Friday, May 29, 2009

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah speech of May 25th, 2009

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah's speech delivered in the great ceremony held by Hezbollah to mark the ninth anniversary of the Resistance and Liberation Day on May 25, 2009

I take refuge in Allah from the stoned devil. In the Name of Allah, The Compassionate, The Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, The Lord of the world. Peace be on our Master and Prophet – The Seal of Prophets – Abi Al Qassem Mohamad Bin Abdullah and on his chaste and kind Household, chosen companions and all the prophets and messengers. Eminent scholars, brothers and sisters, dear ones, peace be upon you and Allah's blessing and mercy. First I want to congratulate you, all the Lebanese, resistant fighters, the Arab and Islamic world on the Day of Resistance and Liberation – the Day of Victory of Lebanon on its enemies. Our martyrs, families of martyrs, wounded, prisoners, fighters and steadfast people who have shouldered all the burdens of fighting, displacement and torture have presented this day as a gift to the whole country and the whole nation. We always want it to be a perfect national day, and we hope it is so. Our utmost care every year to mark this great occasion is not but to stress all the concepts of death-defying spirits, resistance and the values that have made this victory. We hope that the day will come when the Lebanese would feel more than any time in the past that this day is theirs which they would mark and celebrate. Likewise on this day, Lebanon – this small Arab country gained victory over the most powerful army in the region and one of the most powerful armies in the world with its will, people, the blood of its men, the tears of its orphans and the tolerance of its people and fighters. Lebanon could defeat the occupation which was taking control of the capital Beirut and about half of the land of the nation. But the resistance of the people of Beirut, Dahyieh, Mount Lebanon, Bekaa, the South and the North and the resistance of all the heroes in Lebanon could gradually expel the occupation troops from Beirut, Dahyieh, the Mount, West Bekaa, Sidon, Tyr and Nabatiyeh. And on such days, our people were storming into Bint Jbeil, Hasbaya, Kafar Shouba, Naqura, Alma Shaab and all the other front villages to return them to the nation. Thus it is a day of great pride. The victory that took place on such days had great, historic and serious repercussions on the entity of the enemy, the track of the Arab-Israeli struggle and on the Palestinian cause. It was one of the essential reasons that founded the basis of Al Aqsa blessed Intifada in Palestine which has caused great turning developments.

Brothers and sisters! As I promised you days ago during the festival held in Nabatiyeh, I want today in this great occasion to make an address to our nation and our dear people in Mount Lebanon with all its sects. I will handle the truth and the nature of the alliance between us and The Free Patriotic Movement (FPM). Thirdly I want to talk about Beirut and for the last time about the events that took place in Beirut a year ago so that there remains no ambiguity and no place for any ill-investments. I want to talk about Der Spiegel and the new conspiracy. Finally I will speak about Dahyieh, its peoples, resistance and elections. But first - and since the speech comes at a very sensitive stage – I will talk with a great sense of responsibility. I hope that the dear audience – as I will be obliged in my speech to mention names of leaders and parties so as to be frank and make some reconsiderations that would be the base of a coming stage – would help me and serve the goal of this speech on this great and blessed day. So when I mention names and parties on which they have any emotional reservations or the like, I hope the audience would not make any insulting gesture upon the mentioning of whatever name or party.

First and as a lead-in to these topics I must recall and stress that since the establishment of Hezbollah in 1982, we devoted our lives and prime age for a single, just and clear cause which is the cause of resistance and liberating the land and prisoners, defending the nation and restoring dignities. Thus we were far from internal causes, struggles and politics. We were not even a part in the Lebanese political equation. Many used to blame us saying you have the responsibility of resistance as well as internal responsibilities in fighting corruption, changing the statue quo, developing and reforming the regime so as to serve and develop the deprived regions through the authority and not limiting them to self-capacities. Still we paid for this inclination and this priority which we used to insist on incessantly. Even after 2000, we did not partake in the Lebanese internal equation forcefully. We had a strong belief that the Israelis were preparing for war and that Israel which was defeated on May 25 will not remain silent on Lebanon and the Islamic resistance. It will not submit to the outcome of the major historic defeat. Thus we carried on preparing and getting ready to confront any Israeli war which we sought will be certainly waged. We didn't know the timing but we always asked Allah Almighty to delay its timing so that we get appropriately and fully ready. Still the events that took place in Lebanon in 2005 when the whole country was on the line of an earthquake and the great and serious developments took place after the assassination of martyr Premier Rafic Hariri, we felt that our homeland, resistance and people are at risk. Then yes, without forsaking the resistance and any detail or aspect of the resistance, we partook in the Lebanese political equation, not for the sake of power, posts or profits but for the sake of partaking in preserving our country which is at stake along with its points of strength on top of which is the resistance. Thus all through the past years – from 1982 onwards - we were keen on establishing good relations with all parties and avoiding getting into conflict with any party even if we weren't at good terms with it.

