Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah speech of May 18th, 2009

The text of the address made by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah tonight on Al Manar TV to commemorate the Nakbeh (Palestinian Catastrophe).

In the Name of Allah, The Compassionate, The Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, The Lord of the world and peace be on our Master and Prophet – The Seal of Prophets – Abi Al Qassem Mohamad Bin Abdullah and on his chaste and kind Household, his chosen companions and all prophets and messengers. Peace be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings.

First and before tackling any topic of tonight's speech, it's my obligation to pay condolences to all Muslims in the Islamic world, all our revered scholars namely His Eminence Ayatollah Imam Khamenai and the Hawzas (Islamic schools) for the passing away of Ayatollah Sheikh Mohamad Taqi Bahjat (May Allah bless him with His Mercy). I offer my special condolences to his family, pupils, and followers. We in Hezbollah also express our deep sorrow for the loss of this divine and great Gnostic scholar who stood by our resistance morally, culturally and spiritually and offered us much moral support. He used always to make blessed and noble prayers for this resistance and its fighters. In fact, he was among the first who gave us the good tidings of victory during the first days of July War when many hearts deviated and fear was ultimate. On this sorrowful occasion, I want to express our deep sorrow for the death of this great scholar. We ask Allah to endow him with His Mercy and award him with the high degrees which he deserves. We also ask Allah to close with our other revered scholars the great gap left with his passing away from this world.

Brothers and sisters, the first topic which I'd like to handle in fact helps greatly as an introduction to the second topic: the commemoration of Nakbeh - the Nakbeh of Palestine but rather of the entire nation 61 years ago. Indeed, I don't need to recall incidents because we have been living them all through the past years through the media, speeches, and lectures. In fact, the peoples of our region in particular live these incidents in a direct way.

But on the anniversary of the Nakbeh, I believe there are facts which must be quickly highlighted and observed. First when we recall the Nakbeh, we must stress the fact that this aggressive entity (Israel) was founded on usurping the lands of others, committing crimes against people especially women and children, collective exodus and occupation and is still founded on this basis. Consequently such an entity which is founded on usurp, massacres, exodus and occupation is not a legitimate entity, and it can't be a legitimate entity. The characteristic of legitimacy can't be endowed on it by any means.

Secondly, our current generation and the upcoming generations must know that the establishment of this aggressive entity in the heart of our Arab and Islamic region 61 years ago is the main reason for all the wars, catastrophes, ordeals, tensions and crises in the region. Consequently our former, current and upcoming generations must bear the consequences and resulting outcome of the implantation of this cancerous gland in the body of this region. Thus all must know and nobody must overlook the fact that the wars which took place in the region were imposed by this entity and its will, existence, tyranny and aggressiveness. And what the people of this region – whether Arab governments, peoples, armies and resistance movements - did was counteractions to the occupation which was established in 1948, expanded in 1967 and extended to reach Lebanon in 1982.

Thirdly, we must say facts about the region as they are. The source of the struggle is the cause of Palestine. All what took place afterwards was but repercussions and results of this struggle. The bargain was always on liquidating the Palestinian cause so that Palestine become of the past according to its people, the Arab and Islamic people and the peoples of the world. Efforts were exerted and schemes were made with the aim of pushing the Palestinian people to accept the statue quo, succumb, despair and give in their territories, homeland and legitimate rights. Since the very beginning –even in the 1950s – plots on settlement, an alternative homeland and autonomous rule were evoked in addition to plots on settlement in Gaza, the West Bank and outside Palestine in addition to continuous but covert and premeditated efforts to displace Palestinians – whether as individuals or families – in all countries worldwide. They offer them facilities and nationalities to fuse them in the societies they displace them to around the world so that there won't be any Palestinian people and cause anymore.

