Full speech delivered by Hizbullah Secretary General, His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, at the launch of the Jabal Amel Culture and Literature Forum in the Southern town of Ainatha:
I take refuge in Allah from the stoned devil. In the Name of Allah, The Compassionate, The Most Merciful. Peace be upon the Seal of Prophets, our Master and Prophet, Abi Al Qassem Mohammad; on his chaste and pure Household; on his chosen companions and on all messengers and prophets.
Peace be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings.
It is also my obligation to welcome you all on this dear occasion and kind meeting, which is an occasion that has been looked forward to since last summer in one way or another, as the brethrens mentioned. God-willing, we would be granted success on this day in launching this forum, this institution, and this edifice so that it would join this blessed, continuous, optimistic, and victorious procession according to its specialty, role, and nature, God-willing.
Today, my speech is divided into two parts. In the first part, I will go back to some aspects of the very beginning from which I will move into Jabal Amel, and the poetry and literature in Jabal Amel. From the first part, I will move to the second part in which I would like to talk about some current issues and required responsibilities proceeding from the first part, too.
In the second part, we will talk a little bit about politics. As for the first part, let us keep it in harmony with the occasion and the status quo.
From the very beginning, Allah Almighty created man in the best of moulds, whether on the physical or the spiritual level. Allah granted man the mind. What a mind it is! This noble creation, which was granted to man, has enormous capacities in acquiring knowledge as well as in producing knowledge. Thus, the human mind is not only a receiver; it is also a producer and a generator. It has the ability to roam in the horizons, the land, and the skies as well as the worldly and divine realms. It can also transcend barriers and borders and penetrate through screens...
Then, Allah Almighty bestowed another blessing on man in granting him the ability - the various abilities- to articulate and to express what he thinks of and believes and what crosses his mind, as well as the emotions and feelings he experiences, and even the imagination and illusions and everything he wants. This man was empowered with this ability - the ability to express and translate this internal content to the other - to every rational other who hears and comprehends.
This ability to articulate and express is one of the most important reasons of human life development and enhancement on all perspectives and levels. It's because all ideas, information, conclusions, morals, and experiences pass among people in this very generation and in this very era and from one generation to another until Doom's Day through the various and diversified means of expression. That is because when Allah Almighty granted man this ability, He did not limit it to one means; he rather diversified and varied these means. Above these means comes language and words. In terms of words, I do not mean spoken words only. Words or language can be spoken at times and at other times be written. In fact, writing started even before pens and pencils were invented.
I will return to this means in a while.
One of these means is signaling. Man can express the ideas that cross his mind and his emotions through signals: hand signals and body movements. Other examples of these means are painting, sculpturing, and music. In some ways, music expresses the hidden contents of man - the feelings of man: his joy, his sadness, his hope, his despair, his estrangement, his loneliness.... Each has a different expression. Indeed, all of these abilities have always been available and activated from old times to our very day. However, in our present day, thanks to the scientific developments and the abilities granted to man, broad horizons have been opened for the mission of expression, including what we witnessed and are witnessing now on the level of cinema, TV screens, theater, internet, and the various communication means.
However, all through history until Doom's Day, the most powerful and important among these abilities remains language and words; that is to say, the words and sentences which stand for meanings used by man. Man uses words and sentences to express meanings which he means or wants to convey to others.
Thus, man was granted the mind and the ability to express. With his mental strength, he specifies meanings. With his mental strength, he forms sentences and words in the mind through which he wants to express definite meanings and which he, in turn, he articulates using his throat and tongue. Consequently, they come out in the form of voice or through his pen, he writes them down as letters.
One of the wonders of Allah Almighty in His creation is diversification in languages and tongues. From the beginning of mankind until our very day, there are thousands - not hundreds - of human languages.
Some became extinct and came to an end; others still exist. Others are developing and will continue to develop until the Day of Resurrection. Every language has its special characteristics and elements of beauty. Moreover, any language - as I am not talking about a definite language - is one of the things in which the wonders of beauty are manifested. Inasmuch as the wonders of beauty are manifested in all the entities of this Universe, and one of these entities in this Universe in which the wonders of beauty is manifested is human language.
Languages have levels and degrees among themselves. They have diversified styles in prose and poetry, and others. The people of every language vary in their personal and innate abilities in using this language and taking advantage of its diversified capabilities to convey these required ideas and images.
Here, the Arab language sits at the throne of human languages. We are not saying so because we are Arabs. In fact, non-Arabs also acknowledge this fact. The Arab language sits at the throne of human languages thanks to its strength, wealth, broadness, flexibility, beauty, grace, charm, and ability to comprise and develop. It is enough pride and nobleness that Allah Almighty chose the Arabic language to be the language of revelation of His last, eternal Divine Book. This is enough pride. That does not need evidence. In fact, electing the Arabic language to be the language of revelation of the last Divine Book has much great and substantial wisdom, but there is no room to explain that now.
