Judges protecting judges: why the Beirut blast investigation is a dud

October 28 2021

Can the Beirut blast’s lead investigator, Judge Tarek Bitar, take on his negligent colleagues? Events so far suggest he won’t.Photo Credit: The Cradle

Lead investigative Judge Tarek Bitar refuses to prosecute his judiciary colleagues who signed to unload, store, then ignore the ammonium nitrates that devastated Beirut last August.

By Radwan Mortada

The Lebanese are split on the performance of Judge Tarek al-Bitar, the lead judicial investigator in the massive 4 August Port of Beirut explosion last year.

One side blindly trusts the man, believing Bitar will spearhead the fight against Lebanon’s existing corrupt political class and discover the identities of those responsible for the deadly port blast.

The other side views him as a foreign tool used to create sedition in Lebanon by targeting political figures critical of the US. The Lebanese resistance, Hezbollah, was the first to draw suspicion to Bitar’s performance, whose arbitrary and biased allegations seemed to target only one side of the political divide.

Hezbollah’s charges have gradually escalated over the months. When Bitar first took on the blast investigation – the second judge to do so – Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah urged him to publish the blast site’s technical report so it would quash unsubstantiated rumors about the group’s role in the explosion, or allegations that it stored ‘weapons’ at the Port of Beirut.

Bitar did not respond to Nasrallah’s request for transparency, however, and allowed political and media disinformation to go unchecked during a national crisis.

In one example of this, an alleged ‘witness’ named Imad Kashli appeared in a Lebanese media outlet claiming that he transported ammonium nitrate for Hezbollah from the Port of Beirut to a village in the south, in what was later discovered to be false testimony. Bitar failed to take any action against Kashli under the pretext that he was ‘sick,’ and media outlets never bothered to refute or retract the fabricated story.

Furthermore, Bitar’s political targets say the judge’s own allegations are not comprehensive, but deliberately selective. His interrogation roster focuses overwhelmingly on personalities belonging to one political affiliation, while unjustifiably excluding officials in the very same posts with opposite political views. Bitar has interrogated former Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) Commander Jean Kawahji, for instance, while skipping over current LAF Commander Joseph Aoun, a Washington-favored army man.

U.S. Ambassador Richard Meets Army Commander General Joseph Aoun - U.S.  Embassy in Lebanon

Aoun cannot be bypassed or absolved of responsibility. The explosion happened on his watch, during his tenure. Bitar’s detractors rightly point out that the ultimate responsibility for the Beirut blast must focus on the Lebanese judiciary and the military. The former signed the papers that allowed in and continued to store tons of illegally-stored ammonium nitrate in Beirut, and the latter has the final word on any explosives inside Lebanon’s legal boundaries.

The fact that Bitar has ruled out questioning the current army leadership, most of the judges, the Ministers of Justice and Defense, and the Justice Ministry’s cases commission from has raised eyebrows, obviously. Nasrallah did not mince his words when he stated, in a recent speech, that the greatest responsibility for the 2020 calamity rests with the judges who gave permission to unload vast amounts of ammonium nitrate explosives from a foreign ship seized by Lebanese authorities, and then gave permission to store these substances in dangerous conditions inside the Port of Beirut.

Bitar’s choices lead to armed confrontations

Leaked reports in the media and from within the corridors of Lebanon’s Judiciary, instead deflected blame onto cabinet ministers and members of parliament (MPs), revealing that they would be arrested even before Bitar issued the summons. Furthermore, he has been quoted as saying that he wanted to fight, not avenge, the political class, which he did not deny in a press interview – thus, confirming the words attributed to him.

His behavior and the investigation’s bias has only reinforced suspicions against Bitar, who was expected, at the very least, to handle these processes and suspects impartially, and to display good faith by muzzling rumors and disinformation.

The judge’s questionable performance finally prompted supporters of Hezbollah, Marada, the Amal Movement, and members of professional organizations (lawyers, etc) to hold a protest in front of the Beirut Palace of Justice.

On 14 October, a peaceful demonstration by these groups was ambushed in Beirut’s Tayouneh neighborhood by far-right Lebanese Forces (LF) party gunmen. Rooftop sniper fire quickly escalated into an armed clash that killed seven Hezbollah and Amal supporters and injured dozens of others.

The Black Record of Samir Geagea

The attack could have easily spiraled into a civil war had it not been for Nasrallah’s public calls for restraint, which gave space for an investigation by army intelligence, under the supervision of the judiciary, that this week summoned LF leader Samir Geagea for interrogation. That case continues.

Judiciary and military responsibility for the explosives

Why has Bitar overlooked the judicial and military responsibilities for the ammonium nitrates and its storage at the port for seven years? Why does he persist in focusing his investigation on cabinet ministers and parliamentarians mainly, despite the fact that the explosion was primarily a security and judicial failure?

If the army had carried out its function, entrusted exclusively to Lebanon’s military under the country’s Weapons and Ammunition Law, by supervising the nitrate storage, destruction, or re-export, the devastating explosion would have been averted.

Similarly, if judges had done their job, a legally binding – not a political one – decision would have ensured the destruction or immediate exportation of the explosive materials from Warehouse 12 in the Port of Beirut.

Despite the negligence of his judicial colleagues, Judge Bitar has been noticeably timid about addressing their liabilities in the lead-up to the explosion. The politicization of his investigation has all but buried the legal distribution of responsibility – the truth, so to speak – for the blast.

The judges who escaped Bitar’s ‘judgement’

Gassanoff on Twitter: "المجرم القاضي جاد المعلوف هو المسؤول عن انزال  النيترات لمصلحة من أمر بانزالها او بطلب من من؟ من هنا يبدأ التحقيق مع  المجرم جاد المعلوف .هذا هو الصندوق الاسود…
Judge Jad Maalouf

To this day, the ‘guardians of justice’ continue to remain unaccountable. But the names of seven judges and a state attorney suspected of negligence have been identified as those most liable for the judiciary’s failings: Judges Jad Maalouf and Carla Shawah from the Beirut Urgent Matters Court, Ministry of Justice Judges Marwan Karkabi and Helena Iskandar, head of the Beirut Executive Department Mirna Kallab, government commissioner at the Military Court Judge Peter Germanos, Appeals Court Attorney General Ghassan Khoury, and state attorney Omar Tarabah.

Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces (ISF) had identified these judges in a report presented to Judge Bitar at the start of his investigation.

The judiciary’s responsibility in the blast has also been lost amid blanket local media focus on Lebanon’s political class since 17 October 2019, when a street ‘revolution’ arose in response to the country’s economic collapse. The prevailing trend in the country has been to lay all blame on the politicians and bankers who let this happen.

So there would be little fallout for Bitar if he took the easy path, focused on the easy ‘villains,’ and didn’t rock the boat with his judicial colleagues or Lebanon’s ‘neutral’ military establishment.

Bitar checked some boxes, but basically played softball with the judiciary.  As an example, he formally requested that the Cassation Court’s public prosecutor separately verify the negligence of Beirut Judges Maalouf and Shawah in order to charge them with the crime of probable intent, like the rest of the defendants in the case.

Although more than a year has passed since the blast investigation began, any action against the judges, or even checking their files or hearing their statements, has been delayed for months, although the role of one of them – Jad Maalouf – is critical.

Maalouf signed off on the decision to unload the ship’s ammonium nitrate cargo and appoint a judicial guard as the head of the port, Mohammad al-Mawla. After Mawla claimed that he did not hold the keys to the warehouse, Maalouf was supposed to appoint another judicial guard and establish a time period for guard duty, which did not happen. Bitar listened to the statements of Maalouf and Shawah as witnesses only, unlike others who he intends to prosecute. Why?

The file of the ammonium nitrate shipment had swung back and forth for years between the General Customs Directorate and Beirut Urgent Matters Judge Maalouf. Several letters were sent to the Director General of Customs Badri Daher to re-export the goods, but Judge Maalouf kept writing down the request and sending it to the Justice Ministry’s cases commission, which responded only once by approving the re-export.

Maalouf was assigned to transfer the ownership of the goods within a week, even though Article 13 of the UN’s Hamburg Convention permits the destruction of goods – and if they are hazardous, without transferring their ownership – without paying compensation to the owner. The Hamburg Convention, signed in 1978 and enforced in November 1992, is the UN’s ‘Hamburg Rules’ on cargo sea shipments that unified a legal system regulating the rights and obligations of shippers, carriers, and consignees under the contract of transport of goods by sea.

According to legal experts, Judge Maalouf should have ruled to destroy these highly dangerous materials based on both Article 13 of the Hamburg Convention as well as the provisions of paragraph 2 of Article 579 of the Lebanese Code of Civil Procedure; that is, without a request from anyone and regardless of the rights of their owners, who are not entitled to compensation for the destruction of hazardous goods.

Instead, four years were spent on issuing notifications, or requesting discussions on jurisdiction and the legality of selling or destroying the goods. If Judge Maalouf had taken the decision to destroy the ammonium nitrates immediately, Lebanon would have certainly avoided its destructive consequence last August.

The same reasoning applies to suspected Judge Shawah, who was referred to the prosecution with Maalouf, but judicial sources tell The Cradle that she has not received any document or review from anyone since she took over the ammonium nitrates case from Maalouf.

Judge Bitar has also asked the Appeals Court public prosecutor to verify the suspected negligence of Public Prosecutor Judge Khoury for authorizing the closing of the nitrates file. But Bitar did not do that for months, and until the day before, he believed that the Court of Cassation might recuse him based on the lawsuits submitted by the defendants and ministers accusing him of bias.

It appears that Bitar initially suspected Khoury of involvement in criminal activities that contributed to the death and injury of people and causing damage to public property as a result of the judge’s decision to shelve the State Security’s investigation report. Then, inexplicably, Judge Imad Qabalan, the Court of Cassation’s public prosecutor, decided those suspicions were unjustified and threw out Bitar’s inquiries by saying he considered “the report of the judicial investigator [Bitar] dated 24 September 2021 to be empty of any suspicions and does not prove fault in the job duties of Judge Khoury.”

The fourth and fifth judges, Helena Iskandar and Marwan Karkabi, who headed the Justice Ministry’s cases commission, are suspected of years of procrastinating before responding to the correspondence of the Director General of Customs and the Urgent Matters Judge. Although they received several letters, they responded only once by proposing to re-export the nitrates without following up on the case, which is one reason the ammonium nitrates remained in the heart of Beirut.

The sixth judge, Peter Germanos, was contacted by State Security investigators – when he was the government representative at the military court regarding the ammonium nitrate stores – to notify him about the high risk of these materials. But Germanos told them this case was not in the jurisdiction of the military prosecution because the Urgent Matters Judge had ruled to remove that material from Warehouse 12.

Although the issue is related to the Lebanese state’s national security and clearly falls within the jurisdiction of the Army Intelligence, Germanos decided that it is not within the powers of the Military Public Prosecution. Why?

Judge Germanos has denied on Twitter that he received any reports or minutes on the ammonium nitrates from the State Security or any other agency. Here, Bitar’s investigation needs to discover which side is telling the truth, bearing in mind that most communications between the judicial police and public prosecutor were conducted orally, over the phone, until written investigation minutes are stamped and referred to the Public Prosecution.

The seventh judge – Mirna Kallab, head of the Executive Department in Beirut – following correspondence from the Justice Ministry’s cases commission on the sale of the nitrates, was tasked specifically with appointing an inspections expert. A dispute emerged from the start between the Ministry of Works and the cases commission over who should pay the expert’s fees, which did not exceed 700,000 (approximately $467) Lebanese pounds.

Here, state attorney Omar Tarabah’s name appears for procrastinating for more than a year over correspondence related to paying the expert’s fees to inspect the Rhusos, the ship which transported the ammonium nitrate to the Port of Beirut.

In a nutshell, it is believed that the reason for Bitar’s leniency in holding negligent judges accountable for the Beirut blast is due to the prevailing conviction among judges of the need to protect and provide their colleagues with immunity, lest they next become scapegoats for the political class who would also wish to protect their colleagues with immunity.

Bitar should have refused to cater to the judiciary and military establishments, and made a beeline for whomever he suspected of negligence, regardless of their affiliations. Having failed to do so, this investigation is now a bust. Unless Bitar changes course and takes on these two protected institutions, only scapegoats will be charged for Lebanon’s deadliest explosion in history.

‘Israel’ Worried Hezbollah Could Deliver Weapons to Palestinians in the Occupied Territories

Dec 1 , 2021

By Staff, Agencies

‘Israel’ is worried that Hezbollah might be able to deliver weapons into the ‘Israeli’-occupied territories via the Lebanese border, in order to arm Palestinians from the 1948 lands with “high quality” weapons they can use in case of a future ‘Israeli’ war against them, a report from ‘Israeli’ Channel 12 claimed.

The Zionist regime’s police alleged in comments to Channel 12 that they’ve intercepted and seized 140 handguns and 20 assault rifles at the Lebanese border since the beginning of 2021, but they believe countless more weapons have successfully been delivered by Hezbollah to the depth of the occupied territories.

Sources further called the purported smuggled weapons a “strategic threat” to the Zionist entity.

Hezbollah MP: Lebanon Has Left the “Israeli” Era and Will Not Return To It

Nov 30, 2021

Translated by Al-Ahed News

The head of the Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc MP Mohamad Raad said, “We smell a coup against the Taif Agreement. This coup aims at reassuring the ‘Israeli’ enemy that the Lebanese people can’t face its aggression, so that it dictates its normalization and authoritarian policies and control even deciding the fate of our gas wealth in our territorial waters, as gas exploration is confined to certain companies of certain countries. Despite all this, we still talk about independence and sovereignty, but we are incapable of building one power facility that supplies Lebanon with power 24/7”.

Raad made the statement during the memorial ceremony held by Hezbollah on the 40th day on the passing of Martyr Muhammad Jamal Tamer.

He added, “Our national currency collapsed because it depends on foreign currency. Tomorrow, our policy will collapse because it also depends on foreign policies. If the Lebanese people want this, it’s up to them, but we are sacrificing our blood and souls to protect those who don’t know where there interest is in this period. Is it required that we commit suicide so that others are satisfied? We are keen to preserve the common living in this country; we want it to rule sovereignly and independently, and that its interests are in accordance with the aspirations, will, and national decision”.

“If anyone thinks that the equation has gone wrong and that the power balance became in the interest of the ‘Israeli’ axis and normalization and wants to turn against the Taif, we tell our people to pay attention to this miscalculation because Lebanon has gotten out of the ‘Israeli’ era and will not return to it; as all the methods of force that were used to twist the arm of the Resistance failed, and the sponsors of strife realized that the Resistance benefits from the national consensus on its role in Lebanon. So, let us not allow a faction of the Lebanese to undermine this consensus… The weapon of the Resistance has become on everyone’s lips, and media outlets have been bought in order to promote this issue,” Raad added.

Regarding the Tayouneh crime, Raad said, “What happened is not just a clash between the people of two areas, it’s rather a designed and planned aggression in order to cause a strife and to push people to fight among themselves and mess up the whole situation, so that the killer gives his credentials to the people who hired and pay him regionally or internationally”.

Raad concluded saying, “From now on and without wasting time and opportunities, let’s figure things out. Don’t let anybody drag you to a new civil war in order to impose on you a settlement with new balances of power, as long as people are open to each other and ready for dialogue, and as long as they appreciate their common interests and have no enemies but one enemy, which is still occupying our land”.

War of Words: ‘Israeli’ Defeat, Humiliation Finally Forthcoming

Nov 30, 2021

By Mohammad Youssef

Terminology and definitions have always been part of wars used by the West in general, and Washington and London in particular against resistance movements and freedom fighters.

Western governments orchestrate systematic misleading campaigns and spend billions of dollars to tarnish the resistance image and portray them as ‘terrorists, smugglers and drug traffickers.’

They depict them as groups that carry ‘illegal and criminal activities to introduce them to the public as groups of organized crime committers.’

This kind of baseless and unfounded accusations by the Western governments aims at justifying the use of violence reaching to killing the resistance operatives and activists whether political or military.

The whole issue emanates from the open and unabated support those governments pledge to ‘Israel.’

Both Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine fall under this category and they truly represent their people’s struggle against the ‘Israeli’ occupation.

Hezbollah has become a beacon of light and hope to tens of millions across the world after its success in resisting the occupation and inflicting successive defeats against it, thus bringing continuous victories and glory to the whole Umma.

Many Western governments have designated the party as a ‘terrorist entity’ following endless, heavy, and persistent ‘Israeli’ efforts and lobbying to this effect.

Hamas received equal treatment and faced the same tough measures for its continuous fight to protect the Palestinian people.

After many unsuccessful wars by the ‘Israelis’ to eradicate them, and after they emerged triumphant from their battles and become icons of hope to the people, the ‘Israelis’ started a restless campaign not only to tarnish their image, but to force laws and regulations all over the world to criminalize them so they can clamp their support and criminalize any support or any assistance they could receive and even to make any contact with them and their representatives as illegal.

Those measures reflect how hopeless ‘Israel’ has become because of the resistance in Palestine and Lebanon.

