Nasrallah’s Speech Marking the End of the July War

On August 14, the Secretary General of Hezbollah Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah delivered a speech marking the end of the July 2006 war. The following is the text of the speech carried by Hezbollah-affiliated Al Manar TV. The text is reprinted here with permission from and thanks to Mideastwire.

Peace be upon you as you meet in this good land, the land of sacrifice, pride, steadfastness, honour, and pride, the land of the Southern Suburb, the land of martyrs, resistors, the patient, and the victorious, God willing.

Almighty God says in His glorious Book, In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate:

Pharaoh made himself high and mighty in the land, and divided the people into different groups: One group he oppressed, slaughtering their sons and sparing their women; he was one of those who spread corruption. But we wished to favour those who were oppressed in the land, to make them leaders, and to make them the inheritors, to establish them in the land, and through them show Pharaoh, Haman, and their armies the very thing they feared.

The 14th of August this year falls on the first anniversary of the divine victory, the divine empowerment, and the divine promise to empower the oppressed and to make them inherit the land, and to protect them against the tyrants who humiliate them, slaughter their children, and destroy their homes. This anniversary this year closely coincides with great festivals of Muslims and Christians in Lebanon and the world.

There is the anniversary of the victory, and it was preceded by the anniversary of the Prophet Muhammad’s nocturnal journey and ascension to heaven, when the last of the prophets travelled by night from the inviolable place of worship to the further place of worship, and ascended from Jerusalem to heaven. There is the anniversary of the Prophet Muhammad’s prophethood, when God’s messenger was sent a mercy to Mankind, a harbinger of glad tidings and a warner.

Ahead of us there is the anniversary of the birth of Muhammad’s grandson, the lord of martyrs Abu-Abdallah al-Husayn, may peace be upon him, the leader who rejected injustice and who taught us how to be present in the field and to sacrifice and fight with ourselves, our sons, and our beloved. Then there is the anniversary of the birth of Ali Ibn-al-Husayn Zayn al-Abidin, the captive of Karbala who taught us how to stand fast in the face of chains and shackles and executors, and to continue to say the word of truth without deviating an inch from it.

There is the anniversary of Abu-al-Fadl al-Abbas Ibn-Ali, may peace be upon, the fighter and struggler who was wounded, and whose wounds did not prevent him from continuing to fight in defence of the cause, the leader, the sanctities, and all what is holy. The Christians in Lebanon and the world are celebrating the festival of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the saint, may peace be upon her. Those blessed holidays of Muslims, Christians, and the adherents of divine religions bless the anniversary of our victory on 14 August.

Brothers and sisters, today I address through you and through the enduring, steadfast, and struggling Southern Suburb, the people of Lebanon, the peoples of our Arab and Muslim world, and all the peoples of the world. First I want to thank all the leaders, religious scholars, rulers, governments, states, parties, forces, movements, groups, societies, personages, individuals, and all those who stood by Lebanon and its resistance in the face of the July aggression, the US-Israeli aggression against Lebanon, the people of Lebanon, and against all the nation.

I also thank all those who provided assistance to Lebanon after the war to help it to reconstruct what was destroyed, heal the wounds, wipe off the tears, and to stand proud in the face of the coming challenges. Brothers and sisters, in the speeches of the past nights I talked about the goals, results, the developments in the field, and some of the political events.

Today, I will talk about the people, the people of Lebanon, the public of the resistance, the peoples of our Arab and Muslim world, and all the free men and women who stood in this battle and were among the elements of its strength and steadfastness, and ultimately among the elements of its victory. First I will address the peoples of our Arab and Muslim world, second I will address the people of Lebanon and I will talk about what happened in the war with the Lebanese people, and third I will address the public of the resistance, and from there I will speak in brief about the local situation and I will touch on the issue of reconstruction.

I will conclude by speaking about the possibilities of the coming stage as the Zionists and Americans are beating the drums of war. What is the situation, and what must we do? These are the headlines of my speech tonight and I hope, God willing, there will be enough time for it and that your big and loving hearts will accommodate it.

Brothers and sisters, when this battle began, America and Israel attempted to isolate the resistance and its public from the peoples of our Arab and Muslim world and the rest of the world and from the rest of the people of Lebanon and its political movements. The political discourse and the vast media sources possessed by America and Israel in the world focused on a number of headlines so as to isolate the resistance, and consequently to keep the resistance and its public alone in the face of that cruel and violent war.

First, they concentrated on the charge of terrorism — and they had worked on it for many years. It could have an effect in some parts of the Western world, but it no longer has an effect among the peoples of our Arab and Muslim world or among our people in Lebanon. The charge of terrorism — for which they harnessed all the media and the means of incitement and their diplomatic efforts — has begun to break down, even in Europe and in many parts of the world.

