Friday, November 30, 2012

Hizb Allah’s Role in the Syrian Uprising

(many thanks to M for this interesting article. S)

Chris Zambelis for the CTC at West Point

As the civil war in Syria rages on, there is ample evidence pointing to the activities of foreign interests—nation states and non-state actors—opposed to the Ba`athist regime in Damascus.[1] In contrast, recent reports implicating Lebanese Hizb Allah, an avowed Syrian ally, remain murky. Hizb Allah continues to refute charges that it is participating as an active belligerent in the civil war, even as it continues to lend political and moral support to the Syrian government. The deaths of Hizb Allah members in Syria in October 2012 coupled with reports of Hizb Allah activities in border regions along the Syrian-Lebanese frontier, however, have raised a new set of questions about Hizb Allah’s role in the conflict.[2]

This article evaluates the growing number of reports of Hizb Allah’s involvement in Syria and the geopolitical stakes involved for the group amid the ongoing turmoil. It also addresses Hizb Allah’s likely preparations for a post-Ba`athist Syria should the regime fall. The article finds that Hizb Allah’s involvement in Syria encompasses political, humanitarian, intelligence, and operational dimensions.

Rumors and Headlines

Since the start of the Syrian uprising, the political and militant components of the Syrian opposition have accused Hizb Allah of being actively involved in the Ba`athist regime’s violent crackdown against both peaceful and militant dissidents. A longtime ally of Syria, Hizb Allah has remained resolute in its support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad throughout the crisis. The prevailing geopolitical conditions dictate that Hizb Allah and Iran will work to ensure the al-Assad regime’s survival.[3]

Along with the intensification of violence across Syria has come a rise in reporting that points to an operational role for Hizb Allah. According to an October 2 videotaped statement issued by the rebel al-Farouq Battalions, Ali Hussein Nassif, a purported Hizb Allah commander, along with two other Hizb Allah operatives, was killed in a series of operations launched by the al-Farouq Battalions and allied insurgent groups near the Syrian city of Qusair, located adjacent to the Syrian-Lebanese border.[4] The details surrounding the death of Nassif and his companions are vague. Some reports claimed that they were killed when the militants detonated a roadside Improvised Explosive Device (IED) near a vehicle they were driving on a road in Qusair.[5] Other reports suggested that they were killed in an ensuing firefight with insurgents after the IED detonated.[6] Another report claimed that Nassif and his colleagues were killed after a rocket attack struck a building in which they were staying.[7] The announcement of Nassif’s death was circulated on social media websites operated by the al-Farouq Battalions and other Syrian insurgent groups. Nassif’s death occurred after earlier reports of the death of Musa Ali Shahimi, another alleged Hizb Allah operative, who was reported to have perished in Syria under unclear circumstances in August.[8] The alleged death of Hussein Abdel Ghani al-Nimr, another reported Hizb Allah member, was said to have occurred in the context of the crisis in Syria shortly following Nassif’s death, but under even murkier circumstances.[9]

Syrian opposition sources also report having inflicted major casualties on Hizb Allah in Syria and of identifying Hizb Allah members in combat.[10] The Free Syrian Army (FSA) claims to have killed 60 Hizb Allah fighters in heavy clashes in Qusair in October that prompted Hizb Allah to request a truce to retrieve the bodies of their fallen comrades.[11] Members of the Syrian security forces and irregular paramilitary units known as the shabiha (ghosts) captured by FSA militants have issued statements while in captivity claiming that they had received training or direct orders by Hizb Allah and Iran.[12] The FSA also claimed to have detained 13 Hizb Allah members around the opposition stronghold city of Homs, in western Syria.[13] FSA detachments also frequently showcase what they allege is evidence of some of the measures undertaken by Hizb Allah to navigate the battlefield, including its supposed reliance on using ambulances and other civilian vehicles.[14] The FSA claims that Hizb Allah’s presence in Syria numbers well in the thousands, an estimate that overstates the group’s true membership.[15] The FSA’s abduction of Hassan Salim al-Miqdad, a member of the prominent al-Miqdad clan centered in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, in Syria in August adds another layer of intrigue to the Hizb Allah dynamic in Syria. Al-Miqdad’s captors described him as a Hizb Allah member. This incident provoked a wave of retaliatory abductions of 20 Syrians and one Turk by al-Miqdad clan members in the southern outskirts of Beirut.[16]

A sober assessment of the claims repeated by the Syrian opposition regarding Hizb Allah’s activities in Syria finds that many tend to be outlandish and exaggerated. Many of these accounts appear crafted to achieve broader political goals aimed at undermining Hizb Allah’s reputation and further weakening Syria. This tone of reporting also tends to misrepresent the true nature of Hizb Allah’s role in the Syrian crisis.

The Resistance Responds

Hizb Allah has responded to the numerous allegations regarding its activities in Syria. While scoffing at claims that it is fighting alongside Syrian forces, Hizb Allah officials have issued public statements during the funeral ceremonies held for Nassif and other Hizb Allah members in their native Lebanon. Lauding their contributions to the organization, Hizb Allah officials described Nassif and others as having perished while “performing their jihadist duties.”[17]

Hizb Allah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah elaborated on the circumstances surrounding Nassif’s death and the growing reports of Hizb Allah activity in the vicinity of Qusair during a televised statement broadcast by al-Manar television on October 11. Nasrallah labeled the accusations that Hizb Allah has deployed thousands of operatives in Syria and that it is suffering major losses as lies. Underscoring the group’s transparency in dealing with the crisis, he stressed that Hizb Allah has recognized its losses, as evidenced by the publicly held funerals for its fallen members.[18] Nasrallah also rejected reports that Hizb Allah was participating in combat alongside the Ba`athist regime on account that its ally in Damascus did not request its assistance.[19]

Regarding the circumstances surrounding Nassif’s death in Syria, Nasrallah offered an explanation that provides insight into Hizb Allah’s broader approach to the Syrian crisis. He emphasized that members of Hizb Allah were present in 23 villages and 12 farms in the vicinity of Qusair, but only to protect the approximately 30,000 residents of Lebanese origin—Shi`a, Sunni, Christian, and Alawite—who reside there and have come under repeated attacks by the FSA. Nasrallah added that many of the region’s residents have remained in Syria despite the conflict to protect their property. While located in Syrian territory, the residents of these villages identify as Lebanese, according to Nasrallah, with many maintaining familial links to communities in Lebanon’s northern city of Hermel in the Bekaa Valley and surrounding areas. He stressed that while this patchwork of communities is diverse in its politics, many support or are involved in some capacity with Hizb Allah, including its military wing.[20] Nasrallah also refuted claims that Nassif served as a commander for Hizb Allah’s Syria operations. Nassif’s death, Nasrallah declared, stemmed from his activities supporting the besieged Lebanese communities inside Syria around Qusair.[21]

In light of its continued support for the al-Assad regime, Hizb Allah is mindful of its sensitive political position in Lebanon and reputation across the Middle East. As a result, Nasrallah’s retort to the allegations surrounding Hizb Allah’s activities in Syria was couched in a broader narrative of resistance—in this case, its defense of a besieged Lebanese population in Syria—it has honed over the years.[22] Despite Nasrallah’s claims, there is more to Hizb Allah’s presence in Syria.

Evaluating the Evidence

Hizb Allah’s stake in Syria cannot be understood without considering its place in Lebanese politics and wider geopolitical paradigms in the Middle East.[23] As a member of the Resistance Axis, an alliance that includes Syria and Iran, Hizb Allah is party to a larger regional competition between rival alliance blocs. The United States, Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) allies, and Israel, are positioned on one side against Iran, Syria, and Hizb Allah on the other. Saudi Arabia and Qatar, for example, have spearheaded efforts to organize the Syrian opposition to diminish Iran’s regional influence by weakening its alliance network. In Lebanon, the Hizb Allah-led March 8 coalition, which includes the Amal Movement[24] and other political parties aligned with Syria, stands against the March 14 coalition, a U.S.- and Saudi-backed network of political parties that includes former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s Future Movement and Lebanon’s Salafist current. In an attempt to strengthen its position in Lebanon and weaken its rival Hizb Allah, the March 14 coalition has thrown its support behind the Syrian opposition, inflaming political and sectarian tensions in Lebanon.[25]

In this context, Nasrallah’s admission of a limited Hizb Allah presence in Syria seems to correspond with the group’s traditional thinking and approach. Hizb Allah has a strong interest in ensuring that the al-Assad regime remains in power. The potential fall of the Ba`athist regime would have a profound effect on Hizb Allah on many levels. In military terms, the possible loss of the strategic depth Syrian territory has provided Hizb Allah over the years would, in theory, hamper its ability to operate. The geographic continuity between Lebanon and Syria affords Hizb Allah with a safety zone to operate outside of its Lebanese home. Syria also serves as a logistical land bridge for supplying Hizb Allah with arms and materiel and enabling training and other operational activities. Syria’s alliance with Hizb Allah emboldens the latter’s deterrence posture relative to Israel and its enemies in Lebanon. Syria’s continued support for Hizb Allah also serves as a form of assurance for its allies—Muslim and Christian—in Lebanon’s inherently turbulent body politic.[26]

With the persistent turmoil that continues to shake Syria—raising the possibility of the replacement of the Ba`athist regime with one whose interests would be inimical to Hizb Allah—the prospects of a peaceful transition are remote. The al-Assad regime continues to enjoy support among a cross-section of Syrian society irrespective of religious confession and ethnicity and among millions who fear what a complete breakdown in order would entail. This reality foreshadows enduring violence and chaos, in essence a protracted civil war, should the Ba`athist regime collapse. In this regard, any post-Assad scenario will provide Hizb Allah and its allies inside Syria and around the region with the opportunity to countervail attempts by emergent forces to draw Syria away from its previous stance.

The fall of the Ba`athist regime would certainly take Syria out of the Resistance Axis. This does not mean that Hizb Allah and its allies will stand idle. It is conceivable that Nasrallah’s explanations for Hizb Allah’s activities in Syria reflect this reality. A deployment of Hizb Allah operatives in strategically important areas along the Syrian-Lebanese border, especially in and around villages that are home to communities sympathetic to Hizb Allah or possibly the Ba`athist regime (or apolitical communities opposed to the FSA), ensures the group an operational foothold in Syria in any post-Assad scenario. A Hizb Allah presence in these areas also emboldens the Ba`athist regime, thereby allowing it to devote valuable military resources to other theaters. At the same time, Hizb Allah is also a relatively small organization that has worked hard over the years to foster its reputation as a Lebanese entity that exists to defend Lebanon against Israel. Hizb Allah, therefore, must be careful not to overextend itself in operational as well as political terms, especially as the Ba`athist regime continues to draw the international community’s scorn.

