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Shaikh Hassan Nasrallah’s speech to a victory rally in Beirut on September 22

Crescent International

I seek God's protection against the cursed Satan; in the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate; praise be to Almighty God: blessings and peace be upon our master and prophet, the last of the prophets, Muhammad, upon his good, righteous, infallible family, upon his noble companions; and upon all the prophets and messengers.

O beloved and honourable, pure and generous people, may God's peace, mercy, and blessings be upon you !

Praise be to God, Who has fulfilled His promise to us and Who has granted Lebanon, and the people of Lebanon, victory over the enemy of Lebanon. Praise be to God Who made us proud, enabled us to hold fast, and gave us security. Praise be to God, on Whom we relied and to whom we turned repentantly. As He promises, He is always the best protector. Praisebe to God for His victory, assistance and support.

Brothers and sisters, ladies and gentlemen.

Today you once again surprised the world and truly proved that you are a great, proud, loyal and courageous people . For some days many people have been waging a psychological war on this rally, just as they waged a psychological war on the resistance. They said that this square would be bombed and that this podium would be destroyed in order to scare people and keep them from coming. Today you prove, by attending this victory rally, that you are even more courageous than [you were on] 12 July and 14 August. Standing before you and with you involves risk for you and me. There were other choices; we were discussing [my participation] until just half an hour ago. However, my heart, mind and soul did not allow me to address you from afar, nor through a screen.

The utmost one expects is for the enemy to make a mistake or commit a crime. However, does this enemy not know who we are? We are the sons of that imam who said: "Are you threatening me with death? We are used to death and our dignity is derived from the martyrdom God grants us."

You are all welcome: from the fighting and resisting south, to the steadfast al-Biqa', to the loyal north, to the proud mountain, to the Beirut of Arabism, to the [southern] suburb of loftiness and dignity. You are all welcome, from the Palestinian refugee-camps in Lebanon; you are all welcome, from Syria, Iran, Kuwait, Bahrain and every country that has come to us to celebrate and rejoice.

God's peace, mercy and blessings be upon you; peace be upon your martyrs and the families of your martyrs; peace be upon your wounded and their wounds; peace be upon your prisoners; peace be upon your blood and tears; peace be upon your orphans and widows; peace be upon your demolished homes; peace be upon your burnt property; peace be upon your souls and strong will, which are stronger than the mountains of Lebanon.

How can the human mind imagine that a few thousand of your sons held out for 33 days in a land exposed to the strongest air force in the Middle East, which had an air bridge transporting smart bombs from America through Britain to Israel; against 40,000 officers and soldiers; against the strongest tanks in the world; and against the strongest army in this region? How could only a few thousand people hold out under such harsh conditions, and how could their fighting force the naval warships out of our territorial waters?How did this happen while you were abandoned by the Arabs and the world and in light of the political division around you? How could this group of mujahideen have defeated this army without the support and assistance of Almighty God?

Brothers and sisters, we are today celebrating a great victory. How can the human mind imagine that a few thousand of your sons held out for 33 days in a land exposed to the strongest air force in the Middle East, which had an air bridge transporting smart bombs from America through Britain to Israel; against 40,000 officers and soldiers; against the strongest tanks in the world; and against the strongest army in this region? How could only a few thousand people hold out under such harsh conditions, and how could their fighting force the naval warships out of our territorial waters? By the way, the army and the resistance are capable of protecting the territorial waters from being desecrated by any Zionist. And how could their fighting also lead to the destruction of Mirkava tanks, which are a source of pride for the Israeli industry; damage Israeli helicopters day and night; and turn the elite brigades into rats frightened by your sons? How did this happen while you were abandoned by the Arabs and the world and in light of the political division around you? How could this group of mujahideen have defeated this army without the support and assistance of Almighty God?

This experience of resistance and achievement depends, on the moral and spiritual level, on faith, certainty, reliance [on God], and readiness to make sacrifices. It also depends on reason, planning, organization, armament and on taking all possible protective measures.

We are neither a disorganised and sophistic resistance, nor a resistance pulled to the ground that sees before it nothing but toil, nor a resistance of chaos. The pious, God-reliant, loving and knowledgeable resistance is also a conscious, wise, disciplined and equipped resistance. This is the secret of the victory we are today celebrating, brothers and sisters.

