Nasrallah in Rare Public Appearance: Israel Demise a Lebanese Interest, Resistance to Protect Country alongside Army
Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Friday noted that “Israel's demise is a national Lebanese interest,” stressing that Hizbullah will continue to “protect our country alongside the national Lebanese army" and that it will not "abandon Palestine," as he made a rare public appearance at a rally in Dahieh.
It was the first appearance in public since last September for Nasrallah, public enemy number one for Israel and a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad whose troops have been battling an insurgency since 2011. His appearance comes less than two weeks after the European Union listed Hizbullah's military wing as a "terrorist" organization.
“Entire Palestine, from the sea to the river, must return to its people. No one in the world, no king, prince, Sayyed, leader, president or state has the right to give up a single grain of sand of Palestine's land,” said Nasrallah in a speech marking Quds (Jerusalem) Day.
This day “aims to remind Muslims and the world of the Palestinian cause and to rescue Jerusalem from the hands of the Zionist occupiers and it is an occasion to shed light on what Palestine and its people are suffering from the siege, Judaization, starvation and the demolition of holy sites,” Nasrallah said.
“Today, on August 2, 2013, we critically need to commemorate the occasion, and I thank all of you for heeding the call of (late) Imam (Ruhollah) Khomeini,” leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Nasrallah told supporters.
He warned that Israel poses a “grave and permanent threat to all the states and peoples of this region and its capabilities, security, dignity, safety and sovereignty, and anyone who denies that would be practicing obstinacy.”
“Therefore, it is not only an existential threat to Palestine's people, but also to all the peoples and civilizations of the region,” added Nasrallah.
“The removal of the usurper entity is in the interest of the entire Islamic world and the entire Arab world and it is also a national interest for every country in the region. Israel poses a threat to Jordan and its demise is a national Jordanian interest, it poses a threat to Lebanon and Israel's demise is a national Lebanese interest,” he went on to say.
He added that accordingly, “anyone who stands in the face of the Zionist scheme anywhere in our region and through any means, would be defending his country, people and the future of his children and grandchildren, in addition to defending Palestine.”
He called for highlighting the priority of “this conflict with the Zionist scheme in Lebanon, Syria and Jerusalem.”
“All the massacres and plights that we suffered in Lebanon and the region can be attributed to abandoning the priorities and responsibilities,” Nasrallah noted.
“Unfortunately, some in the Arab world who are backed by the states and governments of the West are blocking and preventing this priority and are pushing peoples to endorse other priorities and are inventing new wars. First they spoke of the communist expansion and Palestine was forgotten and they spent billions and came up with books, conferences and wars. Then they invented the Iranian and Persian expansion and a war that cost billions was waged against Iran. Had they spent only one tenth on Palestine, it would have been liberated,” he added.
“They then used the so-called Shiite expansion and said the priority is confronting the Shiite threat because it poses a greater threat to the nation than the Zionist scheme. To many, Israel is not a threat and an enemy anymore,” Nasrallah lamented.
He added that what's worse is that “they gave some local conflicts a sectarian nature.”
“In Egypt, there is an acute political rift, but it is political and not sectarian. The same applies to Yemen, Tunisia and Libya. But when it comes to countries that have diversity, such as Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Bahrain, the political conflict is turned into a sectarian conflict and they invoke the conflicts of history,” Nasrallah noted.
“Isn't it time for the peoples of the region to realize that some parties are seeking to destroy the region and its countries, armies and peoples? They don't only want to fragment the nations but also to fragment the peoples into sects. Isn't it time for the peoples of the region to point their fingers at the countries that are sponsoring this destructive, spiteful scheme, which is the most dangerous scheme our region has witnessed?” he said.
Nasrallah pointed out that anyone backing the “Takfiri groups” ideologically, financially and in the media and anyone “pushing them to the battlefields” bears the first responsibility for all the “ongoing destruction.”
Hizbullah's leader called on everyone to realize the threats and “exert strenuous efforts in every country to resolve its issue through dialogue and halt the bloodshed, in Syria, Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Pakistan and Somalia,” noting that “unfortunately, wherever these Takfiri groups go, there will be disasters.”
“In Hizbullah, we have always and will continue to seek common denominators and to organize and postpone our differences, because the disputes have become destructive,” he said.
“Where will this madness lead everyone? This is the responsibility of all the scholars and for the sake of the entire nation efforts must unite to defeat this destructive scheme,” added Nasrallah.
But he reassured that “our people are capable of defeating this scheme and God willing it will be defeated.”
“We in Hizbullah stress our commitment to these principles, for which our enemies and sometimes our friends criticize us,” he added.
Addressing the dispute with the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas over the conflict in Syria, Nasrallah said: “We in Hizbullah will keep supporting Palestine and we're keen on good ties with all the Palestinian forces, although we might have our differences sometimes over Syria and Palestine.”
“Whatever the doctrinal, religious or political dispute might be, Palestine must remain the main cause,” he stressed.
Nasrallah thanked Hizbullah's regional allies Iran and Syria “for all they are doing for Palestine.”
Turning to Lebanon, Nasrallah said: “We will remain a vigilant and alert resistance to protect our country alongside the national Lebanese army and we send a big salutation to its command, officers, soldiers and wounded.”
He also noted that certain forces ]are seeking to “remove the Shiites of the Arab and Islamic worlds from the equation.”
“Describe us as rejectionists, describe us as terrorists, describe us as criminals, say whatever you want and keep killing us ... On every front, at the door of every hussainiyah and mosque, we the Shiites of Ali bin Abi Taleb will not abandon Palestine,” Nasrallah vowed.