We have challenged and today I challenge them again to hold an international conference to determine a single definition of terrorism, so that we can know whether the resistance in Lebanon is terrorist, and whether it is right to classify it as terrorist. I say to you: They will not do that, although many of the governments and peoples of the world have called for such a conference. That is because America knows well that any definition of terrorism that can be drawn up — any definition that you can think of — will apply to America as a terrorist state and will apply to Israel as a terrorist entity. Any definition.

Some definitions may apply — they may expand the definition to include the resistance — but any definition, however narrow or wide it may be — will apply to the state of terror, America, and the terrorist entity, Israel. That is why they always evade a definition of terrorism. The matter did not go well among the peoples of the Arab and Muslim worlds.

On the contrary, the Arab and Muslim world knows that America is terrorist and that Israel is terrorist, and that resistance movements are honourable, clean, and humane movements that defend the right of their homelands and nation to survival, liberty, sovereignty, dignity, and independence. Second, they said and actively spread the word that this war is between Israel and an instrument of Iran and Syria, a regional war that has no connection with Lebanon, or its destiny as a homeland and a people, or the destiny of Arabs and Muslim: Hezbollah is an Iranian-Syrian instrument and the aim of the war is to delay the international tribunal or to serve the Iranian nuclear dossier.

They worked on that in Lebanon and throughout the world from the first day. Even that claim was sunk in the face of the declared and ambitious aims about which Ehud Olmert had spoken at the beginning of the war, and the aims announced by Condoleezza Rice. The world knew that the war is on Lebanon and the Lebanese resistance and aims to subdue Lebanon and to implement UNSC Resolution 1559, and so as to attach Lebanon to the US-Zionist plan for the inauspicious birth of a new Middle East that poses a threat to all the region’s states and peoples.

The charge fell. They moved to the third and more serious and more malicious charge. They moved to the sectarian issue and to the confessional issue. They said to the Arabs and Muslims, to the Christians and Muslims: They said to the Christians: “This battle is with an Islamic group. You have nothing to do with it and it is not aimed against you.” They said to Sunni Muslims: “This is a battle with a Shi’i group, and is aimed at the Shi’i project, the Shi’i crescent, and the Shi’i such and such.” They tried to focus on the sectarian and confessional aspect.

They arranged for the issuing of fatwas for the purpose, and matters went as far as to pose the question: Is it permissible for us to pray for victory for the resistance in Lebanon? There was even a canon law problem over a prayer — let alone demonstrating in support of the resistance, or providing it with funds or political or financial support, and standing by it. Imagine, when was the confessional and sectarian dossier of the resistance in Lebanon opened?

At the time of confronting the cruelest, most violent, and longest Arab-Israeli war — the sixth war — on an Arab country. They wanted to confine the matter to a very limited and narrow circle. However, with God’s help, and thanks here go to — after God — the senior Sunni Muslim scholars in Lebanon and throughout the Arab and Muslim world and the leaders of the Islamic movements, the thinkers, and political leaders among Muslims and Christians who stood against that sedition and stressed the patriotic, Arab, national, humanitarian, and Islamic aspects of this battle and this confrontation.

Thanks to those wise minds and those courageous and sincere voices we were able to foil that sedition which the Americans and Zionists wanted. We saw demonstrations, sit-ins, and stances throughout the Arab and Muslim words, and we saw the joint activities by Muslims and Christians, and by Shi’is, Sunnis, Druze, and the various adherents of Muslim confessions in support of the resistance.

Here I must specify and thank all those minds, pens, and voices which stood up to the attempts to foment sedition and the attempt to besiege the resistance, in order to serve the Zionist enemy and the US plan in the region. In fact we did not expect from the peoples of the Arab and Muslim world more than that solidarity and moral, political, and psychological support. We are realistic and we are aware of everyone’s circumstances. We did not ask them for more than that. O Arab and Muslim peoples and all free peoples in the world.

O Muslims and Christians who stood by us. We are proud of your moral support. We are proud of your love and prayers. Even after the victory, they sought to besiege that victory and to undo its effects in Lebanon and the Arab and Muslim worlds.

The resistance was besieged and isolated once again because it defeated Israel and destroyed its myth in the longest and most violent Israeli war; because it has revived the nation and re-instilled in it the spirit of hope, confidence, and zeal; because the resistance in Lebanon provided a serious alternative to liberating the land and defending the homeland, an alternative to the humiliating negotiations in which America and Israel impose their conditions on governments and peoples; and because the resistance in Lebanon has attained great standing and prestige among the peoples of our Arab and Muslim worlds and the world.

They refocused on the sectarian and confessional aspects. If they acknowledged that the resistance achieved victory they tried to present it as a victory of a political party or a victory of a sect. I stress to you, as I said on 14 August 2006, this is a victory for Lebanon, all of Lebanon. This is a victory for the Arabs, all the Arabs. This is a victory for the Muslims and free men and women, for all the Muslims and free men and women in the world.

