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  Supporting the Palestinian Intifada

Address by the Eminent Leader of the Islamic Republic
of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei, on the Occasion of
International Conference on Palestinian Intifada

Tehran, April 24, 2001


 In the Name of Allah,

Speakers and Representatives of the National Assemblies of Islamic Countries, Leaders and Representatives of Mujahid Groups and Combatants of the Front Line of Islamic Defense, Honored Guests and Distinguished Audience.

I welcome you all to Iran and pray for the blessings and the guidance of Allah for you and myself.

The decision to organize this meeting is indeed very auspicious. With the grace of the Almighty, your meeting will strengthen the commitment and solidarity of Islamic States and peoples for the uprising of Palestinian people. Such meetings have practically proven that the question of Palestinian is an Islamic issue and belongs to the entire Islamic world. The occupation of Palestine is a part of a satanic design by the world domineering powers, perpetrated by the British in the past and being carried out today by the United States to weaken the solidarity of the Islamic world and to sow the seeds of disunity among us.

Our enemies have consistently endeavored to prevent the solidarity and unity of Moslems by the policy of divide and rule and promoting ethnic division. In the beginning of the occupation of Palestine, Moslem ulemas, such as Sheikh Azedin Ghassam and Haj Amin Al-Hosseini appealed to Moslems to join hands in helping the

Palestinian people in their just struggle. The great religious leader, Kashef Al-Gheta, even called for jihad against the Zionists. But, with much regret, the Islamic color of the Palestinian struggle gradually faded ant its ethnic content has become stronger.

The victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, under the able leadership of Imam Khomeini, a courageous and learned descendent from the Prophet, was a watershed event in Islamic awakening in the entire world, especially in the countries of our region. The victory of Moslems in South Lebanon, in the apparently unequal encounter with stronger enemy, once more proved the justness of the Islamic struggle and clearly showed that if Moslems put their trust in Allah, their victory will be certain. The astonishing victory of the Islamic resistance in South Lebanon, and the scandalous failure of all the compromising plans provide good lessons for our region. The triumph of Moslem combatants in South Lebanon, and the failure of compromising plans encouraged Moslem Palestinian people to resort to Intifada again. But this time the voices of surrender and compromise inside Palestine and the region will-not change the mind of the brave and enduring people of Palestine. They are determined to bring their struggle to victory. The first Intifada was stopped as a result of insinuations by the Zionists and their supporters and pressures from the Americans and the West, promising to meet the demands of Palestinians by peaceful means. passage of 10 years has shown that all e5orts by the supporters of the Zionists were aimed at rescuing Israelis from the heavy pressures stemming front the relentless struggle of Moslems. Time has also shown that rosy promises given to Palestinian negotiators were nothing but mere illusions.

The occupation, expansionism and savagery by Israel today were all predictable for those with insight and for the sympathizers of the Palestinian cause in the Islamic nations.

From the very inception of Israel this fictitious and usurper regime has consistently violated inalienable rights of Palestinian people. Moreover, some western governments especially the Americans have justified and supported these atrocious actions and international bodies have also tried to give legitimacy to the identity and aggressions of this regime by justifying its gross aggression.

Western powers have always shown territorial ambitions toward Palestine and Berit-Al-Moqadas. Imposition of Crusade Wars on Moslems is vivid proof of their greedy ambitions toward this sacred land. Military commanders of the Allied forces, after defeating the Ottoman Empire and marching into Palestine said that, "today the Crusade Wars have com to an end".

The occupation of this land was in accordance with a complex scheme, designed to prevent the unity and solidarity of Moslems and re-establishment of powerful Moslem states.

There are documents showing close collaboration of the Zionists with the Nazi Germany, and exaggerated numbers relating to the Jewish holocaust were fabricated to solicit sympathy of the world public opinion, lay the ground for the occupation of Palestine and to justify the atrocities of the Zionists. There is even evidence on hand that a large number of non-Jewish hooligans and thugs of Eastern Europe were forced to migrate to Palestine as Jews. The purpose was to install in the heart of the Islamic world an anti-Islamic state under the guise of supporting the victims of racism and to create a rift between the East and the West of the Islamic world after 1400 years of unity between those two parts. In the beginning the Moslems were caught by surprise, since they were not aware of the depth of the scheme designed by the Zionists and their Western supporters. The Ottoman Empire was defeated and the Sykes-Pico Treaty was secretly concluded to divide the Islamic territories among the victors of war. The League of Nations placed Palestine under the trusteeship of the British. It promised to support the Zionists and brought Jews to Palestine at the expense of displacing and forcing out Moslems from their motherland. In this long war, on one side of which are the West and the Zionists, and on the other side, the newly established Arab states, the enemies of Islam have made use of complicated instruments, including the power of international media and forums. On one hand, they invited Moslems to show patience, tolerance and engage in peace talks, and on the other hand, continued to arm Israel. Their strategic goal in these unequal and discriminatory interactions between Moslem countries and Israel has been to preserve the military superiority of Israel over Islamic countries. They have consistently supported Israel at international bodies, and have justified its atrocities by employing their mass media that keeps telling us victory over Israel is a dream that will never be realized.

