EXCERPT FROM SAYYED NASRALLAH’S SPEECH, 23 SEPTEMBER 2013

FINKELSTEIN COMMENTS:  It is noteworthy that Sayyed Nasrallah was silent the question of responsibility for the chemical weapons’ attack.
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I will tackle the third topic – also from a Lebanese perspective or from Hezbollah’s perspective – for a while as a prelude to tackle the Syrian issue and the region. Some Gulf countries – especially Saudi Arabia – insist on accusing Hezbollah of occupying Syria. This appears in the statements made by some Saudi ministers and officials besides some Gulf officials in the media, newspapers, and articles. Well what is the story? Is Syria occupied? Who is occupying Syria? Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards are occupying Syria! Accordingly what is taking place in Syria is not an internal struggle or a struggle between states, projects and nations. It is rather that there is an occupation and there is a resistance that is confronting this occupation. So it is the obligation of the Arab states to support the resistance in Syria to confront those who are occupying Syria, and they would be generous enough to do so and lauded for doing so.

Consequently, Saudi Arabia is with the resistance, and the resistance has the right to reject any occupation of Syria. They even go further calling on the world to intervene and to dispatch armies and warplanes to liberate Syria from the occupation it is being subject to. This is on one hand.

On the other hand, it accordingly is taking several – let’s say – revengeful steps against Hezbollah on the media and political level. Everyone knows that the March 14 Bloc veto on Hezbollah’s participation in the government is a Saudi veto.

In the media there are drafts and proposals made in the UN or in the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that accuse Hezbollah of perpetrating war crimes or the like to hold Hezbollah responsible of occupying Syria. Here I want to tell you that this description is absolutely untrue and incorrect.

First, as for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Syria, their number does not exceed several tens – that is not to say 40 or 50 or 60. I say they are tens and they exist there since 1982. On the contrary, in 1982 until a couple of years ago their number was much more. Now the least number of Iranian brethrens exists in Syria since 1982. Do these occupy Syria?

As for Hezbollah, I would like to talk facts. First, let’s compare the area of Lebanon to the area of Syria, and the Lebanese population to the Syrian population. What is the number of Hezbollah members and how many fighters did Hezbollah dispatch to Syria? Does any rational man in Lebanon, in Syria, in the Arab world, and in the entire world believe that Hezbollah has the power to occupy Syria? So it is clear that the basis of their accusation is feeble and week.

The true background is their failure. That means that they want to run away from their failure in Syria. An international-regional axis has been fighting in Syria for two years and a half and is still fighting in Syria. They are fighting with military, arms, security, media, money, psychological war, the Security Council, the Arab League, the Gulf Cooperation Council, and international institutions. They fought and bet on controlling Syria and toppling it in two, three, or five months and failed to do so. This war has been going on for more than two years and a half, and failure is still pursuing this axis. What excuse they will give for their failure? They give a very week excuse which is that a party in Lebanon has occupied Syria. For this reason you failed! Why do you ignore the political and the field events in the internal struggle taking place in Syria? Why do you ignore that there is a regime, a government, an army, and a leadership that enjoy vast popular support? There is an internal Syrian line which is confronting this challenge. If there is any contribution or backing or help from here or there, that is in fact a very humble participation compared to what the Arab Syrian Army is offering. They are really humble participations. Thus you are trying to run away from your failure under this pretext. You are talking about Hezbollah’s occupation of Syria. Well, what about the tens of thousands of foreign fighters whom you brought along from all around the world or were set out of prisons to fight in Syria in exchange for financial guarantees? Aren’t these fighting Syria? Today, isn’t the so-called Syrian National Opposition or the Syrian National Coalition crying out? Aren’t they accusing these of controlling Syrian territories and regions and imposing their will on the Syrians? Isn’t this an occupation? Why don’t you talk about that? Why don’t you talk about those who stand behind that? Who is financing them? Who supported them and dispatched them? Those who talk about occupying Syria do not call on the world to dispatch soldiers to occupy Syria and control Syria as what took place in other places in the world.

I am not engaged in clarifying, defending or attacking. I am rather engaged in making a faithful and honest call in the light of the political and field events in Syria, in the region and in the world as well as in the light of the latest experience which the region passed through during the past weeks and the bets which were made including those which were dispersed and those which weren’t. I have an honest call first to Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, and Turkey as well as to the other Arab and Islamic states which still have a stance. I do not want to talk about the US and the west. I am calling on these states to reconsider their stance.

This stage has started taking very dangerous aspects. See the new developments in Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Kenya, Somalia, Bahrain, Egypt, and all the other places. Betting on a successful, decisive, military action is a failing bet. It is a destructive bet which will not lead anywhere. I am calling on you to put your grudges aside. It is known in the Arab world and in the Orient that emotions, grudges, love, and hatred might at times over dominate and precede some major national interests. Put these grudges aside and think logically about the interests, and the interests of the peoples of the nation and the interests of this region.      

