Hamas ditches ‘Naksa Day’ for Iran-backed ‘Quds Day’ this week

Iran touts Quds Day as world solidarity with Palestinians amid Hamas picot toward Tehran

By
June 5, 2018 18:40
2 minute read.
A scarecrow model is set on fire by Iranian demonstratorson during the annual pro-Palestinian rally

A scarecrow model is set on fire by Iranian demonstratorson during the annual pro-Palestinian rally marking Al-Quds Day in Tehran, Iran, June 23, 2017.. (photo credit: NAZANIN TABATABAEE YAZDI/ TIMA VIA REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Iran’s Press TV is pushing this year’s Quds Day as an annual solidarity event with Palestinians “under Israeli occupation,” as Hamas toned down protests Tuesday in line with Tehran’s agenda. Now Palestinian organizers are claiming that “Quds Day” on Friday will see a million people turn out to protest Israel, including in the Gaza Strip.

The Islamic Republic of Iran created Quds Day in 1979 to coincide with the last Friday of Ramadan as part of its anti-Israel policies. This year, annual events are planned in London and Toronto as well as in 800 cities worldwide, according to organizers. The Toronto Quds Day organizers say the day is for “justice, peace and love” to “counter Islamophobia” and “racism” while opposing “Zionism and Israeli war crimes.”

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.
Fire in Sapir College from Gaza terror kites, June 5, 2018 (Tal Lev Ram)

Iran’s regime media have even created a hashtag “QudsDay4return” this year. The hashtag has already become full of antisemitic tropes. One shows Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a snake devouring Argentina and another shows “biological evolution in Israel” as a cell becomes an ape and then an Israeli soldier. Ayatollah Khameini is also quoted as claiming, “Allah has ordained that Palestine will be liberated.”

Palestinian media have predicted that large numbers will protest at the Gaza border on Friday. This comes after pro-Hamas media tended to play down “Naksa Day” on Tuesday.

Hashtags were absent in Arabic and English and the numbers who turned out in Gaza were minimal. Naksa Day commemorates the 1967 Six Day War and has seen protests in years past. However, this year, protests were smaller than expected as Palestinian Authority staff protested in Gaza City about cuts in their salaries. The Population Front for the Liberation of Palestine also accused Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas of lacking responsibility by not providing funds for Gaza.

Quds Day has become a larger rallying cry this year as it comes after months of mass Hamas-organized protests in Gaza. A poster put up by organizers and posted by journalist Nasser Atta on Twitter, says that on Friday, June 8, “Palestinian factions declared a million-man march.” In Ramallah, a large billboard devoted to Quds Day has also been erected. “Palestinian disappointment with the so-called Sunni Arab moderate camp which is now in alliance with the Trump police and normalizing with Israel, are gearing up to celebrate Quds Day declared by the late Imam Khomeini,” Atta noted.

This increasing connection to Tehran’s day potentially signals several related agendas coming together.

Iran has long sought the mantle of “anti-imperialist” opposing the US.

But in recent years it lost credibility by supporting the Syrian regime’s crackdown and supporting sectarian Shi’ite militias in Iraq and Lebanon. However, the Palestinian cause has served as a unifying issue in the region. Hamas has generally been closer to Iran while the Fatah-run Palestinian Authority has been closer to Saudi Arabia.

With Qatar cutting funding, Hamas has few friends and few sources of income in the region. It also has few sources of weapons after Egypt flooded the tunnels linking its smugglers with Sinai. Its eight weeks of mass protests also did not succeed in getting it much support. Isolated, Hamas sees Quds Day as a chance to rally support again. If it can find thousands to turn out, less than the million promised, it will still succeed in finding relevance and increase its connections to Tehran.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

The damaged house in Beersheba from the rocket attack on Wednesday, October 17, 2018.
October 17, 2018
Cabinet mulls Gaza military operation

By ANNA AHRONHEIM, TOVAH LAZAROFF