|Questions and Answers|
|The History of Palestine and Its Occupation|
What are the roots of the Palestinian issue? This issue dates back to a time when a group of globally influential Jews thought of establishing an independent country for the Jews. The British government tried to use this notion as a solution to its own problems. The Jews had, of course, formerly thought of Uganda and had made efforts to settle in that country. For a short term, they also thought of Tripoli, the Libyan capital, to settle in, thereby carrying out negotiations with the Italians, who were then ruling the country, but they eventually refused. An agreement was ultimately reached between the Jews and the British government.
The British government had very important colonial intentions for the Middle East at that time believing that, due to certain reasons, it would be a proper notion if the Jews entered this region. First, they considered the idea of Jews entering the country as a minority group, and then developing gradually into a force and taking hold of some part of the region, in fact an important part of the region. This was because Palestine was located in a strategic section of the world. The British government assumed that the Jews could later form their own government and act as one of the British allies in the region. They believed this would prevent Islamic countries, especially the Arab world, from getting united.
It is indeed true that enemies could earn the Islamic world unity if Islamic countries stay vigilant, but an enemy so strongly supported from the outside world could cause major conflicts through the use of spies and different machinations. This was indeed what they did: forming alliance with certain countries, oppressing some others, and pressing hard upon other nations. Therefore, their existence was, in the first place, due to the help of the British government and other Western countries. The Jews then gradually parted company with the British government and joined the Americans, who have vehemently supported them so far. They created a country in that sense and subsequently occupied Palestine. In fact, it was not through a war that they occupied the country. Rather, they had a cunning scheme. The Jews purchased large stretches of agricultural land, on which Arab farmers used to work, at two or even three times the real price, from their owners living in the US or in Europe. The owners were indeed very much pleased to sell their farms at such inflated prices.
It is of course believed that certain dealers were also involved in the case, one of whom is said to be, the former notorious partner of Reza Khan in the 1299 coup de ta. Sayyid Zia left Iran for Palestine, acting as an estate dealer for the Jews and the Israelis. Having purchased those lands, the Jews ruthlessly expelled the farmers who worked on those lands. They would hit and kill the people wherever they would go. They were at the same time drawing global attention towards themselves, using deception ands lies. The Israelis` extortive domination on Palestinians had three main dimensions: The first dimension was the Israelis` brutality towards Arabs; they treated the original owners of the land with a great deal of cruelty and brutality. Indeed, there was no trace of leniency.
The second dimension consisted of distorting global public opinion. Their lies to the global community are truly bewildering. They indeed spread a great deal of false news around, both before and after their occupation, through the Zionist media which were then under the rule of the Jews. Such false pieces of news were constantly spread, and it was due to these very lies that some of their capitalists were sued. Many believed their lies. They even deceived the French social philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, whom I once used to admire in my youth. Jean-Paul Sartre published a book which I read 30 years ago. There it was written: "A homeless nation, a land without its people." This means Jews were a nation with no land; they came to Palestine which was a land with no people! What does this mean when they say there were no residents? There was a whole nation working there. There is ample evidence for this. One of these foreign authors once said:" Across the whole land of Palestine, wheat fields were like a green sea that spread to the horizon." What does "a land with no people" mean? Israelis were trying to make the world believe that Palestine was an abandoned land, and it was them who made the country prosperous and habitable: an instance of deception of public opinion.
Israelis have always tried to depict themselves as innocent people. Even now this is a trend that they are following. In some American magazines like "Time" and "Newsweek" - which I sometimes read - should the slightest mishap occur to some Jewish family, every detail, including the picture and the age of those who suffered, is reported and the innocence of their people is exaggerated. Conversely, thousands of such instances of cruelty and brutality do occur against all Palestinians - their youth, their children, their women, and their families - both in the occupied lands of Palestine as well as in Lebanon, but they are never reflected.
The third dimension is that of their conspiracies or to use their own terminology "lobbies". Israelis hold several meetings with various governments, characters, intellectuals, politicians, authors, and poets with intentions of conspiracy in mind. There have so far been three main aspects to their actions, and it was well due to these factors that they managed to occupy the country.
Outside forces, especially the British forces were also of great help to the Israelis. The United Nations, and before that the League of Nations, which was founded for so-called peacemaking, have always supported Israel, except for very few occasions. In the same year in 1948, the League of Nations passed a resolution on the basis of which Palestine was divided on no logical bases. The League of Nations claimed that 57 percent of all lands in Palestine belong to the Jews. Before that only five percent of the lands belonged to the Israelis. The Israelis formed a government and then there were several instances of attacks against houses, cities, villages, and innocent civilians. Moreover, Arab governments were of course negligent in that regard. A number of wars took place. In the war in 1967, Israelis could with the help of the U.S and other governments occupy parts of Egyptian, Jordanian, and Syrian territories. Later, in the war which took place in 1973, initiated by the Israelis, they could again change the result of the war, and occupy other areas with the help of those powers.
(Tehran Friday prayer sermons, December 18, 1999)
Today, certain countries are trying to question the issue of Palestine and why the issue is ever debated. They claim it is an issue settled long ago. I do believe that the issue of Palestine is by no means over. It is not as the Israelis, the Americans and some other countries assume. Palestinians are by no means going to live outside their own country for ever. Or if they are living inside the country, they are never going to be an oppressed minority for ever, making room for the invading outsiders to stay in their country. This will never be the case. Countries like Georgia, Qazaqistan, and the newly-independent countries of Central Asia were colonized by other nations and governments for hundreds of years. Some were under the rule of the Soviet Union. Others were ruled by Russia before the Soviet Union existed. These countries regained their independence, and were ultimately inhabited by their own people. Therefore, the issue of liberating Palestine is by no means a settled issue. This must happen and will Insha`Allah (God willing) happen. Palestine will ultimately be inhabited by Palestinians. The issue is therefore not ended, and those who think so are utterly mistaken.
Today, the policy of the Israelis and their allies, among whom the US outstands , is to make use of the pleasant term "peace" .They are asking other nations to make peace; What does this mean? Peace is indeed a pleasant notion, but whom with and under what conditions? It is the case of a person forcibly entering your house, beating and insulting your wife and your children, occupying two and a half of the three rooms you have, and then saying: "Why do you constantly complain here and there? What is it that you are always arguing over? Let's make peace!" Could this ever be called peace? Peace would only come if the invaders left our home, and then others could intervene if there was any war. You Israelis have occupied our land. You have committed many crimes here and there, and even now you will not stop your atrocities if you can. The Zionist regime is currently attacking southern Lebanon on a daily basis. Not the combatants there, rather the villages and the schools in southern Lebanon. A few days ago, the Zionist regime attacked a school in southern Lebanon and killed many innocent children there! Those children were not aggressors, they had no guns. The Zionist regime is transgressive in nature.
The day the Zionist regime set foot on Lebanon, carrying out such massacres in Deir Yassin and other places, no one in the country had transgressed or violated any rules; at least the inhabitants in those areas had not transgressed or violated any rules. Of course, there was a group of intrepid daring youth fighting against them. Even on those days the Zionist regime was saying: "Why did they break into our land?" But those people who were victims of constant atrocities, being expelled from their farms and villages under such massacres had never violated any rules. Therefore, the regime is indeed transgressive and oppressive in nature.
The Zionist regime is founded on bullying, oppression, violence and hard-heartedness and will continue its operations on those bases. Without such oppression and cruelty, they would have never succeeded and will never do so in the future either. Some countries are urging us to make peace with the regime, but what kind of peace are they after?