All through history, the Arabs - and those who turned into Arabs later - have been known for their fluency and eloquence and their professionalism in the styles and arts of literature and poetry. It can even be said that the distinctive characteristic and the main topic for these peoples are fluency and eloquence. The elite among these peoples are the poets and the speakers, and the source of pride for every tribe and clan is its poet and speaker. From the very beginning to our very day, some of this literature and poetry was a product that was to be bought and sold. The poet would compose the poem for the one who pays him money generously - and at times ungenerously, too. Some literature and poetry come under the title of fake pride and precipitated fanaticism.
However, what I care to say on this occasion is that what is important is that all through history, some of this literature and poetry was at the service of missions, human and moral values, righteousness, justice, the confrontation of tyranny, the defending the dignity of the nation and its existence, and sanctities, the resisting of invaders and occupiers, and the awaking of the peoples and arousing their emotions and zeal. This is the primary, most important, greatest, and the most humanistic mission of literature and poetry, which must be part of the weapon, abilities, personality, civilization, and the makers of the future of this nation.
Numerous in history are the stories of poets and writers who were hurled in jails, or were beheaded or were crucified in squares because of a poem they wrote or an eloquent speech they delivered as the contents of this poem or that speech did not appeal to the warden or the executioner.
This kind of literature and poetry has always existed in Jabal Amel. For hundreds of years, Jabal Amal has been known for its scholar and jurisprudent heritage. It is also known for its jurists and scholars - some of whom are first class jurists in the Islamic world all throughout history.
However, among the characteristics of Jabal Amel is that its jurists and scholars are writers and poets in most cases. I am saying, in most cases- not in all cases- to be on the safe side. This is one of the characteristics of the jurists and scholars of Jabal Amel.
A simple review mentioned in the book, "Amel Al Aamel fi Ulama' Jabal Amel," mentions the names of scholars. The writer almost always refers to the figures he mentions, saying, "He was a great jurist, scholar, poet and author." He rarely talks about a scholar or a jurist without referring to him as a poet and a writer. Moreover, poetry in its various forms - the eloquent and the colloquial - was a remarkable characteristic, whether it was that of the diversified educated elite or of the common people in Jabal Amel. On the scientific level, we find that the literary powers of the jurists in Jabal Amel were remarkably invested in, even in writing scientific and juristic texts as well as texts on principles. Moreover, the issues of these sciences were put into poetry - charming and enchanting poetry that can easily be memorized.
That's why we also find that the books and publications of Jabal Amel's authors added fluency, beauty, and eloquence of expression to their scientific strength and power of evidence, which granted them this level of immortality, care, and consideration in the scientific hawzas and scientific study centers for Muslims, and especially for Shiites.
Poetry and any literary work in Jabal Amel have always been a platform that express the commitment of the people, scholars, jurists, and elite to the causes of the homeland and the nation from the literary, cultural, political, jihadi and all levels. We are talking now about Jabal Amel because the occasion is the inauguration of the forum of Jabal Amel; thus, we reserve the right of all areas and regions to their heritage, history, and role.
From a temporal point of view, we can see that from the beginning of the previous century and especially before and after WWI, we find this commitment in more than one dimension. Indeed, because we do not have enough time, I will not mention names and evidences. I will make a general presentation only.
The first topic: Defending the Arabic language. One of the major missions which the poets, authors, and scholars of Jabal Amel contributed to achieving and performing is the safeguarding and defending of the Arabic language at one stage in face of the Turkish language, and in face of western languages following WWI- namely, the French language. Language, to any people or to any nation is part of its identity of civilization, and the loss of this language is the loss of this identity of civilization.
For us and for the people of Jabal Amel, the Arabic language represented this concept and what is deeper and farther from this concept because this language came to be integrated within our conviction, Holy Book, the Traditions of our Prophet (Peace be upon him and his Household), history, values, morals, fate, future, and relations. Thus today, dear sirs and scholars, one of the obligations is to safeguard and defend this language.
Now, we - Arabs - do not understand Arabic. Some Arabic words need translation and interpretation. There is a new vogue in more than one place in the Arab world: half of the spoken words are in Arabic and the other half are in a foreign language - I won't say French or English so as not to target a particular language. Thus, defending and safeguarding this language is one of the most important obligations.
In the past, the scholars of Jabal Amel turned schools, hawzas, and even houses into centers for teaching the Arabic language and its sciences and terminologies, so as to enable the generations to safeguard the language and to confront the illiteracy and ignorance that were prevailing.
The second topic: Confronting foreign colonialism. This was true not only in Lebanon. In fact, the scholars of Jabal Amel had their stances in all the matters of the nation. Today, this resistance - this state that exists - is an original expression and an original extension of this history and of these generations.
Today, some people call on you, saying, "Today, we - Lebanese - have enough problems in Lebanon; why are we to take a stance from the causes of the region and the threats that confront the nation, and the struggles in the region, which concern us in one way or another?"