From this lead in we move to Mount Lebanon, Beirut and Dahyieh. I like to speak about Mount Lebanon first. I would like to talk about our Druze people in Mount Lebanon. I would like to underline that since the establishment of Hezbollah, we have had good relations with the Druze, not only in Mount Lebanon, but across Lebanon including Hasbaya, Rashaya and the other regions and with all their political leaders, factions, religious authorities and some elites. We built social and popular relations due to living as neighbors in common regions. We never sensed a problem between Shiites and Druze in general and between Hezbollah and the Druze in particular. What helped that things move in such a good and positive direction is what I mentioned in the introduction: that we didn't get engaged in any struggle with anyone, and we did not compete with anyone over a ministry, parliamentary post, other profits, administration or any internal affair. Our relations were good with all parties on top of which was the Progressive Socialist Party. Our relation with the Progressive Socialist Party remained tact even after 2005 when the Lebanese were divided into March 8 and March 14 camps. Indeed I will not go now to make an open reconsideration for this relation pursuant to what we all committed ourselves to and also as a show of respect to the other party because the Progressive Socialist Party did not go into an open reconsideration and was keen to preserve the atmosphere of dialogue and calmness. I will only mention the reason behind the problem. The problem began after a certain speech referred to the resistance and its arms with hard description. Since then, relations deteriorated to reach their most serious levels between 7 and 11 May, 2008. Minister Talal Irslan played a pivotal role to contain the problem. All concerned parties cooperated whether on the Shiite, Druze or national level. Thus was our going to Doha. We have to acknowledge that MP Walid Jumblat had a clear inclination towards calming down the situation and towards dialogue. He played a positive role during the Doha dialogue conference and afterwards. Many meetings took place between the Progressive Socialist Party and us (Hezbollah) in the residence of Talal Irslan which helped to calm souls and address any problem that might take place under the authority of the state institutions on top of which is the Lebanese Army and the Internal Security Forces. Today, I would like to say that we are all concerned in communicating, meeting and making dialogue. I am concerned in making reconsideration. After the June 7 elections, regardless of the results all the Lebanese have to meet and convene. That's because we cannot build a country on the foundation of conflict, isolation and separation. I like to stop here tonight. Yet tonight I like to assure our Druze brothers, on behalf of Hezbollah and the Amal Movement that we adhere to coexistence in Dahyieh, Mount Lebanon, Rashaya, Western Bekaa, Hasbayya, Marjeyoun, Beirut and every other region as one people away from enmity, friendlessness and aversion. We are ready for dialogue, meeting, frankness and for dispersing doubts and confusions from both sides. I also would like to warn the Druze against those who seek to present Hezbollah and the Shiites as your enemies, and I likewise warn the Shiites against those who seek to present the Druze, particularly the Progressive Socialist Party, as their enemies. We are not enemies. The Israelis, the Zionist project and those who want to destroy Lebanon are the ones who want to create a state of enmity between the Lebanese families, sects and forces. Whenever a dispute, fighting, confusion or struggle takes place anywhere, they seek to consolidate this enmity instead of seeking to address its repercussions and uproot it. I want this point to be clear and fixed since it represents our will as a whole.

I need to make a short study here on elections 2005, elections 2009, our alliances in more than one districts and our decisive inclination to vote for the Change and Reform tickets. What I said in the introduction applies also on the Christian level especially on the Free Patriotic Movement. From the beginning too, we were never psychologically far from each other. Even before 2005, in the 1990s and even after 2000, we used to communicate and make dialogue via leaders and cadres from Hezbollah and the FPM. Even in the hardest times for the FPM in Lebanon when it was not at good terms with the Lebanese authority and Syria, we kept in touch though I cannot claim that we had an organized relation, understanding or even a prelude to an alliance. Perhaps the first contact which had a good political and emotional impact was Al-Manar’s interview with General Michel Aoun before his return to Lebanon. This interview could leave a positive impression on both parties. Yet even after Aoun returned, we did not establish an alliance or agreement. This is normal because we were in two opposite political camps. We were in the March 8 Alliance, and Aoun was in the March 14 alliance. In fact, the FPM was the essence of the March 14 Alliance. Now they took the name of March 14 alone. This is an internal affair between them and the FPM in which we do not intervene.

Despite our political differences, mutual respect and feelings were preserved. We have had a common experience in Haret Hreik on the level of municipal elections, and it was an encouraging experience. Then we formed the Quartet Alliance. In the Quartet Alliance, the alliance between Hezbollah and Amal was natural and I talked about that in Nabatiyeh. Having the Progressive Socialist Party in the Alliance is also natural because of the deep relations between us. The Alliance also included the Future Movement because months before the elections were to take place; we had organized dialogue with martyr Premier Rafic Hariri. We could reach political and election agreements which was in need for some final touches. Things were moving naturally towards an election alliance. The dispute was over the Christian ally or partner. After the martyrdom of Premier Rafic Hariri, we continued with (MP) Saad Hariri what we started on the Quartet Alliance. Then we did not have any problem to have the FPM (General Aoun) as the Christian partner as our partner. In fact, this was the best option for us on the psychological, political and emotional levels. He didn't cause any embarrassment for us whatsoever whereas other alliances did cause us great embarrassment. This was what we told our allies in the Quartet. But the other party in the Quartet refused Aoun (FPM) as the Christian partner. In fact, they were not at good terms with Aoun (FPM) since his return to Lebanon. The election and political dispute between them took place before any contact between us and Aoun. Here comes the importance of the conclusion I will reach in a while. We were not part of this dispute and battle. We wanted to make this alliance work because one of its main objectives was to calm the situation down in Lebanon and prevent internal sedition, particularly between Sunnis and Shiites.

