THE PEOPLE OF GAZA MUST NOT BE LEFT TO THEIR FATE – declares Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah

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Angry Lebanese demonstrating in London against Israeli bombing of Lebanon last July
Angry Lebanese demonstrating in London against Israeli bombing of Lebanon last July

THE Lebanese Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah issued a strong warning to Israel in his Ashura Day address in Beirut, last Saturday.

Speaking on this major Muslim holy day commemorating the Imam Al-Husayn, Nasrallah said: ‘Today, O brothers and sisters, our nation faces a bellicose and arrogant enemy, who places it before two options: Confrontation or humiliation.

‘In his recent visit, George Bush, the head of this tyrannical, despotic and bellicose order, placed two options before the nation: it should either give up its land and holy places or recognise the establishment of a racist Jewish state on the occupied land of Palestine.

‘He wants the nation to give up its sanctities, accept the final immigration of half the population of Palestine outside their land, rights and homes and accept his hegemony over countries, lands, and resources, and also accept his occupation of Iraq, the land of holy places, for hundreds of years, and his mutilation of our countries and peoples so as to turn the peoples against each other under false slogans and hostilities.

‘Bush wants to convince our rulers, governments, and peoples with these things so as to protect his hegemony, interests, and cancerous entity, which is planted in the heart of the nation in Palestine.’

He added: ‘Since 1982, when the Israeli invasion swept our land and country, we in Lebanon chose with our full conscience, free will and knowledge the path of Al-Husayn, peace be upon him.

‘We told the armies of the Zionist invaders and occupiers, who entered the capital, Beirut, and spread to the mountains and Al-Biqa after occupying the south: “You entered the wrong land at the wrong time, because we will face you with one slogan: “Never will we be defeated”!’

Nasrallah continued: ‘In the year 2006, when the whole world stood behind Israel to crush this resistance and its men, women, people, and the bosom that embraced and protected it, the Israeli Air Force came with its tactical and strategic arsenals backed by the US arsenals.

‘International support also came – hence the war of annihilation against the resistance and the people of the resistance.

‘We had to fight or surrender our weapons. We did not surrender, flee, or accept those humiliating terms. We rejected humiliation and fought for 33 days without our feet, hands or hearts being shaken. God gave us victory.’

Nasrallah continued: ‘Today, in the face of all the dangers and challenges, the slogan remains. We will not change our position, remove our skin, abandon our history, or give up our trust in God Almighty and the distant horizon, which we await and that awaits us. . .

‘First: In facing Bush’s tour, and dictates, terms, and Satanic visions which he wants to impose on Palestine and the region, we say: The whole nation is called upon to reply to this tour by adhering to the resistance option and backing resistance movements in every land where there is resistance. . .

‘Second: The nation’s reply must be more adherence to the land and the rejection of deportation, and therefore the rejection of resettlement, and adherence to the holy places. Our holy places are not for sale or concession.

‘Third: Our reply must be telling friend from foe. We must not confuse them. Bush wants to convince our rulers and peoples that Iran is the enemy, the danger and the threat. As for Israel, it is the dear, reassuring brother and friend and the neighbour to whom we must extend the hand of peace.

‘Now, can there be forgery, deception and hypocrisy in history more than this?

‘We must tell the entity of the friend from the foe. Our governments and peoples must not drift behind Bush in his wars, which only serve his interests and cancerous entity in Palestine.

‘This will only lead to the destruction of our countries and the killing of our peoples through futile wars, which have nothing to do whatsoever with our nation and issues.

‘The dangerous thing we are facing today, especially after Bush’s visit, is what our people are facing in Gaza in particular and Palestine in general.

‘But in Gaza there are daily raids. Yesterday, the military air force was used. This is a serious development in the confrontation. All crossing points and roads were blocked and the siege was tightened on Gaza.

‘Gaza is in a bloody confrontation, in which it offers martyrs, sacrifices, and endures hunger, darkness and siege. So what is the responsibility of the rulers and peoples of this nation? Should Gaza be left to its fate? What is the reply of the nation?

‘In the July and August War, I stood on more than one occasion and told the Arabs and Muslims: “We do not want anything from you. We in Lebanon will fight and confront with the capabilities we have”.

