Palestine from the viewpoint of Imam Khomeini [Electronic resources] نسخه متنی

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From various aspects, the victory of the Islamic revolution in Iran
resulted in the intensification of the Muslims' campaign against the Zionists and changed
the method of the Palestinians' struggle. The Shah's regime was considered a powerful ally
for Israel and the West in the sensitive Middle East region. During his reign, Iran was a
market for the import of large amounts of Israeli goods causing the economy of the
occupying regime to flourish, and in the area of oil, the Shah rushed to its aid by
exporting enough to meet its needs. As a result, in the Israeli economic and industrial
sectors, Iran's oil was transformed into arms and bullets used to pierce the chests of the

Under the Shah, Iran had become a base for Israeli espionage activities
and one from which the Zionist regime could keep watch over the Arabs of the region. To
disclose the nature of the Shah's open and secret relations with Israel and to protest at
the unsparing aid the Shah's regime was giving this common enemy of the Muslims
constituted just two of the reasons behind the uprising of Imam Khomeini. As he himself
said, "One of the reasons why we oppose the Shah is the assistance he gives Israel, I
have constantly repeated in my discourses that the Shah has co-operated with Israel from
the day it came into being, and when the war between Israel and the Muslims reached its
climax, the Shah illegally took the oil of the Muslims and gave it to Israel. This in
itself has been one of the factors behind my opposition to the Shah." The fall of the
Shah and the rise of the Islamic system in Iran was the first deadly blow to the
expansionist aims of the Zionists, putting them seriously at risk.

The effect of the message of the Islamic revolution and of its leader on
public opinion was so widespread that when Anwar Sadat signed the peace treaty at Camp
David, the Egyptian government was rejected by Arab circles, even by the reactionary Arab
regimes, and was totally isolated.

Following the bitter experience they had in their confrontation with Imam
Khomeini's movement, America and the European governments - the main supporters of the
regime occupying Quds - set to trying to bridle the Islamic revolution and change the
situation. To this end, they even went so far as to pursue the same policies as their
Eastern adversary (the now defunct Soviet Union). The crystallisation of this co-operation
was seen when Saddam occupied the land of the Islamic Republic at the instigation of the
two superpowers and in their all-encompassing support for him in all stages of the
Ba'athist regime's long war with the newly-established Islamic system in Iran.

The imposed war was started with the aim of occupying and dividing Iran
and annihilating the Islamic revolution. The Islamic republic system, which was determined
to play its spearheading role in the struggle against the enemies of the Muslims and to
materialise its cries of "Today Iran, Tomorrow Palestine," was forced to
unwillingly enter the field of battle to defend its revolution. It was a war which the
heads of both Eastern and Western governments admitted took place to totally destroy the
Islamic revolution and to dash any hopes of uprising or revolution the Muslim nations may
have had. In this way, Saddam, at the instigation of the enemies of the Muslims and with
their support, became the director of a long-running and bitter saga which Imam Khomeini
speaks of thus: "That which causes great sorrow is that the superpowers, America in
particular, by deceiving Saddam into attacking our country has forced the powerful
government of Iran to busy itself with defending its country so as to give the criminal,
usurper Israel the opportunity to pursue its evil plan which is the creation of a greater
Israel stretching from the Nile to the Euphrates."

The bitter realities, the conspiracies and the obstacles which the enemies
of Islam put in the path of the progress of the Islamic revolution, along with the changes
which were becoming manifest in the Eastern bloc, enabled America to once again present
compromise and surrender to Israel as the only solution to the crisis in the Middle East,
and not only return Egypt to the Arab fold, but place it at the head of the queue of
willing compromisers, a queue which now comprised a vast spectrum of Arab governments.
However, with all of this, that which took place in Lebanon and that which we are
witnessing today in the lands of occupied Palestine show that the Palestinian nation has
received the message of the Islamic revolution despite all the obstacles, and Imam
Khomeini's enlightening and rousing words are bearing fruit as the
intifada takes
shape. Despite the treachery of the compromisers in the Arab world, today even the leaders
of the occupying regime and America admit that the essence of the ideology of the Islamic
revolution and the ideas of Imam Khomeini have found an undeniable presence in events
taking place in Palestine.

