In his speech to university students, which was broadcast live by Iran’s broadcasting authority, Khamenei referred to Israel’s establishment as “illegitimate” and based on the murder of the Palestinian people. Khamenei also repeated the Iranian regime’s call for a referendum to be held in Israel and the Palestinian Territories so that the “residents may choose what kind of governing regime” they want. This suggestion is popular among proponents of a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Domestic Iranian print media has also amped up its anti-Israel hostility in anticipation of Friday’s Al Quds Day protests, an annual day of protest against Israel initiated in 1979 by Ayatollah Khomeini, by publishing quotes from various high-ranking officials heaping praise on Hamas and Islamic Jihad rocket fire on Israeli cities. State-run publications, such as Fars News, have published anti-Semitic cartoons depicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bathing in a pool of Palestinian blood in the shape of the Gaza Strip, and images of stereotypical Jewish figures killing Palestinian children. Iranian media published similar anti-Semitic cartoons during Israel’s 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense.
Al Quds Day, which refers to the Arabic term for Jerusalem is commemorated annually with mass rallies and speeches on the last Friday of Ramadan. It has traditionally been marked by hostile rhetoric towards the state of Israel, including blatant anti-Semitism, at protests held in the Middle East and across cities in Europe and the United States.