May 24, 2021 Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1577

Destruction Of Israel By The Sword Or By Referendum – Part I: On Qods Day 2021, Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei Calls On Palestinians To Rise Up Against Israel

May 24, 2021 | By A. Savyon and M. Manzour*
Iran, Palestinians | Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1577


As it does every year, the Iranian regime marked Qods Day (Roz-e Qods) – Jerusalem Day – on the last Friday of the month of Ramadan and called for the annihilation of Israel. This year, Qods Day fell on May 7, and Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and other regime officials, in addition to calling for Israel's annihilation, encouraged the Palestinians to rise up against Israel.

Since its establishment in 1979, Iran's revolutionary regime has set the goal of the elimination of the State of Israel at the focus of its ideology, declaring it openly and emphatically, in addition to years of massive and consistent military efforts. These military efforts have been declared openly by Iranian and Palestinian spokesmen, and take the form of Iranian funding, training, and provision of military equipment and rockets to both Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad; on occasion, Iran has had these organizations operate according to its own needs. The Iranian regime also provides backing and encouragement for intifada operations, that is, popular and armed Palestinian uprisings originating from the West Bank and Gaza. See, for example, the gratitude expressed by Hamas political bureau head Ismail Haniya to Iran on May 21, 2021 for its assistance to Hamas in the form of weapons, funds, and technical support (to view, click here or below) .

This elimination of Israel will be achieved, according to Iranian regime spokesmen, in either of two ways. The first of these is via armed warfare and equipping the Palestinian fighters to attack Israeli civilians – aka "resistance" – with Iranian spokesmen boasting of Iran's arming of the Palestinian resistance factions with military equipment, primarily rockets, including through activity by IRGC Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani. As explained by Ali Shirazi, Khamenei's representative in the IRGC's Tharallah Command, which is responsible for the security of Tehran, at a Qods Day ceremony: "Qods Day means the mobilization of Islam and the establishment of the Qods Force." He added that it also meant that "Soleimani would fill the hands of the West Bank and Gaza residents with weapons."[1]

The second option, according to Iranian regime officials, is via a "democratic" referendum that has a built-in win for the Palestinians; the participants will either be the world's 14 million Palestinians and Israel's eight million Jews, or the "original inhabitants" of Palestine up to 1948 and their descendants. That is, all the Palestinians worldwide will be able to vote, but only the descendants of the 600,000 Jews who lived there up to 1948 will be able to. This is in disregard of 1947's UN Resolution 181 partitioning the country into an Arab state and a Jewish state.

In his Qods Day speech, on May 7, Supreme Leader Khamenei presented the Iranian regime's position on the Palestinian issue, the central tenet of which is the destruction of the "illegitimate regime" Israel. Noting that "the continuation of the resistance in the Palestinian areas and the strengthening of the line of jihad and the martyr" comprise the most important element for achieving this goal, he stressed the need for Palestinian unity – in Gaza, the West Bank, the refugee camps in countries neighboring Israel, and the Israeli Arab population – in the armed struggle against Israel. At the same time, he expressed pride in his regime's "sophisticated and advanced" solution to which the West could not object – the referendum: "The armed Palestinians will be able to conduct a referendum among the original inhabitants of Palestine," in an ostensibly democratic move to be carried out by Palestinian gunmen to destroy Israel. Addressing young Palestinians in Arabic, Khamenei called on the "Palestinian fighters to continue their legitimate and moral struggle against the plundering entity."[2]

This two-part report will present the Iranian regime's mobilization to encourage the Palestinians in the armed struggle against Israel, with the aim of destroying it. The first part will focus on Qods Day statements by Iranian regime officials and their setting the stage for an armed attack on Israel. The second part will focus on Iranian regime officials' support for members of the military arms of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and their acknowledgement that Iran is equipping them with weapons and rockets.

Khamenei: Today, "The Young Palestinian... Responds To The Enemy By Firing Precision Missiles"; "Palestine Lives And Continues To Wage Jihad"; "Jerusalem And All Palestine Belong To Its People And They Will Return To It"

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei delivered his Qods Day speech on May 7, just prior to the outbreak of clashes in Jerusalem and a few days before Hamas began firing rockets at Jerusalem. The opening section of the speech, which focused on ideology and reflected the Iranian regime's approach to the Palestinian issue, can be read in the Appendix, below.

