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News Categories » SECRETARY-GENERAL » Full Speeches » Speeches-2009

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In Operation al-Redwan Memory: We Don´t Want Guarantees From Anyone Regarding Arms,Tribunal
Local Editor

Hizbullah held the first anniversary celebration of "Operation al-Redwan" on Friday afternoon, 17/07/2009, at "Shahed" High School hall - Airport Road, during which Hizbullah Secretary-General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah gave a speech via a screen. The following is its text:


I seek refuge in God from Satan, the accursed. In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate; praise be to God, the Lord of the worlds; may the mercy and peace of God be upon our Lord and Prophet Mohammad and his good and chaste family members, righteous companions, and all the Apostles and messengers.

Peace, God's mercy and blessings be upon you all.

On this day, together we celebrate the first anniversary of "Operation al-Redwan", one of the victories of the resistance, a fruit of the sacrifices made by our people, families, resistance, national army, our nation and our fighters.


The days of the July month until the fourteenth of August, are special days for you and us, in its spirit and memories, in its stands, positions and challenges, difficulties and cruelty, in the scenes of devotion, selflessness and sacrifice, fortitude and resilience and dynamism, additional to the will and courage, gallantry, honor, pride, dignity and victory, that Operation al-Redwan gift came from God Almighty on the same days we were fighting a fierce battle against a cruel enemy, paying the price of resistance and the price of the resistance's nationalistic, moral, humanitarian and Jihadist committment.


Concerning these days in general, I will talk about the July war of aggression- "Lebanon's Second War" as the enemy calls it and about its consequences and current and future regional implications of this war on "Israel" on the 14 August Festival celebration, which we consider as a conclusion to the sacrifices made during that war, the conclusion for steadfastness and the beginning of a new phase in the conflict.

Rightly so, we consider it the divine victory, the victory God promised the believers, truthful Mujahideen, the honest faithful and sacrificing, as explained by the whole world each according to their own intellectual, ideological backgrounds and particular school. But allow us to insist on giving our interpretation from our own intellectual background and special school as well to say that what happened in July and on the August 14 was an obvious divine victory. Anyway, we leave this matter to the August 14.


Today, I would like to stick to the anniversary of Operation al-Redwan and to the prospects and climates of this case. When we talk about Operation al-Redwan, everyone remembers that we mean the prisoner-exchange, which led to the liberation of our fellow Lebanese prisoners in the "Israeli" prisons and in their forefront the mujahid brother the Dean of Prisoners, Samir Kintar, and the rest of the Mujahideen brothers of the Islamic resistance who were captured during the war at that time as well as the return of a large number of bodies and body remains of martyrs, Lebanese, Palestinians and Arabs. The remaining issue is brother Yahya Skaff and other issues, which I will talk about shortly.

Despite the fact that there are many topics one can talk about today, such as the subject of the July war, the regional situation, the developments in the so-called settlement process, the escalation in the "Israeli" position and the obvious American position, todayI will focus on the two topics I chose in the given time God Willing:

1- POW's
2- The internal subject of the Lebanese government.

Regarding the prisoners, the issue here is closely connected to the basis:
• How does anyone view what is called 'prisoners of war' (POW)?
• How did anyone used to view a POW?
• How is anyone supposed to view a POW now or in the future?


This background and basis, is what governs our conduct, stand, work, rhetoric and engagement with the POW file in the past and in the future. This is not about us, I am talking in general.
Based on this if we go back in the past to the definitions and descriptions of the facts, a prisoner is a citizen who belongs to some kind of people, for example a Lebanese prisoner means a Lebanese citizen, a Palestinian prisoner means a Palestinian citizen.

So a prisoner belongs to a certain people who have rights and a just cause, which are being taken away by an enemy. This citizen believes in his people and believed in the just cause of his people, he believes in the righteousness of his rights that were stolen away. So for this reason this citizen worked for his cause, he took his people's enemy as his, upheld his cause, and he did not just show faith, education and knowledge of the cause.

This citizen had the motive and incentive and also had the will and determination to work, to fight and to take part in a long struggle, a military, political, media and civil struggle... name it what you will... So this citizen goes into a long struggle to defend his people, the dignity of his people, and the justness of his cause to reclaim his stolen rights.
Hence, he is opposed by the enemy.

Some of these resistance combatants, revolutionaries or Mujahideen, again name them what you will, are confronted with bullets and thus they are killed, others are captured and put behind bars, thus this citizen becomes a 'Captive' or is then called a 'Captive'.

