Washington Voices Dissatisfaction with Outcome of Lebanese Parliamentary Vote: It Could not Undermine Hezbollah Power

 May 19, 2022

Former US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale reflected Washington’s dissatisfaction with the results of the Lebanese parliamentary elections which occurred on May 15, 2022.

“There was a lot of wishful thinking before Lebanon’s parliamentary elections on Sunday, May 15,” Hale wrote in an article.

One fantasy is that reducing Hezbollah’s parliamentary presence and alliances reduces its power. In reality, Hezbollah’s sway in elections and parliament is merely a useful by-product of its parallel power structure outside the state, based on arms, fighters, services, and illicit funds.

Hale added that there was also speculation the results would deal a blow to Hezbollah and its Christian allies, adding that they just suffered reverses in the vote.

According to Hale, the withdrawal of the former premier Saad Hariri from the Lebanese politics resulted in a low Sunni participation level.

“This proves Hariri still leads his constituency, and his absence opened up most of those few contests won by independents.”

On May 15, Lebanon witnessed a parliamentary election which synchronized with an unprecedented crisis caused by the US-backed siege and corruption. Despite the US scheme, the Resistance alliance managed to emerge victorious.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Sayyed Nasrallah Hails Voters: Election Victory Protects Resistance in Parliament

 

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360°

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah hailed on Wednesday the heavy turnout in the parliamentary election, which was held on May 15, thanking the voters who elected the candidates of the Resistance and its allies.

In a televised speech, Sayyed Nasrallah thanked specifically the Resistance martyrs’ families, the injured fighters, the elders, and the sick people who participated in the elections.

Sayyed Nasrallah also hailed the Resistance fighters who carried out two missions on May 15: guarding the nation and participating in the vote.

Hezbollah Secretary General also greeted the clerics who cast their ballots and the public institutions which held the elections.

Thanking Hezbollah election machines, Sayyed Nasralalh thanked the former members of the Loyalty to Resistance parliamentary bloc Nawwaf Al-Moussawi, Al-Walid Soukariyeh, and Anwar Joumaa for all their efforts and welcomed the new members Raed Berro, Rami Abu Hamdan, Melhem Al-Hujjeri, and Yanal Al-Solh.

Sayyed Nasrallah indicated that the election victory was achieved by the Resistance and its allies despite all the antagonistic propaganda and the US economic sanctions, threats and siege.

In this regard, Sayyed Nasrallah called for scanning the remarks of the former United States Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, David Schenker, who had acknowledged that the United States exploited 2019 protests and fastened Lebanon’s economic collapse.

Hezbollah leader highlighted the US role in stealing the funds of the Lebanese depositors in cooperation with most of the banks, describing it as the biggest theft in Lebanon’s history.

Sayyed Nasrallah also mentioned that the US threatened to escalate sanctions if the Resistance lists win the elections, adding that the heavy turnout in the parliamentary elections and participation in the pre-election ceremonies were the answer.

Sayyed Nasrallah spot light on the long queues of voters at the polling stations, wondering whether the administrative procrastination was deliberate.

His eminence also cited the big amounts of money which were spent for electoral purposes, underling the Saudi ambassador activity in this regard.

New Parliament

Hezbollah Chief stressed that the Resistance and its allies have secured an effective presence in the parliament, adding teh final form of the blocs is still unclear.

Sayyed Nasrallah maintained that none of the blocs could secure the parliamentary majority, which may be an incentive for national cooperation.

Sayyed Nasrallah explained that, when all the political parties miss the majority, they will be obliged to shoulder the national responsibilities, instead of practicing the passive opposition role.

Sayyed Nasrallah called for halting the political quarrels among the various parties in order to assume the responsibilities related to coping with the economic challenge, underling the importance of calm in the country.

The economic files, including the fuel, electricity, wheat and foodstuffs, must be prioritized, according to Sayyed Nasrallah who highlighted the international crisis in this regard.

Elections Exposed Lies

Sayyed Nasrallah indicated that the parliamentary elections exposed the lies which promoted that Hezbollah wanted to delay or prevent the vote, adding that had Hezbollah wanted to prevent the elections, it could have done that.

Sayyed Nasrallah also noted that the opponents claim that Hezbollah weaponry controls the country was refuted by the elections, adding that the anti-Resistance winning candidates were not influenced by the Resistance arms.

His eminence added that the 2022 elections also proved that the “Iranian occupation” lie is false, citing the US and Saudi ambassadors intervention in the elections by paying money, forming lists and visiting the candidates as well as the polling stations.

Significance of Election Results

Hezbollah Secretary General explained the correlation between the number of seats every parliamentary bloc wins and the popular representation it reflects, stressing that, in Lebanon, they are not proportional.

In other words, Sayyed Nasrallah said that, in some cases, a big parliamentary bloc may reflect a smaller popular representation than a small bloc due to the distribution of electoral districts on a sectarian basis.

In this regard, Sayyed Nasrallah underscored the importance of amending the electoral law in a way that the entire country becomes one electoral district on the basis of proportionality and away from any sectarian constraint.

Sayyed Nasrallah also highlighted lowering the vote age from 21 to 18 years in order to provide a fairer parliamentary election.

Sayyed Nasrallah underlined the number of votes won by Hezbollah candidates which was more than 500, 000 in Bekaa and Southern Lebanon only as an illustration in this domain.

Upcoming Stage

Hezbollah Secretary General hoped that electing the Parliament Speaker and forming a new government do not take a long time.

Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that the members of the loyalty to Resistance bloc will soon start preparing the draft laws which reflect their election programs, adding that Hezbollah will also assume its socioeconomic responsibilities as it has been throughout 40 years.

Supporters Address

Sayyed Nasrallah urged the Resistance supporters to avoid holding the provocative motorbike rallies and chanting sectarian slogans which abuse the other sects’ followers.

Sayyed Nasrallah repeated that shooting in the air is forbidden, calling for chasing the masked gunmen who exploit the demonstrations to open fire illegally.

In this regard, Sayyed Nasrallah recalled that Hezbollah sacks any of its members that opens fire illegally.

Source: Al-Manar

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‘Israelis’ Obsessed with Hezbollah’s UAVs, Launch Missiles at Own Drone [Video]

  May 19, 2022

Israeli occupation military: A drone belonging to us was mistakenly identified as a hostile drone and intercepting missiles were launched as a result of this mistake

By Al-Ahed News

Once again the ‘Israelis’ themselves expose their obsession with the drones the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement possesses.

In yet another embarrassing incident, the Zionist occupation military activated its ‘Iron Dome’ and launched missiles towards a supposedly infiltrating aircraft that at the end of the day turned to be an ‘Israeli’ one.

According to ‘Israeli’ military spokesman, sirens were activated in several northern settlements on Thursday morning after a suspected drone infiltration coming from the Lebanese airspace. The Iron Dome launched several missiles towards the drone that was found later as belonging to the ‘Israeli’ occupation army, which was mistakenly identified as a hostile aircraft, the Zionist military explained.

Before figuring out that it was an ‘Israeli’ drone, the Zionist military was claiming that the aircraft was brought down; however, after admitting that the drone was an ‘Israeli’ one, the claim of downing it was refuted.

The Zionist military started telling conflicting stories, but remained consistent on the fact that the sirens were activated in the Upper Galilee as a result of a wrong identification of the aircraft.

Earlier, ‘Israeli’ Channel 12 alleged that the sirens were activated after launching missiles to intercept and bring down an unmanned aerial vehicle belonging to Hezbollah that infiltrated the northern occupied Palestinian airspace coming from South Lebanon.

It is worth noting that the confusion among the Zionist military members comes at the climax of security alertness amid the “Chariots of Fire” maneuvers, the ‘Israeli’ entity’s largest wargames in several years, which simulate a month-long all-out war against Hezbollah and Hamas on all fronts from the North to the South.