They want to split us, and to deal separately with each of us in the war and the battle, country by country, people by people, sect by sect, faction by faction, and party by party. That is their plot. When we are disunited, when we dispute, when each of us fights and the other abandons him, then they will win and we will be defeated. As for us, we said during the war: We are fighting on behalf of the entire nation.

Some people tried to misinterpret my words. I said: If we are victorious in the July war it will be a victory for Lebanon and the nation, and if we are defeated in the July war it will be a defeat for Lebanon and the nation. Imagine if the resistance was defeated in the July war, what would have been the fate of Lebanon? Would it have enjoyed peace and stability or would it have been pushed towards civil war?

Would it have come under absolute US-Israeli domination? What would have been the fate of the Palestine cause and the Palestinian people? What would have been the destiny of Syria, Iraq, and even Jordan which will turn into an “alternative” state? Even Saudi Arabia, will be torn apart within the framework of the New Middle East. And even Egypt, and even and even…

If the New Middle East which they had declared at the beginning of the war had succeeded, what would have been the fate of the region today? It would have been the Iraqi model: warring, feuding, and confessionalism would very regrettably have prevailed in the countries of the region. We and you have aborted that New Middle East, but they will seek to produce it again.

That is the point with which I want to conclude my talk about the Arab and Muslim world in my call, so as to move on and talk about the Lebanese people. O Arabs and Muslims. O Lebanese. Originally, “the Middle East” is an old plan that goes back to the early 20th century. Listen to the following text which corroborates what I say.

Theodor Herzl, the founder of world Zionism, wrote in 1897 in his diaries — and consider this text which clarifies to us everything that happened in the course of the 20th century and what is happening now: “A Middle East Commonwealth must be established — (it means that ever since the late 1800s there was talk about ‘a Middle East’, there is no Arab World, there is no Muslim World) — in which the state of the Jews (he is saying ‘Jews’, not I) have an effective and leading position and a leading economic role, and will be the centre (that is the state of the Jews is the centre) for the attraction of investments, scientific research, and technical expertise.”

The then British Secretary of the Colonies, Campbell-Bannerman, issued a report in London in 1907 which he presented at a conference held by a group of historians, political scientists, and economists, with the participation of a number of European politicians.

He discussed the situation in our area, the Arab region, and said — see this recommendation which Britain, the Western states, and America sought to implement and which they are renewing with every stage: “The danger to the West lies in the Mediterranean because it is the link between East and West, and where on its southern and eastern shores live one people who have a common history, language — (he means the Arabic language) — geography, and all the elements of grouping and association, in addition to their revolutionary propensities — (that is not a passive people or submissive people), and great natural wealth.”

Campbell-Bannerman asks in his report about the fate of the region if education and culture should spread in it. That is why you will notice that in the past decades, even the planning that is imposed on our rulers is that education and culture should not spread, and that there remains an illiterate and ignorant majority incapable of learning and developing. He answers: “If that should happen — (that is if education and culture spread) — then a fatal blow will be dealt to the existing empires” — (the imperialist empires).

The said imperialist conference drew up the plans and means that can weaken this region and its peoples, and can facilitate the exercising of control over it and its shores and containing the will of its peoples, its potential, and wealth, and prevent its development, progress, and unity. He specified two basic means.

The first — and that is very important: The establishment of an alien human barrier — (alien so that it will not be a part of the make-up of that nation) — a strong (so that it can achieve the objective) barrier that separates the countries of the Arab East from the countries of the Arab Maghreb, and the establishment of a power close to the Suez Canal, a power that is an enemy of the peoples of the region and a friend of the West.

Thus the first point is to establish a strong state of Israel in this location — not because Palestine is a Promised Land, but because Palestine is the natural barrier between the East and Maghreb and is close to the shores, the Suez Canal, and the oilfields. The second means — and here religion and religious sentiments and hopes were harnessed to serve the imperialist plan — is to seek to divide the Arab homeland into several states and entities.

That is what has happened so far. At every stage, they come to a New Middle East, which is debunked by the nation’s will, the resisting movements, and the aware peoples. Then a period of time passes, and they return to the New Middle East. And after a period of time, and they revert to the New Middle East. Today, we have aborted that birth.

However, that does not mean that the Americans — the heirs of the Old Imperialism — will try again to tear apart our world, to tear apart what is already torn apart and to divide what is already divided — but this time not on geographical bases but on sectarian, confessional, and ethnic bases, so that there will be feuding and warring states that are ruled by Israel, the leader and the mighty power, and where America will be the sole guarantor of freedoms and religious and ethnic minorities in the region.

