From various aspects, the victory of the Islamic revolution in Iran resulted in the intensification of the Muslims’ campaign against the Zionists and changed the method of the Palestinians’ struggle.
The Shah’s regime was considered a powerful ally for Israel and the West in the sensitive Middle East region. During his reign, Iran was a market for the import of large amounts of Israeli goods causing the economy of the occupying regime to flourish, and in the area of oil, the Shah rushed to its aid by exporting enough to meet its needs. As a result, in the Israeli economic and industrial sectors, Iran’s oil was transformed into arms and bullets used to pierce the chests of the Palestinians.
Under the Shah, Iran had become a base for Israeli espionage activities and one from which the Zionist regime could keep watch over the Arabs of the region. To disclose the nature of the Shah’s open and secret relations with Israel and to protest at the unsparing aid the Shah’s regime was giving this common enemy of the Muslims constituted just two of the reasons behind the uprising of Imam Khomeini. As he himself said, “One of the reasons why we oppose the Shah is the assistance he gives Israel. I have constantly repeated in my discourses that the Shah has co-operated with Israel from the day it came into being, and when the war between Israel and the Muslims reached its climax, the Shah illegally took the oil of the Muslims and gave it to Israel. This in itself has been one of the factors behind my opposition to the Shah.” The fall of the Shah and the rise of the Islamic system in Iran was the first devastating blow to the expansionist aims of the Zionists, putting them seriously at risk.
The effect of the message of the Islamic revolution and of its leader on public opinion was so widespread that when Anwar Sadat signed the peace treaty at Camp David, the Egyptian government was rejected by Arab circles, even by the reactionary Arab regimes, and was totally isolated.
Following the bitter experience they had in their confrontation with Imam Khomeini’s movement, America and the European governments – the main supporters of the regime occupying Quds – set to trying to bridle the Islamic revolution and change the situation. To this end, they even went so far as to pursue the same policies as their Eastern adversary (the now defunct Soviet Union). The crystallisation of this co-operation was seen when Saddam occupied the land of the Islamic Republic at the instigation of the two superpowers and in their all-encompassing support for him in all stages of the Baathist regime’s long war with the newly-established Islamic system in Iran.
The imposed war was started with the aim of occupying and dividing Iran and annihilating the Islamic revolution. The Islamic republic system, which was determined to play its spearheading role in the struggle against the enemies of the Muslims and to materialise its cries of “Today Iran, Tomorrow Palestine,” was forced to unwillingly enter the field of battle to defend its revolution. It was a war which the heads of both Eastern and Western governments admitted took place to totally destroy the Islamic revolution and to dash any hopes of uprising or revolution the Muslim nations may have had. In this way, Saddam, at the instigation of the enemies of the Muslims and with their support, became the director of a long-running and bitter saga which Imam Khomeini speaks of thus: “That which causes great sorrow is that the superpowers, America in particular, by deceiving Saddam into attacking our country has forced the powerful government of Iran to busy itself with defending its country so as to give the criminal, usurper Israel the opportunity to pursue its evil plan which is the creation of a greater Israel stretching from the Nile to the Euphrates.”
The bitter realities, the conspiracies and the obstacles which the enemies of Islam put in the path of the progress of the Islamic revolution, along with the changes which were becoming manifest in the Eastern bloc, enabled America to once again present compromise and surrender to Israel as the only solution to the crisis in the Middle East, and not only return Egypt to the Arab fold, but place it at the head of the queue of willing compromisers, a queue which now comprised a vast spectrum of Arab governments. However, with all of this, that which took place in Lebanon and that which we are witnessing today in the lands of occupied Palestine show that the Palestinian nation has received the message of the Islamic revolution despite all the obstacles, and Imam Khomeini’s enlightening and rousing words are bearing fruit as the intifadah takes shape. Despite the treachery of the compromisers in the Arab world, today even the leaders of the occupying regime and America admit that the essence of the ideology of the Islamic revolution and the ideas of Imam Khomeini have found an undeniable presence in events taking place in Palestine.
The present book contains the guidances and positions adopted by a great man who transformed his divine movement into a great revolution in the Islamic world by reliance on God and faith in the great power of the people. That which has been compiled in this work are selected excerpts from Imam Khomeini’s speeches, messages and interviews, given at different periods during the history of the Islamic revolution, reflecting his opinions on Palestine.
A study of the present anthology clearly reveals that at the height of the power of the oppressive imperial system in Iran, Imam was the divulger of the secret relations which existed between the Shah’s regime and Israel, that he considered confronting the danger posed by Israel to the Islamic world to be a very serious issue and that he continually pursued this issue.
Imam Khomeini was the first marja-i taqlid (source of religious guidance) and great religious leader to authorise the use of monies received for charitable disbursement to support the Palestinian combatants. When the Quds-occupying regime perpetrated yet another crime in its long list of crimes and set fire to the al-Aqsa mosque, Imam Khomeini, with complete foresight and in stark contrast to the policy adopted by others on the matter, which was to endeavour to have the mosque rebuilt, stressed the need to preserve the vestiges of Israel’s crimes as a symbolic factor to incite and encourage the Muslims to rise up against the existence of the main reason for the crime, that is the occupying regime. He said, “They set fire to the Masjid al-Aqsa. We cry out: ‘Leave the Masjid al-Aqsa half-burned to the ground; do not erase all traces of the crime!’ But the Shah’s regime opens an account, sets up a fund, and starts collecting money from the people supposedly to rebuild the Masjid al-Aqsa, but really to fill the pockets of our rulers while also covering up the crime committed by Israel.”
From the very beginning, he introduced the Islamic aspect and the ideological dimension of the struggle with Israel as the most effective factor in the movement for mobilising the oppressed Palestinian nation and attracting support for them from the Islamic ummah. He considered other methods of struggle, such as reliance on Arab nationalism and nationalist views along with other imported and non-Islamic ideologies, as a departure from the path of struggle for the freedom of Quds. He had a clear insight into the internal problems besetting the Islamic world, amongst them the weakness, inability or subordinate nature of some of the heads of Islamic states. Consequently, he emphasised the importance of public knowledge and awareness in the Islamic world stemming from the principles of belief and the ummah’s common faith and culture, and of avoiding sectarian differences. He called on the heads of the Muslim governments to accept this approach too, and believed that as long as the governments were of the same mind as their people and went along with Muslim public opinion and demand, they were to be entrusted with the authority of leadership and with the responsibility for guiding the struggle, otherwise the Muslim nations should do to them what the Muslim nation of Iran did to the Shah.
Title: Palestine from the Viewpoint of Imam Khomeini
Author(s): Imam Khomeini (ra)
Translator: Juliana Shaw, Behrooz Arezoo
Publisher: The Institute for Compilation and Publication of Imam Khomeini’s Works (International Affairs Department)
Length: 320 pages