After sixty-one years of this international conspiracy and connivance against the people of Palestine and before the fact of the Palestinian people steadfastness, on such a day the Palestinian people must be hailed along with the Palestinian armed resistance represented in the popular Intifada, firmness, steadfastness and patience all through these long years. Palestinian martyrs, families of martyrs, wounded, 11 thousand prisoners who are still in jail, displaced and refugees who live in exodus and in camps in hard and despairing living conditions as is the case in Lebanon must also be hailed. Palestine's refusal for settlement – despite all difficulties and hard conditions- must also be hailed. This people neither did give up nor also retreat, decline or feel despair. Even when they expected signs of surrender and despair, the resistance starting-off was reverberating after 2000 in the form of Al Aqsa Intifada – the popular sweeping Intifada and tremendous armed resistance which put the Israeli entity before what was called by Zionist leaders as the Second Independence War.

The sacrifices of the Arab and Islamic peoples all through 61 years must also be hailed as well as the sacrifices of the Arab armies especially the armies of the neighboring countries especially the Egyptian and Syrian Armies which were engaged in hard and fateful wars of attrition against the Zionist enemy and presented heroic epics which will never be forgotten.

Still we must remind in this occasion of the obligation of the Arab and Islamic nation and all the freemen around the world especially the Arab governments and peoples towards Palestine and the Palestinian people especially pursuant to the suffering of Palestinians today whether in the Gaza Strip (as a result of the latest war, siege, miserable conditions and tensions despite the will of the resistance, the steadfastness and the brave refusal to succumb) or in the West Bank (due to arrests, settlement and disjointing attempts) or in Al Qods (due to Judaism, home demolitions, displacement of Palestinian families) or in territories occupied since 1948 (due to threats of uprooting and displacement) or in refugee campaigns inside Palestine or in exodus (due to grinding living conditions) or in prisons (where more than 11 thousand Palestinian captives spend their youth behind bars). Though the greater responsibility lies on the shoulders of the Palestinian people but the nation – the entire nation – must assume the responsibility of standing by the side of this people through supporting them in all possible means. That's because this people proved worthy of being supported and backed by the nation. The greatest evidence for that is its refusal to yield in for scores of years while standing sufferings, resisting, confronting and proceeding in its struggle against the Israeli enemy. The second topic which we will tackle pursuant to the events and all what took place since the Nakbeh till this day is the Israeli Maneuver – the so called (Turning Point III) which the Zionist entity will stage by the end of the current month (May 31 till June 4). This is the main issue I promised to tackle and if we had more time I would tackle the issue of spying networks and thus I will not delay talking about this issue till Friday during Nabatiyeh Festival Inshallah. The topic of the maneuver is very important and crucial. It deserves some detailed interpretation.

