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"We Ought to Make the World Hear Our Voice"
Talk by Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah
The Secretary General of Hezbollah, Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah, addressed a crowd of Lebanese supporters in a videoconference on December 28, 2008. The following is an excerpt of his speech.
Brothers and sisters,
In Gaza as in Lebanon, the situation is very clear. Let me describe what is happening clearly and explicitly.
It is clear that America and Israel are pursuing a project in the region that seeks to impose an unequal settlement on the rest of the Arab world. After Egypt and Jordan signed so-called peace treaties with the Israelis, only Palestine, Lebanon and Syria remain, and the Americans and Zionists now want to settle the issue according to their conditions.
They want Palestinians, Lebanese and Syrians to obey and surrender to these conditions without having any other option.
To impose these conditions, Americans and Zionists are using force, pressure, blockade, internal strife, provocation of internal sedition among resistance movements, media, political and psychological warfare, assassinations and wars.
Their intention is to subdue those who have so far refused to yield to the will and conditions of America and Israel. Some Arab regimes have also been true accomplices in this project.
It is not true that there is Arab silence. We see help extended to Israel, I do not mean all Arabs or all Arab regimes; only those which have signed so-called peace treaties with Israel. Today they are helping Zionists politically, psychologically, socially, culturally and media-wise, through security and the military, on preparing the circumstances for the surrender of the resistors against the American-Zionist project in the Palestine issue.
So let us be very utterly clear. In our region, Arab countries are forging partnerships with the Israelis.
The 2006 war was waged against us in Lebanon with Arab consent and upon Arab request. The Israelis were crystal clear when they exposed this, and the Arab regimes cannot deny it because the Israelis may produce evidence of this collusion -- that they were contacted and asked to rid them (Arabs) of Hezbollah.
When the war started, they were comforting the Israelis after their initial failure in the first few days. Yet, those Arab regimes continued to demand Israel to eliminate of Hezbollah and that Israel sever Hezbollah’s head.
The same thing is happening in Gaza today. Those same sides are asking Israel to eliminate Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and the rest of the resistance factions to do away with and settle this battle once and for all. The truth is that they are helping the Zionist entity in this.
We have heard, and this is very unfortunate, that Israeli officials say that the magnitude of Arab support for the war on Gaza well exceed the support they extended for the Israeli war on Lebanon in July 2006.
This is the true picture. I can even tell you that some of these Arab regimes are the real cause behind the division among the Palestinians.
These regimes contributed, instigated, financed and armed, so that fighting is drawn to Palestinian factions, exactly what they did in Lebanon before.
The former [Lebanese] cabinet would not have dared to make such notorious decisions on May 5, had it not been for the encouragement and support of these Arab regimes. They wanted to drag Lebanon into the grip of a cruel internal war and internal sedition, but the performance of the opposition in those days made all their efforts in vain.
They are not neutral. They are convinced that what they do is right and have committed themselves to this project, which is very unfortunate to see.
When infighting and internal division in Palestine or Lebanon happens, these very same Arab regimes use this as an excuse for inaction and say “Well, look at the Palestinians, what are we to do when they are killing one another?” They only use this excuse to rid themselves of their responsibility toward Palestine and Lebanon.
No one asked these Arab regimes in the July 2006 war nor today in the Gaza Strip to fight for the Lebanese or the Palestinians but only to adopt a fair and appropriate political stand on media issues to say the least. Yet again, as in the July War, we find the Arab regimes hold the victims responsible.
Brothers and sisters, this is the reality of today, the people of Gaza have made a difficult decision: they are in effect exercising that decision with their steadfastness, resistance, defiance, honor and glory as you yourselves did in 2006.
No amount of sacrifices, destruction, tears, blood and abandonment prevents them from continuing to insist on their right to resistance. But what is the responsibility of the nation today?
As a nation our main goal has to be stopping Zionist attacks on Gaza and preventing Israelis from achieving any of their objectives. In this manner, Gaza will be secured despite the gravity of the sacrifices that have to be made. Every state must work toward this goal and not only the citizens of Gaza.
People whose governments have resorted to inaction must force them to act. There is no justification for anyone to say that they cannot do anything because of their repressive regimes.
We must take to the streets in the Arab and Muslim world. We must raise our voices and pressure our governments even if they shoot us, it is still a duty -- for whoever falls martyr in these protests is a martyr on the path to al-Quds (Jerusalem), a martyr of Islam, and a martyr of a whole line of prophets and divine missions, they are martyrs of humanity.