This victory requires a courageous stand like your stand today. You are today sending an extremely important and serious political and moral message to the Lebanese, the Arabs and the entire world, friends and foes alike. You amazed the world when you, as a people in Lebanon, held fast from 12 July to 14 August. They wagered on our division. You, the displaced and those who sheltered the displaced, remained steadfast throughout. When 14 August came, their wager was that the presence of the displaced in the areas to which they were displaced would put pressure on the resistance. Yet the resistance did not submit.

Once again, you amazed the world when the displaced returned in their cars and trucks, and some on foot. At 0800 the southern suburb of Beirut, the south of Lebanon, and al-Biqa' were full of their proud and honourable residents, who returned with raised heads.

You are today amazing the world and telling the American [i.e. president George W. Bush], who a few days ago said, "we received good signs from Lebanon that the popularity of the resistance has receded, and it has started to weaken", that this is the people of resistance. I tell this American: "You should address a message of slander to the lying writers of reports, who send you wrong information on which you make wrong calculations."

Brothers and sisters, we should today stress that this war was an American war in terms of decisions, weapons, planning and desire, and by giving several deadlines for the Zionists; one, two, three and four weeks. What stopped the war is the failure of the Zionists. If you recall the last days, the largest number of tanks was destroyed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday; the largest number of the occupation soldiers was killed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday; the helicopters crashed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. So the Zionists realised that if they had continued the war, it would have been a disaster. The Americans intervened and even accepted the drafts [of resolutions] for the war to stop. They stopped the war not for the sake of Lebanon, nor for the sake of the children of Lebanon, nor for the sake of the blood of women in Lebanon, nor for the sake of beautiful Lebanon. They stopped the war only for the sake of Israel. They came to peddle it to us in Lebanon; namely, that our American friends stopped the war.

In the first two or three days, our American friends did not agree to stop the war, and they refused [to stop it] in the first, second, third and fourth weeks. Could they not see the beauty of Lebanon for a month? The decision was to crush Hizbullah, and after crushing Hizbullah accounts would be settled with all its friends, allies and those who follow the truly sovereign and independent line in Lebanon. What stopped the war (after the help of Almighty God) were your resisting sons and their loyal, proud and courageous people, who supported the resistance all over the country, and who sheltered it in their mosques, churches, monasteries and schools. That is what stopped the war. If anyone deserves to celebrate the victory, then it is you who are present here. You deserve it because you made the victory.

We sometimes differ and ask: Was what happened in Lebanon a victory or a defeat? I do not want to go into semantics, but I tell you: Whoever feels that his option, plan, line and vision has triumphed, feels the victory and speaks about it. And whoever feels that he has been defeated and has fallen speaks about defeat.

We feel that we won; Lebanon won; Palestine won; the Arab people won, and every oppressed, aggrieved person in this world also won. Our victory is not the victory of a party. I repeat what I said in Bint Jubayl on 25 May 2000: It is not the victory of a party or a community; rather it is a victory for true Lebanon, the true Lebanese people, and every free person in the world.

Don't distort this historic victory. Do not restrict it to party, sectarian, communal or regional groups. This victory is too big to be comprehended by us. The next weeks, months and years will confirm this [insha'Allah].

It is enough to say, on the basis of the direct results, that your resistance and steadfastness foiled all the aims of the aggression, and that this is a victory. Our resistance and steadfastness dealt a severe blow to the "New Middle East plan", which Condoleezza Rice had said would be born in the July war. Your resistance and steadfastness exposed the deceptive US policies that speak about human rights, freedom, democracy and respect. Your steadfastness and resistance exposed the US and raised the level of awareness before the level of hostility to the US. The main thing is awareness rather than hostility; it raised the level of awareness and hostility not only in the Arab and Muslim world, but in the whole world.

Thanks to your steadfastness and resistance, Hugo Chavez, a man about whom I can say that he is a great Arab indeed, made that statement in the UN yesterday. The Lebanese resistance today inspires all resistances, all free peoples, and all honourable people in the world, as well as all those who reject US subjugation and degradation of the world. This is our victory and this is the result of our battle.

Thanks to your steadfastness and resistance, Hugo Chavez, a man about whom I can say that he is a great Arab indeed, made that statement in the UN yesterday. The Lebanese resistance today inspires all resistances, all free peoples, and all honourable people in the world, as well as all those who reject US subjugation and degradation of the world. This is our victory and this is the result of our battle.

Moreover, your resistance, which offered in the 2000 victory a model for liberation, offers in this year, 2006, a model for steadfastness: legendary and miraculous steadfastness. It is a strong proof for all Arabs and Muslims, and all rulers, armies and peoples.

