International Quds Day, celebrated on the last Friday of the Islamic month of Ramadan, is seen as the legacy of the late founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Imam Khomeini, who is revered as a spiritual leader by Muslims across the world.
On May 22 every year, people across the world, regardless of their faith, denounce Israel’s atrocities against the Palestinian people and voice their support for the Palestinian cause.
The annual event is an opportunity for people to express their indignation at the apartheid regime of Israel, which has occupied Palestinian territories since 1967.
This year’s Quds Day comes in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, which has so far claimed more than 320,000 lives and infected 4.8 million others since it started late last year.
The following are some excerpts from interviews Press TV news channel has conducted with a number of pro-Palestine luminaries and activists in the run-up to the International Quds Day.
Tisetso Magama, a senior board member and spokesperson of Africa for Palestine, from Johannesburg, described the Quds Day as an opportunity to build solidarity across the world.
“It is one of the opportunities that we have to build solidarity across the globe to make people aware of the plight of our brothers and sisters who have been living under the occupation for more than 70 years” Magama said.
“It is one of those significant events on our calendar, which of course the Israeli regime fears because it, like other regimes, apartheid regimes, colonial regimes and imperialist regimes, understands that no regime can oppress innocent people forever. That is a profound lesson of history and the Israeli regime knows that. Now the regime in Tel Aviv understands that it is only human solidarity that will be able to break the chains of bondage and oppression and suppression and indeed the mass murder and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. So they know that their days are numbered,” he added.
Booker Ngesa, a member of Kenya Palestine Solidarity Movement, from Nairobi, said Kenyans would mark the Quds Day to “show enormous friendship to our brothers and sisters in Palestine and communicate with them that we share in their struggles and pain.”
Ngesa underlined that the message from the African continent to Israel is that the Zionist regime will be defeated and the people of Palestine will triumph and reclaim their land, and there will be permanent peace, not with oppression but with justice.
Feroze Mithiborwala, an Indian activist, denounced the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and described the usurpation as the legacy of British imperialism in South Asia.
“Since the early years of the twentieth century, colonial powers have been masters of the so-called ‘divide and rule’ dogma to prolong their rule. The partition of Palestine to create the Zionist entity in the midst of the 20th century — which occurred just one year after British India was partitioned to create Pakistan — is always seen as the legacy of British imperialism in South Asia,” Mithiborwala said.
Laith Marouf, a Lebanese activist and commentator from Beirut, praised the Iranian people for standing with the Palestinians and backing their cause in the face of Israeli aggression.
“It is a very significant day for the Palestinians because it falls in Ramadan, it falls in the last 10 days of the holy month. It is very significant because it was called by the late supreme leader of Iran to show solidarity of Iranian nation for the Palestinian people,” Marouf said.
“So, we are one voice. It is lucky for the Palestinians that Iran is a sovereign state and it’s a country that respects the human rights of its fellow brothers and sisters in the Arab world,” he added.