is the Destiny of Us All"
Ayatollah al-Udhma Khamenei
International Islamic Unity Conference
May 30, 2002
Excerpt from Ayatollah al-Udhma Khamenei's address
to officials, foreign diplomats and the guests of International
Islamic Unity Conference on the occasion of the Unity Week on May
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful...
...The problem of Palestine today is a deep and painful wound in
the Islamic society's body.
"Certainly a Messenger has come to you from among yourselves;
grievous to him is your falling into distress, excessively solicitous
respecting you; to the believers (he is) compassionate" [Quranic
Today, the issue of Palestine is the biggest grievance that torments
the Holy Prophet's sacred heart. The Holy Prophet's lofty soul in
the transcendental world of divine creation becomes drenched with
sorrow when he observes the plight of the Palestinian people today.
What is the solution? The solution is to endeavor and struggle.
The problem of Palestine today is the problem of the Islamic world.
Whether we, Muslims in the Islamic countries, understand or not,
the destiny of Palestine is the destiny of us all.
If Palestine were to achieve success in this courageous confrontation,
it would be a success for the entire Islamic world. The longer the
suffering of that nation continue, the greater shame it would be
for the Islamic world. It would be an ever-increasing shame for
the Islamic world. The Islamic world must consider this problem
as their own problem. It is true that we are all religiously duty-bound
and that Islam has made it our obligation to help the people of
Palestine, but my assertion today goes beyond a religious obligation.
I am saying that the destiny of the Islamic countries, whether they
are geographically close or far from Palestine, will be directly
affected by whatever that happens in Palestine today. The events
in Palestine and their ultimate fate will affect all of us.
Whatever the Muslim nations do for Palestine today, in effect they
will be doing it for themselves. They will be serving their own
interests. In the same way when the British colonialism separated
this territory from the body of Islam with the help of global arrogance,
that is, when they cut out this bloody limb from Islamic world's
body, their long-term objective on that day was not just to cut
off the one limb. On that day too, the colonialists intended to
dominate the entire region that is the heart of the Islamic world.
Today all of us shoulder a burden of responsibility. Of course,
the Palestinian nation has performed its obligation in accordance
with the right of a courageous nation and as they deserve. They
are standing firm.
"No alternative but to welcome death with courage"
We should all know that the present usurping and tyrannical Zionist
regime has so far failed in its operations. Up to this moment it
has not achieved any success at all. It has been defeated by the
resolve of the Palestinians.
The objective of the Zionist regime in its operations was to extinguish
the Jerusalem intifadah. The objective was to force the Palestinians
to raise their hands in surrender. The objective was to silence
the motive of the Palestinian people for freedom and zeal. In reality
they have achieved the reverse. Today the understanding of the people
of Palestine and their resolve are much greater than before the
start of the intifadah. Today the people of Palestine have realized
the depth of that usurping regime's enmity, ferocity and barbarism
and its partner, that is America.
When a nation reaches the end of its tether and realizes that there
is no other alternative but welcoming death with courage, nothing
would be able to stand up to such a nation. Neither the might of
the Zionists, their tanks, artillery and other weapons, nor the
political and financial power of their backer America will be able
to exert any influence.
There were times when they used to bring hope to the heart of the
Palestinian nation by sitting round a negotiating table with them
to win so-called concessions, but those days are over. It became
clear that nothing could be achieved by sitting round a negotiating
table to discuss matters with the enemy. The people of Palestine
have understood this today. They are therefore performing their
tasks. The Palestinian mothers, the Palestinian youths and the Palestinian
men and women are in the arena. The important issue is that we must
fulfill our duty. That is, the Islamic world must fulfill its duty.
The Islamic world means the Muslim nations and their governments.
The Islamic governments might assume some excuses. But nations
do not have such excuses. The Islamic ulema, intellectuals, politicians
and those who can influence the people's thoughts do not have such
excuses. They must take action. Their action will help their governments
If the Muslim nations, and Arab nations in particular, clearly
and constantly demonstrate their resolve in support of the Palestinian
nation today, it will benefit their governments too. The governments
can exploit their people's support to exert pressure on the enemy
in the diplomatic arena.
Our late Imam [Khomeini] had understood the reality of the issue
very well. He was quite observant. From the start of this movement
in the year 1341 , that is 40 years ago, at a time when even
the elite in Iran did not know much about the problem of Palestine,
the Imam was saying that everyone must feel threatened in the face
of Israel's domination. He was saying that we must all stand firm
and confront Israel. He then continued the same path and the matter
became one of the big slogans of that great man...