Officials cannot apologize for their inaction and nations cannot complain that they have suppressive rulers.
In the July war, I did not ask this of the Arab people, but in the case of Gaza, I say all of us are duty-bound to take to the streets by the thousands, by the tens and hundreds of thousands, and demand from these government to act responsibly. These governments know full well what they are capable of doing, particularly at a time when the United States and European countries are suffering from financial and economic turmoil.
First of all, today the Arab world possesses oil, money and political strength and with modest efforts can stop the aggression against our people and the people in Gaza.
Secondly, the Arab and Muslim worlds must demand that the Egyptian regime, which has a crucial role in what is happening in Gaza today, not to enter war but to simply open the (Rafah) crossing for food, medicine, water and even weapons to reach our people in Gaza. The people in Gaza are men and women are victory-makers capable of resistance and steadfastness and have performed very well in the past.
In the July war in Lebanon, we did not ask any Arab country to open a battlefront but yes, we did ask for borders to be opened.
This is where we must acknowledge Syria for its assistance that led to our victory in the July war, because despite repeated aerial bombardment of all our border crossings and the main roads, Syria did not close its border with us.
We only ask of Egypt to indefinitely open the crossing for the sake of the living and not for the injured or the martyred.
Egypt, the largest and most important of Arab States, is not a Red Cross or a Red Crescent institution and will not be asked to deal with the people of Gaza in such manner.
What is required of the Egyptian leadership and regime is to resolve this issue and not to politically take advantage of the war to pressure Hamas and those of the resistance in Gaza in a bid to accept Israeli conditions in return for a ceasefire -- as some of us here in Lebanon did in the first days of the July aggression.
But they must politically help the people of Gaza and stop the aggression without forcing them to accept certain conditions. This is their real responsibility. This is what the Arab and Muslim worlds must be demanding of Egypt.
Up until now, we have been cautiously making appeals but after what happened yesterday, we say to the Egyptian regime:
If you do not open the Rafah border crossing, if you do not come to the rescue of your brothers in Gaza, then you are have a hand in the siege and the killing and in causing the Palestinian tragedy.
Egyptian officials have to hear this from all the people of the Arab and Muslims worlds, from religious scholars, political parties, elites, intellectuals and media professionals from all walks of life. They must know that they will be the condemned by history, the entire nation, the prophets and the martyrs if they are not quick to make a humane and historical stand today.
This part of my speech is directed at the people of Egypt, its Muslim, its Arabs, its proud people, the defiant, generous, resistance-loving, decent, courageous and noble people of Egypt, whom we all know what goes on in their hearts and minds. We know their mentality. Let the Egyptian people take to the streets in their millions. Can the Egyptian police arrest millions of Egyptians?
No! They cannot!
We call upon the people of Egypt because they are the ones facing the regime which has closed the Rafah crossing.
People of Egypt, you must open the Rafah crossing with your bear hands if you must. I am talking of the position of a member of the resistance that fought for 33 days, and on behalf of the people who fought, sacrificed and gave martyrs.
What we know and what we hear about the officers and soldiers of the Egyptian armed forces, who are still proud of their Arab roots and continue to oppose Zionism, despite decades having passed from the Camp David peace agreement.
That is what rulers of the Arab world and the Egyptian peoples must demand from the rulers of Egypt. If the Rafah crossing is opened for water, medicine, food, money and weapons to our people in Gaza, the epic victory that took place in Lebanon will be once again be repeated. We are confident of this victory despite all the harsh conditions of our people in the Gaza Strip.
Brothers and sisters, should Gaza endure this onslaught for days or weeks, the aggression will stop, as this enemy does not endure a war of attrition nor withstand the long days of war. This enemy will eventually end the aggression; it will fail in its objectives and with that their leaders who wanted to take political power by shedding Palestinian blood will fail.
Yes, some will tell us, in Lebanon too, that the solution lies in comprehensive peace. They will tell us this is the solution that will end the tragedy! Regardless of our ideologically principled position on the subject of comprehensive peace, I ask them what they have achieved from talks with Israel since Madrid and even before Madrid other than being subjected to further massacres, killings, aggression and more humiliation and the yielding to various conditions?
In the Palestinian settlement, the negotiations at Camp David by the late Palestinian president Yasser Arafat were not held with the Likud or Kadima, but with the Labor Party and Barak himself. However, at Camp David, the Palestinians were not even ensured the minimum of their legitimate rights, not even enough to save face.