This is the second aircraft the ‘Israeli’ occupation army downs before figuring out that it belongs to it. Such incidents come as a result of the security obsession and loss the Zionists are through due to the major and numerous transformations unfolding in the region, namely Hezbollah’s growing might, and its Secretary General, His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s threats about a direct and a rapid response to any attack the ‘Israeli’ army might commit during their military exercises.

Sayyed Nasrallah: Hezbollah, Allies Emerged Victorious… Supporters Provided Resistance with Safety Network

MAY 18TH, 2022

By Al-Ahed news

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered on Wednesday a speech tackling the Lebanese parliamentary elections and he latest political developments on the internal arena.

At the beginning of his speech, Sayyed Nasrallah thanked every person who voted during the Lebanese parliamentary electoral process. “We highly appreciate all those who performed this duty despite every hardship,” he said.

His Eminence further thanked all volunteers who contributed to Hezbollah’s electoral machine during the Lebanese Parliamentary Elections.

In addition, the Resistance Leader thanked those who voted for the Resistance by saying: “I thank you very much and I can’t say but that I’m speechless when it comes to thanking you.”

“The massive popular participation and the results of the elections convey a message of adhering to the resistance and its weapons,” he viewed.

Sayyed Nasrallah continued by thanking the resistance people for establishing a shield of protection for their resistance via elections’ results noting that “The voters provided the resistance with a safety network against the campaign of targeting that followed the daily financial and media campaigns.”

In parallel, His Eminence hailed the fact that “The Resistance men were performing two roles at once; the first was to contribute to the success of the electoral day and the second by staying ready to defend Lebanon [against any attack].”

Denouncing the fact that “The US and its Lebanese allies are responsible for the greatest theft that Lebanon has suffered all over the past 3 years,” he confirmed that “Neither intimidation nor threatening the people with their future yielded any result.”

“On the level of Resistance, the outcome is a major victory which we are proud of given the circumstances of the battle, the tools that have been used, and the money that was spent in it,” Sayyed Nasrallah mentioned, noting that “Hezbollah’s electoral achievement came after a major media and psychological attack on the resistance and its allies added to the economic pressures, sanctions and various crises.”

According to His Eminence, “The massive popular participation and the results of the elections convey a message of adhering to the resistance and its weapons. What happened is a great victory that we in Hezbollah are proud of, especially when we study the battle’s conditions and what was used and spent in it.”

On another level, he underlined that “What we witnessed concerning the elections and the honorable Sunni sect’s stance particularly the ‘Future Movement’s’ boycott is a very important issue that needs a calm, responsible and accurate approach.”

Regarding the new parliamentary map, Sayyed Nasrallah praised the fact that “The resistance and its allies achieved a strong and big presence in the new parliament,” noting that “It isn’t true that the parliamentary majority has shifted from one place to another.”

As His Eminence rejected the talk that a political camp in the country can claim to have won the parliamentary majority, Hezbollah Secretary General explained that “We’re in front of a parliament that is composed of different and diversified blocs that include independent representatives, all the alliances will affect its shape, but it is clear that nobody could claim to have the parliamentary majority.”

“The interest of the Lebanese people might be in what happened,” he emphasized, pointing out that “When no one has the majority, this means that everyone is responsible, and no one is allowed to relinquish the responsibility.”

Urging all political sides for pacifying the political rhetoric, Sayyed Nasrallah underscored that “We’re all concerned with pacifying the country and bickering will not lead to a result.”

Meanwhile, His Eminence called for calming the situation in Lebanon and tending to deal with the issues that concern the people through partnership and cooperation rather than rivalry.

“The extent of the financial, economic and life crises in the country can’t be solved by a single team even if it obtains the majority,” he stated, noting that “The state could have set up seven or eight mega centers to make voting easier for the people.”

Warning that “The entire world is moving into a crisis as fuel and wheat’s prices have risen and there are things that may be cut off in the market,” Sayyed Nasrallah advised Hezbollah rivals by saying: “If you think that we might feel tired or abandon defending the resistance, you’re delusional and your debates won’t reach a place.

Moreover, he urged all political sides to review their practical performance and alliances. “The recent experience carries many lessons in which everybody reviews their practical performance, alliances, and rhetoric. Crises couldn’t be dealt with but through partnership and cooperation.”

Sayyed Nasrallah also called for calming the situation in Lebanon and tending to deal with the issues that concern the people through partnership and cooperation rather than rivalry

Responding to certain political fabrications that accompanied elections, His Eminence reminded that “Among the lies that have been promoted is the one about how to hold elections amid the presence of the resistance’s weapons… isn’t it high time for this lie to come to an end?”

Another lie is about the ‘Iranian occupation’. On this level, he wondered: “We’ve witnessed the US embassy and the Saudi ambassador’s intervention who were the most active during the elections, did you witness the Iranian ambassador or any embassy employee intervening in the elections?”

To “Someone” [former PM Fouad Siniora] who formed lists all over Lebanon and was financed by the foreign embassies, who won two or three seats, claims that the people have expelled the resistance, Sayyed Nasrallah sent a sounding message: “How does this ‘someone’ dare to talk on behalf of the Lebanese people as he didn’t gain more than a few thousand votes

Elaborating that “Those who claim that a certain choice is the most popular in Lebanon have to return to the majority of votes to identify this,” he went on to say: “Under such an electoral system, the numbers of MPs do not truly reflect the popular will. One must look at the number of voters, not MPs.”

“The distribution of electoral districts happened in this unscientific manner as they are cut and pasted upon the interests of some political leaders. The numbers of votes for the Loyalty and Hope lists in some districts is way above 500,000… don’t those represent the popular will?” His Eminence said.

According to Hezbollah Secretary General, “Lebanon must be a single electoral district based on proportional and non-sectarian representation and youths from the age of 18 must have the right to vote, so that the number of MPs can reflect popular choices.”

Sayyed Nasrallah assured the people of resistance: “We won’t spare any effort, especially for those who sacrificed their blood and gave us their votes,” urging supporters not to stage motorbike rallies.

“More than once I repeated that shooting in the air is forbidden, and this is the fatwa of our scholars, because this terrifies people. Any Hezbollah member who shoots in the air will be expelled,” he stressed, noting that “We have told our supporters that the ‘Shia, Shia, Shia’ slogan is inappropriate. We want calm and stability and we don’t want provocations.”

In Numbers: Hezbollah Winners in the Lebanese Parliament

Designed By Al-Ahed News

In Numbers: Hezbollah Winners in the Lebanese Parliament

MORE ON THE TOPIC

كشف حساب انتخابيّ مشفر

 الاربعاء 18 أيار 2022

 ناصر قنديل

يسارع البعض إلى محاولة اختصار نتيجة الانتخابات النيابية بالقول، «خسر حزب الله وحلفاؤه الأغلبية النيابية»، متجاهلاً أولاً أن الحزب والحلفاء لم يقولوا يوماً إنهم يريدون انتخابات مبكرة او في موعدها لأن لديهم وصفة سحريّة لحل الأزمات تحتاج هذه الأغلبية، بل سواهم مَن قال ذلك وخرج من الحياة السياسية لسنتين وهو يقول ننتظر الانتخابات، وثانياً أن الحزب وحلفاءه الذين كانت معهم الأغلبية كانوا يرددون دائماً أن لا مجال للحكم وفقاً لمنطق أغلبية وأقلية في لبنان بسبب تركيبته الطائفية، وأن قدر اللبنانيين حكومات الشراكة الوطنية، وحتى عندما اضطروا لتشكيل حكومة ضرورة عبر الأغلبية لم يقدموا لها ما يجب من دعم لتنجح بل تعاملوا معها كمحطة انتظار تمنع الفراغ حتى تلوح فرصة العودة لحكومة شراكة في الأفق فقاموا بإطاحتها بأيديهم، وثالثاً أن الأغلبية التي لم يكن يجمع مكوناتها سوى تفاهمها حول المقاومة، بينما تقسمها التباينات في أغلب قضايا الحكم، هي أغلبية قائمة من هذه الزاوية، فعدد النواب الذين يطرحون الأولوية لنزع سلاح المقاومة هو أقل من ثلث أعضاء مجلس النواب، والنواب الباقين الذين ليسوا جزءاً من كتل المقاومة وحلفائها، يشاركون المقاومة باعتبار الأولوية للأزمة الاقتصادية والمالية، واعتبار الخلاف حول دور سلاح المقاومة موضوعاً للحوار لا للمواجهة، بمن في ذلك الكثير من نواب التغيير الذين دخلوا حديثاً إلى مجلس النواب.

