Thursday, February 18, 2010

Speech of Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah during a ceremony marking the anniversary of the martyr leaders

To the souls of our dear martyrs namely the martyr leaders whose dear anniversary we are marking today: the master of the Islamic Resistance martyrs Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Abbass Mussawi, his reverent wife lady Um Yasser and their child Hussein, the Sheikh of the Islamic Resistance martyrs – the struggler and ascetic Sheikh Ragheb Harb and dear brethren – the jihadi leader martyr hajj Imad Moghniyeh – we offer to their chaste and pure souls Al Fatiha Sura.

I take refuge in Allah against 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 the Seal of prophets, our Master and Prophet Abi Al Qassem Mohammad and on his chaste and pure Household, chosen companions and all prophets and messengers. Brothers and sisters! Ladies and gentlemen! Peace be upon you all and Allah's mercy and blessing.

Allah Al Mighty says in His holy Book: And those who believe in Allah and His messengers they are the Sincere and the Witnesses in the eye of their Lord; they shall have their Reward and their Light (Sura Al Hadid / Aya 19)

First, this occasion comes this year in the month of Safar and there are many painful occasions that come in this month too. I find that it is my duty to offer my condolence to the Islamic nation on the occasion of the death of the Great Prophet Mohammad Bin Abdullah (peace be upon him and his Household). This great Prophet is the Seal of prophets and the Master of messengers who was sent as a mercy for all creatures, to seal prophecy and to guide humanity until Doom’s Day.

I also offer my condolence on the occasion of the martyrdom of the grandson of the Prophet of Allah Imam Al Hassan Bin Ali (peace be upon them) and the martyrdom of the great grandson of the Prophet of Allah Imam Ali Bin Moussa Arrida (peace be upon them). Also with the sorrow reigning now in Lebanon following the Lebanese catastrophe, I renew my consolation and express my sorrow to the families of the victims of the devastated plane who have been bearing for weeks and are still bearing the pains of that catastrophe and still awaiting the bodies of the dear ones to be restored - at times incomplete due to natural elements. I also offer my condolences on the fifth anniversary of the martyrdom of Premier Rafic Hariri to his dear family especially his wife, also Premier Saed Al Hariri, all the brothers and sisters in the Future Movement and all those who adore the martyr Premier.

Brothers and sisters! After performing this obligation, I find it’s inevitable to usher to the realm of our martyr leaders. I renew our consolation to their blessed families for the loss of the dear ones. How great are the dear ones we have lost in the past stages! Still at the same time, I renew my felicitations to the families of the martyrs because those dear ones have won the greatest reward. They received the token of martyrdom which is not obtained but with he who has a great luck. Thus our martyrs – all our martyrs including our leaders – are our pride and honor as we were taught in the school of jihad and martyrdom.

Brothers and sisters! I would like first to talk for a while about our martyr leaders. Through them I will pass to the major topic and the great responsibility of the resistance in face of the challenges and threats we are confronting now. How we in Lebanon must act – from our perspective at least – with respect to these challenges and threats? This is what I would like to stress starting from the nature of the occasion. Indeed there are important internal events which deserve considering but due to the time limit I will focus in my speech on this perspective because it is more related to the occasion of the anniversary of the martyr leaders.

Going back to these leaders – Sayyed Abbass, Sheikh Ragheb and Hajj Imad and looking in their personalities, procession and conduct for common points we find that these common characteristics almost coincide: faith, piety, religiousness, devoutness, sincerity, truthfulness, loving people, being humble to people, being eager to people and having agitated emotions. With such persons we might understand how man might be pitiful and tough! How man might stand in face of the enemies of his nation and people and ravage them and how man might weep like children when viewing the limbs of martyrs in Qana Massacre among other massacres. So we might find many common points.