Which kind of just and comprehensive peace can be achieved be accepting humiliating Israeli conditions that exclude the ‘right of return’ to al-Quds (Jerusalem), the Palestinian territories where a viable Palestinian state can be established? What is all this nonsense when people are being killed and slaughtered in Palestine?! As in the past and now in Lebanon, some talk about ‘just and comprehensive peace’. I ask them whether they have managed to first convince the Israelis that a ‘just and comprehensive peace’ can be established that they now demand resistance movements to lay down their arms?
Have the Israelis ever made any concessions until now, in Lebanon, Palestine or anywhere for that matter?
Have the Israelis ever returned your legitimate rights, at least the minimum of them? Never! Some tell us such nonsense that in Lebanon the international community will protect us; well where is the international community that is supposed to be protecting the unarmed people in Gaza, the children and women of Gaza?
They say that we are protected by international resolutions. Where are the international resolutions in the Arab-Israeli conflict, of which not even a single one has been implemented not even Resolution 425?
Arab solidarity will protects us. What Arab solidarity?! Arab rulers waste days before they can agree on holding a meeting and have yet to agree on holding one now as a result of reservations here and there!
Brothers and sisters, what happened and is still happening today in Gaza, and what took place during the July 2006 aggression should be enough to convince each and every Arab and every patriot living in his homeland that what can protect our people and restore our rights is resistance and jihad. All other options are mere illusions!
To wake us up from our slumber -- in both Arab and Muslim worlds -- do we need a hundred more massacres like Qana and Gaza? Do we need the repetition of massacres like Deir Yassin? Do we need hundreds more massacres like that of the Ibrahimi Mosque?
By God, this matter is deeply regrettable because this enemy, whom you want peace with, offers you a new massacre every year or so as proof of its inherent terrorist, criminal and racist nature and its thirst for the blood of the innocent.
Your calls for peace will only be met with more slaughters and murder. Do we need more massacres in order for our leaders, people and elite to realize that we are before an enemy whose inherent nature is brutality, racism and terrorism, with whom it is impossible to establish peace under any circumstances. How then can peace with humiliating conditions be achieved with such an enemy? Do we need more blood to be convinced of that?
We are confident that the people of Gaza and the resistance have unshakable faith in God and divine victory, although some may not believe in this.
Here and on your behalf, on behalf of the resistance of Lebanon, the families of the martyrs, of prisoners, the wounded, and on behalf of every resistance member and honorable Mujahid in Lebanon, I congratulate Gazans on their martyrs as we pay our condolences to the families of martyrs and ask God Almighty for a speedy recovery of their wounded.
The Gazans are on the field, steadfast in battle and have limitless devotion. They are a people of dignity, defiance and resistance.
I do not want to frighten anyone or cause concern, but we cannot mislead anyone here as there are two possibilities:
The first is that everything the Israelis say or do in the northern occupied region of Palestine may be preventative precautions to deal with any developments on the Lebanese front.
The other is that the Israeli enemy is conspiring with some Arab regimes and with the world preoccupied with the financial crisis and the political vacuum created in the US because of the departure of Bush and Obama taking power, it is pondering an act of aggression against Lebanon.
The Israelis may take advantage of this situation in the world to strike Lebanon as they are in need of creating such a situation to gain political leverage in their elections or to restore its deterrent image.
You are providing Israel with excuses through such rhetoric and absurd and unfounded statements. I will not delve deep into this matter now, but I am in the process of inviting Lebanon, as I do the region, yet my focus now remains on Lebanon specifically, the country that rattled Israel twice, and many more times, the most well-known of such defeats were those of the years 2000 and 2006.
Yes, we must be on alert. I do not want to frighten you but to avoid this subject from becoming a media frenzy, I will tell you that I asked the brothers in the south particularly, to be present, vigilant and cautious as we face a brutal and treacherous enemy. We do not know the size of the schemes hatched around us, regionally and in the world; we are not fearful of what happened in 2006 or of what happened or what is happening in Gaza.
We believe in the choice we made, and are quite prepared to repel any assault on our land, country and dignity. We have written our slogans in blood and are both willing and prepared to confront all aggressors, no matter who they may be.
Brother and sisters, all of us in Lebanon, and throughout the Muslim and Arab worlds, are duty-bound in these historical days, especially in the ten days leading to Ashura, to shoulder our responsibility toward what is happening in Gaza. The burden of what happens in Gaza is not only for the Gazans and Palestinians to bear. We must continue in our efforts and actions, and should not settle for a protest here and a sit-in there, an action here and another there; we ought to invest every effort in defending our people in Gaza.