Friday, November 25, 2011

The Jordanian "march to Jerusalem" is just an Islamist political rally

I noted earlier this week that a Jordanian group planned a "million man march to Jerusalem" today.

But as the Jordan Times reports, the march is really just an Islamist rally:

The Islamist movement has called on citizens across the country to amass at the Jordanian-Israeli border this Friday to urge for the “liberation of Jerusalem”.
Kathem Ayesh, who handles the Palestinian file at the Muslim Brotherhood, said the event aims to commemorate the partition of historical Palestine in 1947, a precursor to the Nakbeh, or catastrophe, in 1948.

“We want to show the world that the Jordanian people stand in solidarity with the Palestinians and we reject any attempts to Judaise Jerusalem,” Ayesh told The Jordan Times.

According to organisers, they chose the Jordan Valley town of Sweimeh, 50 kilometres south of Amman and two kilometres from the Jordanian-Israeli border, as the venue of the rally as it represents the closest point in the Kingdom to Jerusalem.

The event, which will not feature any speeches, does not aim to incite any violence, Ayesh said. “This will be a peaceful march and we will not be going near the border.”

The event comes one week after the Islamists returned to the streets, ending a six-week hiatus from the protest movement.

The march also marks a renewed focus on the Palestinian cause - long a staple issue for the movement - which Islamists have overlooked in recent months in favour of domestic issues as part of its reform drive.

Jamil Abu Baker, the Muslim Brotherhood spokesman, stressed that the march is not a departure from Islamists’ reform demands but rather an extension of the “atmosphere” of the Arab Spring.

“Week after week, people have demanded political reforms, public freedoms and an end to corruption,” Abu Baker said.

“Liberating Jerusalem is a basic part of these demands, and this Friday we will let the whole world hear them.”

So it is just some muscle-flexing by Islamists, and Jerusalem is just an excuse to get people riled up.

Some Jordanian newspapers, like al-Rai, are openly supporting the rally.

And while it looks like there will not be violent clashes, that doesn't mean that the imagery on their posters don't advocate the military takeover of Jerusalem by brave Arab warriors.

Notice that for the purposes of this illustration, there are no Palestinian Arabs between Jordan and Jerusalem.