The scholars, writers, poets, elites, and common people in Jabal Amel as well as in many Lebanese regions and all over the Arab and Islamic world, not only in Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Syria, or Egypt - meaning the neighboring countries - were always active. Even in 1911, when Italy invaded Libya, one of the jurists of Jabal Amel who was the son of this kind town, Ainatha - who was a jurist, a writer and a poet - issued a statement, gave speeches, and composed poetry on the call to confront the Italian occupation of Libya.
Here, we are not talking about the neighboring states. The stances of Jabal Amel's scholars and jurists are recorded- and God-willing, among the missions of this forum is presenting this history and these documents, and highlighting that historic stage, and the stances that were taken and the sufferings that took place.
The third topic: The stance on Palestine in particular, the decisive and early confrontation of the Zionist project and "Israeli" ambitions, and the establishment of the usurper state and this Zionist project in Palestine. This is evident in the stances, poems, fatwas, statements, literature, instigations, and motivations of Jabal Amel's jurists. I will talk about this when talking about the resistance; so, I will come back to this point.
There are other causes that concern the nation, including safeguarding the unity of the nation, and opposing to disintegrate and disjoint it. The jurists, scholars, and poets of Jabal Amel also took well-known positions from these causes. However, after there came to be a new situation and when the Arab country was divided into sectors and entities, they still believed in, were faithful to, and defended this nation, too. We can refer to their terminologies, words, and poetry which talk about Lebanon as a homeland, about loving this nation, about being attached to this country, and about getting ready to defend this nation. The stances of Jabal Amel, the people of Jabal Amel, and the elites of Jabal Amel always backed unity, cooperation, and integration, as they also refused ordeals, evaded seditions, and called for organizing priorities.
We inherit from these senior figures and from these generations this culture and this mentality and this understanding. Had the people of Jabal Amel wanted to seek a stance towards Palestine or what is taking place at the level of the nation, or towards integrating and not dividing the Arab and Islamic world based on the oppression, tyranny, deprivation, and injustice they suffered at the hands of the Ottoman authorities (which was ruling the nation in the name of Islamic caliphate at that time), they were supposed to back isolation, divisions, and partitions; they were supposed to be unsociable.
They were supposed to care only for their own integrity and the safety of their people and area. However, since the very beginning, Jabal Amel backed all the national pioneers and all the pioneers of this nation in defending the sanctities and Palestine as well as in confronting the Zionist project and disintegration, partition, and division, and in facing seditions. Today, when we belong to this intellect and to this resistance, we do not belong to an imported intellect. This is the original intellect in our nation, land, environment, society and history. This is the original. If we are not as they were, we would be the strangers. But, because we are trying to be as they were, we are the ones who truly belong to this land, this history, and these values.
Before moving into the second part of the speech, I say that what we expect from this forum - Jabal Amel Culture and Literature Forum - God-willing, is to keep, safeguard, develop, present, and contribute in presenting this great heritage of our ancestors to our people in this region and to the present and future generations which do not know much about the near past.
Unfortunately, not only the youth but also many of the political, media, and cultural elites in Lebanon do not know much about the near past.
God-willing, I hope they would carry on in their path, especially becausewe are before very serious cultural, civilizational, political, and existing challenges. Hereof, I move into the second part of my speech.
In the second part, I would like to talk about two topics. The first topic has to do with Lebanon, and the second part has to do with Syria. At last, I will wrap up my speech with Lebanon.
There is always a great challenge called the Zionist project. It had posed a serious threat since the beginning of the past century until 1948, when the usurper entity of this project was established. This challenge still exists.
Some try to ignore this threat and consider it inexistent. In fact, this is not only wrong; it is also a grave sin.
The only option which was available and still is available before the peoples of our nation- including the Lebanese people - is the resistance with all its cultural, political, economic, security, and military dimensions.
In depth, the truth, origin, and the profundity of the resistance is the culture of direct, jihadi military action, or remaining steadfast: the steadfastness of the owners of the land in their land and their tolerating of the consequences, and their offering of sacrifices... all of these express and embody this culture. If this culture did not exist, none of these things would have existed. All these aspects of the resistance are manifestations of the culture of resistance. In depth, the resistance is a culture. Some in Lebanon and in the Arab world, too, have arguments. Let's talk about Lebanon. Some have arguments about the resistance. It is not something new. The argument over the resistance has nothing to do with fighting in Syria or with the events of 2006, 1982, 1978, or the beginning of the seventies when the Palestinian resistance factions immigrated to Lebanon, if we go backwards.
No, since the establishment of the Zionist entity in the region - in Palestine - there was an argument over the resistance. There has always been a dispute over understanding and defining this enemy and the options of confronting this enemy. This is not a new argument. This has nothing to do with a party or a movement or a leader or a personality or an organization or a sect or a region or a faction. Never! This argument existed even before and after Imam Mussa Sader, and before and after the resistance of Amal and Hizbullah. When the national secular forces were the primary title of the resistance, this argument and debate over the resistance existed. So, let no one make the mistake by saying that a national debate took place because of the performance of the true resistance. No! This debate existed since the very beginning - since 1948.
