Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Narallah: Der Spiegel Report is an Israeli Accusation to Hezbollah

Al-Manar TV reports: After the southern city of Nabatiye, Beirut’s southern suburb marked Resistance and Liberation Day Monday as tens of thousands of people gathered at the impressively organized Raya playground to listen to the speech of Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah.

Political, military, security and religious figures also attended the massive ceremony that comes amid an intensifying campaign against Hezbollah including the latest report by the German weekly Der Spiegel which claimed that the resistance party was behind the assassination of former Prime Minister martyr Rafiq Hariri!

Sayyed Nasrallah congratulated all the Lebanese and the Arab and Islamic world on the Resistance and Liberation day “that constitutes Lebanon’s triumph on its enemies. It is the day that was granted to us by our martyrs and wounded and our steadfast families.”

“This day calls for pride and this victory has so many serious repercussions on the zionist entity as well as the Arab-Israeli conflict including the Palestinian cause. It is one of the main cornerstones of the Intifada that established many developments and turning points. Brothers and sisters, today I would like to address the alliance between Hezbollah and the Free Patriotic Movement, Beirut – and for the last time the Beirut incidents a year ago – so as to make things clear, the Der Spiegel report and the new conspiracy, Dahiyeh and its people and resistance as well as elections.”

“I have to recall and stress that ever since Hezbollah was founded in 1982, we have been mobilizing our youth for a single and just cause; the cause of the resistance, the liberation of Lebanese detainees and the restoration of dignities. This is why we kept away from domestic politics and we only became part of the Lebanese internal equation in 2000. Even then, we did not engage politics in strong way because we used to strongly believe that Israel was planning for a military action. Israel will never accept its historic defeat in 2000 and will not Lebanon and the Lebanese resistance alone. This is why we used all the time we had to prepare ourselves properly. But the incidents that occurred in 2005, when the whole country was shaken by the assassination of martyr Rafiq Hariri and its aftermath. Back then, we felt that the whole nation, the people and the resistance were in jeopardy. Nevertheless, we engaged the domestic equation, not for the sake of power but for sake of preserving our country and its resources on top of which is the resistance. We were keen on establishing good relations with all sides and staying away from any conflict with anyone.”

“As for Mount Lebanon, Beirut and Dahiyeh, I would like to underline that since the establishment of Hezbollah, we have had good relations with our Druze brothers, not only in Mount Lebanon, but across Lebanon, with all their leaders and their religious authorities. We never sensed a problem between Shiites and Druze in general and between Hezbollah and the Druze in particular. Our relation with the Progressive Socialist Party remained tact even after the Lebanese were divided into March 8 and March 14 camps. I would like to point that the problem began after certain speeches that assailed the resistance and its arms. Since then relations deteriorated to reach its most dangerous levels in May 2008. Minister Talal Areslan played a pivotal role to contain the problem and everyone cooperated with him. We have to acknowledge that MP Jumblatt had a clear position to go for calming the situation down and played a positive role during the Doha dialogue conference. Today, I would like to say that we are all concerned in communicating now and after the June 7 elections, regardless of the results. We cannot build a country on the foundation of conflict and isolation. On behalf of Hezbollah and the Amal Movement, I assure our Druze brothers that we adhere to coexistence in Dahiye, Mount Lebanon, Rashayya, Bekaa, Hasbayya, Marjeyoun, Beirut and every other region as one people away from enmity. We are ready for open dialogue and I would like to warn the Druze against those who seek to project Hezbollah and the Shiites as your enemies and I warn the Shiites against those who seek to project the Druze, particularly the Progressive Socialist Party, as their enemies. We are not enemies. The Israelis are the enemies who want this to happen between us.”

“As to the relation with the Free Patriotic Movement, we were never psychologically far from each other, even before 2005, even in the hardest times for the FPM in Lebanon when it were at odds with the Lebanese authority and the Syrians. We kept in touch, although I cannot claim that we had an organized relation or understanding or even a begging of an alliance. Perhaps the first contact which had a good impact was Al-Manar’s interview with General Michel Aoun before his return to Lebanon. Yet even after Aoun returned, we did not establish an alliance. This is normal because we were in two opposite camps. We were in the March 8 alliance and Aoun was in the March 14 alliance; in fact he was the foundation of the March 14 alliance. Although we had political differences, mutual respect was preserved and we have had an encouraging experience during municipal elections. Then we formed the quartet alliance. We continued with (MP) Saad Hariri after the assassination of his father, but the first problem we encountered was over the Christian partner. We did not have any problem to have Aoun as our partner. In fact, this was the best option for us, but not for the rest of the (quartet) allies. So they refused Aoun. We wanted to make this alliance succeed because one of its main objectives was to calm the situation down and prevent sedition, particularly between Sunnis and Shiites. This goal was fulfilled. I wanted to emphasize that the ongoing dispute between the constituents of the March 14 alliance, particularly Christians in the alliance, with General Aoun was present before any Hezbollah – FPM understanding or alliance. Today, they can’t find anything else to aim at. Our understanding was adopted at the dialogue table and in President Michel Sleiman’s oath. Our experience revealed that General Aoun has a clear vision and has his own project and program. He is an independent man who is not influenced by embassies. He is a transparent, honest and respectful man who respects other. He is devoted to Lebanon and a country for one people and loyal to Lebanese Christians, their role, dignity and future. The mere existence of this man and his Free Patriotic Movement is a real national guarantee for Lebanon and for the rise of the responsible, just, capable and strong state.”

