Sunday, November 18, 2012

Speech of Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on the first 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. May Allah reward you abundantly in these days and nights as we are recalling and marking the great and sublime catastrophe in the history of this nation and what had afflicted the Household of the Prophet Allah (Peace be upon him and his Household) on the tenth of Muharram in the battlefield of Karbala.

On this first night, I was planning to take all of my time to tackle a definite issue touching on the nature and circumstances of marking this occasion and these councils and approaching this anniversary as a prelude to commemorate the rest of the nights as we are on the first night taking into consideration the atmosphere of factional and sectarian agitation which has been prevailing in the region lately. However the developments that took place yesterday and today imposed themselves forcefully. Thus I will divide the available time into two parts.

In the first part, I will tackle the latest developments – meaning Gaza in particular and the Israeli aggression on Gaza and the ongoing confrontation in Gaza.

The second part is the main topic I intended to tackle as a prelude to this night to mark the occasion in the following nights Inshallah.

As for the first part, I say that yesterday we witnessed a brutal broad Israeli aggression on our people in Gaza Strip. This aggression commenced with the assassination of the great jihadi leader martyr Ahmad Al Jaabari. Several martyrs fell too.

As a consequence, there is a great number of civil martyrs and wounded. The aggression is still ongoing today faced by a tough and fierce confrontation by the various factions of the Palestinian resistance.

Indeed, first we must offer our consolation and felicitations at a time for our brethrens in Hamas leadership - That's because martyrdom requires consolation and felicitations – for the martyrdom of the great jihadi leader Ahmad Al Jaabari who had a long jihadi history in the resistance. We offer our consolations and felicitations for all the resistance factions, our people in Gaza and all the Palestinian people for the dear martyrs who fell yesterday and today and are still confronting with blood and flesh this incessant Zionist aggression.

It goes without saying that we must all say that we condemn and denounce this aggression which I will pose before for a while in my speech. It goes without saying that we say that all the states, governments, peoples and even all the free in the world must stand next to Gaza, the people in Gaza, the resistance in Gaza and the resistance fighters in Gaza in a true, historic genuine stance.

Indeed the bargain above all and after trusting in Allah Al Mighty and His grace, victory and support is on the will of the people of Gaza and the will, steadfastness, and firmness of the resistance. What calls us to be confident, assured and optimistic is that we all know that in Gaza there is a resistance which has enough wisdom, courage, firmness, bravery, experience and developed human and materialistic capacities which make it fit to a great, dangerous and decisive confrontation of this kind. The launching of Al Fajr 5 rockets on Tel Aviv is a manifestation of the awareness, wisdom, firmness and courage of the Palestinian resistance and its prevalence in Gaza Strip.

I will come back to this point later on.

There are several points which must be tackled very briefly in what is taking place:

What is taking place is a link in the chain of bloody confrontation between the Zionist enemy and the peoples of our region and the Palestinian people in particular. It is a link in the chain of the bloody, decisive and historic confrontation which draws the fate of Palestine and the fate of the region, the nation and the sanctities and which is taking place between the Zionist enemy and those who back it on one hand and the resistance movements and those who back them on the other. Consequently, it is one of these stages which require posing, drawing lessons, and carrying a study so as to assume responsibilities.

We notice through what took place during the past couple of days in Gaza an assertion on a group of concepts including first that this enemy does not need a pretext to make a war or stage an aggression. Nothing was taking place.

The cabinet of the enemy has a political interest and an electoral interest. Today, it's Netanyahu's interest. You still remember the Grapes of Wrath Aggression which took place in April 1996. It has reasons and followed events that used to take place always. Because elections were approaching, Shimon Perez needed to make a military achievement. Thus he waged a war against Lebanon which they dubbed the Grapes of Wrath. However, tables were turned.

When it's to their political, electoral, security or whatever interest, the Israelis start an aggression and do not need a pretext or excuse or a Palestinian or Lebanese or whatever act to make the reaction they do. This is first. Indeed these points I am listing are clear. However, I am asserting them. I am reminding the Palestinians, Lebanese, the peoples and governments of the region, and all the people who forget quickly these points.

