Nasrallah Hails Chavez For Expelling The Israeli Ambassador

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AFTER taking part in the Ashura procession in Beirut’s southern suburb to mark the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, hundreds of thousands gathered to listen to Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah’s speech, broadcast on a large screen.

Nasrallah lashed out at those Arab leaders who still have normal ties with Israel at a time when more than 680 people have been killed in Gaza, and advised them to follow the path of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez who has expelled the Israeli Ambassador in protest against the Israeli aggression on Gaza.

‘In front of the Zionist entity that is based on spilling the blood of the innocent and committing massacres, the least thing to do is not to give legitimacy to this entity regardless of the sacrifices.

‘The guardians of the Zionist entity want us to give Israel legitimacy, but the vast majority rejects this.

‘What is taking place today in Gaza, should be a strong motive to reject giving legitimacy to this entity.

Not acknowledging Israel, rejecting normalisation with it is the least than can be done.

‘Yesterday, Chavez expelled the Israeli Ambassador and he set an example to all those who are still receiving Israeli Ambassadors.

‘Some Arab leaders should learn how to reject normalisation with this entity. I assure you that the peoples of our nation will punish those leaders for their crimes. They ought to help the resistance instead of pressuring it.’

Nasrallah also criticised the Egyptian regime for keeping the Rafah crossing closed in the face of the dying people of Gaza.

‘Yesterday, an Egyptian official asked: “does the UN need 600 martyrs and 1,500 injured people to take action?” Today, I ask him, “do you need that many victims to open the Rafah crossing”?’

Nasrallah also commented on the action taken by some Egyptian lawyers against him personally.

‘A group of Egyptian lawyers, close to the governing regime, have filed a suit against me personally at the International Criminal Court because of my speech nine days ago, when I called for the opening of the Rafah crossing.

‘They considered my call as a call for a coup d’état.

‘I consider this suit, especially in front of those whose consciences have not yet awakened to the gravity of the massacres, a medal of honor that I will be proud of even after I die.

‘I openly say that we have never antagonised anyone and we will not antagonise those who collude against us. However, we will antagonise those who collude against Gaza.’

The Hezbollah chief also addressed the ‘real US scheme’ that was reflected by former US Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton.

‘What we heard yesterday from Bolton clearly indicates that the real aim of the US and Israel is to end the Palestinian issue by concretising the state of Israel, giving Gaza to Egypt and giving the rest to Jordan.’

Nasrallah added: ‘this necessitates a renewal of our call for all Palestinian factions to unite, because the aim is to liquidate their cause, all of their cause, not just Hamas or Fatah.’

The Hezbollah leader stressed that the Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006 and what is currently happening in Gaza and the steadfastness there, ‘should put an end to any dispute on the question of a defensive strategy.

‘This mighty army (Israel) stands helpless and incapable of fulfilling its goals in front of a resistance with modest capabilities yet with a great will, and this confirms that the choice of armed resistance based on faith and determination is the best and most effective way to confront the most tyrannical armies in this world.

‘This makes things crystal clear for us and further illustrates our viewpoint. Even the international community is incapable of condemning a massacre in a UN institution in Gaza just like it failed to condemn the Israeli massacre in a UN base in Qana in 1996. If this is the case, how will this international community be fair to any cause?’

Nasrallah told the angry audience that ‘the world is looking at you in Lebanon.

‘We do not know how big is the scheme neither do we know the magnitude of collusion, therefore we have take all probabilities into consideration.’

He also warned Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that he will not succeed in crushing the resistance in Lebanon or in Palestine.

‘Olmert told Sarkozy: “today Hamas and tomorrow Hezbollah”. I tell the defeated and failing Olmert that you will not succeed in crushing Hamas in Gaza or Hezbollah in Lebanon.

‘One says they’ll destroy us within days, others say within hours . . . and I say: “We are not afraid of your planes or your threats and we are ready for any aggression!”

‘If they come to our towns and homes, the Zionist will discover that their war in July 2006 was a picnic compared to what we have prepared for them!’

Nasrallah also vowed that the resistance will not abandon its arms and will not leave the battlefield.

‘Our resistance will remain a title for our history and our sacrifices. I was hoping that the voices that emerged recently in Lebanon to reassure Israel about the border with Lebanon would have responded to Israel’s threats to the resistance and Hezbollah.

‘What drives them to rush and give free assurances to Israel at a time when it is killing and massacring our people in Gaza?’

And he concluded his speech by saying: ‘On the tenth day of Muharram, and looking at all these sacrifices, we are in dire need of the spirit, wisdom, love of martyrdom and patience of Imam Hussein, peace be upon him.

‘Throughout the past decades, we have been with Imam Hussein at every stage and ready to sacrifice ourselves for what we believe in.

‘After all these years and experiences that proved our sincerity, path and convictions are right, our people, generation after generation, will not be overcome and will not fear any threat as long as their slogan remains: “At your service Imam Hussein.”

‘Israel is our enemy and the enemy of our nation. It will remain so even if some make peace with it. The US administration fosters Israel and protects it, so this administration will remain our enemy and the enemy of our nation even if some make peace with it.’

l On Wednesday, Israel slammed a senior Vatican official for comparing the Gaza Strip to a ‘concentration camp,’ saying the comments were ‘based on Hamas propaganda.

‘Making remarks that seem to be based on Hamas propaganda while ignoring its numerous crimes . . . does not bring the people closer to truth and peace,’ Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said.

Cardinal Renato Martino, the Vatican’s justice and peace minister, was quoted by the online Italian daily Il Sussidiario as saying the conditions in Gaza ‘increasingly resemble a big concentration camp.’