But no matter how hard they might try, it is evident that their sinister, unjust, and aggressive decisions will not bring them any positive result.

The Western governments who aided ‘Israel’ in its effort should be questioned held responsible by their people for their support to the number one terrorist and apartheid entity in the world nowadays.

The so called international community, especially the United Nations and human rights organizations bear equal responsibility in saying the truth and revealing the true face of ‘Israel.’

‘Israel’ should be ready to know that those resistance movements are not separated or fragmented, contrary, they are now in a real axis that stretches from Gaza to Sanaa.

Tens of millions of supporters believe in their choice and support their resistance.

Hundreds of thousands of trained military personnel are ready to join any war against ‘Israel’ as pronounced by the leaders of this axis.

They are also supported by governments and states that strongly believe in the cause.

The resistance movements in Palestine and Lebanon have proved their effectiveness in protecting their people and liberating lands.

However, although the ‘Israeli’ efforts and western support against Hezbollah and Hamas could help the Zionist entity gain some publicity, this can never change one letter in the dictionary of battle against occupation.

Our people and our Umma are more decisive than any time in the past to liberate their sacred lands and protect them. This has already been written, the ‘Israelis’ have only to wait and see how many defeats they will receive and how many victories the resistance will gain, and it is only a matter of time!

Hezbollah Will Continue Accumulating Weapons, Training Troops to Face Any Israeli War: Sheikh Qassem

November 27, 2021

Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem stressed on Saturday that the Resistance Party will continue accumulating weapons, training troops and augmenting military power to face any Israeli war.

Addressing the Arab Forum for Supporting the Palestinian Prisoners in the Israeli jails, Sheikh Qassem reiterated Hezbollah stance which backs the prisoners and condemns all the Zionist measures against them.

Sheikh Qassem indicated that supporting the Palestinian cause is the duty of all the liberals across the world, adding that the fall of the Israeli occupation is just a matter of time.

Sheikh Qassem also noted that some Lebanese parties reject the resistance weaponry in order to identify themselves with the Arab regimes normalizing ties with the Zionist entity.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

More on the topic

Crimes without Punishment – Ever

November 25, 2021

A protest against US military aid to Israel. (Photo: File)
– Jeremy Salt taught at the University of Melbourne, at Bosporus University in Istanbul and Bilkent University in Ankara for many years, specializing in the modern history of the Middle East. Among his recent publications is his 2008 book, The Unmaking of the Middle East. A History of Western Disorder in Arab Lands (University of California Press). He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle. 

What a chamber of horrors the third millennium has been so far in the Middle East, without even a quarter of it having passed.  Iraq, Syria and Yemen on a scale unimaginable even at the high point of imperialism in the 19th century. An estimated 300 children under five dying every day in Yemen from malnutrition, Palestinians shot dead in their occupied country every day, Lebanon and Syria slowly strangled by US sanctions, Iran threatened with military destruction and the revelation of yet another massacre by the US, in Syria, where “about” 70 women and children were killed at Baghuz by bombs dropped one after the other to make sure that no-one escaped.

There is no suggestion that anyone should be punished for yet another ‘mistake.’  This is where thousands of years of drawing up covenants to make the world a safer place have ended up:  back where we started,  the law of the jungle.

This is what the guardians of ‘western civilization’ have given to the world just in the past three decades:

Two wars on Iraq, the ‘cradle of civilization’ shattered by the cradle of a violent hamburger junk culture, millions killed or displaced. Libya, the most developed country in Africa, pulled up by its roots, uncounted thousands killed, the leader of its 1969 revolution slaughtered as Hillary Clinton cackled with glee like one of the witches around the cauldron in  Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’. Syria torn to pieces, ancient cities and markets destroyed, and half a million killed. In Yemen, more than 230,000 dead, with 43 percent of prematurely born babies dying because of the lack of medical equipment and a genocidal famine – 75 percent of children are suffering from acute malnutrition –  continuing even as fresh supplies of weaponry are dropped off in the Saudi kingdom by the US and Britain. Iran,  Syria and Lebanon targeted with economic sanctions: in occupied Palestine, in Syria and in Iran the Zionist state continues its murderous march through history.

Not one of the global criminals responsible for these massive crimes against humanity has been punished.  They play golf or roam the world picking up millions for their speaking engagements and their ‘philanthropic’ foundations. Not one word of contrition or remorse has been spoken by any of them for the lives they have ended or ruined. Not even the death of children has forced admission of guilt out of them.  Others have been punished for lesser crimes but not this gang. They are completely remorseless.

Imagine the reaction if these crimes were committed in Europe and white people were being slaughtered or driven out of their homes, out of their countries and drowning in their thousands as they tried to escape across the seas.

Well, between 1939-45 it did happen and those responsible were hanged at Nuremberg. We have no Nuremberg now but we do have an International Criminal Court (ICC) which does punish the architects of war crimes and crimes against humanity – as long as their skin is the right color. With the exception of pale-skinned Balkan Serbs charged after the breakup of Yugoslavia, all those hauled before the ICC have been brown or black.

The tsunami of death and destruction which began rolling across the region when Napoleon landed in Egypt in 1798 shows no sign of receding.  Almost no country from the Atlantic coast of West Africa down to the Arab Gulf has avoided being swamped by it and many have been swamped several times.

The prime beneficiary of all of the above in the past century has been the settler state implanted in Palestine after 1918. Israel is the heart and soul of US foreign policy. Indeed, US foreign policy is no more than the Stars and Stripes draped over the interests of the Zionist state.

Take Iran as an example. After the death of Ayatullah Khumayni, Presidents Rafsanjani and Khatami sought to repair relations with the US. They offered investment concessions, diplomatic rapprochement and a political pathway into a region of critical interest, central Asia. Iranian society is conservative and God-fearing, rather like the US itself, but as long as Rafsanjani and Khatami refused to drop Iran’s righteous defense of the Palestinians, nothing else counted. Even in the ‘moderate’ Khatami’s time, economic sanctions were tightened, paving the way for the election of the ‘hardliner,’ Mahmud Ahmedinejad.

The attempted strangulation of Iran and Syria through war, assassination and sanctions necessarily involves Lebanon, Hezbollah’s home base.  Since the 1980s Hezbollah has successfully fought off all attempts by Israel – backed to the hilt by the US of course –  to destroy it.  Far from being weakened, Hezbollah has gone from strength to strength, militarily and as a Lebanese political party. The lesson learned by the US and Israel is just that they have to try harder,  to tear Lebanon apart if that is what it takes to destroy Hezbollah.

The latest provocation through Israel’s agents took place in Beirut on October 14, in the predominantly Shia neighborhood of Chiyah, bordering predominantly Maronite Christian Ain Rummaneh, where the ‘bus massacre’ of 27 Palestinians on April 13, 1975, was the trigger pulled to start the civil war.

This time snipers positioned on rooftops shot at Amal and Hezbollah supporters as they moved towards the Palace of Justice in Al Tayouneh to hold a vigil calling for the removal of Tariq al Bitar as the judge appointed to investigate the Beirut port explosion on August 5, 2020, on the grounds that he is running a heavily politicized inquiry heading towards a preordained conclusion, that this was a crime committed by Hezbollah.

Holding Hezbollah or Syria responsible for the crimes they have not committed was first tried after the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in 2005. Initially, four ‘pro-Syrian’ generals were imprisoned for four years before an international tribunal took over the prosecution and released them for lack of evidence. It immediately pointed the finger at Hezbollah, eventually finding one person, Salim Ayyash, guilty of “involvement” on the sole basis of tapped phone calls made through communications networks known to have been completely penetrated and manipulated by the Zionist state.

The tribunal cleared Hezbollah’s leadership. What this actually means is that if the leadership did not order the assassination, no senior figure in the movement would have carried it out.   Nasrallah and Hariri had differences but a good working relationship and it is virtually unthinkable that Nasrallah would ever have sanctioned such a heinous act.

The only beneficiaries of this monstrous act were the US, Israel and their agents in Lebanon.  Syria was embarrassed internationally and had to withdraw its remaining forces from the Bika’a valley. Lebanon was thrown into the chaos that gave birth to the rise of the anti-Syrian/pro-Saudi, US and Israel March 14 alliance.

Hezbollah produced intercepted reconnaissance footage showing that Israel had been tracking Hariri with drones wherever he went for years and was flying an AWACS plane and another reconnaissance aircraft over Beirut at the precise time of the assassination.  One of its agents had been located at the scene of the killing only the day before.   None of this circumstantial evidence was ever followed up by the tribunal.    Israel and the US have shed buckets of blood in Lebanon over many decades, have between them committed the most atrocious crimes, but the tribunal never even considered them as suspects.

The snipers waiting on the top of apartment buildings in Tayouneh on October 14 killed seven people, one a woman shot dead in her own home. Not just on rooftops, however, but on the ground, the demonstrators were surrounded by militiamen waiting to ambush them with guns, knives and even rocks.   Despite denials by Samir Geagea (Ja’ja), the head of the fascist/sectarian Maronite Christian Lebanese Forces (LF), the armed men were clearly LF and acting on his orders.   Of the 19 arrested, several quickly implicated him.

Geagea is one of the most murderous individuals in Lebanese history, which says a lot given the bloody track record of many others. During the civil war (1976-1989) he killed rivals within his own Maronite Christian ranks as well as Palestinians and other enemies outside them.  In 1994 he was sentenced to four life sentences for the assassinations of former Prime Minister Rashid Karameh (1987), National Liberal Party leader Dany Chamoun (1990), Falangist (Kata’ib) head Elias al Zayek (1990) and the attempted assassination of Defence Minister Michel Murr (1991).  In 1978 he and Elie Hobeika, at the behest of Bashir Gemayel, then head of the Falangists, led 1200 men in an attack on the north Lebanon family home of Tony Frangieh, leader of the Maronite Marada (Giants) faction.  Geagea was wounded and had to be taken away before Frangieh, his wife and three-year-old daughter were killed.

In the 1990 attack, Dany Chamoun’s wife and two of his sons were also killed.   If there is any poetic justice in any of this shedding of blood – including entirely innocent blood – it lies in the 1982 assassination of Bashir Gemayel and the car bombing murder in 2002 of Elie Hobeika, Israel’s leading henchman in the Sabra and Shatila massacres of 1982.

Geagea himself served eleven years of four life sentences before being released under amnesty after the assassination of Hariri and allowed to take up the leadership of the LF. His brutality is a powerful weapon in the hands of Israel and the US, whose ambassador, Dorothy Shea, has been open in her interference in Lebanese politics.

US economic sanctions against Lebanon have one primary target, Hezbollah; one secondary target, Syria; and one-third target, Iran. How many Christians die defending ‘Christian Lebanon’ is not an issue for the US and Israel any more than the number of Muslims who die fighting them.  All they want is the chaos that will further their ambitions.  They tore Lebanon apart before and they will do it again, mercilessly, ruthlessly, callously, without a care for the innocent blood of thousands that will be shed.

Whatever cause Samir Geagea thinks he is serving, the piecemeal destruction of Lebanon, indeed of the entire Middle East, is primarily about the protection of Israel.  However, Israel is not as safe as it used to be or it might think it still is. It is confronted by enemies who have not backed off one meter from the struggle to liberate Palestine.  Israel has tried hard to destroy them. Up to now, it has failed, so it is getting ready to try again. While planning/contingency planning is a constant, Israel now appears to be actively preparing for a massive military strike that would target  Iran’s nuclear plants and missile capacity.

In September the Zionist chief of staff, Avi Kohavi, said plans for such a strike had been “greatly accelerated.” The military has been given an additional $1.5 billion to buy aircraft, drones and ‘bunker buster’ bombs that would probably include the USAF’s new 5000 lb. (2,267 kg.) GRU-72 Advanced 5k Penetrator, which would be aimed at Iran’s underground nuclear installations. Anticipating a simultaneous war with Hezbollah, Israel has also been carrying out extensive military exercises in northern occupied Palestine, coordinated with all emergency civil services to deal with an expected crisis on the domestic front once the missiles start falling. Israel is clearly planning for a big war, and can be expected to throw everything into this attempt to crush its principal enemies once and for all.

Unlike the white settlers in South Africa, the Zionist leadership sees no writing on the wall, no indications that history is not on their side even as it builds up against them.  No more than Netanyahu does Naftali Bennett have any intention of giving anything back to the Palestinians except the smallest fragments of municipal responsibility. Like Netanyahu, he sees no need to negotiate, no need to give anything away.  Why would he, when in the last resort Israel even has nuclear weapons to destroy its enemies? This is the question to which there can be no answer until the day comes when Israel faces the reality that even its conventional weapons are not sufficient to destroy its enemies.

All appearances to the contrary, unlimited US economic and military support has been a curse for Israel. It has created the illusion of power. Israel is like a plant with shallow roots. Only as long as the US keeps watering it, can the plant thrive. There is no permanent, unbreakable bond between states and all appearances to the contrary, there never will be between Israel and the US. Slowly, Americans are waking up and Israel’s incessant pleading is already beginning to fall on deaf ears, as the public becomes more aware of Israel’s criminality and as congressmen and women (mainly women) are emboldened to speak out. The time may come when the US can no longer afford Israel. The time may come when public opinion has changed to allow a US government to treat Israel as it treats other states.

US economic and military aid has had the same effect on Israel as steroids have on a bodybuilder. The 97-lb weakling is now the neighborhood bully swaggering down the street with pumped-up muscles. He smacks people around or they run in fright but Hezbollah and Iran are not running. They are standing firm and preparing to defend themselves. In any case, in the next war, Israel will take damage it has never experienced before, to the point where so many Jewish Israelis will just want to get out that Israel as a Zionist state is likely to crumble from within and die of its own contradictions.  Is this what it is going to take for peace to become possible?

من تدخل السياسة في القضاء إلى تدخل القضاء في السياسة

ناصر قنديل

في بداية التسعينات طرح بعض السياسيين سؤالاً عنوانه، هل أن أولوية الملف الأمني المتمثل بسحب الأسلحة وحل الميليشيات وإعادة توحيد الجيش، سيفتح الشهية الدولية نحو اعتبار الجيش حصان الرهان السياسي الأول، بحيث ننام ونصحو على تعاظم دور المؤسسة العسكرية، ونستعيد صورة الرؤساء الذين يلبسون البزة العسكرية، وعلى رغم تجاهل الكثير من السياسيين لهذه المعادلة، تقول وقائع ثلاثة عقود لما بعد اتفاق الطائف إن العسكر تصدروا الواجهة السياسية، فما كادت مفاعيل توحيد الجيش وحل الميليشيات تكتمل، حتى صار الرئيس المدني الياس الهراوي آخر الرؤساء الآتين من المجتمع السياسي، وصار الذين تناوبوا قبل الطائف وبعده على منصب قائد الجيش يدخلون إلى قصر بعبدا كرؤساء للجمهورية، ويبدو اليوم  أن الأميركيين الذي يعاقبون لبنان بعقوبات جماعية يؤكدون بما لا يقبل التأويل عزمهم على مواصلة الاستثمار على علاقتهم بالجيش، لكنهم يضعون لهذا الاستثمار سقفاً أمنياً لا سياسياً، ويتراجع السقف السياسي الذي كانت عليه الحال في السابق، فالعنوان السياسي الرئيسي في زمن المواجهة الأميركية مع المقاومة لا يتخذ عنوان الرهان على المواجهة العسكرية والأمنية، فالأميركي يسلم، كما قال الكثير من المسؤولين الأميركيين صراحة، بأن تعريض الجيش لمخاطر الزج به في مواجهة مع المقاومة، يفوق قدرة الجيش وقابليته للاستجابة، والحفاظ على تماسكه.