That calls for the awareness of all of us, and requires that we do not err in diagnosing the situation or in diagnosing the enemy or the friend or in setting priorities. Some agents and some fools are trying to serve the original planners who want to tear asunder this nation, split this region, and split those peoples in the interest of that plan.

That requires that we remain together in this battle in all fields, that we remain cohesive and in solidarity with each other, and that we refuse to be divided, not on a religious basis as Muslims and Christians in the region, or on a confessional and sectarian basis, or on an ethnic basis.

We are the peoples of this region. We are its owners. We are its true inhabitants. It is our natural, canon law, and legal right to live in it in freedom and with sovereignty and enjoy its natural wealth, free of any plundering, control, or domination. I will move to the second topic, to the Lebanese people, also the lofty and faithful, in this battle. This Lebanese people were one of the surprises of the July 2006 war despite the serious divisions that existed and still exist.

They are not new. This is also despite the stormy political and media atmospheres at the beginning of the war, and which continued with the war and after the war. What did the Zionists do here? They have intensified their campaign. As I said, they wanted to say that the problem was the direct environment of the resistance, which means the Shi’is in Lebanon. Therefore, they attacked cities, villages, markets, and all places, and displaced more than one million people.

When these people are displaced in Lebanon and Syria, taking into consideration that it is our only neighboring state, that in light of the existing divisions and sensitivities in Lebanon, the Shi’is will clash with the other Lebanese. The Israeli and the American expected that the sensitivities in Lebanon will prevent the rest of Lebanese from embracing and hosting the displaced and will force the displaced to commit mistakes, and thus a sedition and civil war would take place, on which they wagered on and continue to wager.

However, what happened was that the other Lebanese sects, movements, and groups received the displaced away from the political position of their parties, leaderships, and trends. All the Lebanese — and yes, there were very few exceptional cases — in the capital Beirut, Jabal Lubnan, in the north, the rest of Al-Biqa, and the rest of the south, behaved in a human, moral, and patriotic way and in a high spirit. This also took place in Syria when the Syrians embraced the displaced without discrimination.

They were not affected by the atmospheres that prevailed in Lebanon at the time or the sectarian or factional calculations. The displaced people also behaved with responsibility and awareness. With the exception of limited and unimportant cases, they behaved with a very high national responsibility. Here was the embrace. The surprise was that the United States and Israel expected a fire in the villages and cities to which the displaced went, but what happened was that the Lebanese came together in amity, brotherhood, and sincerity.

Here, I wholeheartedly address all the Lebanese; all sects; all trends; all institutions and societies; the brothers in Syria, leadership and people; and all those who embraced the displaced during 33 or 34 days, and tell them that this embrace surprised our enemy and your enemy and provided a great source of strength for the resistance and its fighters and masses, something which led to victory.

Even after the victory, this moral and human epic, which the Lebanese expressed in the social and internal issues, after the war, they tried to besiege this victory and to obstruct its results and effects on the internal level. I do not want to discuss all the aspects of this issue.

However, I want to discuss one aspect; namely, that after the victory, about which we said that this is the victory of Lebanon, the Lebanese people, and all Lebanon, they have come to play the game of scaring the sects from each other. Regrettably, some leaders in Lebanon do not have a political plan, an ideological concept, a civilized thought, or anything else that would serve as a backbone to attract a large group of people.

Thus, they have focused their work on their sect to make it fear other sects in order to consolidate their leadership of that sect. This takes place in Lebanon and in all Lebanese sects. Some people do not have a political plan, political rhetoric, or a political literature inside his sect other than scaring the sons of his sect from the other sects.

Now, as a result of this fashion, they scare them from the Shi’i sect in Lebanon — this is to mention things as they are — and specifically from the Amal-Hezbollah alliance, the weapons of the resistance, and the like. They have worked on this and are still working on it. Frankly speaking, we can see that there are two leadership lines in the Lebanese arena. Here, I am not saying those who are loyal to the government or those who are opposed to it.

There are two leadership lines in the Lebanese arena; a reconciliatory and unionist line that calls for extending bridges, generalizing understandings, and meetings among Lebanese, and calls for reaching an internal settlement and internal settlements of all issues on which the Lebanese disagree. There is also another line; namely, a confrontational, suppressive, and intimidating line that derives strength from the Americans and the international community.

This line considers national partnership as suicide and internal settlement as treason that deserves execution. This is the current real state of affairs in Lebanon. Of course, we call for understanding, extending bridges, meeting, and internal settlement. Note the difference here. Regarding a settlement with the enemy, some say let the prisoners remain in prisons, and they have said this; and let the Shab’a Farms and the Kfar Shuba hills remain as they are; and they have said this, but let us reach a settlement with the Israeli.

The settlement with the Israeli, which is at the expense of our occupied land, our prisoners in prisons, sovereignty, and future, is not treason. However, settlement among the Lebanese to meet, reach understanding, cooperate, and build their country is the treason that deserves execution. Very regrettably, as a result of this intimidation, some sides always put us in the position of the accused one who should defend himself, and call on us to reassure the Lebanese.