There are facts in politics and in the field. The salvation of Syria – all of Syria – and the peoples of the region and the states in the region and blocking the way before ordeals and wars the bases of which are being set in the region is through political solution and political dialogue. Unreasonableness will not lead anywhere. Carrying on in fighting and betting on military options and foreign intervention will not lead to the goals you are looking forward to. I call on reconsidering and approving political dialogue and political solutions. I call on backing and supporting political initiatives and political solutions which some of you are still blocking and stalling as they still bet on destructive military solutions in Syria or elsewhere.

Today our address, our speech, our hope is that everyone extends his hand. Syria is showing its readiness to go to Geneva II unconditionally. Iran is talking about friendship, fraternity, and readiness for dialogue. The global atmosphere, the Arab, Islamic, and world public opinion, the major Islamic organizations and the Major Christian churches do not want war, fighting, and the continuity of this human tragedy that is moving from one country to another in our region. Then what is the solution? The solution is that we go for dialogue and political solutions. Those who object political solutions and addresses and crippling and complicating things are the ones liable for every drop of blood which is being shed in the days, weeks, and months to come.

The last topic is also to be tackled from the perspective of accusing Hezbollah. However, I want to renew our stance. We do not find strange the Bahraini stance primarily in categorizing Hezbollah as a terrorist organization and for this they want to put a list of terrorism in the Gulf Cooperation Council and might as well take it to the Arab League.

That’s good. Let’s see if they will categorize Israel as a terrorist state and thus pull out the Arab peace initiative which is still on the table and remember that there is still Palestine, Palestinian people, and sanctities in Palestine, as well as Beit Al Maqdes and Al Aqsa Mosque, and Al Haram al Ibrahimi which are still threatened…. Let’s hope that will take place.

However see this new and definite insistence the Bahraini government has on criminalizing any contact with Hezbollah. That means that anyone from Bahrain who contacts anyone from Hezbollah whether it is a political, media, or social contact including families of martyrs or families of the wounded or relatives or friends or acquaintances would be perpetrating a crime and would be punished and referred to the court in Bahrain.

Indeed this is not a juristic or a legal issue. It is a political stance which we do not find strange. That is because when the overwhelming majority of the people in Bahrain staged a peaceful popular movement and called for very normal and rightful demands they met some political and media support from some forces in the world including us. Indeed, only few forces supported them. Many of the states in the world whether Arab, Islamic, or foreign are silent over what is taking place in Bahrain though no gun was held and no suicide attack was staged. No one resorted to the military option. They still insist on peaceful demonstrations and on peaceful means to call for their rights. Still most countries are silent. Even more, some popular movements and organization which used to say that they have no choice other than standing with the peoples are still silent. Well, this is a people; why aren’t you standing by its side? They did not stand by its side. On the contrary, the government of Bahrain is being supported and covered for its deeds.

Anyway, we were with the people. We at least issued a political, media, and moral stance that supports this rightful, peaceful, popular movement in Bahrain. Since then, the Bahraini government expelled the Lebanese residents in Bahrain who have nothing to do with our political stance, called for blacklisting Hezbollah, halt the airlines between Manama and Beirut, and pushed for definite directions in the GCC, and made several threats.

Anyway, this shows the weakness and feebleness of the Bahraini government. That’s because whoever is afraid from a statement which was made in the media or a political speech or a political word and deals with it with such an extraordinary reaction is for sure weak and feeble. This is understood.

As for us we tell the government of Bahrain and the minister of justice who talked yesterday in somehow a tough way that this is our religious, moral, national, human, and political stance. We also call on the world to take this stance. No one interferes in those who support the Bahraini people – neither Iran nor any other country. You know that. International reports and investigations proved that, and this annoyed them. The decision in Bahrain is local, national and true in the whole sense of the word. It is an independent decision in the whole sense of the word. It is not following any state or any side or any axis. It’s you who are the people of weakness and feebleness who will bring along foreign intervention and had brought along foreign military intervention to back you in suppressing your people.

I call on all Muslim scholars and on all Arab and Islamic peoples, governments, and states to take an action and take a position and say at least one word in this perspective. The suppressive escalation taking place now in Bahrain is very dangerous. Senior Bahraini scholars are being stripped of their nationalities and expelled from the country while other scholars are being threatened. Scholar organizations are being disbanded and considered illegitimate. Mosques are being demolished. Leading personalities were hurled into jails for more than two years by now. Now more political and religious leaderships are being imprisoned. Scholars are being imprisoned, and women are being imprisoned and subject to the worst scenes of dishonor. All of this is taking place, and you are Arabs and you talk about honor.    

The track of the Bahraini government is clear. It is an escalating track. The Bahraini government can’t imagine that it can go on in oppressing and suppressing it people while the world outside is to remain silent and at least does not say a word or a stance. This is unaccepted. As for Hezbollah, our stance is fixed, and we will not abandon it or retreat. We are betting on the Bahraini people and their will and determination. They have remained patient over the past two years and a half. They tolerated and did not resort to any reaction as is taking place in any other country in the Arab world. On the contrary, I am one of the people who stand amazed and astonished before the patience of this people and their tolerance and determination though their honor, sanctity, scholars, and mosques are being attacked and assaulted. They are being oppressed, and no one in the world is listening to them. We bet that this popular, national, peaceful movement will carry on. As for these feeble dwarfs, their escalating suppression will not meet but disappointment because this time is another different time.

Peace be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings. “