I subdivided the topic to first: What is Maneuver (Turning Point III) about? What’re Israelis doing in particular now? Secondly reading and analyzing the maneuver and all the possibilities. Thirdly: What is demanded and how we must behave? Now I want to recall that since the end of July War there was a consensus in the enemy entity - whether the government, army, security bodies, experts, press and the people – that the war against Lebanon was an utter failure (whether that was called defeat or victory). There is a consensually agreed upon fate in Israel that Israel flopped in achieving any of its goals in Lebanon. We all get acquainted with Vingrad report with the terms it used: despair, lack, gaps, and defects detected in the performance of the security cabinet, the premier, minister of defense, army leaders, the army and the security bodies. After July War they formed Vingrad Committee which tried to discover the gaps. Indeed not everything was announced. But the army and the Israeli War Minister formed 40 investigation panels to touch upon the detailed technical, specialization and professional affairs whereas Vingrad touched on the main issues to a big degree. On the light of Vingrad evaluation and the conclusions drawn by the 40 panels many gaps which must be addressed were disclosed. There is one characteristic for the enemy which must be acknowledged: its seriousness. So we are before an enemy who works according to its interests and aggressive illegitimate void project. Still it works with a degree of responsibility. Thus they started instantly in putting plans to rebuild the army, fill the gaps and address defaults and defects besides using new weapons and technologies and undertaking a series of lengthy exercises and great and important maneuvers. Time does not allow tackling these issues with details but their exercises were very broad and the aspects of the maneuvers are offensive in the northern region. Some people in Lebanon say that this issue does not concern us as Lebanese and as Lebanon. Well does a maneuver in the northern region concern Gaza? They also staged a Maneuver (Turning Point I) which focused on the leading bodies and the home front. That means how the leadership works. This maneuver was at the level of the enemy entity as a whole and not at the level of a definite region. There was also the offensive Spring Flowers Maneuver which was staged by the joined squads in the northern region. There was also the offensive Northern Winds Maneuver staged by the joined squads in the northern region. The Fire Stones Maneuver was on the level of the leadership of the chief of armed staff and the various arms: air, land and sea. They also staged a maneuver on the level of regions for leaders with partial representation for troops in the north, south and middle. They staged an offensive maneuver for brigades: 14 maneuvers for regular brigades. They staged a long-range offensive air maneuver. The French press has talked about it some days ago. This morning also the Israeli military radio said there are maneuvers in the Zionist entity for the Israeli Air Force. As for exercises, they are taking place in hundreds. There's no need to discuss them now. That's in addition to the joined maneuvers especially with the US troops whether the maneuvers with anti-rocket specialization or maneuvers with other nature. In this framework, and to wrap up this lengthy festival of maneuvers and exercises comes the maneuver of May 31 – June 4 which is called (Turning Point III). Let’s talk a bit about this maneuver which will be held on the level of the entire entity and not in one definite region. It was prepared for directly after the end of last year. It is a continuation of Maneuver (Turning Point I) which was staged in 2007 and (Turning Point II) which was staged in 2008. Now the Maneuver (Turning Point III) is in 2009. They describe the sum of all these maneuvers as gigantic. They say that its aim is raising and promoting the national Israeli readiness state in preparing for a military confrontation in which the home front would be a part in the battlefield. So they will stage a maneuver on the supposition that all the internal square – i.e. all the Israeli cities, villages, settlements, centers and edifices in Occupied Palestine were a part in the battle and the confrontation. The Deputy Israeli War Minister, the head of the national emergency body – whose name is General Vilnai - says that the aim of such a maneuver is introducing the people to the culture of emergency. Now I am talking with you but with precaution. Many in Lebanon will be precautious saying that this speech would cause fear for the Lebanese and the peoples of the region. Thus there is no need for this story. We'll try to handle the issue in an objective and appropriate way. On the other hand, observe how the Israelis talk and act. From May 31 to June 4, the entire entity – hospitals, schools, shelters, armed forces, the government and mass media - will be staging a maneuver and in a state of alert. There are measures demanded on the Israelis without any psychological or moral consideration being observed. How will the Israeli people in the enemy entity react to this issue as this maneuver has several dimensions which I will handle in this reading? Thus General Vilnai says that the aim of this maneuver is introducing the people to the culture of emergency as if war will take place next morning. If we added that to the words said by Ashkenazi – the chief of staff – who says that in 2009 complicated security challenges would ripe (and God knows what these complicated security challenges are which would necessitate that we (the Israelis) be fully ready) All of that highlights the importance of this maneuver according to the Israelis. In brief, Vilnai is saying that the entire state –the political leadership, the army, the security forces, the ministries and the civil society institutions (anyway they don't have any civil society) would practice that for five days. The topics covered by this Maneuver which is called Turning Point III are: the emergency cases authority which is under the leadership of the deputy Israeli war minister who assumes the responsibility of running the maneuver with all this authority members in all the entity. Secondly comes the Israeli government which will be in a state of alert. The security cabinet during the maneuver will convene as in a state of war as they follow up events and take decisions on war. Then comes the Israeli army with most of its forces, arms, bases (on top of which are the air forces), ministers, public administrations, local councils (i.e. the municipalities), 258 educational councils and institutions and internal front units (which put an alert plot through which it divided the enemy entity to 27 regions as compared to 10 regions to which it was divided before during emergency states). So they were ten regions: police forces, the civil defense, the Red Magen David, the firefighting… According to the scenario they are talking about, there is assumed to be an enemy and confrontation. How will they confront a wide-range rocket offensive staged by Iran, Syria, Lebanon or the Gaza Strip, with a simultaneous escalation in the West Bank, unconventional rocket attacks and explosions of dangerous materials in Haifa Bay, a great and unconventional terrorist incident in the city of Eilat, a series of sporadic events and the shelling of rockets in a number of cities and settlements across the entity. They are putting military targets for the maneuver related to the special readiness of ministries, state bodies, early alert stations, the performance of the government. How would it practice in a way different from its performance in July War regarding cooperation with the various bodies whether political, military and security? The prime target is to train the residents to confront the rocket threat and to reach the shelters and fortified rooms in a time that ranges between 15 seconds and three minutes. Imagine that! Also they aim to try the capacities of hospitals and their abilities to treat great numbers of wounded and injured.