We have seen that in 2005 elections, all the tickets which stood in face of the Future Movement were accused of being the killers or allies with the killers and whoever votes for them would be as voting for the killers. This might be tolerated in a Christian or Sunnite district but as the competition was between the Future Movement, Hezbollah and Amal Movement and such rhetoric was used in elections 2005, the elections as well as the entire country would have been flared up. So one of the essential aims of the Quartet Alliance was safeguarding the country against any sedition. This goal was fulfilled then. But they did not want General Aoun in the Alliance. So we differed on the Christian partner. Thus the alliance did not turn to a quintet, sextet or septet. It remained a quartet. To safeguard the Quartet alliance and its goal which aimed at preventing sedition and protecting the resistance we had also to commit ourselves to it in the electoral districts of Beirut, Baabda-Aley and West Bekaa. They sought to let us commit ourselves to it in the other districts but we did not. Thus in 2005, it was known that in Zahle, Northern Matn, Jbeil and Kisirwan, in the North, Zgharta, Batroun and Kora, our constituencies voted for the FPM, Maradeh Movement and our allies and friends in the Islamic and national forces. So we did not head towards a vertical and horizontal vote that covered all districts. Here I want to emphasize that the ongoing dispute between the constituents of the March 14 Alliance (particularly the Christians in the alliance) and General Aoun (FPM) was present before any Hezbollah – FPM understanding or alliance. Today, this is the central point they are targeting as they can’t find anything else to aim at.

After the elections, along with our keenness to preserve our relation with the Quartet Alliance and our presence in the government which was formed then, we took the initiative to continue our contact and searched for preludes for dialogue with the FPM because the outcome of the elections proved forcefully that Aoun (FPM) and his allies represent the majority of Christians. So if we were searching for a Christian partner who represents the majority, we had then to open this dialogue and make this relation. We started a lengthy dialogue which lasted for months and yielded the Agreement Paper which was signed during a meeting in Mar Michael Church on February 6, 2006. The agreement was open, transparent and clear. It was announced in a press conference. It was all "over the table" and nothing was "under the table". General Aoun and I said then that this agreement would be the platform for other agreements and not in face of anyone. It didn't target anyone but it rather aimed at integration. The content of this agreement was adopted to a great extent whether on the national dialogue table or in the oath speech made by His Excellence President Michel Suleiman. We got engaged in the experience of cooperation between Hezbollah and the FPM. The outcome of this experience after years reinforced trust and respect between the two parties. Here I give my testimony based on this experience. You know I am frank and faithful when saying the truth and I don't fear what I say. Anyway, my speech today does not have any election aims. It might be useful or harmful. I don't know whether what I will say now would benefit or harm General Aoun. Anyway, the truth must be said. I will present the conclusion we reached from this experience to tell you and our constituencies which will vote on June 7 to the Opposition in all the districts: Do not act on the bases of the Quartet. Our alliance is not occasional or a transient election alliance. It is rather a national political alliance which remained steadfast in the most difficult situations and in face of the hardest challenges. It might as well be sought as the basis of true national partnership.

Our experience revealed that General Aoun is a leader who has a clear vision and who has his own project and program. He is an independent man in the full sense of the word. Embassies have no influence on this man. No one can dictate on this man anything against his convictions and viewpoint. (And he is stubborn in that. It's we who know after our experience over these few years.) Also he is transparent and honest. He does not show one fact and hide another. He has nothing under the table. This man likes to be respected and respects other. Through my personal experience with him and the experience of Hezbollah with the FPM, he is devoted to Lebanon as one nation and state and as one people. At the same time, he is one of the most loyal Christian to Lebanese Christians, their role, dignity and future. Most important is that this man – from our norms in evaluation of men –is faithful. We have witnessed this faithfulness in his position in July War knowing that our Agreement then was only months' old. The whole world was attacking us whether the G8, G7, the UN Security Council, the regional states, America, France and the West. Here I will mention one point to let you know to what extent the position taken by Aoun was estranged in some milieus. One man – whose name I will mention now because there is no need for that – when describing the position of Aoun during July War and his bargaining on the resistance (and this was said on the television and not a private piece of information) said: Wait a couple of days when Hezbollah would be defeated and Israel gains victory. General Aoun will get insane and you will look for him in one of the in insane asylums in Paris. The experience proved that the so sayer was the only insane in the country. This faithfulness was shown in the political stance in July War. Here is a man who agreed on something with another and he put himself, his movement, political future and all whom he leads stick to this position based on faithfulness to the vision and the clarity, transparency and truthfulness which I talked about a while ago. This is what our experience proved.

