HISTORIC VICTORY! – Nasrallah salutes ‘men of resistance’

Hezbollah flags on a section of the 100,000-strong London demonstration on August 5th against Israel’s attacks on Lebanon and Gaza
Hezbollah flags on a section of the 100,000-strong London demonstration on August 5th against Israel’s attacks on Lebanon and Gaza

‘Without exaggeration we stand before a strategic and historical victory for Lebanon – all of Lebanon, for the resistance, and for the whole nation’, declared Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, in a recorded message to ‘martyrs’ broadcast by Hezbollah TV Al-Manar on 14 August.

Nasrallah said: ‘I address my words to the martyrs of the army, security forces, civil defence forces and the media. I also address my words to civilian men, women, and children who were martyred – particularly the martyrs of massacres starting with Marwahin on the first days and ending with yesterday’s massacres in the Al-Brital, Sufayr and Ruways areas, as well as the residential complex of Imam Al-Hasan, peace be upon him, in Beirut’s southern suburb.’ 

‘My message on this occasion is devoted to the men of the Islamic Resistance, sacrifices, firmness, steadfastness, people, kinfolk, beloved ones, friends, patience, trust, perseverance and the faithful ones in Lebanon and outside Lebanon who stood by us throughout this war.’

He added: ‘The second matter that I would like to discuss is the displaced persons and their return to their homes and the stage after their return.

‘First of all, I would like to greet all those who held their ground in the battlefield of confrontation and who endured unbearable things as the size of bombardment from the air, land and sea was unprecedented in the history of Lebanon.

‘The size of the destruction the Israeli enemy inflicted on the infrastructure and houses, which directly harm families, is also unprecedented in any Israeli war on Lebanon. The enemy left behind huge destruction and devastation, which express its rancour, brutality and powerlessness.

‘At any rate, we must thank and salute those who were patient throughout their displacement and forced migration and returned today to their areas, lands and homes, even if demolished, and I wish to especially thank all the residents of the areas that welcomed the displaced as well as all the sects, political parties, the state and its institutions, all humanitarian organisations, and all those who helped embrace our displaced people during the difficult time of the war.

‘I turn now to those returning to their areas, to the steadfast, and to the rest of the people to speak about the homes that were destroyed or damaged.’

Nasrallah continued: ‘Regarding the houses that were damaged but are still habitable, starting tomorrow morning, the brothers in the towns, villages, and cities will take the initiative and will contact and visit the owners of these homes to offer direct and swift assistance in order to kick start the restoration of these homes back to a habitable state as fast as possible.

‘As for the demolished homes, the harder issue, I wish to first reassure these honourable families whose homes have been demolished that they need not worry.

‘What I said in the first days of the war was not simply meant to boost your steadfastness. No, today is the day I keep my word and fulfil this promise. God willing, you will not need to ask for help, stand in any lines, or go to certain places; our brothers, who are your brothers and sons, in all areas, towns, villages and neighbourhoods will, God willing, come to your service starting tomorrow morning.

‘We will work together on this matter. We cannot of course wait for the government and its heavy vehicles and machinery because they could be a while, at any rate, the government’s movements will come to light in the near future, but what we can do is work together along two simultaneous tracks starting tomorrow.

‘The first being securing a reasonable sum of money for each family to help it rent a house for a year and buy decent and suitable furniture for this house, because the reconstruction of houses and apartment buildings requires months, and the natural alternative for now is for people to rent and furnish houses.

‘This will start tomorrow, and I can say that in the coming few days, all these cases, even though great in number and serious, will be covered. So far, the initial count available to us on completely demolished houses exceeds 15,000 residential units. We understand that this is a monumental and serious affair, but, God willing, we have enough resolve for this task and achievement.

‘The second track is clearing the rubble and kick starting construction, with hopes that in a few months time, we would have rebuilt all the houses that have been demolished.

‘The matter here is also one of determination, determination and faith, patience, tolerance, sincerity, planning, accuracy and hard work, through which we were able to confront the aggression, hold out, and triumph, and through these exact same principles and feelings, we can overcome the hardships of reconstructing and triumph, God willing.’