Some predict that the potential collapse of its patron in Damascus will leave Hizb Allah irreparably weakened and vulnerable in the face of its numerous Lebanese and regional foes, especially Israel. Subscribers of this view, however, would be advised to revisit Hizb Allah’s evolution over the years, specifically the period of tensions surrounding the “war of the camps” (1984-89) characterized by the years of open warfare between Hizb Allah and its present-day allies the Amal Movement and Syria during Lebanon’s civil war (1975-1990).[27] Hizb Allah has long established itself as an organic Lebanese organization that is able to wield tremendous social, political, economic, and military functions in Lebanon. Hizb Allah will remain relevant in Lebanon and beyond should the Ba`athist regime fall.

Chris Zambelis is an analyst and researcher specializing in Middle East affairs with Helios Global, Inc., a risk management group based in the Washington, D.C., area. The opinions expressed here are the author’s alone.

[1] Karen DeYoung and Liz Sly, “Syrian Rebels Get Influx of Arms with Gulf Neighbors’ Money, U.S. Coordination,” Washington Post, May 15, 2012.
[2] Nicholas Blanford, “Accusations Mount of Hezbollah Fighting in Syria,” Christian Science Monitor, October 15, 2012.
[3] Reports that pro-Ba`athist factions based in Iraq, including numerous Shi`a militias, are operating in Syria on behalf of the Ba`athist regime are appearing with increasing frequency. See Suadad al-Salhy, “Iraqi Shi’ite Militias Fight for Syria’s Assad,” Reuters, October 16, 2012.
[4] “Al Farouk Battalions: The Assassination of Hezbollah Representatives in Syria Ali Hussein Nassif,” available at
[5] “Hezbollah Military Commander ‘Killed in Syria,’” BBC, October 2, 2012.
[6] Ibid.
[7] Ibid.
[8] Tulin Daloglu, “Turkey Held Hostage in Syria,” al-Monitor, October 23, 2012.
[9] “Hezbollah Buries Fighter Killed in Syria ‘Border Area,’” Daily Star [Beirut], October 8, 2012.
[10] A Syrian army officer who defected relayed the following account: “With my own eyes I saw snipers on the top floors of buildings, Iranian snipers, Hezbollah people shooting at the people.” See “More than 8,500 Syrian Refugees in Turkey,” Agence France-Presse, June 14, 2011. Similarly, the commander of an FSA-affiliated detachment offered another firsthand testimony from the front: “They [Hizb Allah] were very professional and tough fighters. You can tell they are superior fighters from the way they move in battle and how they fight.” See Nicholas Blanford, “Hezbollah Role in Syria Grows More Evident,” Daily Star, October 12, 2012.
[11] Paula Astatih, “Syria: FSA Kill 60 Hezbollah Fighters, Retake Town,” al-Sharq al-Awsat, October 12, 2012.
[12] See “The Free Syrian Army Captured 13 of al-Assad’s Thugs in Idlib Province in Syria 15.12.2011,” available at
[13] “FSA Threatens to Take Fight to Hezbollah Stronghold in Beirut,” Daily Star, October 10, 2012.
[14] “Free Syrian Army Captures Hezbollah Terror Ambulance Loaded with Weapons 11-13-11 Homs,” November 23, 2011, available at
[15] An al-Arabiya report claimed that 1,500 members of Hizb Allah are operating in Syria. This report was supposedly based on figures that were described as “leaked” Syrian security files. See “Over a Thousand Hezbollah Agents in Syria,” al-Arabiya, October 7, 2012. Syrian opposition factions have similarly accused Iran of deploying members of its elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to suppress the protests. It is important to note that the veracity of these leaked documents has come under scrutiny, prompting al-Arabiya to issue a formal response. See Faisal J. Abbas, “An Apology on Behalf of Al Arabiya,” al-Arabiya, October 13, 2012. A member of the FSA told the Independent that “thousands” of Hizb Allah fighters had entered Syria and were fighting as part of the Syrian security forces. He also added that he was able to distinguish between members of Hizb Allah and other Syrian soldiers due to the former’s “combat skills” and use of “M16 assault rifles.” See Loveday Morris, “Hezbollah Crosses Syrian Border with Bloody Assault on Assad’s Enemies,” Independent, October 26, 2012. While precise estimates of Hizb Allah’s regular membership vary widely, its core paramilitary wing—excluding its numerous reserve and auxiliary units that are usually mobilized during conflict scenarios—is not likely to number more than a few thousand members. In this context, reports of Hizb Allah forces mobilizing in the hundreds or thousands in Syria as is often repeated by Syrian opposition sources should not be taken seriously. The FSA has an incentive to overestimate Hizb Allah’s presence in Syria.
[16] Hizb Allah has strongly denied any association with Hassan Salim al-Miqdad and the retaliatory abductions conducted in Dahiye by members of the al-Miqdad clan. Hizb Allah’s political rivals in Lebanon accuse Hizb Allah of executing the abductions in concert with the al-Miqdad clan. It is widely accepted that Hizb Allah maintains friendly relations with many of the most influential tribes and clans in Lebanon, particularly the constellation of predominantly Shi`a families residing in the Bekaa Valley such as the al-Miqdads. The extent of Hizb Allah’s relations with the al-Miqdads and other powerful clans whose influence in Lebanese society precedes Hizb Allah by generations does not, however, translate into a formal alliance, even though Hizb Allah’s rise and influence could not have been realized without their support. Just as important, the interests of the al-Miqdads and Hizb Allah have been known to clash on many issues. For more details about the circumstances behind the wave of abductions in Syria and Lebanon described above and the complexities underlying Hizb Allah’s interaction with the al-Miqdads and other important Lebanese clans, see Mona Harb and Lara Deeb, “Fissures in Hizballah’s Edifice of Control,” Middle East Research and Information Project, October 30, 2012. Also see Nour Samaha, “Meeting the Clans of Lebanon,” al-Jazira, August 18, 2012.
[17] “Lebanon’s Hizballah Buries Fighters Killed in Syria,” al-Jazira, October 3, 2012.
[18] “Transcript of Televised Speech by Hizballah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah,” al-Manar, October 11, 2012.
[19] Ibid.
[20] Ibid.
[21] Ibid.
[22] Relatedly, Hizb Allah has also organized aid and relief efforts serving Syrian refugees and other affected populations, regardless of their political or religious identification, throughout Lebanon. See “Hizbullah’s Mobile Health Clinics Help Syrian Refugees in Lebanon,” Crescent International [Toronto], October 1, 2012.
[23] Most of the attention regarding the nature of Hizb Allah’s involvement in Syria in support of the Ba`athist regime tends to focus on developments in Syria proper. Considering Lebanon’s role in facilitating the insurgency in operational, logistical, financial, and personnel terms, it is likely that Hizb Allah is playing a larger than acknowledged role inside Lebanon on behalf of Syria. Hizb Allah and its allies are almost certainly gathering valuable intelligence on the activities of insurgents on the Lebanese side of the Syrian-Lebanese border and conducting other activities to bolster the Ba`athist regime.
[24] The Amal movement also commands a wide following in the Lebanese Shi`a community.
[25] The crisis in Syria is inflaming sectarian tensions in Lebanon to such a degree that Lebanese Sunnis opposed to Hizb Allah and Syria, including hardline Salafists, are openly expressing a desire to organize professional and highly-capable militias based on the example of Hizb Allah. See Radwan Mortada, “Exclusive: The Man Behind Hariri’s Secret Army,” al-Akhbar [Beirut], October 25, 2012. Also see Mohammed Zaatari, “Assir Says Suspends Plans for Military Wing,” Daily Star, November 17, 2012. Members of the Future Movement are also ratcheting up political pressure against Hizb Allah by calling for a formal investigation into its activities relating to Syria. See “Judiciary to Probe Hezbollah’s ‘Involvement’ in Syrian Crisis,” Lebanese National News Agency, October 9, 2012. Even the Free Syrian Army has threatened to target Hizb Allah in Beirut. See “FSA Threatens to Take Fight to Hezbollah Stronghold in Beirut,” Daily Star, October 10, 2012.
[26] The predominantly Christian Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) represents a key ally of Hizb Allah within the March 8 coalition. Hizb Allah has also been able to attract support among a broader segment of the Lebanese Christian community that views the group as a necessary bulwark against Israel.
[27] Augustus Richard Norton, Hezbollah: A Short History (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007).

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Le grand chemin vers Jérusalem : le Hamas trahit l’Iran et la Syrie

De Fida Dakroub pour Global Research


Lorsque l’émir du Qatar, Hamad, fut arrivé à Gaza, à la tête d’une importante délégation comprenant son épouse, Moza, et son premier ministre, Hamad – celui-ci un cheikh non pas un émir –, il fut accueilli par le chef du gouvernement du Hamas, Ismaïl Haniyeh, qui eut organisé une cérémonie officielle grandiose pour l’occasion. Les deux hommes se tinrent côte à côte pendant que les hymnes nationaux palestinien et qatari furent joués. Certainement, un tapis rouge eut été déployé en son honneur ; et l’émir fut ensuite accueilli par un parterre de responsables du Hamas, dont les ministres du gouvernement de Gaza et un dirigeant en exil du mouvement, Saleh Arouri, venu dans le territoire palestinien pour cette occasion très glorieuse [1].

En plus, monsieur Taher al-Nounou, le porte-parole du chef du gouvernement du Hamas à Gaza, qui eût avalé sa langue en récitant les allégeances à son nouvel émir, déclara que cette visite avait une grande signification politique parce que c’était le premier dirigeant arabe – plutôt « arabique » selon notre nomenclature [2] – à briser le blocus politique [3].

Des fusées d’allégresse furent tirées, évidemment, dans le ciel de la bande de Gaza, assiégée, depuis un millénaire et quelque, par la soldatesque israélienne et la trahison arabe.

Dans les rues, des milliers de drapeaux palestiniens et qataris furent accrochés, ainsi que des photos géantes du cheikh Hamad : « Merci au Qatar qui tient ses promesses » (sic.) ; ou « Bienvenue » pouvait-on lire sur des panneaux le long de la route Salaheddine, qui parcourait le territoire palestinien du nord au sud.