Second: As usual, this enemy resorted to deception and betrayal. This is what the brethrens in Gaza Strip talked about today. Days ago, the enemy gave the impression that they will accept calming down and will head towards that. Thus the Palestinians were assured. After this atmosphere of calmness prevailed, it is natural that people feel relieved somehow. Thus the enemy lurked for the jihadi leader and killed him and thus started this broad aggression in Gaza. This is the nature of this enemy. How are we to feel assured by this enemy? Who trusts this enemy? Who is deceived by this enemy? After all of these long experiences, we must always be cautious.

Third: Notice the goals the enemy put for the aggression on Gaza.

When we examine the goals, we will truly discover that the Israelis have really benefited from the experience of July War 2006 and Gaza War in 2008.

The enemy benefited from their experiences. In these two wars, the enemy put the highest targets. They were very high targets. However, they were not able to achieve their goals. Thus they failed in achieving the goals and that was viewed as a defeat or a flop. Consequently and on the other hand, that was considered a victory to the resistance in Lebanon in July War and to the resistance in Gaza in 2008.

Now the Israelis connoted an aggressive mentality and very harsh targets. However, they announced targets which are not high. That means they did not say: We will head towards a war in Gaza. We want to uproot the resistance…. That's because they know these goals are not achievable. They did not say they want to occupy Gaza as they know this goal is difficult to be achieved. In fact, the aggression does not aim to achieve this goal. They did not even say they want to halt rocket launching. They set a group of goals in a way that whatever they do, Netanyahu and Barak may say that they achieved practical goals. First, they talked about striking the leading structure of the resistance movements in Gaza, and they started by killing a senior jihadi leader. Second, they talked about hitting the Palestinian resistance rocket capacity, and they started with striking some rocket platforms. That's what they announced; however, I do not know the truth so far. Third, they said they want to restore the deterrence power or the deterrence formula in Gaza. That connotes that through the previous stage the resistance in Gaza was imposing a definite deterrence formula. The Israelis are now saying that they want to restore or to change this formula. They want to restore the power of deterrence and the awe of deterrence. They put another goal. They said they aim at inflicting the greatest harm possible on the structure of the Palestinian factions. However, is this their goal only or is there more than that? This is what will be made clear through the track of events and developments in the coming few days.

However we link great expectations – as I said – that the fierce and firm resistance in Gaza would frustrate what the Israelis have started with. I will tackle the stance of the nation and its responsibilities in a while. We ask Allah Al Mighty that He turns the tables. That means that if they are heading towards an operation which they want to invest in the elections, Inshallah the operation would counter their electoral as well as their military considerations. Well they claimed that they hit long-range-rocket-platforms by which they mean Fajr5 which reaches a range of more than 70 kilometers and they considered that they destroyed the whole system. Thus when they yesterday and today called on Israelis to go to shelters and to take precautions, they told the settlers to do so at a radius of 40 kilometers. That means that they considered that they destroyed the rocket capacity in Gaza which exceeds 40 kilometers. As for the rockets which might reach 40 kilometers – whether Katusha, or advanced Katusha or locally made rockets or the like – they may be found in Gaza. However they did not take primary precautions in confronting rockets with a range that exceeds 40 kilometers.

Today they were surprised that such rockets fell, and they acknowledged that.

Last night, the enemy denied that. However today they acknowledged that Fajr5 rockets fell on Tel Aviv. This is a very great development in the history of the struggle between the resistance and the Israeli enemy. This is a very great and a very important development.

Well, this indeed took the Israelis by surprise. It shocked their considerations and information. I do not know if the Israelis made the very mistake they made in July War when the Israeli warplanes hit definite places and considered that they were rocket platforms. They announced their victory and that the primary long range rocket capacity of the resistance in Lebanon had been ruined. What happened later proved the contrary. Did the enemy perpetrate the same mistake in Gaza? That might be possible. However the very ability of the resistance today to launch Fajr5 rockets on Tel Aviv has many indications whether on the military, security, motion capability, or administrative levels or on the level of targets and the horizon of the battle. We pose lengthily before these speculations.

