On Quds Day, Iran’s leader says Zionism ‘a virus that must be eliminated’
Marking Iran’s anti-Israel Quds Day on Friday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Israel’s establishment was an unequaled “crime against humanity,” repeated his characterization of the Jewish state as “a cancerous tumor” and said it was the creation of “Westerners and Jewish corporation owners.”
Citing the coronavirus pandemic, he likened Zionism to “a virus” that “must be eliminated as soon as possible.”
In a speech, excetps of which were posted to Twitter, Khamenei said he wished to highlight “the tragedy of the occupation of #Palestine and the formation of the Zionist cancerous tumor in that country. Among crimes against humanity in recent times, there is no crime that equals this crime in terms of scope and gravity.”
He said the Jewish state was created by the West, which conspired with Jewish plutocrats to establish the Jewish nation.
“Westerners & Jewish corporation owners’ main goal by fabricating the Zionist regime & this cancerous tumor was to build a stronghold to influence & dominate West Asia. So, they equipped the bogus, occupying regime with all kinds of military & non-military tools, even nukes.”
He said the Iran-led “resistance” had created many problems for Israel and, “God willing, the Zionist regime will encounter even more problems in the future.”
Khamenei said it was an “Islamic duty” to fight for the “liberation of Palestine.”
He claimed this resistance was only growing in strength and effectiveness while Israeli oppression was “growing more hopeless and powerless by the day.”
And he lamented that while Arab nations initially resisted the Jewish state, the majority of governments “gradually succumbed… they forgot their human, Islamic and political responsibilities and their Arab pride.”
His comments came days after he shared an anti-Israel poster that used the term “final solution” to call for the end of the Jewish state — a term usually associated with Nazi Germany’s efforts to eliminate all Jews. Khamenei was accused Wednesday by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of backing the Nazi genocide.
He later explained he sought Israel’s destruction but not the annihilation of all Jews.
Iran’s Foreign Minister on Friday also weighed in on Israel’s alleged crimes, saying it was “the largest human rights violator” in the region and “the most serious chronic threat to international peace and security.”
Quds Day, which Iran has marked since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, is usually commemorated with regime-orchestrated demonstrations across Iran against Israel and expressing support for the Palestinians. It is held on the last Friday of Ramadan, which this year is May 22.
This year ahead of the commemorations a poster posted to Khamenei’s website stated that “Palestine will be free,” with a line below reading, “The final solution: Resistance until referendum.”
It showed people celebrating at the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem after apparently capturing it from Israel as a Palestinian flag is raised over the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
“Comprehensive struggles by the Palestinian nation — political, military & cultural — should continue till the usurpers submit to the referendum for the Palestinian nation,” Khamenei later said.
He claimed that “the nature of the Zionist regime is incompatible with peace because the Zionists seek to expand their territories & will certainly not be limited to what they have already occupied.”
He said Iran would back anyone opposed to Israel.
“We will support and assist any nation or any group anywhere who opposes and fights the Zionist regime, and we do not hesitate to say this,” the Iranian leader said.
Iran funds terrorist groups sworn to Israel’s destruction, including the Lebanon-based Hezbollah and Gaza-based Hamas.
A statement from Netanyahu’s office in response to the poster and comments said Khamenei “should know that any regime that threatens the destruction of the State of Israel faces a similar danger.”
Zarif on Thursday defended the poster. Citing the Nazi murder of Jews in the Holocaust, he said it was “disgusting” for Israel to object to the poster, which he claimed advocated for a referendum on what type of government Palestinians want.
“Disgusting that those whose civilization found a ‘Final Solution’ in gas chambers attack those who seek a real solution at the ballot box, through a REFERENDUM,” Zarif wrote on Twitter.
“Why are US and West so afraid of democracy?” he added. “Palestinians should not have to pay for your crimes, or for your guilt.”
Also Thursday, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards released a message ahead of Quds Day expressing hope Israel’s destruction is near and Khamenei will soon pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The military force also vowed to continue to fight Israel and said the Palestinians remain its top priority.