– L’émir a accepté d’augmenter l’investissement du Qatar de 254 à 400 millions de dollars, déclara monsieur Haniyeh, lors d’une cérémonie à Khan Younès, en présence de cheikh Hamad, pour poser la première pierre d’un projet de logements destinés à des familles palestiniennes défavorisées, qui porterait aussi le nom de son Allégresse : Hamad ou l’émir du Qatar.

Cette omniprésence de son Allégresse qui précéda l’opération militaire israélienne baptisée « pilier de défense », cette précipitation subite de l’influence qatarie à Gaza, cette extase des chefs du Hamas au point de passage de Rafah, touchés par le Saint-Esprit du despotisme obscurantiste arabique, cette montée de l’émir pendant qu’il descendait, cette apparition pendant qu’il se cachait, ce silence pendant qu’il parlait, ce bruit pendant qu’il se taisait n’étaient pas un privilège de sa nature, comme le proclamaient l’émir et ses adulateurs, ni une hallucination collective, comme l’affirmaient ses détracteurs, non, simplement un faux calcul de la part des chefs du Hamas au lendemain de leur trahison ignoble envers la Syrie et l’Iran.

La trahison du Hamas envers la Syrie et l’Iran

Avant toute chose, ce qui manquait aux médias « résistants » pendant le dernier cycle de violences à Gaza, c’était le courage ! Non celui d’insulter leur « ennemi », ici Israël, mais bien plutôt le courage de décortiquer le soi-disant « allié » quand il se fut transformé en Dalila, et « l’alliance » avec lui en la chevelure convoitée de Samson [4]. C’est ce que les médias libellés « résistants » n’osèrent pas faire en réaction de la trahison du Hamas envers la Syrie et l’Iran.

D’ailleurs, loin des fracas des obus et des missiles tirés des deux côtés, une question très simple s’imposa dès le premier jour des opérations militaires à Gaza, sur laquelle ni les médias arabes « résistants » ni ceux d’Israël n’eurent pas la « générosité » d’y répondre : Quelle mouche piqua le premier ministre israélien, monsieur Netanyahou, pour qu’il donne le feu vert à une opération militaire ? La simplicité d’une telle question, au point de départ, n’exclut pas une certaine difficulté à répondre, au point d’arrivée ; et par « répondre », nous n’attendons pas, évidemment, un tel ou tel brouhaha médiatique qui ne sert ni à présenter les faits objectifs d’une telle opération ni à « répondre » à la question ci-devant. Autrement dit, tout ce que l’on eut dit, tout ce que l’on eut publié, que ça fût par les médias israéliens ou par leurs « ennemis », les médias « résistants », ne constitua, du point de vue de l’analyse de discours, aucune matière analytique des faits objectifs menant à l’opération « pilier de défense » ; et la seule synthèse à tirer des deux discours, israélien et « résistant », c’est que les deux groupes eurent bien maîtrisé, pendant le déroulement des opérations militaires, l’art de la propagande !

En effet, dès le début de la campagne impérialiste contre la Syrie, en mars 2011, le Hamas prit le camp de la soi-disant « révolution syrienne », voire de la guerre impérialiste contre la Syrie ; justifiant le « déplacement du fusil d’une épaule à l’autre », selon une expression libanaise, comme « soumission à la volonté des peuples arabes » en plein printemps des Arabes [5].

Il suffit de faire le parallèle avec la visite du premier ministre du mouvement islamiste palestinien Hamas, Ismaïl Haniyeh, au Caire, le 24 février 2012, lorsqu’il eut salué ce qu’il appela « la quête du peuple syrien pour la liberté et la démocratie [6] » (sic.).

« Je salue le peuple héroïque de Syrie qui aspire à la liberté, la démocratie et la réforme », déclara monsieur Haniyeh devant une foule de partisans réunis dans la mosquée d’Al-Azhar, pour un rassemblement consacré à « soutenir » (sic.) la mosquée Al-Aqsa, à Jérusalem, et le peuple syrien [7].

Il est intéressant de savoir aussi que la première visite officielle du premier ministre Haniyeh, hors du Gaza, fut pour les Frères Musulmans, dans leur quartier général de Moqattam au Caire, où il commenta que le Hamas était « un mouvement jihadiste des Frères musulmans avec un visage palestinien ».

Monsieur Haniyeh parlait devant une foule de partisans des Frères musulmans qui scandaient « Ni Iran ni Hezbollha » ; « Syrie islamique » ; « Dégage, Bachar, dégage espèce de boucher », tandis que sa Sainteté, monsieur Haniyeh, restait de marbre [8].

D’ailleurs, il faut noter que le Hamas n’est pas seulement un mouvement islamiste palestinien, mais il est aussi issu d’une idéologie précise, celle des Frères musulmans, pires ennemis du pouvoir politique en Syrie. Ses trois fondateurs, Ahmed Yassin, Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi et Mohammed Taha, étaient aussi issus des Frères musulmans ; ce qui explique la raison pour laquelle les chefs du Hamas se sont tournés contre le président syrien Bachar al-Assad, supporteur historique de la cause palestinienne, après qu’ils avaient reçu pendant de nombreuses années le soutien du pouvoir en Syrie face à Israël, pour se tourner brusquement 180°, pour se positionner dans le camp opposé à Damas, pour la trahir en prenant partie du camp de la Turquie, de l’Égypte et des émirats et sultanats arabiques du golfe Persique, pour se mettre en contradiction avec « l’axe-de-résistance », ou l’Arc chiite, selon la nomenclature de la réaction arabique et de l’impérialisme mondial.

Le Hamas sur le chemin d’un accord Oslo 2

Avant toute chose et selon Amos Harel, un analyste du quotidien israélien Haaretz, dès le début de l’opération militaire israélienne à Gaza, ni le Hamas ni Israël n’avaient intérêt à vagabonder dans une confrontation militaire prolongée, ni à s’engager dans une nouvelle « farce » comme celle de la guerre de Gaza en 2008 – 2009. En plus, Harel ajouta que l’évaluation des services de renseignements israéliens, rapportée au bureau du premier ministre Netanyahou, indiquait que le Hamas se considérait hors de la confrontation militaire, et n’avait pas intérêt à s’y mêler. Il précisa aussi que chaque fois que le Hamas devait choisir entre la valeur réelle de la résistance et le pouvoir politique, il choisissait toujours le deuxième [9].

Plusieurs indices nous entrainent à conclure ici que le Hamas se dirige vers un nouvel « Oslo », qui mènerait à une reconnaissance d’Israël.

Premièrement, en abandonnant « l’axe-de-résistance », en trahissant la Syrie et l’Iran, en recevant la bénédiction du Saint-Esprit de la réaction arabique, en se positionnant dans le camp des soi-disant « Arabes modérés », c’est-à-dire au sein de la guerre impérialiste contre la Syrie, le Hamas ouvre, en effet, une porte vers un nouvel « Oslo » qui mènerait à la reconnaissance d’Israël, parrainée, cette fois-ci, par l’émirat du Qatar. La visite « grandiose » de son Allégresse l’émir du Qatar à Gaza confirme cette hypothèse, surtout après que l’émir eut annoncé une aide de 400 millions de dollars US à Gaza [10] et 2 milliards de dollars à l’Égypte [11].

Deuxièmement, le parrainage de l’Égypte du dernier accord de cessez-le-feu entre Gaza et Israël, et sa conclusion subite, visait premièrement à couper le chemin aux autres organisations palestiniennes qui adoptent toujours le choix de la résistance, et qui ne se sont pas encore impliquées dans la Sainte-Alliance contre la Syrie, telles que le Jihad islamique, et le Front populaire pour la libération de la Palestine. À cela s’ajoute que l’intervention de l’Égypte et sa précipitation à déclarer un cessez-le-feu visaient aussi à maintenir l’autorité du Hamas à Gaza face au Jihad et au FPLP. Il faut noter ici que le Hamas ne prit part aux escarmouches qui précédèrent l’assassinat d’al-Jaabari entre Israël, d’un côté, et les organisations palestiniennes, de l’autre côté ; et que les combattants du Hamas ne tirèrent aucune balle contre Israël pendant les accrochages précédents ; leurs chefs ne voulaient pas se laisser entrainer dans une confrontation avec Israël, qui eût pu nuire à leur plan de se mettre sous la cape de l’émir du Qatar, Hamad. Plus tard, le Hamas fut obligé de prendre part des opérations militaires seulement après l’assassinat d’un de ses chefs militaires, al-Jaabari, sinon la « farce » eût été scandaleuse !

Troisièmement, lors de la déclaration au Caire du cessez-le-feu, le chef du Hamas, Khaled Machaal, ne fit la moindre allusion au rôle de la Syrie ni à celui de la République islamique de l’Iran, qui soutenaient, pendant de nombreuses années, la cause palestinienne, surtout le Hamas ; ce qui poussa le secrétaire général du Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, à faire allusion à l’ingratitude et au manque de reconnaissance des chefs du Hamas envers l’Iran et la Syrie [12].

Quatrièmement, la « surprise des surprises » que nous firent les chefs du Hamas, c’était la dernière fatwa [13] prohibant, sous peine d’excommunication, les attaques contre Israël [14] ! Une telle fatwa sert à établir un fondement et une légitimité religieux pour un prochain accord de paix entre Israël et le Hamas, et cela à trois niveaux : celui des relations avec Israël, celui des relations intra-palestiniennes, et celui des relations interarabes.

De la fatwa du Hamas prohibant les opérations militaires contre Israël

Primo, au niveau des relations avec Israël, une telle fatwa faciliterait, dans un futur proche, la déclaration de Gaza comme un territoire « indépendant », non pas d’Israël, mais plutôt indépendant de la Cisjordanie ; là où le chef de l’autorité palestinienne, Mahmoud Abbas, passe à Ramallah le restant de sa vie à lutter, pour ainsi dire, avec Simón Bolívar, contre la vacuité et l’ennui ; à chasser, dans son labyrinthe, les mouches vertes de son désœuvrement pénible [15]. En plus, cette fatwa confirmerait, avant toute chose, la frontière de la « Palestine » et l’officialiserait ! Non pas de la Palestine de 1948, ni celle de 1967, ni même celle de 1992, mais bien plutôt, une sorte de miniature d’une certaine Palestine quelconque et microscopique, qui s’étendrait tout au long de la côte méditerranéenne, du nord jusqu’au sud de la bande de Gaza !

