Jun. 13, 2018
- On “Jerusalem Day,” Iranians Call on the Regime to Support Them, Not the Palestinians – Lt. Col. (ret.) Michael Segall
On the last Friday of the month of Ramadan, Al-Quds [Jerusalem] Day marches have taken place in Iran every year since 1979 to express the desire to “liberate Jerusalem.” However, this year, the demonstrations were extremely sparse.
During this year’s Jerusalem Day, another slogan was heard – “Not Gaza, not Lebanon. Our lives for Iran” – which first resounded during the failed “Green Revolution” in 2009. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei referred to this slogan when he said, “Anyone who continues to use the slogan, ‘Not Gaza, not Lebanon,’ are lowlifes who serve enemy interests.”
On social media, several calls of “Death to the leader” could be heard in the background of clips of the marches. Opponents of the regime put up hashtags in a similar spirit: “#NototheIslamicRepublic,” “#Notoal-QudsDay,” “#IranRegimeChange,” and “#IRGCTerrorists.” On a live broadcast, an Iranian TV reporter encouraged an Iranian child (brought to the demonstrations against Israel) to say that he loves the Palestinian children. “Tell them you love them and support them,” said the reporter. The little boy answered, “No, I don’t love them.”
In recent weeks travelers at the airports in Mashhad and Tabriz have been surprised to see expressions of protest against the regime by hackers who hijacked computer screens showing flight information. The slogans expressed support for striking truck drivers and said, “How much longer can the regime ignore the requests of the people for better living conditions?” The writer, who headed the Iran branch of the IDF Military Intelligence Research Department, is a senior analyst at the Jerusalem Center. (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)