Thus, I always used to tell those who confront us in arguments saying that the resistance has lost the national consensus over it, by saying that never one day was there a national consensus over the resistance in Lebanon. Even on the eve of May 25th or 26th - even in the peak of resistance when the resistance was presenting its victory in Bint Jbeil to all the Lebanese - there was not a national consensus over the resistance. This is misleading. This is not true. Thus today, some people say: We have a problem with the resistance because it has an Islamic title and because the resistance men are Shiites.
Now, were you with the resistance when all the resistance fighters were from all sects? Were you with the resistance when its title was the national and secular sects? The big fallacy exists today. However, the generation of youths who were not contemporary to that stage might be misled with this speech. Thus, they may conclude that after Hizbullah went to fight in Syria, or because of its political stance in year so and so or in the such and such cause, the national consensus over the resistance in Lebanon was toppled and came to an end.
Today, I want to assert that some of those who argued and are arguing about the option of the resistance know, while others don't know these facts. Still, those who know ignore that, in fact, the resistance is not a definite organization, party, movement, trend, group, or sect. It is a culture. It is a political intellectual trend which can embrace diversified entities, which can be doctrinally and ideologically contradicting.
It may embrace emotions, sects, peoples, and nations. That's because the bases of the resistance are innate in man and the goals of the resistance are a common interest on the domestic and national levels.
Some people don't know that there has been a resistance in Lebanon since 1948. They don't know because they don't know what the resistance means. Some say it goes back to the early 70s, or to 1978, or to 1982 or the following years. The resistance - the Lebanese resistance - in Lebanon exists since 1948, since the first moment of the existence of the occupation. It became legitimate from that very moment. It practiced its right from that very moment, however, with the available capacities. Those people are unaware that since 1948, the South was being assaulted.
They don't know anything about the massacres which were perpetrated against many bordering villages. They don't know what the residents of the bordering areas suffered from, regardless of their sects. Here, I am not talking about the Shiites only. They don't know anything about what the stations of the security forces at the bordering regions were subject to, and the harm that was afflicted on the state's institutions and security forces. They don't know anything about the violation of air, land, and sea sovereignty.
One day, even at the dialogue table when we used to meet in the parliament, not only one but several of the attendees said: No, before the Palestinians came to Lebanon, there wasn't any problem; in fact, there was not any problem with "Israel." I am not accusing anyone falsely. All of this is recorded in the parliament. They said there wasn't any problem. What the "Israelis" did in Lebanon in the late 60s and the early 70s is a reaction to the Palestinian resistance and the Palestinian military action. How can a person say that he is a Lebanese politician and wants to take part in the making of the present and the future of the Lebanese when he does not know the history of a major region in Lebanon? He does not know the history of the past several years.
I still remember that one of the deputies was obliged to leave the session to bring along a documentary book, which was published by Al Safir Newspaper, as I still remember. He came back and told everyone that they must learn. He started with 1948. The faces of some changed. Still, they said that might be possible!!! Well, there are historic documents. What do you want us to do for you? Do you want us to take you to the cemeteries? Do you want us to bring for you the elderly who are still alive to bear witness before you? In the sense that we believe in, this resistance started since that moment with the available capabilities, indeed. One of the forms of resistance of that area's people was to remain in their land, and they remained in their land; to cultivate their land and they did; and to be killed under the ceilings of their houses and never to quit their land, and they were killed under the ceiling of their houses.
This was the resistance which was available at that time. It was the resistance in taking stances and in opposing. It was the resistance of Imam Sayyed Mussa Al Sader who prohibited our patients to buy medicine from the so-called "good wall." It was the resistance which preferred dying of sickness rather than staying healthy while seeking medicine and medical treatment from "Israel." This resistance used to take place before any movement or party. It was the resistance of the people. The resistance is every house in these villages, bordering regions, and the entire South. It is every upright mosque and every populous church. It is every olive tree and tobacco plant - though tobacco plants are the specialty of Speaker Berri, but we will borrow them from him for a while right now.
It is every living being in the South which is still standing on its feet and every erect tomb. It is every poem, verse, tear, smile, wound, drop of blood, word, bullet, sigh, and strong fist. It is this patience, steadfastness, and determination. In Jabal Amel, the resistance is everything. It is the air, the water, the land, the sky, the hills, and the valleys. It is the people who did not leave it to be looted by the occupation, and they never left it for a day.
This is the resistance in Lebanon. It is everyone who believed in it, backed it, supported it, and was patient and offered blood to back it, such as our people in Bekaa and in all the Lebanese regions. In fact, all the resisting factions and the resisting generations are a clear manifestation of this truth and this atmosphere.
