NABIH BERRI, the Speaker of the Lebanese Chamber of Deputies, has condemned the role of the United Nations in the Lebanon after an Israeli massacre of villagers in Marwahin.
Addressing a news conference in Beirut on 16 July he said the following.
‘In Srifa, Dibbin, Ziddin, the bridges, the roads, the fields, the dust of the southern territories, the soil of the south, which is more precious than gold, as the Lebanese songs says, to reach Marwahin; to reach Marwahin – why? – and I have communicated this matter now to the UN representative.
‘The UN took part in the crime of Marwahin. It took part in its crime, and say that while I am about to receive the representative of the UN secretary-general, and possibly the UN delegation, which will arrive in Lebanon.
‘I say that the UN participated in this crime through negligence and wittingly or unwittingly. It is my job to classify. I say that between the year 1996 and the year 2006 UN humanism vis-a-vis Lebanon has not advanced an iota.
‘In 1996, our people in Qana and its outskirts resorted to a UN building. Israel bombed it and martyrs, including children and women, fell in what is now known as the Qana massacre.
‘What happened? The UN – and I said this even in the dialogue conference – asked for compensation for the building only. It requested 1m dollars for its building that was destroyed in Qana. A resolution was adopted on this in the UN, but Israel did not pay it. The UN wrote it off, and this has always encouraged Israel to belittle this UN.
‘Now, after 10 years, what happened? Israel asked the inhabitants of Marwahin to leave the town within two hours. Where did they go? They went in the direction of the UN. The UN refused to receive them. Naturally, they had to look for a house or a tree for shelter. They rode pickups and you all know that pickups are open.
‘During their return, shelling took place and this despicable crime and massacre took place, affecting 22 people.
‘Now I will tell you more. The massacre was committed. They prevented the Islamic Mission Scouts vehicle, which was the very vehicle that was attacked in Al-Mansuri, from picking up the remains.
‘After a thousand mediation efforts, the remains were picked up. Since yesterday, our kinfolk in Marwahin have been standing on the roads. They are prevented from reaching Tyre. They are prevented from reaching Sidon. They are preventing them from reaching Tyre so that we can receive them.
‘During the meeting now with Mr Peterson, one of his aides went out twice to make contacts and make sure. This morning they carried them on buses and then made them leave the buses. Why is that? This is because Israel is against even their transportation.
‘One of the UN aides left the meeting twice to make sure of this matter, and he came back with the outcome: Yes, they are still there and Israel does not allow their departure and even their going to Tyre or any other town.
‘The same thing happened yesterday with Kfar Kila. There was a warning to the town of Kfar Kila, which has a population of more than 10,000. The Israelis asked them at night to leave within two hours. Leave and go where? Leave so that they can kill them on the roads.
‘They do this whenever there is a resistance operation. And whenever there is a reprisal, they say that Iran and Syria is behind it. Is Iran and Syria behind this? Do you want us to believe – and the whole world to believe – that there is no resistance in Lebanon?
‘It is as if the Lebanese people were waiting for Iran and Syria to teach them resistance. This is not true. Iran is a friend and Syria is a friend, but they did not teach us resistance. True, they backed Lebanon and backed us in the resistance, but they are not the resistance men. The resistance men are the Lebanese. The resistance men are the Lebanese who triumphed.
Imam Musa al-Sadr, even before the establishment of the Islamic Republic in Iran, said: “Fight them with their teeth and nails, no matter how poor your arms are”. It was Imam Musa al-Sadr who formed the Lebanese resistance brigades, including the Amal Movement, Hezbollah and all the resistance men.
‘So stop referring to Iran and Syria to cover up the massacres and the crimes that are being committed.
‘This is all. I just want to repeat what I said to President Husni Mubarak yesterday and what I sent today also to King Abdullah through the Speaker of the Jordanian House of Representative, to tell him: It is time to consider the Arab blood that is being spilled. It is time to consider the poet’s words: We are brothers in wounds and pains. Even Arab poetry is no longer considered.
