Sayyed Nasrallah: Qintar, Brothers to Return Very Soon
May 26, 2008
Hezbollah commemorated the eighth anniversary of the Resistance and Liberation Day in a huge central festival in Beirut's southern suburb.
Hundreds of thousands of people flocked from across Lebanon into the Raya playground in the Sfeir region. Representatives of President Michel Suleiman and House Speaker Nabih Berri attended the festival alongside diplomatic, political, religious and Hezbollah figures also took part in the annual event.
Waiving yellow Hezbollah flags, people chanted Lebanese and Hezbollah anthems and challenged US-sponsored allegations that Hezbollah's popular base has diminished.
Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah appeared on a huge screen amid cheers and pledges of allegiance.
Sayyed Nasrallah began his speech with praising the martyrs, particularly former Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Abbas Mussawi, Shekh Ragheb Harb and Hajj Imad Moghniyyeh.
"Our eighth anniversary coincides with the 60th anniversary of usurping Palestine and the establishment of the oppressive entity. It also coincides with the 30th anniversary of the 1978 Israeli invasion to south Lebanon. Hence this is a time to contemplate and draw lessons whether in Lebanon or in the Arab and Israeli worlds."
Sayyed Nasrallah said that the resistance has served as an example and a strategy in two areas: "There is a strategy for liberation and removing the occupation, and a strategy of defending the homeland and people in the face of aggressiveness, threats and an invasion…This is our message today to Lebanon and the Arab and Islamic worlds; it's a joint message by the resistance in Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq to the whole nation. When Israel invaded south Lebanon in 1978, UNSC resolution 425 was issued, we waited for its implementation and we bargained on the international community. In Lebanon, there were suggestions that a united Arab strategy be formed to confront the aggression. None of this happened, neither by the international community nor by Arab governments that had abandoned the choice of confrontation.
Imam Mussa Sadr here in Lebanon had established the choice of resistance with the help of southerners and of course trust in Almighty Allah."
The Hezbollah chief elaborated saying that the consequences of the wrong choices saw Israel deeming Lebanon a weak state and invaded it in 1982, "thus creating a second Arab Nakba (Catastrophe).
"The Lebanese were divided into: a neutral group, a second unconcerned group, a third group of cheap collaborators, a fourth group that had intersecting interests with the Israelis, a fifth already defeated group that was looking forward to cooperate with the occupation on any level in the framework of cutting losses, a sixth group that, politically and through the media, rejects occupation and a seventh group that believes that its national, religious and moral obligation is to take up arms and liberate the country regardless of the price; this is the group of the resistance."
Sayyed Nasrallah stressed such division resulted in a lack of consensus on the resistance.
"I tell anyone whose country is under occupation: Don't wait for consensus…take up your arms and head to liberation. This is what happened in Lebanon. The resistance that constituted a part of the Lebanese people depended on its will and the strength of its fighters in the battlefield. The Arab and Islamic worlds should have helped them, but many of these governments lagged behind, however Syria and Iran spearheaded the countries that assisted the resistance and consequently the historic victory in 2000; a clear victory for Lebanon, the resistance, the Arabs and the Umma. It was also a clear defeat to Israel and its "from-Euphrates-to-Nile- Rivers" scheme in the region. The strategy of liberation adopted by the resistance was successful while the strategy of negotiations failed to gain back an inch of Lebanese land and the strategy of wait-and-see was making the enemy stronger."
The Secretary General set other examples.
"In 1948, the Palestinians were waiting in vain for their Arab brethren to form a unified Arab strategy or for the international community to act. The Palestinian resistance was the reason why the world woke up to the fact that there is a Palestinian cause. Every achievement was the achievement of the resistance. The big achievement was in blockaded Gaza where the resistance managed to defeat the occupation and forced it to withdraw unconditionally. "The Gaza Strip is fighting Israel just as we did. The strategy of resistance succeeded in Lebanon and will succeed in Gaza too.
In occupied Iraq, there are those who believe in resistance and others in politics…Today, you must take the decisive position. The resistance has been dealing severe blows to the US occupation army. Iraq is called to follow the strategy of the resistance."
Sayyed Nasrallah added that Hezbollah has also presented a defensive pattern. "Israeli judge Winograd wondered in his report how a few thousand men defeated Israel and withstood week of fighting. Your steadfastness, the blood of your martyrs and the resistance have decreased the possibility of war in the region between Israel and Iran or Israel and Syria. I tell whoever is bargaining on a US or Israeli strike on Lebanon, we fought in 2006 and we will fight in any coming war…I tell (US President George W.) Bush and (US Secretary of State) Condoleezza Rice, who spoke of Hezbollah's defeat, that as long as Hezbollah relies on Allah and his people, you are the ones who will be defeated," he stated.
His eminence called on this occasion all Arab people to reconsider the resistance's strategy of defense and liberation. "In Lebanon, we talk about defense. What we need now is a liberation strategy for the Shebaa Farms, Kafarshouba Farms and the detainees in Israeli jails. The prisoners are our commitment and Samir Kuntar and his brothers will soon return to Lebanon."