This means that everyday and in every speech, I should speak about coexistence, civil peace, the state plan, the Al-Ta’if agreement, and unity among the Lebanese, and say that we have no other goals and intentions, that we do not seek power, that we do not seek Al-Thulth al-Mu’attil and this and that. In fact, if there is any side that needs reassurance since 2000, provided that this was confirmed by what happened in 2006, before that by Resolution 1559, and after that by the war, and now there are threats and intimidations, it is the resistance and the masses of resistance.

Reassurances should be given to it, especially since it is targeted by killing, assassination, collective displacement, and demographical change. We have got sick of this rhetoric. What shall we say? Shall we give more reassurances? We have given all that we could. Our intentions are declared and our behaviour is clear.

Since the time of the anniversary of the birthday of Imam Al-Husayn, may God’s peace be upon him, is approaching, I have no choice but to say the word of Al-Husayn, may God’s peace be upon him, provided that this is the right we declare, these are our intentions, and this is our behaviour: “Anyone who accepts us by accepting right, then God is more worthy of right. Anyone who rejects this, we will be patient until God decides among us and our people.” What can we do more than this?

In all cases, this approach poses a danger to Lebanon. The Americans are working strongly to incite fear and division, are raising scepticism among the Lebanese sects and forces, and are presenting themselves as a guarantor and protector as happening in Iraq. O Lebanese, can’t we learn a lesson from Iraq? Has the United States been able to be the protector of the Christians in Iraq? Where are the Christians in Iraq today? Has it been able to be the protector of the Shi’is or the Sunnis? Where are the Shi’is and the Sunnis today?

Has it been able to be the protector of the Turkomen or Kurds? This is the lesson. Shall we come back to ourselves or listen to those who interfere day and night to obstruct any internal settlement? Once again, we say that we are for an internal settlement, and the prelude to this is the partnership government away from all erroneous and unjust interpretations by some sides regarding the formation of the national unity government. Today, there are new reconciliatory efforts which will be made by brother Chamber of Deputies Speaker Nabih Birri to find a way out of the crisis.

We reiterate our cooperation with, support for, and response to all the proposed initiatives. However, the one who says that partnership is suicide and that settlement is treason is clearly telling the Lebanese and the world that it is not us who closes doors, that it is not us who obstructs settlements and initiatives, and that it is not us who insists on not forming a national unity government and on holding elections without quorum so as to bring a president and then a government imposed on the Lebanese. Where to will this situation take Lebanon?

Brothers and sisters: The Lebanese politicians are called upon to adopt a human and moral stand just like their embracing social position during the days of war, not to save the displaced, but to save the homeland and all Lebanese. Third, I move to the masses of resistance and the people of resistance to say that here was the most serious, harshest, most violent, and most painful targeting. Here was the wagering of the Americans and the Israelis, as well as their studies and erroneous information.

They thought that if we come to Lebanon and managed to neutralize the other Lebanese sects and focus on the Shi’is in Lebanon, destroy their cities, villages, markets, the complex of their religious centres, schools, and establishments — of course, the shelling is against all sides, but the priority and focus were clearly here — and kill their women and children, something which means that the destruction was premeditated, the killing of women and children was premeditated, and the shelling of markets and trade establishments was premeditated — they will be then destroying the human, social, and economic infrastructure of the environment that embraces or produces the resistance.

This was the plan. For example, in the Southern Suburb of Beirut, we can see that some neighbourhoods were totally destroyed. No missiles were fired from the Southern Suburb of Beirut. Many of these buildings did not include centres for Hezbollah, but they were destroyed. Entire cities and villages were destroyed in the south. Many houses were destroyed in Al-Biqa, the north, and other areas. Why was all this?

This was first to punish these masses, and consequently, to tell the Lebanese people and all the Arab peoples, that anyone who supports the resistance, anyone who produces resistance, and anyone who embraces the resistance, this will be his punishment. Second, this was to incite these masses against the resistance and to force them to stage demonstrations to insult the resistance, undermine it, cast doubts on its line and leadership, call on it to surrender, capitulate, and lay down arms, and to tell it enough is enough because we cannot take this any more, and so we had enough of the destruction of houses and killing of women and children, and we have given what we cannot afford, and enough is enough.

If you note, many local, regrettably, and Arab and international news media, as well as a large part of political rhetoric, tried to focus on this issue. Although the losses and sacrifices were great, they had even exaggerated them to further affect these masses’ willpower, awareness, faith, resolution, and their rallying round this resistance. This was what happened.