Consequently, who is making a battle today? As you notice- although the government was formed and we sit together and see each other and although the counsel is working again, thanks to God- there is a speech every day.
The common parliamentary committees, the secondary committees, and the deputies see each other, joke together, laugh together, and talk with each other. Still, the media outlets, newspapers, TV stations, and speakers of the other bloc act as if we are still in the previous stage. They always stress on the issue of the resistance. If you have a problem with Hizbullah, talk with Hizbullah. If you have a problem with Amal Movement, talk with Amal Movement. If you have a problem with a definite organization, talk with that organization.
The issue of the resistance is more sublime, more grand, holier, broader, and deeper than any problem with a party or whatever problem. Indeed, some know where they are targeting, because, in depth, their problem is with the resistance and not with this party or that movement or that organization. Rather, they are exploiting these issues to target it. The resistance is all of that. Thus, any defamation or harmful attribute is a defamation and abuse to all who are and what is resistance, and not to a definite group. Indeed, such an attribute has consequences which will be revealed in the coming few days.
Talking about the failure of the tripartite equation, some may draw conclusions. However, what is your evidence? Talk about facts. Where did the tripartite equation flop? Indeed, here, we do not stick to definite terms and phrases. This is one of the positive points in the Arabic language. The Arabic language saved the Lebanese government in its ministerial statement. That's what we mean when we talk about the strength, soundness, and correlation of the Arabic language. However, in depth and apart from the terms and expressions, where did the tripartite equation flop and where did it gain victory? Allow me to ask you where you've succeeded- I am addressing you who talk about the failure of the tripartite equation.
The tripartite equation managed to liberate the land when the entire world - including diplomacy - failed to do so. The resisting state also managed to restore the detainees. The resistance, along with the army and the people, managed so far to protect Lebanon, the South, the borders, and the front villages.
The tripartite equation imposed a strong Lebanon in the regional equation. When thinking about the region, no one can ignore Lebanon because in Lebanon, there is gold before there being oil and gas. It's because in Lebanon, there is gold. This is a brilliant, definite achievement for the tripartite equation and to its strong elements which never were broken and will never be broken, God-willing. These are the achievements of the tripartite equation. What are your achievements?
Where are your achievements? This question will suffice.
Because in the end we will call for appeasement, we will not make a problem now. However, when we talk about building the state, debts, and projects, let them talk about their achievements.
In this framework and through this occasion, and before all what was evoked in the past weeks and recent months as far as the issue of the resistance and the "Israeli" issue is concerned in talking about a war, risks, and seizing opportunities and the like, I also would like to assert to you that this resistance will remain a firm resistance. It is now firm, and it will remain firm and towering. It will always defend its nation and people and safeguard all the previous achievements, including the rules of engagement which were the result of the April Agreement in 1996 and the achievements of the July War. Thanks to our deterrence power, our villages will remain safe, our fields will always be cultivated, and our banners will always flutter. I assert to you that there is no reason to worry at all as far as this issue is concerned.
Now, some might be seeking to intimidate the country as a result of the fighting in Syria by saying that some of the people in this axis are busy fighting in Syria and that might open the door and the horizons before the "Israelis" to settle an old score with Lebanon, or to launch a war on Lebanon. These "Israeli" calculations are not true. When the "Israelis" decide to wage a war, there are several points which they will take into consideration. All these considerations do not lead them to the option of war so far. One of the most important considerations is that the "Israelis" know very well that this resistance is strong and has become even stronger.
Apparently, some would tell us that martyrs fell for us here and there. This is exhausting!
This has always been the case of the resistance. The resistance has always been growing stronger with time, with sacrifices, and with offerings. This is not an element of weakness. In some of its aspects, it is an element of strength.
Today, from the town of Ainatha - from the liberated borderline with the dear neighboring occupied Palestine - I want to announce and assert to you: Today the resistance is not only strong; compared to its state in July 2006, it is stronger and more able on all levels, whether humanly, materialistically, or militarily, and in its ability to confront, and its willingness to bring about victory, God-willing.
We do not want war. We do not seek war. As a resistance, our strategy is not an open war. This is well-known. However, if there is any worry on the fate of the country in any heart, mind, house, or village should any of these Zionists think of waging a war on Lebanon, I assert to you that is not the case. Unfortunately, the enemy knows more than the Lebanese the extent of the development, ability, and power of the resistance on more than one level, and the enemy takes this into consideration.
Asserting on this and before moving to the second topic, and because I have not spoken for more than a month and a half, I want to tell you: Gold will remain gold. Yes, gold will remain gold.
If there is gold before you, and someone changes his mind and says this is tin, will gold turn to tin? If he says this is iron, will gold turn to iron? If he says this is wood, will gold turn to wood?
No, it will remain gold. The others' attribute of things does not change the truth about these things. This is a fixed principle in existence and in philosophy.