But I would like to stress today on one factor from which I will get started. It is the factor of youth which unite these martyr leaders. Since their youth, these brethren martyrs had early awareness regarding the cause of struggle against the Israeli enemy, Al Qods and Palestine. Since youth this awareness grew with his Eminence absented leader Imam Sayyed Moussa Assader (May Allah restore him safe and his friends). Since youth, they had the enthusiasm to be part of the responsibility, work, offering and sacrifice. Since youth they were men and not lads. They did not know the life of amusement, luxury and the life admissible to those of their age. They were men since they were children and remained men while they were lads and passed away men as martyrs. Allah Al Mighty chose to every one of them his course and way to be in his position and to play his role in the formula. Thus Sheikh Ragheb Harb was the embodiment of the public intifada. He was the symbol of challenge, civil steadfastness and the intifada of woman and children. He was the title of passive resistance as he refused to shake hands with the enemy or smile in its face besides accepting its existence. His blood established for the victory of the resistance at that time.

Sayyed Abbass Mussawi had his position in establishing the resistance, organization and jihad. He had his leading position as Secretary General and leader of the resistance party and leader of the resistance operations. He established the course found by the blood of the martyrs who passed away.

Hajj Imad was the leader of the battlefield. He was trusted on the words of the trustworthy and loyal to the blood of martyrs. He put the bullet, the bomb, the tactics, the rocket, the fighting means and battle plans into action. He was the expectations, hopes, dreams and pains of the tortured and oppressed due to occupation and aggression against this country. Every one of these brethrens passed his youth in the resistance - in all its posts whether the intellectual, mobilizing, public, field and jihadi posts and on the general and specific levels and every one of them passed away a martyr in his prime youth. At times, like you when I see their pictures, I might think they were old in age and in an advanced stage. Sheikh Ragheb Harb passed away a martyr while he was 32 years old only – a young man in his prime youth. Sayyed Abbass – the Secretary General – passed away a martyr while he was forty years old only. Hajj Imad passed away a martyr while he was 46 years old only.

I said and one of the seniors of this nation said words on the age of Hajj Imad: Truly a person like Hajj Imad lived long and lived a life full with blessings. It was an achievement in itself that Imad Moghniyeh lived 46 years. So these brethrens passed as martyrs while in their early youth.

We are before a sample of leaders who lived all their lives with awareness. As children they assumed responsibility. They filled the days of their lives with industrious and incessant work in the path of Allah and to serve their people and cause. Since their early youth, they held their blood on their palms. In their prime days they offered this pure blood to Allah for the sake of their nation and people so that people might live with honor, esteem, pride and security. These young leaders could also raise generations of young men who assumed the responsibility of the resistance and its burdens on their shoulders. They fought, passed away as martyrs, remained steadfast and made great achievements and victories. They offered for us and are still offering us with their intellect, culture, blood and memory generations of young men who represent the most important factor of power in Lebanon. These aware, responsible, serious, active, sacrifice-giving youths who are concerned with their nation, people, holy sites and honor are an essential element of strength which we own and which these martyr leaders inherited to us to confront with our present time and our future.

