Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei dismisses the idea of a two-state solution in Palestine, saying any plan to divide Palestinian lands is rejected.
In an opening address to the 5th International Conference on Palestinian Intifada in the Iranian capital, Tehran, on Saturday, Ayatollah Khamenei said, “Our declaration is the freedom of Palestine not the freedom of parts of Palestine.”
The following is the full Text of the address:
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
As-Salamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and greetings upon our Master, Muhammad, and upon his immaculate household and chosen companions and upon those who follow them appropriately until the Day of Judgment.
Allah the All-Wise said: "Permission (to fight) is given to those upon whom war is made because they are oppressed and most surely Allah is well able to assist them. Those who have been expelled from their homes without a just cause only because they say our Lord is Allah. And had there not been Allah's repelling some people by others, certainly there would have been pulled down cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques in which Allah's name is much remembered. And surely Allah will help him who helps His cause. Most surely Allah is Strong, Mighty." [The Holy Quran, Sura al-Hajj, Ayahs 39-40]
I would like to welcome the all dear guests and the honorable audience. Among all the issues that deserve to be discussed by religious and political figures from across the world of Islam, the issue of Palestine enjoys special importance. Palestine is the primary issue among all common issues of Islamic countries. This issue has unique characteristics.
The first characteristic is that a Muslim country has been taken away from its people and entrusted to foreigners who have come together from different countries and formed a fake and mosaic-like society.
The second characteristic is that this historically unprecedented event has been accompanied by constant killings, crimes, oppression and humiliation.
The third characteristic is that Muslims' original qiblah and many respected religious centers which exist in that country have been threatened with destruction, sacrilege and decline.
The fourth characteristic is that at the most sensitive spot of the world of Islam, this fake government and society has played the role of a military, security and political base for the arrogant governments since the beginning up until today. And the pivot of the colonialist west - which has been opposed to the unity, development and progress of Islamic countries for various reasons - has always used it like a dagger in the heart of the Islamic Ummah.
The fifth characteristic is that Zionism - which is a great ethical, political and economic threat to the human community - has used this foothold as a tool and stepping stone to spread its influence and hegemony in the world.
Other points that can be added include: heavy financial and human costs that Islamic countries have paid so far, preoccupation of Muslim governments and people, the sufferings of millions of displaced Palestinians many of whom still live in refugee camps after the passage of six decades and putting an end to the history of an important civilizational center in the world of Islam.
Today another key point has been added to these causes and this key point is the wave of Islamic Awakening which has engulfed the entire region and has opened a new and determining chapter in the history of the Islamic Ummah. This massive movement - which can undoubtedly lead to a powerful, advanced and coherent Islamic alliance in this sensitive part of the world and can put an end to the era of backwardness, weakness and humiliation of Muslim nations relying on Allah's favor and the firm determination of the followers of this movement - has borrowed an important portion of its force and courage from the issue of Palestine.
The Zionist regime's increasing oppression and bullying and the cooperation of certain autocratic, corrupt and mercenary rulers on the one hand and the spirited Palestinian and Lebanese resistance and the miraculous victories of faithful youth in the 33-day war on Lebanon and in the 22-day war on Gaza on the other hand - were among the important factors which made turbulent the seemingly calm ocean of the Egyptian, Tunisian and Libyan nations as well as other regional nations.
It is a fact that the Zionist regime, which is armed to the teeth and claims to be invincible, suffered a decisive and humiliating defeat in Lebanon during an unequal war against the clenched fist of faithful and brave mujahids. Later on it re-tested its blunt sword against the innocent and determined resistance of Gaza and it failed.
Serious attention should be paid to these points when analyzing current conditions of the region and the appropriateness of every decision should be evaluated against these points.
Therefore, it is an accurate judgment to say that today the issue of Palestine has gained increased importance and urgency and the Palestinian nation has the right to expect more from Muslims countries in the current regional conditions.
Let us take a look at the past and the present and prepare a road map for the future. I will discuss certain topics in this regard.