In this maneuver the entire enemy entity will be preoccupied for five days. Still they are overcoming clearly all negative repercussions such as the retreat of the residents' personal security feelings. They say there is no problem in that. Let the people in the entity live in a state of apprehension and experience for a while the state of war, fighting, rocket shelling, and targeting of the occupied land? Why is that so? That I will mention later in my reading. But this feeling may be stood for greater goals sought by the Israelis through this drill. The Israelis determine to stage this maneuver - to which preparations started today through the Israeli Air Force- for five full days at the level of the entity and its surrounding. Reading this maneuver which can't be separated from the series of maneuvers, exercises and war plots executed by the enemy on one hand and which can't be separated from all the events and developments taking place in the region we reach several possibilities. In readings, they say we must read the current strategic environment through which the enemy entity looks, acts and takes into consideration. There is a number of developments and challenges on the level of our region which is not linked only to the past year, two or three but rather goes back to a longer time range. If we talked from the beginning (about the days we are commemorating these days i.e. May), there is no doubt that the defeat of the Israeli Army on May 25, 2000 and its unconditional humiliating pullout from Lebanon without any security arrangements, agreements with Lebanon, commitments, donations, profits and awards and in that humiliating way recalled by the Lebanese and the whole world has led to very serious repercussions on the Israeli Army and entity as acknowledged by senior Israeli officials at that time. This defeat in 2000 had serious repercussions which we will not explain now because they have repetitively been explained and in the coming ceremonies on May 25, we might mention them. The second point is that after year 2000 was Al Aqsa Intifada. It's the Intifada of the Palestinian people which developed to armed resistance with such broadness, comprehension and strength inside Occupied Palestine for the first time what led the enemy leadership to consider the confrontation of Al Aqsa Intifada and armed resistance as being involved in a second independence war (That's because they consider the establishment of the entity in 1948 as the first independence war.) Then came the compulsion of the Israeli enemy to pull out unilaterally from the Gaza Strip due to the escalation of resistance operations and the exhaustion of the enemy in Gaza. Fourthly came July War and the miserable defeat of the Israeli Army in this war. Then came Vingrad and its conclusions and statements besides the results and repercussions of this war on the enemy army, government and society. That's not to forget the development in the resistance movements of which I will talk later. That's not to forget taking into consideration within the strategic environment the failure of normalization with the peoples of even the states which signed peace treaties with Israel. These treaties remained official and they all failed to turn them to a natural status and natural relations with the peoples of the region especially the Egyptian and Jordanian peoples. Another point must be mentioned: the increase of awareness and the refusal of the Arab peoples to succumb to the Zionist project and the broad public massive support to the resistance and its movements and symbols. This support had transcended all considerations the Americans, Israelis and all who back them try to contain and isolate. Here we also add the growing capabilities of Iran during the past years on all domains especially on the technological level and its acquirement of nuclear technology for peaceful and civil purposes while Israel accuses Iran of seeking to build nuclear weapon which Israel views as an existential threat for the state of Israel though Iran definitively denies seeking to possess nuclear weapon. Fourthly we add the enhancement of Syrian capabilities on the military level, the strategic cooperation between Syria and Iran, Syria's firm backing of the resistance movements in Lebanon and Palestine and the flop of the attempts to isolate, weaken and impose conditions on Syria. The past few years were certainly among the most difficult years on Syria. Fifthly comes the setback of the Israeli project in the region as well as the special US capacity to launch new broad wars as the War on Afghanistan and Iraq. Sixthly is the preoccupation of the whole world with many crises and difficulties that arouse in other places but are caused by the world financial crises. We must take all of that as part of the strategic environment which must be taken into consideration in addition to the development of the resistance capabilities and skills in Palestine and Lebanon in quality and quantity as well as on the level of comprehension, plotting, performance, and tactics. First the Israelis used to face guerrillas but now they are facing a new school that projected itself in July War and Gaza War. Even more there is something new in the Israeli struggle with the resistance movements. All the area of Occupied Palestine is part of any coming war. It's not anymore limited to few settlements on the border. Now Israelis started acting seriously pursuant to the fact that any war in which they might engage –especially with the resistance in Lebanon – will be on all the area of the occupied land and not on a limited place in northern occupied Palestine (that's if not being involved in a regional war.) So the Israeli categorization of the resistance movement has moved from being threatening to the security of citizens and the current daily security to being a threat to the strategic security of the Zionist enemy if it hasn't developed to a threat of existential security. Israelis don't see the resistance movements as threatening to the existence of the entity; they rather see Iran as an existential threat. They see the resistance movements as threatening to the strategic security of the entity.