In every occasion and in the anniversary of the martyr leaders we assume the responsibility of preserving their achievements. These martyrs along with all martyrs from all forces and factions besides the army and the people all through these long years of sacrifice and jihad have achieved the liberation of the land and the captives. They imposed respecting Lebanon and its post in the world. They established the school and the choice which protects Lebanon truly and faithfully. The will of these martyr leaders is preserving their accomplishment which is the fruit of their lives, pains, sleeplessness, hardworking and ultimately their pure blood. The achievement which they left for us is the resistance – its essence, culture, intellect, path, choice, existence, strength and capacity to assume responsibilities. This leads us to the present time and again puts us before several questions and options. Here I move to the statue quo and the stream of threats in the recent month. Many questions are being posed again. Unfortunately, in Lebanon, we always go back to square one; we do not make use of our experiences in Lebanon as Lebanese or the experiences of the world peoples or the experiences in history. We always go back to square one and pose the same questions. Today we have the same questions of 1982, before it, and after it. The same options and choices are evoked and I do not want to go back to the very debate but to remind you of these questions and pose negating questions and not interrogating or informative questions: May US promises protect Lebanon? Now if Barak and Baydon (Now we are through with Bush and Cheney) made promises to Lebanon - don’t be afraid or worried for we will protect Lebanon - will they really do that? There is something which is linked to the authenticity of Obama’s Administration related to the settlement process; still Obama failed to stop settlement building! Can international resolutions really protect Lebanon? Did they protect it for 60 years? Can the international community protect Lebanon? Did it protect it all through these 60 years? Can this international community that is only concerned with its interests and respects the strong only protect Lebanon by being neutral? Now if we took Lebanon to being neutral, can we persuade Israel not to have aspirations in our lands and waters? Can we persuade it to return to us the Shebaa Farms and Kafar Shuba Hills and to let the Palestinian refugees return? Can being neutral persuade Israel to do that? We’ve read in today’s newspapers that Lieberman said that those who think that any settlement can make us return a meter of land are mistaken. This speech is not directed to the Palestinians and the Syrians only but also to the Lebanese. His deputy also showed up to say that the return of any Palestinian refugee to Occupied Palestine is a red line. Indeed he said the “State of Israel” and talked in a legal logic and a moral logic that prevents the return of the Palestinians. So if Lebanon took the choice of being neutral, will that enable it to restore its land and to preserve its land and water in the future and help in the return of the Palestinian refugees to their homes and homeland? Indeed the experience says no. It’s weird that in Lebanon we even argue over self-evident truth. In this universe there are natural rules and norms. In history and communities there are historic and social rules and norms. All human experiences show that the survival is for the fittest. In confronting invaders, tyrants and occupiers, history says that none protects your land, people and honor but your strength. There is no place for the weak in these equations and principles. Those who beg for protection have no place. Only the strong may impose their respect on the world and achieve their goals. Should they die, they die with their honor as martyrs. Can Lebanon be strong? Yes, we have actually proven for decades that Lebanon could be strong and was strong and today Lebanon is much stronger than ever. Lebanon is strong by means of a wonderful formula. Many say now that this is impossible in the world though such thing was possible but we will leave this debate to the dialogue table. Let’s talk about this wonderful formula. Don’t you say that Lebanon is an outstanding story and it has wonders? Well this is one of Lebanon’s wonders. Don’t you say that Lebanon amazes the world? Well, this is one of the wonders of Lebanon that amazes the world. It’s the strength formula by which we confront all the challenges: the army, the people and the resistance which was adopted by the ministerial state. Experience has proven the soundness and competence and it is our choice in confrontation. We hear about other formulas. Well, Inshallah when anyone presents a scientific, logical and convincing formula which is backed by military experts – as the issue needs specialization- at the national dialogue table we will see if they can guide us to any formula through which we may confront all the challenges and the threats.

We are today before a stream of Israeli threats. How do we deal with that? We have two words: one word on the internal Lebanese state and another word related to Israel. As to the Lebanese domestic statue quo, first it’s essential that we laud the official stances of His Excellency the President, the House Speaker, the Premier and the Army leadership as well as the stance of the overwhelming majority of the political forces and movements in Lebanon because all of these stances express rejection to these threats, do not yield to them and show national unity in face of any Israeli action against Lebanon. This must be lauded as are the efforts exerted especially by His Excellency the President and the Premier in their foreign trips in which they highlight these Israeli threats and the dangers of these threats on Lebanon and the region. This is first on the internal level because all the Lebanese people are concerned to highly respect and laud any responsible and serious speech. Second on the internal level, there is the case of offering pretexts – that means saying we do not accept the Israeli threats but demand not giving the pretext to Israel. We must try to address this issue because it is not true. This presentation has negative aspects and that is not the way we confront Israeli threats for many reasons. First when Israel wants to stage an aggression against any country it does not need pretexts.