النتيجة الأولى للانتخابات هي فشل محاولة إنتاج أغلبية تضع نزع سلاح المقاومة كأولويّة، وتتمكن من تشكيل حكومة مواجهة مع المقاومة، فعدد النواب الذين ينتمون إلى هذا المعسكر هم ربع مجلس النواب فقط، إذا أضفنا نواب القوات اللبنانية والكتائب إلى بعض النواب المستقيلين وبعض نواب المجتمع المدني، وهذا الفشل ترافق مع معادلات ولدت من سياق رفعه كأولوية للانتخابات، أبرزها حجم الالتفاف الشعبيّ الذي أظهرته البيئة المباشرة للمقاومة حولها، سواء في مهرجانات الدعم الحاشدة وغير المسبوقة عشية الانتخابات، أو في حجم التصويت الذي نالته لوائحها، أو من خلال إفراز نتيجة قوامها إغلاق التمثيل الشيعي لصالح مؤيدي خيار المقاومة، بما يشكّل خط دفاع ميثاقيّ غير قابل للخرق بوجه أية محاولة لاستخدام آلة الدولة ومؤسساتها بوجه المقاومة، حيث لا رئاسات ولا حكومات بلا شراكة هؤلاء النواب، بغياب وجود أي نواب من طائفتهم يمكن مشاركتهم.

بحصيلة الانتخابات كما تقول النتائج، نالت لوائح دعاة أولويّة نزع السلاح ومرشحيها على لوائح مشتركة مع آخرين، بمن فيهم مرشحو القوات والكتائب ونواب سابقون مثل مصطفى علوش وحاليون مثل أشرف ريفي وميشال معوض وفؤاد مخزومي ونعمة فرام ولوائح المجتمع المدني ومرشحيه الذين يشتركون بهذا الشعار، ما مجموعه 478000 صوتاً، مقابل نيل اللوائح والمرشحين الواقفين في منتصف الطريق بدرجات مختلفة كالحزب التقدمي الاشتراكي وعدد من نواب التغيير الذين يدعون للحوار حول السلاح، ونواب مستقلين مثل النائبين أسامة سعد وعبد الرحمن البزري مجموعاً شبيهاً بـ 47500 صوت، بينما نالت لوائح ومرشحي القوى المؤيدة للمقاومة 880000 صوت، منهم 550000 صوت للثنائي المكوّن من تحالف حركة أمل وحزب الله وحدهما، بحيث يكون مجموع مؤيدي المقاومة ومؤيدي ربط مستقبل السلاح بالحوار الوطني 1355000 صوت، يعادلون ثلاث مرات عدد الذين يعتبرون حسم مستقبل السلاح أولويتهم.

اذا اخذنا بالاعتبار عدد الأصوات، التي كان يفترض ان تنال القوى المؤيدة للمقاومة الأغلبية، لو أنها تخلّت عن الثقة المبالغ بها بالنفس، التي تسببت بارتكاب جملة من الأخطاء، أولها التهاون مع إجراء الانتخاب الاغترابي رغم انعدام تكافؤ الفرص بين اللوائح المتنافسة، خصوصاً في الدول التي تصنف المقاومة إرهاباً، وتمنع مؤيديها من تنظيم حملاتهم الانتخابية واستخدام وسائل الإعلام وتسمية مندوبين ودعوة المرشحين لجولات على الناخبين لديها، ومعلوم أن هذا العيب الدستوري عامل كافٍ للطعن بنتائج الانتخابات في الاغتراب من جهة، ورسالة كافية للناخبين لتفادي المساءلة والملاحقة أحياناً إن منحوا أصواتهم بعكس المناخ السائد في الدول التي يحصلون رزقهم فيها، وثاني هذه الأخطاء الناجمة عن المبالغة بالثقة ما شهده سوء إدارة اللوائح الانتخابية بين الحلفاء ما أدى الى خسارة مدوية في جزين، ويكفي النظر الى أن مجموع ما ناله مرشحو اللوائح المختلفة للحلفاء حازت ما كان يكفي للفوز بمقعدين على الأقل، لمعرفة نتائج الأسلوب العبثيّ الذي تسبب بخسائر سياسية كبيرة في خلافات لا نتيجة لها سوى تفكيك البيئة الشعبية الواحدة المستهدفة كفريق واحد من الخصوم الداخليين والخارجيين ذاتهم.

كما أسقطت الانتخابات مقولة تأجيل كل شيء حتى الانتخابات، وأثبتت أن ذلك لم يكن الا هدراً للوقت، فليس بعد الانتخابات إلا ما كان قبلها، حتمية التعاون لبلورة حلول للأزمات التي يكتوي كل اللبنانيين بنارها، والتي لا حل لها ولا خلاص منها إلا عبر مؤسسات الدولة، برلماناً وحكومة ورئاسات، كذلك أسقطت فرضية قدرة فريق سياسي او طائفي على ادعاء القدرة على التصدّي لهذه المشكلات أو صياغة الأولويات أو تشكيل المؤسسات، كذلك أسقطت الصورة النمطية التي رافقت ظاهرة المجموعات الوليدة من ساحات 17 تشرين، فمثلما يوجد بين هؤلاء من يوضح خطابه الغربة عن الواقع والسعي لتلبية متطلبات مشغل خارجي، فإن بينهم وجوهاً جديدة واعدة تملك وجهات نظر ومواقف وطنيّة جديرة بالاحترام، ويمكن أن تمثل ظواهر لافتة في تركيبة المجلس النيابي الجديد، وبين قرابة الـ 20 نائباً مستقلاً ونائباً منضوياً في قوى التغيير، ستتاح فرصة تبلور مجموعة من عشرة نواب على الأقل، يملكون شجاعة الإقدام على وضع الأولويات الإصلاحية على الطاولة، صادقين في مكافحة الفساد، وفي مواجهة المنظومة المصرفيّة، وفي تصحيح الوضع المالي، ويملكون رؤى ومقاربات جديدة تضيف نكهة علمية شبابية يفتقدها العمل السياسي، كما بين هؤلاء وجوه نسائيّة لم ترث موقعها ولا نالته في ظروف ملتبسة، يشوبها فساد العلاقات السياسية بالداخل والخارج، بل انتزعته بجدارة علميّة وعمليّة، ستشكل سقوفاً لسواها وتشجيعاً على تسريع السير بالكوتا النسائيّة، وبينهم شباب ومناضلون خرجوا من جروح الناس ولغتهم وبلاغتهم، سيشكلون وضوحاً وتحدياً للغة المجاملات والصفقات، ويضعون تخفيض سن الاقتراع على الطاولة.

هناك خسارات في هذه الانتخابات تسبب بها من أطلق الرصاص على قدميه فخرج من المعركة، وخسارات أخرى برصاص طائش، وخسارات ثالثة برصاصات صديقة، لكن كما أن الانتخابات ليست نهاية السياسة لجهة كونها المحطة المفصلية التي توهم البعض أنها تحسم مصير القضايا التي لا يحسمها إلا التوافق، كذلك ليست الانتخابات نهاية السياسة لجهة كونها المحطة المفصلية التي تحدد مصير الأحزاب والشخصيات، بل هي محطة لأخذ العبر والدروس.

