Palestinian organizers are calling for massive demonstrations on Friday to mark Land Day, an annual event that commemorates the killing of six Arabs who were protesting Israeli land policies on March 30, 1976. Tens of thousands are expected to participate in what organizers have billed a “Global March to Jerusalem.” The plan is to have protesters from neighboring countries march up to the Israeli border to “demonstrate solidarity with Palestinians and to protect Jerusalem,” according to organizers.
The future status of Jerusalem is at the heart of the Palestinian movement and is the theme for the global Land Day. East Jerusalem is regarded as the likely capital of a future Palestinian state. Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, a Palestinian activist, explained some of the reasoning for the march to NBC News during a recent interview in Ramallah. ”In light of the total failure of the peace talks, and given the Israeli destruction of the last potential two-state solution through settlement activities, we realize nothing will change unless we change the balance of power,” said Barghouti. He added that organizers are trying to achieve that through this “non-violent peaceful resistance.” […]
This year will mark 36 years since Israel’s practice of expropriating Arab land to build Jewish settlements provoked protests by Arab residents in the Galilee and Negev. In addition to the six people who were killed, over 100 wounded during the ensuing violence. Since then Palestinians have commemorated March 30 as Land Day and have turned the day into a general protest against what they see as discriminatory practices by the Israeli government. So it seemed an appropriate date for activists to hold their march.
“The Global March to Jerusalem represents three things,” said Barghouti. “First of all, the unity of the Palestinian people, and their struggle to achieve freedom and end occupation, for Palestinians in and out of Palestine; second, it affirms the centrality of the issues of land and Jerusalem to achieving Palestinian freedom; and third, it provides international solidarity with the Palestinian cause.”
Despite the participation of dozens of human rights groups and rallies planned in over 60 countries, an Israeli media campaign is working hard to portray the event as a “march of folly” and “dangerous publicity stunt” by “some of the world’s most notorious terrorists, tyrants and radicals” intent on harming the “thriving democracy” of a Jerusalem that enjoys “unprecedented prosperity and equal rights for all of its inhabitants,” according to a blindingly disingenuous op-ed piece by Israel’s ambassador to the U.N. Fight the propaganda, and support the march, by attending a rally, buying or listening to their gorgeous C.D., or watching some powerful videos in its honor.