The following are the main points of the speech, in which Khamenei also addressed the Palestinians in Arabic and called on them to launch a military uprising against Israel.

Supreme Leader Khamenei. Source: Khamenei's website, May 7, 2021.

"...Two important elements will determine the future: The first, and most important, is the continuation of the resistance in the Palestinian areas and the strengthening of the line of jihad and the martyr. The second is the global support of the countries of the Muslim countries and nations across the world for the Palestinian fighters.

"All of us – statesmen, intellectuals, clerics, parties and groups, young zealots, and others – must find our place in this global movement and play a role. This is what will cancel the enemy's deception..." 

Switching to Arabic and addressing young Palestinians, Khamenei said: "The Palestinians' deeds of jihad and the pure blood of the martyrs of the resistance have succeeded in waving this blessed banner and in increasing the internal strength of the Palestinian jihad a hundredfold. There were days when the young Palestinian defended himself by throwing stones; today he responds to the enemy by firing precision missiles.

"Palestine and Jerusalem are mentioned in the holy Quran as 'sacred ground.' For decades, this pure land has been occupied by the filthiest and most evil people – devil's spawn who slaughter respectable people and shamelessly acknowledge this. They are racists who have tormented the [true] owners of the land [i.e. the Palestinians] with murder, looting, arrest, and torture for 70 years. But, with God's help, they have not succeeded in vanquishing their will."

"The [Palestinian] Youth's Recent Uprising In Defense Of Al-Aqsa Mosque, And The Simultaneous Reflection, In Public Opinion In Many Regions In The World, Of [Both] The Voices Of Jihad And The Oppression Of The Palestinian People, All Herald A Bright Future"; "Today, Unity Is The Palestinians' Greatest Weapon"

"Palestine lives and continues to wage jihad, and, with God's help, ultimately it will be able to triumph over the evil enemy. Jerusalem and all Palestine belong to its people, and they will return to it, with God's help, 'and this is not difficult for God.'

"With regard to the Palestinian issue, all the Muslim countries and nations are responsible [for acting], but the jihad axis constitutes the Palestinians themselves, who today number some 14 million inside and outside the country. The unity and determination of this group will perform mighty work. Today, unity is the Palestinians' greatest weapon.

"The enemies of the Palestinian unity are the Zionist regime, America, and some other political powers, but if the Palestinian community does not break [ranks] before the foreign enemies, they will be able to do nothing. The focal point of this [Palestinian] unity be the jihadi from within and refusal to believe the enemies.

"Palestinian politics must not trust the Palestinians' main enemies, that is, America, Britain, and the malicious Zionists. All the Palestinians – whether in Gaza, Jerusalem, the West Bank, the 1948 territories, or even in the [refugee] camps [in Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon] – all constitute one single body, and they must all turn to a strategy of cohesion and unity, such that each part defends the other parts and uses all the tools at its disposal when there is pressure on any one of them."

"The hope for victory is today greater than ever; the balance of power has shifted dramatically in the Palestinians' favor; the Zionist enemy grows weaker every year. The military that called itself 'the invincible army' has today become an army that will never taste victory, after the 33-day [2006] Lebanon [war] and the 22-day experience [of the 2008 war] and the eight-day [2012] Gaza [war].

"The political situation of this entity – which has been forced to hold elections four times in two years, whose security situation repeatedly fails, and from whom the Jews increasingly seek to emigrate – attests to the fact that [in it] one scandal is followed by another. The ongoing efforts at normalization with some Arab countries, which are assisted by America, are a sign of the weakness of this entity, and will of course not help it.

"It formed ties with Egypt decades ago, but from then to now the Zionist enemy has become much weaker and more vulnerable. Can relations with a few weak and disgraced countries help it? These countries will obviously not benefit from these relations. The Zionist enemy will sow destruction in their lands, their property, and their security.

"These facts must not cause others to ignore their heavy responsibility to this movement [towards normalization]. Muslim and Christian clerics must issue a religious prohibition on normalization, and the intellectuals and free[thinkers] must explain to all the ramifications of this treachery, that is like a dagger in Palestine's back.