Fourth: I want also to talk about Gaza. It seems that we have to pose before the stance of the Arab and Islamic peoples too. Unfortunately, it seems we are falling into a sound sleep from which nothing but blood awakes us – the blood of the oppressed and the blood of martyrs. Today true awareness is renewed about the real stance of the United States as well as Britain and France. Unfortunately, many Arab elites in the past couple of years which noticed movements and awakenings in the Arab world have started altering the concept. They tried to present to their peoples a wrong concept as if the United States has now woke up after all of its criminal history. Now it woke up to democracy and the rights of the oppressed and prosecuted peoples. Now it wants to extend a helpful hand to aid the oppressed, the persecuted and the tortured. Now we started hearing talks about strategic ties with the United States and about appreciating the US stance….

Today the blood of the leaders, martyrs, civilians, women and children in Gaza revealed anew the true face of the United States and the West in dealing with events. On the very first day and hour following the aggression, the United States said that it supports what Israel is doing. It supports Israel's right to defend itself. That means that the people of Gaza came to be the aggressors. It condemned the resistance factions and namely Hamas viewing it as the aggressor and held it responsible of exploding the situation.

The French and the British moved on the very US steps. We are still to see the rest who will follow them. This asserts to us again that the United States, France, Britain and the West do not care for values, human rights, defense of freedoms and the oppressed in our region. They only view their interests. Their interest in this country and in this region is with Israel. Thus let Israel do what it wishes to do. As for any other country, if their interest is in the persistence of the regime, they defend this regime. However, if their interest is in toppling the regime, they offer all means of support to topple that regime.

Theirs is not a humanitarian, legal, rightful norm at all. Their norm is their interests.

Today, the blood, martyrs, and oppression of Gaza came to expose the US and western stance which had tried to deceive the Arab and Israeli peoples especially over the past couple of years.

Fifth: What is required on the Arab and Islamic level towards what is taking place Gaza does not call for much talk and theories. For 60 and even 65 years since the beginning of the struggle, we know what is required. When War 2006 took place, all the political leaderships, elites, resistance men, scholars and theorizers said what is required. When Gaza War took place in 2008, all the people said what was required. Today the same thing is required.

Today, there is nothing new in the required theoretical speech and calls. It's the very thing which has always been said; however, that was not to be acted out.

What is required today is the will to act. Consequently, when we reiterate what is required, we do not aim to embarrass anyone.

The very things which we used to say and call for and which all Arabs and Muslims used to call for in 2006 and 2008 is what we are calling for all of us today in 2012 whether under the former or current Egyptian regime and whether under the previous or current regimes in the Arab world. Consequently, embarrassing or outbidding anyone isn't what is required. A stance is what is required. Seriousness is what is required today. A people, a strip and a resistance are confronting. There is no time and place for outbidding. What is required today is that we cooperate altogether - all the Arab and Islamic governments and the Arab and Islamic peoples – so as to enable this fighting, resisting and steadfast strip to gain victory and frustrate the Israeli aggression at least.

What used to be said before?

They used to talk about first summoning ambassadors, second severing ties with Israel and third annulling agreements or at least suspending them if they were not to be annulled.

This was used to be said in the past years. They used to talk to the effect of lifting the siege from Gaza, supplying Gaza with arms, ammunition, supplies and medicine. So it was not only providing Gaza with food and medicine but also with weapons and ammunition so that Gaza would be able to remain steadfast and carry on resisting and it is able to do so. The people of Gaza – its men and women as well as its fighters and leaders – are entitled to assume this historic responsibility. However what is required is that they be provided with this level of support and backing.

It was always said and now we reiterate that the Arab and Islamic states must invest their ties with the US administration and the western states to pressure Israel to halt its aggression on Gaza.

Nobody is telling the Arab states to open the front and start an operation to liberate Palestine. We want to halt the aggression on Gaza. That does not require a war from you. That requires from you efforts – to exert efforts with the Americans, the US administration, and the western states which in turn pressure Israel.

For sure saying that Israel does not listen to America and the west is nonsense. Any US pressure or threat or phone call to Israel would make the latter halt the war on Gaza.