The Israeli regime has carried on its aggressions for more than fifty with impunity since its formal recognition by the United Nations and no one and nothing has been able to stop her. But the situation has changed; the Lebanon Islamic Resistance, comprising of a few thousands of young combatants, armed with a strong faith, have become a nightmare for this regime and its supporters. These beloved young combatants forced Israelis to retreat from South Lebanon in humiliation. Their victory became a guiding torch for other Moslem combatants and today we are witnessing the Al-Aqsa Intifada, which is akin to the Lebanon Islamic Resistance but in a broader scale.

Now that you have gathered here to show your commitment to the Intifada, there is a heavy responsibility on your shoulder. You should, above all other things, demonstrate that the Islamic world is determined to revive the good traditions in its glorious history. Uppermost among these traditions was the unity of Moslems that brought the victory of Moslems in their decisive battles against the aggressor Crusaders. In those great historic events, Moslems from all comers of the Islamic world joined their defenses in that decisive and long jihand between the believers and unbelievers.

Today all Moslems of the world have pinned their eyes on this destiny-making struggle of Palestinian people. They have greater hope for this Intifada. In the first Intifada, ten years ago, the climate of compromise and surrender gradually prevailed in the region. There were those who overly depended on American promises, and there were also those who believed that we cannot resist and would ultimately succumb to international political pressure and there is no way out but acceptance of compromise under American and Israel terms. After the events that unfolded at that time in the region, the ground was then more conducive for acceptance of their terms. But, this year as you meet for this conference, the road to humiliating compromise is closed. Even those that had put all their hope on the United States openly admit the current impasse.

In 1991, Arabs and Moslems became disheartened as a result of a series of successive defeats in the course of the Persian Gulf War. Their internal unity was also exposed to serious threat of collapse. Conditions have changed now, especially after the great historic Islamic resistance in South Lebanon that put fresh hope in the hearts of Moslems.

At one time, there were two ways to deal with Israel: military encounter of Arab armies with Israel and compromising approach that would lead to giving in to Israeli demands by peaceful settlements. The previous experiences of military encounters proved to be failures for Islamic countries and the so-called "land for peace" scheme meant continued military weakness of Arab countries. A clear case in point was the Camp David Accord. During those days, there was no talk of resistance. Resistance was said to be universally unacceptable. Now we have a successful model of resistance before us that was able to liberate occupied territories without making any concessions to Israel and stopped it from hoisting its flags in the capital of Lebanon. With the Camp David Accord, Israel withdrew on the condition that Egypt would not send her army to north of Sinai. In Lebanon, Israel begged Lebanon to send its army to its border with the occupied Palestine, fearing the Islamic resistance. The resistance was able to restore full sovereignty to South Lebanon and other occupied territories.

This Intifada is a popular uprising. Palestinians have lost hope in all schemes aimed at striking a compromise, and have realized that victory is solely dependent on their resistance. The people of Palestine suffered much in their previous Intifada and offered many martyrs and casualties for Islam and liberation of Islamic lands. The Oslo talks ultimately brought an end to that uprising. What was the outcome of Oslo? Today, even the Palestinian designers and supporters of Oslo Accord have stopped defending it. They have realized that Israel wanted to solve her own problem by freeing herself from facing the stone-throwing fighters and reducing her exposure. Little, if any, that was given to the Palestinians, was to extinguish the fire of Intifada. When Israel saw her problem resolved and mistakenly felt that Palestinians do not have the power to resume Intifada, they even stopped the little concession they had made and revealed their true expansionist nature. The so-called peace process and the Oslo scheme placed the Palestinians in a situation that made them realize there is no other way but an all-out popular uprising.

The Al-Aqsa Intifada primarily revolves around Beit-Al-Moqadas. The spark that ignited the anger of Palestinian people stemmed from gross insult of the Zionists to A1-Agsa Mosque. By realizing their mission to protect one of the most sacred religious places of Moslems, the people of Palestine, entered the arena of struggle and by their devotion and sacrifices kept the sacred flame of resistance against the Zionist occupiers burning.