“Regarding Beirut, the city where all Lebanese sects live in and where religious and political diversity is found, we are part of the residents of Beirut. Hezbollah and I 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 neither a matter of tactics nor a circumstantial matter. We have never had problems with you (Beirutis) and you haven’t had any problem with us since 1982; you know this. In the wake of political divisions, especially after the 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 June war, a new division was established and we became loyalty and opposition blocs. I call upon you as witnesses: Have you ever heard or read a speech or a text by me or by any of my brothers of a religious, sectarian or instigative nature? When we have political disputes we speak in politics but unlike others, we have never made a sectarian speech. We have never assailed Sunnis even after the discord between us and the Future Movement, whereas we still find newspapers and magazines assailing Shiites. We consider that any sectarian speech is tantamount to treason. As things developed, we began to sense that there was nothing to do but to stick to the sit-in until elections. Nothing else could have been fruitful. However, there was a scheme in the making; one that was planned to target the resistance. The elements of this project were completed before May 5 2008. Militias were being formed and camouflaged by security firms. The fighters were sent to a number of Arab countries to receive training. Did Beirut need such bellicose offices? If you say that your project is about building the state, what are these offices for? If you cite the state, army and institutions, what do you need these offices for? I hope that Beirutis would ask these questions to the leadership of the Future Movement and the March 14 bloc. No one denied that thousands of fighters were brought to Beirut. There was nothing going on in Beirut at that time; just a sit-in in a parking lot. What was threatening Beirut to bring thousands of fighters in? You have been retorting to my speech for ten day but you never denied bringing in thousands of fighter to Beirut. Why? The then government of PM Fouad Saniora held a meeting and discussed Hezbollah’s telecommunication network, which by the way was not on the cabinet’s schedule. Why? What was the rush for? Worth mentioning, just before the cabinet’s decision, a panel of senior officers including Internal Security chief General Ashraf Rifi and Major General George Khouri as well as a third officer whose name I forgot. We discussed the network and we reached an agreement on all pending issues. Who was behind raising the issue again during the cabinet meeting on the fifth of May and from outside the schedule? Who is interested the most in dismantling Hezbollah’s telecommunications network and consider everyone involved in it and outlaw who should be tried and punished? For your information, this network has been operating since before the year 2000; every past government knew about it. It is not new and certainly was not built after 2005. Discussing the issues consumed long hours and resulted in disputes among ministers, some of whom insisted on taking the decision and threatened to resign if it were not adopted. Not all the ministers who were at the meeting are involved. Some of them were wise and advised other ministers that such a decision would result in war and sedition, but they did not listen. You made the decision and issued it at dawn, and certainly bargained on it. I call on Beirutis to ask the Future Movement and Saniora: Why did you make such a decision while knowing its consequences. No one has answered this yet. In one of my speeches, everything they could find to comment on was my expression: “a glorious day”. I say once again that there was a scheme of war in Beirut and the fighters were deployed to serve that purpose. Beirut was meant to turn into a war zone. I have details about this plan. So they took their decision on May 5 and we called for popular mutiny to protest, but not to fight. We did not go for war but we had decided that if we were fired at we shall not keep silent, because this would have been the introduction of the pre-planned war, therefore we had to act swiftly and decisively. I have said that the May 7 events prevented sedition and war between Sunnis and Shiites, which would have expanded to beyond Beirut. I also accept that May 7 was a sad day. But because the resistance that brought freedom, pride and glory to Lebanon was in danger, it was left to defend its existence, honor and arms. When we fought in south Lebanon, we did not have a religious or a sectarian background. We had our eye set on every southern village and town and we wanted all the Lebanese people to be free. We offered our blood for Lebanon and therefore, I tell the Sunnis, Shiites, Druze and Christians of Lebanon: Your blood is our blood, your flesh is our flesh, your fate is our fate. We cannot but be as such.”

“On the Der Spiegel report. To begin with, the plot against Lebanon is still standing. I reminded during the opening of the resistance conference on awareness that the last arrow in the quiver of the US-zionist project to confront resistance movements was founding an Arab-Iranian and a Sunni-Shiite conflict. They don’t have anything else. This is their last straw. After the June war in 2006 and the events that preceded it, the last planned battle to fight against Hezbollah is to falsely accuse it of assassinating martyr Rafiq Hariri. This scheme persists.