Since 1948 till 1967 and in all its wars against Lebanon and even in July War the two captives were not a pretext for this war was prepared for in advance. Israelis themselves acknowledged that afterwards. Israel does not need a pretext to be offered by anyone and if it needed a pretext, it is able to create it. It may stage an unsuccessful assassination attempt in any place in the world and hold Hezbollah responsible and attack Lebanon, hold the Palestinian brethrens responsible and attack Gaza, or hold Syria responsible and attack Syria. God only knows. So in this perspective, let’s be frank with the people. Here I laud some officials who mentioned the history of Israeli wars in their recent televised interviews in which they said when Israel did need a pretext. What’s more dangerous or worse in such rhetoric is that it inclusively holds the resistance responsible. That means it holds in advance the resistance responsible for any Israeli aggression. There is an attempt to justify any aggression launched by Israel. Thus we are ready to discuss this notion with any party to convince it that this logic and course is wrong and does not serve our confrontation with the enemy.

Now allow me to say that what’s even more serious is what we’ve been hearing for months. There is a new rhetoric which started emerging in Lebanon in a limited and narrow place. This rhetoric says what might be summed in the following. This notion has been written in various words and expressions. Articles have been written on it and speeches, seminars and lectures have been made on it. The idea they are saying is that the very existence of the resistance – even if it did nothing whether on the borderline or in any other place - is enough reason for the Israeli enemy to wage war on Lebanon, and to deprive the enemy of the pretext to launch a war against Lebanon, the resistance and its arms should be eliminated. This is extremely dangerous national rhetoric because it above all gives Israel every reason to attack Lebanon even if the resistance did not offer pretexts as they say. So the very existence of the resistance in their viewpoint is enough reason. Unfortunately, the Israelis themselves are not saying that. So what some Lebanese are saying is not being said by some Israelis. Some extremists in Israel said this but many circles in Israel say no. This is not enough reason to launch a war on Lebanon. Still we see those in Lebanon are saying this is enough reason. Hereof I say this is very dangerous rhetoric because it absolutely justifies any Israeli aggression and holds the resistance beforehand responsible for any Israeli aggression that might be staged. Perhaps they feel annoyed because since July War until this day nothing took place on the borders for example – that’s indeed within a viewpoint which I will tackle in another occasion. So in the way they view the policy of offering pretexts it does not seem that Hezbollah will offer a pretext in the South. So they considered that the very existence of Hezbollah is a sufficient pretext for Israel to stage a war. But if we advanced a bit in the question – and this is more serious and I do not want to accuse but only pose a question - is this a call for war? At times we say this is a justification for war and so far we may say they are doubtful or wrong? But the issue must advance to the level of the following question: Is this a call for an Israeli war against Lebanon? Are we before a new 1982 circumstances? Do some see that there is no way for their dreams, expectations and projects which were volatilized lately except through an Israeli war against Lebanon again? This is the question.

Before this logic and rhetoric, what is the responsibility of the Lebanese government and authority? This is the way to the state. Will it remain silent on those who offer an absolute justification for an aggression against Lebanon and its people, land and infrastructure as the Israelis are threatening? Will it remain silent on those who there is doubt at least over their political speech – and the doubt concerns a call for war? I call for refraining from this rhetoric and logic because moving on in this rhetoric means that there is in Lebanon who waits for, bets on, justifies or summons an aggression. I believe this statue quo necessitates a response on the great national level whether the government or the public. I wrap up the internal topic saying we await a first-class official stance and a first-class public stance. There is a special and narrow state that expresses its stance and background in a way that appeals to it but there is an advanced show or national unity and this is a point of strength.