الحلّ بالانتخابات… ها هي قد جرت

منذ 17 تشرين 2019 قرّر فريق كبير في البلد تجميد السياسة تحت شعار أن الأولويّة هي للانتخابات النيابيّة، مبكرة إن أمكن وفي موعدها إذا تعذّرت المبكرة، وتشارك في ذلك بصورة رئيسيّة حزبا القوات اللبنانية والكتائب والنواب المستقيلون وجمعيات المجتمع المدني وقوى التغيير، وقالوا للبنانيين إن حلّ الأزمة يبدأ بإجراء الانتخابات، وقد نجح هؤلاء في إقناع كتلة واسعة من اللبنانيين بأن الانتخابات هي الحل، وإن لا صوت يعلو فوق صوت الانتخابات.

الآن وقد جرت الانتخابات، ماذا سيفعل هؤلاء، هو السؤال الذي يجب أن يوجّه إليهم، وليس لمن كان يقول ويردد إن الإنتخابات مهمة لتجديد دوري في موعد دستوري للتمثيل السياسي، لكن في بلد كلبنان فإن الانتخابات النيابية لا تشكل طريقاً لحل الأزمات، لأنه في نظام مبنيّ على التمثيل الطائفي، لا تستطيع أغلبية نيابية أن تحكم، وأن قدر اللبنانيين التعاون والحكم معاً، كما كان يردد دائماً الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله، في زمن وجود الأغلبية في صف حزب الله وحلفائه، وكان يردد إن أي اغلبية لا تستطيع تغيير ما يعتقده اللبنانيون قضايا كبرى، حتى لو كان منصوصاً عليها في الدستور، مثل تشكيل الهيئة الوطنية لإلغاء الطائفية، أو منع تخصيص وظائف الدولة العليا لطوائف بعينها، أو الذهاب نحو تطبيق المادة 22 من الدستور لانتخاب مجلس نيابي خارج القيد الطائفيّ وإنشاء مجلس الشيوخ، فكيف عندما يتعلق الأمر بقضايا أشد حساسية مثل سلاح المقاومة، التي قال دعاة الأولوية للانتخابات إنها ستكون موضع حسم بنيل الأغلبية.

واقعياً فشلت حملة نيل الأغلبية المعادية للمقاومة وسلاحها، والمقصود ليس النواب الذين يمتلكون رأياً مخالفاً للمقاومة، بل النواب الذي يرون قضية مصير سلاح المقاومة وصولاً لنزعه، أولوية تتقدم على كل شيء الى درجة اعتباره هدفاً أول يجب البدء بمواجهته، وهؤلاء هم أقل من ثلث مجلس النواب الجديد، وإذا اضفنا الى كتلة القوات اللبنانية نواب الكتائب والأحرار وعدداً من النواب المستقيلين لا يتعدى عدد أصابع اليد الواحدة، واثنين أو ثلاثة من الفائزين تحت مسمّيات المجتمع المدني، سنصل الى عدد 33 نائباً فقط، وإذا أخذنا بالاعتبار المسافات الجنبلاطيّة الخاصة، وموقع النواب الآتين من تيار المستقبل، وما قاله العديد من نواب التغيير حول هذا العنوان، لجهة اعتباره ملفاً للحوار لا للمواجهة، بالإضافة لنواب يعتبرون الأولوية لمواجهة ما يسمّونه بالمنظومة، وبالتالي يصير السؤال لأصحاب أولوية عنوان سلاح المقاومة، ودعاة الأولوية للانتخابات الآن، ماذا ستفعلون الآن وقد تمّت الانتخابات، وماذا ستخترعون كأولوية بديلة؟

يقول هؤلاء إنهم لن يشاركوا في حكومة وحدة وطنية تضمّهم مع حزب الله والتيار الوطني الحر، على الأقل، ولكنهم عاجزون بالمقابل عن تشكيل أغلبيّة تسمح لهم بتشكيل حكومة، ومن حسن حظ حزب الله وحلفائه أنهم لم ينالوا أغلبية المجلس النيابي، بما يلزمهم بالقيام بمسؤوليّة تشكيل حكومة، كما حدث مع حكومة الرئيس حسان دياب، ما يبقي الكرة في ملعب دعاة الانتخابات هي الحل.

قولوا لنا كيف ستكون الانتخابات هي الحل، وكيف ستكون الانتخابات مدخلاً لتغيير واقع اللبنانيين، وما هي وصفتكم لخروجهم من الأزمة؟

بقي أمامكم إحدى وصفتين إذا بقي شعاركم أن لا حل بوجود سلاح المقاومة، الأول هو الحرب الأهلية، والثاني هو التقسيم، فأي الانتحارين ستختارون، وتجعلون الفراغ السياسي والدستوري والحكومي طريقاً نحوه؟

السؤال الثاني للنواب الجدد التغييريين، وهو ماذا سيقول دعاة التغيير عن مشروع التقسيم ومشروع الحرب الأهليّة، تحت شعار حملة لا يشبهوننا، ما دام هؤلاء التغييريون يقولون إنهم يؤمنون بالسلم الأهلي ووحدة لبنان، وإذا كان مفهوماً أن تكون دعوة هؤلاء سابقا للانتخابات تعبيراً عن رغبتهم بالمساهمة في الحياة السياسية من موقع القرار، فهم اليوم وقد باتوا نواباً يعلمون أن كلامهم عن طبقة سياسية صار يشملهم، وبعد شهور سيُقال لهم ماذا فعلتم وقد انتخبناكم نواباً، ويجب أن يتذكروا أنهم تنمروا كثيراً على سواهم عندما قال ما خلونا؟

خريطة الطريق نحو الحل تبدأ بحكومة، لها توصيفها وبرنامجها وصيغتها الواقعية لـ إبصار النور، فهل يملك نواب التغيير وصفتهم لإخراج البلد من خطر الفراغ، عبر حكومة جديدة، وهل سيشاركون فيها عبر السعي لتشكيل أغلبية جديدة، ومع مَن مِن الكتل النيابية، ووفقاً لأي نوع من التفاهمات من جهة، وربط النزاع من جهة أخرى، وأمامهم اليوم خياران لا ثالث لهما خيار حكومة تشكلها أغلبية تشكل القوات اللبنانية نواتها الصلبة وأولويتها سلاح المقاومة وتصعيد الانقسام السياسي، تربط النزاع حول الخلافات على الرؤية الاقتصاديّة وحل الأزمة المالية حتى لو تواصل الانهيار، أو أغلبية عنوانها الأولوية لمواجهة الانهيار وربط النزاع حول سائر القضايا الخلافية، ونقلها الى طاولة حوار جامع، يشكل حزب الله وحركة أمل والتيار الوطني الحر وحلفاؤهم أركاناً فيها، وينضم إليها حكما الآخرون باستثناء الـ 33 أصولياً من المحافظين الجدد؟

سؤال أخير للتغييريين، وهل يمكن أن يوصف لنا من يقصدون بالمنظومة التي يريدون إسقاطها، وكيف، واذا كانوا يتحدثون عن تدريب اللبنانيين والسياسيين خصوصاً، والنواب بالأخص، على الممارسة الديمقراطية، فهل سينجحون بالتصرف كما تفعل القوى النيابية الديمقراطية في برلمانات العالم، ويملكون شجاعة صياغة تفاهمات تمنحهم فرصة نيل رئاسة لجنة الإدارة والعدل، المطبخ القانوني البرلماني، مقابل التفاهم على رئيس مجلس النواب ونائب رئيس مجلس النواب؟

السؤال نفسه للطرفين المعنيين بتسمية الرئيس ونائب الرئيس، أي حركة أمل والتيار الوطني الحر، هل سيواصلان تبادل الكيديات، وقد تسببت بخسارة ثلاثة مقاعد أو مقعدين على الأقل في جزين، بينما كان أمامهما فرصة لتثبيت المواقع النيابية بتفاهمات مشرّفة لكليهما، وأمامهما اليوم فرصة أهم لما هو أهم أيضاً؟

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Fact-checked: Video documenting David Schenker’s statements on Lebanon هذا ما قاله ديفيد شينكر في ندوة معهد واشنطن

17 May 2022

Fact-checked: Video documenting David Schenker’s statements on Lebanon

Source: The Washington Institute

By Al Mayadeen English 

Al Mayadeen refutes the claims of David Schenker that the network misreported his remarks on Lebanon, most notably the US’ role in exacerbating the country’s economic crisis.

