Jerusalem Day parade in Tehran (Fars, May 31, 2019).
"Death to Israel, America, and the house of Saud [i.e., Saudi Arabia]."
Jerusalem Day parade in Tehran (Fars, May 31, 2019).
Jerusalem Day parade in Tehran (Fars, May 31, 2019).
Jerusalem Day parade in Tehran (Tasnim, May 31, 2019).
Iranian President Rouhani at the Jerusalem Day parade in Tehran (YJC.IR, May 31, 2019).
Jerusalem Day parade in Tehran (Tasnim, May 31, 2019).
Jerusalem Day parade in Tehran (Mehr, May 31, 2019).
- During the events, prominent were threats against Israel made by Iran and its proxies. The threats centered around rocket and missile fire:
- In the Palestinian arena, Ziyad al-Nakhalah, secretary general of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), Iran’s main proxy in the Gaza Strip, claimed that during the next round of escalation Tel Aviv would be the target for the PIJ’s rockets. He said that the “resistance” [i.e., the terrorist organizations] is close to adopting an “equation” in which a bombing in the Gaza Strip would be answered by rocket fire on Tel Aviv. Yahya al-Sinwar, head of the Hamas political bureau in the Gaza Strip, also threatened that in a confrontation or war, the “resistance” would fire rockets at Tel Aviv with greater force than in the past.
- In the Lebanese arena, Hassan Nasrallah, secretary general of Hezbollah, boasted that his organization has precise missiles. He claimed Israel has become weakened and has no response to the missiles. He claimed Hezbollah has a sufficient quantity of missiles to reach every target in Israel and change the face of the region He added that al-Nakhalah and Sinwar’s statements about attacking Tel Aviv if the Gaza Strip is attacked were a significant development in the confrontation with Israel.
- Threats were also issued against the United States, saying America and its allies would pay a high price if Iran is attacked. Hassan Nasrallah, who also described the United States as having become weakened, sent the message to the American president (and to “the whole word”) that if the United States declares war on Iran “the entire region will burn.” Such a war, he claimed, would result in attacks on American forces and interests in the region, especially in Israel and Saudi Arabia, which would “pay the price.” Ziyad al-Nakhalah, PIJ secretary general, also threatened that if a confrontation between Iran and the United States breaks out, his organization will participate in every regional campaign.
Table of contents
- This report has five appendices about Global Jerusalem Day (“Jerusalem Day”) events in various arenas:
- Appendix A: Iran
- Appendix B: The Palestinian arena
- Appendix C: The Lebanese arena
- Appendix D: The Arab-Muslim world
- Appendix E: The West
As they are every year, the main Jerusalem Day events centered in Iran. In Tehran and in dozens of other cities, Jerusalem Day parades were held, attended by hundreds of thousands of Iranians. They chanted slogans praising the “resistance” (i.e., the terrorist organizations) and condemning Israel, the United States, and the pro-Western Arab states, especially Saudi Arabia. As they have every year, they shouted “Death to Israel” and “Death to America,” and burned Israeli and American flags. Senior Iranian regime figures participated in the parades in Tehran, among them President Hassan Rouhani and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. Jerusalem Day was accompanied by a media campaign stressing the need to cause the failure of the “deal of the century.” The campaign included condemnations of Saudi Arabia and other pro-Western Arab states. It also stressed Iran’s support for the terrorist organizations (the “resistance”) and claimed Israel had been weakened. Similar themes were echoed by the leaders of Hezbollah, the PIJ and senior Hamas figures (see below).
Pictures from Jerusalem Day events in Tehran
Right: “Death to Israel, America, and the house of Saud [i.e., Saudi Arabia].” Left: Jerusalem Day parade in Tehran (Fars, May 31, 2019).
Jerusalem Day parade in Tehran
(Fars, May 31, 2019).
Jerusalem Day parade in Tehran
(Tasnim, May 31, 2019).
Right: Jerusalem Day parade in Tehran (Mehr, May 31, 2019). Left: Iranian President Rouhani at the Jerusalem Day parade in Tehran (YJC.IR, May 31, 2019).