On the Israeli level – and this is the more important part of my speech for today because it is evoked in the country as a result of the threats – there are many approaches and possibilities. This has occupied the country to a very considerable degree. In brief we might wrap up the strategic statue quo now lived in Israel since the failure of July War against Lebanon and the flop of the war on Gaza: Israel has been living a dilemma since it is unable to impose peace or wage war. It is not able to impose a peace with its conditions such as not restoring Golan Heights to Syria thus they made a great complexity on that lately saying the issue needs voting in the Knesset and a public referendum and the like. That also applies on Shebaa Farms, Kafar Shuba Heights besides the occupied Palestinian territories. Well, after all the developments that took place in the last two decades, are the Israelis able to impose on the Arab governments and the Arab peoples a peace through which they do not restore the land? Are they able to impose a peace through which they do not return Al Qods and the refugees? This is over with all our respect to the Arab Peace Initiative. The Israelis are not able to impose a peace as they conceive it. Anyway today there is the crisis of the lack of peace partner on both sides of the struggle. Here they say there is no partner and there they say there is no partner. There is also the inability to launch a war. The maneuvers and exercises that have been taking place in Israel following July War and Gaza War are a normal consequence to the prompt failure which afflicted the Israeli army. The Israelis have admitted they flopped in their war against Lebanon. They specified a target which is terminating the resistance and flopped and the resistance has grown stronger as they admitted. But in what Ehud Olmert wrote and would be published in his autobiography or a summery of it is that he acknowledged also that he flopped in the war on Gaza because the target of the war on Gaza – as Olmert said – was terminating the rule of Hamas and the war on Gaza failed to terminate the rule of Hamas. Today when the Israelis want to go to war – and this is important as it influences the answer – there is a primary condition hereof which is named the absolute, definite and guaranteed victory and not possible victory. So they will not wage a war on Gaza if they do not guarantee victory and they will not wage a war on Lebanon if they do not guarantee victory. The same applies to Syria and Iran.

After July War, the aggression on Gaza, the failure, defeat and flabbiness, I do not want to play down the strength and power of Israel but I want to say that we in Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Iran and the region are also strong to the extent that Israel cannot wage war on us whenever it wants to. It is not enough for Israel to have a strong possibility of victory. This is not sufficient. This is an adventure. The Israeli army and all of Israel cannot tolerate another defeat because that would mean the beginning of the end. In my viewpoint the beginning of the end started in July War and the war on Gaza. So any new defeat might mean that Israel’s power is falling down forcibly. This is quite understood by the Israelis. I claim – and the Israelis acknowledge that – that I am among the first who follow the Israeli media, statements, analyses and conferences held by universities and academic sides in Israel and in which presidents, ministers, military leaders and senior security officers talk. In their speeches, all of these unanimously agree on this point. Israel can not go to a war without guaranteed results.

Based on this presentation of the Israeli strategic statue quo we conclude that the Israelis have a problem now in launching a war. Thus they go to developing their capacities. They seek new arms and equipments. They carry exercises and maneuvers. They have a problem of recruiting soldiers. Lately they had a problem in recruiting for the navy and they started addressing it slowly. They have problems in recruiting and self-confidence. So they need time and they are not ready. I tell you something and I tell the people in Israel who are exploited by their rulers and leaders: The Iron Dome story that they narrate on the TV is more science fiction than reality. Some senior military leaders in Israel are still questioning its feasibility. Besides it’s highly expensive but even if they took its feasibility for granted, its feasibility is very limited. Israel still needs time to address its problems related to its weapons, equipments, tactics, army and capacities.