We have an explanation for the Der Spiegel report but first I have to clearly and transparently state that this is extremely dangerous. It is not a news report that we do not comment on. I agree with Hezbollah’s statement that this is not the first time that newspapers fabricate such reports. A few month earlier, the Kuwaiti Assiyasiyya, which is known to match the Sawt al-Adala daily in Lebanon, posted articles and reports about telephone lines and dozens of witnesses. Back then, we refrained from issuing any statement given that the Kuwaiti Assiyasiyya is widely known for lying and fabricating news. Other Gulf and Egyptian newspapers also raised the issue after my speech about Gaza. We did not comment. However, the Der Spiegel report is different because the atmosphere, timing and particularly the Israeli exploitation prompted us to stand up and issue a statement and prompted me to tackle the issue tonight. This is an extremely dangerous issue. When the Der Spiegel report was posted, the Al-Arabiya channel made it its main headline and consumed hours of satellite broadcasting on it. The channel ahd sought some satisfactory statements but it was surprised by reservation. It did not find anyone to echo it but the Israelis. Lieberman came out to project 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 over, then he must be detained by force.’

Even more dangerous that Lieberman’s comment was Ehud Barak’s. He literarily says that the ‘international court’s decision (not the Der Spiegel report) to consider Hezbollah responsible for killing the former Prime Minister of Lebanon, indicates one more time to the nature and the function of Hezbollah.’ If Barak had mixed between the Der Spiegel report and the international court, then his slip of the tongue would be exploited. However, if it were more than a slip of a tongue, then his comments are extremely dangerous. The Der Spiegel report made headlines on Israel newspapers. They accused, charged and reached verdicts. They are now demanding punishment on the one hand and warning that Israel, the guardian of rights, will independently punish Hezbollah and its Secretary General.

With regards to timing, elections are drawing near and the Israelis as well as the Americans are expressing deep concern about the opposition winning the elections. Also, efforts to dismantle more spy networks, some of which have executive missions, is ongoing at a fast pace, hence, the Israelis want to save themselves. Moreover, Israel now has a new government that is required to acknowledge the two-state solution and the right of return, therefore, they have to redirect things and take the region to another place. They want to make Lebanon and the conflict in Lebanon top priority, not Palestine.

On the other hand, there is a strategic danger. When Hariri was assassinated, many sides had worked to point the figure of accusation at the Shiites. This is what Der Spiegel, Lieberman and Barak are saying. Those who fabricated this want to create sedition and conflict between the Sunnis and the Shiites, mainly Hezbollah. This was soon grasped by the savants of politics in Lebanon who talked about the attempt to revive sedition. I hereby praise the courage and the position of MP Jumblatt. I agree with his comment and repeat it after him: The Der Spiegel report is even more dangerous than the Ain el-Roummaneh bus (that saw the beginning of civil war in 1975). This is why we have to act responsibly. For us, what the Der Spiegel has said and what the Israeli leaders have said are nothing but an Israeli accusation to Hezbollah of having assassinated Hariri and we will only consider it an Israeli accusation, nothing more.”

“As for Dahiyeh, since the very beginning this region stood up to occupation and humiliated Israel at the gates of Khalde. It resisted until it drove out the occupation from Beirut and Mount Lebanon. Dahiyeh offered support, money and blood. It was punished because it chose the path of the resistance. It’s biggest test was during the 2006 war, when it was destroyed only to break it will, but it only gained more power and more determination. Yes they wanted Dahiyeh to become a misery belt but it was nothing but a dignity belt. They wanted Dahiyeh to be a miserable place, but it rose as a stream of hope and pride. They wanted Dahiyeh to live on the margins of this nation, they wanted it to be a forgotten land, but it has drawn the future. May Allah’s peace be with you; the people in Dahiyeh who shouted the slogan of Imam Hussien peace be upon him: Disgrace, how remote. You were patient during the battle and the result was victory in 2000 and 2006. We are waiting for you on June 7, the day when you will vote and your hearts and minds will be at the same place. There are still responsibilities lying ahead. Israel will conduct maneuvers between May 31 and June 4. I have heard that President Sleiman has called for the Higher Dense Council to convene Tuesday to assess the maneuvers. This is how a state really becomes a state and starts to gain its people’s trust. As much as urge cautiousness, we want you to rest assured that we are on high alert. I tell Barak and his government that we will be on high alert when you begin your maneuvers, side by side with the Lebanese army. I promise that if anyone even thought of making a stupid move against Lebanon, our response will be unprecedented. If anyone thought of trespassing into our land with five or even ten battalions, I pledge in the name of Abbas Moussawi, Ragheb Harb, Imad Moghniyeh, sayyed Moussa Sadr and all of the founders and the leaders of the resistance, the resistance will destroy your battalions and your army in south Lebanon. Will will be ready, but no one will notice us. I seek this opportunity to advise Lebanese security forces that Israeli spy cells will be fully mobilized to spy on the resistance during the maneuvers.”

“Until we meet on the seventh of June, when we will see your flags held up high and the signs of victory adorning your faces, I wish a happy Resistance and Liberation day; the liberation that will be complete when the Shebaa Farms and the Kafasrshouba Hills return back to us and when Palestine return to the Palestinians and Quds to its rightful owners.”

Peace be upon you.