في السياسة طور الأميركيون مقاربتهم منذ 17 تشرين الأول 2019، واعتبروا أن عنوان مكافحة الفساد هو الأنسب لتقدم الأجندة الأميركية في مواجهة المقاومة، على رغم القناعة الأميركية بلا جدوى تجاوز اتهام المقاومة بالفساد من الشعار إلى التفاصيل بتقديم أي واقعة مكتملة تؤكد هذا الاتهام، بينما يمكن، كما أكد كثير من المسؤولين الأميركيين إلحاق الأذى بحلفاء المقاومة تحت هذا العنوان، ولو اقتضى الأمر إصابة عدد من حلفاء واشنطن، الذين أظهروا  بنظر واشنطن تخاذلاً في خوض المواجهة مع المقاومة بداعي الحرص على السلم الأهلي، وخرجت دراسات وتحليلات تتحدث عن تجديد الطبقة السياسية، بإنشاء مئات وآلاف منظمات المجتمع المدني في مناخ 17 تشرين والدفع بها إلى الواجهة السياسية، وجاءت العقوبات الأميركية على سياسيين ورجال أعمال لبنانيين تؤكد هذا المنحى، لكن دفع المعركة تحت عنوان الفساد لتجديد الطبقة السياسية، وبطريقة مستهدفة لحلفاء المقاومة وتقليص حضورهم السياسي، تستدعي إنهاض صف أمامي وخلفي في المستوى القضائي، يعيد إلى الواجهة السؤال الذي طرح في التسعينات بطريقة جديدة، هل نحن أمام زمن فتح الشهية الأميركية ومحاكاة الشهيات المحلية، وعلى أعتاب الاستحقاق الرئاسي، لنشهد مرشحين رئاسيين من القضاة، لكن بدلاً من شعار الجيش هو الحل، يتقدم شعار القضاء هو الحل؟

يريد البعض منا أن نصدق أن الفرصة التي وفرها انفجار مرفأ بيروت لتظهير الدور القضائي في مواجهة السياسيين تعبيراً عن انتفاضة الجسم القضائي على التدخلات السياسية، وتمسكاً باستقلال القضاء، الذي كان متهماً بالتقصير والاستنساب والتبعية الطائفية والسياسية، فهل حدث بين ليلة وضحاها أن نزل الوحي وتغيرت الصورة، وما يقوله حجم التصعيد القضائي تحت عنوان التضامن بين القضاة في كل تفاصيل قضية التحقيق في انفجار المرفأ، والمجازفة بمخاطر رفضت قيادة الجيش تحمل مثلها، جسدها ما ظهر من علامات الانقسام الطائفي في المجتمع وصولاً إلى الجسم القضائي نفسه، إن التذرع السابق بالضغوط التي يمارسها السياسيون كان استساغة يسلس عبرها القضاة النفس للمطالب السياسية طلباً للنفوذ والسلطة، ويعيدون فعلها اليوم بالتمرد على السياسة طلباً للتدخل فيها من باب أوسع، تتيحه النظرة الخارجية التي تدعو القضاء لملء الفراغ الناجم عن تراجع الجيش إلى الخلف، فيتقدم قضاة ليقولوا القضاء هو الحل، أي الرئاسة لقاض بدلاً من جنرال، ولا يمانعون من تدخل القضاة في السياسة تعويضاً عن زمن تدخل السياسة في القضاء.

يريد البعض القول إن هذا تحول إصلاحي ثوري يستحق التشجيع بمعزل عن المقدمات والظروف، التي يمكن وضعها في حسن التقاط اللحظة المناسبة لهذا الانقلاب، فلماذا التشكيك طالما أن هناك إجماعاً على أولوية مكافحة الفساد، وأن اللبنانيين ضاقوا ذرعاً بالسياسيين وعبروا عن ذلك في انتفاضة الغضب في 17 تشرين، ويردون السؤال بالقول، ولماذا تضع المقاومة نفسها كخط دفاع أمامي عن الطبقة السياسية سواء في مرحلة 17 تشرين، أو في مرحلة الملاحقات القضائية، والجواب بسيط، لكن بسؤال أيضاً، وهو لماذا يحجم القضاء عن فتح ملفات المصارف ومصرف لبنان، طالما جوهر النظام الفاسد يجد قلعته الحصينة في نظام الريع الذي يرعاه مصرف لبنان وتمثل المصارف قوته الضاربة، وطالما أن الثورة على الفساد وإثبات الأهلية لقيادة العمل الإصلاحي تبدآن من هنا، ومن دون هذا الشرط يصير المشهد واضحاً، إعادة تعويم النظام الريعي التابع والمستتبع برموز جديدة أشد طواعية واستعداداً للمجازفة بتعريض السلم الأهلي للخطر، وأكثر عدائية للمقاومة، وأشد طائفية، من القيادات الطائفية، مقابل الوصول للسلطة، فهل هذا إصلاح أم خراب؟

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“Australia Decision to Blacklist Hezbollah Humiliating Submission to US-Zionist Dictations”

November 25, 2021

Hezbollah denounced on Wednesday a decision by Australia to blacklist the entire organization, considering the move a “humiliating submission to the US-Zionist dictations.”

Hezbollah flag

In a statement, Hezbollah’s Media Relations Office firmly condemned Australian authorities’ decision.

The decision “is a humiliating submission to the US-Zionist dictations and a blind involvement that serves the Israeli interests and policy based on terror, murder and massacres.”

“This decision is like many others taken by biased Western states which stand against the people of this region and their just causes, as well as their right of liberty and independence,” the statement added.

The Resistance group, meanwhile, stressed that the move “will neither affect the morale of our loyal people in Lebanon nor that of the free people across the world.”

Hezbollah also underlined its “legitimate right” in defending Lebanon and supporting Resistance groups against Zionist aggression.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

المنازلة مع العدو داخل لبنان وعلى حدوده

الأربعاء 24 تشرين الثاني 2021

الأخبار

ابراهيم الأمين

«في خضم «معارك الأيام العشرة» في يوليو 1948: قال ديفيد بن غوريون: يجب أن تنتهي الحرب بمثل هذا القصف لدمشق وبيروت والقاهرة، حتى لا يعود لديهم أي رغبة في تحدّينا [في] الحرب وصنع السلام معنا. وأوضح أنه يجب أن نكتسب قلب العرب، وبطريقة واحدة فقط يمكننا تعليمهم احترامنا. إذا لم نقصف القاهرة فسيعتقدون أن بإمكانهم نسف تل أبيب».

(من محضر اجتماع 11 يوليو 1948، المحفوظ في أرشيف الكيان الإسرائيلي، دولة بأي ثمن – قصة حياة ديفيد بن غوريون، 2018, p.416).

قبلت إسرائيل بقواعد اللعبة مع حزب الله في لبنان. لا عمليات عسكرية أو حتى أمنية تؤدي إلى سقوط عناصر أو كوادر من الحزب. وقررت، بناء على ذلك، الطلب إلى أجهزتها العملانية، الاستخباراتية والتنفيذية، ابتداع وسائل تتيح لها تحقيق المطلوب من دون ترك أثر. لكنها أعطت نفسها حق القيام بما هو أكثر في ساحات أخرى. لدى العدو وحدة مستقلة تعمل على حزب الله. تطارده في لبنان وخارجه. في كل ساحة، تضع إسرائيل تصوراً خاصاً لمواجهة الحزب. وغالباً، يبرر العدو أعماله بـ«الإجراء الوقائي» لاعتقاد قيادة العدو بأن الحزب يسعى إلى إيقاع الضرر بإسرائيل، إما انتقاماً لعمليات اغتيال أو كرد على رسائل لا يعرف الجمهور الكثير عنها.

في سوريا والعراق ومناطق أخرى، يركز العدو على عمل أكثر مباشرة، لأن الخطر بالنسبة إليه في لبنان، يتعلق بعملية لوجستية – أمنية – عسكرية. بمعنى أدق، يسعى العدو إلى توجيه ضربات مباشرة للحزب في مجال تعزيز قدراته العسكرية ولا سيما الصاروخية منها. والتعديل الذي قبلت به إسرائيل، في سوريا كما في العراق، هو أنها ملزمة بعمليات «نظيفة». أي أن على قواتها تجنب التعرض لعناصر المقاومة أو كوادرها خلال أي عمل أمني أو عسكري. لذلك، يعمد العدو في حالات كثيرة إلى إبلاغ الروس مسبقاً أنه في صدد توجيه ضربة جوية إلى هذا الموقع أو تلك الآلية، ليتولى الروس إبلاغ السوريين أو الإيرانيين، أو حتى حزب الله مباشرة، لتجنّب وقوع خسائر بشرية. وفي حالات أخرى، يوجّه العدو طلقات تحذيرية لدفع عناصر الحزب إلى مغادرة مركز أو عربة قبل ضربها بقليل. ووصل الأمر في بعض الحالات إلى إيجاد وسائل اتصال تقني تتيح له الطلب من عناصر الحزب مغادرة نقطة معيّنة لأنها ستتعرض للضرب.

لكن، في كلا الحالتين، لا يمكن للعدو الوقوف مكتوف الأيدي إزاء ما يسميه «برنامج تعاظم القدرات لدى حزب الله»، كما هي الحال مع قوات الحرس الثوري الإيراني أو فصائل المقاومة العراقية في سوريا أو العراق، لأن لدى العدو برنامجاً آخر اسمه «منع تمركز إيران في المناطق القريبة». والعدو، هنا، يجبر نفسه على خيارات عملانية من النوع الصعب والمعقّد، بما في ذلك القيام بعمليات أمنية بالغة الحساسية خلف خطوط العدو لتوجيه ضربات مباشرة، نوعية أو وهمية. لكنه يقوم بما يريد من خلال إبلاغ إيران وحلفائها في المنطقة بأن إسرائيل لن تقف متفرجة على ما يحصل بالقرب منها.

إسرائيل تدعم الفتنة الداخلية لعجزها عن حرب واسعة والمقاومة ترفض الفتنة لكنها لن تكبّل نفسها بالصمت والموت


وإذا كان لدى العدو برنامج عمل يستهدف فقط ضرب المقاومة في لبنان أو سوريا أو العراق، أو حتى إيران، فإنه ينظر بقلق إلى تطورين بارزين في السنوات الأخيرة. الأول يتصل بواقع المقاومة في فلسطين وخصوصاً بعد معركة «سيف القدس» وتطور علاقة المقاومة في فلسطين مع محور المقاومة الذي تقوده إيران ويفعّله حزب الله. والثاني يتعلق بما يجري في اليمن. إذ يتصرف العدو بأن ما يحصل في هذا البلد ليس سوى عملية بناء لقدرات صار مضطراً لأن يضعها في الحسبان، ليس لكونها في يد قوة معادية فقط، بل لكون هذه القوة تعلن جهاراً أنها جزء من معركة تحرير فلسطين. أضف إلى ذلك أن العدو يعرف معنى أن يتحول اليمن قاعدة متماسكة في قلب محور المقاومة. وهو اكتشف، خلال مواجهة «سيف القدس»، أن «أنصار الله» في اليمن، اتخذوا خطوات عملانية وأبدوا استعداداً للدخول في الحرب متى اقتضى الأمر. ورصدت استخبارات العدو اتصالات بين فصائل المقاومة في لبنان وفلسطين وبين «أنصار الله» تضمّنت معطيات يدرك العدو أن فيها ما يؤذيه في ما لو دخل اليمنيون في الحرب. ولذلك، اضطر، للمرة الأولى منذ عقود طويلة، إلى إعادة تفعيل قيادة الجبهة الجنوبية التي أقفلت منذ الاتفاق مع مصر والأردن.

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عملياً، ليس بيد العدو اليوم سوى النظر في وسائل محاصرة المقاومة في لبنان وبقية المواقع. صحيح أن جيش الاحتلال لا يتوقف عن التدريب على حرب واسعة تشمل جبهات عدة، لكنه يتصرف بحذر شديد مع الجبهة الشمالية، وهو يعي تماماً أن قدرات المقاومة في لبنان أو سوريا أو حتى العراق ليست من النوع الذي يقارن بما هو موجود في قطاع غزة. كما أن الهشاشة التي ظهرت بها جبهته الداخلية جراء تساقط صواريخ المقاومة الفلسطينية في أيار الماضي، تشي بمخاطر لا قدرة له على ضبط نتائجها ولا حدودها، فكيف وهو مضطر لأن يتصرف على قاعدة أن المقاومة في لبنان يمكنها ليس فقط إطلاق الصواريخ بطرق مختلفة، بل استخدام أنواع من الأسلحة الفتاكة على أكثر من صعيد، إضافة إلى احتمال قيام المقاومة بعمل هجومي يستهدف السيطرة على مناطق في الجليل الأعلى، وهو ما لم يكن يعتقد بأنه سيأتي يوم يضطر للتعامل مع هذا الأمر كاحتمال حقيقي، وهذا ما يوجب على العدو اللجوء إلى وسائل أخرى في مواجهة المقاومة في قلب لبنان.

في هذا السياق، ينبغي النظر إلى جانب من الأزمة اللبنانية. صحيح أن المشكلة هنا لا تتعلق حصراً بالمساعي الإسرائيلية، وأن اللبنانيين عموماً، وبينهم حلفاء للمقاومة، يتحملون مسؤولية الخراب الداخلي. لكن ما يجب عدم التغافل عنه، ولو رفض لبنانيون ذلك، هو أن سعي مجموعات لبنانية، بدعم من دول عربية وجهات غربية، لأن يكون ملف المقاومة هو عنوان المواجهة الداخلية، لا يمكن عزله عن المشروع الإسرائيلي. ولا ضير هنا من اتهام هذه المجموعات بأنها تقوم بعمل يخدم فعلياً العدو، ويجب قول هذا الكلام صراحة حتى ولو اعتبره البعض اتهاماً له بالخيانة، علماً أن «لاجئي الإمارات» من اللبنانيين توقفوا عن الخداع والمداراة وصاروا يتحدثون علناً عن «خطأ عدم اللحاق بركب السلام مع إسرائيل».

وفق هذا المنطق، يجب النظر إلى المرحلة الجديدة من المواجهة الداخلية القائمة، سواء في ما خص عمل الحكومات أو الانتخابات النيابية أو السياسات الاقتصادية والمالية، وصولاً إلى العلاقات الخارجية للبنان. والجديد هنا، أنه مثلما لا يهتم الأميركيون والغربيون وبعض العرب بالعمل في وضح النهار ضد المقاومة، مستفيدين من وجود مرتزقة لبنانيين يطلقون على أنفسهم ألقاباً تحت مسمى السياديين، فإن على هؤلاء الأخذ في الاعتبار أن المقاومة باتت مضطرة للتشهير بهم علناً، وأن هذا التشهير لا يمكن وضعه في خانة التحضير لعمل أكبر، لكنه إجراء بديهي وعادي إزاء من يعمل على تهيئة المناخ لحروب أهلية جديدة في لبنان. ومثلما تتمسك المقاومة بخيارها تحمل الضغوط وعدم الانجرار إلى حرب أهلية، فهي تتمسك بحقها في الدفاع عن نفسها في مواجهة هذه المجموعات ومشغّليها بمعزل عن طبيعتها وعناوينها وحجمها وطريقة عملها.

لبنان اليوم مقبل على مستوى جديد من المواجهة. وإذا كان بيننا من يستعد لمغامرات متجاهلاً حقائق التاريخ، فإن بيننا أيضاً من يهتم للحفاظ على مكتسبات معارك التحرير في الجنوب وسوريا وحتى الداخل. وهذا الاهتمام بات يوجب علينا، في لحظة الحسم، الاستعداد للمنازلة الكبرى مع هؤلاء، بقسوة لا تقودنا حتماً إلى المواجهة التي يريدون. إنها لعبة تتطلب، إلى جانب الهدوء والصبر، الكثير من الحكمة والذكاء والفعالية، وهي عناصر خبرناها مرات ومرات عند المقاومة وجمهورها خلال أربعة عقود، ولا نزال.

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Sayyed Safieddine: US Policies Are Suffocating the Lebanese

Nov 23, 2021

By Staff

The head of Hezbollah’s Executive Council, His Eminence Sayyed Hashem Safieddine, is blaming Washington’s malign activates for the deteriorating situation in Lebanon.  

“The most important causes behind the problems that Lebanon is enduring are the policies of the United States, especially that the banks are under US control, and the Lebanese economic system is a system affiliated with it. The tragedies that occurred throughout the past decades were under the watch and supervision of American policies. Despite that, America came to exert pressure.” Sayyed Safieddine said. “Instead of Washington helping find a solution, it pressured to suffocate the Lebanese.”

In his speech during a memorial ceremony held in the Husseiniya of the Lebanese southern town of Deir Qanoon Al-Nahr, Sayyed Safieddine warned that “we are facing many challenges in Lebanon today at the financial, economic, and political levels, and there are successive calamities. Therefore, whoever loses the standard and the balance is lost, while the matter remains clear to whoever does not lose both of them.”

“Things have been clear to us since the beginning of this crisis, which has exacerbated further. We diagnosed the disease and the medicine, but the problem is not with us, and we alone are not able to administer the medicine to this country at the level of solving its economic, social, and living problems. Rather, we diagnosed the problem and said what is required. But if others do not share with us, then survival, success, and a transition from this bad state to something better cannot be written for this country.”

Sayyed Safieddine believes that “these crises will end after a while, and this stems from our experience, faith, and understanding of these crises, but the important thing is that we work to reduce losses and find appropriate solutions, and this is the fundamental point of contention between us and others.”

“To this day, we feel that they have not been guided to the right path and are still following a path that does not lead anywhere and does not produce results, and we cannot anticipate a solution.”

Sayyed Safieddine stressed that “the American delegations that come to Lebanon want to draw an imaginary line for the solution for the Lebanese to follow. By doing so, they abandon their positions of strength, whether in the resistance, or in oil, or in any subjective economic future that Lebanon can build. After the Lebanese give up on this, they tell them that this is the way, which is in fact an imaginary path that does not lead to any solution.”

“If America really wants to solve the problem in Lebanon, it must leave the Lebanese oil to the Lebanese, not work for the ‘Israelis’, and stop its pressure [on Lebanon], including the sanctions, as well as on the countries that could have helped the Lebanese. What it did regarding dragging Egyptian gas to Lebanon through Syria was a reaction to bringing Iranian diesel to Lebanon.”

His Eminence pointed out that “we cannot trust America, its words, its actions, or the visits of its officials, and we advise those who follow America and its policies and even those who are slaves to it and its embassy to stop believing in false hopes. Those who previously bet on America with regard to Lebanon talked about how it abandoned them in the fifties and sixties, and those who depended on it today are living in anxiety and fear.”