However, here was the greatest surprise. It was represented by the way the masses of the resistance dealt with this most violent, harshest, and most painful part of this war. This applies to the people of the Southern Suburb of Beirut, the south, Al-Biqa, and other areas. You and I will not forget the pictures of the women who stayed in the front villages, carrying knives and preparing boiling oil to fight the soldiers of the occupation.

These are our people and masses. This also applies to the way the displaced behaved and expressed their confidence, hope, and love. The whole world has failed to show one wrong clip of the displaced despite the difficult living conditions. This also applies to the families of the martyrs and the wounded and those whose houses and property were destroyed.

They used to say this is for the sake of the resistance. This is how we are eastern people; we try to focus on the symbol. Some sides blamed us when the people used to say this is for the sake of Al-Sayyid Hasan. This is an emotional expression which has no foundations in our culture. You should not sacrifice yourselves for a certain person.You, the families of the martyrs, wounded, and prisoners, and those whose houses were destroyed know that Al-Sayyid Hasan, his soul, person, and children are all a sacrifice for you.

The amazing thing, which is unprecedented in the history of wars, provided that I have made a thorough search over two weeks, and I do not claim that this is definite, but despite this search, I have not found that there is a people or a group of people whose houses were destroyed and who were displaced, killed, massacres were perpetrated against them, and cluster bombs were planted in their houses, fields, and farms, and know that there was no ceasefire, but a halt of hostilities, and after 2000 hours the situation will change, but, at the same time, hundreds of thousands of the displaced returned to the Southern Suburb of Beirut, the south, Al-Biqa, and all the villages and towns in Lebanon.

Here was the real victory and the end of the real victory. When the displaced were ready to return to their homes, they were told: Where do you want to go, to your houses? You have no houses to live in. But they said: We will return to our villages and set tents to live in them, but we will not continue to be displaced. They were told: More than one million cluster bombs were planted in your fields, houses, farms, and roads, and they will kill your children and explode in you, they said: We will return to our villages and towns and die under the olive tree and near the tobacco seedling, but we will not continue to be displaced.

You were told: Where do you want to go to when the war is not over and no ceasefire was announced yet, you have confidently said: We have defeated them and they will not dare do anything. You have returned as you promised, just as was your confidence and hope.

You have returned home with your heads high without any favour from anyone, but this was thanks to Almighty God and the blood of your martyrs. The whole world has seen hundreds of thousands returning in one day with a smile on their faces, hiding their tears and pains, declaring their hope, and taking pride in their victory.

O brothers, Lebanese, and the world, after this legendary and epical scene, which is unprecedented throughout history, we say: Do these people not deserve to be called the most honourable, honest, and noblest people? This position of the masses of the resistance and the people of the resistance is not accidental, but it is a deep-rooted position thanks to our senior scholars and their culture and thought and to the unity of stand.

This position was also due to also this historic and strategic alliance between Amal Movement and Hezbollah in Lebanon. This awareness and wisdom are the outcome of the experience and suffering. Today, the masses of the resistance, with what they have and embrace in terms of culture, wisdom, and awareness, and based on the embrace of the Lebanese and their understanding with them, the mutual amity, and the bridges that are being built, constitute this pillar of victory and this pillar of steadfastness.

O brothers, listen to one of the senior Zionist experts who says: What is the real question that is posed to Israel today? The question is no longer that Israel has lost its deterrence power. This is over. The question is no longer that Israel has failed to destroy the morale of the enemy. This is also over.

In fact, this expert says: If this enemy enjoys morale, which is the highest since Israel’s establishment and until now, then the question should be: Can Israel actually launch a new war? So he is looking at your morale, which was not affected. Yes, this is the faithful, strong, sacrificing, enlightened, and wise popular base on which the resistance relies. The resistance has been and is still relying on it in all its challenges.

Therefore, as I used to say in the first days of the July war, I used to always promise you with victory by relying on God and by knowing you, these people, these resistance men, and this enemy. Brothers and sisters, now you must bear with me because I am going to give figures and I do not want to make any mistakes.

On 14 August, I promised you an honourable return. Here I would like to discuss the reconstruction effort, the compensations, and the assistance in order to briefly report to you what we have done over the past year. Of course there are states, governments, and other sides that exerted immense efforts. Before and after it lost its mandate, the government did something but we would like to say that there has been a delay, and to voice our displeasure with this delay.

I do not want to discuss this aspect of the issue but I would like to present my own report. Since 14 August, we have been trying to serve the displaced people, those whose homes had either been destroyed or damaged, and those who owned establishments and businesses in general. What we have provided — and I will mention it presently — is not called compensation but it is help and assistance to treat the painful wounds.

The compensation must be paid by the state and the state has acquired about $1 billion to help those who were harmed by the war. This $1 billion is the right of the people and their rights must be given to them. What we have offered has been money that a brother normally gives to his brother without any legal or official responsibilities. Therefore, this does not relieve the state from offering compensations in this regard.