According to customary literary you can call him 'Prisoner', 'Detainee', 'Arrested' 'Captured' but this does not express the truth of the matter, the truth of the person and his stand.
Millions are imprisoned in the world on different backgrounds.

Some are prisoners for having unjustly killed, others because they stole, others still because they sold drugs, worked against the orders of their country, or due to their political opinions, some because they are in the opposition, others because they are resistance fighters; these prisoners are not equal.


So this prisoner who has been arrested, his real name is a 'Captive'...
Throughout history people have come to know this, so a captive or a detainee has had special rights and laws as far as the people and states throughout history. The captive has also had a specific unique moral, psychological and political situation when it comes to his relation with his state, people and his enemy.


Even enemies view prisoners or captives in a different way that they do prisoners held on criminal grounds, because of their resistance. So a 'Captive' or detainee regardless of which term we use to define it, when we talk about a captive, we know he was not imprisoned because of a personal conflict with another person, in a family conflict or personal revenge, a captive is imprisoned because of his national background, because of a motive to defend a humanitarian just and righteous cause.


When the prisoner is arrested for these reasons, we call him a captive, his responsibility is no longer the responsibility of his family only, the cause of Samir Kantar is not only the cause of the honorable Kantar family, and the issue of Sheikh Abed al-Kareem Obeid did not only concern the honorable Obeid family, nor did the issue of prisoner Dirani or any of the brothers who were in prisons or are still imprisoned, and again today the issue of the captive Yehya Skaff whose body has not been retrieved until now, it is not the concern of only the honorable Skaff family.

So any imprisoned captive is not only a cause concerning his family, but the cause of the Umma and the nation; it's a cause of a live conscience. Many times we heard arguments and questions, does the liberation of these captives deserve all these sacrifices and efforts? Does it deserve all this screaming and blood?


This question has been asked before.
But the issue is related to how we really view a captive?
If these people were arrested for personal reasons, it would not deserve such sacrifices, but if someone is arrested or left this world for certain cause, or entered in a struggle for the sake of a nation, it is a different case.


These people showed readiness to be martyrs, what is the difference between a martyr and a captive, when it comes to the motive and incentive, to be imprisoned on the battle front, while confronting guns, rockets, bombardment and death, both in the same stand, presence, trench, place and post, some resistance fighters pass away as martyrs, others may be injured or are captured...what is the difference between them?

Of Course some of them on the battle front are killed and some are arrested, so what is the difference?

That God chose one person to be a martyr and a different course for the other.
So these captives have in their hearts the spirit of sacrifice and martyrdom, and they practiced the act of giving for our sake, so that we all can be alive and feel alive, so that we can all be free, live in dignity, in order for our families to live side by side with us.
For these reasons they went to the field of battlefield, some ended up martyrs in graves others captives in jails.

As for the martyrs, congratulations to them on their place in the afterworld, we are not required to bring them back to this life and this world, and if they were given the choice to come back to this world they would only return to become martyrs again.

Now concerning the captives in prisons we have a responsibility towards these people, to liberate them as they wanted us to live freely and we have responsibilities towards their dignity as they wanted for us to live honorably. We are responsible towards their families as they wanted our families to be happy, this is the captives' right to live with their families in happiness and dignity.


This is the starting point and basis.
This in truth is a part of the resistance culture, this is the main issue these are the main reason for our approach and ideology concerning detainees; this is our approach of resistance.

Just like the expression 'Key to the elections' is often used during election times, this too is the key, this viewpoint, this background is the key, what I am saying now, this background is the key for all the other coming issues and causes.


In another expression, when you believe in the righteousness of this cause which deserves struggle, resistance and sacrifices, when we believe in this way, and of course sometimes we might be obliged to take up arms in confronting the occupation. This is what the people of the world did in confrontations against occupations throughout history so if this is our belief the battle becomes an honorable national battle, and not a circle of violence or a cycle of violence.


Now look in the media outlets, in the Arab world even the whole wider world in general, sometimes we criticize the rhetoric terms being used, we say how they can describe the martyrs of Gaza and Lebanon as 'dead', that's a shame they should call them 'martyrs'!
This are details, but the issue lies in the key, in the basis, the origin and the start, the main concern is the key, the general key, how do we view this battle?


If we view this battle as an honorable wholly humanitarian and a legitimate battle, the fighter in this battle becomes a resistance fighter, a struggler, a Mujahid-Mujahideen, even in the rhetoric, thought and moral standing and psychological view.

