Report of the GMJ-NA organizing committee
Some will say that the Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ) on March 30, 2012 was a great success. Others will say it was a failure. Both are correct.
To measure by the standard of how many participants marched into Jerusalem on that day, no one can argue for success. Neither can one argue that any fewer Palestinians are living in exile, or that the Palestinian population of Jerusalem or any other part of Palestine is under any less threat of expulsion or abuse of rights as a result of the march. In sum, the situation on the ground has changed hardly at all.
However, even Israel’s main advisor for strategic studies, the Reut Institute, contends that the major threat to Israel’s existence is to be found in the hearts, minds and will of the world’s peoples, and that the struggle will be won or lost there, much as it was with South Africa. When judged by this standard, the GMJ has proven its success, by virtue of its creation of an entirely new coalition, with a broad range of partnerships that has never existed before, and a major new center of nonviolent resistance for Palestine.
This coalition, in partnership with Palestinian Land Day commemorations, turned out hundreds of thousands of participants in scores of locations across the globe. The largest were in Jordan and Morocco, with a combined total of nearly 100,000 between them. In addition, a dozen nations participated in an inspirational – though sometimes grueling – caravan to Jerusalem, beginning in India and proceeding through Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Syria and Lebanon.
The key to the breadth and diversity of the coalition has been its tolerance of a variety of narratives united by a common mission and set of principles. Groups and individuals that have never before worked together agreed to do so despite sometimes wide differences in approach and messaging. The result has been a learning experience for all concerned, and an increased appreciation for new points of view, as well as for the common concerns that bind the groups together – in this case the defense of Jerusalem and Palestine against ethnic cleansing, and of Palestinians against human rights abuses.
The GMJ-NA Organizing Committee