He stressed that “some Arab and Gulf countries such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia are thinking about the future. They are saying that America is not the country they once knew because whoever left Afghanistan and its allies there like this cannot be trusted. Therefore, America’s historical allies in the region are worried about its policies and are afraid of a future based on these policies.”

His Eminence made it clear that “America does not want to find a solution in Lebanon and does not want to help solve it. The US statements are clear. They are waiting for the parliamentary elections, and if the result is satisfactory for them, then they will think of some way to open the doors but with conditions, and if they do not get the outcome they want from the elections, they will have another position.”

String of pearls: Yemen could be the Arab hub of the Maritime Silk Road

November 22, 2021

With an Ansarallah takeover of Yemen, Asia’s trade and connectivity projects could expand into some of the world’s most strategic waterways

By Pepe Escobar, posted with the author’s permission and cross-posted with TheCradle

https://media.thecradle.co/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/a.jpg

The usual suspects tried everything against Yemen.

First, coercing it into ‘structural reform.’ When that didn’t work, they instrumentalized takfiri mercenaries. They infiltrated and manipulated the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), ISIS. They used US drones and occasional marines.

And then, in 2015, they went Total Warfare: a UN-backed rogue coalition started bombing and starving Yemenis into submission – with barely a peep from the denizens of the ‘rules-based international order.’

The coalition – House of Saud, Qatar, UAE, US, UK – for all practical purposes, embarked on a final solution for Yemen.

Sovereignty and unity were never part of the deal. Yet soon the project stalled. Saudis and Emiratis were fighting each other for primacy in southern and eastern Yemen using mercenaries. In April 2017, Qatar clashed with both Saudis and Emiratis. The coalition started to unravel.

Now we reach a crucial inflexion point. Yemeni Armed Forces and allied fighters from Popular Committees, backed by a coalition of tribes, including the very powerful Murad, are on the verge of liberating strategic, oil and natural gas-rich Marib – the last stronghold of the House of Saud-backed mercenary army.

Tribal leaders are in the capital Sanaa talking to the quite popular Ansarallah movement to organize a peaceful takeover of Marib. So this process is in effect the result of a wide-ranging national interest deal between the Houthis and the Murad tribe.

The House of Saud, for its part, is allied with the collapsing forces behind former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, as well as political parties such as Al-Islah, Yemen’s Muslim Brotherhood. They have been incapable of resisting Ansarallah.

A repeat scenario is now playing in the western coastal port of Hodeidah, where takfiri mercenaries have vanished from the province’s southern and eastern districts.

Yemen’s Defense Minister Mohammad al-Atefi, talking to Lebanon’s al-Akhbar newspaper, stressed that, “according to strategic and military implications…we declare to the whole world that the international aggression against Yemen has already been defeated.”

It’s not a done deal yet – but we’re getting there.

Hezbollah, via its Executive Council Chairman Hashim Safieddine, adds to the context, stressing how the current diplomatic crisis between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia is directly linked to Mohammad bin Salman’s (MbS) fear and impotence when confronted with the liberation of strategic Marib and Hezbollah’s unwavering support for Yemen throughout the war.

A fabricated ‘civil war’

So how did we get here?

Venturing beyond the excellent analysis by Karim Shami here on The Cradle, some geoeconomic background is essential to understanding what’s really going on in Yemen.

For at least half a millennium before the Europeans started to show up, the ruling classes in southern Arabia built the area into a prime hub of intellectual and commercial exchange. Yemen became the prized destination of Prophet Muhammad’s descendants; by the 11th century they had woven solid spiritual and intellectual links with the wider world.

By the end of the 19th century, as noted in Isa Blumi’s outstanding Destroying Yemen (University of California Press, 2018), a “remarkable infrastructure that harnessed seasonal rains to produce a seemingly endless amount of wealth attracted no longer just disciples and descendants of prophets, but aggressive agents of capital seeking profits.”

Soon we had Dutch traders venturing on terraced hills covered in coffee beans clashing with Ottoman Janissaries from Crimea, claiming them for the Sultan in Istanbul.

By the post-modern era, those “aggressive agents of capital seeking profits” had reduced Yemen to one of the advanced battlegrounds of the toxic mix between neoliberalism and Wahhabism.

The Anglo-American axis, since the Afghan jihad in the 1980s, promoted, financed and instrumentalized an essentialist, ahistorical version of ‘Islam’ that was simplistically reduced to Wahhabism: a deeply reactionary social engineering movement led by an antisocial front based in Arabia.

That operation shaped a shallow version of Islam sold to western public opinion as antithetical to universal – as in ‘rules-based international order’ – values. Hence, essentially anti-progressive. Yemen was at the frontline of this cultural and historical perversion.

Yet the promoters of the war unleashed in 2015 – a gloomy celebration of humanitarian imperialism, complete with carpet bombing, embargoes, and widespread forced starvation – did not factor in the role of the Yemeni Resistance. Much as it happened with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The war was a perverse manipulation by US, UK, French, Israeli and minions Saudi, Emirati and Qatari intel agencies. It was never a ‘civil war’ – as the hegemonic narrative goes – but an engineered project to reverse the gains of Yemen’s own ‘Arab Spring.’

The target was to return Yemen back to a mere satellite in Saudi Arabia’s backyard. And to ensure that Yemenis never dare to even dream of regaining their historic role as the economic, spiritual, cultural and political reference for a great deal of the Indian Ocean universe.

Add to the narrative the simplistic trope of blaming Shia Iran for supporting the Houthis. When it was clear that coalition mercenaries would fail to stop the Yemeni Resistance, a new narrative was birthed: the war was important to provide ‘security’ for the Saudi hacienda facing an ‘Iran-backed’ enemy.

That’s how Ansarallah became cast as Shia Houthis fighting Saudis and local ‘Sunni’ proxies. Context was thrown to the dogs, as in the vast, complex differences between Muslims in Yemen – Sufis of various orders, Zaydis (Houthis, the backbone of the Ansarallah movement, are Zaydis), Ismailis, and Shafii Sunnis – and the wider Islamic world.

Yemen goes BRI

So the whole Yemen story, once again, is essentially a tragic chapter of Empire attempting to plunder Third World/Global South wealth.

The House of Saud played the role of vassals seeking rewards. They do need it, as the House of Saud is in desperate financial straits that include subsidizing the US economy via mega-contracts and purchasing US debt.

The bottom line: the House of Saud won’t survive unless it dominates Yemen. The future of MBS is totally leveraged on winning his war, not least to pay his bills for western weapons and technical assistance already used. There are no definitive figures, but according to a western intel source close to the House of Saud, that bill amounted to at least $500 billion by 2017.

The stark reality made plain by the alliance between Ansarallah and major tribes is that Yemen refuses to surrender its national wealth to subsidize the Empire’s desperate need of liquidity, collateral for new infusions of cash, and thirst for commodities. Stark reality has absolutely nothing to do with the imperial narrative of Yemen as ‘pre-modern tribal traditions’ averse to change, thus susceptible to violence and mired in endless ‘civil war.’

And that brings us to the enticing ‘another world is possible’ angle when the Yemeni Resistance finally extricates the nation from the grip of the hawkish, crumbling neoliberal/Wahhabi coalition.

As the Chinese very well know, Yemen is rich not only in the so far unexplored oil and gas reserves, but also in gold, silver, zinc, copper and nickel.

Beijing also knows all there is to know about the ultra-strategic Bab al Mandab between Yemen’s southwestern coast and the Horn of Africa. Moreover, Yemen boasts a series of strategically located Indian Ocean ports and Red Sea ports on the way to the Mediterranean, such as Hodeidah.

Photo Credit: The Cradle

These waterways practically scream Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and especially the Maritime Silk Road – with Yemeni ports complementing China’s only overseas naval base in Djibouti, where roads and railways connect to Ethiopia.

The Ansarallah–tribal alliance may even, in the medium to long term, exercise full control for access to the Suez Canal.

One very possible scenario is Yemen joining the ‘string of pearls’ – ports linked by the BRI across the Indian Ocean. There will, of course, be major pushback by proponents of the ‘Indo-Pacific’ agenda. That’s where the Iranian connection enters the picture.

BRI in the near future will feature the progressive interconnection between the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – with a special role for the port of Gwadar – and the emerging China–Iran corridor that will traverse Afghanistan. The port of Chabahar in Iran, only 80 km away from Gwadar, will also bloom, whether by definitive commitments by India or a possible future takeover by China.

Warm links between Iran and Yemen will translate into renewed Indian Ocean trade, without Sanaa depending on Tehran, as it is essentially self-sufficient in energy and already manufactures its own weapons. Unlike the Saudi vassals of Empire, Iran will certainly invest in the Yemeni economy.

The Empire will not take any of this lightly. There are plenty of similarities with the Afghan scenario. Afghanistan is now set to be integrated into the New Silk Roads – a commitment shared by the SCO. Now it’s not so far-fetched to picture Yemen as a SCO observer, integrated to BRI and profiting from Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) packages. Stranger things have happened in the ongoing Eurasia saga.

Strategic Insight Into The Russian-Israeli-Syrian Triangle

21 NOVEMBER 2021

Source

Strategic Insight Into The Russian-Israeli-Syrian Triangle

OneWorld is publishing the full text of the interview that Andrew Korybko gave to Giorgio Cafiero on this topic, some excerpts of which the latter included in his recent article for Inside Arabia titled “Israel’s Working Relationship with Russia Inside Syria”.

1. What does Russia believe it can get for itself through cooperation with Israel in relation to Syria?

Russia and Israel agreed to a deconfliction mechanism in September 2015 shortly before the onset of the former’s intervention in Syria. The two sides hoped to mitigate the risk of midair incidents since Moscow bombs forces that it and Damascus regard as terrorists while Israel does the same, albeit the latter strikes Syria’s IRGC and Hezbollah allies that were invited into the country but which Tel Aviv regards as latent national security threats. Neither wants to clash with the other since that could dramatically escalate regional tensions. Moreover, Russia and Israel have excellent relations, particularly proven by the fact that Tel Aviv declined to sanction Moscow in solidarity with its Western allies all these years.

Russia officially condemns Israel’s strikes from time to time but hasn’t ever taken any action to stop them, whether directly or indirectly. The second-mentioned observation gained extra credence in recent years after Syria has thus far failed to use the S-300s that it belatedly received from Russia in late 2018 after the incident near Latakia that President Putin described as a tragic chain of circumstances. Even though Russia also officially acknowledges the legality and anti-terrorist purposes of the IRGC and Hezbollah’s presence in Syria, some argue that the Kremlin might discretely be hoping for Damascus to request their dignified but phased withdrawal (in this context, under the duress of Israeli airstrikes) as part of a compromise solution for ending the war.

2. To what extent is Russian-Israel cooperation vis-à-vis Syria problematic for Moscow’s relationship with Tehran?

Russia and Iran both fight against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh and other terrorist groups in Syria, but the first-mentioned mostly does so through the air and via the sharing of tactical intelligence to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) while the second joins the SAA and their shared Hezbollah allies in on-the-ground battles. Moscow and Tehran therefore have the same interest in supporting Damascus, but they seemingly differ over their post-war vision for the country. The Kremlin believes that a series of mutual compromises is needed by all parties of the conflict while the Islamic Republic’s implied stance is that its Arab ally doesn’t necessarily have to concede anything to those whom it doesn’t regard as its political equals.

Even though Russia isn’t directly involved in Israel’s strikes, Iran and Hezbollah might not be happy that Moscow doesn’t ever tip them off when it’s informed of these attacks ahead of time per the reported protocol connected with their deconfliction mechanism. There might also be some questions about why Syria hasn’t yet used its Russian-supplied S-300s that were belatedly shipped to the country after the September 2018 incident for the reported purpose of deterring what was described at the time as further irresponsible Israeli behavior. Since then, Israel has continued to strike Syria, with Damascus only targeting its incoming missiles and not using the S-300s or other anti-air defense systems to strike the attacking jets themselves like many earlier expected.

3. Does Bashar al-Assad’s government believe that Russia can pressure Israel in ways which suit the interests of Damascus?

It’s unlikely that Syria seriously has those expectations, and in the off chance that it did, they’re unrealistic. The power dynamic actually seems to be the inverse: Israel believes that Russia can pressure Syria when it comes to requesting Iran and Hezbollah’s withdrawal. Moscow doesn’t want to take sides since it has great relations with both, albeit of a different nature and strategic impact with respect to advancing its interests, hence why it’s hitherto sat back and passively let everything unfold between them as it has.

Nevertheless, it’s precisely this passivity in spite of occasional condemnations of Israeli strikes that can be interpreted as tacitly advancing Tel Aviv’s interests since Moscow doesn’t do anything to stop its attacks against the IRGC and Hezbollah, not directly nor indirectly as was earlier explained. This leads some to wonder whether Russia discretely prefers for Israeli strikes to function as a form of pressure for getting Syria to request Iran and Hezbollah’s withdrawal as part of a larger regional compromise that the Kremlin might hope to broker.

4. What are Israel’s incentives to work with Russia? Is there any good reason for Israelis to believe that Russia will act against Iranian influence/power in Syria?

There’s a massive Russian diaspora living in Israel that has gradually come to command sizeable influence in society and some parts of the permanent bureaucracy, including the formulation of foreign policy. President Putin is also very well respected in Israel for his resolute opposition to anti-Semitism, fascism, and historical revisionism connected to World War II. Furthermore, as an influential Great Power that’s returned to West Asia with its Syrian intervention and is nowadays considered the kingmaker for resolving that country’s crisis, Israel has every reason to pragmatically expand its relations with Russia, especially since this could give it some leverage to better balance its historical relationship with the US.

Nevertheless, Israelis shouldn’t have any unrealistic expectations about Russia directly acting against Iranian influence in Syria. Doing so would risk undermining Moscow’s anti-terrorist campaign there as well as its bilateral relations with the Islamic Republic which are important for maintaining stability in the South Caucasus, Caspian Sea, and Afghanistan. The most that Russia is seemingly willing to do is “passively facilitate” regular Israeli strikes against the IRGC and Hezbollah by not interfering with them per the reported conditions of the September 2015 deconfliction agreement and speculatively not authorizing Syria to use the S-300s and other anti-air defense systems for targeting attacking Israeli jets (which could escalate tensions), which is still a lot.

Now that Lebanon Has Gas and Oil, It Is a Must to Protect Them from US Blackmail and “Israeli” Greed

Nov 20, 2021

Now that Lebanon Has Gas and Oil, It Is a Must to Protect Them from US Blackmail and “Israeli” Greed

By Mohammad Yossef

Beirut – Although our country is suffering from an unprecedented crisis on many levels; Lebanon has a huge potential to rid itself from its multifaceted dilemma.

Gas and petroleum are two precious commodities that not only could treat our dire situation and preserve it from collapse, but rather open new horizons and chances to put it on the track of stability and prosperity.

Studies conducted in Lebanese economic zone suggests the presence of immense quantities of oil and gas. Estimates indicate the presence of at least 100 trillion cubic feet of gas and 900 million barrels of oil. Lebanon has not started any exploration activities so far, because of the American pressure.

However, this Lebanese fortune that is abundantly present in our sea, adjacent to occupied Palestine has its obstacles and hurdles that stem from our enemy, “Israel” and its greedy appetite to steal our natural resources of every kind.

Washington has used every method possible to make Lebanon bow down to its pressure and surrender to its proposals; the US blackmail and dictations want simply to give the larger proportion of gas and oil present in the disputed maritime area to the “Israeli” entity. 

Lebanon is locked in a dispute with the apartheid entity over an area in the Mediterranean Sea spanning about 860 square kilometers [some 332 square miles], known as Zone No. 9, which is very rich with oil and gas, as already mentioned.

The American administration wants to ignore all the laws and regulations that govern disputed maritime issues and subjugate Lebanon to its view.

Not only that, Washington is preventing Lebanon from digging or exploring the areas to make accurate estimations about the quantities it has. No international company dares to break American embargo over this because it would be on US sanctions list.

“Israeli” enemy government has signed a contract with US giant company Halliburton to carry explorations and drilling in the disputed maritime area.

For its part, Lebanon’s position so far is firm and consistent, Lebanese President General Michel Aoun demanded the “Israeli” entity to halt exploration in the disputed offshore gas field on its southern border.

“Lebanon is within its rights to evolve its position according to its interest and as suitable under international law,” Aoun said.

He also “demanded international experts… draw the line according to international law,”

Hezbollah also warned the “Israeli” enemy from any attempt to steal Lebanon oil or gas and expressed readiness to deal with any violation properly.

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah stated in many occasions that the Resistance would not tolerate any “Israeli” drilling from the disputed maritime area before an agreement is concluded with the Lebanese government.

The discovery of gas and oil would change the whole situation in Lebanon and advance it forward to a better position, it would certainly help Lebanon achieve higher energy security and help improving the industrial, transportation and electricity sectors.