"Along with the countdown to the end of the Zionist entity, the increased capabilities of the resistance front and of its defense and its military, along with its achievement of independence in effective weapons production, the boosted self-confidence of the fighters, the spread of self-awareness among the young people, and the expansion of the circle of resistance across the Palestinian territories and outside them, in addition to the [Palestinian] youth's recent uprising in defense of Al-Aqsa mosque, and the simultaneous reflection, in public opinion in many regions in the world, of [both] the voices of jihad and the oppression of the Palestinian people – all these herald a bright future."

Iran's Solution To The Palestine Issue: "The Armed Palestinians Will Be Able To Conduct A Referendum Among The Original Residents Of Palestine"

Continuing to address the Palestinians, Khamenei said: "The logic of the Palestinian struggle that the Islamic Republic of Iran wrote in the UN documents is a sophisticated and advanced logic: The armed Palestinians will be able to conduct a referendum among the original residents of Palestine. This referendum will determine the political system in the country, and the original residents of all ethnicities and religions will participate in it, including the uprooted Palestinians. This political system will bring the uprooted ones back [to Palestine] and will determine the fate of the foreign [Israeli Jewish] settlers.

"This [referendum] project is based on the democratic principle that is widely accepted worldwide, and no one can cast doubt upon its sophistication and effectiveness. The Palestinian fighters must continue their legitimate and moral struggle against the plundering entity until it is forced to accept this right. Advance, in the name of God, and know that 'God helps those who help Him.'"[3]

Ali Shirazi, Khamenei's Representative In The Tharalla Command: "Qods Day Meant The Mobilization Of Islam And The Establishment Of A Force Named Qods Force" And That IRGC Qods Force Commander Qassem "Soleimani Would Fill The Hands Of The West Bank And Gaza Residents With Weapons"; "We Have Sufficient Missile Capability Today To Aim At Israeli Territory, And We Have The Capability To Destroy This Regime"; "The Gaza Residents And Hizbullah Are Capable Of Shaking Israel With Their Missiles"

At a May 6 Qods Day ceremony at the Golestan Cemetery of Martyrs in the city of Isfahan, Khamenei's representative in the IRGC's Tharallah Command, which is responsible for the security of Tehran, Ali Shirazi, warned of Israel's destruction, a few days before Israel was attacked by Hamas: "Iran can destroy Israel within 24 hours. Today the Gaza residents and Hizbullah are capable of shaking Israel with their missiles." The following are the main points of his statements at the ceremony:

"God placed the task of fighting the plundering Zionist regime on the shoulders of the Imam [Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini] because the flag of the religion cannot rule until the flag of the oppression is removed... When the Islamic Revolution triumphed, the Imam Khomeini ordered the last Friday in the month of Ramadan set as Qods Day. The leaders in the palace of unbelief [i.e. the White House] knew what flag the imam was waving. Since 1929, the Zionists had been trying to establish a regime for themselves, and eventually, in 1948, they occupied Palestine with the help of Britain, attacked Deir Yassin, and uprooted 300,000 Palestinians.

"The Palestinian people have been massacred many times in camps, and ISIS studied at the Zionists' school. Six Arab armies fought the Zionists, but they were defeated. The world was amazed at how an unarmed cleric [Khomeini] brought down the statues [of the Shah] and expelled America...

Ali Shirazi, Khamenei's representative in the Tharallah Command. Source: ISNA, Iran, May 6, 2021.

"They [America] heard the words of Imam Khomeini but did not comprehend them. They did not know that Qods day meant the mobilization of Islam and the establishment of a force named Qods Force [and] that [IRGC Qods Force commander Qassem] Soleimani would fill the hands of the West Bank and Gaza residents with weapons. Hajj Qassem [Soleimani] strengthened Hizbullah to the point where [Israel], out of fear, built a wall around Palestine.

"We have sufficient missile capability today to aim at Israeli territory, and we have the capability to destroy this regime. The might of the Islamic order is greater than ever, and today the Gaza residents and Hizbullah are capable of shaking Israel with their missiles.