First we begin by what was called providing shelter. This means providing an annual rent and supplying furniture so that no one would be left in the street. God be praised, thanks to this measure, there is no one who is still homeless. They wanted at least 25,000 families to remain on the streets but with the efforts and cooperation of our friends and allies in the political and nationalist forces and associations in various areas, we were able to execute this measure within a short time. Some 28,300 cases were covered.

This means that the so-called secure homes and furniture was provided for 28,300 families and at the cost of $133.5 million. The second measure was repairing damaged homes, apart from the destroyed homes. These include the damaged homes that were supposed to be repaired with the exception of the four towns that the State of Qatar took care of – and we thank the state of Qatar. In other villages, towns, and other areas, 113,820 housing units were paid for at a cost of $190.7 million so far. Of course, the repair work is not yet completed.

It was decided that some houses would not be demolished and would instead be repaired. There are some other cases. Certain shared buildings in the Southern Suburb of Beirut are still being repaired. The third measure is assisting economic and commercial establishments. This type of assistance, which I will mention now, is in fact just a contribution and not a compensation.

It constitutes a certain percentage. We considered houses, homes, and people’s return to be our priority. What we have offered has been assistance to repair direct damages and not indirect damages. We have not closed this dossier. We are still working to raise money to raise the level of some of these contributions.

In the economic and commercial establishments, there were 12,500 cases that cost $30 million. Assistance to help overcome direct agricultural damages: 1,300 cases, to the value of $2 million. Assistance for direct loss of livestock: 2,000 cases, to the value of $3 million. Assistance to owners of public transport vehicles — taxis, trucks, excavators — was paid in 2,300 cases to the value of $4 million. Support for the afflicted villages whose conditions were extremely harsh: $3 million.

There is the Wa’d Project in the Southern Suburb of Beirut. We wanted to begin work and we did not want to wait for anyone in the hope that they would rally round later on. Some $14 million have been paid so far. Support for the fishermen: 3,500 cases to the value of $700,000. The total amount spent so far — this money has already been spent and the there is still more to come — is $380.9 million.

Now some will be angry when I say that this money has been clean, in accordance with the Shari’ah, and with no political strings attached. I would like to stress two points before moving on to the last part of my speech. The first point is that the issue of the destroyed homes has not been dealt with. There has been a delay. The state has money — it received money to rebuild destroyed homes. Therefore, we were committed to paying the difference.

Even concerning the Southern Suburb of Beirut I was clear when I said: The people and us would rebuild the Southern Suburb of Beirut with the money that they would take from the state as compensation. I did not say that we alone would rebuild the Southern Suburb of Beirut from our own money. Therefore, the delay in the payments of compensation for the destroyed homes impeded the building of the destroyed homes in all areas — in the south, in Al-Biqa, in the Southern Suburb of Beirut, and in all areas.

Because these families have no homes to stay in, I declare before you, that, God willing, we will renew our contributions to all families that rented homes and we will pay rent for up to one year in the hope that all the destroyed homes would be built during this year and we would not need to repeat this later. However, I would like to assert that this contribution is to the actual rent-paying tenants because we do not want any problems or confusion, and so that if some money is left we would spend it on repairing damaged homes.

We are committed to paying, God willing, the rent for the tenant who pays rent for a period ranging from one month to 12 months, so that nobody would be left in the street and that nobody would bear the cost resulting from the failure to rebuild destroyed homes so far. Here I must mention our brothers from the resistance and the mujahidin who have been working from the first day on defusing or detonating cluster bombs, especially in populated areas, and were able to detonate or defuse 40,000 cluster bombs within a few months, offering five martyrs from the Islamic resistance mujahidin.

Now to the last part. I would like to discuss the current situation, which we must treat with a sense of responsibility. Since the war stopped some have been wondering if this was the last war against Lebanon. Will we enjoy, they asked, peace and security and not face a new war?

Some asked this question and presented their strategic, political, security, and psychological studies on this. Some said that Israel would not swallow its defeat and would work to regain its prestige, its deterrent power, and its status in the region because if it does not do that then it would be placing itself on the road to extinction. They also presented their strategic, political, security, and military studies on this situation.

I would not enter into this discussion and give a yes or no answer but I would like to talk about responsibilities and remind you of two things. The first thing is that our neighbour is an enemy whose second nature is aggression. It has historical ambitions in our land, waters, and resources. Its project is based on the logic of force, domination, and of bullying others, which means making others lose their senses. Now this enemy itself has lost its senses. This is the nature of this enemy.

The second thing is that we cannot rely on analyses and say that there will be no war and hence we can deep comfortably. I am not saying that there will be war. We pray God that there will be no war. As I said in previous speeches, we did not want war and we did not even want the July war. They wanted this war and set a target for this war on the level of the entire Middle East. They were the ones who pushed matters in that direction.