A dead person in such a battle is not viewed in the same way as other dead persons; he is viewed as a martyr, a martyr who sacrificed for the sake of his nation, the people and sanctities.
A wounded person is wounded is not viewed only as a wounded person, he is viewed as a person wounded in war, in resistance, who has sacrificed for the sake of his country and resistance.

Losses are also viewed as sacrifices, which lead to victory and not losses which we always speak about and remember with grief and sorrow for its loss.

What I am trying to say or explain is the background connected to the issued of prisoners and captives.
So anyone who gets engaged in such a battle becomes captive who very different from other prisoners of the world.

There are millions of prisoners in the world; some even say that these captives are like any other prisoners around the world...Certainly not!
In fact they are not like any of them; these are detainees who fought for their country, for their resistance, for their case and cause. The hopes, dreams, aims and goals of these detainees are different; they have different motives, incentives, aspirations and different ideological approach.

Therefore different responsibilities are to be held and accomplished by their families, people, and country.


Of course we do not only introduce these detainees in order to teach, explain or introduce the past, but also because we still have an open battle to face. In the "Israeli" prisons there are still thousands of Palestinian detainees and tens of Syrians and Jordanians in addition to missing Lebanese citizens and we do not know whether they are alive, detainees or martyrs.


From our perspective, we in Hizbullah in addition to all the other resistance groups in Lebanon believe in resistance, we are the ones who support resistance, and our approach is resistance, therefore, we see ourselves responsible and in charge of every resistance fighter that has been detained, whether he belongs to us or to any other resistance faction. We also consider ourselves responsible for all the missing people, whether Lebanese or Palestinian, those who went missing from the Lebanese territories. We are talking on the Lebanese and Arab world level concerning detainees who were trapped by the enemy, and we do have in fact signs that these detainees were indeed captured by the enemy.


On this basis, we acted on the basis of humanity, morality, patriotism, struggle and resistance. If anyone else had taken this responsibility we would not have done so.
We are not trying to compete with anyone, nor trying to be enemies with anyone or trying to replace anyone. Ever since the 1982 invasion and until now, we consider what we are doing as our duty, a duty which we must do, it is a religious duty. If any of our people, government or any other political faction has done this, we would not have had to do it


We might have participated and might not, some may have continued with their education or businesses, but since no other side played this role, we believe it becomes imposed upon us as a religious duty and role, we had to take this responsibility, in light of the circumstances which you are all familiar with.


Hence, we undertook this responsibility.

Thanks to God in the al-Redwan Operation the captives were returned, now what remains is the file of Yahya Skaff-(my tongue nearly slipped to say Samir Kintar after all the years of demanding for his release...he is now with us.)


Of course the findings delivered by the "Israelis", as I have indicated in a previous media conference, concerning Yahya Skaff are not convincing to his family, we told the family that the choice is theirs and Yahya Skaff's family told us they still believe Yahya is still alive in "Israeli" prisons, hence, we are committed to the family's decision.


To be fair to the truth of the matter, the facts or the findings given to us by the "Israelis" are not enough, whether legally or legitimately according to religious legitimacy, to qualify a decision regarding whether Yahya Skaff was martyred or not?

Based on legal, jurisprudence and religious legitimacy there is no sufficient evidence to presume he is dead, therefore according to this conclusion we must deal with his issue as if there is a live prisoner who remains in "Israeli" prisons, a live Lebanese captive whose name is Yahya Skaff.

Just as in other prisoner files or detainee files, whereby the detainees were freed, we must also continue with this file of Yahya Skaff the captive; we must take responsibility for his future as well.


There are still a number of martyrs' bodies and body remains; it is true that the "Israeli" enemy claimed in the Radwan prisoner swap operation to have no more bodies or body remains of martyrs left in their possession, but a previous claim made prior to the al-Redwan Operation, later exposed after the operation, talked about the existence of hundreds of martyrs' bodies.

We cannot concede to "Israeli" allegations and we will continue until we get back the rest of the bodies and remains of the martyrs.


The same goes for the missing people to reach a settlement regarding their fate, whether they be martyrs we want their remains and bodies, if alive we want these detainees back to freedom. Based on all the files we are following up in this process we emphasize that we are following up the missing persons, for whom there is evidence to have been captured or kidnapped by the "Israelis" or were handed over to the "Israelis" by militias collaborating with the "Zionists" at the time.


All these missing people's files form a single file we continue to follow up with the "Israelis".
In this same context, the case of the missing four Iranian diplomats remains alive not because they are Iranians but because they were diplomats who were kidnapped on Lebanese territory, accredited diplomats acknowledged and recognized by Lebanon, by the Lebanese government and people.

Thus we will continue to work on all these issues.