"We will never stop until we vanquish the arrogance [i.e. the U.S.] and the plundering Zionist regime, and we say explicitly that we stand with all our strength and that if America crosses over our body, we will [still] implement the aims of the revolution and the Imam [Khomeini] under the leadership of the Leader [Khamenei]. Today Karbala[4] is before our eyes, and we are ready to sacrifice ourselves for the Quran and for Islam, so that they will actualize the goals of the Prophets and of the Mahdi [the Shi'ite messiah].

"We are certain that one day our youth will see a world without Israel, and had we said at the beginning of the revolution that one day [Iraqi president] Saddam [Hussein] would fall, many would not have believed [it]... We have brought honor to Islam, and I declare with all my might that the IRGC has the strength to destroy Israel to its very foundation.

"If Israel seeks adventure, we will be able to destroy this false regime within less then 24 hours. The Americans and the Zionists fear the Iranian nation, and proved this with [the killing of] Haj Qassem Soleimani..."[5]

Iranian Army Political And Ideology Organization Head Mohammad Hassani: "Israel Must Be Eradicated From The Pages Of History"; "The Resistance Axis Has Today Reached The Point Where The Countdown To The Collapse Of The Zionists Has Begun"; "Palestine Will Soon Be Liberated, And It Will Not Be Long Before The Zionists' Possessions Are Taken"

At a May 7 Qods Day ceremony in Hormozgan Province, Mohammad Hassani, the head of the Iranian Army's Political and Ideology Organization, reiterated the Iranian regime's narrative of the Palestinian issue. Noting the disturbances in eastern Jerusalem, he hinted at what was to come, telling his audience that "you are observing promising events in the occupied territories" that "show that the Palestinian people has awoken." He added: "The resistance axis has prepared itself for the final war against the oppression by the Zionists."

The following are the main points of his statements:

"Of all the Palestinian territory, which is not very sizeable, only 13% is under Palestinian ownership, and the other 87% is in the hands of the occupying Zionist regime. The Palestinian people number 13 million, of which some five million live in the Gaza Strip and [in the region of] the Jordan river, and other Palestinians are uprooted [and living] in other countries. Now we must ask: How did this happen?

"After World War I, the victorious countries divided the defeated countries amongst themselves, and the custodianship of Palestine was given to Britain, to that old colonialism and that wily fox. The British knew also that the Zionists were very evil people, and that if they remained in Europe they would interfere with them, so they sought to be rid of them. Therefore, they proposed several places [for them] until they [the British] raised the matter of residing in Palestine, and the Zionists accepted this.

"The old colonialist [Britain] raised the issue of buying land from the Palestinians so that the Zionists would have a legal presence in the Palestinian territories, and they bought 2% of the Palestinian land. But from whom? From those with dual citizenship – not from true Palestinians. Because at the same time, Palestinian clerics had forbidden the sale of land to the Zionists.

"The British planned to again buy lands from the Palestinians, and went [to do so] without the Jews who had bought the land through them, and transferred these [lands] to the Zionists; these constituted 2.5% of all Palestinian territory. But where was the 2.5%, and where was 87%?

"That is, at most, 13% of all the Palestinian territory is owned by Palestinians, but they do not even have sovereignty over these lands. What happened that caused 87% of the current Palestinian territory to be transferred to the Zionists?

Mohammad Hassani, head of the Iranian Army Political and Ideology Organization. Source: ISNA (Iran), May 7, 2021.

"Several unfortunate events took place. One of them was that in 1948, when the United Nations, with the support of the criminal America and Britain, gave 54% of the Palestinian territory to the Zionists, under Resolution 181, and 45% to the Palestinians, and that was not 45% [at all].

"Likewise, control of Jerusalem was meant to be international, but now the situation is the complete opposite, and most of the Palestinian lands were given to the Zionists because of the Europeans' and Americans' cruel support [for the Zionists].

"Meanwhile, the Zionists themselves adopted three strategies: the strategy of destruction, he strategy of looting, and the strategy of forcibly expelling the Palestinians from their territory and expropriating their property. These strategies are ongoing, and not a day passes that the Zionists do not attack, apprehend, and harm the Palestinians or turn them into martyrs.