Former US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker

Former US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker spoke, on May 12, on the occasion of launching the latest book by Hanin Ghaddar, Friedmann Fellow in the Washington Institute’s Program on Arab Politics, who focuses on Shia politics throughout the Levant. Robert Satloff, a researcher at The Washington Institute, moderated the seminar.

The former US Assistant Secretary made serious statements, ahead of Lebanon’s parliamentary elections, about the US role played in the country by the administration of former US President Donald Trump in order to accelerate the country’s financial collapse, as well as the administration’s exploitation of the “October 17” movement to distort Hezbollah’s image and weaken it along with its allies.

Al Mayadeen had earlier published a news report about the symposium, but Schenker had reservations about the mechanism of its coverage through other media outlets, accusing the network of misrepresenting his own words. Following are video-supported excerpts from what he said during the meeting, which refutes his claims against Al Mayadeen.

Commenting on the US’ role in supporting the so-called March 14 alliance coalition, Schenker detailed how the US orchestrated a maximum pressure campaign against Hezbollah to target its revenues saying, “So, we [the US] had a sort of multi-faceted strategy – I don’t know if we spelled it out as such – but we undertook a number of activities. So first and foremost, is to deny the organization revenues: We had the maximum pressure campaign which limited funding from Tehran to the organization cutting back, you know, 800-700 million dollars a year provided directly from Iran…” 

Elsewhere in his remarks, Schenker boldly stated, “We also sanctioned Hezbollah financial institutions, like the Jammal Trust Bank, we are careful to do so, as we were waiting for Moody’s [Analytics] to come out with their credit ratings first that downgraded Lebanon, and the day after, we piled on and did Jamal Trust but we weren’t responsible for the downgrade, so we raised the cost as well for Hezbollah’s allies. We designated some of Hezbollah’s most corrupt allies including, as pointed out earlier, Gibran Bassil – the president’s son-in-law. The message, I think, in this regard, is clear.”

Video documenting David Schenker’s statements on Lebanon

On the course the US followed to undermine Hezbollah’s very presence, Schenker said, “We [the US] looked for political opportunities: We saw an opportunity to deal Hezbollah a symbolic defeat in the municipal elections. We know about what happened in 2016 with Beirut Madinati in municipal elections, and we wanted to build on this, understanding primarily that it’ll be symbolic. But, nonetheless, you know, affirming that this organization is not 10 feet tall.”

On the US’ attempt to infiltrate Hezbollah’s arena of popular support, he said, “We cultivated Shiite businessmen. So during my tenure as Assistant Secretary of NEA [Near East Affairs], I traveled to Lebanon twice or three times. On all occasions, I had public dinners with Shiite businessmen opposed to Hezbollah that were organized by my dear friend, Lokman Slim.”

He has also affirmed that “the idea was to promote economic opportunities in Shiite areas to help wean the community from its dependence on Hezbollah, and we worked hard at that and I think we made some initial progress, that for a number of reasons, including the port blast, could not be sustained.”

“We supported civil society – Shiite civil society – so I met with creative members of the Shiite civil society opposed to Hezbollah’s’ authoritarianism. I met with Shiite journalists, people who wrote for Janoubia, a great online site in the south that reports on Hezbollah’s corruption and repression,” Schenker claimed.

Fact-checked: Video documenting David Schenker’s statements on Lebanon

The US diplomat admitted that the US funded the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) by saying, “Now, the alternative to that is the default US policy of basically funding the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), underwriting the military in the hope that somehow this will mitigate towards stability in Lebanon. Now, while there’s some merit in funding the institution, it’s not a panacea and won’t be an agent of change in Lebanon.”

Projecting on one of the speaker’s ideas regarding Hezbollah’s status, Schenker said, “So the phenomenon that Hanin describes so well, I think, is an opportunity for, regardless of whether it’s Republicans or Democrats in Washington that the administration should look to exploit.”

“The LAF won’t prevent state collapse or another Hezbollah war with “Israel”. The focus of the LAF absent the approach to Hezbollah is a recipe for continuation of the status quo, or more likely a further deterioration and ultimately the destabilization of Lebanon,” he claimed.

Fact-checked: Video documenting David Schenker’s statements on Lebanon

Regarding the 2022 parliamentary elections in Lebanon, he said, “But, what I do know, is that the opposition is incredibly divided, brimming with narcissistic or individualistic leaders who are more interested in being the head of their individual parties than getting together and overthrowing a corrupt elite. And so they have something like 100 parties running – the normal parties and then all these other smaller parties. And my guess is they’re going to eat their own and we’re not going to see them gain a great deal of seats to shift the balance”.

He concluded by commenting on the US multifront war to shrink Hezbollah’s authority by saying, “That’s exactly my point, which is you have to work to push back on this group [Hezollah] on all fronts. And that part of that is going after them in Lebanon, supporting people who are willing to stand up to them, and then going after Iran economically or in other ways, putting pressure on them. They don’t get a free pass from creating all these militias, planting them that are destabilizing or destroying their countries.”

Several Lebanese parties have long warned against the role the US is playing in the Lebanese arena of politics and the fact that the said county is making every effort to incite strife and favor a party over another based on its whims and own narrow interests. Schenker’s words expose the US interference in Lebanese politics, not to mention the substantial role it played in exacerbating the economic crisis the Lebanese have been under since 2019. 

هذا ما قاله ديفيد شينكر في ندوة معهد واشنطن

المصدر: الميادين نت

الثلاثاء 17 أيار 2022

مساعد وزير الخارجية الأميركي لشؤون الشرق الأدنى السابق، ديفيد شينكر، يتحدّث عن الدور الأميركي في لبنان، وعن مشروع الاستثمار الأميركي في قوى “المجتمع المدني”.

المساعد السابق لوزير الخارجية الأميركي لشؤون الشرق الأدنى ديفيد شينكر

استضاف معهد واشنطن ندوة عبر تطبيق “زووم”، بتاريخ الـ12 من أيار/مايو الجاري، شاركت فيها حنين غدار، الباحثة اللبنانية في معهد واشنطن، وديفيد شينكر، المساعد السابق لوزير الخارجية الأميركي لشؤون الشرق الأدنى، وبشار حيدر، الأستاذ الجامعي في الجامعة الأميركية في بيروت. وأدار الندوة الباحث في معهد واشنطن روبرت ساتلوف، قائلاً إنّها تأتي قبل أيام من الانتخابات النيابية في لبنان، لكنها ستركز على قضية حزب الله داخل المجتمع الشيعي، بمناسبة إطلاق معهد واشنطن كتاباً جديداً لحنين غدار، بعنوان “أرض حزب الله: تشريح الضاحية والمجتمع الشيعي في لبنان”.ميناء

وصرّح شينكر بأنّ إدارة الرئيس باراك أوباما “اهتمت بدرجة أقل بلبنان”، على عكس إدارة الرئيس الأميركي السابق دونالد ترامب، التي أولت قدراً كبيراً من الاهتمام بالشأن اللبناني، بحيث “كان الانهيار المالي يترسّخ، وحدث انفجار ميناء بيروت، وكان برنامج لبنان للذخائر الموجَّهة بدقة (مع الجيش اللبناني) يحقق تقدماً كبيراً”.