On the other hand, its policy is to halt the power and readiness of its enemies from growing. How is it achieving that? For example Syria is growing stronger with time. Iran is growing stronger with time. Hezbollah is growing stronger with time. The Palestinian factions are growing stronger with time. As they grow stronger they go contrary to the Zionist project in the region. How are the Israelis to prevent the growth of power? They have three main means: the first means is bullying and daunting with war. If you got such and such arms we will do such and such. We will get such arms and do what appeals to you. That is if we haven’t obtained it yet. They threat Syria because they accuse it of supplying Hezbollah with arms and rockets. They threat Iran with war. They threat the Lebanese government with war. They threat with war to prevent being fully fledged and fully ready. Second they work on the security level: assassinating the essential leaderships concerned in the readiness for war. Hajj Imad Moghniyeh and martyr Mabhouh. Why this martyr in particular? Because he has a logistic role as is said in the readiness in Gaza among others. We do not want to go now to personal details. Well the enemy goes in this direction to hit the capacity to complete and develop readiness. The third option is sedition. What is mainly hindering any inter-Palestinian reconciliation is Israel and any Arab who hinders this reconciliation is consciously doing Israel a favor besides being an accomplice with Israel. See the option of sedition in Lebanon or else why would Liebermann stress the Israeli inclination which for some time has been accusing Hezbollah of assassinating Hariri. This is a clear Israeli track which started with Deirchbigle and is still carrying on with Lemonde, and Liebermann has expressed it openly. The distinctive point with Liebermann is that what’s in his mind is on his tongue. This is an important point. Let’s understand what the Israelis are saying, what they want and how do they think.

Thus we tend to this evaluation of the position: This stream of threats is almost and in general closer to a psychological war to frighten the Lebanese people and government and the resistance to prevent it from growing stronger. On the other hand, it aims at raising the moral status in the Zionist entity and raising the army and people in an attempt to convince the people, from the platform, that Israel is strong and able and here it is threatening, frightening and bullying. They need to raise their morals. We may have another approach. Israel might see in it as a prevention attempt because if we scrutinized all the Israeli statements, if not 100%, 95% of these statements are conditional: if the resistance makes such and such, we will do such and such. If the resistance acts as such, we will bomb and destroy. Indeed they do not need pretexts but this gives an impression that if they are serious in what they say they are afraid. So at least these threats present for them an important political, moral and psychological achievement. It has always been that we were threatened by Israel and we would say to Israel that if you do such and such, we will do such and such. But never was Israel frightened from the Arabs. Never did it tell them: If you do such we will do such and such. Today Israel is frightened and is saying: If you do such we will do such and such.

This is first. Second in this framework we say: Whether we approached these threats as being a psychological war, having a preventive aim or aiming at preparing for a serious war (even if we do not see this possibility at least to take place in the near future), how are we to face and counter these threats. We have a sample in the resistance and a broad line which says: We must counter that with steadfastness, strength, courage and counter threatening. This is what works with Israel. Otherwise if they saw people afraid and shaking then they will not be satisfied with threatening but will wage a war. Countering threats with threats prevents war or at least puts it off or makes the enemy hesitant. This is especially true if the threats are serious and they have evidence or some information about them and not just media talk. We have an experience. Some days ago, (Ehud) Barak showed up and spoke but even his statements were not clear and strong when he threatened Syria with war. It seems that the Syrian response was not only linked to the statements of Ehud Barak but even more to Israeli messages to Syria delivered by foreign delegations and which alluded to threats. I evaluate that the response was not a media stance but rather a response to messages delivered to Syria. When Syria received threatening messages, if has either to be frightened and express its fear and retreat and reconsider its steady stances or answer the threats with even stronger ones.

It was Syrian Foreign Minister Mr. Walid Al Mualem who answered the Israeli threats. So it is neither the Head of the Armed Forces nor the President. In general the Foreign Minister is the most diplomatic side which is concerned with diplomatic and courteous talk. So the smoothest side in whatever state which is the foreign ministry is the side which answered the Israeli threats. I believe that was intentional and not at random. They said to the Israelis that if you attacked us, all your cities will be demolished and destroyed. I am sure the Israelis were stunned by the Syrian response and I am sure the Arab governments were stunned with the Syrian response because it was not diplomatic at all. It was very open, clear and transparent. Still what was the result? Two hours later, all in Israel – Benjamin Netanyahu and Barak – showed up to disclaim what Liebermann said, and Ehud Barak started rectifying what he said before. The general atmosphere in Israel became: No our strategic aim is to make peace with Syria. This was when the Syrian foreign minister answered them. This is an example. This is not a 60-year-old story which we have to verify. All of us have seen this on the TV screens some days ago.

