Australia/Israel Review


“Quds day” becomes Antisemitism Day

May 25, 2023 | Ran Porat

Dirani during the 2023 Quds day event in Sydney (Source: https://visions-sy.com/40373/ Screenshot, Syrian website)
Dirani during the 2023 Quds day event in Sydney (Source: https://visions-sy.com/40373/ Screenshot, Syrian website)

After the 1979 revolution in Iran, the country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini initiated the tradition of marking International al-Quds (Jerusalem) Day every year on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. On that day, the Iranian regime and its anti-Zionist allies hold protests and processions around the world in support of the Palestinians and against Israel, often shouting antisemitic slogans and carrying hateful signs.

As reported previously in the AIR, over the last few years, pro-Palestinian groups and fans of Iran have been commemorating Quds Day in Sydney and Melbourne. 2023 was no different in that respect, with the event in Sydney (April 14) dominated by senior members of the Australian branch of Teheran’s international propaganda network, al-Tajamu, along with official Palestinian and Syrian representatives.

Fewer than 40 participants (men only) gathered at the Arncliffe (NSW) Bernie Wright Meeting Room to note the occasion. Guests this year included the Honorary Consul of Syria in Sydney, Maher Dabbagh, and representatives of the Palestinian Workers Union. The hall was decorated with the flags of Iran and Australia, and the Palestinian flag, as well as a big picture of Khomeini. 

One of the speakers in the event was leading al-Tajamu figure and former academic Dr Tim Anderson. As the network’s General Coordinator in Australia, Anderson participated in early April in an online conference to launch the 2023 international Quds Day program that was organised from Beirut by Hezbollah, Palestinian terror groups and pro-Assad Syrian groups. At the Sydney event, Anderson reportedly hailed Khomeini for starting Quds Day, while another speaker, Dr Muhammad Sadiq, spoke about “the racism of the Zionist entity.”

The keynote speaker of the evening was Sydneysider Hussein Dirani, who heads al-Tajamu Australia and is also a senior official in the Australian office of the Ahlul-Bait World Assembly – an Iran-based international Shi’ite organisation dedicated to spreading Khomeini’s theological ideas. True to his past record of voicing extremist views and spreading antisemitism, Dirani did not mince his words that night. 

 

The ‘bastard entity’ will soon fall 

Dirani opened his speech by arguing that “millions”, including Jews, participate in Quds Day events across the globe “in solidarity with the Palestinian people who suffer under the yoke of the oppression of the Zionist occupation and terrorism, and in rejection of all practices of oppression and terrorism that the bastard entity is doing daily against the defenceless Palestinian people.” 

Next, he warned that “The faithful, patient and oppressed Palestinian masses are preparing to march towards al-Quds al-Sharif [Temple Mount in Jerusalem] in hundreds of thousands despite the Zionist siege and oppression… to defend the sanctities in al-Quds al-Sharif with all they possess… until the liberation of the entire soil of Palestine.”

These “millions”, cried Dirani, “are marching to participate in this blessed day that revives hearts, blood and consciences so that they… ignite anger in order to pour a fire on the forces of evil and the Zionist, racist, terrorist aggression that is getting more brutal day after day against the oppressed Palestinian people.”

Referring to the recent internal divisions over judicial reforms within the Jewish state, Dirani prophesied that a civil war will soon erupt in the “temporary entity” which will “destroy this entity without the forces of opposition and resistance making an effort to remove it.” Spinning a genocidal fantasy about the end of Israel, he claimed that “Senior rabbis, politicians, and intellectuals have started to seriously talk about the destruction of their homes with their own hands.”

Dirani cited a notorious speech given in 2000 by Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the Iranian proxy in Lebanon, Hezbollah, claiming Israel is feebler than a spider’s web. Israelis, said Dirani, “are emphasising” that Nasrallah’s vision that “Israel [is] weaker than a spider’s web, has become a reality, digging into the depths of the Israeli consciousness, whose fate has become exposed before their eyes.” Referring to other ‘predictions’ that Israel’s end is near, Dirani mused that “There is a firm belief that their racist, terrorist state will not celebrate its sinister 80th anniversary.” This fate, explained Dirani, is based on the prophecy by Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, who “gave us glad tidings [in 2016] that this bastard entity will fall within 25 years.”

 

Zionists ‘drinking children’s blood’

“Racist Zionist politicians”, said Dirani, are calling for “the extermination of the Palestinian people.” Attacks attributed to Israel (the “usurping Zionist entity”) in Syria and in Iran (against Iran’s nuclear program, its drone and missile projects and weapons supplies to Teheran’s terrorist proxies across the Middle East), suggested Dirani, are “an attempt to export [Israel’s] severe internal crises abroad.” 

Dirani angrily addressed Australian politicians, “whose election success is dependent on the Arab and Islamic community. They [the politicians] invite us to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the usurpation of Palestine [Israel’s independence].” 

In his conclusion, Dirani wove familiar antisemitic themes into his rhetoric, including classic conspiracy theories about the power of the ‘Jewish lobby’ and the blood libel of Jews drinking the blood of children. 

“The Zionists are threatening to establish their state on the skulls of the Palestinian people,” he said, “and seek to silence our free and proud voices and intimidate us to prevent us from reviving these national and Islamic events to please the Zionist lobby – even accusing us of antisemitism while they slaughter the Semites and drink the blood of the children of Palestine.” 

The 2023 Quds Day event in Sydney brought to light yet again the existence on Australian soil of a de-facto network of Iranian agents who actively promote antisemitism and hatred. 

Dr. Ran Porat is an AIJAC Research Associate. He is also a Research Associate at the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation at Monash University and a Research Fellow at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Reichman University in Herzliya.

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