I will lead you to the way leading to Hezbollah. With force, bullying and threatening nobody takes anything from us because we do not fear death, threatening and terrifying. With faithfulness you take us along with everything we have. We are faithful to the faithful. This faithfulness is today the bases of the current electoral alliance. The campaign of the other party especially the Christians of March 14 on General Aoun and the FPM in the elections is based on his alliance with Hezbollah. They are trying to hold him responsible: You made an alliance with Hezbollah! But back in 2005, he wasn't making an alliance with Hezbollah. It was you who were making an alliance and an agreement with Hezbollah. So it is falsehood and an attempt to deceive and neglect the Christian masses. This rhetoric is 4 (and not one) years old. They lined up falsities: They accused him of three-party rule which is fabricated. (When I say they accused him that means that he and we along with the rest of the opposition forces are in the accused). They fabricated the falsity of three-party rule and accused us all of it but the one targeted at by this lie is General Aoun. They accused him of working at shortening the term of the president. They accused him of what they called the third republic. What is even stranger is what I heard yesterday from one of Matn candidates who interpreted the third republic as an Islamic state special for Hezbollah! This needs no comments. They also say that should the Opposition win, Sayyed Nasrallah (and not General Aoun) will rule. Well they know that whoever wins the elections, he can't rule alone. No sect, party, movement or leader is able to rule alone. All of these accusations aimed at the Christian electors. Why do they fabricate all these lies? That's because they can't find anything to talk about. They can't say he doesn't have a vision. They can't say he is not independent or not keener over the sovereignty than they are. They can't say he was a militia man. They can't say he is corrupt. They can't say that he achieved leadership by being appointed. They can't say he has no history. They can't say he goes for federation and dividing the country. Thus when they can't find anything in him or his movement to speak about, they started fabricating lies and attacking. Finally I say frankly and boldly that the mere existence of this man and movement is a real national guarantee for one and a united Lebanon and for the rise of the responsible, just, capable and strong state.

The third topic is Beirut. When we talk about Beirut, some suppose that we are foreigners and strangers to it knowing that Beirut is the city where all Lebanese sects live. It sums up Lebanon with its religious and political diversity. Well, we are part of the residents of Beirut. This is one. Two: Hezbollah and I in particular don’t have to make introductions about the extent of our faith, adherence and commitment to cooperation and unity among Muslims, particularly between Shiites and Sunnis. This is a matter of faith. It is neither a matter of tactics nor a circumstantial matter. All through the past years and especially after 1982 and since we get acquainted to one another, we have never had problems with you and you haven’t had any problem with us. You know that, don't you? In the wake of political divisions, especially after 2006 war, when we demanded a unity government and considered the government back then as one that cannot protect and build the country. Following the major repercussions of the July War, a new division was established and we became Loyalty and Opposition blocs. It was normal that demonstrations and sit-inns take place besides political speeches. Now I want your (O audience) testimony and that of the residents of Beirut, the Lebanese people and the peoples of both the Arab and Islamic worlds and all who know Arabic or read it translated. Since the establishment of Hezbollah in 1982 till this very day, have you ever read a text or heard a speech by me or by any of my brethrens with a religious, sectarian or instigative nature? Well as far as sects and factions are concerned, when there are disputes with others, we talk as they do. We have the right to express ourselves in the proper way but we never resorted to sectarian and factional rhetoric. This is opposite to what was practiced by many all through the past years and are still practicing till now. When we differed with Future Movement, we never referred to Shiites and Sunnites. We never assailed Sunnis whereas newspapers, magazines, statements and speeches did assail Shiites. Well, your problem is not with Shiites but with me as Hezbollah. Then speak about Hezbollah as I talk about Future Movement. Speak about me as I speak about so and so political leader. As far as we are concerned, we never resorted to any sectarian or factional speech. We rather consider that forbidden and tantamount to treason.

Political events developed. Before May 5 and May 7 (2008), the Opposition sensed that thing are over. Nothing is yielding any results: neither cries nor sit-ins did work. Frankly we couldn't get out of the sit-in. We couldn't but wait for a whole year until it is time for elections. We have to remain for a whole year as political and media opposition, preserve the set-in until the elections are due. Then we would go for voting. Neither calling for a national unity nor dialogue nor early elections yielded any results. On the other hand, a scheme was being made. It was a project to target the resistance. The elements of this project were completed before May 5, 2008. The timing of Friday's speech – the day on which we graduated university students- was in the afternoon. Many Lebanese especially the residents of Beirut did not hear it. The speech was sectioned. The phrase "glorious day" was highlighted. But why I said that and in what framework it came weren't made clear. It was met with much political and media talk, attacks, instigations and denunciations; whereas all the questions I posed and the given I presented weren't answered or denied in ten days of comments on my word. I hope tonight the residents of Beirut and the Lebanese people would give me 15 minutes. Then let them make their judgments.

A scheme was being prepared. Militias were being formed and camouflaged by security firms. The fighters were sent to a number of Arab countries to receive training. I will not mention names to avoid troubles. Offices for security firms were opened in the various regions and especially in Beirut. Did Beirut need such armed offices? That's the question. If you say that your project is about building the state, why do you need armed militias under the title of security firms for? If you are saying that you (the state), army institutions and security forces are the parties which defend all citizens, what for then do you need these militias, arms and RPJs besides mobilizing, training and arming thousands? I hope that residents of Beirut would pose these questions on the leadership of the Future Movement and the March 14 bloc. Indeed no one showed up to deny this point. Let them say that they did not establish security firms, arm and train fighters in Arab states!