"And now, this unfortunate situation has happened, and a part of the body of the Islamic society is separated from us. What duties are incumbent upon us in such circumstances? Our religious, human, and rational obligation is to help, so that these separated territories are restored to the body of Islam.

"Several strategies have been proposed for saving Palestine, [including] negotiation, surrender, compromise, and reconciliation. You see today the result [of all of these]. 

"Another strategy was the strategy of the Imam Khomeini and [Supreme Leader] Khamenei. The Imam said,  'Israel must be eradicated from the pages of history.' This was the doctrine of the Imam, and Mr. [Khamenei] also announced a plan in this matter, and, if properly implemented by the international organizations, it is the fair and less expensive path for Palestine. It [calls for] holding free elections among all the original residents of the territory of Palestine, in order to determine their fate, and [for] the world and the international community to approve any government and [regime] structure they elect.

"But why do they reject this plan? Because the percentage of real Jews living in Palestine is very small, and if they hold elections the Muslims will absolutely win. All in all, there remains another solution, and that is through the resistance – resistance and rejection of compromise in order to expel all those who cruelly entered the life of the Palestinian people, destroyed their homes, expropriated their fields, and destroyed their material and spiritual possessions, and who will leave the lands of Palestine only through the language of force. This path has worked, and the resistance has so far produced results.

"If not for the resistance, there would be no Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, Iraq, or Iran, and there would be no Islam at all. Only with the weapons of the resistance is it possible to retake the lands for Palestine, and this is why the holy defenders [the pro-Iran Shi'ite militias in Syria] and the resistance axis have entered the ring. Today, happily, the equation in the region has shifted in favor of the Palestinian people, and this was under the auspices of the resistance.

"The enemies are trying to break the resistance, but they absolutely cannot, because the Islamic nation supports the resistance. All the free countries support the strategy of resistance. Fortunately, the equation of today has shifted in favor of the resistance axis, and, with God's grace, the intifada that began with a stone is ending with a rocket, and this means a change in the equation.

"In recent days, you are observing promising events in the occupied territories. These events show that the Palestinian people has awoken, and the resistance axis has prepared itself for the final war against the oppression by the Zionists.

"If there is to be a war between the Muslims and the Zionists, the Zionists will absolutely breathe their last – and the breaths of the Zionists are already numbered. The resistance axis has today reached the point where the countdown to the collapse of the Zionists has begun – and now, what duty is incumbent upon the Muslims in this situation?

"We are the followers of the school that expects us to stand always alongside the oppressed and against the oppressor. Therefore, anyone with a pen must [act] for the sake of the oppressed with his pen; anyone with strength must [act] for the sake of the oppressed with his strength; and anyone with wealth must [act] for the sake of the oppressed with his wealth. Even [he] who has nothing must shout for the sake of the oppressed. The philosophy of Qods Day is that we must make clear our position against the oppressor and for the oppressed.

"Qods Day means that Palestine is not alone. Qods Day means that we are charged with the duty of supporting the oppressed and resisting the oppressor to the best of our ability and according to our religious doctrine, and according to the gladdening message of the leader: Palestine will soon be liberated, and it will not be long before the Zionists' possessions are taken.

"Six years ago, [Khamenei] said: 'The Zionist regime will not see another 25 years.' In the current situation, we can feel that even before the date set by Mr. [Khamenei], with God's help, the world will see a Middle East without the Zionist occupiers.

"The Islamic nation must today stand alongside the Palestinian people 'on time' to the best of its ability, and to shout and to assist, so that the divine promise will be fulfilled – [the promise] that oppression and tyranny will not last forever. The Iranian nation is proud because it has always stood alongside the oppressed Palestinian people, and the Iranian nation's Qods Day has not been canceled once in 43 years. With God's help, we will soon see the final victory of the Palestinian people and the final defeat of the plundering and occupying Zionists."[6]

World Assembly Of Islamic Awakening Secretary-General Velayati: Qods Day Is "The Most Powerful Source Of Motivation To Destroy The Zionist Regime"; "We Have Always Seen Ourselves As Supporters And Allies Of The Palestinian Brothers; This Sympathy Is Not [Only] In The Political And Diplomatic Arena But, More Than That, In The Area Of Action And Resistance" 

In a virtual meeting titled "Qods Day – The Day Of The Oppressed," held by the World Assembly of Islamic Awakening secretary-general Ali Akbar Velayati, a close associate of Supreme Leader Khamenei, discussed Israel's current domestic situation and stated that the serious challenges it faces show that it is in danger of extermination. The following are the highlights of his statements.

