Back to PLO Bulletin 1-15 September 1979


August 17, the last Friday in the holy fasting month of Ramadan, was declared by Ayatullah Ruhollah Khomeini as "Jerusalem Day" and consecrated to public prayer for the Palestine cause. At Tehran University, the central area was decked with giant posters of Ayatullah Khomeini and Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the PLO Executive Committee and was thronged with thousands of Iranians.

The focal point of the religious rally was the university sports stadium, where the prominent Islamic figure Ayatullah Mahmoud Taleghani led public prayers for Palestine, in the presence of Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan and his cabinet, the ambassadors of the Moslem nations, and visiting Syrian Foreign Minister Abdelhalim Khaddam. "Zionism is not only threatening Islam and Christianity but also threatening Judaism", the ayatullah said, adding that Jews must rise against Zionism and carry out their duty, which was the role of Abraham, who fought for the welfare of humanity.

Addressing the rally in Arabic, Syrian Foreign Minister Khaddam said: "The Iranian revolution is a great phenomenon which will greatly help the Palestine cause- The victory of the Iranian revolution has a great role to play in harmonizing forces in the Middle East. We will fight against Israel with all our might and will resist until the end to get back the occupied lands and usurped rights." Khaddam also condemned the Egyptian-Israeli treaty and the "treacherous plots" of Anwar Sadat.

Ayatullah Khomeini issued a communique to the Islamic World on the occasion of Jerusalem Day. He described this day as being not only the day of Jerusalem, but also the day of the revolution of all people under U.S. domination, and as an event in which all honest people should participate. Khomeini said that Jerusalem Day is a warning to all the big powers to cease enslaving weaker ones, and also a warning to Israel to stop its interference in the Islamic World.


Hundreds of thousands attend anti-imperialist
Jerusalem Day rally in Teheran
The Palestinian Revolution, and the Lebanese National Movement on August 17, 1979 celebrated Jerusalem Day at the Arab University of Beirut, under the sponsorship of Yasser Arafat. Several speeches were delivered on this occasion. The speech of the Lebanese National Movement was delivered by Walid Junblatt, the Chairman of the Socialist Progressive Party. Junblatt was followed by the Imam of South Lebanon, Sheikh Muhammed Ali al-Amin; the Archbishop of the Syriac sect; the representative of the Mufti of the Lebanese Republic; Sheikh Muhammed al-Jozo; Kamal Shatila, the Secretary General of the Front of Nationalist Parties and Forces; Dr George Habash, the Secretary General of the PFLP; and the Charge d'Affaires of the Iranian Embassy to Lebanon. In his speech, George Habash said that in spite of the critical situation through which the Palestinian Revolution is passing, and of the war of annihilation launched against the Palestinian people, it also possesses enough weapons to be able to hold steadfast in this period, and then to continue its march towards the achievement of its aims.

Finally, Chairman Arafat addressed the gathering. He denounced U.S. and Sadat's claims to "represent" the Palestinian people. He underlined the importance of the resolutions reached at the Baghdad Conference of Arab Foreign and Finance Ministers last November and hailed Iran's stance which also broke off relations with Egypt despite earlier loans to Egypt given by the Shah. Turning to South Lebanon, Chairman Arafat declared:

Chairman Arafat and Walid Junblatt at
Jerusalem Day rally in Beirut
"Now the Israelis are preparing for a new battle which is known as 'Litani II.' To this we reply that we are ready to fight and we are not afraid either of Israel, or of the U.S. navy which is being stationed off the coasts of the Arab Nation. If some people are terrified, we, the Palestinian Revolution, the Lebanese National Movement and the National Front, are not afraid and are ready to fight. If the U.S. 7th, 6th and 5th fleets threaten us with destruction, in the name of all our fighters and revolutionary brethren, I say that we are ready to bring the temple down on our heads. We do not accept threats from anybody because we know how to defend our land, and the fact that the Israelis have recruited 111,000 policemen for the sole reason of combating the movements of our heroic masses inside the occupied territories, clearly exemplifies what I mean.

"The unlimited revolutionary contributions of our masses inside the occupied territories and the heroic steadfastness of our Palestinian and Lebanese fighters in South Lebanon enable me to challenge all the imperialist agents led by the head of imperialism, Jimmy Carter, to try and stop our victorious march. Dayan yesterday revealed that the Israeli attacks against South Lebanon were blessed by the U.S. administration. This does not terrify us: Let them understand that if the B-52's did not frighten the Vietnamese revolutionaries, then the F-15's, F-16's and even F-18's won't frighten our revolutionaries.

"The Egyptian Prime Minister, the insignificant Mustafa Khalil, in all insolence proposed a halt to our operations inside Palestine in return for a halt to Israeli operations against us. The best reply I ever heard to such a proposition came from our Lebanese allies in a meeting of the Joint Command. They affirmed that such a decision was not to be made by the Palestinian Revolution or by the PLO, but only by the Pan-Arab Nationalist Movement. They heroically declared: 'Fight and carry on your operations, and we will stand together until victory.'


On Jerusalem Day, 2,000 Iranian and Filipino Moslems in Manila condemned U.S. President Carter and Israeli Premier Menahem Begin because of the "ceaseless raids" in South Lebanon. In a five point resolution issued after a meeting and demonstration, the protestors strongly condemned Jerusalem's occupation, the Palestinians' expulsion from their motherland and Israeli raids in Lebanon. They stressed that "the only solution" to the Palestinian problem and the Middle East conflict was Israel's evacuation of Arab territories.


In a message to mark Jerusalem Day, Malaysian Foreign Minister Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen called on Malaysians to join their Moslem brethren around the world to liberate Jerusalem and restore the legitimate rights of the Palestinians. He noted that "Israel has chosen to ignore even UN resolutions calling on it to rescind any arrangements which would effect a change in the status of the Holy City."

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