Yesterday a group of Arab governments went to the Security Council to beg for peace and a settlement. I tell them: I am not speaking to you about removing Israel, I am speaking to you about the settlement you want. How can you obtain an honourable settlement if you announce day and night that you will not fight? You do not want to fight for Lebanon, Ghazzah, theWest Bank or even Jerusalem. So how then can you obtain a reasonable settlement, by announcing every day that you will not use your oil as a weapon? If anyone comes to speak to you about the use of oil in that way, you deride him, saying: "This is backwardness." You do not want to fight, boycott, use oil to pressurise anyone, or even allow the people to come out in the streets to demonstrate, or the resistance in Palestine to be equipped. Instead you are besieging it and withholding funds from it. In fact you are starving it and cutting off salaries for the sake of Condoleezza Rice.

How can these states secure a "just and honourable settlement"? Does Israel recognise them in the first place? I tell you: the Israelis today view the resistance and its mujahideen inLebanon with great respect. As for those lowly ones, they are not worth anything. Even the Arab initiative calls for a stand. It calls for men and power. If you can't use power, you can at least threaten with it. The excuse that we are weak will not do.

The people of Lebanon have given strong evidence to all the peoples of the world. The Lebanese resistance has provided strong evidence to all Arab and Muslim armies. Arab armies and peoples are not only able to liberate Ghazzah, the West Bank and East Jerusalem; they are also capable of regaining Palestine from sea to river by one small decision and with some determination. The problem occurs when people have choices: asked to choose between their people and their current position, they choose the status quo. When he asked to choose between Jerusalem and worldly position, they choose the world. Asked to choose between the dignity of a homeland and their place, they choose their place. What is distinct about the resistance movements in Lebanon and Palestine is that they have chosen the dignity of their people, holy places and freedom, and offer their leaders, sons and dear ones as sacrifices to join the throne of Almighty God.

Today, your resistance has broken the image of Israel. We have done away with the invincible army; we have also done away with the invincible state. I am not exaggerating. It is enough for you to read what is going on in occupied Palestine, what the Zionists are saying, and what is going on between the Israeli generals and commanders.

Olmert protested again today because we are holding a victory rally. Yediot Aharanot published the results of an Israeli poll today that asks: "Who do you think is suitable to be prime minister in Israel?" How much did Olmert get? He got seven percent. As for the heroic war minister, Amir Peretz, he got one percent!

The reputation of this Israel has changed. No Arab ruler or regime can make further concessions to it, submit to its humiliating terms, or tell the nation: There is nothing we can do withIsrael.

Once an old man, who knew his time, place and era, said: "If every one of us carried a bucket of water and threw it on occupied Palestine, Israel would disappear from existence; yes, just a bucket of water." Two or three hundred million people standing up to Israel can defeat it, especially when a few thousand in Lebanon have defeated Israel. This excuse is finished. We should enter a new phase and a new time; namely, the time when we dictate our conditions and restore our dignity, freedom, sovereignty and shrines.

Brothers and sisters: On this day of divine victory, there are those who expect a domestic debate about Lebanon itself, and I will certainly do that. But before I switch to that, I would like, as on 12 July, to emphasise two points: Our hearts, feelings, grief and pain are today in Palestine. They are in Ghazzah, Ramallah and Nablus. They are in Jenin, Jerusalem and every Palestinian town, village and camp that is being bombed. The Palestinian people are being killed everyday, and Palestinian houses are being destroyed every day while the whole world is silent.

How long will this silence go on? Until when will we go on enduring this shame? Nobody is asking you to deploy your armies to defend the Palestinian people. Let us just give support to these people, be it moral, political, financial or military. In Palestine there are leaders, scholars, groups, movements, youths, men, women and children who can repeat the divine miracle in Palestine.

The second point is, before speaking about Lebanon, that we, the people of Lebanon, should see Iraq as a warning. Had the war on Lebanon succeeded in its aims, the Americans would have done to Lebanon what they are doing to Iraq. In the war we, the Lebanese, offered martyrs from the resistance, the army, the security forces, the civil defence, the Red Cross, the news media, the establishments, the various parties and all our beloved people. But how many were martyrs? 1,000 or 1,200 martyrs? In Iraq some 10,000 to 15,000 people are killed every month in a chaotic war that is administered, financed and promoted by the Americans and Mossad. The resistance in Lebanon protected Lebanon from civil war.