Bravo Hamas ! Madre de Deus, nostro Sennor ! [16]

Secundo, au niveau intra-palestinien, une telle fatwa prohibe toute action militaire contre Israël, ce qui imposerait, par conséquent, le Hamas comme la seule autorité militaire, politique, civile et religieuse à Gaza, qui tiendrait seule la résolution de faire la guerre ou d’établir la paix avec Israël. Pourtant, cette « ascension » du Hamas au rang des dieux, officialiserait et institutionnaliserait non seulement son pouvoir à Gaza, mais aussi la division palestinienne et accélérerait la création de deux « entités » isolées et séparées l’une de l’autre par le territoire israélien : l’émirat du Hamas à Gaza et le comté de l’OLP en Cisjordanie.

Quelle comédie ! Quelle tragédie ! Et l’Éternel fut avec Josué, dont la renommée se répandit dans tout le pays [17].

Tertio, au niveau interarabe, la fatwa constitue une déclaration de la part du Hamas, aussi claire que le ciel bleu de Beyrouth au mois de juillet, indiquant la rupture complète avec le restant des pays arabes encore résistants à la normalisation avec Israël, et confirme aussi que la résistance n’est plus un choix ; et cela au grand dam du discours triomphaliste des fanfarons et des hâbleurs des médias palestiniens et de ceux libellés « résistants », au lendemain de la déclaration de la trêve entre Gaza et Israël.

Ce qui advint de Djeha-Hodja Nasreddin lorsqu’il coupa la branche sur laquelle il était assis

Djeha-Hodja Nasreddin était assis à califourchon sur une grosse branche de cerisier, ses culottes amples et son long burnous blanc enserrant sa taille et ses jambes se balançant d’un côté à l’autre, chaque fois qu’il maniait sa hache.

- Le salut sur toi, Djeha-Hodja Nasreddin Effendi ! Appela une voix en dessous.

- Sur toi le salut, Khalid Effendi ! Dit Djeha-Hodja Nasreddin assis en équilibre sur la branche. Posant sa hache, il arrangea son turban qui avait glissé sur le côté.

- Tu vas tomber de cet arbre ! l’avertit Khalid, regardes comme tu es assis !

- Tu ferais mieux de regarder où tu marches, rétorqua Djeha-Hodja Nasreddin. Les gens qui regardent les cimes des arbres et les nuages sont sûrs de se cogner les orteils.

Soudain, la branche s’est retrouvée au sol, suivie par la hache, puis par Djeha-Hodja Nasreddin. Il était trop occupé pour remarquer qu’il était assis du mauvais côté de la branche qu’il était en train de couper.

En guise de conclusion, il nous paraît que le sort du Hamas, après la rupture avec la Syrie et l’Iran, et après la précipitation de ses chefs pour se soumettre sous la cape de l’émir du Qatar, ne serait, en aucun point, moins tragique que le sort du mullah Djeha-Hodja Nasreddin lorsqu’il eut coupé la branche sur laquelle il était assis. Coupé de son arrière-front – l’Iran et la Syrie –, la bande de Gaza se trouve désormais victime des humeurs des rois d’Israël.

Fida Dakroub, Ph.D

Docteur en Études françaises (The University of Western Ontario, 2010), Fida Dakroub est écrivain et chercheur en théorie bakhtinienne. Elle est aussi militante pour la paix et les droits civiques.

Site officiel de l’auteur :


[1] L’Orient-Le Jour. (23 octobre 2012). « L’émir du Qatar, “premier dirigeant arabe à briser le blocus politique” à Gaza ». Récupéré le 15 novembre 2012 de,_%22premier_dirigeant_arabe_a_briser_le_blocus_politique%22_a_Gaza.html

[2] Nous distinguons dans nos écrits entre l’Arabe et l’Arabique ou l’habitant de la péninsule Arabique qui, vue son substrat culturel, se tient en opposition avec le premier, l’Arabe. Ce dernier eut créé en Syrie, précisément à Damas, et par l’entremise de la civilisation grecque et syriaque, ou chrétienne syrienne, l’une des plus grandes civilisations dans l’histoire humaine, la civilisation arabe.

[3] loc.cit.

[4] Parmi les textes de la Bible ayant inspiré les artistes, on trouve l’épopée de Samson et sa mésaventure avec Dalila. Cette histoire figure au Livre des Juges (13 : 1 – 16 : 22).

[5] L’auteur utilise l’expression ironique « le printemps des Arabes » au lieu du « printemps arabe ».

[6] France 24. (24 février 2012). « Le Hamas officialise son divorce avec le régime de Damas ». Récupéré le 26 novembre 2012 de

[7] loc.cit.

[8] loc.cit.

[9] Harel, Amos (15 novembre 2012). “Gaza escalation doesn’t necessarily mean Israel is headed for war”. Publié dans Haaretz. Récupéré le 26 novembre 2012 de

[10] Rudoren, Jodi. (23 octobre 2012). “Qatar’s Emir Visits Gaza, Pledging $400 Million to Hamas”. Publié dans le The New York Times. Récupéré le 26 novembre 2012 de

[11] Henderson, Simon. (22 octobre 2012). « Qatar’s emir visits Gaza ». Publié dans le Washington Institute. Récupéré le 26 novembre 2012 de

[12] Une annonce en public du secrétaire général du Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah. Récupéré le 26 novembre 2012 de

[13] Une fatwa est, dans l’islam, un avis juridique donné par un spécialiste de loi islamique sur une question particulière.

[14] Kamal, Sana. (27 novembre 2012). حماس تُحرّم خرق التهدئة وتسيّر دوريات حدوديّة Publié dans al-Akhbar. Récupéré le 26 novembre 2012 (vue le décalage de l’heure entre le Liban et le Canada) de

[15] Allusion au roman de Gabriel García Márquez « Le Général dans son labyrinthe ». Il s’agit d’un conte romancé des derniers jours de Simón Bolívar, le libérateur et le leader de la Colombie ; il retrace aussi le voyage final de Bolívar de Bogotá à la côte nord de la Colombie dans sa tentative de quitter l’Amérique du Sud pour un exil en Europe.

[16] Mère de Dieu, notre Seigneur. Le manuscrit des Cantigas de Santa María est un des plus importants recueils de chansons monophoniques de la littérature médiévale en Occident, rédigé pendant le règne du roi de Castille Alphonse X dit El Sabio ou Le Sage (1221-1284).

[17] Le Livre de Josué, 6 : 27.

Simply beautiful! Deputy Sheriff Protects 1st Amendment at Albany Airport

At a time when basic civil rights are trampled on everywhere, when cops are usually seen beating up protesters, and when the American public is literally trained into mindless obedience to any person claiming to be in authority, it is a heart-warming experience to see that the rights of simple decent people can be protected by a Deputy Sheriff like Stan Lenic who prevented some self-appointed corporate thug from denying two young people their First Amendment rights.

Check out the video for yourself:

I also saw this notice on YouTube: 
Contact Deputy Stan Lenic and thank him by contacting his police department at: (518) 487-5400. The Fax Number is: (518) 487-5037. Do it now, this officer needs immediate support so he knows he's not alone in the fight for liberty.
Airport Station (518) 242-4400
Call the airport office and thank Deputy Lenic directly.
I called and spoke to a Deputy who told me that they are taking messages of support for Stan Lenic from all over the country.

I know, this will not change the big picture.  But as Roger Waters' says "each small candle lights a corner of the dark".

I am happy I called to thank Lenic.

The Saker

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The political section of the speech delivered by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on the tenth night of Ashura

…Tomorrow we will hit the street to tell Imam Hussein (peace be upon him): O our lord and master, as you defended your Grandfather, the religion of your Grandfather, and the dignity of your Grandfather Mohammad (Peace be upon him) on the tenth of Muharram, we will hit the street tomorrow in this time in which the Prophet of Islam is being offended, and in the future if anyone might think of offending the Prophet of Islam. The rally of tenth of Muharram this year will be a sequence to the rally in defense of the dignity of the Prophet of Allah and the honor of the Prophet of Allah which took place weeks ago. Let's hit the street tomorrow with Al Hussein to tell the Prophet of Allah: At your service… O Prophet of Allah.

We will hit the street tomorrow to assert all our targets and principles. We will assert that we are with Palestine and we will remain with Palestine because to us it is a great ideological and convictional commitment no matter how much they may try to cause ordeals or to ignite factional and pre-Islam spirits or to stir grudges and spite. Tomorrow we will reiterate our stance. We will say that our eyes, minds and hearts are and will remain there.

Tomorrow we will hit the street to tell the whole world what the resistance means to us in the time of risks, threats, and challenges and in the time of wolves and the jungle law.

Tomorrow we will hit the street no matter how the weather would be – rainy or cold or chilly. We are not among those who are afraid of hotness in summer and coldness in winter. We are those who express their commitment no matter what the natural challenge is. We are those who express their commitment no matter what the security commitment is. Allow me to say something between parentheses: Last year they said a lot in media outlets and in the internet that there are threats and that there are suicide attacks and that the Ashura councils would be subject to suicide attacks and explosions. Alhamdulillah last year nothing took place. The same applies this year. Tonight is the ninth night and tomorrow is the tenth of Muharram and Alhamdulillah nothing happened.

Indeed the official security apparatuses executed special procedures. We too executed special procedures. All people are cautious and careful. However, there is nothing. Things might be closer to intimidations and to ordeal ignition.

Yesterday some media outlets reported that five Syrians were arrested in Nabatiyeh saying they were preparing to detonate a bomb in one of Ashura rallies in the city. Here we have to show some blame to media outlets again because they report news without scrutiny. This is not true. Yes, some people were arrested; however they were possessing arms or were gathering arms or the like. You know that in Lebanon there are many Syrians who buy arms to convey them to Syria.

However before I came to deliver my speech, I was firmly verified that all the interrogations which took place with the arrested did not reach such a result at all. Consequently, I do not know why now some people insist on reporting this piece of news in media outlets. May Allah forgive them no matter what their intention was. However, I want you tonight and tomorrow to tell the whole world that we are not frightened by weather, rain, coldness, explosions, or security threats. Nothing keeps us apart from Abi Abdullah Al Hussein (Peace be upon him).

Monday, November 26, 2012

Egypt's Morsi: Biting the bullet

by Eric Walberg

At last Egyptian politics is moving. President Mohamed Morsi is slowly building on his summer 'coup', when he stared down Egypt's generals and put his men in the top army and defence positions, following terrorist attacks in Sinai which the army, so old and bumbling, so involved in Egyptian internal politics, failed to prevent.