Second: thousands of armed fighters were brought about to Beirut. There was nothing going on in Beirut at that time that necessitated that. As for the sit-in it was limited to the area of a parking lot. That was in addition to a number of men guarding the camps. Does that necessitate bringing about thousands of fighters? Was there anything threatening Beirut and its residents? Was there anything threatening the government? No! The stance of the Opposition was clear. The matter is over. It's waiting until parliamentary elections are due in June 7 (2009). So why were thousands of fighters brought about to Beirut from the North, Bekaa and other regions? Can you deny that you brought about thousands of fighters? For ten days you attacked me but you could not deny the given I presented.

Third: The then government of PM Fouad Saniora held a meeting (which was not on its schedule) and discussed the telecommunication network of the Resistance and the head of the Airport Security Apparatus. Why was it not on the cabinet’s schedule? Why is the rush for? Couldn't that wait for a month, two, three or four? O people of Beirut have you ever asked Premier Fouad Saniora this question? Notice that before the cabinet’s decision, a panel of senior officers was formed including Internal Security chief General Ashraf Rifi and Major General George Khouri as well as a third officer whose name I forgot. (These officers can deny my speech if it was not true.) I believe the panel included three officers but these two gentlemen were in the panel. They contacted us when the talk started promulgating in the country. We discussed the telecommunication network. They said: Do you intend to extend a cable to Matn, Jbeil or Kisirwan what might raise fears? (That means that the network would have internal interests). We told them no we have no such intentions. They said: Are you sure? We said: Indeed, what has the network to do with Jbeil, Kisirwan, Matn, the North and Tripoli? They said: you have a cable extended from Dahyieh to the South. Do you intend to extend another to Baabda, Alley and Shouf (What makes Mr. Walid Jumblat worried)? We said: We pledge that this network will not extend outside Dahyieh neither to Shouf nor Alley nor Baabda. All what we need from the coastal line is that the cable reaches the south. Nothing else! As for Beirut, there is a cable extended from Dahyieh to Beirut. This is the crucial point. (Listen to these details. They are important. We can't take each other by falsities and ruin the country with allegations and speeches.) Well the cable passes in front of the French Embassy. We told them: Cut it off then. (I am now disclosing a secret because I am obliged to.) But do you promise us that in case of another Israeli war against Lebanon – God forbids – we or you would extend that cable again. They said: Yes we promise you that. We said: Great. The issue was over. They conveyed the results to Premier Saniora. They reported to us that everything was OK. Things were perfect. You remember that the government then formed a panel which included the interior minister and the defense minister. That penal charged these officers. As far as we knew then, the issue was over. Here I ask a question: Who came after a week, ten days or two weeks and pressed on them to raise the issue again during the cabinet meeting from outside the schedule? This is one question.

The second question is: I want to ask the residents of Beirut to pose this question on Premier Saniora and the ministers in the government: Who is mostly interested in dismantling Hezbollah’s telecommunications network? Doesn't Beirut and its residents back the Resistance? So who is interested in dismantling this network and considering everyone involved in it and outlaw, plunderer of public wealth and violator of sovereignty who should be put in jail, tried and punished? Is that for the interest of the Lebanese government? Well, notice that this network has been operating since before the year 2000 and under all the past governments. It is not new and certainly it was not built after 2005. I claimed that this issue was discussed for long hours in the cabinet meeting and resulted in disputes among ministers. Some ministers said that such a decision might ruin the country. Still others insisted on it and threatened to resign if it was not adopted. (Let them show up and deny what I am saying and say that I am lying on the Lebanese and the residents of Beirut. That was said but no one listened to this saying which was articulated by some rational ministers... Notice that not all the ministers who were at the meeting are accomplices in this decision. You then made external contacts to safeguard your decision. You agreed on it in a moonless night and issued it at dawn. You bargained on it. Well I agree that the residents of Beirut say whatever they want on May7, but I call on the residents of Beirut also to ask the Future Movement and Premier Fouad Saniora and the ministers in his government: Why did you make such a decision in such a way? (What are the reasons behind such a decision? Who has interest in it? Still they indeed know the repercussions and risks of such a decision.

