The last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan is celebrated internationally as “International Quds Day”. Al Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem, and it translates loosely into “The Holy”. The yearly celebration was first declared in 1979 in Iran, dedicated to the resistance of the occupation of Palestine, and to demand the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. It has since become international, with North Americans and Europeans being among the most ardent supporters.
Some of the signs and chants that are seen and heard on Quds Day rallies: No peace on stolen land! End the aggression, stop the crimes! Israel out of Palestine! Resistance is justified when people are occupied!
“International law grants a people fighting an illegal occupation the right to use “all necessary means at their disposal” to end their occupation, and the occupied “are entitled to seek and receive support” (I quote here from several United Nations resolutions). Armed resistance was used in the American Revolution, the Afghan resistance against Russia (which the U.S. supported), the French resistance against the Nazis, and even in the Nazi concentration camps, or, more famously, in the Warsaw Ghetto.”, wrote Dr. Samer Jabr in East Jerusalem.
Al Quds holds a special place in the three great religions. In the mind of the Palestinian Christian and Muslim, Al Quds stands as the capital of their eventual homeland, which was taken from them in 1948, leaving them stateless refugees, and which has been promised to be reestablished to them by the “two-state solution”.
The United States has always stood upon the UN 242 resolution and the “two-state solution” as the only way to achieve a lasting and just peace between Israel and Palestine. The status of Jerusalem, contested between both parties, was to be decided during the final peace process. However, Pres. Trump broke with American diplomatic tradition and declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel, and moved the U.S. Embassy there. He also cut-off humanitarian aid to Palestine; it appears he is preparing the Palestinian officials to have to accept his terms.
Pres. Trump tasked his son in law, Jared Kushner, to come up with a peace plan, dubbed the “Deal of the Century”. It has yet to be unveiled; however, Palestinian officials and negotiators have heard enough of the details to know it will not be a just and comprehensive peace plan. First of all, it does not follow the “two-state solution” which has been the internationally recognized solution to restore the human rights of the Palestinians. The Kushner plan gives the West Bank almost exclusively to Israel, preserving their claim to all of the internationally condemned and illegal Israeli settlements. The plan gives some autonomy in some areas but preserves the brutal military occupation by Israel in other areas. The plan is an offer to the Palestinians for a way to survive, while permanently denying their freedom.
Quds Day 2019 will be like none other because in the past the Arab world and their leaders were unified in their demands that their Palestinian brothers and sisters will one day enjoy freedom and their rights will be restored. However, the new Arab world is ruled by leaders and monarchy which have openly developed relationships on many levels with Israel, and they do not hold the Palestinian cause dear to their hearts; instead, they have eagerly acquiesced to the U.S.–Israeli demands as the price to keep their throne.
Iran was the founder of Quds Day and has always been committed to the resistance of the occupation of Palestine. Recently, Pres. Trump and his administration have been threatening a military attack on Iran. The U.S. –Iranian relationship has been chronically strained, which is due to Iran’s commitment to resistance, and support of resistance movements. It is no wonder, that at the same time the “Deal of the Century” is to be presented, that Iran would be virtually ‘bound and gagged’ as they face military threats from the world’s superpower, which appear to have been drafted in Tel Aviv. In April, Mossad met with John Bolton, National Security Advisor to Pres. Trump, and instigated an unsubstantiated threat against the U.S. from Iran.
The region is sitting on dynamite: Iran, USA, Saudi Arabia, and Israel; the slightest spark might ignite a firestorm that would engulf the entire Middle East, and pull in the U.S. and NATO. The time is ripe for diplomacy and real peace plans.