Importance of ‘Quds Day’ From Viewpoint of Imam Khomeini
The Islamic revolution of Iran has set a long-term pragmatic strategy in a bid to launch a justice-based peace in the region and reclaim the rights of the oppressed Palestinian nation. The strategy aims at countering almost a century-long Zionist plot that has shattered the lives of Palestinians. The proposed peace strategic plan predicts the delivery of justice to the Palestinians and maintains peace in their predecessors land. This would apparently uphold a balance of power in the Middle East region and its habitants would benefit from significant stability. As a result, the people in the region would undertake serious efforts in implementing the ideals of Imam Khomeini led greater revolution that intended a truthful liberated life by snubbing any eastern or western pressure.
Given that fact, an announcement by the founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini, to mark the International “Quds Day” could be viewed as his comprehensive strategy aimed at confronting the Zionism’ conspiracies which had sought the destruction of the Palestinians and eradication of the Islamic symbols form the holy land. The Zionists’ unjust schemes are not restricted to this land but they have also been pursuing an expansion policy to other Muslim lands as well. The Zionists greed policies have posed serious challenges to the regional and global security. The declaration of the last Friday from holy month of Ramadan as an “International Qods Day” served greater interest of the Muslim community and Palestinians instead of serving limited national or ethnic visions.
Victory of the Islamic Revolution and the Palestine Cause
The revolution victory in Iran made evident that acknowledgment of the Palestinians’ rights and return of land to its real inhabitants was sole solution to these historical crises. As a result, the people belonging to various lifestyles, including women, children, clergymen and intellectuals kick started a coordinated movement against Zionists’ bullying and bullet policy after being inspired by the experience of the mobilized struggle of the Iranian masses against the Shah-led tyrant monarch system. The Palestinians boosted their combat against the Zionism to a significant level by benefiting from Friday congregations and using mosques as bases. The involvement of above-mentioned decisive factors and people’s contribution to the resistance movement highlighted the issue on the international arena.
The very first resistance movement known as the ‘Great Intifada’ was launched in 1987 that continued until 1991. The second resistance movement, which began in 2000, became popular as ‘Aqsa Intifada’. The latter movement emerged following the fruitless so-called peace negotiation between Arabs and Israel. The struggle reflected the frustration and disappointment of the Palestinians who became disappointed of any backing by the Arab regimes that were passive to the Palestinian issue. The negligence could easily be viewed among the Arabs head of states during the summit in Jordanian capital, Oman, in 1987. There, for the first time, the Palestinian issue became of its secondary nature, instead of that they threw their weight behind Iraq in its imposed war against the Islamic republic, and opposition to Iran was placed at top of the agenda. Meanwhile, the people of Palestine who had become frustrated of the Palestinian Liberation Front (P.L.O) performance since it had abandoned the resistance against the Zionist regime, and restricted itself to engaging in unproductive political games in order to settle the issue. Another decisive factor involved in formation of second ‘Intifada’ was the Islam and growing hope among the people that the resistance can deliver desirable results. It was obvious that without relying on people the occurrence of the revolution would be impossible. It happened after previous political games were not able to bring about a miraculous outcome. Therefore, Imam Khomeini guidance and leadership influenced the occupied Palestine like many other countries. The influence of the Islamic revolution became evident than any other place since the Palestinian Muslims under the Zionists’ savage rule had been turned more oppressed and downtrodden than other Muslim nations. Imam’s support made them learnt that the Muslim community can rise up inspiring by Islam and can gain victory again. However, according to Imam, liberation of Quds from clutches of the Zionist regime would only require some span of time.
‘Intifada’ resistance movement did not remain restricted to the urban areas and refugees’ camps, but spread to remote villages as well. In the past, the Palestinians struggle was limited to sole social reform and has had never characteristics of a revolution. The freedom activists belonging to ‘Intifada’ movement believed that the rulers and power retainers could not be representatives of the young generation’s inspirations. The frustration among wandering Palestinian youth reached to such an extent, as they were forced to concluding that they had nothing to loose. This was the starting point for the launch of the resistance movement. As a result, the outcome of the Imam’s practical politics and its influence on Palestinian nation’s movement could be seen as in following events.1
Mobilization of the public and clergymen: Widespread mobilizations of traditional and non-governmental urban movements across Iran are considered a potential power effective in bringing about great social changes in the society. Moreover, by relying on people power, Imam did not pursue the existing norms such as formation of political groupings or guerilla movements with intention of pressing his agenda ahead. However, by benefiting ordinary existing entities of society, he made the common people aware of the struggle’s objectives. In fact, the ties among the Iranian masses were not cemented through organized combative institutions, but it happened through Imam’s unprecedented courageous way of perceptive communication, which was understandable for all walks of society including illiterate people. On the same pattern, the Palestinian resistance was formed at the juncture of history when decades long, non-indigenous political and diplomatic efforts had reached to a dead end in reviving the Palestinians rights, and non-religious ideologies had suffered serious blow in organizing the masses and resources of the land. For instance, by relying on masses generated movements, the Islamic Revolution proved the ever-emerging weak points and contradictions among the bullying powers. This issue became more evident when the US threw its weight behind Shah-led regime against people-oriented and the most independent revolution of the century. In the same way, ‘Intifada’ has played the same role in highlighting the existing theoretical and practical contradictions among the pro-Israeli systems. Such contradictions become more obvious when so-called democratic systems throw their support behind the Zionists’ crimes against the people who are willing to take destiny in their own hands.
