Friday, March 16, 2012

Iran Backing March on Jerusalem


The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center reports on plans for coordinated marches on Israel's borders at the end of this month:

1. A number of simultaneous marches to Israel's borders from the various Arab countries are planned for March 30, 2012, referring to themselves as part of the Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ). The marches are expected to take place in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip. The anti-Israeli boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign is also planning a so-called "global activity day," combining propaganda events in various places around the world with Land Day, marked by Israeli Arabs. The organizers of the events set up committees and umbrella networks in the various countries to deal with logistic deployment and propaganda.

2. Evidence in our possession indicates that Iran openly and with its own propaganda supports the March 30 events and is also involved in organizational preparations for the marches. To that end it employs proxies, including organizations and individuals, affiliated with Iran.

3. Iranian support for the marches and its involvement in their preparations are additional proof of the event's extremist character. That is also manifested by the involvement of Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, extremist organizations in Asia and the terrorist organizations (such as Hezbollah and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad) in the preparations. In our assessment the radical Islamic nature of the marches casts a shadow over the participation of various Western human rights organizations and NGOs, and may even make them reconsider. In addition, the presence of extremist Middle Eastern elements in the planned events, especially in the Lebanese sector, heightens the potential for violence and provocation, despite the fact that the march organizers have repeatedly stated that they will be non-violent.

4. To summarize, there is evidence that Iran, both directly and through its proxies, supports the marches and possibly additional propaganda events planned for March 30. In our assessment, Iran has a number of objectives: to strengthen its regional influence by exploiting the sensitivity of the Arab-Muslim world to the issue of Jerusalem, to draw international attention away from itself, and to broaden and deepen the delegitimization campaign being waged against Israel by channeling it to Iran's own political needs.