If properly exploited, the oil and gas discovery will have a very positive impact on the Lebanese public finances and on the horribly deteriorating economy as a whole. This will benefit not only public sectors like electricity and transportation and increase public revenues but will also help in reducing the cost of all local industrial goods and services and help the country to come out of its worst crisis ever.

MORE ON THIS TOPIC:

The Political Segment from Sayyed Nasrallah’s Speech on the Birth Anniv. of Prophet Muhammad [PBUH]

Nov 20, 2021

The Political Segment from Sayyed Nasrallah’s Speech on the Birth Anniv. of Prophet Muhammad [PBUH]

Tranlstaed by Staff, Hezbollah Media Relations

The political segment from the speech of Hezbollah’s Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah at the festival held by the party marking the Prophet’s birthday and the Islamic Unity Week at the Ashura courtyard in Beirut’s southern suburbs.

1- Palestine:

The first file we will be talking about which is our priority as followers of the Messenger of God is Palestine, the point of consensus in this ummah. There is no disagreement about this. The Shiites, the Sunnis, and other Muslims are united on this file.

Here, we repeat and remind you of the responsibility. There are oppressed people in Palestine that are suffering from a siege and a suffocating livelihood crises and from very pressing humanitarian issues, including that of the detainees and their families, for example, and that of the displaced inside and outside the country – because there are displaced inside Palestine and outside. There is an occupied land and sanctities that have been violated – Islamic and Christian sanctities. No free person, not just a Muslim, any reasonable human being with feelings and instinct cannot say that this isn’t their concern. Let alone if this person is a Muslim. He cannot say that he is not concerned about this. We in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Hijaz, Yemen, and everywhere are concerned.

There are new theories that say that each person should be concerned with his country only. However, this is not a validation for interfering in the internal affairs of others. This is an occupied land whose people are persecuted and oppressed and their sanctities violated. To make matters worse, the enemy poses a threat to all neighboring countries, people in the region, and the nation. So, we must not say, for example, that this is not our concern and that we are neutral. The values that the Messenger of God called for say that we must bear a responsibility towards Palestine – if you cannot fight, you can spend money. Today the resistance in Palestine needs money – the steadfastness of the Palestinian people in their land in light of the stifling living crises, the unemployment crisis, the siege, and the crisis of temptations to buy land, which unfortunately are now assisted by merchants from Arab countries who deceive people. Those who have money should give. It is not mustahab.

This is part of the battle. If you do not have [the ability to support with] money, weapons, or taking part in fighting, you can have a position – show your support and do not turn your back as a result of flimsy pretexts, as is happening now in much of the Arab world. They abandoned Palestine and the Palestinian people. They began looking for the “Israelis’” right to the land of Palestine and talk about the “Israeli” society as an oasis of peace, etc. This is very unfortunate and very sad. Can you take a position? Your duty is to take a stand at a time when there is television and radio. However, today there is social media. Everyone has radio or television set. This is an influential matter. No one is saying that this is ineffective, but silence toward what is happening in Palestine is not right. We can never be silent. If you cannot speak out in a certain country, then do it in your heart – hate this enemy and to deny this occupation, this aggression, this injustice, and this violation.

Today, brothers and sisters, America and some Arab regimes want to destroy and eliminate this hatred and denial in the heart by our Arab and Islamic people, which is the weakest of faith, through normalization – we must love “Israel”, not only to recognize it but also to embrace it and love it, organize poetry for it and recognize its rights. Is this not what is happening today in some countries in our Arab and Islamic world. That is also why today this is one of the most important battles that must be fought. All of us can fight it, even as an individual, who does not belong to a party, movement, organization, group, current, faction, etc.

Each one alone can fight this battle in the face of normalization by boycotting and expressing positions or opinions. Let us take Bahrain, for example. Bahraini scholars issued statements of condemnation regarding what the Bahraini authority is doing with the “Israeli” enemy, in terms of relations, normalization, and opening embassies. They wrote their names in it even though they may be threatened with arrest and persecution. They did that anyways. A few days ago, we saw Bahraini youths taking to the street to denounce the visit of the enemy’s foreign minister and the opening of an “Israeli” embassy in Manama. They were suppressed, beaten, and arrested. They know the conditions of the detainees and the torture they are subjected to.

Despite their suffering, the Yemenis insist on supporting Palestine. They demonstrate and donate money for it. They declare their readiness even before the celebration of the Prophet’s birthday – the leader of Ansarullah declares his readiness once again to be part of the regional equation that protects Al-Quds and the holy sites in Palestine. This is an expression of commitment to duty and responsibility. This is the prophetic spirit. This is belonging to the Messenger of God.

We also find this in many countries in the Arab and Islamic world. A conference for normalization that was held in Erbil was meant to feel the pulse and was the beginning. If people were silent about it, normalization in Iraq would have passed. But the Sunni and Shiite religious authorities, Shiite and Sunni scholars, and the rest of the sects, political parties, resistance factions, clans, and tribes from the south to Anbar took a sharp, decisive, and harsh stance. The official and judicial position was also excellent. They cut off sedition from the start, and this was meant to feel the pulse. If the Erbil conference had passed without official, popular, scholarly, and religious reactions, other conferences would have followed. But now, the issue is different. Therefore, this battle must also be fought – for people to bear the consequences of standing by Palestine as the Islamic Republic in Iran, Syria, and others are bearing. This is one of the duties, one of the simplest duties that we must accept and coexist with. This is one file.

2- Yemen:

Also, it is our responsibility to talk about another file in a few words. I will mention all the files in a couple of words. The Yemen file.

From the beginning, we made a position. We said that these people are oppressed and assaulted. It’s been seven years since this aggression. The criminal or the wrongdoer in the Arab and Islamic world are those who stand by these oppressed people and condemn the aggression. Therefore, we are the ones who are wrong, and the actions of others are right. Therefore, we must be held accountable for this wrongdoing. This is absolutely not right. Isn’t this the responsibility of the Islamic peoples, Muslim scholars, Islamic movements, the Islamic nation, and indeed all the free people of the world in the face of this bloody war that has been going on for seven years?

The Security Council and the international community are talking about the will of the people. A few days ago, in the Yemeni capitals, major cities, and governorates that are with Ansarullah and with the Sana’a government, we saw huge demonstrations of millions, hundreds of thousands – describe them the way you wish – regardless of them celebrating the Prophet’s birthday. These people were expressing popular will and a popular position. Shouldn’t this popular will be respected? Who are concerned about the Yemeni people? These are the Yemeni people, who attended the demonstration in their millions in some cities and in the hundreds of thousands in others under the banner of this leader and this jihadi faith movement. Shouldn’t the will of these people be respected?

Thus, instead of condemning the victim, the world and the UN Security Council must work to put pressure on the powers, on America, on Saudi Arabia, and on the others – the forces that are continuing to wage the war and aggression? On the other hand, those who are saying that these brothers do not want to stop the war are wrong. They really want to stop the war, meaning a cease-fire and the lifting of the siege. However, a cease-fire and the continuation of a siege means the continuation of the war. Here, at the very least, we must have sympathy in our hearts and condemning this crime that has been going on for seven years are also among our duties.

3- Daesh:

The third file is Daesh [Arabic acronym for “ISIS” / “ISIL”] and what it brought upon the nation, Muslims and non-Muslims, humanity, and the Messenger of God, his religion, and his name. Unfortunately, all the atrocities it commits are under a banner that has the seal of the Prophet on it – “Muhammad is the Messenger of God”.

People are killed and slaughtered with knives, massacres are committed, and worshipers – men, women, and children – are killed in mosques and churches in suicide operations. However, many in this world remain silent. The Americans say we created Daesh. Yet, there are those who are not ready to hear this.

The Americans say that they are using Daesh to tear apart Muslims, to destroy armies and countries, and to destroy and tear apart peoples. Yet, there are those who are not ready to hear this talk. This is being said by the Americans and in previous and current post on a daily basis. One of the most imperative duties today in defending the Messenger of God, Muhammad, and his name is for Muslims, Muslim scholars and elites, Islamic movements, and, first and foremost, the general public to stand in the face of this brutal, terrorist, and murderous group, which is portraying the worst image of Islam and its Prophet since the Messenger of God was sent.

There has not been a monstrous and offensive model like this since the first days of Islam. This is also a responsibility – we cannot do anything for the people who are being killed in mosques. Today, thank God, it seems that we have come to a good end. However, last Friday in Kunduz during Friday prayer and the second Friday in Kandahar. Today, it seems good precautionary measures were taken. They send two or three suicide bombers to a mosque filled with hundreds of worshipers. What kind of mind is this? What kind of brutality is this? Then, you find people who are silent. They don’t even issue a condemnation. This is a strange and contradicts the spirit of Islam and belonging to this Messenger.

4- Islamic Unity:

Before I tackle some of the points concerning Lebanon, I will talk about the last file which is the Islamic unity file. We say the Islamic Unity Week. Of course, this file has been in the works since the victory of the Islamic revolution. Before the Islamic revolution, religious authorities and major religious centers in the Muslim world – Shiite and Sunnis – have been working on it. Following the victory of the Islamic revolution, a distinctive interest in it arose. When talking about Islamic unity, neither Imam Khomeini, nor His Eminence Imam Khamenei, nor any of the Sunni and Shiite scholars and elites meant by it is unity to merger, unity to cancel, unity to melt – call it whatever you want. No. The Sunnis have their own doctrines and understanding, so do the Shiites, etc.

There is no problem with this topic. There are also other Islamic groups. What is meant here is cooperation, closeness, collaboration, support, and integration between Muslims on the basis of {And cooperate with one another in virtuous conduct and conscience.} It also means avoid fighting, conflict, and negativity – {and do not dispute, lest you falter.} This is the intended meaning [of Islamic unity]. The whole point is this realistic idea because there will always be people – who have been arguing for forty years – who will argue that this [Islamic unity] slogan is unrealistic, an imaginary and philosophical talk, and talk that has no ground. Yes, if merger, and solubility is the intention, then this is true. Otherwise, it is hypothetical and imaginary talk.

But this was never the intention – for the Shiites to become Sunnis or the Sunnis become Shiite. Rather, all the great things Muslims have in common must all meet. Hence, they must cooperate, advise each other, and be like one body, but each having his own personality. This idea should be reorganized and work to achieve. Of course, in all the squares where they converged and cooperated, they triumphed. Through this closeness and cooperation, the resistance in Lebanon achieved victory. The resistance in Palestine triumphs when it unites inside and outside Palestine with the rest of the resistance as it is happening now. Today, the resistance that includes Sunnis and Shiites is a main force for resistance in Palestine. Similarly, when the Sunnis and Shiites fought shoulder to shoulder some of these groups, including a Daesh, they were able to achieve victory in more than one Arab and Islamic country.

When we cooperate, we triumph. When we fight, we fail. Our enemy who wants to dominate the region and control it and continue to occupy Palestine wants us to always be fighting each other. It wants to convert any political problem into a sectarian one. It wants to exploit any personal dispute and light it up to ignite a big sedition.

This is a great responsibility. Today, one of the Muslims’ greatest responsibilities, including their scholars, leaders, elites, and seniors, is to prevent any action that could lead to sedition, to rupture, to separation despite all the enemies’ conspiracies and all the existing ignorance and hatred. And let us be frank. Among the Shiites in the Arab and Islamic world, there are those who do not accept this idea and project and do not support it. They work to sabotage it. Some do so as a result of certain convictions, while others do so as a result of the American and British intelligence penetration into the Shiite community. Same goes to the Sunni community. Today, the Americans are toying with us Muslims, and the British, who have historical experience in this matter, are toying with us Muslims.  Today, everything that brings you closer is an obligation, and everything that drives you apart is forbidden, and we must work to avoid it.

I will talk about the Lebanese files in a few words quickly.

1- The Tayouneh incident and the massacre that was committed:

On Monday, I spoke about it in some length. I will stick to what I said on Monday and assure everyone that we are all following up on the investigation. According to my data, it is a serious and accurate investigation that follows up on the details. It is also a brave investigation, and we should wait for things to come to an end. The political, popular, and media condemnation of the perpetrators, killers, and those who nearly dragged the country into strife, internal fighting, and civil war must also continue. The data does not justify them at all even though they are trying to say no, it is not. In any case, the investigation will reveal this topic. We once again commend and show our respect and appreciation to the awareness, patience, insight, and wisdom of the families of the oppressed martyrs of the Amal movement and Hezbollah. The families of these beloved and oppressed martyrs will, God willing, continue with this position, and together we will follow up on this file until its conclusion.

2- The demarcation of the maritime borders and the issue of the economic zone and the disputed area:

Regarding Hezbollah, since this issue has been raised in the country again, we said: We do not want to interfere in this matter. We will not express an opinion or a position related to the demarcation of the border – do we support Line 23? Do we support Line 29? Do we accept anything under Line 29? Do we accept below Line 23? We have declared on more than one occasion that we do not want to interfere in this matter. This is left to the state, and the state should take a stand and make up its mind. But what I want to talk about tonight is related to what the “Israeli” enemy has done recently –we heard from the media that it assigned one oil exploration company to start drilling for oil in the disputed area. We waited until we saw what position would be taken. Of course, we are continuing to collect information to verify these data. But I want to say tonight, clearly and frankly, is that when I spoke about the resistance’s ability, numbers, and capabilities, I said on Monday that the resistance’s capabilities are intended to defend Lebanon and protect Lebanon’s wealth, oil, gas, land, and waters from “Israeli” greed.

If the enemy believes that it can act as it wants in the disputed area before resolving this conflict, it is mistaken. I will not issue a position now not to complicate the existing negotiations, but I will definitely say that the resistance in Lebanon by following up on this file. When it finds that Lebanon’s oil and gas, even in the disputed region, are in danger, it will act accordingly at the right time and at the right moment. It is able to do so.

3- The IMF negotiations:

We have no problem with the negotiations. We hope that Lebanon will have a real unified delegation, not a bilateral, tripartite, or quartet delegation. They should act as a single Lebanese delegation to unify the numbers, the vision, and what is accepted and rejected. Secondly, Lebanon should negotiate from a position of responsibility and concern for the national interest and not from a position of surrendering and accepting dictates, some of which may not fit Lebanon’s circumstances, interests, people, and the harsh living conditions in the country.

4- Livelihood following the rise of petrol prices in particular in the past few days and its impact on employees, teachers, schools, factories, work, transportation, etc.:

So today you and I are appealing to the Lebanese government to go back to subsidizing fuel. This is talk futile, and no one will listen because the intention was for us to reach this point. They tortured people and brought them to this point. Secondly, they will tell us that we do not have money in the central bank. Thirdly, this is one of the conditions of the IMF that they want to follow – it is not possible to do anything. Yes, something can be done, of course, under the title of alleviating suffering:

1- Reminding them to launch the cash card as soon as possible. Basically, their idea was that the subsidies would be lifted as the cash cards are introduced. But subsidies have been lifted and there is no cash cards yet.

2- Activating the cash card

3- Agreeing to the demands of the employees in raising the transportation allowance so that their salary can at least get them to work and they’d have some left for food.

4- This is the most important – the revival of public transportation. It can be activated within a few weeks if there is serious follow-up. The Ministry of Public Works and Transport can shoulder this responsibility. It needs protection from the prime minister, the government, and the president of the republic. There is also a loan from the World Bank that has been frozen for a long period of time. This loan can be activated. This project can be activated and will help alleviate the suffering of people to a reasonable extent.

It is therefore not right for the state, government, and ministries concerned to say that there is no more money and that the IMF will not accept with us just to keep the tragedy going on.

We estimate that we can do a set of steps that can help relieve suffering. In all cases regarding this file, I would like to remind the rich that even those who pay Zakat from their money are responsible for people who are suffering under the poverty line. We remind traders to fear God when dealing with people – let them not monopolize, raise prices, and are looking for huge profits. We remind everyone to bear responsibility and cooperate, and that there are options that only need will, decision, and resolution from officials and the people.

In conclusion, I once again congratulate you on these occasions and venerable and great days. We, the resistance, will continue jihad and hard work and will heed to the appeal of God and His Messenger to liberate the land and sanctities as well as shoulder the responsibilities of this nation. Regarding the internal situation, we will continue to be patient and endure. We will continue to follow up wisely to prevent any internal fighting and maintain internal and domestic peace, coexistence, and cooperation to take our country out of all its crises, difficulties, and hardship.

Many happy return. May the peace, mercy, and blessings of God be upon you all.

 ارتباك أميركي أمام خياري الحرب الأهلية والانتخابات

ناصر قنديل

على الطاولة الأميركية تحت عنوان محاصرة حزب الله، خياران رئيسيان غير الاستسلام والتأقلم والتساكن، الأول يشجعه الإسرائيليون وعنوانه تصعيد مناخات الضغط الاقتصادي والمالي والسياسي على لبنان وصولاً لرفع منسوب الاحتقان والفوضى، تمهيداً لتفجير الوضع الطائفي بوجه حزب الله، أملاً بأن هذا سيعني استنزاف الحزب في الحرب الداخلية، وتوفير فرص مؤاتية لشن حرب إسرائيلية على الحزب، أما الخيار الثاني الذي تشجعه لوبيات في الكونغرس والسفارة الأميركية في بيروت، فعنوانه الاستثمار على مناوئي الحزب المحليين، سواء المعارضة الحزبية أو التقليدية، أو المعارضة التي تمثلها جمعيات المجتمع المدني التي تلوذ بالسفارة أو سفارات الدول الصديقة لواشنطن، لتوفير مناخات منسقة للفوز بعدد وافر من المقاعد الانتخابية يعيد تشكيل المشهد النيابي تحت عنوان نقل الغالبية من يد الحزب وحلفائه إلى يد الخصوم.