Now, he has stared down Israel's generals, and dealt as an equal with US President Obama to bring US pressure on Israel to back down in its planned invasion of Gaza. Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Qandil was sent to Gaza 16 November at the height of Israel's current Operation Pillar of Cloud, forcing Israeli President Netanyahu to call a unilateral truce to avoid killing the Egyptian leader. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rushed to Cairo to show Washington's support for Morsi, making it clear that Obama was starting a new leaf, finally understanding who his real ally is in the Middle East, and putting Netanyahu in his place. There will be no repeat of Israel’s humiliation of Obama with the 2008 Operation Cast Lead.

Then, just hours after Morsi, the world's wise peacemaker, waved good-bye to Hillary, but with his old-guard judiciary poised to dissolve the Constitutional Committee and destroy all hope for carrying the revolution forward, the unassuming president stared them down too, issuing a decree putting his decrees above judicial review. And for the second time, he dismissed the procurator general, Abdel Meguid Mahmud, who has presided over the legal stonewalling of prosecutions of counterrevolutionaries -- this time not backing down. The time for dawdling and letting criminals off the hook is over. The new prosecutor general, reformer Talaat Ibrahim Abdallah, has ordered a new trial of Mubarak and police and thugs let off scot-free by the old judiciary.

And watch out, Mubarak-appointed Supreme Constitutional Court, don't you even think about disbanding the Constitutional Committee that is so painstakingly putting together a constitution. (Liberals and Christian secularists resigned from the committee, doing their best to sabotage it, revealing where their sympathies lie.) Or about disbanding the Shura Council on some technicality, as you did the lower house in May, in a conspiracy with the generals to sabotage the revolution.

The secularists should look at the writing on the wall. Egypt is a devout Muslim country, where Christians are protected by Islam and cultural liberals are tolerated. These Western-inspired forces will never prevail, so they should work with Islamists, not against them, if they want to maximize social harmony and their own rights. Sadly, the opposition is increasingly siding with the Mubarak crowd. "President Morsi said we must go out of the bottleneck without breaking the bottle," presidential spokesman Yasser Ali said. The opposition would rather see the bottle break that get Egypt's life blood flowing again.

Islamic civilization has been endangered for centuries now, battered and undermined by the Western secularist onslaught. Finally, Muslims are doing something about it. Now the Egyptian revolution of 2011 -- which is Islamic, as elections since then prove beyond a doubt -- is in danger, and the Muslim Brotherhood is showing it has spine and smarts. In both assertions of presidential power since then -- in August and November 2012 -- Morsi used a brief window of opportunity to maximum effect. His decisive steps caught observers by surprise, but surprise is the essence of revolution. Waffling and compromise lead to paralysis.

Anyone who wants to be part of a new Egypt, to shake off the imperial yoke looking for inspiration in Islam, should be delighted and inspired. Instead, MB offices in Port Said and Ismailia and Suez were fire-bombed, and liberals and judges, reinforced by the Mubarak crowd -- now more and more assertive -- are demonstrating angrily at the high court in Cairo and the judges' union has called a strike. Some talk of impeaching the president as a traitor. The counterrevolutionaries are continuing to expose themselves. "The decisions I took are aimed at achieving political and social stability," Morsi explained, vowing to firmly enforce the law against hooligans hired by loyalists of the former regime to attack security forces, state and party institutions.

Under prosecutor Meguid, it was beginning to look like no one would be held to account for the tens of thousands who were tortured and killed during Mubarak's reign, for the billions that were stolen, and the flagrant rigging of elections. The rich, corrupt old guard continue to pay thugs and unemployed to disrupt civic life, to bring discredit to the revolution. They have been doing this from day one and there is no reason to believe they have stopped.

Revolutions are never tea parties. The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) have a clear vision and, along with the Salafis, represent the overwhelming majority of Egyptians. The fractious secular liberals and socialists plus the Christians represent only a quarter of Egyptians, and are united only against Mubarak and now against the MB.

They include Mohamed ElBaradei, whose long international career, we should remember, was in the service of the imperial world order. He is a nice Arab, a laid-back, secular Muslim, no threat. How else could he have been appointed AIEA chief and crowned Nobel Peace Prize winner? Morsi has “usurped all state powers and appointed himself Egypt’s new pharaoh," ElBaradei pontificated. Other dissidents include the also-rans in the June presidential elections. Morsi’s main rival, Mubarak's last prime minister Ahmed Shafiq, fled Egypt in disgrace after the election, facing arrest on corruption charges, leaving behind Nasserist Hamdeen Sabahi, ex-MBer Aboul Fotouh, and former Mubarak foreign minister Amr Moussa, who have teamed up to form the self-proclaimed “National Salvation Front” to oppose the presidential decree.

ElBaradei should be reminded there were great pharaohs, not just bad ones. Yes, "Morsi is a 'temporary' dictator", screams the headline in al-Masry al-Youm. There are times, especially during a revolution, when it is necessary to act decisively to save the revolution. The kind of paralyzed 'democracy' that the US and the old guard in Egypt want would choke and stall the gains until cynicism reigns and the starving masses cry out for the old order. What is key, is that the firm hand is an honest one, devoted to the people. Morsi's kind are Egypt's only hope now -- selfless and God-fearing, not acting for personal gain or empire, but for the good of the people. He pledged to relinquish his new powers when the constitution is ratified four months from now, and there is no reason to doubt his word.

Prior to the revolution in January 2012, ElBaradei too was a hero, a brave figure, able to shield himself from Mubarak's secret police with his international prestige, the man who openly rallied Egyptians against tyranny. In the lead-up to the revolution, he acted in alliance with the MB, as later did Sabahi in the lead-up to the first post-revolution elections. They both underrated the real MB support and determination -- and their own lack of standing with Egyptians -- thinking that secularists would prevail in open elections, that they could make the MB abandon their program.

After the MB and Salafis chalked up 75% of the vote, the secularists suddenly found it impossible to accept their junior role in Egyptian politics. Rather than recognizing their own lack of credibility, and accepting the broad MB program while trying to salvage something from the secularist project, they have now drifted into alliance with the old guard and by implication their imperial allies abroad.

This is exactly what happened during the Russian revolution of 1917, where the political playing field shifted quickly, leaving key actors flummoxed. Alexander Kerensky too was a liberal 'revolutionary', until he fled to Paris, exposed as a reactionary anxious to appease the British and French and keep Russia in the criminal war which had inspired the revolution.

Speaking at a Cairo mosque, Morsi told worshippers Egypt was moving forward. "I fulfill my duties to please God and the nation. God’s will and elections made me the captain of this ship. I don’t seek to grab legislative power.” It is ridiculous to accuse the mild-mannered Morsi of creating a dictatorial cult around himself. He is a man with a mission, but one which should gladden the hearts of all Egyptians: “We’re moving on a clear path, we are walking in a clear direction. And we have a big, clear goal: the new Egypt.”

The transition to the new Egypt will not be easy. The striking judges and brazen secularists, who flourished in the Mubarak era, will have to learn some self-restraint or go. Traditionally, revolutions lead to a house-cleaning through retirement, emigration, or in the worst case, through violence. When old elites team up with old and new mafias, they play with fire.

The Egyptian generals bowed out when their bluff was called. The prosecutor general and those eager to scuttle the real democratic process and the birth of the new constitution, with holier-than-thou words about the ‘independent’ judiciary, should do the same now and let the popularly-elected leader get on with the hard work of making sure the revolution is not strangled in the cradle.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Pillar of Impotence

by Gilad Atzmon

In the past week, the people of Gaza have been subject to some serious Israeli attacks. Some Hamas leaders and militants have been murdered and many more Palestinians - innocent civilians, babies, kids women and elders – have lost their live. Yet, Gaza is celebrating with the Hamas leadership never more popular.

So here is an interesting anecdote that deserves our attention. During the recent clashes Gazan militants launched more than 1500 rockets at Israel. These rockets caused rather limited damage with more than six Israeli fatalities. Militarily at least, this is far from a great achievement. And yet the Gazans are celebrating. Would Israelis be happy to learn that 1500 of their rockets had had such limited effect? Would any western army accept such a result at such a cost? The answer is a categorical NO. But the Palestinians are ecstatic, why, because they know they have won the battle and are now set to win the war. They won the battle, not because they killed six Israelis – actually they would have won it without hitting one single Israeli. They won it because they managed to deliver a message to Israel, world Jewry and the whole world.

For many years I have argued that the Palestinian war of the rockets should be seen as sending a message: Israelis! You are on stolen land! You took our houses, villages, cities, fields and orchards. You pushed us into the desert. You surrounded us with barbed wire. You starve us and you kill us simply to suit your political ambitions. So this rocket is a message to you all. Think about us and then look at yourself in the mirror. Enough is enough!’

For more than six decades the Israelis have dismissed this message. They surrounded themselves with ghetto walls and have sealed their skies with an Iron Dome. However, with Tel Aviv now under attack, Israel and Israelis have been confronted with their original sin.

In the last two days, the entire Israeli media has admitted the colossal defeat of the so-called Operation Pillar of Cloud. Just yesterday, the Israeli right wing Ynet wrote “Hamas stood up and won almost all fronts.... Hamas has managed to turn focus on Gaza, it made it into the centre of the political discussion.” It seems that the most hawkish Israel government ever, has failed to beat either Hamas or the Palestinian spirit. The Palestinians are stronger than ever while the Jewish State has been exposed as an impotent manic-depressive collective driven by a neurotic and impotent leadership.

If Zionism was ever there to counter Jewish diaspora ghetto paralysis, just to ensure that ‘never again’ Jews would be ‘led like lamb to the slaughter’, Netanyahu, Barak and Liebermann have proved in the past week that paralysis is inherent to Jewish political culture. Like all bullies, they are obsessed with power, but when they meet defiance, their vile paradigm instantly collapses.

Speech can provides us with an insight into what we most lack. Speech can reveal that which we prefer to keep hidden. But speech is also often rather misleading, there to shape our lies into a truthful narrative. But it is these ‘true lies’ that provide an access to the fearful-self. It is these ‘true lies’ that reveal the unconscious. So, when, for instance Jewish ‘anti’ Zionists preach to us about Jewish ‘humanism and universalism’ they are obviously lying yet are they not also expressing a yearning for such an ethos to really exist in their own culture? Similarly, when Israel refers to itself as ‘The only democracy in the Middle East’ it this not because Israel would really love to be such a true democracy? In other words, often, when we speak we demonstrate what we most lack i.e. that which we miss and desire, yet we cannot admit this to ourselves. When Netanyahu decided to designate his latest massacre as a Pillar of Cloud, he actually tried to disguise from himself and his people the fact that in reality, he is actually an impotent, and the cloud is actually one big duvet of lies, there only to conceal his shame.