- The main themes of Jerusalem Day events in Iran were the following:
- Fueling hatred for the United States and Israel: As they do every year, demonstrators chanted “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” (“the Great Satan”). American and Israeli flags were burned, and Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu were burned in effigy. At the main event in Tehran there was a display of pictures and cartoons of “American and Zionist crimes.” The final announcement of the Jerusalem Day events’ organizations said the “liberation of Jerusalem” and the destruction of “Israel, the cancerous tumor,” is [allegedly] the central problem of the Islamic world today.
- Undermining the “deal of the century:” The theme of the Jerusalem Day parades and rallies this year was “Global Jerusalem Day, defeat of the ‘deal of the century’ and establishing the Palestinian cause.” Senior Iranian figures represented the “deal of the century” as an evil, futile plot. It would, they claimed, turn into the “resistance of the century” and the “bankruptcy of the century.”
- Condemnation of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain: The spokesman for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) said Jerusalem Day signified a warning of the Islamic nation to some of the Arab states, especially Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain.
- Strengthening the “resistance” organizations [i.e., terrorist organizations] with Iranian support: They are becoming stronger and have many more resources. Iran will continue to support the “resistance” despite all the difficulties and sanctions imposed on it. According to the final announcement of the Jerusalem Day organizers, the only way to solve the Palestinian problem is through continuing the intifada, resisting the “global infidel front” led by the United States, destroying the “cancerous tumor that is Israel,” and implementing the strategy of “Palestine from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea” (Tasnim, May 31, 2019).
- The rocket capabilities possessed by the Palestinian organizations: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a speech that today rockets are answered with rockets. He said that in the most recent round of escalation [with the Palestinians] the “Zionists retreated” and the Iron Dome aerial defense system did not successfully deal with the rockets of the “Palestinian fighters” (IRNA, May 29, 2019).
- Israel’s weakness: Israel is currently on the “path to destruction” and has been defeated by the “resistance.” The Palestinian people are capable of defeating Israel, which is unable to wage a campaign of more than a number of days (interview with Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of the Iranian National Security Council, al-Mayadeen, May 20, 2019).
The Palestinian arena
Yahya al-Sinwar gives a speech at the conference held in the Gaza Strip to mark Jerusalem Day. (Right: Huna al-Masira YouTube channel, May 30, 2019; Left: Palinfo Twitter account, May 30, 2019).
- The conference moderator announced that Iran had decided to donate $651,000 for the 1,540 families of shaheeds whose payments the Palestinian Authority (PA) no longer provided. The families of unmarried shaheeds would receive $200 each, the families of married shaheeds would receive $600 each. The donation was also intended for 242 Palestinians injured during the return marches. The conference moderator said Iran would continue “adopting” Palestinians injured in the return marches in the Gaza Strip (Safa, May 30, 2019, Radio Sawt al-Aqsa, May 30, 2019).
Statements from Ziyad al-Nakhalah, PIJ secretary general
- The main themes of Ziyad al-Nakhalah’s speech were the following:
- This year Global Jerusalem Day events to protest the “deal of the century:” The “deal” is an attempt to destroy the Palestinian cause in favor of the “Zionist enterprise.” He called for practical measures to be taken to ensure the failure of the “deal” and not merely to make do with refusal, like Mahmoud Abbas (al-Manar, May 30, 2019).
- Iran is the only country that supports the Palestinians against Israel’s “aggression:” Iranian support includes weapons and [technical] know-how transferred to the “resistance.” “Resistance” [i.e., violence and terrorism] will continue and “resistance” is the duty of every Muslim in the world (al-Mayadeen, May 30, 2019). The PIJ is committed to Palestine, Jerusalem and the [ideological] line of the Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Iranian Islamic Revolution (al-Manar, May 30, 2019).
- Praise for Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Qods Force: al-Nakhalah praised Soleimani [with whom he has close ties] for his support, adding that Soleimani is personally acquainted with most to the leaders of the “resistance” [i.e., most of the terrorist organizations’ leadership]. He said Iran would continue its support of the “resistance,” and thanks to its support the “resistance” would continue to advance (al-Manar, May 30, 2019).
- The PIJ’s rocket capabilities: During the most recent rocket attack more than 700 rockets were fired at Israel, but “soon it will be possible to fire a thousand rockets a day.” In the next confrontation it will be possible to hit strategic sites in Israel. He claimed Israel was holding talks with Egypt about the possibility that the gas fueling station in the Israel’s southern port of Ashdod and other gas installations would be hit. He said his organization could attack any target in Israel from the Gaza Strip (al-Manar, May 30, 2019).
