Wednesday, May 15FROM THE RIVER TO THE SEA, PALESTINE WILL BE FREE

Al-Quds Day mobilization takes on new importance amid ‘Israel’s’ genocide of Gaza

International Al-Quds Day launches mass expression of solidarity across regional resistance and global Palestine solidarity movement.

By Peoples Dispatch

Hundreds of thousands in Yemen rallied for Al Quds day. Photo: Screenshot

Around the world, mass mobilizations have already begun to mark International Al-Quds Day, an annual event in support of the Palestinian struggle which was declared by Iranian revolutionaries in 1979. Al-Quds Day is held on the last Friday of Ramadan. 

This year, as Israeli forces have been carrying out genocide on the Gaza Strip for the six month in a row, Al-Quds Day mobilizations are set to be the largest in decades. Even countries like the United States, where Al-Quds Day has not been widely commemorated, the growing Palestine solidarity movement will mobilize across the nation.

Al-Quds Day was first observed in Iran in 1979, shortly after the Iranian revolution, as a day in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle. 

It was formulated to oppose Israel’s Jerusalem Day, with Al-Quds being the Arabic name for Jerusalem. Israel declared Jerusalem Day in 1968, following the Six-Day War of 1967, to celebrate its occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank. 

“For many years, I have been notifying the Muslims of the danger posed by the usurper Israel which today has intensified its savage attacks against the Palestinian brothers and sisters, and which, in the south of Lebanon in particular, is continually bombing Palestinian homes in the hope of crushing the Palestinian struggle,” said Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979, in declaring Al-Quds Day.

In Iran, where Al-Quds Day originated, pro-Palestine demonstrations were held in over 2,000 cities across the country, according to Brigadier General Ramezan Sharif, the spokesman of the nation’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC). 

In Tehran, the mass mobilization was attended by leaders of the various groupings within the Axis of Resistance, including Ziyad Nakhalah, who is the leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Abd al-Aziz al-Muhammadawi, the chief of staff of Iraq’s anti-terror Popular Mobilization Units, known as Hashd al-Sha’abi. 

“Today, all fronts of the Axis of Resistance against the Zionist enemy have united,” said Nakhalah. “Now the Axis of Resistance is strong and what is going on in southern Lebanon, Yemen and in Iraq operations confirms the unity, strength and readiness of this axis in the fight against Israel.”

Also in Tehran, mobilizations included a funeral procession for the Iranian officials recently slain in an Israeli targeted airstrike on the Iranian embassy in Damascus. The procession carried banners reading “Death to Israel” and “Death to America,” in reference to the US complicity in each act of Israeli aggression.

The Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, gave a speech to mark Al-Quds Day, in which he claimed that the Israeli attack in Damascus was a “turning point”.

“Be certain that Iran’s response to the targeting of its Damascus consulate is inevitable,” he said. 

He also declared that the Axis of Resistance is on its way to victory against Israel. “Israel has not managed to win a single victory, has not achieved a single one of its objectives. In the face of massacre, destruction and martyrdom, the people of Gaza continue to resist with strength and courage,” he said. 

Historic mobilizations for Al-Quds Day in the belly of the beast

The United States has officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel since 2017, when then-President Donald Trump relocated the American diplomatic mission to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv in a highly controversial move that launched global protests. Biden has not reversed this policy, and appears to have no plans to.

This is a mere drop in the bucket of the US’ unconditional and above-and-beyond support for Israel. The Zionist state is precious for US interests in the region, as it anchors the fight against the groupings in the Axis of Resistance.

And yet, this Al-Quds Day, historic mass mobilizations are organized across the United States in solidarity with Palestine. Demonstrations have been called by various groups, including the Palestinian Youth Movement, the ANSWER Coalition, and the People’s Forum, in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego, Seattle, and New York City. 

“Al-Quds Day this year will take on a broader significance across occupied Palestine and the world, as our movement for liberation continues to agitate, mobilize, and escalate in defense of Palestine and against the genocidal Zionist regime,” writes the Palestinian Youth Movement.

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