The present book contains the guidances and positions adopted by a great
man who transformed his divine movement into a great revolution in the Islamic world by
reliance on God and faith in the great power of the people. That which has been compiled
in this work are selected excerpts from Imam Khomeini's speeches, messages and interviews,
given at different periods during the history of the Islamic revolution, reflecting his
opinions on Palestine.

A study of the present anthology clearly reveals that at the height of the
power of the oppressive imperial system in Iran Imam was the divulger of the secret
relations which existed between the Shah's regime and Israel, that he considered
confronting the danger posed by Israel to the Islamic world to be a very serious issue and
that he continually pursued this issue.

Imam Khomeini was the first
marja'-i taqlid (source of religious
guidance) and great religious leader to authorise the use of monies received for
charitable disbursement to support the Palestinian combatants. When the Quds-occupying
regime perpetrated yet another crime in its long list of crimes and set fire to the
al-Aqsa mosque, Imam Khomeini, with complete foresight and in stark contrast to the policy
adopted by others on the matter, which was to endeavour to have the mosque rebuilt,
stressed the need to preserve the vestiges of Israel's crimes as a symbolic factor to
incite and encourage the Muslims to rise up against the existence of the main reason for
the crime, that is the occupying regime. He said, "They set fire to the Masjid
al-Aqsa. We cry out: 'Leave the Masjid al-Aqsa half-burned to the ground; do not erase all
traces of the crime!' But the Shah's regime opens an account, sets up a fund, and starts
collecting money from the people supposedly to rebuild the Masjid al-Aqsa, but really to
fill the pockets of our rulers while also covering up the crime committed by Israel."

From the very beginning, he introduced the Islamic aspect and the
ideological dimension of the struggle with Israel as the most effective factor in the
movement for mobilising the oppressed Palestinian nation and attracting support for them
from the Islamic
umma. He
considered other methods of struggle, such as
reliance on Arab nationalism and nationalist views along with other imported and
non-Islamic ideologies, as a departure from the path of struggle for the freedom of Quds.
He had a clear insight into the internal problems besetting the Islamic world, amongst
them the weakness, inability or subordinate nature of some of the heads of Islamic states.
Consequently, he emphasised the importance of public knowledge and awareness in the
Islamic world stemming from the principles of belief and the
umma's common faith
and culture, and of avoiding sectarian differences. He called on the heads of the Muslim
governments to accept this approach too, and believed that as long as the governments were
of the same mind as their people and went along with Muslim public opinion and demand,
they were to be entrusted with the authority of leadership and with the responsibility for
guiding the struggle, otherwise the Muslim nations should do to them what the Muslim
nation of Iran did to the Shah.

Now briefly some of the aspects of Imam Khomeini's views relating to the
Palestinian problem and confrontation with the Zionist enemy will be discussed. With a
quick look through the present anthology, one can briefly summarise the different aspects
of Imam Khomeini's views on Palestine and other concomitant issues under the following

The need to use the oil weapon against America and Israel:

At a time when the experience of the many Arab-Israeli wars, in particular
the defeat in the Ramadan war, had strengthened some of the grounds for compromise amongst
the Arabs, Imam Khomeini stressed the need to continue the struggle using an oil embargo
as a weapon against Israel and its supporters. In a message to the Muslim governments and
nations on November 7, 1973 (Aban 16, 1352 AHS), following the Ramadan war, he wrote:
"It is the duty of the governments of Islamic oil-producing countries to use their
oil and the other means they have at their disposal as weapons against Israel and the
imperialists, and to refuse to sell oil to governments supporting Israel."