Some say that the resistance in Lebanon pushes for civil war. Never! Had Israel won, Lebanon would have been pushed to civil war, and you would have heard voices calling for federalism, cantons and division. We must always keep Iraq in mind. Our message to our people in Iraq must always be: Be patient, calm, united and wise; communicate, avoid sedition, and don't depend on the enemy.

As for Lebanon, our message to Lebanon today is: Come together, all. No one should outbid anyone on anything. We all believe that our salvation and hope are in building a capable, strong, just and proud state. This is the hope, and it is supposed to be the issue on which we are unanimous.

We announce from this place with the blood of our martyrs: that any talk in Lebanon about partition is Israeli talk; any talk in Lebanon about federalism is Israeli talk; and any talk inLebanon about cantons is Israeli talk. We are Lebanese: our fate, decision, and prayer to God should be to live together as one state: we are against partition and division; we are against federalism and division into cantons.

What will protect Lebanese unity is a strong, capable and just state, which will also protect Lebanon's sovereignty from Zionist greed for land, water and the like. What will tackle social and economic crises for the Lebanese is a strong, capable, just, pure and proud state. That is what we all aspire to. A strong and capable state means a state that can regain every inch of its occupied territory and protect every drop of water from al-Wazzani River to al-Litani River and al-Hasbani River; that can prevent the enemy from encroaching on its sovereignty daily; and that can assure its people that it is truly protecting them with arms, power, reason, unity, organization, planning and national will. As for tears, they do not protect anyone.

We want a strong, capable, just, pure and independent state that rejects all foreign trusteeship and hegemony; a noble and proud state that does not succumb to humiliating terms; and a pure state where there is no room for theft or waste. This is the state that we need.

I tell you that this is the key to tackling the resistance. Here we come to the issue of the weapons and to those who are dying to resolve this issue. I tell them: don't tackle the results; come, let us tackle the causes. I am not after rhetoric, but logic. Argue with us on the basis of logic.

The resistance has several causes: the occupation, the arrest of prisoners, the plunder of waters, the threat to Lebanon, and the attack on Lebanese sovereignty. These are the causes. Tackle the causes and their results will follow easily.

When we build a strong, capable, and just state that protects Lebanon and the Lebanese, it will be easy to find an honourable solution to the question of the resistance and its weapons. I would like the Lebanese people to hear this clearly. I and my brothers get excited sometimes and say all kinds of things. Let us speak with some responsibility. We do not say that these weapons will remain forever, and it is not logical for these weapons to remain forever. There is bound to be an end to them. The natural solution is to tackle the causes, and their results will disappear. Come and build a strong and just state, protecting the country and the citizens and their livelihoods, waters and dignity, and you will find that the resolution of the resistance issue will not even need a negotiating table.

But what is happening now? Instead of Israel leaving the Sheba'ah Farms, Israel is extending the strip northward. Instead of the problem of the border points being resolved, they are forward to al-Khiyam and Marwahin. Instead of our benefiting from our legal right to the al-Wazzani River, Israel builds pipes to steal the water. Is this how we protect our country and its resources?

Any talk about disarming the resistance, surrendering the resistance weapons under this state, this authority, this regime and the existing situation, means leaving Lebanon exposed to Israel so that it can kill as it wants, arrest as it wants, bomb as it wants, and plunder our land and waters. We certainly cannot accept that.

You know the young people of the resistance: they have spent their entire youth in the resistance; they have not lived lives of prosperity, ease, extravagance or calm. Some of them have spent 25 years in the resistance. The resistance will not end while Israel is still occupying our land, violating our honour, undermining our security, and plundering our waters and resources. Never! I swear to God.

This is the only natural, logical, reasonable, responsible and patriotic option. As for the other options: this rally, which is attended by these good friends, and this public that comes from all of Lebanon's communities and areas and many political trends and parties; I want to tell them all: trying to end the resistance by pressure, threats and siege is useless. Trying to end the resistance by dragging it into sedition with the Lebanese army won't work. The army and the resistance are two loving brothers whom no one can separate. Those who wager on disarming the resistance by a new war, Israeli or otherwise, I refer them to Livni and Perez, the foreign minister and the war minister of Israel, as well as former defence minister MosheArens, the strategist who said a clear sentence: "We wanted to dismantle Hizbullah as a whole, but we have found out that there is no army in the world that can dismantle such an organization."

