The German newspaper Der Spiegel claims:

Der Schwiegersohn des Propheten ist das Vorbild: Imam Ali habe "siebenhundert Juden an einem Tag" erschlagen. Ihm solle man nacheifern, verkündet Revolutionsführer Ayatollah Chomenei 1979, als er den Al-Quds-Tag begründet. source: Der Spiegel - Die Schande von Berlin
My translation: The prophets son in law is the role model: Imam Ali is said to have slain "seven hundred Jews in one day". In 1979 when instituting the Quds Day, Ayatollah Khomeini said that he is who one should emulate.

The online magazine haGalil seems to contain a larger quote from Khomeini:

Imam Ali ist unser Vorbild. Er zog sein Schwert gegen die Verschwörer. Es ist überliefert, dass er siebenhundert Juden an einem Tag tötete.source: haGalil - Zur Geschichte des Al-Quds-Tages
My translation: Imam Ali is our role model. He drew his sword against the conspirators. It is said that he killed seven hundret Jews in one day.

I was unable to find any other sources for the claim, and could also not find any English-speaking sources.

When Khomeini instituted the Quds Day, did he say that one should emulate Imam Ali in killing 700 Jews?

  • 1
    Perhaps Khomeini's 1979 proclamation recommended emulating Imam Ali, but made no mention of Jews. If so, would that be a YES or a NO?
    – GEdgar
    Commented Jun 25, 2017 at 0:24
  • Wasn't there a recent questions about a claim that Mohammed killed 700 Jews? And not Imam Ali? Looks like flinging mud and looking where it sticks.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Jun 25, 2017 at 7:34
  • 3
    @gnasher729: Mohammed killing 700 Jews does not prevent Imam Ali from also killing 700 Jews. The question should be whether either claim is supported by historical evidence.
    – jamesqf
    Commented Jun 25, 2017 at 17:10
  • Relevant: lightiran.wordpress.com/the-sufferings-of-palestine/… Commented Aug 19, 2017 at 2:46

2 Answers 2


The 1999 book Khomeini: Life of the Ayatollah at page 280 says:

Khomeini believed that anyone who took up arms, directly or indirectly, against the Islamic government should suffer the death penalty. Whereas in defence of his arguments Montazeri cited examples of the clemency the Prophet had shown towards his enemies,[cites to reference 22 of chapter 14] to Khomeini it was a religious duty to follow the example of the Prophet's decisive action against the Jews of the Bani Qureizah, 700 of whom were, on a single day, beheaded for constant plotting against Islam. [cites to reference 23 of chapter 14]

However, the above had no indication of being related to Al-Quds Day.

Another answer refers to Khomeini's 08 August 1979 statement. However, this is not what the second reference in the OP is quoting from.

Instead, the German reference is going through chronologically the days starting with 08 August 1979.

Then is stated:

Am Freitag, dem 17.8.1979, hatten allein in Teheran 3,5 Millionen Menschen demonstriert. Laut Ettelaat sollen in den iranischen Provinzen ebenfalls einige Millionen Menschen aufmarschiert sein und tausende israelische und amerikanische Fahnen verbrannt haben. Nach den Demonstrationen meldete sich Khomeini noch einmal zu Wort:

[On Friday, 17.8.1979, 3.5 million people had demonstrated in Tehran alone. According to Ettelaat, a few million people were also deployed in the Iranian provinces, burning thousands of Israeli and American flags. After the demonstrations, Khomeini said:]


Imam Ali ist unser Vorbild. Er zog sein Schwert gegen die Verschwörer. Es ist überliefert, dass er siebenhundert Juden an einem Tag tötete. Auch der Imam der Muslime war rachsüchtig. Wenn es Zeit fürs Erbarmen ist, gibt es Erbarmen. Wenn es aber die Zeit der Rache ist, dann gibt es Rache. Uns geht es nicht um Ansehen im Iran, der islamischen Welt und im Ausland, wir wollen und werden nach göttlichem Willen handeln. Die Verschwörer sind Ungläubige. Auch die Verschwörer in Kurdistan sind Ungläubige. Die Regierung, die Sicherheitskräfte, die Armee müssen mit Härte auf sie reagieren. Falls sie Kompromisse schließen wollen, werden wir hart gegen sie vorgehen. Jeder Kompromiss hat Grenzen. Wir werden nicht zulassen, dass die Interessen der Muslime vernachlässigt werden. Die für die Revolution Verantwortlichen sind verpflichtet, alle Zeitungen zu verbieten, die gegen das Ziel der Revolution handeln. Autoren und Verantwortliche der Zeitungen, die sich gegen die Revolution stellen, müssen verurteilt werden.

[Imam Ali is our model. He drew his sword against the conspirators. It is surrendered that he killed seven hundred Jews in one day. The Imam of the Muslims was also vindictive. When there is time for mercy, there is mercy. But if it is the time of revenge, then there is revenge. We are not interested in Iran, the Islamic world and abroad, we want and will act according to God's will. The conspirators are unbelievers. The conspirators in Kurdistan are unbelievers. The government, the security forces, the army must react with hardship to them. If they want to make compromises, we will go hard against them. Every compromise has boundaries. We will not allow the interests of the Muslims to be neglected. The leaders responsible for the revolution are obliged to ban all newspapers which are against the goal of the revolution. The authors and those responsible for the newspapers who oppose the revolution must be condemned.]

So yes Khomeini said one should emulate Imam Ali's killing of 700 Jews, but this was not said in the sense that people should be killed on account of simply being Jewish.


According to The Nation - Remembering what the Supreme leaders of Iran said about Al-Quds day:

From the beginning of Iran's revolution, Imam Khomeini stated that one of his goals was the liberation of Palestine from its occupant government. After the revolution, all official ties to Israel were severed and Israel's embassy in Iran was granted to the Palestinians. When a new Israeli raid began on the south of Lebanon on Ramzan 13, 1399 AH (August 7, 1979), Imam Khomeini gave a speech in which he announced the last Friday of the month of Ramzan to be known as Al-Quds day:

"In the name of Allah, the All-Compassionate, the Most Merciful. For many years, I have been notifying the Muslims of the danger posed by the usurper Israel which today has intensified its savage attacks against the Palestinian brothers and sisters, and which, in the south of Lebanon in particular, is continually bombing Palestinian homes in the hope of crushing the Palestinian struggle.

"I ask all the Muslims of the world and the Muslim governments to join together to sever the hand of this usurper and its supporters. I call on all the Muslims of the world to select as Al-Quds Day the last Friday in the holy month of Ramzan — which is itself a determining period and can also be the determiner of the Palestinian people's fate — and through a ceremony demonstrating the solidarity of Muslims world-wide, announce their support for the legitimate rights of the Muslim people. I ask God Almighty for the victory of the Muslims over the infidels."

More speeches related to the above speech is quoted in this WordPress blog. But none of them say anything about Ali killing 700 Jews.

  • 3
    I don't see how the speech you quote is relevant. Your quote doesn't include anything about killing 700 Jews, but it's no evidence that it wasn't said (especially that it's probably not the whole speech).
    – ugoren
    Commented Aug 20, 2017 at 20:01

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