The method of combat: the awakening process in Palestinians’ resistance, as an initial step, resembles to the Islamic revolution in Iran. However, some of its motives were different from the Iranian revolution. This is while the generation of young Palestinians has stepped in the political and social arena after experiencing a humiliating life under the Zionists tyrant rule.
By means of military might, and spreading propaganda among the Palestinians, Zionist regime gave impression that any change in the current state of affairs was impossible. In such circumstances when Israel campaigned hard to earn acknowledgement of its existence, and undertook serious efforts to demonstrate the occupied land as a stable on domestic and regional level, in the meantime, the Muslim combatants in Iran toppled Mohammad Reza Pahlavi-led regime that was treacherous to the Palestine’s ideals. The Shah oust in Iran tuned into an important event that helped Palestinians in setting their future strategy for struggle in the occupied land. The new generation had nothing except legacy of pains and sufferings, but they were gifted with particular talent, which helped in drawing new bright horizons for the nation. Muslims’ growing senility toward Quds issue, wakefulness of regional nations and Imam and revolution’s support for Palestine were positive signs for the struggle. Moreover, most significant was picking up of patterns from the people struggle in Iran, which was previously considered a stable island under the US and western dominance. On the other hand, since this generation in the occupied land had suffered more pains, accordingly, they were also gifted with high-level of awareness, and were able to present a rational assessment of the circumstances by comparing the present Palestinian movements with the past. The frustrated and annoyed people in the occupied land that had been mobilized in mosques and religious centers resisted with pieces of stones against the advanced weapons, and embraced death while smile on their face. This norm of struggle played an important role in advancement of the movement despite the great losses. Even, the specialists of physiological war do not have potential to counter such type of struggle, since it transforms signals of fear and disappointment from its own court to the enemy’s ground, and brings destruction to enemy with its own hand. 2
The declaration of the International ‘Quds Day’ by Imam Khomeini was a good tiding for reviving the Palestine struggle. A brief look at Imam’s message will highlight the importance of issue regarding the topic.
In the name of Allah, the most compassionate, the most merciful
I call the world Muslims and the Islamic governments to join the Palestinians in order to segregate the Zionist regime and its supporters. I declare the last Friday from the holy month of Ramadan as International Quds day, and invite the Muslims around the globe to hold rallies in solidarity with the Palestine and in favor of their legal rights on that day. I hope that the holy day, which is religiously, coincided with the “decree days” could determine the destiny of Palestinians as well. 3
In fact, the struggle against the Zionism, a movement based on racial discrimination, is considered an essential pillar of Imam’s thoughts. One of the significance points in this regard is that Imam insisted on paying attention to the International intellectuals from all lifestyles that hold common views on the issue. This aspect places the issue beyond the national and religious bindings, which would provide a suitable seedbed for the all-human contemplation on the Palestine issue and prompt unity in the Islamic society and peace among the international community. Imam emphasized that the ‘Quds Day’ was “an international day and would not specifically be limited to only the Qods issue.” 4
If we have a look at the political and cultural issues of the Middle East region, particularly the Palestine issue, we find out that the Islamic revolution found its real place among the Muslims and revival movements across the world by setting an example of civilized and people-oriented struggle. Therefore, the importance of Palestine issue in Imam Words especially delivered on declaring an International Quds Day, is of worth to be contemplated.
The ever-lasting initiative by Imam in regard with declaring an International Quds Day would emphasize on an all-out opposition of the Muslim World against the existence of Israel. This day became a source of compassion and integration among the Muslim World. In this way, a significant step toward the Islamic unity was taken which leveled the grounds for a united Muslim community excluding the ethnic and national connections.
Quds Day launched a great physiological war against the Zionist regime and played a role of the most effective people-oriented pressure tool against the Zionist regime, and forced them to hold back their greed plans. The Quds Day is a big event that undermines the legitimacy of Israel. The each year mark would grab the Muslims attention toward the strategic thoughts of Imam, and would voice concerns about illegitimate nature of Israel to the world. This day also brings a relief to the believers’ heart. On the other hand, the video footage of hundreds of thousands of protesters across the world would spread a physiological insecurity against the Zionist regime.
‘Quds Day’ has underlined the Palestine issue beyond its national aspect and has granted it with an international status. The Zionist regime has long campaigned to degrade the issue as a national conflict between Israel and Arabs. Nevertheless, a clear stance by Imam as a prominent religious and academic personality injected a fresh spirit to forgotten Islamic perspectives in struggle against Israel. Imam’s guidance produced positive results, and accordingly Palestinian fighters heeded to the Islamic option instead of nationalistic or western inclinations.
1 Manouchehr Mohammadi, A comparative study between the Islamic revolution and the French and Russian revolutions, Tehran, P.163
2 Ali Akbar Velayati, “Islamic Republic of Iran and the Palestine developments” from 1979-2006
3 Sahifeh Imam, Vol.9, P.267
4Sahifeh Imam, Vol.9, PP. 276-279