Amid this environment, these developments and after July War in particular and under the new Israeli cabinet (which returned the settlement process to square one as the Palestinian say where the world is begging Netanyahu to endorse the two-state solution i.e. talks returned to the very beginning), the enemy is carrying on its great wholesome maneuvers. So how do we read these maneuvers? What are the possibilities? We are talking about the possibilities the experts are also talking about. Nothing prevents that these possibilities come together or that there be other possibilities. The first possibility: saying that the goal of these maneuvers is first psychological and moral after the confidence in the undefeatable army, the political leadership, the government was shaken and the fall of the successive cabinets, the increase in early parliamentary elections and the crisis experienced by the Israeli street. So the first goal of these maneuvers is restoring the confidence and morals whether the confidence of the army in itself, its generals, officers and soldiers (because as is well-known after July War generals started holding the soldiers responsible and vice versa) or the confidence of the Israeli enemy in the army and cabinet and the confidence of the army and cabinet in one another. It might be said that the goal is psychological and moral of which the Israeli entity is in need. Thus these maneuvers will take place.

The second possibility is that Israel really feels worried on its existence or at least is living a great worry over its national and strategic security. Thus Israel is undertaking all what it believes is necessary to preserve its power, supremacy, competence and readiness to face any threat. So it would be putting all its exercises and maneuvers in the defensive framework.

The third possibility is of intimidating nature which aims at sending a strong message worldwide and to the region whether the Palestinians, Lebanon, Syria, Iran, the Arab peoples, all the Arab regimes and the rest of the world. The aim of this message is that Israel says that it's not weak, disintegrated, retreating or hesitant but rather strong, able, supreme, arrogant and is able to confront and crush and is ready to go to a war at the level of the entity and region without any hesitation. The message is above all to the Palestinians from Netanyahu cabinet to accept the statue quo because Netanyahu and Lieberman do not give in to the principle of two states and want to push things towards a limited administrative autonomous rule through highlighting the economic and living status of the Palestinians. The Israeli project is a Jewish state and consequently attacking the Palestinians of the territories occupied since 1948 and saying to the Palestinians: "There is no more Al Qods" as they carry on displacing the Palestinians in Al Qods while continuing in settlement building. Today it was said in the news that there are auction for building new settlements in the West Bank. So the Israelis are telling the Palestinians: You have no other choice but succumbing to what we want to give you as George Bush advised you in the past: Take from Sharon what he wants to give you. Now also take from Netanyahu and Liebermann what they want to give you. It is also a message to Syria which is looking forward to its occupied land and to all the Arab peoples and governments which says: We are proceeding towards a Jewish state through usurping territories and settlement-building and through judaizing Al Qods and displacing Palestinians. You - Arab governments, armies and peoples - can't do anything. Let no one among you think of preventing us from proceeding in our Zionist project on the level of Palestine. See Israel is armed from top to toe and not with ordinary conventional weaponry only but also with nuclear weapon. Israel is ready for war!

