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"Destiny of Palestine
is the Destiny of Us All"


Ayatollah al-Udhma Khamenei
International Islamic Unity Conference
May 30, 2002

Excerpt from Ayatollah al-Udhma Khamenei's address to officials, foreign diplomats and the guests of International Islamic Unity Conference on the occasion of the Unity Week on May 30, 2002.


In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful...

...The problem of Palestine today is a deep and painful wound in the Islamic society's body.

"Certainly a Messenger has come to you from among yourselves; grievous to him is your falling into distress, excessively solicitous respecting you; to the believers (he is) compassionate" [Quranic verse, 9:128].

Today, the issue of Palestine is the biggest grievance that torments the Holy Prophet's sacred heart. The Holy Prophet's lofty soul in the transcendental world of divine creation becomes drenched with sorrow when he observes the plight of the Palestinian people today. What is the solution? The solution is to endeavor and struggle.

The problem of Palestine today is the problem of the Islamic world. Whether we, Muslims in the Islamic countries, understand or not, the destiny of Palestine is the destiny of us all.

If Palestine were to achieve success in this courageous confrontation, it would be a success for the entire Islamic world. The longer the suffering of that nation continue, the greater shame it would be for the Islamic world. It would be an ever-increasing shame for the Islamic world. The Islamic world must consider this problem as their own problem. It is true that we are all religiously duty-bound and that Islam has made it our obligation to help the people of Palestine, but my assertion today goes beyond a religious obligation. I am saying that the destiny of the Islamic countries, whether they are geographically close or far from Palestine, will be directly affected by whatever that happens in Palestine today. The events in Palestine and their ultimate fate will affect all of us.

Whatever the Muslim nations do for Palestine today, in effect they will be doing it for themselves. They will be serving their own interests. In the same way when the British colonialism separated this territory from the body of Islam with the help of global arrogance, that is, when they cut out this bloody limb from Islamic world's body, their long-term objective on that day was not just to cut off the one limb. On that day too, the colonialists intended to dominate the entire region that is the heart of the Islamic world. Today all of us shoulder a burden of responsibility. Of course, the Palestinian nation has performed its obligation in accordance with the right of a courageous nation and as they deserve. They are standing firm.

"No alternative but to welcome death with courage"

We should all know that the present usurping and tyrannical Zionist regime has so far failed in its operations. Up to this moment it has not achieved any success at all. It has been defeated by the resolve of the Palestinians.

The objective of the Zionist regime in its operations was to extinguish the Jerusalem intifadah. The objective was to force the Palestinians to raise their hands in surrender. The objective was to silence the motive of the Palestinian people for freedom and zeal. In reality they have achieved the reverse. Today the understanding of the people of Palestine and their resolve are much greater than before the start of the intifadah. Today the people of Palestine have realized the depth of that usurping regime's enmity, ferocity and barbarism and its partner, that is America.

When a nation reaches the end of its tether and realizes that there is no other alternative but welcoming death with courage, nothing would be able to stand up to such a nation. Neither the might of the Zionists, their tanks, artillery and other weapons, nor the political and financial power of their backer America will be able to exert any influence.

There were times when they used to bring hope to the heart of the Palestinian nation by sitting round a negotiating table with them to win so-called concessions, but those days are over. It became clear that nothing could be achieved by sitting round a negotiating table to discuss matters with the enemy. The people of Palestine have understood this today. They are therefore performing their tasks. The Palestinian mothers, the Palestinian youths and the Palestinian men and women are in the arena. The important issue is that we must fulfill our duty. That is, the Islamic world must fulfill its duty. The Islamic world means the Muslim nations and their governments.

The Islamic governments might assume some excuses. But nations do not have such excuses. The Islamic ulema, intellectuals, politicians and those who can influence the people's thoughts do not have such excuses. They must take action. Their action will help their governments too.

If the Muslim nations, and Arab nations in particular, clearly and constantly demonstrate their resolve in support of the Palestinian nation today, it will benefit their governments too. The governments can exploit their people's support to exert pressure on the enemy in the diplomatic arena.

Our late Imam [Khomeini] had understood the reality of the issue very well. He was quite observant. From the start of this movement in the year 1341 [1962], that is 40 years ago, at a time when even the elite in Iran did not know much about the problem of Palestine, the Imam was saying that everyone must feel threatened in the face of Israel's domination. He was saying that we must all stand firm and confront Israel. He then continued the same path and the matter became one of the big slogans of that great man...