The compromising process, and more specifically the Oslo plan, divided the ranks of Palestinians. But this "sacred Intifada" was able to bring back and restore national Palestinian unity. As you have all seen, all segments of people are present in this struggle and Islamists and nationalists are fighting side by side. Even those hearts are at another place have no choice but to go along with this huge wave.

The Islamic uprising, or in another word "Islamic awakening", began in Iran after the victory of Islamic Revolution under the leadership of Imam Khomeinei and has appeared with great force in all other Islamic regions. Today, this movement predominantly revolves around the question of Palestine. The Al-Aqas Intifada was able to bring all Moslem and Arab nations, even those beyond the immediate borders of Palestine, to the arena of struggle. Demonstrations by millions of Moslems from east and west of the Islamic world showed that Palestinian people can count on their support and this issue is pivotal to unity of Moslems.

The day that the "Islamic Resistance" began to take root in Lebanon with the endeavors of brave sons of Lebanon and with the support of Imam Khomeini, Israel had Beirut, the capital city of Lebanon, under her occupation and prevailed over the political destiny of this nation. Those days when the Islamic Resistance cried out the slogan "Move to Liberate Al-Qods", some called this slogan naive and simplistic. They asked sarcastically, if it is possible to move toward Al-Qods" while you the Lebanese are, unable to enter your own capital. Only 18 years passed since the historic victory of the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon. I am sure you agree with me that 18 years is not much in the history of struggle of nations.

No doubt, any struggle means tragic loss of lives, and destruction of homes. It places heavy economic burden on the shoulder of people and causes much pain and anguish. But we have to see what will be the outcome of all these sacrifices. Victory is so precious that we must be willing to pay its cost.

Israel that used to bully its way around in this region and dictated its wishes on Arab nations is now disheartened and frustrated and kneels down in face of the grandeur of the Islamic resistance. This is only a small part of the immense power of Arab and Moslem nations. You should rest assured that if all the power and potential or even a part of it is employed effectively we will see the demise of Israel. Israel was defeated in facing the resistance waged by a few thousand combatants in South Lebanon. It is true that Hizbollah enjoys profound popular grass-root support and can, if needed, mobilize tens of thousands of forces, but it has only used a few thousand and at times a few hundred of its forces in its encounters with the Zionist occupiers. A few hundred energetic and faithful young men who used simple armaments defeated Israel with all its military arsenals and advanced nuclear technology that are closely tied to the United States. Undoubtedly, their powerful and invincible weapon was the power of their strong faith.

We have. therefore, a good model for resistance. We can triumph by our resoluteness and resistance, but by being prepared to accept the cost. At the same time there is another way: To accept humiliating compromise and carrying the begging cup around in search of peace. The end result of the latter approach is humiliation, and one-way imposition of wishes of Israel.

Today, Hizbollah and its historic victory serve as a solid foundation for the Intifada of Palestinian people.

The Zionist regime does not have the required power to engage itself in a continuous and long encounter with Palestinians. The Jews were deceived and brought to Palestine in the hope that Arabs would not fight them and should they do decide to do so, the pressures from the West would prevent their resistance to continue for long. Thus, those who have migrated to Palestine are not prepared to put their lives on the line for political motives of the founders of Zionism. According to news reports, tourism of Zionists has been seriously hurt and there is a reverse trend in migration.

The previous conference on Palestine that was held in Tehran played a positive and fundamental role. It was source of great encouragement and hope for the opposing forces to the so-called peace process and boosted the morale and spirit of Palestinian people. The stance of the Islamic Iran and its steadfastness also gave hope to this valiant people. More than anything else, the people of Palestine need our moral support and perseverance in this time of need. It is true that they need financial assistance and we must together offer them help, but they have said time and again that for them strong Arabic and Islamic stance figures above all other things. You as the representatives of Islamic states can mobilize potentials of your country for liberation of Palestine. Defending and supporting the oppressed nation of Palestine and their brave struggle is an Islamic duty incumbent on all us. Today, a Moslem nation, with blood on its face, appealing to Moslem Ununah for help from the middle of the combat arena. I will never forget the cry of that Palestinian woman who shouted in front of the television camera, "come to our help, you Moslems".

All Moslems and Arabs should support the struggle of Palestinian people. At the international bodies, this point has to be emphasized that people of Palestine have the right to continue their struggle for the recovery of their legitimate inalienable rights. Continuation of Intifada is the legitimate right of Palestinian people and the rules of international law must respect this right, although these rules are usually interpreted in ways to suit the interests of global arrogant powers.