Moreover, due to the economic situations in the world, it is strange that whoever has money is buying gold because gold is getting expensive day after day. The price of gold is increasing. This is the case of states, too. Some days ago, one of the very rich countries - a state rich in gold, has a great surplus in strong currencies, and perhaps does not have debts and the like - fetched gold that was worth billions of dollars.
Today, if someone needs to guarantee his money, neither the dollar nor the euro nor any other strong currency would provide for the guarantee. Today, the true guarantee is gold. In Lebanon, there is a kind of gold unmatched with in the entire world.
How do some people in Lebanon permit themselves to waste this gold? As for wood, the Lebanese have made from it coffins for the occupation officers and soldiers who entered Lebanon vertically by foot and left it horizontally on their shoulders. This wood will remain there to make coffins for all invaders and occupiers of this holy and blessed land.
We do not have any problem with wood, but each has its worth, value, role, and utility.
Here, we come to the last thing by which I would like to wrap up my speech.
Indeed, one way or another, this attribute will influence our stance in attending the dialogue table on Monday. I do not want to announce a final decisive stance. However, indeed this comprehension, this mentality, and this atmosphere will be very influential on the decision that will be taken by Hizbullah concerning partaking or refraining from attending the dialogue table. Our allies, friends, and dear ones are absolutely free to take the stance they find suitable. So, no matter what our stance will be, it is not binding and it must not embarrass others. It is normal that at times, stances over some issues vary pursuant to the discrepancy of positions and targets.
The last point which I want to mention and which I want to wrap up my speech with is that today, all the attack on the resistance in Lebanon is based on one essential point - partaking in the fight in Syria. Someone might say: "You went to Syria, and thus the national consensus was toppled - we clarified this point. You went to Syria and thus, the function of the arms changed. It is not a resisting weapon anymore." Well before this, was this weapon viewed as a resisting weapon?!
Anyway, all of this is now being said. Our going to Syria and our stance are the primary problem which is being continuously provoked. Since some time to this day, this problem is being provoked daily.
Because this issue is preoccupying all of the country and all of us, I would like to comment on this issue in the final section of my speech. Notice that from the very beginning, the problem that the other bloc in Lebanon, the Arab and Islamic governments and regimes, and the governments and regimes of the world have with us, as far as the Syrian issue is concerned, is our political stance and not our military intervention. Our military intervention came in too late. As it is said, we intervened after all others intervened, came, and fought. We came in very late. The problem was in our political stance.
Since the first day, we said: We are not with this struggle in Syria. We are not with toppling the regime, and we are not with toppling the state. We are with reforms, with a political solution, with political dialogue, and with achieving the rightful demands of the people. However, we are not with anyone who wants to break, topple, destroy, and ruin Syria and anyone who wants to impose major strategic options on it. Here is the point. Before reforms and demands, the point is major strategic options.
We took this stance. Many people took another stance. We were required to take the other stance and to be a part of it. Because we did not become part of it, the war was launched on us, too. So, in depth, the issue has to do with the political stance first and not with the military intervention. A major thing is taking place in the region. They say: Come and be part of this major thing, or else get ready to be hanged.
This is the storm which was about to hit the region. It was required that we all prostrate to it, move with it or bow to it. The least thing expected was to bow to this storm.
We did not become a part of it. We were not in line with it because we considered that this storm mounts to major strategic and existing threats concerning Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and the entire region. We had explained this extensively in the past, and we will not repeat it now. Accordingly, we took a political stance.
With time, our stance developed into action, and we went to the battlefield. All the Lebanese know that, as we had talked about it in the media. Some criticized us sharply because of that. The first military intervention was limited.
Tens of Hizbullah members went to Western Gotha to the town of Sayyeda Zeinab (Peace be upon her). This took place some 18 months ago or a bit more. When the armed groups controlled most - not all - of the Western Gotha area, these armed troops were 200 meters away from the Shrine of Sayyeda Zeinab (Peace be upon her). Firstly, we saw that this shrine has a religious status for all Muslims, and secondly, that destroying this shrine would stir a sectarian sedition in more than one place in the Islamic world. Well, we went there to give a hand. The Syrian Army, the National Defense, and the residents of the region were there, and they were defending the shrine. We dispatched scores of members to help in defending the shrine. That was the limit of our intervention. Still, this stance was criticized.
Today, there is a very great state.
It is a state that considers itself very great. It is a NATO member and is seeking to become part of the European Union. Some view it as a model- I mean Turkey. Today, the Turkish government is discussing to intervene militarily in Syria to defend the tomb of the great ancestor of the Ottomans. Now, if you ask all the Islamic peoples about his name, they won't give you an answer. I myself don't know his name. I won't hide that I read it, but then I forgot it. I wasn't able to memorize it. I could not bring along the name with me, too. Well, who knows him from among the Islamic world? What does he mean for Muslims? What does he symbolize in the conscience and feelings of Muslims, whether Shiites or Sunnites? Still, Turkey has the right to think of intervening militarily and to violate the sovereignty of a state - the Syrian State - and set plots... for fear that the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" [ISIL] may reach it and blow up the tomb.