Nobody until now has answered what I said on Friday. I have asked the brethrens in Hezbollah all these ten days not to make any comments. I don't want anyone to defend me even if I was insulted. True some brethrens such as Premier Omar Karami said that this is an answer to the speeches made by Future Movement. Minister Suleiman Franjiyeh was obliged during a televised interview to explain my speech because people didn't hear it. I thank him for that. Many other brethrens did so also. But I asked that no one from Hezbollah make any answer. I also asked them to observe if there are any comments other than on the word "glorious". No there were no other comments or denials. We said tomorrow they will show up to deny but that won't do them any good anymore. I say that there was a scheme of war in Beirut and the fighters were deployed to serve that purpose in apartments, headquarters, neighborhoods and streets so that the war would last for weeks. I have details on that. Well they surprised us by the decision on May 5. I tell you frankly that we demonstrated, cut roads with sand blocks and crippled activity in the airport, the port and the capital. Yet we did not go for war. Still we had decided that this won't be like previous cases when we were fired at and we would remain silent. That's because if fire was opened this would be the introduction for a pre-planned war. Thus action must be swift, decisive, limited and final. This is what took place on May 7. I have said on Friday that May 7 events prevented sedition between Sunnis and Shiites and prevented war from erupting in Beirut as planned. We all know that if conflict erupted between the people of Beirut and lasted for weeks, it won't be limited to Beirut but rather sedition will expand to cover all Lebanese cities and towns. It will not be also limited to Sunnites and Shiites but it will also expand to cover all Lebanese sects. That means the country would be lost. I said that May 7 prevented sedition and war, prevented turning Beirut to confrontation lines and to a hollow land, prevented the serious and catastrophic fighting of brothers, prevented giving a blow to the Resistance and prevented ordeal between the resistance and the Army (and that was not the goal). Consequently these events put the foundations of taking Lebanon out of the crisis and we went to Doha. Based on the risks it helped transcending and goals it helped achieving, I called it a glorious day. I also accept that May 7 was a painful and sad day. I also accept the remark of Premier Salim Hoss and I see it as a fatherly remark. I also accept all remarks made by our brethren leaders and scholars especially Sunni opposition leaders. Indeed it was a sad day because victims fell in Beirut, Mount Lebanon, Dahyieh, Helba and Tripoli. Indeed it was a sad day because of materialistic losses here and there. It was sad because it left tough feelings between Lebanese. Also it was a sad day because the resistance that made freedom, pride and glory to Lebanon, all the Lebanese people and the Lebanese capital was forsaken. It stood alone to defend its existence, honor and arms. It was a sad day but here I am telling you: No matter how great risks, dangers, sorrows and pains that resulted after May 7, they remain trivial compared to what was planned for Beirut and Lebanon through the decision of May 5. Thus this was something greater and more glorious.

Brothers and sisters! I want to assert to the residents of Beirut and I don't want to say the Sunnites in Lebanon. The Sunnites in Lebanon are divided to opposition and loyalists. I want to tell the Sunni loyalists (since we have divisions in this country: Druze opposition, Druze loyalists, Sunni opposition, Sunni loyalists….) and via them all the Lebanese: On this day I address all saying: When we fought in southern Lebanon, we did not do that with a religious or a sectarian background. Our eyes weren't taken by Bint Jbeil more than by Shabaa and Hasbaya or Jizzine. We had our eye set on every Lebanese village and town in the south. We wanted all Lebanese people to be free and proud. We wanted everyone involved in collaborating with Israel in the border line to return to his country. We offered our blood for Lebanon's pride and dignity and to safeguard its people. Here I tell you: We offered the blood of our dear men, sons, leaders and scholars. I tell all Lebanese - Sunnis, Shiites, Druze and Christians alike: Your blood is ours; your flesh is ours; your soul is ours; your fate is ours. We cannot but be as such.

Now I move to the Der Spiegel report. To begin with, the scheme against Lebanon is still there. Few days ago, I said during the opening of the resistance conference on awareness and memory that the last arrow in the quiver of the US-Zionist project to confront resistance movements in our Arab and Islamic region is creating an Arab-Iranian and a Sunni-Shiite conflict. They don’t have anything else. This is their last arrow. Here I am telling you, that after (and even before) July War in 2006 and the events that followed, the last battle which some are planning to wage against Hezbollah is to falsely accuse it of assassinating martyr Premier Rafiq Hariri. This is the last battle. This scheme still exists. Surely all of you got acquainted to what Der Spiegel Daily reported. I don't have to read it. We have an explanation for the Der Spiegel report. Frankly and transparently what the report stated is extremely dangerous. It is not a news report that we comment on or not. I agree with Hezbollah’s statement that was issued hours after the report was published in Der Spiegel that this is not the first time that newspapers fabricate such reports. This is not the first time, isn't it? Few months earlier, the Kuwaiti Assiyasa Newspaper (Some youths might not remember the Sawt al-Adala Daily in Lebanon. It matches this newspaper anyway) fabricated and published articles and reports about telephone lines and scores of witnesses at a time it showed its conviction to the officers and moved towards finger pointing at Hezbollah. Well if three witnesses were about to ruin everything. Now we have scores of witnesses! So only God knows what is hidden. That's what the Kuwaiti Assiyasa Daily wrote. Back then, we refrained from issuing any statement given that the Kuwaiti Assiyasa is widely known for lying and fabricating news. No one worldwide also commented on the issue. Another Gulf Daily which I don't want to name and an Egyptian newspaper within months also raised the issue specifically after my well-known speech on Gaza during the war on Gaza. They answered my speech and some Egyptian newspapers wrote that this man is addressing Egypt while it is Hezbollah who killed Hariri! Still we did not comment.