More than six decades have passed since the tragic occupation of Palestine. All the main causes of this bloody tragedy have been identified and the colonialist English government is the most important cause. The policies, weapons and military, security, economic and cultural power of the English government and other arrogant western and eastern governments were put to the service of this great oppression. Under the ruthless clutches of the occupiers, the defenseless people of Palestine were massacred and forced out of their homes. Until today even one percent of the human and civil tragedy - which was carried out at that time by the claimants of civilization and ethics - has not been properly portrayed and this tragedy has not had its fair share in the media and visual arts. The owners of visual and cinematic arts and western movie mafias have not been willing to allow this to happen. An entire nation was massacred and displaced in silence.
Certain instances of resistance emerged at the beginning, which were harshly and ruthlessly crushed. From outside Palestinian borders and mainly from Egypt, a number of men with Islamic motives made certain efforts which were not sufficiently supported and could not have an effect on the scene.
Afterwards there were full-scale and classical wars between a few Arab countries and the Zionist army. Egypt, Syria and Jordan mobilized their military forces, but the unconditional, massive and increasing military and financial support of America, England and France for the Zionist regime overwhelmed Arab armies. Not only did they fail to help the Palestinian nation, but they also lost an important portion of their territories during these wars.
After the weakness of Palestine's Arab neighbors was revealed, cells of organized resistance were gradually established in the form of armed Palestinian groups and after a while they came together to form the Palestinian Liberation Organization. This was a spark of hope which shone brightly, but it did not last long. This failure can be attributed to many factors, but the essential factor was their separation from the people and from their Islamic beliefs and faith. Leftist ideology or mere nationalistic sentiments were not what the complicated and difficult issue of Palestine required. Islam, jihad and martyrdom were the factors that could have encouraged an entire nation to step into the arena of resistance and turned it into an invincible force. They did not understand this properly. During the first few months of the great Islamic Revolution, when the leaders of the Palestinian Liberation Organization had found a new spirit and they used to visit Tehran repeatedly, I asked a pillar of the organization why they did not raise the flag of Islam in their righteous battle. His answer was that there were a number of Christians among them as well. Later on that person was assassinated by the Zionists in an Arab country and I hope Allah the Exalted has bestowed mercy on him. But his reasoning was flawed. I believe a faithful Christian who fights alongside a group of selfless mujahids - who carry out jihad in a sincere way while having faith in God, the Day of Judgment and divine assistance - would be more motivated to fight than a Christian who has to fight alongside a group of people who lack faith, rely on unstable sentiments and lack loyal support of the people.
Lack of firm faith and separation from the people gradually made them neutral and ineffective. Of course there were honorable, motivated and valorous men among them, but the organization went off in a different direction. Their deviation has been a blow to the issue of Palestine. Like certain treacherous Arab governments, they too turned their back on the ideal of resistance which has been the only way of saving Palestine. And of course not only did they deliver a blow to Palestine, but they also delivered a strong blow to themselves. As the Christian Arab poet says,
لئن اضعتم فلسطيناً فعيشكم طول الحياة مضاضات و آلامٌ
Thirty two years were spent in this misery, but suddenly God's hand of power turned the tables. The victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in the year 1979 completely changed the conditions of this region and turned a new page. Among the amazing global effects of this Revolution and the strong blows that it delivered to arrogant policies, the blow to the Zionist government was the clearest and the most immediate. The statements of the leaders of that regime during those days are interesting to read and they show how unhappy and anxious they were. During the first few weeks after the victory, Israel's embassy in Tehran was closed down and its staff was expelled. The embassy was officially given to the Palestinian Liberation Organization whose representatives are still there. Our magnanimous Imam announced that one of the goals of the Revolution was to liberate Palestine and to remove the cancerous tumor, Israel. The powerful waves of this Revolution, which engulfed the entire world at that time, conveyed this message wherever it reached: "Palestine must be liberated." Even the repeated and great problems that the enemies of the Revolution imposed on the Islamic Republic of Iran failed to discourage the Islamic Republic from defending Palestine. One instance of the problems that they caused was the eight-year war waged on Iran by Saddam Hussein who had been goaded by America and England and was supported by reactionary Arab governments.
Thus, new blood was pumped into the veins of Palestine. Muslim mujahid groups started to emerge in Palestine. The Lebanese Resistance formed a powerful and new front against the enemy and its supporters. Instead of relying on Arab governments and seeking help from global organizations such as the United Nations, which were accomplices of the arrogant powers, Palestine started to rely on itself, its youth, its deep Islamic faith and its selfless men and women. This is the key to all achievements.