Well, why is that permissible for you, but that what we are doing is not permissible for us? We went to defend a shrine which is revered by all Muslims, and a personality which is respected and sacred to all Muslims because she is the granddaughter of the Prophet of Islam, Mohammad (Peace be upon him and his Household). Who is he whom you are about to make a regional war for?
You are about to wage a regional war! There was a real danger. In our case, there was not a real danger.
Moreover, we did not violate the Syrian sovereignty. Indeed, this is not new. President Bashar Assad talked about this issue some time ago. When asked, he answered that the resistance entered Syria pursuant to an approval from the Syrian government. Someone might say now that we violated the Lebanese sovereignty; this is debatable. However, at least we did not violate the Syrian sovereignty. Well, today a state in the NATO which is entitled to be an EU member is planning for war and for direct regional intervention in Syria because a tomb for the great ancestor of the Ottomans - meaning the Ottoman State - is threatened by "ISIL." Perhaps, it is they who would ask ISIL to destroy it even. Allah knows best.
Well, things developed to Al Qasir and other areas. You all know that very well. Then, it was clear that the battle in Syria reached a stage as a result of the magnitude of the international and regional intervention, and the mobilization that brought along tens of thousands of fighters from all around the world into Syria. Here, I will frankly say what I said before, but I will reiterate now. The issue is not the Shrine of Sayyeda Zeinab anymore or the Lebanese residing in Syria. Since that time, the issue became the resistance, the axis of the resistance, the future of the resistance, the region's political identity, and where things would lead us to. We have talked about this previously.
Why am I repeating it now? It is not to take more time, but rather, to tell you the point we reached at this very moment. Well, where are we now? From the very beginning, we backed a political solution. The Arab League wanted to topple the regime. It did not accept any political dialogue before the removal of President Assad and his regime. Well, three year later, you noticed the recommendations of the latest Arab Summit. Well, it took the Arabs three years of war, killing, fighting, demolition, destruction, ordeals, and seditions to say what they should have said from the very beginning, and to move in the path that they should have chosen from the very beginning.
What is required now? To go and search for a way to exert pressure on Syria and on President Bashar Assad. We want to reach a political solution. We want to make serious political dialogue. Things are not going smoothly in Geneva 2. When President Assad first called for dialogue, saying that the Syrian leadership was ready to carry out in-depth and essential reforms, none of you were ready to discuss the idea of a political solution or a political dialogue in Syria and the region. We told you to go for a political solution, but you headed towards a military solution. Now, you've reached what was being said from the very beginning.
Indeed, I am addressing the Arabs, the other bloc in Lebanon, and the states which are still intervening in this struggle. From the very beginning, we said that what is taking place in Syria will drag the entire region to the threat of terrorism and Takfirism. You said that the story is not as such, and that the story in Syria is that of reforms, changes, democracy, and human rights. Now, what is the status quo that you are talking about? After three years, you are referring to Syria - the land which is controlled by armed groups - as a threat to regional states and the world. Following three years of your financing, arming, provocations, thrusting towards military solutions, crippling of political solutions, and protection of armed groups, you formed a terrorist list to enlist in it most of these armed groups? What is left now?
Apart from our stance on this list, when you say that "ISIL," "al-Nusra Front," and the Muslim Brotherhood are terrorists, who is left in Syria then - frankly speaking?
Well, did the region and the world need three years to discover that what is taking place in Syria will lead to this result? Indeed, some in Lebanon still did not discover that what is taking place in Syria is a threat to Lebanon. By God, the Americans who are the farthest from the region as well as the French, the Europeans, some Gulf states, and North African states consider that what is taking place on the land of Syria, which is controlled by armed groups, is a threat to them and to their security. This, indeed, is the case.
There were even some calm squares where there were no calls for fighting, clashing, and holy jihad. Now, things changed. Such things started in Tunisia. Unfortunately, in Lebanon still, there are some who say that what is taking place in Syria does not pose a threat to Lebanon.
I told you from the very beginning: What is taking place in Syria has transcended the calls for reform and democracy. What would be the case should the fighting Takfiri trend take control? You know that the Takfiri trend does not accept anyone within itself, even from within the fighting Takfiri trend! This is the case now between "ISIL" and "al-Nusra Front," who have the same intellect, sect, school, leadership, prince, and political project; the dispute between them is administrative and organizational.
Such things happen in any party or organization. Who is in charge: So and so or such and such? The entire battle is to decide who the leader is: Abu Mohammad Golani or Abu Bakr Baghdadi. But, who is paying the price? Thousands of victims, massive demolition, and tough battles are taking place because of an administrative organizational dispute. How are these to coexist with all the Lebanese, with the rest of the Lebanese, with the rest of the Syrians, and with the rest of the neighboring states and peoples? Your brethrens, dear ones, and allies - that is not to say your masters - have discovered this status quo, so why are you still so late?