Israel and the Israelis love to talk about their ‘power of deterrence’ - Israeli actions, there to deter Palestinians and Arabs from even contemplating the possibility of challenging the Jewish state. In fact, the entire Israeli foreign and military policy can be realised with reference to that power. Israel likes to see itself at the core of its neighbours’ anxiety. This explains the Israeli fascination with the accumulation of nuclear bombs and other WMDs. It explains the policy towards Iran and it also explains its brutal attitude towards the Palestinians.

Israelis are obsessed with ‘deterrence’ only because, deep down, they are aware of their own vulnerability. Israelis are fanatical about ‘deterrence’ because they know that when push comes to shove, they themselves are actually powerless. They are now exposed for what they are: a fragmented society dominated by egotistic hedonism. Israelis know that their underbelly is very soft indeed.

Israeli collective melancholia must be realised in the light of their inevitable encounter with their true nature. As Ynet admits, they have been defeated in almost every possible respect. As a society, they have been caught naked and their imaginary collective bond has proved to be a farce. In spite of Israel’s mighty, sophisticated army the Hamas leadership, together with the people of Gaza, remained defiant. In spite of relentless air raids, and till the very last moment, Hamas kept firing their rockets reminding Israelis what life in Gaza is really like. When it seemed that the IAF had done its worst (but achieved so little), the Israeli government called on its 75.000 reservists, hoping against hope that such a move would bully Hamas into surrender. Again they were wrong. Ismail Haniah made things very clear when he invited the Israeli reservists to try their luck and enter the strip. Israel was caught with its trousers down – and believe me, the vision of their collective genitalia was not a pretty sight!

‘Unconscious is the discourse of the other’ says Lacan. The fear of impotence is not the fear that you may not be up to much in bed, it is actually the unconscious nightmare that everyone around you is saying behind your back that you’re not up to much in bed. Israelis not just now admitting their impotence to themselves, they are also aware of now being seen as a bunch of arrogant, cowardly and helpless barbarians.

By the time it became clear that the Pillar wasn’t even semi-erect and the Cloud couldn’t cover even that embarrassing truth, Netanyahu, Barak and Liebermann as well as the whole of Israeli society realised that nothing was left of Israel’s power of deterrence - for the Palestinians have lost their fear.

Speech of Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on the ninth night of Ashura

I take refuge in Allah from the stoned devil. In the Name of Allah, The Compassionate, The Most Merciful. Peace be on the Seal of prophets, our Master and Prophet, Abi Al Qassem Mohammad and on his chaste and pure Household and on his chosen companions and on all messengers and prophets.

Brothers and sisters! Peace be on you all and Allah's mercy and blessing.

I will divide my speech into two sections. I will talk for a while about the end of the heroic confrontation which took place in Gaza. The second section will be on the topic for tonight as brief as possible Inshallah.

With utmost clarity, certainty, and confidence, we can again say that blood gained victory over blood. We are before a true victory. Now we do not want to talk about slogans, emotions, and feelings. However, if we were to evaluate, examine closely and scrutinize the dimensions and minute details of what took place, we may say with utmost clarity and conviction that we are before a new victory in the time of victories.

Indeed first we must felicitate the Palestinian resistance on this great achievement. We felicitate the resistance leaderships, men and people in Gaza. We felicitate all its movements, factions, battalions and brigades as well as all the Palestinian people within occupied Palestine and abroad. We felicitate all the honorable in this nation and all the honorable in this world who believe in Palestine and who view Palestine and the sanctities as their central concern. They also look forward for the day Palestine will be liberated and purged from the impurity of the Zionist occupiers.

This felicitation is for everyone because the people of the resistance themselves announced that this victory is for Gaza, the people of Gaza, the resistance and for the entire nation.

We supplicate for Allah Al Mighty and pray to Him to have mercy on these martyrs, bless all the wounded with recovery, and bestow patience on the agonized families. May Allah Al Mighty also enable our brethrens and dear ones in Gaza Strip to reconstruct what was demolished and to carry on the track of resistance which they took long years ago.

However, I have something to say to all who carry on arguing. You know that in the Arab world, there are people who are not ready to acknowledge the victories of the resistance movements. That means even if there is a crystal clear victory, they still argue it.

However, based on experience and the status of the media, I may tell you that it is enough to look at the faces of the trio – Netanyahu, Barak, and Liebermann – when they held the press conference in which they announced the truce. Look at their faces. Were these the faces of victors or gloomy, indignant, defeated and vanquished faces? We are talking about forms now. We are talking from the perspective of the media. It is a clear scene which recalls into the memory the faces of Olmert, Livni, Peres and others following the end of July War.

Let's tackle the announced targets of the latest operation or war on Gaza. I mentioned on the first night that the Israelis benefit from previous experiences. Thus they did not put high goals. They did not say they want to crush the resistance in Gaza Strip. So they did not raise the ceiling. They did not say they want to ruin the authority and the government of President Ismail Haniya. They did not say they will reoccupy Gaza Strip and absolutely exterminate the resistance and the will of the resistance. Never! They did not propose these targets. They went to lower targets which they believed they could achieve. They thought that they would simply following the operation hold a press conference and say: We gained victory because the announced targets of the operation were achieved. However, even this did not take place.

Looking at the announced targets of the operation, let's say whether these targets were achieved or not. This tells whether it was a failure or a victory for Israel. It's not the resistance which launched the war on Israel to say whether the resistance achieved its goals through the war it launched and consequently talk about a victory or a defeat for the resistance. We must tackle the Israeli side. Israel launched the war on Gaza. Consequently, if the targets which the Israelis announced were achieved, they would have gained victory. If they were not achieved, the Israelis would have failed and flopped. The true aim of the resistance was to frustrate the goals of the enemy. It even went further as it has imposed its conditions.

The targets which the enemy announced were:

The first goal was to destroy or liquidate the leadership structure of the resistance in Gaza Strip. Was this goal achieved? No.

True the martyrdom of leader martyr Ahmad Jaabari is a great loss; however, following the martyrdom the war started and we are to count what inflicted the leadership structure of the resistance movements during the war? Anyway, this asserts that the resistance which lost a martyr with such a status could fight with competence. I want to assert that the resistance movements in Palestine, in Lebanon, and in the region are not anymore limited to definite persons, leaders, or leaderships no matter how great and influential these martyrs and senior figures are. The experience of the resistance movements now lead to this conclusion.

The second goal – as the Israelis said – was to destroy the resistance rocket system in Gaza. Were they able to achieve this goal?

No! The evidence is that that resistance could all through the days of fighting launch a daily average of 200 rockets, some of which reached Tel Aviv and Al Qods.

This is very important. Gaza Strip is a small flat area which is open before the eyes of the enemy from the sea, land and air, and raids were launched on it. Still the resistance men could launch 200 rockets daily. Those who know in military affairs know how great this is.

So the rocket system remained intact to a great degree. The resistance's ability to run this rocket system also proved its continuity and competence.

The third goal the Israelis tackled was restoring deterrence – i.e. frightening the people of Gaza and the resistance of Gaza so that the Israeli enemy could later be able to assassinate, kill and carry on the siege and do whatever they want without meeting any reactions from Gaza. That means restoring deterrence. Was this goal achieved? On the contrary, the deterrence power which existed before the aggression on Gaza became weaker. It retreated and was afflicted and damaged to a great degree. The Israelis themselves acknowledged that.

For example, the Israelis wanted to claim through the operation the security of the residents of the settlements in the surrounding of Gaza Strip with a radius of forty kilometers. What was the result? The people of Tel Aviv and Al Qods and all those who live within a radius of 70 to 80 kilometers from Gaza lost security. Shelters were thus opened. Commerce, industries, business and tourism were crippled.

Today we can absolutely say that the self confidence of the resistance, the confidence of the people of Gaza in the resistance, the confidence of the Palestinian people in Gaza, the ability of the resistance to defend, deter, make victory, and impose conditions became greater than before the operation. On the other hand, the level of confidence of the enemy's society in their government and army decreased compared to the level before the operation.

Indeed, this confrontation needs much time to talk about its lessons, morals, results and achievements whether on the level of the military and field struggle, on the political level, on the moral level, on the Palestinian level and its impact on the Palestinian street and the unity of the Palestinian forces which were on serious disagreements or on the level of achievements at the Arab and regional levels.

In the limited time I have, I would like to tackle some of the achievements which are linked to the military and moral sides.

Brothers and sisters! This confrontation or war has proved again the saying which was first articulated years ago and which says that the Israeli air force is not more able to put an end to a battle from air. This was said in July War 1993, April 1996, and July 2006 in Lebanon and in 2008/2009 war in Gaza. Today again this is being said. Now let's make a record. This experience is the fifth between the resistance and the Israeli enemy. This experience says that no matter how great the Israeli air power is and no matter how high its technology is, it is unable to put a decisive end to a battle, or impose political and field conditions on the resistance movements.

Second, through this experience, it appeared how awesome the enemy's government and leaders are from resorting to a land operation and a field confrontation. This is clear. I told you the other night that this is psychological war. In fact, when they hold a big stone that means they will not throw it.

When they announced they will call for 75 thousand reserve soldiers, it was clear that the aim from this call is psychological war. I assert to you that the enemy's leaders were afraid and scared from resorting to the choice of land confrontation. This still exists and is still valid. Anyway, they have failed in all land confrontation with the resistance all through 30 years; the latest defeats were in July War in 2006 and also in Gaza in 2008/2009, and their losses were great; still they could not achieve any results.

A third result is that Israel which has always been able to fight, gain victory, spread fear, defeat and impose its conditions is now with its confrontation with the resistance movements in a status in which it feels that neither international covering nor its armed forces are providing it with a true protection or sense of defense. Thus it is obliged to resort to agreements with the resistance movements which it dubs as terrorist groups starting with July Agreement in 1993, April Agreement 1996, to the consecutive agreements with Gaza Strip, until reaching the latest agreement. This is indeed a very important indicator.