Of course regarding this type of issues some always used to ask us the question: "what is this got to do with you? Is this your business?"
Of course we don't want to go back into the past, but everyone does know how the state or the consecutive governments dealt with cases of detainees and missing people, they did not behave in an appropriate and suitable manner, to say the least in light of political calm phase we are all observing.


If we want to raise our tone a little we could say the consecutive governments behaved carelessly towards the detainees and missing citizens, without considering such files its responsibility.

Now the next government to be formed God willing, should it take responsibility for these files and issues, and begin to take serious and real steps towards addressing them, we in Hizbullah would be at the service of this government.


We certainly do not present ourselves as an alternative to the state or government, in this or in any other matter.
Today I even call on this next government, and I am not saying 'if ' the government takes responsibility but I call on the next government 'to' take responsibility, even plead to it to do so, and of course on this level we will be a helpful factor to such a next government with all our might.


Now again within the same context on this occasion I must salute the efforts made by the families of the detainees during the previous stages, their fathers, mothers, wives brothers, sisters, sons, daughters and different relatives.


We were witnessing responsible families, families who were concerned, who worked day and night, families who worked endlessly in the media, on the street, who made their case heard, who took the responsibility to remind us of the cause and during the past few years and the previous years we witnessed the efforts of these families which must continue.

We must also salute the efforts made by the factions and the public, the media outlets, politicians, also the efforts of certain culture and artistic personalities, in other words the efforts of all of the people who played a role in keeping this cause invigorated and alive.

Of course gratitude must also go to those who endlessly worked to liberate the prisoners or captives, to defend this cause, to give it its true standing in Lebanon and the Umma, and to provide cover for every act of Jihad aimed at liberating them, at the peak of these efforts was what happened during the July 2006 war.


Everyone's co-operation at the time, their presence in taking responsibility is what gave the prisoners issue after year 2000 the larger share of the resistance scene. Before year 2000, the prisoner issue was but one of all the parts of the resistance scene, after 2000 the prisoner file was the first, the strongest most important and prevailing file of the resistance.


Since we are in the context of giving thanks, and after thanking God first and foremost, we must give thanks to the muscle strength of the Mujahideen in the Islamic resistance, we must give thanks to their martyrs, captives, wounded, and to their leader the martyr Hajj Redwan-Hajj Imad Moghnieh, May peace be upon his soul and all the souls of the martyrs.

Now as long as we are still talking about the prisoner file on this very happy, dignified and joyous occasion, the commemoration of the liberation of the detainees, we must also remember, bring to mind and salute the thousands of the Palestinian detainees and the tens of Syrian and Jordanian detainees who are still now in "Israeli" jails and prisons. We salute their perseverance, patience, endurance and sacrifices and salute the families of these detainees, selflessly patient in steadfastness, for solidly standing and suffering the pain of living a very difficult situation.


Dear brothers and sisters,

I would like to tell you that this high number of detainees of Palestinian and Arab detainees remaining now in "Israeli" prisons is the same as al-Quds (Jerusalem) remaining under occupation, even harsher and more painful.


A person can put up with the occupation of his land, and can fight to liberate his land, but perseverance on the occupation of land is very different to the patience of the families, the mothers and fathers anxious to see their loved ones, the patience of the wives and sons to meet their loved ones, the extended family's patience for seeing the return of a relative, the friends waiting for the friend, comrades for their comrade, because here we speak about two humanitarian polarities within the same issue, because when the prisoner file is mentioned two parts are intrinsic in the prisoner file:

1- The prisoners themselves

2- The struggles and pains of these prisoners and their families, the important part which is a most painful part I believe.

I do not know how people in the Arab world react, as people, governments, political factions or media, but as for me I do confess that on personal level I am a sympathetic person, which is not a weak point it is a good point anyway... anyway I am one of those people who used to cry when I met these sons or children of the detainees, I used to feel so much sorrow even more than when I used to meet martyrs' orphans, because the martyrs' orphans know that their fathers or parents have been martyred who are now with the higher companion in eternal life, they do not live, the day and night, hoping to meet with their parents or with their loved ones.

We all know the meaning of the pain of waiting.


Now, today I feel the same feelings when I see the children, daughters and sons of the Palestinian and Arab detainees on TV screens, we as an Umma how do we respond to this?

I think the most painful issue is the captives remaining in jails, and what is the most humiliating and the biggest insult is for these people to stay in these jails. This is the most humiliating insult for the entire Ummah, the world wide Umma of hundreds of millions of Arabs and the Umma of one and a half billion Muslims.