It's a message of intimidation also to Lebanon saying: We have been killing you, and we will carry on killing you. It's not I who is saying so but there are official security circles which fear a great security event might take place in Lebanon brought along by Israel. Consequently Israel is telling the Lebanese: Whatever I do in Lebanon –should my airplanes violate your horizons and spying networks infiltrate your families, villages, cities, sects and institutions - don't think of defending yourself or of taking any reaction. You must submit to whatever aggression because you will be facing an entity ready for war!

The message to Iran is that Israel will not tolerate the nuclear issue because it pauses a threat. So you Iranians threat us of a reaction if we staged an aggression against you. Here Israel is with its army, government and population all-ready to confront your reaction!

So we have three possibilities. The first possibility has a psychological-moral dimension. The second possibility has a defensive dimension and the third possibility is of an intimidation nature or psychological war. Nothing prevents that these three possibilities be collective goals for these maneuvers especially (Turning Point III).

The fourth and final possibility which I want to talk about and which couldn't be overlooked is that Israel be preparing for a new and sudden war, because as it's noticed, all Israeli speeches to their population which are setting the ground for the maneuver talk about sudden reactions though they know that at least no one in this stage will activate a front against Israel on the level of rockets and a broad and comprehensive military war. So why are they talking about that now? This gives hints that the Israelis are preparing for a security military aggression and supposes that this aggression will lead to sudden unexpected unpredicted reactions. Consequently, they want their entity and society to be ready in seconds or minutes to execute a maneuver on this level because they are the one who will start suddenly the aggression through their military and security action. Consequently they fear sudden reactions on their entity. Thus they are staging this maneuver. This is a possible assumption as all the other assumptions. We have no information and we are not able to determine decisively this issue. But this possibility must remain in the mind. This is a reading of the maneuvers and its possible assumptions especially the last possibility. So maybe the issue is limited to restoring confidence, defensive readiness, psychological war as well as the preparation for a military or security aggression which the Israelis think will lead to sudden reactions on this perspective.

The third topic of my speech is: before such possibilities, assumptions and reading, how are we concerned, how will we act and what shall we do? First to ease tension I want to say that we have no information but by analysis we don't go for believing that the Zionist enemy will wage a sudden war on the military level. As for the security level, it remains open any moment. From May 31 to June 4 – during, before and after the maneuver – the security level is liable at any moment. But benefiting from the maneuver and military readiness during these four or five days to stage a military aggression remains not a strong possibility but rather it's weak. We are talking about mere analysis. We have no information on which we may build any assumption. It's a kind of analysis. Precaution and our sense of responsibility necessitate that we act differently i.e. taking the worst possibilities into consideration. In politics we have the right to analyze as we want: be optimistic or pessimistic. We have the right to say decisively that nothing will take place. But this political analysis does not protect our country by any means in the moment of surprise, challenge and confrontation. Thus we are concerned about being precautious, alert and watchful in the broad line. As we have been following – since the end of July War – the Israeli maneuvers and exercises with the available information capabilities – we have highlighted at an early time this maneuver (Turning Point III). In a session for the national dialogue conference to discuss the defense strategy, the Head of the Loyalty to Resistance Bloc -Hajj Mohamad Raad - took a text with him. Some of what I've read on you now is from the text presented at the dialogue conference. He told them that something will take place on May 31. This is its magnitude and dimension. Consequently we in Lebanon as a state and people of a neighboring country to this aggressive entity which usurped Palestine we are concerned in assuming responsibility. We frankly did not take that paper to the dialogue table to convince anyone or to record points against anyone. We just made a political national demand of how to deal with this maneuver and any similar maneuvers which will follow (since that won't be the end of the path of the Israeli movement.) We wanted a national policy (namely an official policy) to deal with this issue because it concerns every Lebanese person and not Hezbollah alone or the armed resistance alone but rather all of Lebanon and even more it concerns the whole region especially that the possibilities and readings do vary. But unfortunately – talking responsibly- that issue did not meet the appropriate interest. Some officials on the dialogue table were concerned and asked questions. Some commented later and took political and media stances but on the level of the state as a state, neither did the dialogue table discuss the issue or considered that it will be discussed seriously – because in the coming date of convening the maneuver would've started and we won't be able to see what we are to do – and neither did the Lebanese government evoke this issue and discuss it or form a ministerial committee to study the issue. The issue did not even deserve that the Higher Council for Defense meet to discuss it. At least they had to convene and study and analyze the issue and make their contacts then say – at least – that they found nothing threatening Lebanon. There is nothing on the security and military levels and no surprises. O Lebanese! Cool down. There are no risks. At least a state or political authority which says is responsible about a country and its security, stability, fate and defense, must put this responsibility into action. We did not prevent them. We told them practice this responsibility and tell the Lebanese people, society and army how we must act. Shall everything remain normal and we take some pre-emptive measure or shall we get mobilized or is there anything else? What shall we do? Shall we rest and remain preoccupied with elections. No answer and no one to answer. Well some might not consider themselves concerned. Unfortunately we hear speeches and slogans saying that the decision of war and peace is among the responsibilities of the state. Now did the state ever take a decision of war or peace for the interest of Lebanon and its security, stability, the restoration of its territories, dignity and waters, and the Lebanese people – including the resistance – stood in face of this decision?