- An attack on Tel Aviv: al-Nakhalah spoke twice about rocket attacks on Tel Aviv. He said that for Israel an attack on Tel Aviv would be a blow to morale, adding that the PIJ would not be committed to any red lines in the next round of escalation. He said the PIJ and Hamas were committed to defending the demonstrators at the return marches (al-Manar, May 30, 2019). He added that in his opinion the “resistance” was not far from a clear equation of “if you [i.e., Israel] bomb the Gaza Strip, we [i.e., the terrorist organizations] will fire rockets at Tel Aviv” (al-Mayadeen, May 30, 2019). In addition, Saleh al-‘Arouri, deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau, praised Iran for the military, economic, political and logistic support it gives the “resistance,” despite the high price it pays for its aid (al-Manar, May 30, 2019).
Statements from Yahya al-Sinwar
- The main themes of Yahya al-Sinwar’s speech at the opening of “The international conference in support of the Palestinian intifada” on the eve of Jerusalem Day were the following:
- Undermining the “deal of the century:” Yahya al-Sinwar called on the Palestinian organizations, Fatah and the PA to work together with the “resistance” [terrorist organizations] to cause the “deal of the century” to fail. He called for mass participation of the Palestinian people and the Arab nation in Jerusalem Day events, adding that the Palestinian people would all turn out en masse for the Jerusalem Day return march [Note: In reality, about 7,300 demonstrators attended the return march, and there was no mass Palestinian participation.]
- The rocket capabilities of the Palestinian organizations in the Gaza Strip are constantly improving: According to Yahya al-Sinwar, during Operation Cast Lead (2008) the “organizations” in the Gaza Strip fired about 1,000 rockets and mortar shells at Israel. He said that 17-18 locally-manufactured rockets hit Tel Aviv. During Operation Pillar of Defense (2012) the organizations hit Tel Aviv with Fajr rockets made in and provided by Iran. In Operation Protective Edge (2014), he claimed, the organizations hit Tel Aviv with 370 rockets, among them Fajr rockets provided by Iran and rockets whose manufacture was enabled by Iranian financial support.
- A threat of a rocket attack on Tel Aviv: Given the improvement in the organizations’ rocket capabilities, Yahya al-Sinwar promised that when a confrontation or war with Israel develops, the “resistance” will “fire rockets at Tel Aviv with greater force than in the past.”
- Call to move the campaign to the West Bank: Yahya al-Sinwar said that the real campaign would be waged in the near future in the West Bank because Israel was planning to annex it. The Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip are capable of undermining the “deal of the century” making Israel pay a high price for every “stupid action” it carries out.
The Lebanese arena
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah gives a speech at the main event. In the upper left-hand corner is a picture of the Dome of the Rock, with the inscription “[Jerusalem] will be liberated, Jerusalem Day, No to the “deal of the century” (YouTube).
- The main themes of Hassan Nasrallah’s speech at the central event were the following (al-Manar, May 31, 2019):
- The capabilities of the Palestinian “resistance organizations” [i.e., the terrorist organizations] are improving: They have “tens of thousands” of operatives in the Gaza Strip. In the long-range scenario of a large regional war, they are capable of taking control of an extensive area near the Gaza Strip. Their rocket capabilities are developing, as are they drone capabilities, which are another factor in the equation, as was illustrated by the most recent round of escalation. The statements made by the leaders of the Palestinian organizations [i.e., al-Nakhalah and al-Sinwar] about attacking Tel Aviv with rocket fire if the Gaza Strip is bombed are evidence of a tremendous, significant development in a confrontation against Israel.
- The “axis of resistance” is stronger than ever before, and Iran is the strong country leading it. According to Nasrallah, Lebanon, the Palestinians, Syria and Yemen owe a great debt to Iran. Iran supported Iraq when ISIS attacked it; supported the Syrian regime during difficult times; and supported Hezbollah and the Palestinian organizations (the “resistance”) in Lebanon and Palestine. Nasrallah said the “axis of resistance,” which is supported by large numbers of people in the Arab-Muslim world, is stronger than ever.