The scene of the detainees or captives in "Israeli" prisons is a mark of humiliation and disgrace in the face of this Umma and we are a part of this Umma and we feel this humiliation and disgrace.

Look my dear brothers and sisters,

The whole world sympathized with "Israel's" military assault on Lebanon in July 2006 for 33 days, in which it destroyed and killed people in the thousands, wounded many others, and displaced more than one million human beings, yet the G8, the industrial nations, the Security Council and the whole world sympathized with "Israel", why?


If the reason was really about freeing the two "Israeli" soldiers, why then does "Israel" have the right to destroy Lebanon just because of two prisoners Hizbullah took claiming it is "Against International Law" according to their own opinion, hence allowing "Israel" to do all that.

Again, when the Palestinian resistance captured Gilad Shalit ("Israeli" Occupation soldier), "Israel" then further tightened the siege on one and a half million people in Gaza, again everyone in the whole world expressed understanding instead of pressuring "Israel" to lift the siege!
They pressured Hamas and the Palestinians to free Schalit or to make concessions in their conditions to free Schalit.

This is how the world is behaving, "Israel" is a racist state, a state which was invented, placed in the heart of our region, its position is adopted and respected by the whole world, and the whole world sympathizes with its brutality and crimes that killed thousands for the sake of one soldier but we as an Umma the whole world does not respect us at a time where thousands not only of our people and youngsters, but our women, Arab women are in "Israeli" jails!!


Where is the Arab honor?
Where is the Arab dignity?
Show me where is this Arab dignity?


Yes, this Umma needs these martyrs, who worked on the path to sacrifice their souls, not for the sake of liberating detainees, but for the sake of proving the dignity of this Umma, which cannot accept humiliation or disgrace.

This Umma-nation needs Imad Moghnieh, needs people who set such examples Jihad and leadership, we saw such examples these examples that were set here in Lebanon, in Palestine, in Iraq and in many other places of resistance.


Today on the anniversary of the Redwan Operation of the prisoner swap, I wanted to raise this voice.
I, as any Lebanese, Arab or Muslim person with these feelings and experiencing this humiliation, wanted to ask myself and others the question: where is our dignity?


Before I move on to the last section of this talk, to speak about the local internal situation- not a large part- and on the occasion of the title of the captives file, I want to point out to matters related according to their nature, although they have nothing to do with the "Israeli" subject.

We here in Lebanon, during the time when we think about our detainees in enemy prisons, whether we are in government, parliament house, among political forces, in the community or in civil society, we also need to look at a very harsh issue of extreme cruelty that recently came up.

What is the subject of a captive in enemy jails about; it is about being victim of injustice, in its humanitarian essence it is about unjust treatment of a human being.


While we view the captives in "Israeli" jails, let us also see the situation of those in Lebanese jails; are there any who are unjustly treated?


If not, we are certainly in support of the punishment of assaulters, murderers, thieves, corrupters and spies, but it is with concern we ask ourselves if some are being wronged there in the Lebanese prisons. What made me raise this point is the issue of the Palestinian brother Mr. Yusef Shaaban who was released from prison just a few days ago after a special amnesty was given to him by the Lebanese President and on the occasion I like to thank His Excellency the president of the republic for this special amnesty he granted Yusef Shaaban and on this fair and proper stand.

Truthfully let us all look at each other, over the entire previous phase, we the Lebanese whether in government, or in parliament, or among the political forces in the country, there is a person a human being, a father to a family, unjustly jailed and wronged lying in a Lebanese prison, who was proven innocent, the question is: why do you not set him free?

They said "he is in jail because of an irrevocable court order by the Judicial Council; his issue can no longer be resolved."!
It is clear he is wronged, in reality this is true suffering.


Now Yusef Shaaban's suffering is over thankfully, but even Yusef Shaaban's case if it was not for his family and the people to stand and demand for his release, the media takes interest, political leaders take actual steps, and the Republic's President moves on the case, the man would have stayed in prison another 8 years and 8 more on top of that as well, without anyone attempting to correct this legal problem.

So the question here must be raised, do we have people like Yusef Shaaban who are unjustly imprisoned in Lebanon?
I don't know but there is a chance there may be, so what's our responsibility as a Lebanese government, as a Lebanese parliament and as a civil society, what is our responsibility?

Even if we are not in the government or parliament, we are Lebanese, this country is our country and this person is imprisoned in a Lebanese prison, so we bear responsibility. May be we cannot free him but we can speak, make ourselves heard we can expose the facts.
So this is something we must also pay attention to.