See brothers and sisters! At the beginning of the battle, the enemy leaders said that this war will not come to an end before Gaza starts begging. What was the result? Israel started begging while Gaza did not beg at all. This battle was viewed from its very first moments a battle of finger biting in which the one who shouts first would be the loser. The Israelis were the first to shout. Even more, Gaza imposed its conditions. It did not accept an appeasement or a ceasefire of any kind. Thus the following point is that the victory of the resistance in Gaza was not achieved only on the level of crippling and frustrating the goals of the enemy, it also mounted to the level of the resistance imposing its conditions in the appeasement. It also refused the conditions of the enemy.

Going back to the announced text, we find some of the conditions which the resistance has always been demanding. For example, we mention opening cross points, facilitating the movement of people and goods, not restricting the movement of people or targeting them in border areas, and dealing with the procedures of executing this 24 ours after the agreement is put into effect no matter whether the Israelis will execute this clause or not. Mentioning this clause and the Israeli approval on it is an achievement made by the resistance.

On the contrary, among the Israeli conditions were always that the resistance in Gaza pledges to stop arms smuggling and things of this sort. This was not mentioned in the agreement.

Thus, the first victory for the resistance is that it frustrated the targets of the enemy. Its greater victory is that it did not respond to the conditions of the enemy. Its greatest victory is that it imposed its conditions on the enemy. This is a great lesson.

One of the achievements of this confrontation – as our Palestinian resistance leaderships said – is that Gaza Strip is no more a point of weakness when they talk about the resistance axis.

For the first instance, the Israelis deemed Gaza weak. However, following this confrontation, the Israelis are afraid and diffident from Gaza. They now take Gaza into consideration. Thus it is true to say that one of the achievements of this confrontation is that Gaza Strip is no more a scapegoat, and that the war on Gaza is no more a trip and that a terrestrial war on Gaza has become extremely ruled out.

One of the achievements of this confrontation is that we all understand and that all the peoples of the region understand and that the enemy understands the following result: If you – the military and political leaders of occupying Israel – failed in a confrontation with the besieged Gaza Strip, oppressed Gaza, Gaza which smuggles arms and rockets with much difficulty, and Gaza which is absolutely disclosed, if you were defeated in the confrontation with this Gaza, what would be the case if you were to confront others who have better conditions on more than one level? This is a moral and a lesson to be taken into consideration.

The last remark or lesson or achievement I want to tackle in this summery is that this experience asserts anew that in confronting the Israeli military supremacy and the Israeli great financial, military and capacities and number of soldiers, the element which secures a balance is the popular resistance movements which depends a different kind of armament, a different storage of arsenals and rockets, a different technique in rocket platforms erection and a different way in using these rockets and shells and confrontation even on the terrestrial level.

The resistance movements could secure this balance – balance of terror and balance of deterrence – and consequently restore morals, confidence and feeling the ability to confront, impose conditions and humiliate the enemy. This is the moral. This is a new experience which is to be added to the previous experiences and which is to be taken into consideration by all those who are searching for a national defense strategy in any country in the world.

Indeed there are many achievements and evaluations which must take place on more than one level – on the Palestinian, Arab and international levels. However I will stop here tonight. Renewing the felicitations on this great victory to our people and dear ones in Gaza Strip and to our dear Palestinian people and to the noble nation, I renew may call for further scrutinizing and examination to draw more lessons from this heroic experience.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Israel's slow-motion collapse

Israel has never been the military superpower its propaganda claimed it to be, but neither was it a paper tiger.  At the very least, the Israelis did an excellent job triggering conflicts when it best suited them, they excelled at camouflaging what where surprise attacks into a "defensive operation", and they always managed to conceal their real losses.  But none of this would have been possible if Israel did not have at the very least maybe not an "invincible Tsahal", but a credible and basically competent military.

Even the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000 could (very generously) be interpreted as a choice rather than a collapse.  But all the conflicts Israel has been involved in since that date have ended in what can only be called abject failures.

In 2006, the Israeli attack and invasion of Lebanon ended in one of the most humiliating defeats in the history of warfare:  Hezbollah succeeded in defeating Israel's four brigades, three reserve divisions and entire Air Force and Navy with roughly one thousand second rate Hezbollah soldiers (the best Hezbollah fighters were all kept north of the Litani river).  Truly, this victory of the Resistance against the Zionist occupier was a "divine victory" and it changed the whole equation in the Middle East.

In 2008, the Israelis attacked Gaza with very mixed results at best.  Operation "Cast Lead" lasted three weeks and it saw a limited land invasion of Gaza.  Besides the usual orgy of wanton violence against the Palestinian population, including the systematic use of phosphorus bombs against civilians, this assault yielded very little in terms of tangible results.  Gaza had withstood the attack, Gilad Shalit was not liberated and, worst of all, Hamas not only survived but its "street cred" was vastly improved.  As for Israel, its public image suffered yet another PR disaster.  But still, the Israelis did penetrate inside Gaza from several directions, and they could claim that they could seriously threaten Hamas.

In the latest Israeli attack on Gaza, they IDF failed even to do that and this is really devastating for the IDF's deterrent capability.  This time the operation lasted only one week, and it ended with Palestinians filling the streets of Gaza in a mass demonstration of joy and gratitude for having so rapidly forced Israel to seek a ceasefire.

There used to be a time when the IDF would go all the way to Beirut to hunt down Arafat and when Mossad would go all the way to Tunis to kill Abu Jihad.  Now the IDF can't even occupy Bint Jbeil right across its border, and it is afraid to even enter the Gaza Strip.  How the mighty fall indeed...

The consequences of this Israeli weakness  are truly very serious: the Gaza Strip is turning into a safe heaven for the Palestinians while the siege of Gaza has pretty much lifted since Mursi took power.  Hezbollah in the north, Gaza in the southwest, Mursi and the Islamic Brotherhood in the south and a Syria turning into a mix of 1970s Lebanon and 1980s Somalia to the northeast.  To the east, of course, there is Jordan, as loyal to the USA and Israel as ever, but that also might change in the not too distant future.

Do you remember Condi Rice predicting the birth of a new Middle-East and Bernard Henri-Levi explaining that the "Arab Spring" is a good thing for Israel?  In a way, they were probably both right: a new Middle-East is definitely taking shape, and the Arab Spring is probably to the advantage of Israel, but only in the short term.  The one thing which neither Rice nor Levi did ever imagine, not in their worst nightmares, is that nobody in that new Middle-East would fear Israel anymore whereas Israel would be terrified of everybody.

I am still convinced, more than ever before, that the days of the Zionist entity are numbered. 

The Saker

Is the Palestinian Islamic Jihad becoming the core of the Palestinian resistance?

Tonight, an anonymous poster, to whom I am most grateful, drew my attention to two very interesting pieces by Amal Saad-Ghorayeb:
One of the articles also references this article:
This is all very interesting. 

According to its Wikipedia entry, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) only has about 1000 members.   I would have to assume that the military wing of PIJ, called the al-Quds Brigades (aQB) would be even smaller.  One "terrorism study" website claims that the aQB receive about 2 million dollars from Iran annually but does not give any sources or fact in support of that figure.  Either way, 2 million dollars annually for an organization of less than 1000 is really not very much.  And yet, this is what representatives of the aQB have declared during a press conference today:

"The Brigades fired 620 rockets on the occupied territories including dozens of Grad missiles and Fajr 5 rockets in addition to Fajr 3 rockets during the operation “Blue Sky”.  It added that its fighters used for the first time Kornet rockets, anti-warships missiles and advanced rockets launchers
Meanwhile, the spokesman stressed that al-Quds Brigades’ military depot was fine, adding that the resistance didn’t use but a simple amount of its abilities.  “The enemy had acknowledged that dozens of its occupation soldiers have been killed and injured as a result for the qualitative operation, in addition to destroying communication networks.”  “The intelligence weapon was also engaged during this war. We were able to penetrate 5000 mobiles for Zionist officers and soldiers took part in the offensive on Gaza,” the spokesman said, adding that ten mujahedeen (fighters) were martyred during the offensive.  “Today, one of the rounds of the conflict with the Israeli enemy has ended. In this round the resistance dictated its word, will and determination.  In this round the resistance dictated a new style of confrontation and a qualitative weapon that has changed the deterrence equation,” the statement said.
If this is true - and I have seen no other source supporting these claims - this is quite amazing.  The hacking into the Israeli phone network is a typical Hezbollah tactic, as is the use of the advanced Russian Kornet anti-tank missile (which can defeat even the most advanced versions of the Israeli Merkava tank).  I did not see any reports of anti-ship missiles fired from Gaza, but that does not mean that this is not true.

Of course, at this point, the firstpriority is to check how much truth there is to these claims, or whether this is again an example of the type of empty grandstanding we have so often seen from various Palestinian groups.  My gut feeling is that these claims will prove to be true and, if that is the case, then indeed something very interesting might be happening: the appearance of a sophisticated and mature Palestinian resistance movement, something which the Palestinian people desperately need.

A request to all of you now:


Many thanks in advance and kind regards,

The Saker

PS: I found some recent footage of today's declaration by the aQB along with some footage of aQB rocket launches:

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Speech of Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on the fifth night of Ashura

I take refuge in Allah from the stoned devil. In the Name of Allah, The Compassionate, The Most Merciful. Peace be on the Seal of prophets, our Master and Prophet, Abi Al Qassem Mohammad and on his chaste and pure Household and on his chosen companions and on all messengers and prophets.

Peace be on you, my master and Lord Abi Abdullah, and on all the souls gathering around your holy site. Peace be on you as long as I remain alive and as long as night follows day. May Allah make it not my last visit to you.

Peace be on Hussein, Ali the son of Hussein, the children of Hussein and the companions of Hussein.

Brothers and sisters! Peace be on you all and Allah's mercy and blessing.

As in the previous nights, I would like first to talk a little bit about the developments in Gaza. Then, I will move to my topic for tonight.

So far, we are still witnessing the steadfastness and determination of the resistance and its bold as well as strong responses. Also we are witnessing the adherence of the resistance to the conditions it set, and this is very important.

As a result of the impasse they locked themselves in, the Israelis today are searching for a ceasefire and for going back to the status they were in before they perpetrated the crime of assassinating martyr Ahmad Jaabari. However, the Palestinian resistance is refusing this solution and is putting forth the conditions which are known by now and which have been tackled by several resistance leaders.