الإشكالية التي يطرحها خيار التفجير الطائفي تنطلق من ثلاثة عناصر، الأول استحالة الجمع بينها وبين الحفاظ على الجيش اللبناني وفاعليته ووحدته، فالتفجير الطائفي يستدعي تحييد الجيش وتهميشه على الأقل، وهو ما لا يمكن أن يستمر في ظروف استقطاب طائفي حاد كما تقول التجارب السابقة في لبنان، إذ سرعان ما تنتقل الانقسامات الطائفية لتصيب بنية الجيش، بينما الحفاظ على الجيش ووحدته وتقدمه للصفوف فيستدعي قيامه بمهمة التصدي لمخاطر التفجير وقمع مسببيه، الذين لن يكون الحزب بينهم، في ظل سياسة ثابتة للحزب بأن يفعل المستحيل لتفادي التورط في أي تفجير طائفي، وأن يكون آخر الداخلين فيه إذا فرضت عليه واستحالت سبل صده، وهنا يظهر العنصر الثاني فالمخاطرة بخسارة الجيش تعني مخاطرة بخسارة أغلب الجغرافيا اللبنانية وقبول الاكتفاء ببعض الجغرافيا التي تسيطر عليها الميليشيات المساندة، والتي لن تزيد على ربع مساحة لبنان، ولن يكون مضموناً ثباتها وصمودها في ظل موازين قوى معلوم وضعها، أما العنصر الثالث فهو التساؤل عما إذا كان التفجير الطائفي سيوفر فرصة حرب إسرائيلية، قال الإسرائيليون إنها ستتوافر من انخراط حزب الله في الحرب السورية، واكتشفوا أنه قادر على تلبية مقتضيات مشاركته فيها، بالتوازي مع الجاهزية لمواجهة فرضيات الحرب الإسرائيلية، وبالمقارنة ليس ثمة ما يقول أن الوضع سيكون مختلفاً.

الرهان على الانتخابات النيابية يبقى نظرياً حتى الدخول في التفاصيل، حيث تظهر أولى النتائج باستحالة إحداث اختراق في ساحة تحالف ثنائي حركة أمل وحزب الله مع وجود حاصل مرتفع لحجز أي مقعد نيابي في دوائر البقاع والجنوب، بينما في الساحات الطائفية الأخرى فسيكون أي تقدم لمرشحي الجماعات الجديدة المدعومة أميركياً على حساب الحلفاء التقليديين في هذه الساحات، خصوصاً، فزعزعة تيار المستقبل على سبيل المثال والرهان على وراثته مع تأثير مسار الضغط السعودي عليه، واحتمالات عزوف رئيسه عن الترشيح، ستعني نشوء فراغ ستتسابق قوى كثيرة على ملئه، سينال منه جماعة السفارة نسبة، وينال سواهم نسبة، وسيكون لحلفاء حزب الله نسبة، وربما يصح الشيء نفسه في ساحة الحزب التقدمي الاشتراكي بنسبة أقل، بحيث يصير الصراع محصوراً في الساحة المسيحية، حيث تفرض الدوائر الانتخابية نتائج من نوع استحالة تحقيق ما يزيد على عدد النواب المستقيلين بأكثر من ثلاثة إلى أربعة مقاعد في أحسن الأحوال، فدوائر المتن وكسروان وبيروت الأولى وزغرتا إهدن بشري البترون، لا تتيح رهانات على نيل المزيد، بل تخلق تصادمات بين من يفترض أنهم الحلفاء في المعركة بوجه الحزب، والحصيلة ستكون مجموعة أقليات لا غالبية فيها، بل أقلية كبرى يمثلها الثنائي تشكل النواة الأشد صلابة بين التكتلات النيابية، توازيها نواة ثانية تضم حزب الله ونواب التيار الوطني الحر، وكل من الكتلتين سيتشكل حولها إطار من تحالفات، يقف مقابلها عدد من الكتل الوسطى والصغيرة، مع استحالة تشكيل جبهة موحدة بين مكوناتها، بما يعيد إنتاج مشهد شبيه بالمشهد النيابي الحالي.

مقابل الخيارين الإشكاليين المطروحين على الطاولة، ثمة خيار ثالث يتقدم منذ تجربة سفن كسر الحصار، عنوانه التساكن والتأقلم، وهو خيار محكوم بخلفية المسار الذي رسمه قرار الانسحاب من أفغانستان، وما سترسمه تطورات المنطقة خلال الشهور المقبلة، سواء في سورية أو اليمن، أو في العلاقة مع إيران.

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Full Speech of Sayyed Nasrallah on the Birth Anniv. of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Nov 19, 2021

Full Speech of Sayyed Nasrallah on the Birth Anniv. of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Translated by Staff, Hezbollah Media Relations

Speech of Hezbollah’s Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah tackling a range of political developments on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad [PBUH] and his grandson Imam Jaafar Sadiq [AS], and the Muslim Unity Week. 

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and prayers and peace be upon our Master and Prophet, the Seal of Prophets, Abi al-Qassem Muhammad Bin Abdullah and his good and pure household and his good and chosen companions and all the prophets and messengers.

May the peace, mercy, and blessings of God be upon you all.

In the coming days, God willing, we will welcome a very dear, precious, and great occasion, which is the anniversary of the birth of the Greatest Messenger of God, the Seal of the Prophets, and the Master of Messengers, Muhammad bin Abdullah [PBUH]. I congratulate all Muslims in the world and all Lebanese on this great and solemn occasion in advance. God willing, on this occasion, we will hold a proper and appropriate celebration in a few days, and therefore, I will leave talking about the celebrant  and the occasion itself until then.

With regard to the topics, I divided them into two part. One part I will talk about today, and the second I will talk about it, God willing,  during that celebration.

I will begin with tonight’s topics. I will speak about the first topic as briefly as possible, appropriate, and unobtrusive.

1- The elections:

The country today is busy preparing for the electoral law, the dates of the elections, the administrative procedures related to the elections, and the natural prelude to entering the stage of the electoral atmosphere as well as having the elections on time.

Regarding the elections, I want to emphasize several points:

i- Holding the elections on time

We have already talked about this and emphasized it on more than one occasion. In any case, there still remain those who try to spread confusion by blaming a certain party, including us sometimes, of planning to extend and postpone the elections, etc. This is all baseless talk. We affirm, insist, and call for the elections to be held on time within the constitutional deadline. To be fair and according to our follow-up with all the parliamentary blocs, parties, and political forces, we believe that no one – so as not to make baseless accusations like some opponents do – whether implicitly or openly is planning or preparing to push matters towards the postponement of the parliamentary elections and the extension of the current Parliament. Therefore, let us put this issue behind us and let everyone engage in holding the parliamentary elections on time, and we are certainly one of those.

ii- The expatriate vote

We agreed to the current law, which was voted on in 2018 and followed in the 2018 elections, as a result of the discussions, and in all sincerity, taking our allies into account. We agreed to a number of things in that law. In the joint parliamentary committees, whether formally or informally, a discussion took place some time ago, and some parliamentary blocs asked to reconsider or demanded a reconsideration. Some of our deputies expressed a position based on an existing reality. This same discussion existed in 2018 and became more intense at the time than it was in the past. This issue was the expatriate vote.

Today, when we want to prepare electoral campaigns or for people who want to run for office or be elected, there is no equal opportunity, whether in conducting electoral campaigns, in candidacy, or even by going to the polls to exercise free elections, specifically with Hezbollah. There will be other political forces whose situation may be less sensitive, but Hezbollah’s situation abroad, in some European countries, in North America, in the Gulf, and some other Arab countries is known. There is no possibility for preparing an electoral campaign, candidacy, or elections. In fact, this is a point of appeal, and we had mentioned to our allies that with regard to Hezbollah, we would not submit an appeal.

But someone can file an appeal regarding the elections in terms of unequal opportunities. The brothers raised the issue from this angle, and an atmosphere emerged in the country that there were those who wanted to prevent the expatriates from voting. Extensive debates were held over this and there was no problem. We discussed the issue once again and came up with the following conclusion. It was expressed by our deputies at the last meeting of the joint committees. But I’d like to mention it here to close discussions on it.

We, once again, discussed and evaluated it. This is what we had to say. Regardless of how many countries in which expatriates or residents will take part in the parliamentary elections – they usually participate in presidential elections – and if there are countries that participate in parliamentary elections, this may be present and perhaps their number may be few, but in any case, as long as the injustice befalls specifically us, we do not have a problem. 

This means that we, Hezbollah specifically, will be oppressed. We will not be allowed abroad or have the right to campaign, announce candidacy, or the freedom to vote. This even applies to our supporters. But as long as the injustice pertains to us and there is a national interest and it allows the Lebanese residing outside Lebanese to feel that they are partners and bear responsibility, we have no problem with that. We will overlook this observation, and that is why our brothers amended and said that we support the principle of expatriate voting, in principle. We divided the issue.

Now, there is a detail that whether the expatriates or those residing outside the Lebanese territories will vote according to the constituencies in Lebanon or elect the six representatives that are said to be allocated for the elections abroad. If they are going to vote according to the constituencies in Lebanese, we have no problem with that. And if voting on the six representatives will be confirmed, we are open to discussions when it’ll be discussed in Parliament. However, if the topic is not discussed, there is a law. So, work according to the law. Hence, we consider this matter closed.

And we hope, God willing, from our brothers, our expatriates and people residing outside the Lebanese territories to register and take part in the elections. They are welcome, and we hope that they will have the real opportunity to frankly express their opinion.

iii- Voting at the age of 18

With regard to the issue of [voting at] the age of 18, I honestly tell all the Lebanese people and young people between the age of 18 and 21 that this matter is only raised to be used locally. It is always raised at a time close to deadlines, and time does not help. Although it was brought up at a time way ahead of deadlines, something strange happened. Since 1992 when we first took part in the parliamentary elections, we’ve been known to have strongly supported giving young people at the age of 18 the right to vote.

Whenever you talk with political forces, you find that everyone is in favor. Yet, you go to the Parliament and it gets dropped. There is something strange in this country. We not only raised this in our speeches, slogans, and political and electoral programs, but we also seriously worked and fought hard for it. In March 2009, the Loyalty to the Resistance bloc proposed a constitutional amendment law to reduce the voting age to 18 since this needs a constitutional amendment. In March 2009, it was voted unanimously. This was before the 2009 elections. The constitutional amendment needs two-thirds of the members of the parliament. The government also voted unanimously on this proposal. It was returned to the parliament after the parliamentary elections in the February 2010 session. The session was attended by more than 100 deputies, out of which only 34 deputies voted on the project, mainly the Amal Movement, Hezbollah, and some other blocs. The rest of the blocs abstained, and it fell through. There is really something strange about this country.

If you now make an opinion poll for the parliamentary blocs and the political forces, they all tell you: yes, this is their natural right, and they must elect, etc. Of course, I heard a strange two days ago saying that young people need to be prepared and educated. What is this talk!

In Lebanese, children as young as five or six years old talk politics! You are talking about 18-year-olds. These need educating, preparation, school programs!!! What is this nonsense?!

Anyway, we once again call, the expatriates have the right to vote. All people should demand this right and respect it. If they are wronged somewhere like us, let us go beyond this oppression. With regard to the issue of voting at the age of 18, there is no injustice to anyone. If this right is not given, this is injustice to all Lebanese youth who are being deprived of the right to participate in the parliamentary elections only for purely partisan and personal reasons, not for national or real reasons..

iv- The MegaCenter

Also, related to the elections is the MegaCenter. We have no problem so that no one later says that Hezbollah is preventing this from happening. From now, we do not have a problem. You want to adopt the megacenter, go ahead. You don’t want the megacenter, also go ahead. You want to adopt the magnetic card, we don’t mind. Whether the Ministry of the Interior wants to adopt it or not, let it go ahead. What do you want us to vote with? The identification card? We’ll use it to vote. An excerpt of the civil registry? We’ll use it to vote. We’ll use whatever you want. We do not have a problem. Just hold the elections on time and don’t come up with excuses for not holding the elections on their constitutional dates. The rest of the matters related to the elections, nominations, alliances, the electoral program, and reading the electoral scene will be discussed at their right time, God willing.

2- The electricity file:

In fact, I should have started talking about this file, but I deliberately did not start with it because this file contains some annoyance. Hence, I opted  to start with the elections.

In the past few days, they told the Lebanese that fuel has run out, the factories will stop working, and the country will go into complete darkness. Save us. What should we do? Now, they’ve found a temporary solution. They found some with the Lebanese army, and the army instructed to take advantage of what it has to overcome this stage. Of course, We thank the leadership of the Lebanese army for this kind humanitarian step.

But the question remains: Today, this issue should be an absolute priority for the current government. Basically, when the cry came out, it was necessary – this is our personal suggestion – that the government hold an extraordinary session, not a two- or three-hour session, but one that remains from dawn to dusk to find a solution. What does it mean that the country has entered complete darkness? This does not only mean that the country is in complete darkness because of power outage, the country is in a state of clinical death because here we are talking about hospitals, cooperatives, everything having no electricity. Despite this, what has been happening in the country? Instead of calling for a serious, radical, and real treatment, as usual, the Lebanese blamed each other for being responsible, insulted and cursed each other, and insulted one another. All of this does not bring electricity.

Eventually, responsibilities must be determined. But usually in the prevailing Lebanese way, people enter the labyrinth, with more grudges, insults, and swearing emerge. And you’ve seen social media in the past two days.

Since the government holds its session every Wednesday, the priority on the table must be the issue of electricity. What I want to call for tonight is for you to see what you want to do regarding electricity. Find a solution or put the country on the path to a solution, not that pump it with painkillers, i.e., take an advance from the central bank and buy fuel with it for power plants to generate electricity for a few hours. Does this solve the problem? How many days and weeks will this last? The issue needs a radical solution. There are contracts that exist. Make up your mind, say yes or no, but address the issue in any way.

Today, a sum of money was sent to the Lebanese government – the Lebanese state. One billion and one hundred million dollars is in the hands of the Lebanese government. If we want to speak as a matter of absolute priority, take advantage of this amount or part of it and primarily and radically address the issue of electricity – building new power plants, addressing the problem of existing plants. The matter is in your hands. There are many offers from various countries in the world, from the East and the West. You do not want from the East, from the West, then, unless there is an American veto.

If the Americans are forbidding you, tell the Lebanese people frankly: O Lebanese people, we are terrified and unable to bring in European companies because the Americans will be angry with us and have forbidden us from doing so.

In this way the people will express their opinions – whether or not they’d like to live in darkness and in humiliation with no electricity, as the Lebanese used to live in humiliation with the lack of gasoline and diesel. We’ll act depending on the outcome. I know, for example, in Iraq – this is a common and well-known thing there – that the Iraqis have an electricity problem. When they tried to reach an understanding with some European countries, the Americans intervened forcefully and prevented them. So, is there a veto here in Lebanon, an American veto preventing that?

As for the Iranians, there was an old offer. Today, there is a new offer. Two days ago, when His Excellency the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran was in Beirut, he reconfirmed that we are ready to build two plants and provide a certain, large, and respectable quantity. Respond to him.

Ask for an exception since America is your friend. To us, they are our enemy, and we expect anything from our enemies. But they are your friends and allies. You trust them and consider them moral and humanitarian who possess human values and law. Ask them for an exception.

Iraq got an exception. Afghanistan under the rule of the Ghani government had an exception – it used to import many things from Iran. Other neighboring countries have exceptions. You ask for an exception. I learned a rather funny thing that was in fact published in the media – when one Lebanese official was by told by the Iranian foreign minister to ask for an exception as the other countries, the official replied to him, saying: I hope you will ask for the exception. It’s a very funny thing. Imagine a Lebanese official telling the Iranians who have enmity with the Americans to do so. There is an ongoing war between them and the Americans, and I him: you ask the Americans for an exception so that you can build us, for example, power plants, or so you  can sell us fuel for the power plants, or so you can sell us gasoline or diesel. What a way of taking responsibility? 

Anyway, regarding this issue along with all the people, we will raise the voice. The government, the President of the Republic, and the Prime Minister must determine the agenda. But we are among the people who have the right to demand that electricity be at the top of the agenda, or they should allocate an emergency and urgent special session and work for a real radical treatment for this issue. If the issue remains a matter of throwing accusations and scoring points and who disrupted, we will get nowhere.

Hezbollah or others may have raised this suspicion in the past. For the first time, I would like to raise a suspicion. I’m one of those people who has a feeling that somewhere there might be a certain game. Let me say how. It’s the same with what happened gasoline, diesel, and food stuff. The state knows that at some point it will have to lift the subsidies. Everyone tells you that there is no solution except the International Monetary Fund, and the IMF will ask for the subsidies to be lifted, and no one dares to take the responsibility of lifting the subsidy. 

