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26 November 2006

Jerusalem Day - Arab and Iranian Style

Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center
at the Center for Special Studies (C.S.S)

November 6 , 2006

The hate industry

At Jerusalem Day, initiated by Iran and celebrated in the Arab-Muslim world and in London, calls were heard for the elimination of Israel. Prominent was Ahmadinejad’s statement about the end of the “Zionist regime,” accompanied by a warning to the West that Middle East would produce a “hurricane.”

From Teheran… … to London

A Jerusalem Day parade in Teheran. Note the picture of Hassan Nasrallah (IRNA).

A poster distributed in London for the Jerusalem Day March, which included a parade and demonstration in front of the American Embassy. Prominent were groups of radical Muslims and supporters of Iran and Hezbollah, who carried signs bearing pictures of Hassan Nasrallah and Hezbollah flags.


World Jerusalem Day is celebrated every year by Iran , the terrorist organizations influenced by the Shi'ite communities in the Arab-Muslim world and even by Sunni Muslims in the Palestinian Authority and Turkey on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. 1 In 1979 the Ayatollah Khomeini, leader of the Iranian Islamic revolution, announced that the day would show identification with the Palestinian struggle and express the determination to “liberate” Jerusalem and Palestine by force and to destroy the State of Israel.

This year the day was celebrated on Friday October 20, 2006, with ceremonies, assemblies, rallies and parades. The events took place in Iran , Lebanon , the Palestinian Authority , Syria , Turkey , Pakistan , Bangladesh and even Britain (in London ).

This year as well there were calls for the violent destruction of the State of Israel accompanied by denunciations of the West. The theme was repeated by Iranian president Ahmadinejad and by spokesmen for Hezbollah and the various Palestinian terrorist organizations (Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Fatah/Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades ).

Events of the second Lebanon war were referred to in the speeches given. On the backdrop of the war and its outcome, praise was heard throughout the Arab-Muslim world in locations where Jerusalem Day was celebrated and even in Britain for Hezbollah, and the organization's flags were waved and signs bearing pictures of Hassan Nasrallah were carried. The events were exploited to spread an image of Hezbollah's “victory” and to encourage the continuation of acts of violence and terrorism against Israel .

The following is a survey of Jerusalem Day events in Iran and other countries.


On October 20, the eve of Jerusalem Day, a mass parade was held in Teheran attended by Iranian president Ahmadinejad. Banners denouncing Israel were carried and the ritual of burning the Israeli flag was performed. Similar events were held in other cities in Iran . Speeches were made by Ahmadinejad and other senior members of the Iranian government. The prominent themes were the call for the destruction of Israel , hatred for the Western powers and a warning that the Middle East would produce a “hurricane” that would spill over into the countries supporting Israel . Iran also asserted its determination to advance its nuclear program and its denial of the Holocaust.

Ahmadinejad during the Friday prayer at Teheran University
(Morteza Nikoubazl/Reuters, October 20).

According to Agence France-Presse, October 20, Ahmadinejad said the following:

Without a doubt, the Zionist regime would disappear and the Western powers should know that as of now, every government supporting the Zionist regime would see only the results of the hatred the people of the region [felt for them]. In addition, the rage of the nations of the region was boiling and the efforts to stabilize that regime of deceit had failed completely, praise to Allah. The Zionist regime, he claimed, had lost the rationale for its existence. [At the previous day's rally at Islamshahr Ahmadinejad noted that “the Zionist regime” was illegitimate and could no longer continue to exist.] 2

• He also asked why, if the Holocaust really occurred, those whose opinion was different were arrested ? If it really happened, he wanted to know, where did it happen, and if it happened in Europe, why should compensation be paid in Palestine ?

• He added that those warnings were an ultimatum to the Western powers , which should not complain they were not forewarned. The Muslims were saying very clearly that if the hurricane began, the West could rest assured that its dimensions would carry it beyond the geographic borders of Palestine . He also warned the West that the Zionist regime would drag its supporters into the abyss, and that their best solution would be to take all the elements of the Zionist regime and throw them away.

Qassem Suleimani , commander of the Qods ( Jerusalem ) Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (whose units are deployed in Lebanon ), 3 referred to Hezbollah in his speech. Regarding the significance of the organization's “victory” in the second Lebanon war, he said: “ Hezbollah's victory in Lebanon has created a new Middle East, not one of America but of Islam …In addition to the formation of jihad groups in Palestine , a Shi'ite organization in Lebanon called Hezbollah succeeded in exporting the model of a life of faith to Palestine . Hezbollah played a central role in turning the Palestinian rock into a rocket …Hamas's [firm] stance strengthened the security of the Arab states but unfortunately the Arab rules were traitors…The Jerusalem Day parades increase the pressure on the Islamic governments favoring peace and that will cause the American and Israeli plots to fail…” (IRNA News Agency, October 20).

