Amid the issues of settlement expansion blocking the ways to the Occupied Palestine or even preventing international aids to reach the people, human rights activists and those who have the least feeling for the people in Occupied Palestine convene to shout their opposition with the Zionist regime of Israel and pray for freedom of Al Quds.
The last Friday in the holy month of Ramadan is dubbed by the late founder of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Khomeini (RA) as international Al Quds Day, convening people across the world to voice their anger against the crimes committed by the Zionist regime of Israel against the oppressed people in the Occupied Palestine.
Taqrib News Agency (TNA) has had an exclusive interview with Lauren Booth, presenter of Press TV weekly show “Remember the Children of Palestine”, to demand for her views and also for her special message for the event.
Q: What is your view on International Quds Day? Basically what is the necessity to name a day as Quds Day?
A: Yes this is absolutely essential because the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians is reaching a critical stage. You can read in the Jerusalem municipality website that they must keep Quds 70 percent Jewish and 30 percent Arab. Now if you think about how they do this, you do thisby controlling the population growth which as Palestinians have more children than the Jewish population, means that they must be expelled or moved, have their home demolished and be victims of injustice in their home.
Therefore this is an essential issue for the world because Jerusalem is the center of all Ibrahimic and you have a duty to the people who live there.
Q: What exactly makes the Palestinians unforgettable that after many years of occupation the issue does not fade away for the people across the world and people from different walks of life still care to attend international Quds Day?
A: The Palestinian people are certainly brave and their struggle is one for humanity in the way that South African people struggledunder apartheid. The Palestinians refuse to leave their city despite discrimination and urban planning of the ethnic cleansing even now of the graveyard of Palestinian Muslims. On Monday Israel high court ruled that Tel Aviv University can build dorms and a shopping center on top of the Palestinian Muslim cemetery many hundreds of years old. They are exhuming the bodies of the Sahaba, the companions of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).
This is a crime against humanity because if the Zionists succeed in their plan of removing the graves of the Muslims in Jerusalem, which they are doing this week, we can see that in twenty years Israeli prime minister saying, “There were never Muslims in Jerusalem Al Quds. Show me the graves.” And there will be no graves to show.
Q: Then what makes the issue especially interesting for you to host the weekly program “Remember the Children of Palestine” on Press TV?
A: I think what makes it interesting for me is being a human being and a Muslim. That the freedom to worship is something that people of all faiths do respect and must respect, yet right now in the holy month of Ramadan Al Aqsa Mosque is continually stormed by Israeli hoot, disturbing the worshippers, frightening the children and displaying absolute arrogance on holy territory.
This needs me as someone who prays to Allah, to God, and as a human being who cares about others, others who are losing their homes, parents who are losing their houses.
Q: How do you see the future of the people and children in the Occupied Palestine?
A: The future as far as the Israeli municipality and government have it is a very grim one. At present 40 percent of the taxes in Jerusalem is paid by Palestinians but they receive only eight percent of municipal standing so we are going to continue if this state has to go on increase the discrimination against the Palestinian people and ethnic cleansing but you know God intervenes in ways that we cannot foresee and will this injusticegrow, Israel will not be able to continue in this fashion any longer Insha Allah (God willing).
Q: What do you know about the plans for this year’s Al Quds Day?
A: Yes there certainly is a rally and I urge people of all faiths and people of conscience to please attend. It will take place around Trafalgar Square and it is organized by the Islamic Human Rights Commission and it will take place on Friday with speeches. It will start at 05:00 pm but you can be at 04:00 pm. It is important to send a signal to the Zionists, ethnically cleansing Jerusalem thatpeople care about the Palestinians and their right to live a descent life.
Q: You have been hosting the program “Remember the Children of Palestine” for a long time. What have you found about their way of coping with the trauma of always being threatened and living under so much pressure?
A: There are so many different levels of trauma in Palestine at the moment. There in the West Bank, one of the main problems of course is home demolition and the seizure of children and the majority of children at some point experience terrible conditions in Israeli prisons where they are beaten, they are tortured. So psychologically one of the biggest impacts is that children across Palestine no longer see their homes as inviolable. Your home is a place for the safety of the child, your father is the strength of the house and your mother can protect you. If you take away all of those, you have added to their struggle and this is across the Palestinian territory.
Q: What is your final message as a person popularly known for her efforts for Palestinian people and especially children?
A: I have really known about the Palestinian people suffering since 2005 but since that time hundreds of thousands of people are waking up. The crowds have gone on protests from several dozens to a hundred thousandwhen Gaza was being bombed. In London the protests was a hundred thousand so don’t give up hope. Please continue to prayfor Allah to intervene and Insha Allah justice will be done at some point.