شنكر:  إدارة ترامب أولت قدراً كبيراً من الاهتمام بالشأن اللبنانيشنكر: قمنا بتصنيف بعض حلفاء حزب الله بالأكثر فساداً

وفيما يخص العقوبات التي فرضتها الإدارة الأميركية على حزب الله، لفت شينكر إلى أنّ واشنطن “فرضت عقوبات على المؤسسات المالية التابعة لحزب الله، مثل جمال تراست بنك، فكنّا حريصين على القيام بذلك، بحيث كنا ننتظر إصدار مؤسسة موديز تصنيفاتها الائتمانية التي خفّضت تصنيف لبنان. وفي اليوم التالي، جمعنا الوثائق، وقمنا بوصم جمال بنك”. وقال ضاحكاً: “لكننا لم نكن مسؤولين عن خفض تصنيف لبنان”.

وتابع أنّ بلاده “رفعت التكلفة على حلفاء حزب الله”، قائلاً: “قمنا بتصنيف بعض حلفاء حزب الله الأكثر فساداً، بمن في ذلك صهر الرئيس اللبناني جبران باسيل. والرسالة في هذا الصدد واضحة. فالولايات المتحدة لا تقف فقط ضد الفساد الذي يتورط فيه حزب الله على نحو قريب، والذي يؤدي إلى تدمير الاقتصاد اللبناني، لكن هؤلاء الناس سيدفعون الثمن. لن يربحوا من هذا من دون الإضرار بسمعتهم، أو تلقيهم ضرراً مالياً”.

شنكر: واشنطن فرضت عقوبات على المؤسسات المالية التابعة لحزب اللهشنكر: حزب الله يؤمن بالرصاص وصناديق الاقتراع

وبشأن استغلال الفرص السياسية من أجل التصويب على حزب الله،  قال ديفيد شينكر: “بحثنا عن الفرص السياسية. رأينا فرصة في توجيه هزيمة رمزية لحزب الله في الانتخابات البلدية. نحن نعلم بما حدث في عام 2016، مع حملة “بيروت مدينتي” في الانتخابات البلدية، وأردنا البناء على ذلك، مع معرفتنا المسبّقة بأنها ستكون هزيمة رمزية”.

وأكد أن الإدراة الأميركية قامت بـ”زرع رجال أعمال شيعة”، مشيراً إلى أنّه سافر إلى لبنان مرتين، أو ثلاث مرات، خلال فترة عمله مساعداً لوزير الخارجية لشؤون الشرق الأدنى.

وقال مساعد وزير الخارجية الأميركي لشؤون الشرق الأدنى السابق إنّه كان له عشاء عام مع رجال الأعمال الشيعة المعارضين لحزب الله، نظّمه لقمان سليم، الذي وصفه بـ”صديقه العزيز”، موضحاً: “كانت الفكرة هي تعزيز الفرص الاقتصادية في المناطق الشيعية للمساعدة على وقف اعتماد هذا المجتمع على حزب الله، وعملنا بجد على ذلك. وأعتقد أننا أحرزنا بعض التقدم الأولي. لكن، نتيجة عدد من الأسباب، بما في ذلك انفجار الميناء، لم نتمكن من جعل هذا التقدم مستداماً”.

وأضاف ديفيد شينكر: “لقد دعمنا المجتمع المدني الشيعي. لذلك التقيت أعضاء مبدعين من المجتمع المدني الشيعي المعارضين لاستبداد حزب الله. التقيت صحافيين شيعة، ممن يكتبون لموقع “جنوبية”، وهو موقع إلكتروني رائع في الجنوب، يقدّم تقارير بشأن فساد حزب الله وقمعه. بإيجاز، أعتقد أننا اتخذنا مقاربة رفضت النظر إلى الطائفة الشيعية اللبنانية على أنها كتلة واحدة، وحاولنا إيجاد فرص من أجل الاستفادة من السخط الشيعي”.

شنكر: الإدراة الأميركية قامت بزرع رجال أعمال شيعةشنكر: من المهم أن ننظر إلى ما يحدث في لبنان

وبحسب المساعد السابق لوزير الخارجية الأميركي لشؤون الشرق الأدنى، فإنّه لا يعتقد أنّ الانتخابات ستغيّر الوضع بصورة كبيرة، “على الرغم من كل الاحتجاجات في عام 2019، والاستياء السائد في لبنان”، مضيفاً: “أولاً وقبل كل شيء، وكما نعلم جيداً مما حدث بعد انتخابات عامَي 2005 و2009، فإن حزب الله لا يحترم نتائج الانتخابات، فهو يؤمن بالرصاص وصناديق الاقتراع، على حدّ سواء”.

شنكر: لا أعتقد أنّ الانتخابات ستغيّر الوضع بصورة كبيرةشنكر: المعارضة منقسمة بصورة كبيرة لا تُصدق

وأكد شينكر أنّ هناك سبباً آخر في عدم وجود أي تأثير للانتخابات، معتقداً أنّ “من المهم أنّ ننظر إلى ما يحدث في المجتمع المسيحي، كما أشار بشار حيدر، الذي قال إنّ من المهم أن ننظر إلى ما يحدث في لبنان، بسبب جبران باسيل والتيار الوطني الحر، نتيجة النظر إليهما بصفتهما فاسدَين، بالتواطؤ مع حزب الله، وهل سيعانيان (أي باسيل وتياره انتخابياً)؟ من يدري إلى أين ستذهب هذه الأصوات؟”.

شنكر: من المهم أن ننظر إلى ما يحدث في لبنان وتحديداً في المجتمع المسيحيشنكر: الانتخابات لا تصلح النظام المنتهك في لبنان

وأضاف أنّ “ما أعرفه هو أنّ المعارضة منقسمة بصورة كبيرة لا تُصَدَّق، فهي مليئة بالقادة النرجسيين أو الفردانيين، والذين يهتمون بأنّ يكونوا رؤساء أحزابهم الخاصة، أكثر من اهتمامهم بالتوحّد معاً وإطاحة النخبة الفاسدة. فهم لديهم نحو 100 حزب تخوض الانتخابات، بدءاً بالأحزاب العادية، ثم كل هذه الأحزاب الصغيرة الأخرى. وأعتقد أنّهم سيأكلون بعضهم البعض، ولن نراهم يكسبون حصة كبيرة في المقاعد النيابية من أجل تغيير التوازن” السياسي في البلد.

شنكر: المعارضة منقسمة بصورة كبيرة لا تُصَدَّقشنكر: دعمنا المجتمع المدني الشيعي في لبنان

وعبّر شينكر عن عدم تفاؤله بـ”هذه الانتخابات. لا أعتقد أنه يجب على حكومة الولايات المتحدة أن تضع كثيراً من الثِّقل أو الصدقية تجاه ما يحدث فيها. هناك نظام منتهَك في لبنان، والانتخابات، في ظل قوانين انتخابية كهذه الموجودة، لن تُصلحه، للأسف”.

شنكر: هناك نظام منتهَك في لبنانشنكر: إدارة ترامب أولت اهتماماً كبيراً بالشأن اللبناني

وكانت الميادين نشرت خبراً بشأن هذه الندوة، تحفَّظ شنكر، عبر وسائل إعلام أخرى، عن آلية تغطيتها.

Hezbollah Warns Opponents in Lebanese Parliament: We Won’t Let You Be Shields for ‘Israel’

 May 16, 2022

Head of Loyalty to Resistance bloc, Hajj Mohammad Raad, warned on Monday Hezbollah opponents against rejecting the national unity, stressing that the civil peace is a red line.