I tell them: no army in the world can make us lay down our arms so long as these loyal and brave people believe in this resistance. I am not threatening with arms. I am relying on this people who embrace the resistance. I am relying on that old, noble woman, who stood in the debris and said: "My house in Beirut was destroyed and my house in the south was destroyed, but we are for the resistance and the resistance weapons." Others have said: if "al-Sayyid Hassan surrendered the weapons, he would be a traitor." I pledge to you that I do not aspire to end my life with treason, but with martyrdom.

So all these attempts will fail, because there are people in Lebanon and a resistance in Lebanon that reject occupation, humiliation and despotism, and who are ready to sacrifice themselves and their beloved sons for the sake of their country. Yes, today Lebanon is no longer small in the Middle East. It is a great power with your support. The West and Israel take it seriously and the oppressed peoples of the world regard it with respect, appreciation and pride.

I repeat that these weapons are not for use within Lebanon. They were not used against any Lebanese, and they will never be used so. These weapons are for the Sunni, Druze, and Shi’a: these weapons are for all the Lebanese. They seek to protect Lebanon, its sovereignty and its independence. This is a pledge before God, the people, and the martyrs.

So let me say that we do not want to keep the weapons forever. I repeat that these weapons are not for use within Lebanon. They were not used against any Lebanese, and they will never be used so. These weapons are for the Sunni, Druze, and Shi’a: these weapons are for all the Lebanese. They seek to protect Lebanon, its sovereignty and its independence. This is a pledge before God, the people, and the martyrs.

So let us build a just, strong, resisting, proud, honourable and pure state. We do not say: Whoever has failed in the test has failed and whoever has succeeded has succeeded. I will say: Come; no matter how we differed, and matters were difficult between us in various ways, we are all in the same situation together in Lebanon now. No one can say, "we are a majority, nothing has changed, the country is proceeding well, and everything is fine." This is simply not true.

There is a real impasse in Lebanon today. There is sharp national (not sectarian) division. What exists now is not a dispute between Shi'is and Sunnis, or between Muslims and Christians, or among Druze, Sunnis, Shi'is and Christians. There is a national political division. There are major strategic and political options on which Shi'i, Sunni, Druze and Christian political forces agree, and others on which Shi'i, Sunni, Druze and Christian political forces disagree. When some Shi'is said things different from Hizbullah and the Amal movement, they thought that we would grieve. We were happy when others supported the other stand, which proved that the dispute is not sectarian but political.

Look at the miscalculations. Even when our enemies want to hurt us, they benefit us. So we have before us a national division. So I would like to warn us all: Do not allow anyone to transform political divisions into sectarian or communal divisions. It is forbidden to manipulate sects and communities in defence of political options: this is playing with fire; this is sabotaging the country; this is destroying the country. Yes, we are split by political divisions. We compete, discuss and differ. We attack each other in the news media. We turn to the street and to elections. All these peaceful and democratic mechanisms are legitimate and allowable. This is what we would like to emphasise.

So as long as there is political division and serious challenges, I say that the team currently ruling in Lebanon cannot continue in power, cannot work, because it cannot protect, reconstruct or unify Lebanon. The natural solution is to form a government of national unity, by which I do not mean bringing down anyone or dismissing anyone but, as I said on 25 May: Come and let us close our ranks and stand side by side to defend Lebanon, to protect Lebanon, to build and construct Lebanon, and to preserve Lebanon and unify it.

So building a strong, just and capable state begins first by a serious government of national unity. Here I am not raising a slogan for local consumption. Let them hear me. I am not raising a slogan for local consumption, or to gain time, or to appease allies or friends. This is our serious project and we will work for it with our utmost strength during the next stage.

The second part of building the just, capable and strong state begins by drafting a fair electoral law in which all communities and all political currents will have a realistic opportunity to have genuine representation, and in which no community will feel that it has become subordinate to another community. That is how we can build the just, strong and capable state. That is the way to solve all our problems.

Now I will briefly discuss the remaining issues and challenges. First is the resistance. Westerners have come to blockade the sea. Why? To protect Lebanon? No. The German chancellor said that the German navy was playing a historic role in protecting Israel's right to exist. I like some of these positions and I will talk about them later. They come from the sea and they want to blockade the airspace and the borders. I say to them: blockade and close the borders, the sea and the skies; this will neither weaken the will nor the arms of the resistance. We have fought for 33 days; this is not mere rhetoric: we had been prepared for a long war. What we deployed in the war was a small part of our resources. In Bint Jubayl I said that we had more than 12,000 rockets and the poor ones [the Israelis] started calculating, based on 12,000. Today I say to those who want to close the seas, the sky, the deserts, and the borders, and I say to the enemy as well, that the resistance today has more than 20,000 rockets.