- Israel of 2019 is weaker than in the past: Israel is still strong but today is weaker than in the past. Its military force is unable to decide a campaign and it is always on the defensive. The Israeli home front is exposed to rockets and missiles more than ever before. Israel is worried about rockets and missiles fired from the Gaza Strip, Lebanon and Syria. Israel also claims there are rockets and missiles in Iraq. Israel is worried about missiles and rockets that may be launched from Iran and Yemen. Corruption in Israel is unprecedented and there are deep political and social divides.
- The weakness of the United States: Today the United States is not what it was in the past. Its army was defeated in Lebanon, Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan, Yemen and other countries. Nasrallah claimed Trump would be tried and sent to prison. The United States is in confrontation with the entire world, including China, Russia, Europe and Latin America. The regional American proxies, especially Saudi Arabia, are “confused, afraid and weak.”
- Vilifying Saudi Arabia: Nasrallah devoted special attention to vilifying Saudi Arabia. He accused it of igniting civil wars in the Arab states and of responsibility for creating takfir (jihadist) civil wars between Arabs. It was Saudi Arabia that created the takfir ideology, according to Nasrallah. The ideology disseminated by Saudi Arabia, he claimed, led to the establishment of the Taliban and created “a thousand problems” for Pakistan, whose support is now being requested by Saudi Arabia.
- Undermining the “deal of the century:” Nasrallah ended his speech by giving his full assurance that the “deal of the century” can be made to fail. He added that the Palestinians were at the spearhead of the campaign to make both the “deal” and the economic workshop in Bahrain fail. He added that when the Palestinians decide on one position, no one will be able to force anything on them.
- Nasrallah elaborated about the issue of Hezbollah’s (the “resistance’s”) precise missiles: He claimed Israel has no response to precise missiles. He added that for more than two years foreign ambassadors and security services have been warning Hezbollah that if Israel discovers the missile storage site, it will bomb it. He added that they claimed Hezbollah has plants for constructing missiles in Lebanon and that is a red line for Israel [i.e., plants for turning rockets into precise missiles]. He added that Hezbollah admits it has a sufficient quantity of precise missiles capable of hitting every target in Israel and of changing the face of the region.
- Nasrallah said that a month ago a “senior Lebanese figure” had sent him a message accompanied by a threat originating in the United States. The message said that Hezbollah has plants in Lebanon for turning rockets into precise missiles (with the implication that Israel might attack them). Nasrallah answered so far there are no plants [in Lebanon] for turning rockets into precise missiles, although it is Hezbollah’s right to construct them. He added that Hezbollah had an answer to the threats: every Israeli attack on a Hezbollah-related target will have a swift, direct and strong response. That, he claimed, is why Israel does not attack Lebanon.
The Arab-Muslim world
The Middle East
Right: Jerusalem Day marchers in Damascus wave Palestinian and Syrian flags. Left: Palestinian and Iranian flags behind the speakers’ dais at the Jerusalem Day events in Damascus
(Sana, May 31, 2019).
- The main Jerusalem Day parade was held in eastern Baghdad and attended by thousands of people. Among the participants were tribal leaders, Popular Mobilization militia operatives and members of the Iraqi parliament. An Israeli flag was painted on the parade road as well as pictures of American and Saudi Arabian leaders were placed so that participants could walk on them. Participants chanted “Death to Israel,” “Death to America,” “The march to al-Aqsa,” and “Jerusalem, we are coming” (Rudaw news website, May 31, 2019; al-Manar TV website, May 31, 2019; al-Mayadeen TV website, May 31, 2019).
Right: Jerusalem Day marchers wave flags of the al-Nujaba Movement of the Shi’ite militias, handled by the Iranian Qods Force. Marchers carry a sign reading “Israel_will disappear.” Left: Jerusalem Day marchers carry pictures of shaheeds, and walk on an Israeli flag pained on the road (Yes Iraq website, May 31, 2019).
- The main events at the various locations were the following:
- Sanaa, the capital: Dozens of supporters of the Houthi rebels demonstrated in the airport street in honor of Jerusalem Day. They waved Palestinian flags and signs with slogans against Israel. They also called on the leaders of the Arab states “to stop the killing of Yemeni civilians [by the Saudi Arabian coalition operating against the Houthi rebels] (the Turkish Anadolu Agency news website, May 31, 2019).