Over the past three decades this process has been accelerated on a daily basis. The humiliating defeat of the Zionist regime in Lebanon in the year 2006, the humiliating failure of the arrogant Zionist army in Gaza in the year 2008, the Zionist regime's escape from South Lebanon and withdrawal from Gaza, the establishment of the resistance government in Gaza and in brief, changing the Palestinian nation from a group of helpless and hopeless people to a hopeful, resistant and self-confident nation - these were the outstanding characteristics of the past thirty years.
This general picture will be clear when attempts at compromise and treacherous activities - whose goal is to break down resistance and make Palestinian groups and Arab governments acknowledge the legitimacy of Israel - are also reflected upon in an appropriate way.
These activities, which were initiated with the Camp David Accords by the treacherous and unworthy successor of Gamal Abdel Nasser, have always been aimed at undermining the steely determination of resistance forces. During the Camp David Accords, for the first time an Arab government officially acknowledged that the Palestinian lands belonged to the Zionists and it signed the papers according to which Palestine was recognized as the homeland of Jews.
From that time until the Oslo Accords in the year 1993 and later on in complementary plans - which were imposed one after the other on compromising and careless Palestinian groups with the intervention of America and the cooperation of colonialist European governments - the enemy tried its best to discourage the Palestinian nation and Palestinian groups from resisting through the use of empty and deceptive promises and making them busy with amateur political games. The uselessness of all these accords was revealed very soon and the Zionists and their supporters repeatedly showed that they consider these accords as worthless pieces of paper. The goal of these plans was to create doubt among the Palestinians, make materialistic unbelievers greedy and cripple Islamic resistance.
So far, the spirit of resistance among the Islamic Palestinian groups and the Palestinian people has been the antidote to all these treacherous games. They stood up against the enemy with Allah's permission and as promised by God, they benefited from divine assistance: "And surely Allah will help him who helps His cause. Most surely Allah is Strong, Mighty." [The Holy Quran, Sura al-Hajj, Ayah 40] The resistance of Gaza in spite of a comprehensive siege was an instance of divine assistance. The collapse of the treacherous and corrupt government of Hosni Mubarak was divine assistance. The emergence of the powerful wave of Islamic Awakening in the region is divine assistance. The removal of the mask of hypocrisy from the face of America, England and France and the increasing hatred of the regional nations towards these countries are divine assistance. The repeated and innumerable problems of the Zionist regime - from its domestic political, economic and social problems to its isolation in the world, to public and even academic hatred of the Zionists in Europe - are all instances of divine assistance.
Today the Zionist regime is weaker, more hated and more isolated than ever before and its main supporter, America, is more embattled and confused than ever before.
Today the general history of Palestine in the past 60 years is in front of our eyes. It is necessary to delineate the future by considering that general history and learning lessons from it.
Two points should be clarified in advance. The first point is that our demand is the liberation of Palestine, not the liberation of a part of Palestine. Any plan to divide Palestine is completely unacceptable. The two-state idea which has been presented in the self-righteous clothing of "recognizing the Palestinian government as a member of the United Nations" is nothing but giving in to the demands of the Zionists - namely, "recognizing the Zionist government in Palestinian lands". This would mean trampling on the rights of the Palestinian nation, ignoring the historical right of the displaced Palestinians and even jeopardizing the right of the Palestinians settled in "1948 lands". It would mean leaving the cancerous tumor intact and exposing the Islamic Ummah - especially the regional nations - to constant danger. It would mean bringing back decades-long sufferings and trampling upon the blood of the martyrs.
Any operational solution must be based on the principle of "all of Palestine for all Palestinian people". Palestine is the land that extends "from the river to the sea", not one inch less than that. Of course it should be noted that through its elected government, the Palestinian people will run the affairs of the any part of the Palestinian soil they manage to liberate, just as they did in the case of Gaza, but they will never forget the ultimate goal.