Ali Akbar Velayati, World Assembly of Islamic Awakening secretary-general. Source: ISNA (Iran), May 9, 2021.

"This day is truly 'God's Day' and it shows that the issue of Palestine must remain at the forefront of the concerns and the strategic matters of the Islamic world. As the leader [Khamenei] said, Palestine is the most vital issue of the Islamic nation, and, according to the command of the great leader of the Islamic revolution [Khomeini], 'Qods Day, which is adjacent to Laylat Al-Qadr,[7] needs to be revived among Muslims and constitute a source of their awakening.'

"Qods Day and the actualization of its supreme goals, which are one of the points of view of the Islamic Awakening, are the most powerful source of motivation to destroy the Zionist regime, and the liberation of Jerusalem  must be the focal point and center of unity of the Islamic nation.

"The important agenda for accomplishing this supreme goal is to strengthen the 'hardware' and the 'software' of the resistance groups, and the axis of action today needs the resistance and struggle more than ever.

"At no stage in human history have we witnessed such a lengthy, cruel, and violent process of occupation as [that carried out by] the Zionist criminals – and at the same time seen, in such a brief time, struggle and resistance such as those of the resistance groups against this occupation. This jihad and these battles will ultimately yield fruit, and in the not too distant future we will see the liberation of the occupied territories.

"Significant developments are taking place around Palestine. Some have angered the resistance front because of their betrayal, and others have created opportunities and advanced the strength of the groups of the Islamic and Palestinian resistance.

"Official recognition of some Arab countries' normalization with the Zionist apartheid regime as part of the anti-Palestinian Deal of the Century plan is betrayal, and according to credible surveys, a large part of Arab and Islamic public opinion opposes all friendly relations between Arab countries and the plundering Zionist regime. The issue [of normalization with Israel] is like fire beneath the ashes, and in the middle and long term it will cause extensive popular uprising against the reactionary rulers [of these Arab countries].

"The efforts of the Palestinian resistance groups today against the Zionist regime, and the security strategies put forward on the agenda of the resistance front in the arena to tackle this regime have placed the life and the survival of this plundering regime, that is facing internal challenges, in danger of extermination more than ever before.

"A look at past defeats of the regime occupying Jerusalem, from the [2006 Lebanon] 33-day war to [the wars in] Gaza, and the failure in Syria and in other areas, and a look at the process of the current events that led to a shift in the 'balance of power' in favor of the resistance and the Islamic awakening, will easily show the actualization of the prediction and the strategic assessment of the leader with regard to the future of the Zionist apartheid regime – that 'the Zionist regime will not see another 25 years.' In the arena of the struggle and the clashes with the occupiers of Jerusalem, and by adopting the methods of the resistance in the arena, there have been many unique accomplishments in various areas that are accelerating the decline of the Zionist regime.

"With regard to the issue of Palestine, we have always seen ourselves as supporters and allies of the Palestinian brothers. This sympathy is not [only] in the political and diplomatic arena but, more than that, in the area of action and resistance. Iran is and will remain with the Palestinian people and the resistance groups until the liberation of Jerusalem from the occupation. The issue of Palestine remains one of the most important and prioritized issues of Iran's foreign policy."[8]

Iranian Defense Ministry: "On Qods Day... The Entire Islamic World And The Rest Of The Justice-Seeking Countries Wave The Banner Of Resistance And Struggle Against The Zionist Regime"; " Thanks To Iran's Islamic Revolution, The Discourse Of The Resistance Has Today Become The Prevailing Culture Of The Nations In The Region, And The Crescent Of The Resistance Has Exposed The Illusion Of The Western Arab And Arab New Middle East, From Tehran To Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut, And Sanaa"

The Iranian Defense Ministry's Qods Day statement, issued on May 6, read:

"The Imam Khomeini, the great founder of the Islamic Revolution, established the last Friday of the month of Ramadan as Qods Day, in a wise plan aimed at preserving the aspirations of the oppressed people in Palestine and condemning the Zionist regime. It is a day on which the Islamic world unites against the illegitimate regime of Israel and calls for liberating Jerusalem. The 43rd anniversary of the declaration of the last Friday of Ramadan as International Qods Day reflects the fact that the Palestinian cause has not faded and that the cup of the life of the illegitimate regime occupying Jerusalem is more fragile than ever.