"On the 25th of May 2000, I stood in Bint Jbeil and declared this a victory for all the Lebanese, the Palestinians and the whole Umma. I said that what we did was our duty and we don't ask for anything in return. We called upon the authorities to take their responsibilities in all of the country. We did not prosecute the collaborators and we had no armed appearance. We asked them to take care of south Lebanon and the deprived regions like Baalbek and Hermel. We did not ask for reshaping the regime or the Taef Accord. We did not ask for anything. They argue that the resistance in France laid down its arms after liberation. I tell them that throughout history, every victorious resistance in every country took the reins of power, but we did not ask for that. I renew my position today: we do not want to share power in Lebanon and we don’t want to rule the country or impose our thoughts on the people," his eminence stressed.
"They speak of a coup and bringing back Syria into Lebanon. They also said that Hezbollah is fighting for the sake of Iran's nuclear program. When the "government" revoked its two black decisions the opposition proved in Doha that it does not want to monopolize power and did not raise the ceiling of demands. We went there to save Lebanon from sedition and (David) Welch's) hot summer. We did not employ what happened recently in politicas and we did not ask for political gains. Isn't this enough for those who accuse us of dreaming of power and authority? From the pride Dahiyeh, I renew my call for a national partnership where there is no victor and no vanquished…Hezbollah does not want power over Lebanon, nor does it want to control Lebanon or govern the country for we believe that Lebanon is a special, pluralistic country. The existence of this country only comes about through coexistence, and this is what we are demanding," he said.
"I am in front of two options: Either I explain what happened before the two black decision were taken, and I don't wish to do that, or I delay discussing the matter, and this is not fair. But I choose to delay the discussion, however I say that there are deep wounds on both sides, so either we irritate the wounds or we swathe them. I suggest the second option. We should draw lessons. Let us postpone this until the wounds are healed and a new phase in the country begins," Sayyed Nasrallah said.
His eminence thanked Arabs, especially Qatar, the Arab Ministerial Committee, Syria and Iran, and everyone who contributed in making the Doha Agreement that ended the Lebanese crisis a concrete reality.
On the arms of the resistance, Sayyed Nasrallah said: "I today reaffirm the Doha agreement clause that precludes the use of arms to attain political goals. When we go to discussion, we will discuss this. The resistance’s arms are to fight the enemy, liberate lands and prisoners, and defend Lebanon – and for nothing else. The government’s arms, or the army and armed forces, is also to defend the nation, the people and their rights, the government, and to maintain security. The government’s arms cannot be used to settle accounts with a political opposition team. The government’s arms cannot be used for foreign projects that prevent Lebanon from facing Israel. The government’s arms cannot be used to nail the resistance and its arms. All arms must remain at the service of the goal they were created for."
The Hezbollah chief stressed the electoral law that has been reached gives better representation that previous ones, and particularly the 2000 law.
"We do not claim that this is the ideal law. This is a law that we all agreed on to bring Lebanon out of the crisis. We hope that a time would come when the Lebanese discuss an up-to-date electoral law to build a state. Those who do not want to build a state are unveiled when they approach the issue of the electoral law," his eminence said.
Sayyed Nasrallah also said that the election of General Michel Suleiman as President renews hope among the Lebanese for a new stage. The presidential oath we heard Sunday reflects the spirit of agreement President Suleiman had promised. What Lebanon needs is agreement, participation and cooperation.
"When I addressed you in the Riyad el-Soloh Square and promise you victory again, I did not mean the victory of one group on the other, I meant the formation of a national unity government; the victory of May 25, 2000, as well as the victory of July 2006, and the accomplishment in Doha. I promise that the opposition’s representation in the government will not be limited to Hezbollah, Amal and the Change and Reform bloc. We will give other opposition parties shares – and unfortunately we must speak of shares – even if it is at the expense of Hezbollah’s shares."
Sayyed Nasrallah called on "party of former Prime Minister Martyr Rafiq Hariri" to benefit from "the experience of this great man (Rafiq Hariri). " Whoever is loyal to the martyred Premier must preserve his loyalty. We do not want monopoly or alliance; what we want is cooperation and participation as widely as possible.
"There are many names to be thanked today and I apologize for not naming them. It's a long list, and I thank them for their courageous stances. We thank the Sunni leaderships in Lebanon and the Islamic world because they thwarted the US project which sought to portray any struggle as a sectarian struggle. We thank the Druze leadership for their courageous, wise stances ... for their refused to define the struggle as a Shiite-Druze struggle. We thank the Christian leadership that stressed the struggle was political, not confessional. We have lost 14 martyrs whom we are proud of, and there are martyrs from the Lebanese Brigades to Resist the Occupation, the Amal Movement , the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, the Democratic Party and other opposition loyalists from all religions. We are proud of all these martyrs. We feel the pain of the victims of the other team as well. The comfort to the families of both sides is that the blood of their children saved Lebanon from the dark tunnel. We the martyrs, for they have put Lebanon before a new summer and a new phase. From our beloved Beirut to the Mount Lebanon, from the South to every area in Lebanon, you have the love and appreciation of the resistance on the anniversary of the liberation of Lebanon," Sayyed Nasrallah concluded.