Now we come to Lebanon. In Lebanon we do that originally. You remember that Barak showed up to threaten Lebanon with war. He started speaking about a swift, clear and decisive victory. So the Israelis have an aim for the upcoming war which is to terminate the resistance and whatever is related to the resistance one way or another. This is the same aim of July War. It did not change. But he is saying that the next war will achieve victory and neither defeat nor failure nor relapse. This victory must be decisive. It must keep nothing of the resistance. It must be final and clear and undisputable. That means that no one in Lebanon and Syria or the world might be hesitant as to whether Israel gained victory or not. Barak then said: the air force is not enough to put a decisive end for the battle. Thus we will stage a broad land operation. He threatened with five squads and seven squads. Then we had our answer: If you stepped on our villages, hills, valleys and mountains the resistance vowed that it will destroy these squads on our territories Inshallah. Afterwards Israel retreated. In all the recent conferences we aren’t hearing anymore “Israel” talking about a decisive, swift, clear and final victory. On the contrary few days ago the Head of the Northern area said: Let’s in any upcoming war which we intend to wage put modest targets just to be able to say that we have achieved the aims of our war. So they started talking about modest aims. Barak himself a month or two months ago used an expression which I used before – I believe on the funeral of Hajj Imad or a week later. Barak exactly said: If you look at the Lebanese border you will find everything quiet, but if you raise your head a little more, you will find tens of thousands of Hezbollah fighters waylaying us. When we say we are ready to fight in every village, valley or hill, I can not deceive the Israelis because the Israelis have a great capacity to collect information. This is a truth which we must acknowledge. The spying nets in Lebanon are abundant and they are found everywhere. They are general and particular and this is made clear day after day. If you threatened the Israelis by something which they have no evidence on, they do not take this threat into consideration. Still they take a threat into consideration when they have evidence on it. Their evidence might be incomplete but they have some information pertaining to it.

So when we confronted the issue of squads and decisive and swift victory, their tone began to fade out. What remained? They set the so called “Dahiyeh Theory.” You – especially the inhabitants of Dahiyeh - must know that the word Dahiyeh entered the military lexica and military strategies. What is the “Dahiyeh Theory” which the Israelis set? This theory stipulates destroying any aim in Beirut’s southern suburb. Today I would like to say something: The Israeli Air Force can’t do more than what it did in 33 days during July War. Let no one daunt us by more.

In August 14th, 2009 Ceremony, we told them that if you hit Beirut, we’ll hit Tel Aviv. But if you want war, we do not want war. So let no one in Lebanon argue over the decision of war and peace. We do not want war – not that we are afraid or coward or weak. We rather long for war though we do not want it. So it’s not only that we do not want it, we also long for it. We told you then that when you next hit Dahiyeh we will bomb Tel Aviv. Hitting Tel Aviv made them reconsider the whole equation. In the past, you used to displace some northern settlements. But now you are displacing Tel Aviv. Do you know what does displacing Tel Aviv mean? The real Israeli population is in the coastal line stretching from Haifa to the south of Tel Aviv. Its width is 10 and at some places 15 kilometers. It might be the broadest when we reach Al Qods where there is a very great population. There are the bulk of the population, the oil refineries, the great industries, the state institutions and everything. Here I have an additional detail. They might think that when we say if you hit Dahiyeh we will hit Tel Aviv that if they destroy the buildings in Dahiyeh we might barely puncture building walls in Tel Aviv. This might come across their minds. Here I am telling them, today: No, if you destroyed a building in Dahiyeh, we will destroy buildings in Tel Aviv. This is our response to the Dahiyeh Theory.