However, the Der Spiegel report is different because the atmosphere, given, timing and exploitation - particularly by Israel –aroused our attention. I will highlight this issue because it is of great importance and seriousness. When the Der Spiegel report was posted, the Al-Arabiya Channel instantly made it its main headline and consumed hours of satellite broadcasting on it. The channel had sought some satisfactory statements but it was surprised by reservation. It did not find anyone to join its campaign. Who really joined in? Israel joined in and within hours not days. Few hours later, Liebermann showed up and presented himself as someone who gives heed to the law and said that based on the Der Spiegel report, an international arrest warrant must be issued against Hezbollah’s Secretary General. If the state of Lebanon does not hand him in, then he must be detained by force. Even more dangerous than Lieberman’s comment was Ehud Barak’s. That's dangerous. If his words are but a slip of the tongue, they are dangerous. If his words are facts and given, they are more dangerous then. He literarily said that the international court’s decision (He did not say the Der Spiegel report) to consider Hezbollah responsible for killing the former Prime Minister of Lebanon, indicates once more the nature and office of Hezbollah, not only concerning fighting us (the Israelis) but also as regarding fighting the Lebanese mentality. What was he talking about? If he did not comprehend what he read and mixed between the Der Spiegel report (which was referring to sources close to the international court, then his slip of the tongue is being exploited. However, if he said more, that will be extremely dangerous. See the Israelis who commented: Liebermann, Barak, Shahak, Haim Ramon… the Israeli Press the following day wrote headlines like: Hezbollah Killed Hariri. So it's over! In Israel, they accused, charged and issued statements. They are now demanding punishment and if the international community did not punish, Israel - the guardian of rights of the Sunnites and Jamaa and the avenger for the blood of martyrs will independently punish Hezbollah and its Secretary General.

Taking into consideration what Israelis said and how they dealt with and commented on the issue, it was not anymore a report or an article. It was more dangerous and serious. As for the timing, there are elections due in Lebanon. Israelis as well as the Americans are expressing deep concern about the opposition winning the elections. So how are we to cripple elections and influence them? Well, Der Spiegel is ready. Also regarding timing, efforts to dismantle more spy networks (some of which have executive missions) are ongoing at a fast pace. And what will be exposed later will be even greater. Hence, the Israelis want to save themselves before interrogations reveal that their networks are involved in the assassination. So let's turn the tables on our arch-enemy who is Hezbollah. As for regional timing, a new government is required to acknowledge the two-state solution and the right of return while it is moving towards more settlements and the judaizing of Al Qods and turning Jordan to an alternative country. So we have to redirect things and take the region to another place. They want to make Lebanon, the conflict in Lebanon and the dangerous and serious accusations in Lebanon the top priority, not Palestine. Also in timing, an Israeli maneuver is seeking whatever makes it legal. Still more the choice of nationalization is taken seriously and adopted by Obama's administration which is marketing it in the Arab world.

Brothers and sisters! Timing is not the most dangerous element. The strategy is more dangerous. When Premier Hariri was assassinated, many parties had worked to point at Shiites to create war between Sunnites and Shiites in Lebanon in the peak of agitated emotions. Now what is Der Spiegel saying? What are Liebermann, Barak and Shahak among other Israelis saying? What are the black hands which make such fabrications saying? It is saying: O Sunnis! Whether you used to like martyr Premier Rafic Hariri or not, the ones who killed your leader are the Shiites in Lebanon and particularly Hezbollah. So it's they whom you must avenge from, fight and show enmity to. So they don't want the truth; they are not searching for the truth; they are rather seeking to create sedition in the country. This was no soon sensed by rational politicians in Lebanon who talked about the attempt to revive sedition. Isn't that so? It's normal that Speaker Berri, President Suleiman, General Aoun, Premier Karami, Minister Franjiyeh and the other parties and the Islamic Labor Party take the position they did. But I hereby give my testimony even to those I differ with. I praise specifically the courage and bravery in the position of MP Walid Jumblat yesterday. Indeed his reading is right. Here I repeat his very words: The Lebanese are to deal with the Der Spiegel report as being more dangerous even than the Ain el-Roummaneh bus. This is why we have to act responsibly. When the news was published (even before we made any statement), one of the Lebanese channels was making an interview with Premier Karami. As the report was published, the journalist asked him to comment. Every rational man would answer that this is a plot to create sedition. This was how Premier Karami answered. He did not say it is journalistic news and we have to wait for what the international court says!

Anyway, few weeks ago I said that after the release of the four officers our demand is that doors don't remain open before the international court before those who have misled the investigation for four years and fabricated witnesses and falsities. Yet regretfully, I tell you that our information shows that doors are still open before them. We might know some of them but we might not know others. Thus I call upon you all to act responsibly. As for us, we consider that what the Der Spiegel wrote and what the Israeli leaders said hours later are nothing but an Israeli accusation to Hezbollah of having assassinated martyr Premier Rafic Hariri and we will deal with it accordingly.