This stance of Imam Khomeini's was pursued vigorously at different periods
and even after the victory of the Islamic revolution. Unfortunately, however, for various
reasons, amongst them the weakness and subjection of many of the heads of the Islamic
countries, his words were not heeded and not translated into action. If we consider the
special conditions which prevailed at that time and the importance and vital role oil
played in industrial development, more so at a time when the Western industrialised world
had not come up with any viable means of defence against the oil-embargo weapon, we can
understand more fully the importance of this stance of Imam's.

The freedom of Palestine is to be found in the
rediscovery of Islamic identity:

The necessary requirements for being able to adopt a basic stance on
Israel and pursue a serious struggle against it are that the people, while being aware of
the facts, should at the same time not be stricken with consumption fever and should trust
their leaders to the extent that they go along and co-operate with them. However, the
suppression and despotism prevalent in most Islamic countries at the time was such that
the people did not support their governments. Imam knew this and realised that the main
buttress of the struggle would be the people's Islamic faith, he said: "Until the
time that we return to Islam, the Islam of the Prophet of God, our problems will remain.
Until that happens, we can solve neither the Palestinian problem nor the problems
besetting Afghanistan and other places. The nations must turn to the earliest age of
Islam, if their governments do so with them there is no problem, otherwise the nations
should detach themselves from their governments and do to them what the nation of Iran did
to its government so that the problems can be solved."

Repeatedly disclosing the plan for a Greater

The main slogan of the Israeli parliament was: "Israel, your borders
reach from the Nile to the Euphrates," and was put forward at a time when Israel was
weak and newly-established, when the occupiers were fewer and had little power compared to
the Islamic world. It was obvious then, that at a time when they had power, they would
strive to realise this dream. Imam Khomeini repeatedly pointed out the danger of Israeli
expansionism and the fact that Israel would not be satisfied with its present borders, and
he informed the people that any kind of denial or cover-up by Israel of this aim was
merely done to deceive public opinion in the Islamic world and allow it to pursue its
step-by-step policy to achieve its ultimate aim. If this warning of Imam's alone had been
understood properly, the way for the various conciliatory plans - which naively sought to
make Israel the captive of international agreements and resolutions and, at the cost of
giving it most of the occupied lands, obtain a kind of limited self rule in a corner of
Palestine - would have been blocked.

The distinction between Judaism and Zionism:

It is known that Zionism is a political phenomenon with expansionist,
racist and colonialist aims that under the cover of the Jewish religion takes on a
religious appearance and tries to pursue its goals as the saviour of the Jewish people.
But it is not hidden from the perspicacious thinkers that the fanciful claim of the racial
unity of the Jews of the world is made by Zionists who want to justify their usurpation of
Palestinian land and their crimes in the occupied territories. It is obvious that the
director of this drama was, in the beginning, British colonialism, but later that position
was entrusted to the officials at the White House and today they are the ones who call the
shots. And it goes without saying that the neo-colonialism of the West cares little for
the religion of God and the pious people, the only thing that matters to the colonialists
of today being their own imperialist interests. Aware of these realities, Imam Khomeini,
by always making a distinction between Judaism and Zionism, confronted this trick and
removed the mask of hypocrisy from the faces of those claiming to defend Judaism. He
introduced Zionism as fundamentally a political movement antithetical to the principles of
religion and the aims of the divine messengers.

The way to save Palestine is through the unity
of Islamic nations:

Imam Khomeini always considered returning to Islam and uniting as a
prerequisite to saving Palestine and blocking Zionism's expansionist plans. Consequently,
while stressing that the main goal of Israel is the destruction of Islam, he repeatedly
called on the Muslims to put aside all their differences, including the religious ones.
Even though the majority of the Arabs and Muslims living in Palestine belonged to the
Sunni sect, Imam Khomeini, in his role as Shi'i jurisprudent and
marja', did not
refuse them any kind of help. He considered the issue of Palestine as one that was related
to the very existence of Islam, and stressed it was a problem which concerned the Islamic
world as a whole. He encouraged all Muslims, especially the Shias of Lebanon, to extend
their help to the Palestinians. Imam Khomeini saw the rule of a small number of Zionists
over more than one billion Muslims of the world as something shameful and said: "How
can Israel, with such a small number of people, come and prevail over these countries
which possess everything and have all kinds of powers, the way it has? Why should it be
this way? Is it not because the nations are divided and stand apart from their
governments, and the governments are disunited, that a population of one billion Muslims
with all the means they have at their disposal are sitting by while Israel perpetrates
these crimes in Lebanon and Palestine?"