After the official announcement of the results of the parliamentary elections in which Hezbollah-Amal Movement alliance swept all the Shiite seats, MP Raad stressed that the vote has proved lofty position of the Resistance in the nation.

On May 15, Lebanon witnessed a parliamentary elections which synchronized with an unprecedented crisis caused by the US-backed siege and corruption. Despite the US scheme, the Resistance alliance manage to emerge victorious.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Lebanon Elections Preliminary Results: Hezbollah, Amal Sweep Shiite Seats in Parliament 

May 16, 2022

Hezbollah and Amal Movement swept Shiite seats in the Lebanese Parliament in Sunday’s vote, despite heavy efforts by rivals, especially the Lebanese Forces, to set a blow to the Shiite duo’s popular base.

According to preliminary results obtained by the electoral machines of both the Shiite duo and their rivals, Hezbollah and Amal gained 27 seats out of 27 Shiite seats, compared to 26 seats in the last elections in 2018.

Head of Hezbollah’s Loyalty to Resistance MP Mohammad Raad earned the highest number of preferential votes in Lebanon with nearly 50,000 Lebanese citizens gave him their votes in South III district.

Hezbollah’s candidate in Mount Lebanon I district (Keserwan, Jbeil) Raed Berro has reportedly gained the Shiite seat which was lost by Hezbollah in 2018.

If confirmed by the Lebanese Interior Ministry’s official results, Hezbollah and Amal are seen as firm and strong powers in the country due to unprecedented campaigns by the Lebanese Forces Party which has raised ‘disarming Hezbollah’ as one of its main electoral topics.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah’s allies suffered several setbacks, with several seats were lost in favor of independent hopefuls and Saudi-backed Lebanese Forces candidates.

Free Patriotic Movement gained nearly 16 sets in the Parliament compared to 29 seats (FPM with its Christian allies) in 2018.

Hezbollah’s allies Wiam Wahhab and Talal Arslan lost their seats in Mount Lebanon IV district.

In north Lebanon Faisal Karami also lost his seat, according to preliminary results.

For its part, Saudi-backed Lebanese Forces Party has reportedly won nearly 19 seats, compared to 15 seats in 2018.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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Zionist Navy Holds Surprise Drill as Part of ‘Chariots of Fire’ Exercises

May 16, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

The Zionist occupation regime’s navy launched a surprise drill as part of the month-long so-called “Chariots of Fire” military exercises, despite an earlier warning by Palestinian resistance groups that they will not hesitate to respond to any act of aggression against the Palestinian people.

The Sunday drill was aimed to test the ability of the navy to switch from routine to emergency format and to handle erupting situations, the ‘Jerusalem Post’ reported.

On May 9, the ‘Israeli’ military launched the four-week ‘Chariots of Fire’ war game, which simulates a multi-frontal and multidimensional war against what the occupation regime called its enemies in the air, at sea, on land, and on the cyber front.

The ‘Israeli’ occupation military claimed that the goal of the drill was to improve the readiness of all ‘Israeli’ forces and examine the ability of troops to carry out a prolonged campaign against enemy forces.

The so-called ‘Chariots of Fire’ is said to be the Zionist regime’s largest military exercise in decades.

The ‘Israeli’ military is also set to hold a test of the siren systems and emergency preparedness in Tel Aviv and Haifa on Monday, when settlers are expected to enter bomb shelters when they hear the sirens and to ensure that their shelters are well-stocked for an emergency

In the case of an actual attack, the sirens will sound twice, the Zionist military said.

The surprise naval drill comes as the ‘Jerusalem Post’ expressed its concerns in a report over the “expanding arsenal” of Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement.

The ‘Israeli’ newspaper referred to a video circulating online that purportedly shows that Hezbollah “has some new munitions in its always expanding arsenal.”

“Over the years, Hezbollah has stockpiled more than 100,000 missiles and rockets. However, the real danger of these weapons is that some have been upgraded or use new technology that enables them to be precision-guided munitions, or maneuvering munitions, drones, and cruise missiles,” according to the Post.

The report cited a Twitter account as saying that “the new Hezbollah video shows a glance of what is likely an Abu-Mahdi anti-ship cruise missile launcher.”

Lebanon and the Zionist entity are technically at war because the latter has kept the Arab country’s Shebaa Farms under occupation since 1967.

Hezbollah has on many occasions expressed its full readiness for any confrontation in case the ‘Israeli’ regime opts to launch a new war against Lebanon.

Last December, Yitzhak Brik, a retired ‘Israeli’ general, warned that the Zionist military was not ready for any future war, predicting that the regime would be hit with 3,000 missiles a day in case an all-out war breaks out.

The sword of Jerusalem turns the equation and Jerusalem becomes at the heart of the balance of deterrence

Lebanon votes in 2022 parliamentary elections

May 15, 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen English

By Al Mayadeen English 

The Lebanese people are heading to the polls in the first legislative elections in the country since it underwent several political and economic crises that put it on the world map of turbulence.

The polls opened at 7 am local time in Lebanon

The people of Lebanon are heading to the polls on Sunday for the first time since simultaneous, consecutive crises hit the country and brought upon public outrage due to the living conditions rendered intolerable and exacerbated by mounting international pressure on the country.

The parliamentary election comes to test the opposition – a vast majority of whom is backed and funded by the US – that came to life during the widespread 2019 protests that saw demonstrators taking to the streets all over Lebanon.

The election campaign faced many obstructions due to the stifling economic condition in the country, but Beirut overcame the obstacles, with now 3.9 million Lebanese people being eligible to vote as soon as the polls opened at 7:00 am (4:00 am GMT) and until 7:00 pm (4:00 pm GMT).

This comes days after former US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker said he did not think the status-quo in Lebanon would shift due to the election, i.e., the situation would not change in the interest of the United States.

A key aspect of Schenker’s talking point was his claim of “growing discontent with Hezbollah amongst the Shia constituent”, adding that the US could have done more to “exploit” that discontent.

The senior diplomat cited the Bush administration’s siding with the Lebanese March 14 coalition in 2005 as an exception. The US had sided with the coalition in a bid to undermine the March 8 coalition comprised of Hezbollah and its allies, according to Schenker.

Since the state held its last election, Lebanon has been hit by a pandemic, a blast labeled one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history, a political crisis, a diplomatic crisis, and widespread protests, all of which have exacerbated the economic situation and stocked surging inflation in the country.

Here is what you need to know about the parliamentary elections

The national currency has lost more than 95% of its value, people are blocked from accessing their savings in banks, and the minimum wage cannot cover basic necessities throughout the month, putting more than 80% of the population under the poverty line.

Due to the hardship the Lebanese people are suffering, the country landed at the very bottom of the 2022 World Happiness Index released in March. The country only came second-to-last to Afghanistan, a nation that has just ended a US occupation that lasted 20-years and brought it to the brink of collapse.

Check: Global Happiness Index 2019-2021

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Sayyed Nasrallah’s Father Casts Ballot: Photo More..

May 15, 2022

Sayyed Abul Karim Nasrallah, father of Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah cast ballot in Lebanon’s parliamentary elections on Sunday.

Photo circulated on social media showed Sayyed Abdul Karim Nasrallah raising his finger marked with blue ink, in an indication that he cast his ballot, near a polling center in the southern village of Bazourieh.

Earlier on Sunday, photo of Sayyed Hasan Nasralah’s son, Sayyed Jawad Nasrallah raising his finger marked with ink was also circulated on social media.

Sayyed Jawad Nasrallah

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Schenker Acknowledges: US Exploited 2019 Protests, Fastened Lebanon Economic Collapse: Video

May 15, 2022

On eve of parliamentary elections in Lebanon, David Schenker, former United States Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, made remarks on the dangerous role played by the former US administration to fasten the economic collapse in Lebanon and to maintain the siege on the country.

