Tensions are high today in Israel-Palestine as thousands of protesters are expected to participate in what organizers have billed a “Global March to Jerusalem.” Activists from neighboring countries will march to the Israeli border, according to organizers, to “demonstrate solidarity with Palestinians and to protect Jerusalem.”
The march coincides with Palestinian “Land Day,” which commemorates the 1976 protests against Israeli expropriation of Palestinian land, in which six Palestinian Israelis were killed and hundreds wounded by Israeli forces. Clashes have already occurred between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces inside the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem earlier today.
While the march was planned as “non-violent civil resistance,” the event has received legitimate criticism because of organizers’ condemnation of Israel as a “racist, Zionist state,” and because of the support it has received from groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, and the government of Iran. Critics note that the goal of some extremists is to create a crisis by provoking a violent Israeli response.
Unfortunately, some conservatives are also quite happy to encourage that violence. Noah Pollak, the executive director of the neoconservative Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI), tweeted his own preferences this morning:
Pollak also raised eyebrows last year when, after he praised President Obama’s May 19 speech calling for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, ECI turned around and attacked the president for the speech.