Another matter I like to highlight is the hundreds of people being arrested from Islamic groups.
Of course I am also raising this topic from a humanitarian and ethical perspective, those people have been arrested from many years, for a long time, let them be tried in courts, no body is saying just release them no matter what, some say they are accused of bombings, murder, some accused for having connection with Nahr al-Bared Camp.

Let them be tried, set free those proven innocent and punish who are proven guilty, this is what their families are calling for, this is a just, fair and natural demand.
A stop must be put on having people thrown in jails for a long time without trial and this is one of the responsibilities placed upon us all.

I still have one more point on the internal situation related to the missing Lebanese in Syria and the missing Syrians in Lebanon. This is also a righteous cause. A committee was formed for this purpose, where have we reached through this committee, the Lebanese-Syrian committee?
To what extent has the Caretaker government seen this process through, this is something that must be on the next government's priority list, as it is a file that must be pursued and an end to this file must be reached.


Frankly speaking, if the missing Lebanese people in Syria did not exist or if they did exist and no longer exist, let us uncover this truth and settle this issue.
The same goes to the missing Syrians persons in Lebanon.
This file must reach a resolution in whatever form whatsoever, but certainly on a righteous form in a realistic way, we must put an end to the sufferings and pains of these families.

Now concerning the internal Lebanese situation, after the elections on June the 7th, all of us in the country accepted the results of the elections, be it the Parliamentary, popular or political results, we accepted these results and the country entered into a period of stability a period of waiting.

The opposition's acceptance of the results enabled a climate of stability and waiting to prevail, it also helped us enjoy the existing positive atmospheres. The reaction of the main parties in the ‘March 14' majority to these results also enabled stability to prevail, so both sides contributed to creating these positive stable atmospheres which have spread throughout the country.

As a result we saw convergence in the country, with meetings taking place, good meetings took place between us and many important factions, we also saw religious meetings, popular and party getting together, we saw meetings occur between different factions which had good and positive repercussions, and without sounding exaggerated, I can say it helped to a very large extent address the treatment of the internal tension and divisions that exited in the previous phase in this country.

We as Lebanese witnessed the election of a Parliament Speaker, the elections were held and Nabih Berri was elected as Parliament Speaker.
We then witnessed the naming of a Prime Minster-designate designated to form a government, and this too was accomplished, and the majority of the MPs chose MP Saad Hariri to form government.


We also dealt with this in a positive way, we were open and transparent, all of us in the opposition declared our readiness to cooperation, to dialogue and to do our utmost to put together a national unity government.
Dialogues are still continuing, and so are the contacts and communications on more than one level.

In light of this important challenge and on the local internal level only, I like to mention two matters:


1- Hizbullah vis-à-vis forming the cabinet
Now in many newspapers and according to some media analysis we heard about this issue being raised they said that concerning the conditions of Hizbullah or those of the opposition, they claim that Hizbullah's position towards the government is about acquiring guarantees concerning the weapons of the resistance, the legitimacy of these weapons.
They also say that this was one of the obstacles preventing the formation of the government!
This is untrue and completely and utterly baseless.

And I declare that, in my meeting with the PM-designate before he was appointed I did say to him we do not want guarantees for the resistance weapons, and I announce in front of the whole world we do not want any guarantees from the government or anyone else, nor from anyone in this universe, we do not want any guarantees in connection with the resistance weapons. This is something we were clear about, it is a closed issue and behind us now, because we both agreed that the discussion of this subject is on the dialogue table, and this table of dialogue discusses the subject of the arms of the resistance in the context of a national defense strategy. So we are not raising the issue of the arms of the resistance when we meet the PM-designate or any of the other political leaders concerned with the forming of the cabinet one way or another.
This is one point.

2- They say Hizbullah has fears and certain apprehensions concerning some issues being raised here and there in connection with the work of the International Tribunal (IT) (concerning the suspects of the Rafik Hariri assassination) in the coming phase, and that it is the reason why Hizbullah is complicating matters and disrupting or impeding the formation of Cabinet because it wants guarantees concerning the IT.

This is also not true, we do not want guarantees concerning the IT of Rafik Hariri we are not requesting such guarantees and this also was not discussed between me and the PM-designate nor discussed between me and members of Hizbullah and the PM-designate.

To start with, we have not specified this as a part of our discussions in any way. And I tell you we are not requesting guarantees in the IT issue concerning what is being raised or reported from the government or from anyone else, and we are not requesting guarantees from anyone in the world concerning the IT on the Rafik Hariri assassination.