When Israel found that nothing can demoralize the resistance (They would say we will wipe you and the resistance answers I am looking forward for you. They would say we will destroy you and the resistance says we will destroy you too), they went to threatening the Lebanese government and people by destroying the infrastructure. Here we have something new. (Indeed that would not be the end. There must always be surprises). So they said in case of war we will destroy Lebanon’s infrastructure. But just as we have infrastructure, there is infrastructure in occupied Palestine too. We have one airport, and they have airports and seaports. We have a few power stations, and they have huge power stations. We have a humble number of either out of order or barely functional oil refineries, while they have a considerable number of oil refineries. We have some factories, and they have gigantic industrial cities. So the Israeli infrastructure is much bigger and much more important than ours. There was a report for the Israeli television aired during July War on the extent to which the cabinet and the internal front was preoccupied when power was off in one the middle Israeli cities. Well the infrastructure is much more important there and power is always available while the power goes off here.

Here I tell them today and they may verify what I will say because it stands for another degree of capacities. (I will not give names but rather leave names for another occasion). Here I am telling the Israelis today: If you hit Dahiyeh, we will hit Tel Aviv. If you strike martyr Rafic Hariri’s International Airport in Beirut, we’ll strike your Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv. If you hit our ports, we will hit your ports. If you attack our refineries, we’ll attack your refineries. If you bomb our factories, we’ll bomb your factories. If you strike our power stations we will strike your power stations.

Today, on the anniversary of Sayyed Abbass, Sheikh Ragheb and Hajj Imad I announce and accept this challenge. We in Lebanon as people, army, and resistance, are capable forcefully of protecting our country and we do not need anyone in this world to do this for us. This is how we face threats… with counter threats and not with retreat, fear and hiding away. We rather face them with steadfastness, readiness and threats as well. Here I say again we do not want war. We have never sought war. We are a resistance which used to fight to liberate the land and captives. We never wanted to go to war but we are concerned with defending our country, standing firm in our land and preserving the dignity of our people and nation.

Brothers and sisters! One thing remains to say on the anniversary of the martyr leaders. It is concerning taking revenge for Hajj Imad Moghniyeh. I frankly tell you: some Israelis wish that Hezbollah will make something to content themselves with. Hezbollah would search for a modest aim – I will not clarify what I mean with a modest aim so that they remain worried. So they thought Hezbollah would search for a modest aim and strike it and consider that a revenge for Hajj Imad Moghniyeh and the story would end there. That’s not how we act. I would like to stress for you that in the past two years we had within our reach many modest aims but we did not make use of them because it is Hajj Imad Moghniyeh whose revenge we are seeking. This is in frank words. We know the goals and consequently the timing and the place. We know which operation might achieve this goal and then we might tell the Israelis this is Hezbollah’s response to your assassination of its jihadi leader. Our choices are open. We may take our time. No one is pressing on us. Let no one begrudge us. Our enemy is alarmed. Let them remain worried every day and in every place and field and concerning all goals. But it is we who will choose the time and the place and the goal. Today on the anniversary of Hajj Imad Moghniyeh I tell you and all his family, friends and dear ones: We want a revenge as great as Imad Moghniyeh. That’s what we are searching for. We do not want revenge for the sake of revenge, but in order to defend all of our leaders, cadres and the cause which Imad Moghniyeh represents.

In this blessed and dear occasion, we are by your side Inshallah to assume this responsibility together. After the long years with Sheikh Ragheb, Sayyed Abbass and Hajj Imad whom people got to know after his martyrdom, Inshallah we are loyal to their achievement, recommendations and path. We tell our martyrs – all our martyrs: Rest assured. The banner you raised will remain raised. The path you opened will remain open. The cause you sacrificed your lives for will be fulfilled. Your blood will not make in our nation but victory. We are your sons, your pupils and your brothers and we will fulfill your dreams Inshallah. You are in the paradise of Heaven enjoying the company of prophets and the sincere. You enjoy your rewards, glow and high esteem. Rest assured our leaders! You left behind sons, pupils and brethrens who keep the vow they made to Allah. Some have passed away as martyrs and some are still awaiting their martyrdom but they never changed their stance.