Nasrallah called for the assistance of ‘engineers, construction material dealers, and furniture dealers, no one should raise prices due to the surge in demand. They must act humanely and patriotically’.

He also called for workers, and volunteers ‘to work alongside the owners of these homes’, and ‘young men and women to volunteer with the same patriotic and moral spirit we witnessed during the confrontations’, plus ‘officers, students, the union people, freelancers, on everyone’ to all ‘converge on the construction battlefield in every village, neighbourhood and city.’

He added that ‘the expatriate donors from all over the world can always support us. They are also welcome to contribute and participate.’

Nasrallah went on: ‘We know that among the most important goals of the US-Israeli war, which was launched recently on Lebanon, is disarming us and ending the presence of these weapons, but they failed. I also urge you to read or listen to what the enemy’s foreign minister said. She said that even the strongest army in the world cannot disarm Hezbollah.

‘The issue under discussion now is the situation on the southern side of the river. We have been discussing this issue with the concerned and serious parties. Consequently, you are committing a mistake and going farther than what the Americans and the Israelis are demanding of Lebanon. This is surprising in fact.

‘Thirdly, in this regard some people said that they wanted Hezbollah to hand over its weapons to the state. Have those great people liberated Shabaa Farms and secured the return of people to their lands in Shabaa Farms?

‘Do they ask us to hand over our weapons because they freed prisoners? Do they come to us with real guarantees of protecting Lebanon against the Israeli enemy, which is still threatening? Olmert was levelling threats before I came to have this message recorded.

‘Lebanon is still being threatened and might be attacked any time. Who will defend this country? Who will teach the enemy a lesson? Who will make the enemy pay a heavy price?

‘Today, we can proudly say that if any Israeli government decides to launch war in the future, it will take into consideration that war with Lebanon will not be a picnic. War with Lebanon will be very costly in terms of human, material and economic losses, as well as in terms of the loss of dignity and image.

‘The Zionist enemy is carefully considering this and the next days will uncover the real losses on many levels as a result of this current confrontation.

‘What alternatives do you have? Is it the Lebanese Army? We support the deployment of the army in the area south of the river and we have said this before.

‘But can the Lebanese Army, with its current conditions and capabilities, fight a war if a war is imposed on Lebanon? Is it the Unifil? Would the Unifil, even if supported by 10,000 or 20,000 or 50,000 soldiers, stand to defend and protect Lebanon if Israel attacks Lebanon? This is out of the question.’

Nasrallah stressed: ‘There were some people who would say that withdrawing the resistance weapons is a basic condition for building the strong and capable state. I say the opposite.

‘The building of the strong, capable, defiant, and reassuring state is the natural beginning for this state to come to the Lebanese people and to the people of the south to tell them: O our people, we are a strong, capable, and defiant state that can protect your dignity, blood, honour, and pride, and you do not need to have any mass structures called resistance or special weapons called the resistance weapons.

‘The beginning should be the building of a strong, capable state that can defend the people and the country’s honour. This should not be the end. This would be very wrong.

‘In all cases, I wish to conclude by saying, let us return the discussion to its natural place. I believe that continuing the row over this issue will make Lebanon lose its strength.

‘Now, Lebanon’s strength lies in its resistance – and I do not mean the Islamic Resistance as such, but its general resistance, which includes steadfastness, solidarity, and direct presence in the field, as well as the Islamic Resistance, and national unity.

‘If we preserve these two factors of strength, we can build the strong, capable state with its army and security agencies and its political and civilian agencies. In that case, such a state will provide the solution to all the current problems in the country.

‘Do not waste the current factor of strength in the country. Do not enter into matters and rows that would squander resistance and unity, because this would not help in the building of the strong and capable state, which we all agree is the solution and the only way out for Lebanon’s future.

‘All of us in Lebanon can then live under this state which protects everybody, preserves everybody’s dignity, defends everybody, and reassures everybody.’