However, it is our duty to be take precautions. If there is no war, than God be praised, and “and enough is Allah for the believers in their fight.” If, God forbid, Lebanon faces a new challenge, we will be able to face this challenge. Moreover, I tell you that being prepared for war is one of the most important methods for preventing war from taking place.

It will prevent the war from taking place. That is what is called the balance of terror, the balance of deterrence. This balance protected Lebanon and southern Lebanon from 2000 to 2006. This is because Baraq and Sharon were committed to this balance. Olmert, because he is stupid on the one hand and because he was implementing the US decision, being unable to make that decision on his own, went to war because the issue transcended the issue of Lebanon and southern Lebanon to building a new Middle East, to a new arrangement in the region.

Therefore, when our enemy understands, when we make it understand that we possess the strength to confront him and remain steadfast, and indeed realize victory, he will be deterred and this will prevent him from starting a new war. Indeed the enemy would at least hesitate for a long time before waging such a war.

Therefore, when I made a statement to the press that the resistance owns missiles that can reach any point in occupied Palestine, I was not inviting a war, but I was working to prevent war. I was telling the Israelis — their government, army, and people — you should understand that any future war against Lebanon will have a very heavy price.

We also learned from the July war experience and made the required evaluation and discovered the points of strength and the point of weakness on our side as well as on the enemy side, and acted based on that. Therefore, in the next war, the enemy must know that it will pay a heavy price. I am telling the enemy this so it would not think of war.

Some say: You are waging a psychological war. That is true. This is part of the battle. But I am waging a truthful psychological war. I am talking about facts and not lies. I am talking facts. Therefore when the war started, I told them: If you want this to be an open-ended war, then we are going to make it an open-ended war and I promise you many surprises.

True, this was a psychological war but it was a truthful psychological war. It was not based on lies. The surprise was at the sea when we hit their ship, the pride of the Israeli industry, Saer 5. We surprised them when we destroyed the fourth generation of the Merkava Tank in the valleys, on the hills, and at the entrances of villages. We surprised them when our mujahidin brought down their helicopters, both at night and day.

We surprised them when they were unable to destroy our missiles and we were able to bomb their domestic front for the first time in the history of Israel for 33 days without a stop. We surprised them with our command and control system, and we surprised them with our people, the masses of the resistance, the noblest of all people. We surprised them with the Lebanese people and with the people of our Arab and Islamic nations, and we realized victory.

Today, I would like to conclude this anniversary celebration. By the way I would like to thank all of those who participated with us in marking this occasion — politicians, peoples, governments, media, intellectuals, newspapers, movements, individuals, associations, and groups — because the world wants us to forget and ignore this victory.

I would like to conclude this ceremony and these celebrations also by a clear promise. You may take it to be part of psychological warfare; however, it is truthful psychological warfare. If you think of attacking Lebanon, and I do not advise you to do that, if, you Zionists, think of launching war on Lebanon, I will not promise you surprises like the ones that happened, but I promise you a big surprise that could change the course of the war and the fate of the region, God willing.

By this commitment, I am placing a big responsibility on myself and on the resistance. This commitment is an actual commitment now. I am not talking about something that is linked to the future. Let them analyse. I will not tell you or them because if I say what it is, it will no longer be a surprise. I bear this commitment, along with the resistance, to protect Lebanon and the people of Lebanon.

If war takes place, God forbid, which, I repeat, we do not want, we must be prepared for it — in the resistance, in the Army, among the people, and in the state. Yesterday we all heard the commander of the Lebanese Army say that all that has been offered to the Lebanese Army were promises and talk and some ammunition whose cost — and I am saying that — is from the money of the Lebanese people.

Arming and equipping the Lebanese Army is forbidden before it removes from its nationalist convictions that Israel is an enemy. The United States will not give or allow anyone to give the Lebanese Army anything that enables it to defend Lebanon. However, the resistance is by the side of the nationalist Lebanese Army. Its mujahidin stand by the Army fighters, its martyrs are by the side of the Army martyrs, its vigour is added to the vigour of the Army; and together and with the Lebanese people, will confront this challenge.

God willing, we will triumph as we triumphed in May 2000, and in August 2006. I warn them and advise them that here in Lebanon there is resistance, army, and people; that this is part of the nation that rejects injustice and humiliation and which fears only God. This nation kneels only before God; it is a fighting nation. It is prepared to make sacrifices and will realize a historic and decisive victory, God willing.

Brothers and sisters, once gain, by relying on God and because I know you, and I know these people, the mujahidin of this resistance, and I know this coward enemy, this ignominious enemy, this enemy which is weaker than a spider’s web, and as I have always promised you victory at all times, I promise you victory once again. May the peace and blessings of God be upon you. — Al Manar, Lebanon

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