They always used to talk about the weapon of oil. Well perhaps it might be said that the Arabs don't have the courage to take a decision to halt oil export. Well, manipulate the quantity of oil export. Reduce the quantity and raise the price.

You know that today there are states in Europe which if the price of oil is raised, their economy would collapse. I am not exaggerating. This is said by strategic economic exports.

If you reduce the export of oil to the United States which is facing economic and financial difficulties and storms and snow and if you raise the price of oil a little bit, you will see that this very America has been shaken and this very Europe has been shaken too. If you are not able to halt the export of oil, reduce oil production and raise its price to exert pressure. Nobody is asking you to dispatch armies, tanks and planes. This is for all the Islamic and Arab countries to hear.

Thus what is required is clear by now.

Now the Arab and Islamic peoples are supporting, demonstrating, praying for Allah, sending money and trying to convey arms. This in all ways is required. However what changes the balance and halts the aggression is a true stance to be taken by the Arab and Islamic states in the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. These states are able through one resolution to pressure America to impose on Israel to halt its aggression on Gaza.

The point I will mention now is aimed at drawing a lesson so that all the efforts remain focused on Gaza and to defend Gaza and to protect Gaza.

I have heard some political leaders in some Arab countries saying that the goal of the war in Gaza is to distract attention from what is taking place in Syria.

First, this is very much saddening. This analysis is deplorable as now it is being said that Netanyahu and Barak have waged a war against Gaza to distract attention from what is taking place in Syria.

The Israeli goals which they announced are clear. The truth is to say that Israel is benefiting very much from the struggles talking place in the region. It is benefiting very much from what is taking place in Syria to wage an aggression on Gaza.

Today the war against Gaza is taking place under circumstances that differ from 2008.

In 2008, we placed the axis of the resistance apart from all the other positions which had the capability to present various kinds of support to Gaza. This is what took place in 2008 and before 2008 and after 2008, and this is what is being manifested in action in the field.

Today one of the supplying routes to Gaza Strip which is Syria is halted. Syria is preoccupied with itself. War and fighting are taking place in several districts, towns and cities. Indeed it is not able to be part of the logistic support. As far as the political stance is concerned, it is able to take a stance.

Well, fighting in Syria no doubt confuses any supplying operation which might take place at the level of the resistance in Gaza.

Why don't we say that Israel is making use of the conflict taking place in Syria, the fragmentation existing in the region, the conflicts taking place in the region and the agitation in the region as well as the turnabout of priorities, the change of enemies into friends and the friends into enemies? This is viewed as a suitable opportunity to strike Gaza Strip, to restore the deterrence formula, to hit the rocket capacity in Gaza which Israel imagines would be difficult to be compensated taking into consideration the developments in the region and in Syria. This is untrue.

Thus I call on the political leaderships to put all disagreements and conflicts over other issues including Syria aside and to muster our efforts on deterring, preventing and halting the aggression against Gaza and defending the people of Gaza.

Palestine and Gaza have always been a common point, a uniting point, a point of consensus, and a point where emotions, feelings, wills, and inclinations meet and the point of the compact to reorganize priorities.

Today this is what we are calling for. Again, we are before a scene of confrontation between blood and the sword. Inshallah as blood could gain victory over the sword in Karbala, the resistance in Lebanon and the resistance in Palestine, we ask Allah Al Mighty that we be before a new victory and a new epic made by the fighters and the resistance men and all those who back them, stand next to them, and support them in this honorable and historic battle.

Indeed in the coming days, we will Inshallah tackle the existing and the decisive developments that might happen.

Indeed, we are all in Lebanon concerned to follow up and to do everything we are able to do. We must always remain up to date with the events, with our people and brethrens in Gaza Strip. We must follow up and see what is taking place because this is not the battle of Gaza alone. It is rather our battle all of us.

We move now to the second section of my speech which I promised to tackle tonight in the remaining time Inshallah even if I am to summarize it and to cancel the evidences.

The anniversary of Muharram and the events of Karbala come this year while we in Lebanon and the region are passing through circumstances that differ from what used to take place in the previous years. I will consider this the prelude to the topic I want to handle tonight.