The issue does not end in giving in to one another who takes the decision of war and peace? You have to prove it. That's why we used to call for an able strong state. What does a strong able state mean? That doesn't mean that it has weapons only. It must have political leadership. What was the problem with the Israelis in July War? Was it its army or its political leadership which was confused and didn't know how to act? We want a strong and capable state and authority. Well in the current ministerial statement, the one that preceded it as well as Taif Accord and what preceded it, Lebanon officially considers Israel an enemy. Well, this enemy is saying that it will stage a maneuver at the level of its entity which is one of the greatest and largest maneuvers in the history of the entity since 61 years. Now the Lebanese state considers Israel as its enemy. Now this enemy is about to stage the greatest maneuver in its history. Still the Lebanese state doesn't have time to discuss how to handle this issue whether diplomatically, militarily, on the media, military, security and civil levels. (The issue of spying networks is another story and it seems I won't have enough time to discuss it. This issue has nothing to do with the maneuver and war. It is another story which we'll talk about later). But we all hoped the Lebanese government and authority would act otherwise. Anyway, there are still few days. I'm not recording points. This issue concerns Lebanon and it has to do with our fate and the dignity of our country. It's not a local affair to record points on one another. We still have time. Let the dialogue conference hold an extraordinary meeting and let the government specialize a session on this topic or form a ministerial committee that includes the Foreign Minister, the Defense Minister or others or let the Higher defense at least show up and reassure us – the Lebanese – that there is nothing frightening but we must take such and such precautions as you always demand on us. Let them tell us that there are parties which are more concerned with the resistance or definite regions which are more liable to being targeted. So let's put a national policy in this perspective… But unfortunately, it's not that we didn't see any responsible action in this perspective only, but also we noticed that some said that this issue does not concern Lebanon. On the other hand, we find Israel talking about the northern front which means Lebanon. After the dialogue conference, some people -whom you know and I don't need to name and whose responses to Friday's speech we are still waiting until they be wrapped up) said that this issue does not concern Lebanon and there is no need to take them into consideration. Indeed I understand the background of the issue. We say that Israel is our enemy in the official statement but on the cultural, emotional, psychological and spiritual levels do some Lebanese political forces act seriously as if Israel is our enemy? That means that when it says an enemy does it mistrust it or suppose that it might stage an aggression against our country? At least this is an enemy which is full-fledged and wants to stage a maneuver on the level of the entity. Some Lebanese show up to say that they are not concerned with this issue. Some also said that this issue was fabricated by Hezbollah who tossed it on the dialogue table. God knows what Hezbollah means by that! Maybe Hezbollah is preparing for something before the elections such as creating an atmosphere of struggle with Israel. Here we say: No. We have interest in the elections. We are waiting for June 7. The elections are important for all the Lebanese. The elections must take place on June 7. The Opposition and the resistance in particular have the greatest interest that elections take place on June 7 in a stable atmosphere because the resistance knows what it has suffered from in the past four years and what it might suffer from in the coming four years if the results of the elections were something else. Unfortunately instead of handling this issue seriously, they resorted to accusations.

