Millions of pro-Palestinian demonstrators, including Muslims and non-Muslims, take to the streets to denounce Israel’s atrocities against the people of Palestine.This year’s Quds Day rallies will be held across the world on Friday, May 22.
Legacy of a spiritual leader
International Quds Day 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. Back in 1979, shortly after leading an Islamic revolution which toppled the US-backed Shah of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini named the last Friday of the fasting month of Ramadan as Quds Day.
Demonstrations for the oppressed
The annual event is seen as an opportunity for freedom-seeking people across the world, regardless of faith, to voice their support for the cause of Palestine and vent their anger against the Apartheid regime of Israel, which has occupied Palestinian territories since 1967.
Millions of people in Iran and other Muslim and non-Muslim countries worldwide hold rallies in solidarity with the Palestinian people. Quds Day is a far cry from a casual Islamic religious event. It is, indeed, a human rights event open to both Muslim and non-Muslims alike.
Anti-Israeli sentiments have been gaining ground on a regular basis following Tel Aviv’s onslaughts on the besieged Gaza Strip which have killed thousands of people, many of them women and children, since 2009.
The attacks were launched amid a muted response from the so-called international community which is spearheaded by the US – Israel’s staunch ally. However, they raised global awareness of Israeli atrocities against the people of Palestine. Tel Aviv is now facing charges of war crimes over its military strikes against the impoverished enclave which has been under a crippling Israeli siege since 2007.
The Israeli regime has been facing increasing isolation among nations across the world. A global movement called Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) is one of the popular campaigns launched against Israel in an effort to force the regime to comply with international law and Palestinian rights.
Initiated by Palestinian non-governmental groups back in 2005, the movement has been gaining momentum in recent years. Many universities, trade unions and organizations as well as human rights groups in Europe and North America have been joining the campaign. The BDS is similar to the earlier boycotts of South Africa during its apartheid era and is aimed at piling up economic pressure on Israel by boycotting Israeli products and companies.
The BDS is estimated to cost Israel’s economy $1.4 billion annually. It is expected to cost Israel’s economy $47 billion over a decade.