Within a few days and after emerging from a fierce war, the resistance restored its entire military and organizational structure and its armaments. The resistance today is stronger that it was before 12 July because during the war it got fresh experience and acquired new wisdom, resolve and determination. I tell those who hope for weakness in the resistance that they are making a miscalculation. Today the resistance is stronger than at any time since 1982. Concerning the resistance, its strength, and its weapons, we say: Be completely assured.

The second issue is the prisoners. Your prisoners and children will return insha'Allah. In the name of the resistance, I promised you on 12 July that if the entire universe comes it will not be able to save these two prisoners except through indirect negotiations and an exchange process. After 12 July, the entire universe came and you remained steadfast. The prisoners remained in our hands and they will not be released except with the return of the prisoners whose release and return we are demanding.

Third is the issue of the Sheba'ah Farms and the Kfar Shuba Hills. Delegations from these steadfast towns have been worried of late as a result of the new arrangements in the border region. I assure them that the Sheba'ah Farms and Kfar Shuba Hills will not be relinquished. Nobody will relinquish a single inch of occupied Lebanese territories; never. I tell you that during the war and the political negotiations there was a genuine opportunity to liberate the Sheba'ah Farms, and the Americans agreed, but they went back on their promises, as usual. Why? Because they did not want to offer a victory to Hizbullah. I say to them: Return them to whomsoever you want and offer a victory to whomsoever you want, but return them, return them.

We could have regained the Sheba'ah Farms and the Kfar Shuba hills during the war if there had been a serious political will, a serious political unity, and an integrated political resistance. But I stress to you that these areas are on their way to liberation. All current violations will then end. The Lebanese Army, which is our national army, is present there and UNIFIL [United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon] has risen to 5,000 in number. In the past, when the resistance was on the borders, any bulldozer advancing even 10 metres would be hit and forced to retreat, and none dared enter. Now our border is open and they enter here and there every now and then. What happened has happened but what about the future? This issue is not linked to the Lebanese army. The Lebanese army has courage, will and determination. Its officers and soldiers are the brothers of the resistance; there is no difference between them. The issue is linked to political decisions.

Will the Lebanese government turn the Lebanese army into a unit in charge of counting complaints and recording violations? This will be humiliating to the Lebanese army. Neither the army nor the Lebanese people will accept it. Our army's task is not sitting in the border area and counting Israeli violations, as the UN did in 1972. The task for which our army went south upon a decision from the current government was to defend the country and protect its citizens, their livelihood and their security. The country's sovereignty and territory are now violated, citizens are kidnapped and assaulted, and their farms are attacked. What is the government's decision? We have thus far been patient because we do not want to commit any violation of Resolution 1701 (which is not sacred, of course), because we know that at any simple violation by us, even if it is in legitimate self-defence, a hue and cry will be raised. Israelhas been committing violations, attacks and transgressions all the time but the world remains silent. Be assured that we will not be patient for long. Hear me well: if the state and government fail to carry out their responsibility towards protecting the land and its people, the Lebanese people will assume this responsibility as they have done since 1982. I tell the Zionists: If someone gives you security assurances from above or under the table, these will concern him and not the resistance in Lebanon or the people of Lebanon.

So what we have to do is sharpen our national zeal and support our national army so that it will be equipped with the best equipment in order to guard the homeland (villages, towns, farms, farmers, churches, and mosques) and not protect anyone else.

To the UNIFIL, which has been turned into something much larger than a reinforced UNIFIL, we say: We welcomed you and I reiterate our welcome of you within the framework of your clear mission, which is supporting the Lebanese army. Your mission is not to spy on Hizbullah or disarm the resistance. This is what UN secretary general Kofi Annan and several officials said. So far I have not heard any country participating in UNIFIL say that it sent its soldiers to defend Lebanon and the Lebanese. They are ashamed of us, brothers and sisters. They are ashamed of saying they came to defend us, but they talk about defending Israel. Well, UNIFIL forces are welcome so long as they abide by their mission. I call on the UNIFIL command inLebanon to be alert because I have received information that there are some who want to drag these UN forces into collision with the resistance. I have heard that it was said at some meetings that the presence of the UN forces will restore the internal balance of power in Lebanon. This is serious: the UN forces came for a specific purpose, and they should not interfere in Lebanon's internal affairs.