It is clear whether we like it or not that there is an atmosphere of great sectarian and factional agitation on the level of the region and in more than one country.

Some countries are preoccupied with Islamic-Christian agitation. Things have been pushed in this direction. In other countries, things are pushed towards Shiite-Sunnite sedition. As we said in previous occasions, some are pushing forcefully in this direction while working for that, plotting for that and investing the media, politics, money and all available capabilities to achieve this goal.

Today we came to mark this occasion in a sensitive situation of this kind what requires that we tackle this issue with a sense of precision and responsibility.

Before the existing agitation in any country and at the level of the region, the situation is taking a sectarian aspect. However, things did not go far enough to be closed.

They did not come to reach the required goal – that Shiites become fed up and Sunnites become fed up, and that the former group become hostile to the latter group, and the latter group become hostile to the former group and thus go towards a conflict.

No, such a situation does not exist. The Sunnite-Shiite relations did not reach that far. There are many positive points in the Shiite situation and in the Sunnite situation as well as in communication, relations and in more than one domain. However, even this agitation that exists must be viewed as dangerous and must be addressed with responsibility. Before this agitation and development, one might have one of three positions:

-The first stance is that we say we are not concerned. That means that we neglect and ignore this status quo saying we are not concerned in what is taking place. That means that we hide our head in the sand and act in a way as if there is not anything and everyone is free to say and do as he wishes.

Indeed that would be tantamount to giving up our responsibility. This is even a sin and failing to perform the religious, moral and humanitarian responsibility. As such on the contrary we will be quitting the field in a way that serves the enemy.

-The second stance is that man gets involved in the tension and agitation; let's move towards more agitation. There are points of communication; let's severe them. There are points of tension; let's wage them. This is tantamount to a greater crime. This serves the targets of the enemy. This would be a show of disobey to Allah Al Mighty. It would be a crime against Islam, religion, the nation and all Muslims. He who acts as such whether he is a Shiite or a Sunnite is a criminal against Islam and the Islamic nation.

-The third stance is that man assumes his responsibility, work seriously, and do the least or the most he can do to address this situation.

The least a man can do to address this tension is to prevent the explosion from taking place and prevent the repercussions of this agitation from taking place even if with the available means. The most a man can do is that all sides work seriously and industriously to put an end to this agitation and tension so that things go back to their normal situation.

The religious, humanistic, moral, and historic obligation requires adopting the third stance. All of us must be responsible as far as this issue is concerned. Some might say we are not concerned in this issue. However this is the responsibility of all of us because today and as a result of the media, a small problem, a word or a misconception in analysis or in a stance, a wrong behavior, a definite tension or failing to show self-control might be exaggerated and magnified via the media in a way that serves this goal – meaning agitation.

Thus in assuming responsibility – i.e. the third stance – we are all partners whether old or young, men or women, political leaderships, scholars, the educated, the ordinary people and neighbors among each other. All of us must assume this responsibility. We must be cautious. At this moment and in this situation and under this targeting, how are we to act? Even the things which we view as normal and natural cease to be so in exceptional conditions. We must be cautious. We must be aware.

Indeed, when tackling this topic in a general way, it needs a pose to scrutinize and contemplate the reasons, factors and elements that led to this situation.

There are international, regional and local reasons. No one may summarize the topic saying that so and so delivered such a speech and will not tackle it again. No! the agitation today is the result of developments which took place in the region: at least since 2000, the US-western attack on our region, the developments in Afghanistan, the events of Iraq, the events in the region, the developments in the Arab countries, and the atmospheres that accompanied these events – assassinations, security acts, and confrontations – in addition to the fact that some are working to found these events and to take them in this direction.

The situation is not easy. Even in this complicated situation however, the simple things are influential and important. We must not deem anything little. We must not ground on any small positive or negative point. Even if we evade the small negative points, we will be able to ground on them as well as on the small positive points if we do them. Thus this is the general stance which we must assume its responsibility.

Hereof we usher to Ashura, and I will talk about Shiites and Sunnites in a very transparent and clear way because we need to address the situation. Because we want to address the situation, we can't always work at trimming ends. We must say things as they are – what is with us and what is against us because this is a historic responsibility.