Gentlemen, I assure you that the Israeli regime is decayed from within and the present generation is by no means prepared to make any sacrifices for its preservation.

With the grace of Allah, Arab and Moslem nations are today stronger than any other time in the past 50 years.

Moslems can no longer afford to be indifferent to daily suppressions of Palestinian people. Israel must be made to understand that continuation of suppression of Palestinian people and its acts of aggression against areas with Palestinian in habitants will bring her in direct and serious confrontation with all Arab and Moslem nations.

We must all be a source of encouragement and inspiration for Palestinian people to continue their resistance. People of Palestine know well that their Islamic resistance has managed to harness the Israeli atrocities. The strength of Islamic resistance lies in its ability to wreak crushing blows in response to Israeli actions, and not in relying on diplomatic efforts and mediations of others.

The internal unity of Palestinian people and different Palestinian movements lies in one fundamental point: anything that detracts Palestinians from the right path and causes to ignore the principal enemy will not certainly be in the interest a Palestinian cause. We are grateful to Allah that Palestinians have come out of this trial during the past 50 years with heads high and have shown their maturity. We have all seen the failure of all efforts by Israel to fan the flame of dissension among Palestinian combatants. The mainstream movements, like "Islamic jihad", Fath, Hamas, and other groups, have succeeded with their revolutionary patience to thwart realization of aspirations of the enemy.

Today, it has become abundantly clear that those who thought that question of Palestine relates to only a small part of the Islamic world were making a huge mistake. The huge arsenal of nuclear weapons and other armaments of mass destruction in Israel are not only for defenseless Palestinian people. This arsenal is stockpiled in Israel to materialize the design to dominate the Islamic world, especially the Middle East. Today, Hizbollah is fighting for liberation of occupied lands and Israel attacks Syria in retaliation. This clearly shows the satanic intention of Israel and her Western supporters.

The following should be the general guidelines for our fight against the usurper Zionist regime:

a) Containing the usurper regime within its borders, constraining its economic and political breathing space and severing its linkages with its surrounding environment.

b) Continuation of resistance and struggle of Palestinian people within their own homeland and offering them the needed help.

Brothers and Sisters,

The principal reason behind the pressures of the arrogant powers, especially the Americans, on Iran is our support for Palestine: they have said in plain terms that America's major problem with Iran relates to the opposition of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the humiliating peace plans for Palestine. and other things such as the ridiculous claims of human rights violations and manufacturing of weapons of mass destruction are nothing but excuses and pretexts. They have also said very clearly that if Iran stops its supports for the Lebanese and Palestinian combatants and people, they will cease their hostile actions against Iran. But we know well that their main problem is Islam and Islamic governance and they truly know this clear orientation in the policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran. We have given them a big "no", and consider support for Palestinian and Lebanese People as an important Islamic duty. Their principal and strategic policy is to break the united ranks of revolutionary Moslem people of Iran. They call one group "reformists" and another group "fundamentalists". They support one group and concentrate their propaganda campaign against the other.

By blowing problems in our country way out of proportion, they ny to depict the Islamic system of governance as inefficient to disappoint people and to promote secularist thinking and separation of politics and religion. The strong faith of our people is their greatest impediment.

By their propaganda campaign they want to disappoint our youth and present economic difficulties that are also common to other parts of the world as unsolvable problems of the Islamic Republic of Iran. With their media campaign, they try to raise doubts and questions about the Father of the Revolution, Imam Khomeini, and its pillars. The reason for their actions is clear. Islam and the Islamic Revolution have hurt them.

They feel threatened from Islamic awakening and revival in the world and enlargement of Islamic struggle of Lebanon and Palestine. Therefore, they want to dry out the roots of Islamic thought. They are targeting their venomous arrows on Islam. As the scope and gravity of Palestinian and Lebanese struggle increases, the wrath of the Zionists and America against the Islamic Republic of Iran intensifies and their conspiracies against us become wider. But, they must know that the leadership and officialdom of our country and Moslem people of Iran will remain committed to the aspiration of Revolution and Islam and to the Intifada and resistance against Zionists and their supporter. This is one of the core and strategic policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran. I am confident Palestine will be liberated with the continuation of Palestinian people struggle and the support of the Islamic world, and Beit Al-Muqdas and Masjid AI-Aqsa will come back to the arms of the Islamic world. The will of Allah shall prevail.

Vassalom Alleikom va Rahmatollah va Barakato

 [End]

 

 

 


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