‘But, today, in the Ashura of Al-Husayn, peace be upon him, I stand and ask the Arabs and Muslims, both governments and peoples, to stand by Gaza, which is besieged from all directions; Gaza, which is exposed to massacre and genocide. The least they can do is to remove the siege on Gaza.

‘If the situation in Gaza continues as it is without anyone in this nation making a move, this nation will bring upon itself humiliation, disgrace, submission and abandonment of its humanness, religion, and Arabism.

‘The Gaza people must not be left to their fate, dominated by a tyrant who wants to preserve his seat and defend his occupation and usurpation of the land through the remains of women, children, men and the innocent.

‘The whole nation is called upon to a real serious stand. It is impermissible to remain silent, and no one should hide behind his finger.

‘Third: The Israeli violations of Lebanon have become almost common, and I am not referring to the air space violations. Civilians are being attacked, kidnapped and arrested and then released within a few hours.

‘Let me ask the Lebanese and the world: Had any Lebanese from the frontline villages – and I am not speaking about Hezbollah or the resistance – kidnapped an Israeli shepherd, farmer or patient, what would have happened?! The UN Security Council would meet, uproar would be raised in the world, and Israel would be given the right to wage war on Lebanon.

‘But for our farmers, shepherds, peasants and fishermen to remain under danger within the sight of the UN forces and the world, this is something over which we cannot remain silent for long. I warn them and I am serious here, and they know our seriousness on such matters.

‘We feel that the attack on civilians on the Lebanese border is a humiliation to a homeland and a people and not just to a shepherd or farmer.

‘This is something on which we cannot remain silent. It must be faced one day, and it will be faced one day, God willing.

‘As for the threats that the Israelis make from time to time to attack Lebanon or wage a new war on Lebanon, I do not believe that the Israelis have the political leadership, military leadership, or qualified army to wage such a war now. But, we must not be taken by surprise. . .

‘If Israel wages a new war on Lebanon, we promise them a war that will change the course of the battle and the fate of the entire region, God willing.

‘Fourth is the detainee issue, to which I stress our commitment on every Ashura that we will return all the detainees to their families and homes. . .

‘Today, I would like to stress what I said in my last TV interview. . . I say: O Zionists, your army is lying to you. Your army, which always bragged that it triumphed in every battlefield and did not leave its dead and wounded behind on the ground – and this was part of its culture and structure – I tell them: Your army left the remains of its soldiers in our villages and fields. Our combatants fought these Zionists. They killed them and gathered their remains.

‘I am not speaking about ordinary remains. I tell the Israelis: We have heads from your soldiers. We have hands and feet.

‘There is a body that is almost complete; that is, half or three quarters of a body; from head to chest and belly. What did the army tell the family of this soldier? What remains or limbs did it offer to his family?

‘ . . . This Zionist Army has lost even its credibility, which it bragged about once. It was weak and feeble in the battlefield to the point of leaving the remains of not just one, two or three soldiers but a large number of soldiers, who were killed by the hands of your combatants and brothers in the Islamic resistance.’

Regarding the Lebanon, Nasrallah continued: ‘We know that tackling hunger, thirst, poverty, debts, unemployment, deprivation and negligence begins with the formation of a just authority; an authority of partnership; a national authority that assumes the responsibility of all the communities and areas.

‘The key to tackling all these crises is the formation of such an authority; a selfless authority that treats people equally.

‘The authority that considers the homeland to be a private company or bank cannot tackle any of its internal crises; nor can it protect the country against the storms that blow on our region and world.

‘Therefore, because our political demand in the resistance is right and just and we are not ashamed of it, we will not hide behind social slogans, but confront with the political slogan, the political right and the political demand.

‘We will not leave Lebanon to the American plan, the US Administration, or the domination of one party at the expense of another.’

Nasrallah concluded his speech by renewing the pledge to Imam al-Husayn and all the ‘oppressed, persecuted, and tortured’ in this world.

He said: ‘From the land of the southern quarter we affirm our commitment to the resistance in Lebanon, our support for the resistance in Palestine, our support for the resistance in Iraq, and our support for every resistance man in every country that is subjected to occupation.

‘Bush and Olmert face us with two options; confrontation or humiliation. So what do you say to Al-Husayn on his day?’

The crowds chanted in unison to a high crescendo: ‘Never will we be humiliated!’