"The issue of Palestine is recalled in global public opinion as an old, historic wound in the Islamic nation, and this created a golden opportunity for all the Palestinian groups and streams to advance towards unity and solidarity, to see Qods Day as symbolic for the Islamic nation, and to unite to fight the occupation and support the liberation of Jerusalem and Palestine.

"On Qods Day, it is not just Islamic Iran that shows its unity and solidarity with the Palestinian cause and support for the ideal of Jerusalem as the primary issue of the Islamic world, but also the entire Islamic world and the rest of the justice-seeking countries that wave the banner of resistance and struggle against the Zionist regime on this radiant day.

"But the global arrogance, headed by America, is now revealing its anti-human face more than in the past, and has added another disgrace to its record of its full support for the crimes and incitement of the Zionist regime. [It does this] by supporting the continuation of the occupation by the Israeli regime, in its ignoring of international law from the UN resolution, and in its forgetting of its obligations towards the citizens of Palestine with its recognition of Jerusalem as the center [i.e. capital] of this regime that slaughters children and with the transfer of its embassy to that city [Jerusalem].

"The evil plot of the American and Zionist leaders in the Deal of the Century places greater responsibility on all free men and on the justice-seeking countries and nations. The fear of several countries in the regions and the exposure of their relations with the criminal regime occupying Jerusalem is an unforgivable betrayal of the Palestinian cause and the people who seek freedom. But these traitorous moves cannot cause the Palestinian ideal and the liberation of this country to be forgotten.

"Thanks to Iran's Islamic revolution, the discourse of the resistance has today become the prevailing culture of the nations in the region, and the crescent of the resistance has exposed the illusion of the western Arab and Arab new Middle East, from Tehran to Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut, and Sanaa. The discourse of the resistance has brought much prestige and respect to the nations in the region, to the point where the American policy has no place there."

"The Sapling [That Khomeini] Planted 42 Years Ago Is Today A Great Tree – And Khomeini's Children Await The Zero Hour For The Liberation Of Jerusalem Under The Banner Of Khamenei"

"Fortunately, the intifada has today become an irreplaceable superpower, that has stolen the sleep of the leaders of the Zionist regime. The Zionist regime, that once dreamed of ruling from the Nile to the Euphrates, is today in the occupied territories behind concrete walls 10 meters high, and the Zionist settlements in the border areas have become ghost towns. The sapling [that Khomeini] planted 42 years ago is today a great tree – and Khomeini's children await the zero hour for the liberation of Jerusalem under the banner of Khamenei...

"As Khamenei said, the false Israeli regime is rapidly approaching the end of its disgraceful life with its insane, inhuman, and barbaric behavior, and certainly the dangerous conspiracy and the great fitna [scheming of war] by the enemy front in its creation of a schism among the Islamic nations and religions will fail. [Thus,] the Zionists' dream of creating an Israel from the Nile to the Euphrates, and of establishing a new American-engineered region will never be realized...

"In the near future, the world will see the celebrations of the liberation of sacred Jerusalem."[9]

* A. Savyon is Director of the MEMRI Iran Media Project; M. Manzour is a Research Fellow at MEMRI.

Appendix: Khamenei's Qods Day Speech, May 7, 2021  

In his customary speech marking Qods Day, which he delivered on May 7, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei set out the Iranian regime's perception of the Palestinian issue and the need for Israel's destruction. The following are the main points of the first part of his speech:

"The issue of Palestine is still the most shared, important, and vital issue of the Islamic nation. The policy of the tyrannical capitalist order has cut the hand of the [Islamic] nation off from its home, its homeland, and the land of its fathers, and established in it a regime of terror and a foreign people.

