the recruits woke up to the call of Abrashka, a handsome, athletic, and extremely likeable kibbutznik in charge of training.

“Everybody wake up. In ten minutes we begin the march.”

The Palmach was a fighting unit that emphasized a brand of leadership stressing quality of character – which of course inspired the volunteers to give their utmost. Rank played no part in the Palmach. Officers were called by their first names, uniforms didn’t exist and the things that mattered most were charisma, character and intelligence.

Within fifteen minutes my father and his fellow soldiers were on their first march, crossing over rough terrain. Before joining the Palmach my father had developed his remarkable leg strength by regularly biking up the extremely steep Judean hills, many times with a friend on the back of the bicycle. But now he had to deal with Abrashka, a non-stop running machine.

When Abrashka gave the order to run, the 35-man platoon did just that, doing their best to keep up with him.

Dawn gave way to the sun rising over the eastern horizon, illuminating the majestic landscape and invigorating the platoon to run faster. The whispers of generations of exiled and martyred souls could be heard in the breeze, calling them to make real the dream.

Sweat poured down their faces, but the recruits would never disclose their intense discomfort and pain. Like a master craftsman, Abrashka had begun to mold them. They may have been infused with a strong desire to serve, but the new recruits had no idea just how drastically their lives were about to change.

Dedicated boys were about to be transformed into men of valor.

The inherent qualities the Palmach sought to instill in each recruit were starting to take shape – stamina, stoic outlook, tolerance of pain, selflessness, courage, humility, and a soldier’s honor as opposed to a fool’s pride.

The first march had come to its end and the fatigued men returned to their tents. Morning had arrived, and my father was about to enter the underground life of the Palmach fighter.

The men of the Palmach, stationed in kibbutzim and assuming the role of kibbutz members to avoid British capture, underwent military training while doing farm work 14 days a month to support themselves.

The days were hard – unrelenting work and training – but the nights were a magical blend of stars above and campfires below, Palmachnik fighters singing impromptu songs, drinking coffee, telling jokes, and dreaming of the moment the exile would end and the Children of Israel would return home.

As the weeks passed my father, Motke, and his new companions learned how to handle weapons and mastered face-to-face (krav panim el panim) combat, stick fighting, jumping and rope climbing.

The fighting methods taught were original and geared to the realities of Mandatory Palestine. But before the unit was allowed to undertake its first mission, one more of Abrashka’s runs had to be endured.

The march began early in the morning. Abrashka gave the command to run and the unit responded like a well-oiled machine. Suddenly my father felt something in his foot. The pain was excruciating, but he knew if he stopped or slowed down, morale would be broken.

At that moment, the Palmach spirit Abrashka had so relentlessly worked on kicked into place. Step after step, mile after mile, my father focused on the platoon rather than on himself – a technique all Palmachniks utilized when faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

Only when the twenty-mile march-run had come to an end did my father allow himself to relax. He took off his shoe. His foot, bleeding profusely, had a nail in it.

The Palmach lived and fought by the motto Po Lo Maznichim Chever – Here We Don’t Leave a Friend Behind. The dedication of these young Jewish warriors was something beyond mere Zionist aspirations. They were ready and willing to part with limbs and even life itself to fulfill the dreams of their ancestors, to redeem the millions of Jews lost in the Holocaust.

March 16 – 66th Anniversary Of Krakow Ghetto Liquidation

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

     A few-hundred Kracovians and guests from abroad, including Israel, participated in the annual March of Remembrance. Ghetto survivors, representatives of local authorities, diplomats (including Ann Hall, U.S. Consul General in Krakow and David Peleg, Israeli Ambassador in Poland) and many “ordinary people” came to commemorate those who were killed in the ghetto during WW II. We walked from the former Umschlagplatz in Podgorze to the site of former KL Plaszow.



Israeli Ambassador, David Peleg, at the remnants of the ghetto walls.



    The March of Remembrance was inaugurated in early 80s by a group of people who later founded the Jewish Culture Festival Society. It was a very small, semi-private way of commemorating forgotten victims of the Krakow Ghetto. Throughout the years the march kept growing and became Krakow’s central event commemorating the Holocaust.



Rabbi Edgar Gluck recites Kaddish at the monument for murdered Jews.



   Among those who participated in the march this year were Jew and non-Jews, survivors and their neighbors, people of different professions, ages and backgrounds. In recent years, there are more and more visitors from Israel coming especially to the March of Remembrance. In many cases this is the first time they have returned to their former homeland since the Shoah. Quite a few came with members of their families and friends.



Representatives of local authorities and Rabbi Edgar Gluck



   For those who have been involved in the organization of the march from the very beginning, there is one very important element. Although it has become an official event, the march has not lost its spontaneous character and is first of all a manifestation of feelings of each individual attending the March of Remembrance.



The monument at the Plaszow concentration camp in Krakow



  Correction – Last week the caption on two of the pictures in this column were inadvertently switched, Rabbi Michael Schudrich was seen reading the Megillahin Warsaw and Rabbi Gluck was seen with a member of his congregation in Krakow after reading the Megillah.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/march-16-66th-anniversary-of-krakow-ghetto-liquidation/2009/03/25/

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