Now the arms of the resistance are on the table of dialogue, concerning the IT let us not behave preemptively, some want to behave preemptively because they want to help the country because they want the country to benefit. But there are some who want to behave preemptively concerning the IT because they want to take the country to settle scores of a different kind, for their own personal reasons. Let us not behave preemptively; everything is good in its own time.

Now I would to add another point; in all of our discussions we never requested guarantees in any subject whatsoever which relates to Hizbullah as Hizbullah, I personally say, and this is my personal rhetoric, if the opposition agrees with the PM-designate and they put together a national unity government which they agree upon, and if we are not part of this government we won't be sad, I Hassan Nasrallah won't be sad if this happens.
We would also support such a government and give it a vote of confidence. So from our perspective we do not want any guarantees, whether it be concerning resistance arms or IT.

What is the issue, (it is) the opposition members negotiating now on the issue of forming a cabinet, do so under a ceiling named 'effective partnership', at the end of the day, there are basic political forces in the country and the elections proved there are essential and very important political and large factions with its own weight, which cannot be ignored and only cooperation can bring progress in the country and move this country forward.

The opposition considers itself concerned in administering or managing the country for the next four years. We have a parliament for four years and we have a government which will be formed, a government which will manage the country. We have many important events coming up.

Financially, how do we deal with the $40, $50 or $60 billion national debt, this is an important issue which concerns all the Lebanese, and the decision has to be made by the government. If it raises taxes to address this issue, it must inform all the Lebanese as it concerns all the Lebanese, if it wants to sell some state property to address that, this too concerns all of the Lebanese.

There is a huge and dangerous challenge ahead and no faction can say we want to control the country by ourselves, or manage the country by ourselves.
We have the economic social problems, the poverty and hunger the majority of the Lebanese people suffer from, and these problems don't concern one party, one side or one faction.

Hence, how do we collectively address these problems?
They speak about the state playing the role, so I ask them let's all go and behave like a state, if we are all part of the state, we can accomplish in two years what factions by themselves accomplish in ten years.

The security challenges such as the "Israeli" espionage networks subject, which received a good share of the media airwaves in the country but unfortunately but from the security and political perspective we have not evaluated this issue appropriately, this is still continuing, the spy cells have not ended, now I am calling on some of the security agencies to show the same performance they showed before the elections, such efforts must continue after the elections to confront espionage networks, this is a very important and dangerous issue.

So if we go to the regional situation and what is being planned for in the region, (the statements of) Netanyahu, Lieberman, the American administration, the new American rhetoric and demands to the Arab countries, the issues of the naturalization of Palestinians, normalization of ties with "Israel", the Judaization Palestine faces on every level, and the threats to transform Palestine into a Jewish state and the threats of the displacement of the 1948-Palestinians.

These are all very important issues in the region and Lebanon is a part in this region but Lebanon is even one of the countries affected most by what happens in the region whether we like it or not, even if we put our heads in the sand, Lebanon first and foremost is affected by these events.

Based upon the scenario I have just explained, we say we want a government of true partnership, and we did not make premature proposals that form a pressure factor, we went to dialogue open to many different options and alternatives - as agreed no words past this point about the deliberations for the formation of the cabinet - Many scenarios are being raised, what is most important is to reach a formula which leads to partnership and cooperation, not a partnership of dispute, obstruction, or disruption, but a partnership of cooperation and collaboration.

Additionally, I made a proposal to the PM-designate about this proposal, and I will say it now through the media, to all those who are concerned about the proposed formats: "You, 'March 14' are the majority in the parliament, a cabinet of real partnership can be formed in spite of the fact that the previous government, according to the president in the last of its Cabinet sessions, and according to the then PM himself, the previous government -the current caretaker government- made many decisions and achievements, which it could, and it was not a government of obstruction, but besides that it was a competition government- a government of awaiting and trying to settle scores between the different factions because there were parliamentary elections coming up.

Now parliamentary elections have been held and are behind us now, let's test one another, not only for your to test the opposition but the opposition too will test you, let's us try each other in a government ruled by a spirit of collaboration, cooperation, national responsibility, partnership, a spirit of confronting the external and domestic challenges and dangers, the as one national bloc, we can do this.

The PM can at any time resign and the government will be dismissed, the parliamentary has the key, it can do what it wants, and the majority can give a vote of no-confidence any time it wants to dismiss the government, you (the majority) have the key, in addition we don't have a Doha agreement now, hence good intentions must be shown by both sides.

The situation now is not about who is winner and who is a looser nor is it about morale, what we have now is a country which has recovered from these dangerous divisions, which still faces important challenges, what we really need is to cooperate amongst one another, to confront the dangers and the challenges, and to pull our country away from division; we have the chance to do this, but this needs courage in decision making.

