Al-Quds day 2020: Rejecting Normalization and Embracing Unity
By Nour Rida
Tehran - On Quds day, Muslims, non-Muslims, and all freedom-seeking people across the world mark a day that epitomizes the Palestinian people’s heroic resistance over the years against an illegal entity that does not hesitate one second in shedding their blood. As the ‘Israeli’ regime and its American ally try to push towards normalization, the people of the region seem to be more aware of that.
On this note, Political commentator and Tehran University Professor Dr. Elham Kadkhodaei told al-Ahed news that this year the spirit is different.
Normalization and awareness
“Regarding the issue of Palestine I believe that what is different this year is the most recent issue of normalization the ‘Israeli’ regime is enforcing powerfully throughout the region and the world. ‘Israel’ is trying to frame itself and brand itself as a normal country and state, trying to erase the reality of its constant daily occupation of Palestinian land and oppression of the Palestinian people.”
She explained that “This has been happening mainly through the Zionist regime’s attempts at normalizing its relationship with countries throughout the Middle East region, Muslim countries of which many have a history of standing up against ‘Israel’.”
She said that even though on the popular level, most people have Palestine engraved in their hearts, many states have been receptive of this policy, trying to enforce and follow these diplomatic relations. “Of course many of these countries have not been able to do this in the open, they have been trying to do it through sophisticated methods like hidden diplomacy or using different methods to manufacture a sort of consent among their own people to somehow frame their warming ties with ‘Israel’ to something that is beneficial to their people and national interest.”
However, according to the analyst, most of these states and governments do not grasp the sentiments or interest of their people and the people of the region as a whole.
She pointed out that “Promoting ties with ‘Israel’ are also related to promoting ties with the US government because these states need the US especially as some of these countries lack internal legitimacy and here the US backs them in case there is an uprising or movement from within. Therefore these countries are very much reliant on US aide which is destructive in our region.”
Dr. Kadkhodaei explained that “If these states realize what their true national interest is, and if they follow the policy of being more dependent on themselves and sort of unity that can be formed between the Muslim countries of the region and they are able to expel foreign forces that are here in the region because of their own national interests of course. So no one is here to ensure our wellbeing which is apparent from what we see in our region. If this unity takes place, the region can fight back ‘Israel’ and have some true political gain in terms of the Palestinian cause.”
Islamic awakening and real unity
Touching on an Islamic awakening in the region, the Prof. stated that an Islamic awakening only happens when the people of the Middle East realize they live in a region where they cannot be thinking only about their domestic issues.
“I think if there is a true Islamic awakening it is going to be some sort of understanding that in this region, domestic, regional and international issues are very much interrelated. So, as long as we are going to have American forces present in our region, not only are we going to have problems on the borders of countries or between the countries but we will also have a lack of any domestic development. If you take a look at some of these countries and in a turning point they decided to change course from standing up to ‘Israel’ to having diplomatic ties, you can observe that these countries and people have not had any sort of development on any level.”
She reiterated “The countries that mostly rely on the United States have the least freedom, there is no democracy there and the will of the people is crushed, they are not heard and are not effective in the course of building there country. Therefore, I think that an Islamic awakening must have a broad scope in terms of domestic, regional and international issues, and have depth in the way it understands what sort of relations Muslim countries must have towards each other.”
Again, unity is key.
The analyst highlighted that “If unity is achieved, the Muslim people of the region as well as the non-Muslims who care for their people and their country can cooperate together rather than invite foreign forces to sort out their issues.”
“This is how a fulfilling Islamic awakening can take place, and this requires the people of the Middle East to study previous events like the Arab spring that brought hope for positive change but it turned out to fail and resulted in bloodshed and violence. The people and countries of the region should study the shortcomings and see how we can change or improve this. ‘Israeli’ and American think tanks do that all the time, they study us. Now we have to sit and study ourselves and fix what needs to be fixed. And when the US tries for example to declare Iran as the enemy of the countries in the region we should not fall for this, we should know better and really try to know their true enemies and true friends.”
Who is the terrorist?
The concept of human rights is a very controversial concept that is abused very much.
According to Dr. Elham, “People in the Middle East are not heard on how they define human rights. It is always controversial and it is always the Western definition that is heard and taken to be credible. For instance the concept or definition of terrorism, which is very controversial as well. It is defined in a very specific and political manner. So in media and political discourse, we hear a lot about terrorism and mostly you see that people who are fighting for their dignity, security and for their basic human needs are defined as terrorists. Once they are labeled as terrorists, they are not humans anymore and they do not have any rights so there is no talk about human rights. You see this matter in occupied Palestine, particularly in the Gaza Strip. I do not think we have any similar condition across the world. If one looks at their daily life and hear someone who has had the experience of not living even but only visiting there it is unbelievable how they have to struggle for their most basic daily needs that any human has like the need to have clean water, to have a job, to travel freely. They have to be monitored, stop at checkpoints, and the list goes on. The media discourse in the West gets easily by this just by framing things; there is no discussion for human rights, if Palestinians are defined in a “Western frame” as terrorists then they are not human beings anymore.”
On the other hand, she said that “the ‘Israeli’ army which has carried out tremendous atrocities and crimes that is incomparable to what the Palestinians have done while they fight ‘Israeli’ apartheid and occupation is not defined as a terrorist army. Why? Simply because the Western media terrorizes people who are fighting back and stand in resistance to defend their country and existence.”
This comes at the time ‘Israeli’ historians have themselves documented ‘Israeli’ crimes since the birth of the illegal ‘state’ of ‘Israel’.
“The illegitimacy of the ‘Israeli’ regime and the fact that it was born with genocide and ethnic cleansing and it is still up to that. Any deal of peace is a lie, these are different policies that ‘Israel’ and the US are using with a minimum cost to take up the whole land of Palestine. That was crystal clear in the deal of the century. Therefore, these concepts must be questioned and reframed; the view from the Middle East must be presented strongly and loudly to the world.” Dr. Kadkhodaei elaborated.
Al-Quds day: reject normalization and accept unity
The political commentator told al-Ahed news, “If we want to talk about al-Quds day, I believe the main significance right now is to remind us that the ‘Israeli’ occupation is not normal, the annexation of the West Bank is not normal, what is happening in the daily lives of Palestinians specifically in Gaza is not normal, the daily death and oppression the Palestinians are facing is not normal. And this brings us back to one of the main themes I discussed with you; we are in a state of normalization that must be fought. When governments or states send secret delegations to meet ‘Israeli’ PM Benjamin Netanyahu, or make attempts towards better relations with the ‘Israeli’ apartheid, this will not lead the people of the Middle East to normalize ties with ‘Israel’. Therefore, al-Quds day magnifies the fact that Jerusalem; Beit al-Muqaddas belongs to the Muslims. This land belongs to the Palestinians. The answer to all this ‘Israeli’ occupation and violence is unity, which is the second them of my discussion.”
Dr. Kadkhodaei concluded saying “And of course, ‘Israel’ is not some sort of Goliath that cannot be defeated. Hezbollah in Lebanon demonstrated that if you really want to fight back you are able to do that and you are able to achieve victory. Some claim that they are an invincible army that they are back by the US and have heavy and developed weapons and cannot be defeated but this is only a lie.”