Stubbornness is good were it not at the expense of Lebanon, the fate of Lebanon, and the future of Lebanon. For 18 months and until now, some political blocs and sides call on Hizbullah to withdraw from Syria. Today, I do not want to defend. I want to make a call: Go ahead and change your stance. Reconsider you stance. Revise your stance. Make a new reading on what is taking place.
I will not tell you: Come and fight along with us in Syria. No, that is not required. In fact, there are some people, some Lebanese groups from various and different sects who had suggested joining us in fighting where we are fighting. However, we told them that there is no need for that; do not assume this political and social burden. We have assumed this burden, and we are moving forward in it.
Still, some people insist daily that the problem in Lebanon is that Hizbullah went to Syria.
Here, I am telling you that the problem in Lebanon is being late to go to Syria, that you are still in your places, and that you haven't gone to Syria yet. Moreover, some of you have gone to the wrong place. Here, I am not telling you to go to Syria and fight with us. I am telling you to review and reconsider this issue. Day after day, the soundness, integrity, and validity of the options we have taken are being verified. I also would like to tell you something I might be saying so frankly for the first time.
I tell all the Lebanese, and the political currents, the March 14 Bloc, and the March 8 Bloc, and even those in the middle, on the left and on the right: Should the Takfiri terrorism gain victory in Syria, all of us will be canceled out. There will remain no party and no resistance. We will all be canceled out. Don't you see what is taking place in Aleppo, Idlib, Raqqah, Deir Zur, Fallugeh, and Anbar? Don't ask the secular people; rather, ask the Islamists and the Islamic parties in these regions about what is being afflicted on them. However, should the Takfiri terrorism be defeated in Syria, we will all remain. If this axis gains victory in Syria, all the Lebanese will be safeguarded.
This axis is not seeking revenge. It is seeking integrity, harmony, and strength. It is not seeking revenge. Here we have major national choices. Let's make our choices.
Now, we have said what we wanted to say. Our brethrens too did so. There are few journalistic and TV interviews. Our brethrens are also giving many speeches on several occasions. We hope we will not get engaged for long in this race. Based on all the above, today Lebanon is before an opportunity. This government was formed regardless of the circumstances and situations in which it was formed, as we have talked about previously. However, this is a chance. We call for activating governmental action. We will be positive and cooperative. We will partake in activating governmental action and addressing the causes that concern the people and the security situation, which is a priority in all regions, especially in the North and in Bekaa.
There must be cooperation to address the security crisis. Indeed, a security approach is not enough. Security problems in many regions, especially Tripoli and Northern Bekaa, much be approached from a political, social, developmental, and an economic perspective as well.
Let's try to prepare seriously for the presidential elections apart from the accusations of seeking vacuum and backing vacuum.
All the political sides in Lebanon have the right to care for having its candidate become the president in the presidential elections. They also have the right to practice the legal democratic game to do so. Well, this also needs effort and hard work.
Now, Lebanon has this chance. Lebanon can really set itself aside from what is taking place in Syria. The other bloc is not able to do anything in Syria anymore. Let them not bother themselves. There is no hope that the time of sending blankets, milk cans, and fighters would come again. You can see the change in the internal situation in Syria, as well as the change in the regional and international situations. Then, in light of these changes, alterations, and developments, let us - both of us - keep Syria aside.
We pray to Allah Almighty for a good ending in Syria. We pray to Allah Almighty for the prevention of bloodshed in Syria and for pushing Syria towards a political solution. Let's then lessen or stop the harsh and tough speeches of instigation and shouting. Let's put our hands together. We never wanted to cancel out anyone. Even under PM Najeeb Mikati, there was a group which wanted to abstain from partaking in the government. We did not wish that. Rather, we wanted it to attend and take part.
No one can cancel out anyone in Lebanon. No one can eliminate anyone in Lebanon.
At least, I am sure our bloc does not have any targets or intentions of elimination or cancelation. We acknowledge the presence of the other and we want its participation.
Well, we might differ over issues that have to do with the fate of the country; this is normal. This chance is now open before the Lebanese. Let them calm down and take a deep breath- let them make a somehow decent poem or literary work. Let them concentrate on the crises of the country in an attempt to address them. Don't wait for the situations in the region. Don't wait for the changes in the region. Let's address our problems without waiting for tomorrow.
As for the presidential elections, I want to stress on this point: We are among the people who insist on the presidential elections taking place on time. Should there be early elections, we will back that, too. As far as this issue is concerned, we do not seek vacuum at all. We back the call for early elections. This call might not appeal to some sides. However, after all, elections won't be early anymore as we have entered the legal duration. What I mean by 'early' is that elections take place as soon as possible so that a new stage would be established in Lebanon. In light of this new stage, we will go and carry on our dialogue over the defense strategy; we will carry on seeking, exerting effort, and cooperating jointly to elevate the country from its current state. May Allah bless you. Peace be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings.
Source: Al-Ahed News