So from our perspective, I affirm our openness, collaboration and positivism and I advise everyone not to pressure Saad Hariri in putting together a government in a hurry without careful study, such a process needs time, why the hasty behavior, is it because some side is in a hurry or is putting pressure for their own unique reasons.

But today the country is comfortable; people have begun to speak to each other, to meet with each other, and visit each other, this atmosphere must spread this environment must spread more and we support every meeting between any member of the opposition and any member in the 'March 14' camp or the majority, for we believe this largely positively serves the national interests of the Lebanese, Lebanon and the general situation.

Today the majority of the people wants stability in the country, people want calm they want to see each other, talk to and understand one another. Anyone still that claims to speak of a majority, well 'the majority' today, the high majority of the Lebanese want this atmosphere, an atmosphere of calm and stability nothing else.

Unfortunately there are certain political personalities and factions who don't like this environment of stability and don't want this environment to continue and spread throughout the country. I am referring here to political leaders, figures and certain media outlets; they want to escalate the situation in the media to go back to the era of curses against each other, the era of bilateral mutual threats, to go back to the negative atmosphere.

First of all I believe the people must see them and secondly, these parties must re-evaluate their calculations and (I ask) whose opinion do they represent? Is it true that it is the view of the majority of the Lebanese to bring back barricades, to attack, challenge and accuse each other? Or does the Lebanese majority want to sit down with each other, talk and understand each other.

The point of view of the majority of the Lebanese is clear they want calm, they want understanding they want talks between the different leaders. The priority of the Lebanese people is different from the priority of those factions I mention now, who want to go back to the era of accusations.

You hear one of them refer to the issue of the arms of Hizbullah, with or without an occasion, he gives speeches, yells and opens Hizbullah file all the time, making you wonder why he speaks in this way or if there is anything special!
May be he thinks the elections have not yet ended?
Or may be he thinks the elections are going to happen again!

He doesn't have anything else to talk about except the arms of the resistance.
Nonetheless, we in Hizbullah want to reassure everyone that in Hizbullah we have made the decision not to be provoked, whoever wants to attack us or criticize us let them do so, this will not provoke us, they would only be exhausting themselves for nothing, this is the feeling, climate and atmosphere some of these sides and parties permeate (...)
If anyone meets with anyone else they begin their analysis of them and the back stabbing, they begin to make presumptions; of course here I am referring to certain figures in 'March 14', because when someone from the opposition meets with someone from 'March 14', all the opposition says we understand this, the opposition never says we want to cancel out anyone.

Prior to the elections, the opposition once said "if we win the majority in the parliamentary elections, we are going to give you a one guarantor third and share power with you."

So the opposition has no problems with such meetings, and if certain members of the 'March 14' and their support bases have no problems with openness and meeting with members of the opposition why are they harassed in such a way by other members in the 'March 14'?
If people are confident in their alliances, you do not need to call someone a hundred times when they meet someone from the opposition.

As for us in Hizbullah, we are comfortable here, we don't need to call our allies when we want to meet with anyone from the 'March 14' camp, because our allies are sure of the alliance we have with them.

Concerning the internal Lebanese situation I would like to call for calm, for dialogue and cohesion, I saw some media outlets say "Where are the martyrs now?"
And I say 'do the martyrs want us to kill each other?' Martyrs who fell on both sides during the events of May 2008, do they want this country to be destroyed, divided in animosity? Or do they have a different vision; the one all of us ought to work towards? Wouldn't this be what the martyrs want?

The Martyrs know, of course they do not want this, hence I call for calm, I call for dialogue and cohesion, and I call on some of these politicians whom I referred to earlier to behave wisely with calm, since we now have a summer coming up, so let people be comfortable, let them live their life a bit, let people go to their villages, let people change the atmosphere.

Now they're going to say "Oh look at where the resistance is now?"
But let me tell you, we also like the culture of life as well, we do! And don't be hasty, don't be in a hurry to form a government and let's give the chance for this important opportunity to take its course, there is still a big chance to form a national unity government, with real partnership whereby we can all cooperate to build our country and maintain its strength, abilities and unity to confront the challenges.

In conclusion I would like to thank you all for being present for commemorating this occasion, I would like to congratulate the liberated captives again on their freedom, and I hope to meet with all the captives to be freed in the future like Samir Kantar and the brothers of Samir Kantar.

Peace, God's mercy and blessings be upon you all.

 

18-07-2009 | 12:06


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