They’ll let the people fight, race to cooperatives, and queue at gas stations for petrol, diesel, etc. After a month, two, or three, they’ll start shooting each other, cursing one another, and wielding knives at each other. Then, they will call for the subsidies to be lifted just to be saved and accept the fact that the price of gasoline is 500,000LBP. 

If the subsidies are lifted, the problem of the humiliating queues will be solved. Therefore, if you notice and you can go back to the media when we saw the humiliating queues, the voices called for the subsidies to be lifted. This action was serving this. Whether this was intentional and planned or not needs to be verified.

When talking about the subject of electricity, privatization and selling some state assets and some public sectors, including the electricity sector, are always mentioned. The electricity sector is always being eyed for privatization.

There is a fear I would like to raise today. I do not want to accuse anyone. It is very unclear to me, to be honest, that somewhere – within the government or outside it or whether they belong to the opposition or not – they want the electricity sector in Lebanon to collapse. Then, the state would be helpless and unable to solve the problem. Hence, there would be no solution except through privatization. Then, the Lebanese people would not want to live in darkness, so they’d demand to solve this problem with privatization. This is the real fear. We must pay attention to this subject. 

From this subject, I will delve into the third point which is related to diesel, gasoline, and the like. I once again make appeal to the various political forces and leaders in Lebanon – brothers, go and check with your allies and friends. I repeat and say that whatever we are capable of doing with our allies and friends, we will do. What can Iran do more than this? They are already telling you that they are prepared to sell you gasoline, diesel, and fuel and build power plants and metro stations. They want to cooperate with you and offer you facilities. This is a solution. 

The Syrians told you they do not have a problem. Bring Egyptian gas and electricity from Jordan. I will offer you the facilities you want. If there is anything else, I am at your service as well. These are our allies. 

As for your allies, we have not seen them do anything. You have not done anything. Talk to someone to make you an exception. Talk to someone to help the Lebanese. If your allies told you that Hezbollah is part of the Lebanese people, then exclude Hezbollah and bring help for the rest of the Lebanese areas. Act responsibly, not maliciously.

Until now, we still hear that, for example, they brought diesel from Iran. They brought it across the border into Syria, so 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. We hear it every other Sunday, etc. Here is another example of the level of responsibility in the country. A politician reached a conclusion that the power cut stated happening when diesel was brought in from Iran as the power plants broke down. You all know. It is all known. He did not know that the state’s electricity plants run on fuel, and what was brought from Iran was diesel. There is no relation between diesel, fuel, and electricity plants. In any case, this is the level that exists in the country.

This is a call for the last time. Budge a little. Move a little, and don’t be malicious. What is your main role other than criticizing, insulting, and accusing? Do something positive for your people and your country.

3- Gasoline and diesel:

I moved to the third topic, in which I will talk about what happened with us and what will happen concerning diesel and gasoline.

So far, we consider ourselves still in the first phase. Of course, a number of ships have arrived so far, and we are gradually moving them to Lebanon. We consider that the first phase will continue until the end of October. During the first phase, we did two things, and we will continue with them.

The first thing we said is that there is a group that we will gift them diesel for a month and a group that we will sell diesel to. We did not put the diesel at the stations and said, “People, please. Who wants to buy can come.” Meaning that we are doing more than the goal. We said that the goal is to secure this material for these pressing and urgent cases, and we do not want to compete or block the way for companies and stations that sell diesel. In the end, we will give to a group and the rest can buy from the stations. By doing so, we are not cutting off people’s livelihood. We adopted this approach, and we will indeed continue until the end of October as a first phase.

Within this first phase, there are two points I would like to add. 

1- We had announced a gift or donation for a group for a period of one month. That period has ended. There is a quantity that has arrived and another that is on the way, and it will reach them, God willing. What I would like to announce today is that we will renew this gift. This gift is for the same group and will be for an additional month, for a second month.

I will again mention the institutions belonging to this group: government hospitals, nursing homes, orphanages, centers for people with special needs, official water institutions, water wells belonging to municipalities, provided they are a poor municipalities, and fire brigades in the Civil Defense and the Lebanese Red Cross. After the end of the first month, I announce today that we will provide the quantity they need from this material as a gift and assistance, God willing, for a second month.

2- Regarding the groups, I would like to announce that this material would also be sold to the fishermen. This addition comes following many revisions that have been made. We’ve already started and not just starting. This happened in the last period. The fishermen has been added to the segments to which this material can be sold to. The same institutions that we talked about before will remain – private hospitals, pharmaceutical laboratories, mills, bakeries, etc. We will complete the first phase by working with the same [entities] we worked with last month.

When we reach the second phase, which starts from the beginning of November, we will add heating for families. We and our brothers are studying the standards because the most important thing is to abide by the standards. During the past month, there were cases that included people not belonging to the group that this material can be sold to contacted us. These people are very dear to us and we love to be of service to them. However, we had a serious commitment to the standards and the groups. If we did not abide, it will be chaotic, and, therefore, we would not be able to serve the groups that we considered a priority.

Today, we have the issue of heating that needs to be studied, and it is a very big topic. For example, among the entities that it will be sold to are private hospitals, bakeries, mills, laboratories, etc. We considered that establishments and companies operating generators are the largest segment, and they, in fact, are the ones that need the largest amount. But when we bring in the issue of heating, there is no comparison because here you are talking about Lebanese families in areas where there is cold and frost.

This requires different controls, standards, and a distribution mechanism that we are studying. God willing, before the beginning of November, we will talk about this issue, I or one of my brothers, and it will be announced in detail. Also because of winter, we may add new entities. This, too, is being evaluated and studied – first of all because of the high demand that happened. The volume of requests in all Lebanese regions was very large. I’d say it was greater than expected, yes, greater than expected. It is very large in all areas. This is on the one hand.

On the other hand, winter season is coming, and of course, the demand for diesel will increase exponentially – we had made diesel a priority. This means that we have decided to continue with diesel being the priority. We postponed bringing gasoline. Even if we get gasoline, we will exchange it for diesel with the merchants because the priority now is to provide the fuel oil in the way that it is secure. Thank God, now, in one way or another, the queues of humiliation are over. Gasoline is available at the stations, albeit at a high price. Our main concern was to get rid of the queues of humiliation. Now, these queues are over. Gasoline is available. We do not believe now, as a result of the large file, that we should work on all the entities. We have to focus our priority on diesel, especially since we are a few weeks away from winter season.

I will conclude this whole file. We heard people say, leave the Lebanese state buy its own gasoline and diesel from Iran. We support this talk. This is our demand. Let the Lebanese government ask the Americans for an exception, while the Lebanese companies buy. We guarantee that they will get facilities from Iran to buy diesel, gasoline, and fuel from Iran, etc. At that point, we will withdraw from this file. We will leave the file completely. We will not buy, nor bring ships, nor transport to Baniyas, nor bring from Baniyas to Baalbek. We will leave the matter completely. Go ahead, take responsibility. Open this door. This only needs some courage and boldness. Many countries neighboring Iran have exceptions – exceptions in buying gasoline, diesel, oil derivatives, and many other materials. Go ahead, work on this matter. This is one of the doors – you consider that we are violating sovereignty. Good, then help us so that we do not violate sovereignty. Go ahead, ask for an exception and open this door.

4- The Beirut Port [blast] investigation:

I would like to recall what I used to say since the beginning – we want and support the investigation. I honestly say and tell you that even if the families of the martyrs and the wounded abandoned the investigation, we, Hezbollah, will not abandon the investigation. We consider ourselves among those who were affected not only in terms of martyrs, wounded, and homes, but we were also affected morally, politically, and media wise.
Taking humanitarian considerations towards the families of the martyrs, we want the truth and accountability. Politically and morally, we, as Hezbollah, want the truth and we want accountability. There is no discussion regarding this topic. It is not cutting of the road in front of the investigation nor is it to end or cancel the file. Never. Whoever says this is unfair. We want to reach a result. What is really required is justice. What the former judge did is clear. He was biased and politicized. We spoke loudly about this and gave advise. The man rose and asked with legitimate suspicion and left. The man made a legitimate request and left. However, instead of benefiting from all the mistakes and the observations made to the previous judge, the current judge continued with the same mistakes. He ignored these remarks and did worse. The current judge’s work is politically motivated and biased. His work is being politicized and has nothing to do with the truth and justice.

Before I conclude, I would like to address the families of the martyrs – if you expect to uncover the truth with this judge, you will not. If you expect that this judge will bring you justice, even at the level of an indictment, you will not get it. The work of this judge is politically motivated. He is exploiting the blood of the martyrs, the wounded, the tragedy, and the calamity to serve political goals and political targeting.

1- We previously talked about the evidence, but now I would like to highlight the issue more because we have reached a point that can no longer be tolerated.

Let us simply talk logically. Is this interference in the affairs of the judiciary? But first off, tell me this is a judiciary so that I can agree with you whether this is interference or not. This is not a judiciary. This is a politically-motivated job. As long as it is a politically-motivated job, allow me to say a couple of words. What do science and justice say? They say there was an explosion. Hence, look for the responsibilities. This is a problem that I will return to shortly.

I would like to ask the current judge – disregard the previous judge. Since the arrival of the ammonium nitrate ship to Lebanon’s Beirut Port to Lebanon, there have been two presidents: President Michel Suleiman and His Excellency President Michel Aoun. His Excellency, President Michel Aoun has said on more than one occasion – a transparent man – “I knew on this day and I followed up this way. I am ready for the judge to come and listen to me.” 

Did you listen to him? You are a judge who works as the judiciary, did you listen to His Excellency the President and took his statement? He is the one telling to go to him. What are you afraid of?

Did you ask President Michel Suleiman? Did you listen to him? did you ask him – you were the president of the republic when this ship came and entered, did you know? What did you do? Regardless of whether he was responsible or not. You did not ask him, and you did not listen to His Excellency the President even though he invited you. 

Since the day the ship entered Lebanon in November 2013, there have been multiple prime ministers. You, the judge, quickly belittled Prime Minister Hassan Diab and thought you can accuse him, summon him, etc.

One question. Did you ask former heads of government? Did you listen to them? I’m not telling you to summon them. Did you go to them? Did you sit with them? Did you ask them even a question about their knowledge of the subject? What did they do if they had knowledge? Were they responsible or not? You did not do any of this. You quickly went to Prime Minister Hassan Diab. Can you tell me that the explosion took place during the premiership of PM Hassan Diab? Why did you go after the former ministers and not the current ministers? I am not defending people who are our friends only. Among them are our friends and those who are not our friends. The people I’m telling you to investigate include some of our friends. Why did you not ask the ministers in the current government who were in office when the explosion occurred? Instead, you went to the former ministers. Why not all the former ministers? Did you ask all the finance ministers? Did you summon them all and investigated with them? Did you investigate and ask the ministers of works who were in office in November 2013? The current Minister of Works is also our friend. The ministers of interior who were in office in November 2013 until today is also our friend. The ministers of defense as well as the ministers of finance and works are also the ministers of guardianship. Did you investigate with the ministers of defense? Non, you didn’t. Did you ask the ministers of justice? No, you didn’t. Did you ask all the heads of the security and military services? No, you did not. I tell you no because they really did not ask them. he asked some of them, but not all of them. What do they call this? You are going after specific agencies, specific ministers, and a specific prime minister is clearly [political] targeting. Does the issue need a little understanding in order to see that there is clearly targeting? There is political targeting. This is the first point. We’ve spoken about this in the past. We also warned you. Do not be biased and politicized. Or else, we will demand you leave. Then he continues working as if nothing happened. On the contrary, he rose even more and behaved as if he was the ruler with regard to this file. This is the first point.

2- The main subject in the explosion: 

The whole thing is incomprehensible. Yet, you skipped it. Basically, it is like what many Lebanese say. I am not saying anything new. The basic principle, O honorable judicial investigator, is that you go and tell the families of the martyrs before you incite them against the politicians. You have to tell these families that you sit with every other day who brought the ship, who let the ship dock, who gave permission, who left the materials in hangar 12, and who gave approval. You are not doing any of these. You are tackling another matter which comes in second place which is negligence. You are making a big deal out of this for settling political scores. O brother, tell the Lebanese people. If you don’t want to tell the Lebanese people, at least tell the families of the martyrs. And you, our people and our loved ones, the families of the martyrs, go and demand. This is your right to demand. Ask him how your children were killed? You, an investigative judge, do not want to tell them because this does not serve the politicization that you are working on. So, what did you turn to? To negligence. You are making a bigger deal out of negligence – the one who is charged with negligence should receive the most severe penalties.

I’m not asking for anything. I am only asking why he is disregarding and neglecting the first part of the issue. Why is the truth not told to the Lebanese? The judicial secrecy is the issue. It is not about someone killing another person. This is a catastrophe that has befell the country, and the country is heading towards a catastrophe if this judge continues working in this way. Therefore, the matter needs a different approach.

3- Bias:

The judges, who were involved and whose responsibility wss greater than that of the presidents of the republic, are responsible. I do not know. I am not a judge to rule on this matter. The responsibility of judges is greater than that of heads of government, ministers, and heads of the security services because the judges are the ones who allowed this material to enter and to be stored. The rest are all procedural. The two judges or the judges are the first to be responsible. O families of the martyrs, ask this judge. Ask him about those judges whose responsibility is unquestionable.

There might be a discussion about the responsibility of the prime minister, a specific minister, and the security apparatus. But there is no discussion that these judges are responsible. What did you do to them? You did nothing. You filed a lawsuit against them in court, the High Judicial Council and the Discriminatory Public Prosecution, and to appoint a special court. Great! You do not want to summon the judge, issue an arrest warrant for him, or imprison him because he is a judge. The judiciary wants to protect itself. However, you want to summon a respectable prime minister like Hassan Diab, subpoena him, issue an arrest warrant against him, and throw him in prison. Is this a state of law? Is this a state institution? Does this country have morals? The law says that judges go to court. The constitution says that presidents and ministers go to the presidents’ court. In the case of the presidents and ministers, why don’t you accept. You consider this your right and transcend all constitutional principles and attack people? However, in the case of the judges, the law says that they go to the High Judicial Council. Answer us so that we know whether what is happening is right, just, and fair or is political targeting?

4- The last part in this file:

When presidents, ministers, and representatives feel that they have been wronged, who do they turn to? They tell you – this specific judge is biased. He is attacking us and is unfair with us. He want to arrest us unjustly. He is impatient with formal matters as in talking with us and our lawyers. We are being wronged. Who do we turn to? In a state of law and institutions, the law must answer. They turned to a judicial body, and we see that this judicial body did not take its time to study the case, did not discuss, nor summon, nor investigate. It returned the request saying it’s outside of their jurisdiction. Whose jurisdiction is it? So, guide us. You say the law and the state of institutions, O Higher Judicial Council, answer. Bring the prime minister who will be summoned for arrest, the ministers, and others who may be caught up in lawsuits. Where are they being wronged? If there is no jurisdiction for so and so and so, who has jurisdiction then? This needs a solution and an answer. In any case, we have big problems. We consider that what is happening is a very bad situation. It will not lead to the truth and justice, but it will lead to injustice and to concealment of the truth. This does not mean that we are demanding that the investigation be closed. Not at all. We want an honest and a transparent judge, who works on a clear and transparent investigation based on rules, an investigation in which there is no bias. He must continue the investigation and this matter should not stop at all. 

First, we want an answer. Where would an oppressed person and a person with suspicions seek refuge in this country?

Another thing, the issue is no longer a personal matter, the issue has repercussions at the national level and on the country. Today, I am appealing to the High Judicial Council. What is happening has nothing to do with the judiciary, nor with justice, with fairness, nor with the truth. You must find a solution to the matter. The Supreme Court does not want to resolve the issue. The Council of Ministers is required to resolve this issue. It referred this issue. It will be raised in the Council of Ministers. We will speak and others too. This matter cannot continue this way. There is no possibility for it to continue this way, especially in the next few days. Therefore, among the institutions, the High Judicial Council should meet and see how to address this issue. We are talking to you and on behalf of many people in this country. We are a large segment in this country, and we have the right to be heard. We have the right to be given an answer. We have the right to demand in the Council of Ministers. It is our right that the Council of Ministers discuss this issue and take a stance. In all honesty, I tell you this matter must not continue this way.

As for the rest of the points of discussion, I wanted to talk about the demarcation of the maritime borders, the disputed area, the new negotiations, the Israeli steps, and other files. We will talk about all this, God willing, during the occasion in a few days.

I just want to conclude with two points. I must, morally and ethically, talk about them.

The first point is the bombing that took place in Kunduz, a few days ago, in Afghanistan, in a mosque during Friday prayers, which led to dozens of martyrs and wounded. Of course, this is a painful matter. Any person, Muslim or not, will ache when he sees elderly people and children being killed, just because they were praying in a mosque. This is very sad and very painful.