The second point is that in order to reach this lofty goal, what is necessary is action, not words. It is necessary to be serious, not to make ceremonial gestures. It is necessary to have patience and wisdom, not engage in a variety of impatient actions. It is necessary to consider horizons that lie far ahead and to move forward step by step with determination, reliance on God and hope. Muslim governments and nations and the resistance groups in Palestine, Lebanon and other countries can each identify their share of work in this general struggle and solve the puzzle of resistance with Allah's permission.
The solution of the Islamic Republic to the issue of Palestine and this old wound is a clear and logical proposal that is based on political wisdom accepted by global public opinion and it has been presented in detail previously. We neither propose a classical war with the armies of Islamic countries, nor do we propose throwing Jewish immigrants into the sea or intervention of the United Nations and other international organizations. We propose a referendum among the Palestinian people. Just like any other nation, the Palestinian nation has the right to determine its own destiny and to elect its own government. All the original people of Palestine - including Muslims, Christians and Jews and not foreign immigrants - should take part in a general and orderly referendum and determine the future government of Palestine whether they live inside Palestine or in camps or in any other place. The government that is established after the referendum will determine the destiny of non-Palestinian immigrants who migrated to Palestine in the past. This is a fair and logical proposal which global public opinion understands and it can receive support from independent nations and governments.
Of course we do not expect the usurping Zionists to willingly accept this proposal and this is where the role of governments, nations and resistance organizations becomes significant. The most important pillar of supporting the Palestinian nation is to stop supporting the usurping enemy and this is the great duty of Islamic governments. After the people have stepped into the arena and shouted slogans against the Zionist regime in a powerful way, on what logical basis do Muslim governments continue their relations with the usurping Zionist regime? The proof of Muslim governments' honesty lies in their support for the Palestinian nation and in their decision to break off their overt and secret political and economic relations with the Zionist regime. The governments that host Zionist embassies or economic offices cannot claim to defend Palestine and no anti-Zionist slogan on their part will be considered serious and genuine.
Today Islamic resistance organizations, which have been shouldering the heavy burden of jihad over the past years, are confronted with the same great responsibility. Their organized resistance is an active arm that can help the Palestinian nation move towards the ultimate goal. Brave resistance of the people whose homes and country have been occupied has been recognized in all international conventions and it has been praised. Allegations of terrorism by the political and media network affiliated with Zionism are hollow and worthless claims. The obvious terrorist is the Zionist regime and its western supporters. Palestinian resistance is a movement against the oppressive terrorists and it is a human and sacred movement.
In the meantime, it is appropriate for western countries to evaluate the situation from a realistic perspective. Today the west is at a crossroads. It should either stop bullying and acknowledge the right of the Palestinian nation and refuse to follow the plan of the bullying and anti-human Zionists, or they should wait for stronger blows in the not so distant future. These crippling blows are not limited to the continual collapse of their puppet governments in the Islamic region. Rather the day when European and American peoples realize that the majority of their economic, social and ethical problems result from the octopus-like hegemony of international Zionism over their governments and that their statesmen give in to the bullying of parasitic Zionists who own companies in America and Europe for the sake of their personal and partisan interests, they will create a such hell for them in which no salvation will be imaginable.
The US President says that Israel's security is his red line. What factor has determined this red line? Is it the interests of the American nation or Obama's personal need for the money and support of Zionist companies to ensure his second term as US President? How long do you think you will be able to deceive your own nation? What will the American people do with you the day they realize you have agreed to give in to humiliation and obedience to wealthy Zionists for the sake of remaining in power for a few more days? What will they do with you when they realize that you have sacrificed the interests of a great nation at the feet of the Zionists?
Dear brothers and sisters, know that this red line drawn by Obama and people like him will be crossed by Muslim nations that have risen up. What is threatening the Zionist regime is not the missiles of Iran or resistance groups, so they can build a missile shield here and there in order to confront it. The real and inescapable threat is the firm determination of men, women and youth in Islamic countries who do not want America, Europe and their puppets rulers, to dominate and humiliate them any longer.
Of course those missiles will fulfill their duty whenever the enemy poses a threat. "Therefore, be patient. Surely the promise of Allah is true and let not those who have no certainty make you impatient." [The Holy Quran, Sura ar-Room, Ayah 60]
Wa salaam alaykum wa rahmat Allah