"What is weaker and more baseless than the empty logic of the establishment of the Zionist regime? The Europeans claim that they oppressed the Jews during the years of World War II, and that therefore the Jews' vengeance must be taken by uprooting a nation in the Middle East [the Palestinians] and committing atrocities in that country...! This is the logic of the governments of the West, and it is based on their unshakeable and insane support for the Zionist regime, and with this they counterfeited all the false claims regarding human rights and democracy. And this sad and funny story has continued for over 70 years, and every day more pages are added to it.

"From the first day, the Zionists turned occupied Palestine into a terror base. Israel is not a state; it is a base for terrorism against the Palestinian people and other Muslim nations. The struggle against this miserable regime is a struggle against terrorism, and it is a public obligation.

"There is an important point, and it is that even though the plundering government [Israel] was established in 1948, the preparations for the invasion of this sensitive spot in the Islamic region began many years before. These years overlap with the active Western intervention in the Islamic countries in order to institute [in them] secularism and blind extremist nationalism, and to elevate to power authoritarian governments bewitched by or supported by the West.

"A review of the events of those years in Iran, Turkey, and Arab countries from the Middle East to North Africa reveals the bitter truth that weakness and division in the Muslim nation paved the way to catastrophe and the plundering of Palestine, and the global arrogance [i.e. the West, led by the U.S.] struck this blow against the Islamic nation.

"This is a lesson, that at that time the camps of capitalism and communism united with the Zionist Korah [who defied God and was swallowed up by the earth]. Britain planned the scheme and acted to implement it; the Zionist financiers carried it out with money and arms, and the USSR was the first government to officially recognize this illegitimate state [Israel], and sent a large number of Jews there. The plundering regime was the product of both the situation in the Islamic world and Europe's conspiracy and aggression.

"Today, the situation in the world is not what it was. We must always remember this fact. Today, the balance of power has shifted in favor of the Islamic world. Various political and social events in Europe and America have exposed to the world the West's profound structural, administrative, and moral weaknesses.

"The events of the [2020 presidential] elections in America and the humiliating test of its arrogant administrators, along with America's and Europe's failure this year in dealing with the coronavirus and [other] shameful events as well as the recent political and social ferment in the most important European countries – all these are a sign of the decline of the Western camp.

"On the other hand, the emergence of the resistance forces in the most sensitive Islamic regions, the expansion of their defensive and offensive capabilities, and the growing self-awareness, motivation, and hope among the Muslim nations, in addition to the emergence of the trend towards [the use of] Islamic mottos and the Quran, scientific growth, and the growth of the desire for independence and self-reliance among the [Muslim] nations – all these are welcome signs promising a better future.

"In this blessed future, solidarity among the Muslim countries must be the central goal, and this appears to be attainable. This solidarity axis is the issue of Palestine, meaning the entire country and the fate of Jerusalem. This is the truth that guided the enlightened heart of the Imam [Ayatollah Ruhollah] Khomeini to declare the last Friday of [the month of] Ramadan as International Qods Day.

"The unity among the Muslims in the Jerusalem axis is the nightmare of the Zionist enemy and its American and European supporters. The Deal of the Century, and weak Arab countries' normalization with the plundering Zionist regime, constitute an attempt to escape this nightmare.

"I will say this conclusively: These efforts will not succeed. The decline of the enemy Zionist regime has begun and will not be stopped."[10]


[1] ISNA (Iran), May 6, 2021.

[3] Farsi.khamenei/ir, May 7, 2021.

[4] The Battle of Karbala was fought in 680 CE between the Imam Hossein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, and the Umayyad army. The Imam Hossein was killed in it and it is an annual holy day of mourning for Shi'ites.

[5] ISNA (Iran), May 6, 2021.

[6] ISNA (Iran), May 7, 2021.

[7] In Islam, Laylat Al-Qadr is one of the last nights in the month of Ramadan in which the first version of the Quran was given by the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad. According to this belief, Laylat Al-Qadr is the night that Allah bestowed many blessings upon the believers and on this night the gates of heaven are opened to their prayers and they hope that all their requests will be accepted.

[8] ISNA (Iran), May 9, 2021.

[9] ISNA (Iran), May 6, 2021.

[10] Farsi.khamenei/ir, May 7, 2021.

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