As for Dahyieh, What shall I say about Dahyieh, the residents of Dahyieh, the natives of its towns and those who emigrated and were displaced to it? Since the very beginning, this region stood up to occupation with such a will, bravery and pride and humiliated the enemy's arrogance at the gates of Khalde. This very Dahyieh carried on resisting until it drove out the occupation from Beirut and Mount Lebanon. Dahyieh then turned to be the background of the Resistance as were Baalbeck and Hermel. It did not spare any son, money, support and pain and tolerated repercussions and punishment. This Dahyieh was always faithful to the political choice of the resistance. It voted, demonstrated and showed up forcefully in all occasions whether to support Gaza, Najaf, Palestine, the Arab causes, the resistance and the martyrs. It used to answer the call whether in rainy and frosty winter days or hot summer days. During July War, when they poured their grudge and savagery on its men, women, children, edifices and institutions, they wanted to shake its faith. Still its faith only grew. They wanted to shake its will; but it grew more willful. They wanted to defame its name; but it became like the sun that shines on the Globe. Dahyieh is the city of love and support. It is the cozy bosom that welcomed all who were displaced to it from the south, Bekaa, the North, Mount Lebanon and even Beirut due to the Israeli aggression, civil war and the negligence of distant regions. Dahyieh was there to all who came. It was the tender father, the loving mother and the supporting brother. It soothed pains and wiped away the dust of displacement and turned the refuge to a nation. No estrangement! No sadness! Yes they wanted Dahyieh to become a misery belt as Sayyed Moussa Assader said but it was rather a dignity belt. They wanted Dahyieh a compound for misery; but it was the fountainhead of hope and pride. They wanted Dahyieh to be always on the margins of this nation; but it was the heart of the nation. They wanted it to be a forgotten land and a devastated land in July but it plunged into the memory of history and the conscience of the whole nation and drew the future. O people, families, emigrants, men, women and children of Dahyieh! I address you with the very words I addressed the people of the South days ago. Peace be on you O people who own proud spirits, zealous souls and chaste and kind bosoms. You never favored the obedience of the ignoble to the death of the generous. When the ignoble Zionist backed by the ignoble of the world put you before two choices: war or humiliation, you shouted with your voices, blood, awareness and great determination – old and young, men and women alike - the cry of your Imam, the Master of Martyrs, in historic Karbala: Humiliation, how remote!

You offered great sacrifices. You were patient in the battlefield. Thus were the resistance, jihad and victory in May 2000 and July 2006. Brothers and sisters! We are waiting for you on June 7. June 7 elections have a new characteristic. We made an alliance and will vote for an alliance which is based on a clear political vision. We will vote for a firm and solid alliance. The most evident proof of its firmness is July War and the victory of Lebanon and its people. We will vote for an alliance which we support with our minds and hearts. In Baabda in 2005, I acknowledge I was a little tough on people because I was seeing many risks. So when you voted in Baabda your minds were in one place and your hearts in another. But on June 7, you will vote and both your minds and hearts are in one place. On June 7, I advice those among you who vote here not to stay home. (You know the elections law does not allow but those registered in the district of the town to vote in it. So some of you might have to vote in other districts). Know that there is a great responsibility on your shoulders. On June 7, show up in polling stations to save Lebanon from the mentality of monopolizing and abolishment and take it – shoulder next to shoulder and hand in hand - to the mentality of national sharing and national unity and cooperation. So you have great responsibilities lying ahead. Before June 7 and between May 31 and June 4 Israel will conduct maneuvers. We made a call. A while ago, I have heard that the President had called for the Higher Defense Council to convene tomorrow to discuss the Israeli maneuvers. This is how a state really becomes a state and starts to gain the trust of its people. The President is calling on the Higher Defense Council to convene, is calling on the army to be fully ready, and is showing the world Israel's practices, violations, maneuvers and spying networks. True His Excellence, the President is assuming his responsibilities, but we also thank others who are performing their obligations.

On these days, in as much as I call on you to be cautious, I call on you to be assured. As I said on my prolonged speech on maneuvers, I see any Israeli aggression or other action as remote (this is a political analysis). Still be cautious. When we put see such action as remote, we do not bargain on the noble feelings of the Zionists, the support of America to Lebanon, the conscience of the UN but rather on our people, army and resistance. On the Day of Victory and Resistance on May 25, I again tell Barak (who wants to take me to the international court) and the government of the enemy which is threatening Lebanon: During your maneuvers, the Islamic resistance along with the Lebanese National Army will be mobilized and on high alert. I promise that if anyone even thought of making a stupid move of staging an aggression against Lebanon, our response will be great. If anyone thought of trespassing into our land with five or even ten battalions, I pledge in the name of Abbass Musawi, Ragheb Harb, Imad Moghniyah, Sayyed Moussa Sadre and all of the founders and the leaders of the resistance, the resistance will destroy your battalions and your army in south Lebanon. During the maneuvers, we will be ready but no one will see us and our arms. No one will discover our place. My advice to the Lebanese Security Forces – which is working industriously these days along with the Public Security - is: there is an opportunity for a vast activity because during these four days, Israeli spy cells will be fully mobilized to spy on the fully ready resistance during the maneuvers. No body will see our arms. Let no one feel frightened. Let the country remain at ease and work for the elections. But we will be awake day and night as long as an enemy is threatening our people, nation, blood and dignity.

Brothers and sisters! Until June 7, let you flags be held up high and the signs of victory adorn your faces. Hundred returns but with the liberation complete with the restoration of the Shabaa Farms and the Kafasrshouba Hills to Lebanon. The greatest feast for our nation is when Palestine returns to the Palestinians and Al Qods to its rightful owners. Long live Lebanon and the Resistance. Peace be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessing.