By Raphael Ahren, Times of Israel—
Calling Israel a “cancerous tumor,” Iran’s supreme leader on Tuesday expressed support for a “holy intifada” to eradicate the Jewish state, arguing that the international community is headed toward confrontation with the “Zionist regime.”
In the opening address of the regime’s sixth international conference in support of the Palestinian violent uprising against Israel, Ayatollah Khamenei hailed the “resistance” against the “cruel occupation,” which he described as the worst case of oppression against one particular people recorded in history. He also accused Israel’s founders of being responsible for the current upheaval in the wider Middle East.
“The people of Palestine have no option other than keeping the flames of fighting alight by relying on Allah the Exalted and by relying on their innate capabilities, as they have genuinely done so until today,” said Khamenei, according to a translation of his speech posted on his website.
A wave of terrorism some called a third intifada, which began last year and manifested itself mainly in stabbings and vehicular attacks against Israelis troops and civilians, is “moving forward in a bright and hopeful manner,” the ayatollah declared. “And by Allah’s permission, we will see that this intifada will begin a very important chapter in the history of fighting and that it will inflict another defeat on that usurping regime.”
“From the beginning, this cancerous tumor has been developing in several phases until it turned into the current disaster,” he went on. “The cure for this tumor should be developed in phases as well.”
While the “resistance” so far failed to achieved its ultimate objective — “the complete freedom of Palestine” — it has made important inroads, he said. “The Palestinian intifada continues to gallop forward in a thunderous manner so that it can achieve its other goals until the complete liberation of Palestine.”
Addressing some 700 delegates in a Tehran conference center, the supreme leader denounced what he called “compromise strategies” — referring to the Palestinian Authority’s endorsement of a two-state solution based on the 1967 lines — and called instead for “all-out resistance.”
Protecting Palestinian identity “is a necessity and a holy jihad,” he said in the presence of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani. “The paradigm of heroic and continuous resistance and holy intifada stands against the compromise paradigm.”
“The problem with ‘compromise’ is not only that it legitimizes a usurping regime by violating the rights of a nation,” he said. “Rather the problem is that it is completely at odds with the current condition of Palestine and that it does not take into account the expansionist, oppressive and greedy characteristics of the Zionists.”
The supreme leader declared the Palestinian plight as “the most important issue in the world of Islam and as the pivot of unity for all Muslims and all liberated individuals in the world.”
No other people has ever suffered as much as the Palestinians, he said. “An intelligent quest in history shows that no people in any era of history have ever been subject to such pain, suffering and cruelty. … It has never been witnessed that a real entity is ignored and that a fake entity takes its place.”
The “Zionist regime” was created to harm the stability and progress of the Middle East by imposing a long-term conflict, Khamenei posited. These same forces are now responsible for the “seditions that exist in the present time as well,” he said.
Hinting at the clandestine yet solid cooperation between Israel and some Sunni Arab states, the Iranian leader called on all Islamic and Arab countries to support the Palestinian cause. “Supporting the resistance is the responsibility of all of us,” he said.
The Muslim world and the rest of the international community have different viewpoints but should rally around the liberation of Palestine, Khamenei said.
“With the emergence of signs of the collapse in the Zionist regime and the weakness that has dominated its main allies — in particular the United States of America — it is witnessed that the global environment is gradually moving towars confronting the hostile, illegal and inhuman activities of the Zionist regime,” he declared.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday evening, during a visit in Singapore, highlighted his recent trips to two Muslim countries — Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan — citing their religious tolerance and friendship to Israel as a model to be emulated by other states.
“I think there’s an opportunity to do this today because I sense a great change in the Arab world in many Arab countries, and I hope … to be able to use that newfound attitude towards Israel to help to solve the Palestinian Israeli conflict as well,” he said.
The two-day conference is attended by delegates from 80 countries, including some allied with Israel, such as Kazakhstan and Uganda. The Jewish anti-Zionist group Neturei Karta also sent a senior representative to Tehran for the event.
A year and half after six world powers signed a landmark nuclear agreement with Iran, the regime has in recent weeks stepped up its provocative activities, including launching ballistic missile tests in violation of UN Security resolutions and threatening an attack on Tel Aviv.
Netanyahu discussed the nuclear deal and Tehran’s increasingly belligerent rhetoric with US President Donald Trump last week in Washington. The new US administration has indicated that it would take a more aggressive position on Iranian provocations than its predecessor, having already imposed additional sanctions on the regime mere days after coming into office.