‘But my words are always addressed only to our kinfolk in Lebanon and the Arab people, in whom we have never lost our confidence. I say to our kinfolk in Lebanon: We will not be defeated. We will not fall because what is taking place now is in defence of Lebanon, the whole of Lebanon.
‘The subject is not one of a detainee or something that has happened in its place and not in its place, as is being rumoured.
‘Let us all be careful that the target is Lebanon, and what is needed now is for Lebanon to become a group standing on the pavement or a dust bin for the Israeli plot against the whole region.
‘Let us trust in God; let us trust in our national unity; and let us trust in our Arab brothers despite the pain that overwhelms us now. We shall prevail, God willing.’
The Shi’ite cleric Fadlallah is holding the US responsible for the civilian casualties in Lebanon.
In his last friday’s sermons he said: ‘Israel is waging a military war against Lebanon, using warplanes, warships and its entire military machine. It has struck the infrastructure in Lebanon and has destroyed bridges linking the south to the capital Beirut.
‘It has killed defenceless civilians, including women, children and the elderly. It has destroyed their homes over their heads.
‘Israel is killing civilians in cold blood. There is a historical Jewish hatred towards Arabs and Muslims. This proves the brutality nestled in the Zionist mentality.
‘The resistance has broken Israel’s pride. The resistance has exposed Israel’s failure and weakness through the quality operation which it carried out and in which it captured two Israeli soldiers and killed eight others, without Israel being able to defend them.’
Fadlallah added: ‘In addition to Israel’s military war, which has extended from Palestine to Lebanon, the United States, in cahoots with France and Britain, has waged a diplomatic war at the UN Security Council, to prevent the condemnation of Israel and to give the tag of self-defence to its massacres.
‘On the local level, foreign powers’ interference was present during the extraordinary session of the cabinet, which issued a statement indicative of the weakness of the Lebanese political scene, even in the most critical moments.
‘The pressure put by the US and French ambassadors and the UN secretary-general’s personal envoy played a role in this regard. These envoys have become a shadow cabinet that has held extensive contacts with politicians and journalists, asking them to express a firm and decisive stance against the resistance.
‘This has been accompanied by threatening letters sent by the Israeli government to the Lebanese government, warning that Israel will destroy the whole infrastructure in Lebanon.’
Fadlallah continued: ‘Thus, American and international pressure has had an impact on the Lebanese government. The new custodianship has geared up to prevent the official Lebanese leadership and others from freely expressing their views against the Israeli aggression, in response to a desire here and a desire there.’
Fadlallah said: ‘Our problem in the Arab and Muslim world is that all the catastrophes that befall our people politically, economically and security-wise have been caused by the United States, which is responsible for every civilian killed by Israel, for every home destroyed, and for every person displaced.
‘The United States is the axis of evil and the locust of terrorism in the world. Oppressed people must stand against the United States and against its Zionist ally. They must use all means to undermine the influence of the United States, weaken its position and expose its slogans wrapped in human slogans.’
Fadlallah added: ‘At a time when we face the Zionist war, we salute the resistance for its accurate and quick response to the Israeli enemy, whose fortified positions it has pounded and whose pride it has broken.
‘We also salute the Lebanese army for its heroic confrontation of the raiding planes, side by side with the resistance. We salute the Lebanese army command for shouldering its responsibility and for not running away, as others have done.
‘We want all the sects of the Lebanese people to display strong national unity against the aggression and not to pay attention to abnormal voices, which do not want Lebanon to be strong against Israel.’
Fadlallah urged Sunni and Shi’ite scholars in Iraq not to engage in sectarian polemics on satellite TV channels. They should not say ‘the Shi’ites have killed so many Sunnis’ and vice versa. All of us must say: ‘The criminals have killed innocent people, regardless of whether these criminals are Sunnis or Shi’ites.’