Rahim Safavi , the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, also made not of the Islamic struggle against Israel and the support of the West: “ The hearts of the people of the Middle East are full of hatred and loathing for the United States and Israel …[In reference to Europe:] You join in the killing of Palestinians alongside the United States and Israel, and you should know that the Islamic world takes that into consideration…The killing silence of the Arab heads of state distances them from their citizens… Jerusalem can be rescued and liberated by the Islamic world's support for the resistance , by boycotting American and Israeli goods and by severing diplomatic relations with them, threatening to cut off the oil supply to the West, forming cores of resistance in the Middle East and North Africa, avidly following the words of the Ayatollah Khomeini and the leader Khamenei and relying on the Qur'an…( Fares News Agency, October 20).

Mamouchehr Mottaki , the Iranian foreign minister, twice denied the right of the State of Israel to exist:

• He said that the Zionist regime was morally corrupt and ethically perverted at the highest levels, and was cracked and collapsing both internally and regionally. It was about to fall, he claimed, and therefore those who supported the Zionists should regard the massive support of the people as a warning that the Middle East had been redefined, and not according to Western programs. (Agence France-Presse, October 20).

• On a speech given during the breaking of the Ramadan fast on October 18, Mottaki said: “The tocsin of the fall of the Zionist regime has begun to sound and the regime has proved itself to be hollow. When a regime loses its legal base it becomes shaky…” (IRNA News Agency, October 18).

Demonstrators burn the Israeli flag during Jerusalem Day in Teheran.
On the flag is written, “Death to Israel .” ( Caren Firouz/Reuters, October 20)


On October 20, Jerusalem Day celebrations led by Hezbollah were held by Lebanese Shi'ite communities. The main event was a mass parade through the neighborhoods of south Beirut , attended by members of the Hezbollah Imam al-Mahdi Scouts and groups waving Hezbollah, Lebanese and Palestinian flags. The parade ended Haret Khreik, a Hezbollah stronghold in south Beirut . Jerusalem Day was celebrated in other locations in Lebanon , including south Lebanon , where several dozen demonstrators held a parade near the Fatma Gate in the village of Kila , near the Lebanese-Israeli border.

Parades in Lebanon attended by the Imam al-Mahdi Scouts, Hezbollah's youth organization. The marchers waved signs bearing pictures of Hassan Nasrallah, Khomeini and Khamenei (Al-Manar TV, October 20).

It should be noted that because of the second Lebanon war and its outcome, unlike previous years there was no Hezbollah military parade, and relatively speaking the Jerusalem Day celebrations were modest . The main ceremony was held in the auditorium of the UNESCO building in Beirut , where Hassan Nasrallah was conspicuously absent and the keynote speech was made by Nasrallah's deputy, sheikh Na'im Qassem. The ceremony was attended by Shirani, the Iranian ambassador to Lebanon , Fawzi Salloukh, the Lebanese foreign minister (who is a Shi'ite), and Osama Hamdan, the Hamas representative in Lebanon .

The Jerusalem Day parade in the south Lebanon village of Kila watched by South Lebanese Army soldiers (Al-Manar TV, October 20).

Sheikh Na'im Qassem expressed his hope that “the victory of the faithful” was close and that Jerusalem would be “liberated” by the use of main force. He noted that jihad was the main principle behind the events of Jerusalem Day and that it was “ the day of weapons, resistance and liberation by force .” He called for the “the might of weapons” to “pull the Zionist entity out by the roots” and for Palestinians to continue their struggle until the “liberation of all Palestinian lands” (Al-Manar TV, Hezbollah's Al-Intiqad portal and IRNA News Agency, October 20).

Osama Hamdan , Hamas's representative in Lebanon , made the following points (Al-Jazeera TV, October 20):

The destruction of the State of Israel : “We will never recognize this dictatorial entity and we are certain that its end is coming more quickly than many suppose. The day will come when many will speak of the time when such an entity existed on the land of Palestine [as] a bygone era…”

The “resistance” [i.e., violence and terrorism] is the only way to destroy Israel : “The resistance is the only way to liberate Palestine…the resistance will not give up its arms or accept any suggestion to abandon or give up, even if [the resistance] is called ‘violence' and ‘terrorism.' As far as we are concerned, it is resistance and will continue until this occupation ends .”

The Palestinian Authority


Hamas organized parades and rallies in the PA. The central assembly was held in Gaza , where Palestinian foreign minister Mahmoud al-Zahar spoke. He said that “ Israel is a corrupting body within the Middle East which was infiltrated into our land. It has no historical, religious or cultural justification and there is no way we can normalize relations with it .” He noted that the Israeli “occupation” was transitory and that Hamas would never recognize Israel (Information taken from various news services).

Hamas Jerusalem Day rally (Al-Jazeera TV, October 20)

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad

The PIJ organized a mass rally in the Sajaiya neighborhood of Gaza to celebrate Jerusalem Day and commemorate the death of Fathi Shqaqi, the organization's founder, both of which fell close to the same day this year. A speech given by Ramadan Shalah , the organization's leader, was relayed by telephone from Damascus .