If Zionists be content with their own rights and leave the land of Palestine to its own people - the Palestinians - or ask the Palestinian government to let some or all of them stay in the country, no single nation will be at odds with their regime. The war is because they have invaded Palestine, expelled its people from the country and have constantly oppressed them. The Zionist regime is currently oppressing all nations in the region and is a threat to all countries in the area. They are seeking such peace as a foundation for further atrocities and invasions. If there is to be any peace of their kind, it will only act as the foundation for Zionists` future transgressions.
Solutions to the issue of Palestine can not be false and imposed ones. The only solution to the issue of Palestine would be to let the real inhabitants of Palestine - the Palestinians living inside or outside their country and not the occupying and usurping outsiders - rule the country. If those who claim to advocate democracy in the world do indeed believe in democracy and the votes of people, then Palestinians are indeed a nation and they have every right to determine their own destiny. The occupying regime currently in charge in Palestine has no right to that country. The Zionist regime is a false and fictitious regime founded by oppressive superpowers in the world. Therefore, they have no right to ask Palestinians to recognize this regime as the official government in that country. If any given nation in the Islamic community makes such a mistake as to approve of the Zionist regime, not only has it earned itself shame and disgrace but it has also performed an utterly fruitless act because the Zionist regime is not going to be a perpetual and long-lasting government. Zionists believe they have been able to prevail Palestinians and that the country will belong to them for ever. They are completely mistaken. The destiny of Palestine will be determined by its own people. Palestinians have risen up for that cause. It is upon the Islamic countries and governments to make this happen as soon as possible and to set Palestinians on the way towards that goal.
There is indeed a logical solution to the issue of Palestine. The logical solution would be one that all fair consciences in the world and all those who believe in the globally accepted modern principles will have to adhere to. It is the solution we offered a year and a half ago, a solution which the Islamic Republic of Iran's government has on several occasions repeated on international scenes as well as in international negotiations. That is still our stance on the issue and we still insist on that solution. Staging a referendum with the presence of all Palestinians, all those displaced from their homes and all those who are willing to return to their native land, is a logical solution. Those Palestinians rendered homeless in Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, Egypt, and other Arab states should be returned to their own homeland. Of course only those Palestinians who are willing to do so; no one should be forced to return. Those who used to live in Palestine - whether Muslims, Christians or Jews - before 1948, the time when the fictitious Zionist regime was established, should take part in the referendum. These people should through a public referendum decide upon the future government in Palestine. This is indeed what democracy is all about. How come democracy is suitable to all nations but Palestine? How come all people in the world have every right to determine their destiny but not the Palestinians? Nobody doubts the fact that the current regime in Palestine is a regime that has seized power through the use of violence, deception, and in part through guns and military power. This is a fact no one could ever doubt. Zionists did not gain power through peace: there existence is in part due to violence and trickery, and in part to their military power. They are therefore an imposed regime.
The people in Palestine should all come together and vote to determine the government that is to govern the country. That government should be formed and should make a decision about those who moved to Palestine after 1948.Whatever the government's decision, it should be obeyed. If the government decides that they may stay, they can stay. If not, they must leave. This is the real democracy and this is all about taking people's votes into account. This is about human rights and in congruence with the common sense in today's world. This is our solution and it should be actualized. An invading regime will never accept such a solution willingly. The responsibility is therefore upon the shoulders of those involved in the issue: Arab governments, as well as Islamic governments and all Muslim nations in the world, especially the Palestinian nation, and global communities. They all have the responsibility to enforce this logical solution. This solution can indeed be turned into reality. No one is allowed to claim that such a solution is a dream that could never come true. No, it is practical. Baltic countries gained their independence after being part of the Soviet Union for 40 years. Caucasian States were some ruled for over 100 years by the Russians before the existence of the Soviet Union. Later they did gain independence. Countries like Azerbaijan, Qazaqstan, Georgia as well as some others are now independent, self-contained countries. The same is possible for Palestinians as well. This is by no means a far-fetched notion, but it requires determination and willpower. It requires courage and bravery. Who should have such qualities? Nations or governments? Nations are indeed courageous and fearless. Nations have proven that they are always on the alert.