On the other hand – on the Israeli side – we notice that the bank of targets has either come to an end or about to come to an end. This is similar to what took place during the first four or five days of July War in Lebanon. No matter how much they talk about the bank of targets, it is over by now. Today there are targets which are being shelled for a second, third and fourth time in Gaza as what happened in Lebanon. Do you still remember? There were targets and buildings which were targeted one, two, three and four times. When the bank of targets was about to come to an end, rockets were still being launched from Gaza and targeting the depth of the usurping occupying entity. What are the choices before the Israelis now?

Hereof the Israelis started since yesterday going back to their brutal criminal nature. They tried to depict to the world during the first days that they are hitting definite targets and that they are evading civilians. However, since yesterday, shelling started leading in a clear intentional way to the killing of great numbers of children, women and civilians.

This in fact indicates that the military operation failed to achieve its goals. It expresses the nature of the Israeli enemy as well as the enemy's need to this kind of killing to pressure the resistance leadership in Gaza as well as its people, who back the resistance and its conditions, to give up these conditions. That means that the Israelis want to slaughter the Palestinian children and women and demolish their houses so that the Palestinians give up their rightful and natural conditions.

As in 2008/2009 in Gaza, and as in the Lebanese experience, the resistance, the people of the resistance, the men of the resistance, and the leaders of the resistance – Praise be to Allah – have transcended this stage of intimidation through which they may pressure on them through manipulating even friendly states and governments or through killing women and children and through massacres. This technique is turning back against them and is leading more than anytime in the past to their failure to achieve their goals.

There remains the Arab stance. At the previous night and while I was talking, the Arab foreign ministers were convening. We said we do not want to say anything before hand and let's wait until the statement is issued by the Arab countries foreign ministers especially that since the onset of the aggression on Gaza, there is a dispute in the Arab world, in Arab satellites, among political elites and among the peoples to the effect that did anything change in the Arab world following the Arab Spring and the Arab revolutions or nothing changed. There is more than one viewpoint as far as this point is concerned.

However, when we read the statement what do we find? Today I examined the statement issued following the latest meeting of the Arab states foreign ministers – i.e. two days ago -, and I also re-examined the statement issued by the Arab foreign ministers issued following the Israeli aggression on Gaza in 2008. They then met in 2009. Examine the two statements. The statement of 2012 is a replica of the statement issued in 2009. They are the very statement: condemnation, denunciation, support, sympathy, laudation and a call on the states and the Security Council. Well, there are two new points. However, see what they are:

The first new point is a call for the states to commit themselves to stopping all forms of normalization with Israel. So it is a call for the indisputable. That's because where do we find normalization with Israel today? Who is normalizing with Israel? Who are carrying on normalization with Israel? Things are now hanging. Moreover, the Arab states took this decision previously. There are people who are uncommitted and they claim they are committed to normalization.

Moreover and following all what took place in Gaza and the aggression which was started by the Israelis, the Arab foreign minister finally reached a decision to charge an Arab peace initiative committee which took place in Beirut with the aim of reconvening to tackle the stance and to reevaluate the Arab stance from the procedures of the announced peace process from all its aspects.

This is what was issue following the Arab Spring? Were we to expect more than this?

No, we had hope and we still have hope. However, we did not expect this because from the very beginning, everything was clear. Today, the Arab states are required to stand by Gaza, support Gaza, back Gaza, arm Gaza, and not to act as a mediator between the Israeli enemy and Gaza.

This is what we hope for. This is what is expected. Allow me to say a couple of words before I go to my topic for tonight.

In fact, the overwhelming majority of the Arab states are good as a "Red Crescent" only: medicine, first aid, calling on the wounded and the sick in hospitals, humanitarian needs…. Well, what does this mount to? A Red Crescent. That means that there isn't a political decision. There isn't a political entity. There isn't a political will. There is not a political leadership. There isn't a political existence. There is a Red Crescent. They also are good in funerals and Fatiha council.

Where is the serious real stance? We said what is required from the Arabs. However, where are the Arabs and where is the stance which is required from the Arabs to defend Gaza?

As I read several responses, I really could not but pose before this stance. Indeed, I am not saying this to express condemnation and astonishment. This is a lesson to the Palestinians as they carry on their battle as well as a lesson for us.

Indeed, we know the lesson by heart. Since 1982, we know the lesson of the Arab states. Thus in 2006, we were not disappointed because we did not have any hope. We were not frustrated because we did not have any expectations. Do you still remember the first days? I talked during the war. When I used to be asked what I want from the Arab states, I used to tell them: Nothing. We just want one thing… that they leave us by ourselves. Now too and in the days to come I will reiterate: We do not want anything from the Arab states. We only want them to leave us by ourselves.

They conspire and connive on Lebanon, Syria and the region as they conspired against Gaza and Palestine. My evidence is what one Arab Gulf foreign minister said. It does not befit me to say names. He was quoted in media outlets as saying: "We must not give the Palestinians more than we can do". He is fair and realistic. He means do not exaggerate on the Palestinians. Do not magnify their expectations because after all they will be frustrated.

We promise them of what we can do only, and the aids which the Arabs pledged to give the Palestinian brethrens will not be handed to them. He also mentioned that some Arabs partook in the siege against our brethrens in Gaza Strip. This is a good acknowledgement.

I have a big question which poses itself today. Despite the siege which some Arabs imposed – it is known who these Arabs are – how were arms conveyed to Gaza? How were Fajr 5 conveyed to Gaza? How were Grad rockets conveyed to Gaza? How were anti-armor rockets conveyed to Gaza? How were anti-planes rockets conveyed to Gaza? Who sent them? Who conveyed them?

This needs a pose. This needs a great question. Before talking about the states which provide us with medicine and money, let's see who enabled Gaza today to stand erect and to trust itself, after having trust in Allah, and thus to fight, make surprises, shell Tel Aviv and Al Qods, open fire on planes and warships and destroy Israeli vehicles?

Arabs acknowledge that they besieged Gaza. Here we must recall without courtesies the role of the Islamic Republic in Iran and the role of Syria.

Here I tell everyone that he who is not grateful to the creature won't be showing gratefulness to the Creator. With gratefulness blessings become incessant. {Should you show gratefulness, I will even bestow more on you}. However Allah in the Qoran says that only few of My servants are grateful.

Arabs today acknowledge this siege on Gaza. Moreover, the Arab FM himself says that the Arab states contributed to a great extend in the siege on Gaza on the various levels - whether on the land, sea and air levels - pointing out that the situation requires a wise political decision with sound procedures: money, medicine, and a number of political stances.

The true challenge, the real Arabism, the genuine Islam is that the Arab states own the courage to send arms to Gaza today before waiting for tomorrow.

The Israelis are betting that Gaza's rockets would run out. Brothers and sisters! Let's recollect together. During the Grapes of Wrath in 1996, we used to own Katusha. We did not have more than that. It was the beginning of Fajr3 and Fajr5. We did not use them then. We had some Katusha rockets and the war lasted for 16 days. I remember that during the last days of the war, Shimon Peres who was then the enemy's Premier said that they bet that the Lebanese Resistance rocket stockpile run out.

Today the Israelis bet on the running out of the Palestinian resistance rocket stockpile. Thus one of the most important obligations now is opening the borders and conveying more rockets to the Palestinian resistance in Gaza, because this is what Israel bets on now.

O Arabs who pay money, send arms, buy arms and dispatch ships stocked with arms to the opposition fighters in Syria, why do not you dare to send one bullet to Gaza? That's because Israel is there, the US administration is there, and the CIA will question them. This is their challenge.

Then the same Arab foreign minister was quoted saying a phrase which it is not good to remain silent on. He believes he may say whatever he likes as no one would comment on him because he has very much money. He said that most of the Arabs have become ewes.

No dear! If you have become ewes, you are to say so. However in Palestine, in Lebanon and in many countries in the Arab world there are lions and heroes. Let everyone speak for himself. Whoever sees himself a ewe may call himself a ewe. However, he does not have the right to say that most of the Arabs have become ewes. Never!

Yes, there are ewes in the Arab world. That is true. He is right in that. However not most of the Arabs have become ewes.

There are ewe governments. There are ewe political leaderships. There are ewe media figures. These are the ones he is talking about. However, for more than 62 years of the Arab-Israeli struggle, international conspiracy, official Arab conspiracy, and the abandonment of the Arab governments – most of the Arab governments – of Palestine, Lebanon, and the occupied Lebanese territories, the peoples are still resisting, offering sacrifices, making victories and achievements and offering blood. Moreover, Palestine, Al Qods and the Palestinian cause remained in the heart, awareness, and conscience of the peoples and will remain in their lives.

As for ewes, they will go where ewes go. As for the lions and the heroes, they are the ones who will make the future of this nation as they did it in the resistance in Lebanon. They made a historic victory in 2000 and 2006. They also made it in Gaza when they drove the occupiers away and defended it in 2009. Today too they are defending it.

This is the future of the region.

The future of the region is the future of the resisting steadfast heroes and not the future of ewes. It's not the future of ewes.

There is also a topic I heard them talking about in one media outlet. Some say very ridiculous things - allow me to use this expression. I watched one of the Syrian opposition leaderships talking about Israel's goal from the aggression. This is different from what I talked about in the first night. In the first night I said that there are Arab leaderships who said that Israel's goal from the aggression on Gaza is distracting the attention from what is taking place in Syria while it is not so. However what one of the Syrian Opposition leaderships said is worse, more ridiculous and absurd. He said that Israel's goal from the aggression on Gaza is punishing Hamas because it stepped out from the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah axis. See the lunatic, spiteful, hateful mind I talked about in the previous night!

He is a real genius! There are many similar geniuses in the Syrian Opposition. There are many geniuses like him. So Israel is punishing Hamas. He was talking about Hamas indeed. It is punishing Hamas, Islamic Jihad and all the Palestinian resistance factions as well as the people of Gaza. He does not see that.

This genius found out that Israel is punishing Hamas because Hamas – according to him – abandoned Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and the resistance axis while it is not so. Thus Israel today is punishing it. Does a person with little rationality think as such?

Anyway, many things are being said these days. However, I wanted to say that the Islamic Republic in Iran along with Syria and Hezbollah did not abandon Gaza and the people of Gaza. As we were with them all through the past years we will remain with them. Here we are doing our divine, religious, moral, national and humanistic obligation no matter if we differ here or there over a definite political stance, or over evaluating a definite political stance…. In fact, the essential battle is this battle. It makes them all committed to stand by each other and not to abandon one another.