May 31, 2023

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Ayatollah Khamenei: Palestinian cause goes beyond Islamic world

TEHRAN- The Leader of the Islamic Revolution of Iran has said the issue of occupied Palestine is a “human issue”.

Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei made the remarks while delivering an address to foreign Muslim dignitaries and officials.

“This year, when part of the crimes of the usurping Israeli regime, and some of the tragedies they had caused, were revealed to the world, you saw that people’s gatherings and demonstrations on Quds Day were no longer exclusive to the Islamic world.”

“Why do European citizens whose governments are aligned to the Zionist regime chant slogans in favor of the Palestinians and against the Zionist regime?” Ayatollah Khamenei noted. 

“The Palestinian issue is not a purely Islamic issue, it is a human issue. This means that anyone in the world – whether Muslim or non-Muslim – who knows the facts of the events in Palestine, will either side with the usurping regime or will oppose it.”

“Even in Europe, even in America itself, many protested and supported the Palestinians. The case is like this; the problem is a human problem. This is a very important issue.”

The reality on the ground is exactly that. Muslims and non-Muslims alike are protesting in support of the Palestinians en masse, in particular on International Quds Day or in cases when the Zionist regime wages war crimes against the Palestinians.

This is while the U.S. government as well as European governments have sided with Israel, despite its atrocious rights record, one of – if not the worst – in the world.

Just recently, UK PM Rishi Sunak recently invited scandal-hit Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu to London. But protests and chants against the Israeli war criminal by non-Muslims forced Downing Street to make it a very low affair with no public speeches. 

The Palestinian struggle for freedom and justice is also strongly reflected in Europe, the United States, Latin America and beyond, when different types of anti-government street demonstrations take place by protesters demanding their rights.

Whenever such protests by non-Muslims are staged, the flags of Palestine can be seen waving in the air.

There is international sympathy toward the Palestinians, who have certainly won the hearts and souls of the world. This is why protesters project the Palestinian plight with their own for justice in whatever dispute they may be protesting against and feel aggrieved by their respective governments.

Wherever there is a struggle for justice, there is also a Palestinian flag.

On the other hand, the phenomenon over the past two decades has seen the flag that resembles the Israeli entity waved during marches by neo-fascist, racist parties and movements on the streets of Europe and the United States.

So why do people in countries whose governments are close to the Zionist regime clearly and loudly shout justice for the Palestinians?

One answer is the corruption of Western governments in their links with powerful Zionist lobby groups which are often opaque. But attempts to make them as secretive and as non-transparent as possible have been dashed by multiple investigations. 

The largest Zionist lobby in Washington DC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), is notoriously famous for its major influence on the American Congress with the vast amount of money it slides into the pockets of winning senators to swing the arguments in favor of the occupying regime.

While AIPAC is the most powerful Israeli lobby group in the U.S., there are many other pro-Israel groups that are also handing over handsome sums, which put the greed of American lawmakers ahead of their integrity.

Crossing the pond, in the United Kingdom, the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) is without a doubt the best connected, and perhaps the best funded of all the lobbying groups in Westminster. The Conservative Party has been in government now for one of its longest stints (since 2010) and around 80 percent of Conservative MPs are members of the CFI.

In a show of strength on UK politics, the leader of the Conservative Party is often expected to appear at CFI events, while the opposition shadow Labour foreign secretary and his or her advisors are the subject of constant pressure by the powerful Israeli lobby group.

Last year, an investigation found that CFI took British MPs on 155 free trips over the previous decade, in an unrivalled charm offensive to promote the regime in British politics and means the CFI paid for MPs to go on more overseas trips than any other donor. Overall, 713 current or former MPs have accepted more than 3,100 all-expenses paid trips by the Israeli lobby group.

The Labour party has an equivalent group, the Labour Friends of Israel (LFI), which has also funded 62 trips to the occupied Palestinian territories for its MPs on more charm offensives to change the stance of lawmakers in parliament.

During Israel’s unprovoked and barbaric three-day bombing campaign on the besieged Gaza Strip last year, an investigation by Declassified revealed that a third of the government’s cabinet ministers and the then foreign minister responsible for West Asia, had been courted by the Israeli cabinet and pro-Israel lobby groups.

Another Israeli lobby group, the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre or BICOM, funds trips for state-funded media journalists to the occupied Palestinian territories, something that the reporters very rarely declare. 

While the pattern of these lobby groups against Western governments, their journalists, the financial structure and other activities as a whole are obscure, it is clear they are shaping the narrative of Congress and Parliament to enact specific policies and statements for the public to hear.

On top of that, the groups are engaging with mainstream media against the Palestinians who are oppressed and propping up the regime which is the oppressor by changing the Western narrative on the Palestinian struggle.

When a Palestinian is shot by an Israeli sniper and murdered, Western media say a Palestinian has “died”, the same terminology that is used when people die in natural disasters.

Israeli settlers and troops (in Palestinian retaliatory operations) are always referred to as “killed”; they are never left dead. But the “Israeli operation left seven Palestinians dead” as Western government-backed media often report, despite protests against its one-sided terminology. 

However, as Ayatollah Khamenei has pointed out, non-Muslims, in the U.S. and Europe, are noticing the lies and hypocritical statements propagated by Western governments and their media outlets.

They are now out on the streets in support of the Palestinian cause, as they see this as a humanitarian duty by all freedom seeking individuals in the world to defend the most oppressed people on the planet.

And nowhere was this more evident than International Quds Day protests on the streets of European and U.S. cities this month in solidarity with Palestine.

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