Some might have a misconception and consider that the Shiite marking of Karbala and Ashura aim at targeting Sunnites. This is totally untrue. If anyone has this misconception, this is untrue. Indeed, some might not have this misconception but following the rule of investing any incident in the framework of sectarian provocation, he might aim at exploiting this topic. Thus tonight, I want to address our Sunnite brethrens saying: Not at all. The commemoration of Karbala and the martyrdom of Imam Hussein - the grandson of the Prophet of Allah (Peace be upon them) does not aim at targeting the Sunnites or harming the emotions of the Sunnites. The opposite is the truth. The same applies to the Shiite situation. If anyone among the Shiites – as a result of illusion or ignorance – considers that the commemoration of these occasions aim at confronting and provoking the Sunnites or the like, he too is misled.

At least in the Shiite awareness and conscience, this indeed does not exist. Abi Abdullah Al Hussein (Peace be upon him) is the grandson of the Prophet of Allah (Peace be upon him), the son of Ali (Peace be upon him), and the son of Fatima Al Zahraa the daughter of the Prophet of Allah (Peace be upon them). He is one of the Prophet's Household whom Allah wishes to remove all abomination from and to make pure spotless. This exists in the Sunnite and Shiite interpretation of the Qoran. He is one of the relatives of the Prophet whom Allah asked people to be good to. This exists in Sunnite and Shiite interpretations. He is one of the members of the Cloak. He is the grandson of the Prophet of Allah (Peace be upon him). He is the beloved of the prophet of Allah (Peace be upon him).

There are two responsibilities. First, concerning the Shiites, no one whether speakers, scholars or ordinary people on the Shiite level are allowed to benefit from the occasion of Ashura and from these masses and this great, blessed, Islamic occasion to harm other Muslims, the sanctities of the other Muslims, and the symbols of other Muslims. Indeed, this has been asserted by religious authorities in Najaf, Qom and other places. They had decisive stances as far as this issue is concerned. His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenai (May Allah prolong his life span) has a clear and bold fatwa to this effect. He says in a clear way and this is not new that it is forbidden to harm the symbols of our Sunnite brethrens besides accusing the wife of the Prophet of Allah (Peace be upon him) of what dishonors her. This is forbidden concerning the wives of all the prophets (Peace be upon them) especially their Master the Great Prophet of Allah. So this is indeed forbidden concerning the mothers of believers – the wives of the Prophet of Allah (Peace be upon him). Whoever does that would be perpetrating a great sin and a clear disobedience.

Consequently, if somebody here or there has such ideas and personal complications and even is ignorant concerning the facts and interests at a time, he would not be expressing the Shiite stance at all. Thus the Shiites or the Shiite stance or authorities must not be accused on the light of wrongdoings made by persons here or there. We do not claim being infallible, perfect and coherent. There are violations in the Shiite situation as in all other situations.

Also on the other hand and as I am saying, Shiites are not allowed to act as such. Sunnites are not allowed to deal with marking this occasion as a factor for provocation, sedition, sectarian incitement, a call for sedition, struggle, or evoking tension unless if someone has a different evaluation for Imam Hussein Bin Ali (Peace be upon him) and Yazeed Bin Muawieh. Then there will be another approach. However, this is the evaluation of Muslims in general.

Our goal from marking this occasion is a great Islamic goal on the level of the nation. Our goal is to commemorate this occasion with its concepts, values, indications and what it revives and has always revived all through history. There occasion is pregnant with values loaded: Defending the Prophet of Allah (Peace be upon him), defending the religion of the Prophet of Allah (Peace be upon him), making reforms in the nation, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong besides the integrity of Muslims, the great interests of Muslims, bravery, steadfastness, altruism, sacrifices, loyalty, faithfulness and all the values and concepts which we have been talking about for tens and hundreds of years and in all nights. Karbala is the school. It is a historic, conscious, moral power in the nation. It can provide an intellectual, spiritual, emotional, moral and fiducial supply to face all dangers, challenges and to defend honors and to arouse resolutions, morals and wills. And we want Karbala to be so.