In the words Imam Khomeini, the great leader of the Islamic revolution,
made famous, if all the Muslims came together and each one of them threw a bucket of water
over Israel, it would be washed away. He said: "There is something which puzzles me
and it is that all the Muslim governments and nations know what the problem is, they know
that the hands of foreigners are involved to disunite them, they see that this disunity
will weaken and destroy them, they see how the frail government of Israel has stood
against the Muslims, and they know that if united and each one of them threw a bucket of
water over Israel it would be washed away, yet still they are helpless before it."

Taking advantage of opportunities and the
potentials of the Islamic world:

In defending the rights of the oppressed people of Palestine and in order
to mobilise support for the Palestinian uprising from the Islamic nations, Imam Khomeini
believed that instead of turning to grounds, topics and issues which had no roots in the
culture of the Palestinian nation, one should take advantage of the ideology of Islam and
the potentials it offered. Declaring the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan
"World Quds Day" is an example of this enlightened attitude of Imam Khomeini's.
The month of Ramadan provides the Muslims with an ideal opportunity; spiritually inspired
by a month of fasting and attending religious and educational ceremonies, the believers
gain a readiness to turn their attention to the great responsibility borne by the
to free the first
qibla of the Muslims. Were the political and propaganda obstacles
of the imperialist powers and their agents in the Islamic countries to be weakened through
the efforts of the Muslims, then World Quds Day could play a very determining role in
uniting the Muslim nations as well as mobilising and inspiring the Muslim forces for the
freedom of holy Quds.

In Imam Khomeini's view, another example of the potentials of the Islamic
world was to be found through reviving the Abrahamic hajj, observing the true philosophy
of hajj - which in the holy Qur'an is called "the uprising for the people" - and
ensuring that the disavowal of pagans ceremonies became an integral part of the spirit of
true hajj and its rituals. Based on this view, whenever the global congress of hajj, which
is the focus of attention of millions of Muslim people from all over the world and from
all denominations, discovers its true philosophy and is transformed into a centre for
recognising the problems of the Islamic world and revealing the treacherous plots of the
enemies of Islam and their agents, then the question of Palestine and the occupation of
Muslim lands by a handful of Zionists will, as a matter of course, be placed at the top of
the agenda as one of the most important problems facing the Muslim world. And through the
hajj congress, the support of the Muslims of the world can be found, unanimity created and
the resources of the Islamic world put to use for finding a fundamental solution to this
old problem.

Indeed it is the existence of these very potentials and the enlightening
messages of Imam Khomeini that have led America, Europe and Israel in past years to employ
all their might against Imam's policies and the Islamic republic system. Taking advantage
of the dependency and shaky position of some of the anti-people governments in the Islamic
countries, they strive to prevent the message reviving the pure Islam of Muhammad (upon
whom be peace) from spreading. And through their use of different methods of disseminating
malicious propaganda against the goals of the Islamic revolution on the one hand and
calumny, assassination, international pressures and the killing of pilgrims of the house
of God for the crime of shouting "Death to America and Israel" on the other,
they try to stem the rising tide of the Islamic revolution and consolidate the usurping
government of Israel in the heart of the Islamic world. However, the Islamic uprising of
the Palestinian people is a sign of this reality that the message of Imam and his movement
for God has reached its main audience.

The Institute for the Compilation and Publication of the
Works of Imam Khomeini

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