Now the state is to assume its responsibilities and we are ready because after all we are part of this people and part of this targeting. Consequently, since 1982 till now the state hasn't done many in the various issues. In the liberation issue, the state was absent even on the political and media level. Afterwards it was present somehow. But the people did not abandon their responsibilities whether in liberating their territories, captives and water or in defending their honor, country, dignity and sovereignty.

Accordingly I like to say what follows so that no leakages would be heard later on what Hezbollah is doing. As resistance, we are concerned in taking a number of precautionary measures during the maneuver to foil any chance for any security or military action that might target Lebanon. As for Gaza, Syria, Iran and the occupied West Bank the issue concerns our other brethrens.

As for Lebanon, we are concerned in taking these measures in a natural way. At the same time, we will be fully-ready and fully-aware and watchful. I'm announcing this from now not to let people be worried but rather to assure them. Because if this message reached the Israelis from now, if they are planning for anything during these five days (May 31 –June 3) and want to make use of the factor of taking by surprise, we are saying that this element is lost. You might not do anything, but it's our obligation to take the worst possibilities into consideration. The Israeli enemy knows from his experience with the resistance in Lebanon as with the resistance in Palestine that this resistance would never become weak and feeble and it will never hesitate in assuming its obligation of defending its people, country, dignity, honor, high-esteem and glory.

The Israelis now came to know this message. I don't need to make a threatening speech. I like to tell the enemy: No the element of surprise is lost. I say even more: Not only starting from May 31 but even before May 31, the element of surprise is not present. We are ready. We will not bury our head in the sand. What shall we do? Unfortunately this is our fate; we will accept it and face our enemy because we live in a country on the border of which – i.e. on the holy land of Palestine the worst and most terrorist entity in the world and in history was implanted. Consequently this is our fate. We have to confront it. What else shall we do? Shall we leave our country, run away and immigrate? Shall we bury our head in the sand? Shall we succumb to the Israelis or work as agents for them or be a part in its project?

Since 1982, we didn't act as such. Many apart from us from among the Lebanese, Palestinians, Egyptians, Jordanians, Syrians and Arabs did not do that. Since 1948 we did not act as such and we will never ever act as such too.

I hope people will carry on their normal life. Don't worry. Don't be afraid. But it's our obligation to say what the scene is like. Our responsibility necessitates that we say the truth as it is. But at the same time our responsibility necessitates that we be cautious. We head to our schools, work and live our daily lives and go to elections. But I promise you that while people go for voting some people will be all-alert around the clock and in all fields.

Finally, I say that the decision of the army and security forces is in the hand of the political authority. I heard that the Commander of the Army visited the south some days ago and he had excellent stances. The security apparatuses likewise are working with alert whether the internal security forces or the Lebanese army and the other security bodies. I hope all of these parties would assume their responsibilities even the public security and the state security because this issue concerns the home and national security in particular concerning the spying networks. In this period, we must all be alert while we follow events. We mustn't all work for elections or cripple the elections. But well I can't say whether the timing is deliberate or not or it has political or psychological dimensions as it coincides with elections in Lebanon. It has no evidence but everyone is free to analyze as it suits him. We are living in a world of wolves where the strong devour the weak; a world run by the law of the forest; a world which is weak even to condemn the government of the enemy which had killed women and children in Qana Massacre I and II and in the United Nations headquarters and which uses the veto against condemning it; a world where man can't trust but in Allah and the available self-capabilities to defend his existence, honor, dignity and sovereignty. Thus we have no other way out but what I have mentioned. I hope that Inshallah these days would pass in peace. I believe that the existence of the resistance and the strong and broad popular embracement of the resistance, the existence of the army with its national conviction besides the security forces and the great national affiliations make us strong as it forms a deterrence to the Israeli enemy who knows that any war which he is heading to must be with guaranteed results or else its results will be catastrophic on him.