The last point but one is about political arguments and counter-arguments. We did not seek political rivalry with anyone. We heard much harmful talk during the war, and we remained silent and were patient. Political and media rivalry and criticism of the resistance continued after the war. Thigs have reached an unbearable level in recent statements. Almighty God wants believers to have broad minds, patience and great hearts. But at the same time He does not accept humiliation for them. The media and political criticisms of the resistance inLebanon after the war reached a limit that could be tolerated only by prophets, and we are not prophets.

We understand if one or two persons stand up and say things. If three persons say them, we will continue to comprehend what they say. Entire political forces met at Bristol [Hotel]. They brought their deputies, leaders and members of political bureaux to show that the rally was big. They then issued a statement in which they said the war which took place inLebanon was an Iranian war for the sake of the Iranian nuclear project, or a Syrian war to obstruct the international tribunal. We would not tolerate that, because we take pride in our relationship and friendship with Islamic Iran under the leadership of Imam al-Sayyid Khamene'i, may God keep his shadow. We also take pride in our relationship with Syria, its leaders and people. Yes, leaders and people under the leadership of president Bashar al-Asad.

We are independent and sovereign, and our history testifies to this more than their history. But to say that this war (which America and Israel launched and which Condoleezza Rice said was hard labour for the birth of a new Middle East) was fought by us for the sake of the nuclear issue and international tribunal is both shameful and insulting. Our houses were destroyed and our children and women were killed but we continued to fight. I care for all those who care for me and for those who tell me not to engage in an argument. The party's youth and leadership can engage in such an argument. But there is a limit. Even I with my turban and beard am not more honourable than this resistance and these people. If my turban and beard have honour, it is then an honour bestowed by you and this resistance and by the blood of martyrs. I call for stopping these arguments and avoiding silly, harmful and harsh phrases. We must remain within the framework of logical and reasonable political competition, because we have a common destiny and we must build Lebanon together. But I, HassanNasrallah, will not remain silent over any insult to the people of the resistance.

No one is allowed to stand up and say even calmly that the members of the resistance are thoughtless. Are you thoughtless? Who accepts this insult? No, no, I respect them, their youth and their women. I respect their choices if they are national. But we will never accept any insult to them by anyone. Whoever insults them has to apologise. We are not a totalitarian party, regime or faction. Neither my father nor grandfather was a Bek [originally a Turkish title given to rulers of tribal groups; currently used with the name of Lebanese Druze leaderWalid Junblatt]. Nor will my son be a Bek.

We do not seek political arguments and counter-arguments. We are keen to get out of political division in the country. We are committed advocates of the state, the state project, the building of the state, and the establishment of the state, but we have dignity. Our dignity is above anything else. We cannot allow anyone to squander our dignity in return for building us a house. The house was destroyed for the sake of our dignity. None should imagine that he can satisfy our hunger at the expense of our dignity. We sacrificed our blood for the sake of our dignity. This is how we are. What else can we do? This is how things are for us in Lebanon.

Within this context, I call for a return to calm and reason. We are on the threshold of the blessed month of Ramadan. We pray to Almighty God that He grant us success this month so that we can fast and pray for Him. I hope that Ramadan will be an opportunity for meditation and reflection and return to one's self and to perceiving realities accurately. Do not build hopes and plans on misconceptions.

Brothers and sisters, once again I greet the martyrs, the families of the chaste martyrs among all the Lebanese, the wounded, the detainees, all communities, movements and regions which embraced and helped the resistance. I greet every Arab and Muslim people in the world. I greet every person, faction and party. I will not mention names because the list is long and the ones I forget are more than those whom I remember.

As we hoped during the war that God grant us all victory, so God has granted victory. We said may God help us and He has done so. I will conclude as I did in Bint Jubayl on 25 May 2000. I told you: O people of Lebanon, O people of Palestine, O peoples of our Arab nation. The era of victories began on 25 May 2000, and the era of defeats ended. There will be no more defeat [insha'Allah]. Happy Ramadan and I wish you all well. You are the most honourable, generous, and pure among people; God's peace and blessings be upon you.

Article from

Crescent International Vol. 35, No. 8

Ramadan 08, 14272006-10-01

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