Shalah's speech praised the suicide bombers and claimed that Israel had been beaten by Hezbollah in Lebanon : “The martyrs' blood and the Islamic resistance's rockets, which rained on Haifa , Safed, Afula and Hadera…and which could have hit Tel Aviv…refuted the defeatist claims. They proved how shaky the [Zionist] entity is and how weak, and that it can be beaten and made to surrender…I would like to inform you…that Israel has no future in this region, it has no future in the heart of the Palestinian nation…Israel is on its way to disappearing and nothing will ever make us recognize it ” (www.Paltoday, the PIJ's Website).

The PIJ rally in Gaza (Al-Jazeera TV, October 20)

Fatah/Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades

Fatah/Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades rally (Al-Jazeera TV, October 20 )

Fatah held two parades, one in Gaza City and the other in the northern Gaza Strip. The marchers called for the “liberation” of Jerusalem and the holy places, and after the parade in Gaza there was a military show. The commander of Fatah/Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades for the northern Gaza Strip gave a speech in which he stated that Jerusalem was an Arab-Islamic city, the eternal capital of Palestine . Salem Thabet, a senior Fatah operative in the northern Gaza Strip, noted Hezbollah's support for the Palestinian people. A telephone-relayed speech was then given by Ghaleb Abu Zainab, a member of the Hezbollah's political bureau, who congratulated the “resistance” and stressed Hezbollah's commitment to the “liberation” of Jerusalem ( Ma'an News Agency , October 21).


A mass parade was held in Damascus . Ziyad Nakhaleh, PIJ deputy secretary, gave a speech in which he expressed his determination to continue “the path of resistance” [i.e., violence and terrorism] “until the liberation of Palestine ” and until “the entity [i.e., Israel ] disappears from the world” (Al-‘Alam TV, October 20).

A Jerusalem Day symposium held in Syria under the auspices of the Ba'ath House (Dar al-Ba'ath) and the Iranian embassy in Damascus . The topic was “The role of the Arab-Islamic victory in grounding the Zionist [?] project [?]” (Syrian TV, October 12)

Pakistan and Bangladesh

A Jerusalem Day ceremony was held in Karachi , during which Hezbollah flags were waved and demonstrators held picture of Hassan Nasrallah, Rantisi and Ahmad Yassin. In Dacca , the capital city of Bangladesh , there was a demonstration during which the American flag was burned (AP October 20)

Jerusalem Day ceremonies in Karachi (Al-‘Alam, October 20)

Turkey ( Istanbul )

Demonstrators carrying pictures of Hassan Nasrallah, ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Rantisi and Ahmad Yassin (Al-‘Alam, October 20).

Demonstrators burning the America flag in front of the Fateh mosque in Istanbul (Al-‘Alam, October 20).

Britain ( London )

On October 22 a Jerusalem Day parade was held in London , attended by a few hundred people.

The following slogans were shouted: “Down with Israel ,” “Victory to intifada,” “Judaism is OK, Zionism no way,” “God is greatest” and “ We are all Hezbollah .” The marchers then held a rally in front of the American Embassy and shouted slogans supporting Hezbollah and denouncing the American president and British and Israeli prime ministers: “With blood, with guns, we'll free Lebanon and Palestine,” “Bush and Blair will get their asses kicked,” “Olmert watch your back, Hezbollah is coming back” and “Bush, Blair and Olmert, who's scared of Nasrallah?”

The marchers belonged to a variety of anti-Israeli groups active in Britain . Prominent among them were representatives of groups affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and the Liberation Party. Groups of Shi'ite Muslims which support Iran and Hezbollah had a large presence in the parade, as did Muslim and non-Muslim British public figures who strongly oppose the United States , Israel and globalization. They all joined forces for the Iranian-initiated Jerusalem Day March , which is a tool in the hands of Iran to spread propaganda calling for the elimination of the State of Israel .

Demonstrators in London carrying Lebanese and Hezbollah flags and pictures of Hassan Nasrallah with the Dome of the Rock in the background and the inscription “Boycott Israel” 4 (http://publicansdecoy.livejornal.co2).

Hezbollah capes, hats and flags for sale in London during the demonstration (http://publicansdecoy.livejornal.co2).

A poster distributed in London for Jerusalem Day

1 For information about World Jerusalem Day in 2005, see our Information Bulletin entitled “Jerusalem Day,” at http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/html/final/eng/eng_n/iran_je_e.htm and http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/pdf/iran_je_e.pdf .

2 A similar theme, the call “to wipe Israel off the face of the earth,” appeared in a speech Ahmadinejad gave on Jerusalem Day in 2005.

3 The Qods Force leads Iranian support for Hezbollah and the Palestinian terrorist organizations.

4 The pro-Iranians really mean “destroy Israel ,” not “boycott Israel ,” as this Information Bulletin has shown.

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