In the aftermath of the 22 day long Israeli carnage which killed over 1330 Palestinians including 411 children ,injured more than 5,450 people , left over 70,000 homeless and virtually turned Gaza into a wasteland ,all what the war battered and impoverished Palestinians wanted was food, medicine , water and the like to keep their body and soul together in the shivering cold.
In such desperate circumstances, it was human tendency to expect the neighbours to come to their aid. but unfortunately, the starving Palestinians were not aware that the often spoken brotherhood disappeared in the Middle East where regimes played politics with their sufferings.
Thus there were no Egyptian, Jordanian, Saudi or even Palestinian Authority aid convoy.
Yet there are hearts in the West which flowed with the milk of human kindness as demonstrated by the British Parliamentarian George Galloway, British journalist Yvonne Ridley and numerous others travelled three continents with an aid convoy of around 120 vehicles carrying food, medicines and other essentials to the starving Palestinians in Gaza.
The Arab countries virtually abandoned the Palestinians in their drive to promote, together with Israel and the United States, the Palestine Authority rejected by the people, and eliminate Hamas elected in a spotless election held under the supervision of former United States President Jimmy Carter.
It was under these circumstances that a two-day international conference was held in the Iranian capital of Tehran on 4 and 5 March to support the Palestinians. Held under the theme “Palestine-the symbol of resistance and Gaza, the victim of crime” ,the conference attended by legal experts, politicians , intellectuals, religious figures and others from more than 80 countries explored ways and mans to bring Israel’s top political and military leaders to trial over the atrocities committed in Gaza.
The International conference on ‘Palestine: Manifestation of Resistance, Gaza: Victim of Crimes’ kicks off in Tehran, Mar. 4
Inaugurating the conference, the Supreme Leader Ayatullah al-uzma Sayyid Ali Khamenei severely criticised the world powers for planting this alien entity of Israel in the heart of the Muslim world, helping the Zionists to commit atrocities against Palestinians and covering up their never-ending gruesome crimes.
Ali Khamenei also lashed out at some Arab leaders who provoked outrage among the people of the Middle East by either remaining silent spectators or aiding and abetting Israel in its 60-year oppression of the Palestinian population.
Israel’s blockade of Gaza and the atrocities committed during its recent attack there “proved that the criminal instincts of the Zionist state have not changed since their advent in Palestine in the 1930s”.
Referring to those who entertain hopes of a peaceful coexistence with the Zionists he said, “by now those who advocated a pragmatic approach under the illusion of the invincibility of the Zionist should have realized their mistake”.
Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei speaking during the international conference titled ‘Palestine: Manifestation of Resistance, Gaza: Victim of Crimes’, Tehran, Mar. 4
The conference directed the criticism particularly at US President Barack Obama, whom Ayatollah Khamenei said is a follower of the same “crooked ways of the Bush administration” in his support for Israel.
“Even the new American president, who was inducted to office with the slogan of bringing change… avows unconditional commitment to Israel’s security, which means defending state terrorism, injustice and oppression.
His comments came as the United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton began her first official Middle East visit to Tel Aviv reiterating the US commitment to protect Israeli interests.
“It is paramount important that the US always underscore our unshakeable, durable and fundamental support to Israel and our unrelenting commitment to its security,” Secretary Clinton said. During her meetings with senior Israeli officials, Clinton failed to mention the killings of Palestinians and the destruction of Gaza caused by Israel’s military strike, but stressed only on the need to stop the launch of homemade rockets from Gaza Strip into Israel.
Accusing the United Nations of covering up Zionist Jewish crimes against Palestinian Ali Khamenei said “the UN played a crucial role in establishing and legitimising the entity of Israel in the land of Palestinians in 1948, and, since then, has remained silent on the genocides, expulsion of Palestinians into refugee camps, war crimes and various atrocities committed by Israel”.
He added that “Iran refused to recognize Israel owing to its occupation of Palestinian lands and the numerous crimes committed against Palestinians condemned even by Israel’s close allies. Several UN Security Council resolutions condemning Israeli actions against Palestinians were defied by Israel. The US, Israel’s number one ally, has also exercised its veto powers to prevent the adoption of nearly 45 anti-Israeli resolutions sought by the Security Council since 1972”.
“The oppressive world powers, which enjoy permanent membership in the Security Council, use the UN as an instrument to implement their designs. As a result, the Security Council failed to help the cause of world peace and security, but assist these powers in committing their crimes on innocent people,” he said.
Later addressing the conference, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for the formation of an international front against Zionism to bring the Zionist leaders to book for their crimes against the Palestinians.
He said that the only way to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is to respect the rights of all Palestinians whether they reside in their homeland or in any other part of the world, suggesting that the world needs to allow exiled Palestinians to return to their homeland — Israel.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calls for the formation of an international anti-Zionist front.
He proposed that residents of the occupied land participate in a referendum to determine their own fate and resolve the problem. “All Palestinians, Muslims, Christians and the Jews, should hold a free referendum and establish a democratic government in Palestine,” he said.
According to Ahmadinejad, known for his fierce criticism of Israel, the support of world leaders for Israel has stonewalled peace for the Palestinians. Downplaying the efficiency of the UN Security Council in solving disputes, he also said, “it has no control over Zionists and thus cannot ensure the interests of other nations”.
Calling upon Islamic countries across the world to build a united barrier against the ‘enemy plots’ he said “tyranny of superpowers is at the root of regional conflicts and urged for close relations among Muslim countries in the face of hostile forces to break their spirit of solidarity.
Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri
Explaining why the US should begin exporting peace to the Mideast instead of arms to Israel, Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said that it was the “former US administration that drew up the Israeli plan to stage an assault on the Gaza Strip, and former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice personally gave orders for the continuation of the war on Gaza.”
“The fact that US-made weapons were used in the offensive indicated that Washington had played a major role in the war.Yet Palestinians brought Israel to its knees by defending their land with “very normal rockets during a war in which Israel was using advanced American-made technology.” He added that a solution to the ongoing crisis is possible only if President Barrack Obama recognizes and respects the rights of the Palestinian nation.
“President Obama must recognize the rights of the Palestinian people, the rights of the Palestinian refugees to return to their country and recognize Palestine as a state. Obama now has a golden opportunity to export peace to the Middle East instead of arms” stated Lebanese political heavyweight.
Emphasising the importance of reconstructing Gaza, Iran’s Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani accused western countries of adopting a double standard by preventing humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza.
He said the creation of Israel was aimed at placing Islamic states under Zionist thumb and influence and frequent tensions in the Middle East clearly show that the elders of Zion planned to preoccupy Islamic countries with daily struggles.
Iran’s Majlis speaker, Ali Larijani
Describing the plight of Palestinians as an unprecedented crime ,Larijani said “imprisoning millions of people in Israeli jails and turning millions of others into refugees over the past 60 years is but a portion of Israel’s atrocities in Palestine”. Ends