- Sa’dah: Tens of thousands of people participated in the Jerusalem Day parade. They expressed the Yemeni people’s solidarity with the Palestinians, and condemned the “deal of the century,” which they claimed was intended to destroy the Palestinian cause. They also expressed support for the military activities of the Houthi movement, including rocket fire and the launching of UAVs (Taez News website, June 1, 2019).al-Hudayda: A mass rally was held for Jerusalem Day, along with a display of military force held by the Houthi rebels. Participants held signs condemning Israel and the Arab and Muslim states which do not take an aggressive stance against Israel’s actions in Jerusalem. A speech was given by the acting district governor, who stressed that the residents of the city came out to demonstrate despite the siege, because of their desire to show support for Jerusalem and the Palestinian people (Taez News website, June 1, 2019).
Right: Participants in the Jerusalem Day event in the Sar region in central Bahrain wave Palestinian flags and hold signs reading, “No to the ‘deal of the century,’ ” Towards Jerusalem (al-Manar TV website, May 31, 2019). Left: Demonstrators hold up signs to hide their faces from the camera in order to avoid being identified by the Bahrain security forces Ali Shoeib’s Twitter account, May 31, 2019).
South East Asia
- In Karachi participants waved Palestinian flags and signs with pictures of al-Aqsa mosque, as well as of Hamas leaders, shouting “Death to Israel” and “Death to America.” Speeches were given condemning the “deal of the century” (arabicradio website, May 31, 2019).
- In New Delhi, the capital, members of the “Global campaign to return to Palestine” organized a Jerusalem Day conference, where signs were held calling for the “liberation of Palestine” and the boycotting of Israel (Global campaign website, June 1, 2019). In Mumbai Muslims marked Jerusalem Day with a mass parade where signs were held calling for the liberation of Palestine and for Israel to be boycotted (You News news agency YouTube channel, June 1, 2019; al-Kawthar TV website, June 2, 2019).
- Hundreds of pro-Israeli demonstrators, including German politicians, members of the Jewish community and the American ambassador to Germany demonstrated opposite the pro-Iranian anti-Israel demonstration in Berlin. They came with Israeli flags and pictures of the American president (Fox News, June 1, 2019). Several hundred policemen formed a barrier between the two groups of demonstrators.
On May 2, 2019, a Jerusalem Day parade was held in the streets of London. Demonstrators marched from Portland Place to Trafalgar Square. They carried signs calling Zionism a “crime” and asking for support of the “resistance” [i.e., terrorism]. They compared Zionists to Nazis and called Israel an apartheid country, calling for Israel to be boycotted (Jewish News, May 2, 2019). At the same time, a pro-Israel rally was held.
Jerusalem Day rally in London
(Campaign Against AntiSemitism Twitter account, June 2, 2019).
- On May 31, 2019, a Jerusalem Day demonstration was held in Vienna. Demonstrators called for the destruction of Israel, and showed solidarity with the Iranian regime (StopAntisemitism.org, May 31, 2019).
Jerusalem Day demonstrators in Toronto
(Kharoun al-Binawi’s Twitter account, June 1, 2019).
 Follow-up of the May 28, 2019 bulletin, "Iran Calls to Turn the Events of “International Quds Day” on May 31, 2019, into a Show of Defiance Against President Trump’s “Deal of the Century." ↑
 After the most recent round of escalation Ziyad al-Nakhalah said that "only a few hours separated us from attacking Tel Aviv in this campaign..." For further information, see the May 12, 2019 bulletin, "Threatening Messages Sent to Israel in an interview with Palestinian Islamic Jihad Secretary General Ziyad al-Nakhalah. ↑
 The Lebanese newspaper al-Hayat published an article on June 2, 2019, which quoted an "official Lebanese source" as saying that Nasrallah's remarks, especially those about precise weapons, were disgusting. According to the source, Nasrallah intensified his remarks after he found out that during a recent visit to Beirut by David Satterfield, acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, he told senior Lebanese officials that Israel had discovered precise-missile launchers that had been transferred from Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon. The source added that Satterfield had called on the Lebanese government to take practical measures to deal with the issue. According to the source, Nasrallah's rocket threat in fact reflected instructions he received from Iran. ↑