Despite the distance, we also share with our family and loved ones and these oppressed families their grief and pain. We express our sorrow for what happened and condemn it. But what’s most important is that Daesh committed this crime and claimed responsibility. I say the Wahabi terrorist organization Daesh. 

I hope from all our friends, companions, and the media in our axis, if they accept from me, to call it the Wahhabi terrorist organization. Because what Daesh is doing is the result of this school of thought that accuses the other of being an infidel. One can accuse the other of being an infidel, but he does not spill one’s blood and take his money and honor. A doctrinal disagreement, a certain person says that so-and-so is an infidel and does not believe in a specific cause. But what is more dangerous than takfir [accusing another Muslim to be an apostate] is spilling blood and taking someone else’s money, honor, and social public safety. It is this school of thought that led to these results throughout the world, especially in our Arab and Islamic world. 

The one who also bears the responsibility is America. Before the Americans left Afghanistan and on more than one occasion, I mentioned to you in the media and in speeches that we and others have information that the Americans are moving Daesh from the east of the Euphrates and from the Al-Hol camp. They even transferred some from Iraq to Afghanistan. At that time, many were wondering what the Americans wanted from Daesh in Afghanistan? Of course, at the time, even when they transferred them to Afghanistan, Daesh did not carry out a single operation against the American forces there. Rather, they fought those who were fighting the Americans, including the Taliban. But today, the goal has appeared more, to be sure.

I am an enemy of the Americans and I am accusing them. A few days ago, Turkey’s foreign minister, who is an ally of the Americans but has a problem with them, also said that the Americans had moved Daesh from the east of the Euphrates and eastern Syria to Afghanistan. That’s the Turkish foreign minister, a country that is not a small one in the region. He is a friend of the Americans. This is well known. Why did the Americans take Daesh to Afghanistan during the year they were negotiating with the Taliban in Doha to withdraw?

They were preparing for a post-withdrawal phase. What is the post-withdrawal phase? It is preparing for a civil war in Afghanistan. They had two tools. The first tool was the Afghan state and the Afghan army, which they spent hundreds of billions of dollars on. This collapsed, but the alternative was ready, which was Daesh. Today, Daesh’s work in Afghanistan is to drag the country into a civil war. They carried out operations against non-Shiites in Jalalabad and Kabul. But targeting the mosque in Kunduz, where Shiite Muslims pray, is also to create a state of internal tension that will lead to a civil war in Afghanistan.

The Americans are responsible. The American policies, the American administration, the American army, the CIA, and all those who are working on the issue of Daesh and Afghanistan, we also hold them responsible for the innocent blood that was shed in Afghanistan. The responsibility of the current authorities – whether the world recognizes them or not – now that it is an authority that exists in Afghanistan, is to protect these citizens regardless of their affiliation to any religion or sect.

There is another matter that I must talk about from a moral standpoint, even though it has been a while since it transpired. An incident took place a while back in Palestine where a group of security services affiliated to the Palestinian Authority arrested, beat, and tortured martyr Nizar Banat, a Palestinian brother, a resistance fighter, and a thinker who had brave and courageous positions, which led to his martyrdom.

Of course, one may ask why are you talking about this now and that this story is old? At that time, although we saw that all the Palestinian factions took a position, we preferred to wait because the issue was not very clear, and we considered that it could be an internal affair. But today, it is my duty to pay tribute, even for a few minutes, to this resistant martyr, mujahid, thinker, and bold, brave, and oppressed martyr Nizar Banat. I am one of the people who during the previous period – I mean during his life and not after his martyrdom – I usually and for security reasons do not have internet, but every once in a while, the young men give me recorded summaries, I listen and watch what this person said, how he spoke, and how he expressed a position?

At various times, I listened and gave time to Brother Nizar. I was very impressed by his clarity, his pure thought on the issue of resistance, the issue of “Israel”, the issue of the situation in the region, the position on the axis of resistance, the conflicts in the region, and targeting the axis of resistance. I was amazed by his courage – he lives in the West Bank and it is possible that he might be attacked, arrested, or killed at any moment. Of course, I had in mind that the “Israelis” would kill him and not anyone from the PA. In fact, I would like to say a couple of words first to shed light on this bold, courageous, clear, authentic, and strong figure as well as his position on the issue of resistance, the Palestinian cause. He had courage until his martyrdom. Secondly, as this is the first time I am talking about the subject, we share with honorable family, all his family members, his loved ones, his friends, and his companions the pain and the unending grief. I know that to them this matter has not ended. 

The third point is to demand justice and truth from the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinian judiciary, and all the Palestinian people for martyr Nizar must. Time will not stop this, and this blood must not be wasted just because those who have wronged him or committed crimes against him belong to a certain security apparatus. This is regarding martyr Nizar. I wanted to talk about him. 

I said at the beginning of the speech that in a few days we will have a great and very dear occasion, which is the anniversary of the birth of the greatest Messenger of God. Of course, celebrations and commemorations take place in different regions of the Islamic world.
But in the past years, what must also be noted with admiration and pride is how the dear and oppressed Yemeni people are commemorating this occasion. We are talking about the areas under the control of what they call the Sana’a government, meaning in the areas where Ansarullah is present. Huge crowds gather in all governorates and cities at the same time.

The whole world saw how they’ve been commemorating the birth of the Messenger of God Muhammad during the past two years despite the war, destruction, difficult economic conditions, difficult living conditions, rampant diseases, great dangers, and siege. But it is really amazing the way they commemorate this occasion, and as a Muslim, I tell you that I feel ashamed. Despite the circumstances and situation, these people mark the occasion in such a way, while we, the rest of the Muslims in different parts of the world, how do we commemorate this anniversary even though our circumstances are much better than theirs, even if there are some difficulties. 

First, salutations to the dear and oppressed Yemeni people, who love and adore the Messenger of God, for what they will do during the next few days.

I consider the way the Yemenis mark [this occasion] as an argument for all of us as Muslims in the Islamic world.

In the past few years, we used to hold celebrations. It is possible that during the last two years, we’ve eased down on celebrations a little because of the coronavirus. This year, we want to hold a decent and respectful celebration. That is why starting from now I invite the lovers of the Messenger of God to make the marking and celebration of this year’s occasion appropriate and to the level of their love, adoration, and loyalty to the Messenger of God.

May God give you wellness. We’ll talk about the rest later, God willing, if God keeps us alive. May God’s peace, mercy and blessings be upon you.

تركيا جادة في تقديم عرض لملء الفراغ السعودي


الاربعاء 17 نوفمبر 2021

ناصر قنديل

يزداد الكلام السعودي العالي السقوف بحق حلفاء السعودية التقليديين من اللبنانيين قبل خصومها، وصولاً إلى الحديث القطعي عن إدارة ظهر طويلة الأمد، لأن العقل السياسي الحالي للسعودية يعتقد بأن الفراغ الذي تتركه السعودية سيبقى فراغاً حتى ترضى وتعود إليه، كما تعتقد القيادة السعودية بأن عودتها ستكون سبباً لعروض لبنانية بتنازلات تتلاحق حتى تبلغ السقف الذي يرضي السعودية، بما في ذلك ما يعتقد المسؤولون السعوديون أنه يتعلق باليمن، كما تعتقد القيادة السعودية أنها ستتلقى عروضاً خارجية إيرانية وسورية وفرنسية وأميركية  للتعاون في توفير شروط ملء الفراغ، لكن الواقع شيء آخر، فهذا لبنان، تلك النقطة على المتوسط التي تجاور سورية وتقابل أوروبا، وتقع على حدود فلسطين، وتختزن أقوى مقاومة في الشرق تؤرق إسرائيل ومن خلفها أميركا، وهو لبنان المرفأ الاستراتيجي الذي تتسابق عليه الدول، والسوق العقارية النادرة الذي بات يمثل فرصة ذهبية مع انهيار سعر الليرة، والمصارف الواقعة تحت أعباء كبرى تجعل منها سلعة معروضة للبيع بأرخص الأسعار، وهو لبنان حيث الطوائف كيانات اجتماعية شبه مغلقة تبحث كل منها عن قيادة تقف خلفها دولة وازنة، تقدم نفسها حامياً إقليمياً وشريكاً في صناعة التوازنات.

تركيا الدولة الإقليمية الكبرى، باقتصادها وعدد سكانها وجيشها، القلقة على حبال التوازنات الدولية، التي تخوض حروباً صغيرة بعد فشل حربها الكبيرة في سورية، وهاجس رئيسها على أبواب انتخابات رئاسية صعبة، وفي ظروف اقتصادية حرجة، أن يجد انتصاراً سياسياً يفتح آفاقاً اقتصادية جديدة، ويخفف إحراجات التصادم مع عناصر المعادلة الإقليمية والدولية، تركيا هذه لم تأت إلى لبنان بوزير خارجيتها في جولة سياحية ولا بمهمة إنسانية كانت مفهومة بعد انفجار مرفأ بيروت، وتركيا لم تخف اهتمامها بالحصول على عقود الكهرباء وعقود تشغيل وإعادة إعمار مرفأ بيروت، وهي همست حيث يجب بأنها جاهزة لاستقبال البضائع اللبنانية التي توقف تصديرها إلى دول الخليج، وأنها حاضرة لتجديد عروضها الاستثمارية في مجالات كالمرفأ وسكك الحديد ومشاريع الكهرباء، بطريقة التمويل والإنشاء والتشغيل، وفتح الباب أمام مصارفها للدخول على خط الحلول المتداولة لتعويم القطاع المصرفي، وأمام تكامل سياحي لبناني تركي بحري وجوي، وتركيا مهتمة بالتوازي بتحفيز قطر التي تستمع بإصغاء للنصائح التركية، للمشاركة المالية في خطط النهوض اللبنانية بعد موافقة صندوق النقد الدولي عليها، فيما كررت قطر مراراً اهتمامها بسوق الغاز في لبنان، وبناء منصات التغويز وتشغيلها وإمدادها بالغاز.

التحفظ الفرنسي على الحضور التركي الإضافي على البحر المتوسط، في ظل مخاوف من دور تركي بين النازحين السوريين يرفع من وتيرة القلق الفرنسي خصوصاً والأوروبي عموماً، لكن التحفظ الفرنسي مبني أساساً على تطلع الشركات الفرنسية للعب الأدوار التي يهتم التركي بشغلها، والمنافسة التركية الفرنسية في ليبيا مثال مشابه، ففرنسا بقيت مترددة بالتوغل على خلفية الثقة بمكانتها كدولة عظمى، بينما كانت الشركات التركية تقفز إلى الخط الأمامي، وتؤسس للدور السياسي، وصولاً لترسيم حدود النفط والغاز، وهو ملف لا يغيب عن التنافس على لبنان، الذي تمثل ثروته مصدراً للسباق الإقليمي والدولي، وإذا كانت العقدة التي تعترض طريق تركيا هي عجزها عن اتخاذ موقف نوعي ينهي تورطها في سورية، فثمة من يقول إن تركيا أبدت الاستعداد لمقايضة من نوع التسهيل المتبادل، تسهيل تركي للتقدم السوري في شمال سورية، وتسهيل سوري للتقدم التركي في لبنان، وفي ظل ما يشهده اليمن من تحولات كبرى ترسم إيقاع المنطقة، تتقدم تركيا نحو لبنان وتأتي بعدها قطر لترصد النتائج، بينما السعودية تقفل الأبواب مع لبنان، ولا تعلم ما سيكون الحال عليه بعد تطورات اليمن.

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Hezbollah Official: Arab-“Israeli” Drills Dagger in Heart of Palestine

Nov 16 2021

Hezbollah Official: Arab-“Israeli” Drills Dagger in Heart of Palestine

By Staff, Agencies 

The member of Hezbollah’s central council Sheikh Nabil Qaouk confirmed that the military drills held by Arab states and the apartheid “Israeli” entity will embolden the occupying regime to conduct more acts of aggression against Lebanon and Palestine.

Sheikh Qaouk’s statement came three days after the United States began its first joint naval drill with the Zionist entity, the United Arab Emirates [UAE], and Bahrain in the Red Sea.

“The military exercises held by the Arab countries and the Zionist regime are a dagger in the heart of al-Quds, Palestine and all the nations of the region,” he said.

Hezbollah official further underscored: “They encourage the Zionist enemy to carry out further acts of aggression against Lebanon and Palestine, and are a stain of shame on the foreheads of the leaders of the normalization with the Zionist regime.”

Elsewhere in his remarks, Sheikh Qaouk said the weapons of the resistance are needed to confront the “Israeli” enemy and would always remain so, al-Manar TV channel reported.

“Regardless of all the external pressure, crises, and foreign intervention, the priority of the resistance will be increased readiness to confront ‘Israeli’ aggression. We promise to create a victory even greater than those of 2000 and 2006,” he noted.

The Hezbollah official also stressed that the resistance has since 2006 increased its power both in quantity and quality and turned into a “strong fortress” protecting Lebanon and the Lebanese people.

“With the army-nation-resistance equation, southern Lebanon [where the country’s resistance movement is based] constitutes today the frontline of defending Lebanon’s dignity and sovereignty,” he said.

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Hezbollah Now 20 Times Stronger than It Used to Be on Eve of 2006 War: Israeli Analyst

 November 15, 2021

Military correspondent of Israel’s Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Yaakov Lappin, indicated that Hezbollah is now twenty times stronger than it used to be on the eve of 2006 war.

It is important to recall that the Zionist army has intensified the military drills held in simulation of a war against Hezbollah.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Air Force Commander, Amikam Nurkin, ended his first visit to the United Arab Emirates, where he was a guest at the Air Force Commanders Conference, and also visited the Dubai Airshow.

The Zionist media said the visit to the UAE was part of the deepening of the connection and cooperation between ‘Israel’ and the United Arab Emirates – as part of the normalization deal signed about a year ago.

The visit is a continuation of the visit of the UAE Commander of the United Arab Emirates, General Ibrahim Nasser Muhammad al-Alwi, in a “Blue Flag” exercise held about two weeks ago, the Israeli media added.

It is worth noting that the Zionist media indicated that ‘Israel’ is exploiting such visits to the Gulf states to send warning messages to Iran.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

The “Worst Director” Award Goes to MBS for His “I Blame My Failure in Yemen on Hezbollah”

Nov 15 2021

The “Worst Director” Award Goes to MBS for His “I Blame My Failure in Yemen on Hezbollah”

By Mohammad Youssef

Beirut – Saudi Arabia that has ignited unfounded irrational crisis with Lebanon, continues to exercise its mounting pressure on the country to dictate its political will, avenge its humiliating defeat in Yemen, and invest in tension to yield electoral gains in the next parliamentary elections early next year.

Riyadh has used a feeble pretext to escalate the situation; a statement by the Lebanese minister of information that he pronounced prior to assuming his office depicting the war in Yemen as absurd and aimless.

Saudi Arabia launched a fierce campaign against Lebanon threatening to severe the relations; announced Lebanese ambassador to Riyadh persona non grata and summoned its ambassador to Lebanon back to Riyadh.

Not only that, Saudi Arabia dictated on other Gulf countries especially Bahrain, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates to follow its path and impose similar stern measures against Lebanon.

Digging into the reasons as why Riyadh is punishing Lebanon and the Lebanese, we could simply find the following:

First, Riyadh is outraged with the futility of its allies in Lebanon that yielded no gains whatsoever in their antagonistic relation with Hezbollah, Saudi Arabia had supplied them with all kinds of support and spent billions of dollars to fight the party through its allies, and the whole issue ended with Hezbollah accumulating gains and successes on every level.

Riyadh has never treated Lebanon as a sovereign independent state, but as an another arena for its political influence where it could dictate its will as it likes. This was clearly dramatized when it imprisoned former Prime Minister Saad Hariri and forced him to resign back in 2017.

Second, Riyadh wants Lebanon to hold the brunt and responsibility of its humiliating defeat in Yemen, it accuses Hezbollah of helping Ansarullah and supplying them with military expertise.

Hezbollah has clearly announced its condemnation for the Saudi criminal war against the Yemenis, politically and morally and on media outlets supported their struggle against Riyadh aggression. After it has exhausted other places in Iraq and Syria, and not finding any other place to avenge its defeat and continued losses, Saudi Arabia is taking revenge on Lebanon using Hezbollah as a pretext to compensate its defeat in Yemen.

Third, Hezbollah is the target for a persistent campaign from the Western Powers headed by Washington and its proxy “Israel” and aided by retrogressive Arab countries headed by Saudi Arabia.

Now, after their failed military attempts to eradicate the Resistance in Lebanon, thanks to the Axis of Resistance that successfully sabotaged their aggressive conspiracies, those sinister tyrant powers have joined efforts to make use of the coming parliamentary elections to gain the majority, so it can carry out a comprehensive change in the political scene.

To sum up, Riyadh’s oppressive aggression against Lebanon is baseless and unjustifiable. It is surely doomed to fail as its precedents.

Riyadh is not only acting in an irrational way, more dangerously, it lacks a sober and wise foreign policy, no wonder it is making all these grave strategic mistakes.

From Lebanon to Yemen, the same shameful scenario is on play with the signature of a director who lacks any vision, Mohammad bin Salman!

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