United World International has organized an international webinar on “West Asia and Palestine” with participation from Palestine, Turkey, Syria, Iran and Pakistan on June 10th, 2021.
Today, UWI presents the speech of Prof. Seyed Mohammed Marandi, professor for English Literature and Orientalism at the University of Tehran.
The speech is presented as delivered, subheading were set by UWI. The full video of the webinar can be watched in the link below.
I apologize for attending so late, I did not have the opportunity to hear much of what was said, and I hope what I say doesn’t overlap much. I’ll try to keep very short.
The defeat of the Israeli Regime in Gaza has been a turning point
I think there are a couple of things I should stress upon. First one is that the defeat of the Israeli regime in Gaza is a turning point. Many in the West would say this was not a defeat, or they would claim that the Israelis were successful in air strikes and in killing large numbers of people.
But I think the victory was quite clear for everyone to see. Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the resistance in Gaza, prevented the Israeli’s from even attempting to enter Gaza. I think this was in itself a huge achievement. Also the resistance was able to fire at will large amounts of rockets into the whole of Palestine, into all of the territories occupied by the Israeli regime. The iron dome turned out to be much less effective then previously claimed by the regime.
And we know that the Palestinians have used many of their older rockets. The technology that has been introduced into Gaza is moving forward. The Iranians and the Palestinians are working together to develop better technology, so that in future conflict, the Palestinians will be able to hurt the Israeli regime much more than before.
I think that this victory in Gaza was also partly due to the stupidity and racism of the apartheid regime, in that they murdered people with impunity, they brought down towers with impunity and the international community, the global audience that was watching, despite all the pro-Israeli propaganda, decisively turned against the regime.
The regime is facing a crisis of legitimacy
The first time in my opinion even in the Western countries the regime is facing a crisis of legitimacy. In the eyes of the global south, the Israeli regime was never legitimate. Apartheid cannot be legitimate. Whether in the West Bank, in the Gaza Strip or the rest of Palestine, apartheid has to be rejected.
I think that one of the things that we have to build upon therefore is the awareness that has been created. And we have to press on with the very fact the Israeli regime is an apartheid regime. It is a colonial regime. It carries out ethnic cleansing. And this has to be repeated especially to western audiences and to the global audience.
The legitimacy of the regime, the so-called legitimacy of the regime has been badly dented.
So, like the victory of the Hezbollah in 2006 against the Israelis, which was, I think, the beginning of the end of the apartheid regime’s expansionism project. In my opinion the victory of the resistance in Gaza is the beginning of the end of the apartheid regime itself.
For the first time, the apartheid regime showed itself deeply troubled and incapable in defeating a much weaker opponent. The people of Gaza have been in this open air prison, in this concentration camp for decades. They have been restricted from having food, from living a decent life and even from leaving.
Yet, despite being surrounded, they were able to create a capability that humiliated the apartheid regime.
So, what are we to do? The Palestinians I believe are doing a great deal. In the past, many could have criticized the Palestinians and blamed the for many of their own problems. I don’t think that that was ever a legitimate argument, and today, I think that the Palestinians have shown to all of us what the real meaning of resistance is. The Palestinians have shown what resistance is.
Our responsibility is to to show globally that the regime is not legitimate
Our responsibility as I said earlier, is to point out to the global public that the apartheid regime, that the Israeli regime like the apartheid regime is not legitimate in any way or form in any part of Palestine. And that the notion of Anti-Semitism as well as other accusations are simply smears to hide the fact that this is an apartheid regime.
European crimes against Jews do not apply to the Palestinian people, and the Palestinian people should not pay the price of crimes committed by Europeans.
But in addition to the public awareness campaign, is to put pressure on governments to end their relationship with the Israeli regime. It is not enough for us individuals to promote friends and colleagues and relatives not to purchase Israeli produced goods. It is our responsibility to put pressure on governments to end their relationship with the Israeli regime altogether.
We should put pressure on government to end their relationship to the apartheid regime
There should be no imports, no exports, no diplomatic relationship and no flights to Palestine. And the Israeli regime must be weakened economically and politically.
And until that happens, I think the Palestinian people have every right to be unhappy about the Muslim world and the global south and the non-Muslim world who all speak in favor and in support of the Palestinian people.
So my hope is that the Palestinian people will see this change. Just as they have changed and become more resilient than before, in humiliating their oppressors, I hope that they witness the change among the global community and especially the people of West Asia in ending the legitimization of the apartheid regime through diplomatic relations, political relations, economic relations and cultural relations. All of these must end and hopefully we will be playing our part in ending the apartheid regime in Palestine, just as the resistance beforehand, the people of South Africa and their supporters around the world were able to end their apartheid regime.