During The Washington Institute’s virtual Policy Forum entitled “Hezbollah-Shia Dynamics and Lebanon’s Election: Challenges, Opportunities, and Policy Implications,” Schenker acknowledged that the former US administration of Donald Trump exploited the 2019 protests in a bid to defame and weaken Hezbollah along with its allies.

The US official said that former US administration imposed sanctions on financial organizations affiliated with Hezbollah and on Jammal Trust Bank, noting that the step was directly after Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Lebanon’s issuer rating to C from Ca.

The US was behind downgrading Lebanon’s rating and the Trump administration was keen to synchronize this move with sanctioning Jammal Trust Bank, Schenker told the forum.

In this context, the US official said that Washington also sanctioned Hezbollah’s major ally Gebran Bassil as part of efforts aimed at laying siege on Hezbollah and its allies.

He noted that while he was in his post he visited Lebanon for two or three times, adding that during these visits he met anti-Hezbollah Shiite businessmen and journalists.

https://english.almanar.com.lb/ajax/video_check.php?id=107329

Furthermore, Schenker said he was not optimistic about 2022 elections and that he did not think the results will sway the current political situation in the country, noting that the US administration should not bet on these elections.

In an assessment of Hezbollah rival candidates, Schenker described them as “individualistic, self-centered and narcissistic leaders.”

He claimed that they are mostly seeking to obtain titles and the benefits of leadership rather than creating actual change in the political composition of the country.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

This Is How the “Israeli” Intelligence Apparatus Studies Sayyed Nasrallah’s Personality

May 14, 2022

By Jihad Haidar

“Israel’s” military intelligence Aman takes a unique interest in the personality of the Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. It goes beyond the agency’s traditional role in surveilling the leaders of the hostile camp, and evaluating their strengths, weaknesses, ideology, thought process, and factors affecting their decisions and choices.

According to the Yedioth Ahronoth Newspaper’s revelations last year, the agency has a team of 15 researchers affiliated with Aman’s research division, tasked with following everything related to Sayyed Nasrallah and using this to understand and estimate Hezbollah’s options as well as its responses to any moves by “Israel”.

This team reports directly to Aman’s current head of the Military Intelligence Research Division Gen. Amit Saar and belongs to the so-called “Lebanon arena” within the intelligence apparatus. It works all the time on updating its information about Sayyed Nasrallah using public sources and secret intelligence assets.

The researchers are compiling the “Nasrallah File”. In the same context, they are trying to work on forming a psychological profile and how it affects the way Hezbollah operates. The special team following Sayyed Nasrallah records, translates, and analyzes his speeches, focusing on the smallest details, including the expressions he uses and body language. They also attempt to get a sense of his health status by observing the state of his breathing during his speeches.

Based on the summary of the special team’s studies, the head of the Military Intelligence Research Division Gen. Amit Saar said that Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Hezbollah’s relationship with Iran is not a subordinate relationship, as is the case with many Lebanese leaders.

In an interview with the “Israel” Hayom newspaper, he indicated that Sayyed Nasrallah “is not subject to Iranian tutelage. He does not receive directions, but he is a partner in the decision-making process in Iran. He is the second figure in the Shiite system after Khamenei.”

It is noteworthy that this assessment contradicts the policy that “Israel” and the propaganda agencies at home and abroad that are hostile to Hezbollah, including high-ranking “Israeli” officials, work to promote when the purpose is to incite.

One of the most notable examples of this are the words of the commander of the northern region of the “Israeli” army, Major General Amir Baram, who addressed the Lebanese people in Arabic. Although the speech was in Hebrew he said “Hezbollah is an Iranian occupation of Lebanon, [and Sayyed Hassan] “Nasrallah does not care about you!” [Al-Akhbar / May 6, 2021].

There is another conclusion that many officials and experts, including Saar repeated. It constitutes a focal point from an “Israeli” perspective in understanding the personality of Hezbollah’s Secretary General. It also constitutes an explanatory framework for understanding his positions and foreseeing his options and future steps. This conclusion states that Sayyed Nasrallah “is not Iranian or Lebanese. He is both. He is Iranian and Shiite, and also Lebanese.”

If we take into account that the one who is expressing these positions is the head of a hostile apparatus whose vocabulary is derived from his ideological and political cache and is trying to form a picture closer to the reality of his enemy – that is, Hezbollah and Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah – then, the meaning of his words is that “Israel” realizes that Hezbollah is working in the interest of the Shiites and Lebanon, as well as being part of the resistance axis that extends from Lebanon to Tehran. These are concepts that Hezbollah does not deny. Rather, the party sees strength for Lebanon and the resistance in its regional alliances. Through these alliances, it was able to confront existential risks to Lebanon and the resistance and face the challenges and predicaments Lebanon is facing.

An additional conclusion is that Hezbollah, under the leadership of Sayyed Nasrallah, has turned into a major actor in the Lebanese and regional arenas. This is a departure from Lebanon’s historic role of being a mere arena that reflects regional developments. It absorbed their repercussions without having an active role in shaping its future, even though it is an integral part of the region, as its future depends on regional developments.

What is also noticeable about Saar’s words is that after 16 years, the intelligence is still exerting efforts to limit Sayyed Nasrallah’s influence on “Israel”. Since the 2006 war, “Israel” has adopted a different approach in dealing with his speeches and positions. This option crystallized as part of the lessons learned from that war.

“There is an insane and exaggerated glorification of Nasrallah. They say that he does not lie or make mistakes,” Brigadier General Saar says about the Secretary General of Hezbollah. This reveals that the results of the efforts exerted by the “Israeli” intelligence and propaganda apparatus were limited and unable to change that image and dimmish its impact on their morale and choices.

Beyond Seif Al-Quds: “Israel’s” Upcoming War

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360°

Karim Sharara

If a wider war breaks out, “Israel’s” strategy will be an offensive one that will feature the use of ground forces.

The battle of Seif Al-Quds introduced a shift in the Resistance’s operations and the future of the Axis of Resistance. What changed during the battle, and how does “Israel” plan on tackling the next war?

Much has been said in the aftermath of the Battle of Seif Al-Quds, what the Israelis termed “Guardian of the Walls” (the name did not age well). Seif Al-Quds, or Al-Quds Sword, was no less than a game-changer in terms of developments in the region, which introduced another chink into Israeli armor, an introduction to a paradigm shift in regional and international relations.

As the events of Sheikh Jarrah were unfolding, and anger mounting against “Israel’s” inhumane, illegal, and shameless colonial practices, so were Israeli attacks against the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and with them, popular resistance and confrontations against Israeli occupation forces picked up. For the first time, with the beginning of the Resistance’s ultimatum for Israeli forces to withdraw from Sheikh Jarrah and the Al-Aqsa Mosque’s courtyard, ending with the Resistance launching rockets after the occupation failed to comply and leave the occupied territories, there was a complete unity between the Resistance and the people.

While Palestine’s Resistance factions operated in complete unison, so did the people of Palestine take to the streets and riot against their oppression by the IOF.

The significance of these happenings wasn’t just limited to Palestinian unity, which was translated into a renewed hope for liberation. For the first time, we also saw statements by Resistance leaders signaling unison among regional Resistance factions as well.

In simple terms, a prolonged war on Gaza and continued violation of the Al-Aqsa Mosque may end with “Israel” having to contend with more than one front.

This wasn’t a simple development that Israeli decision-makers had to contend with, because the very pillars to which “Israel” owns its continuity as a political entity were at stake: Migration, settlement, and security. In order to prepare for the upcoming, inevitable battle, Israeli pundits and decision-makers had to formulate strategies in order to remedy the weaknesses revealed by the battle of Seif Al-Quds.

The Narrative

The battle over narratives is a very important one in fostering support or criticism for a certain event. In this instance, pro-Palestinian youth around the world made use of their social media presence to raise awareness regarding “Israel’s” oppression of the Palestinian people and their forced displacement of the people of Sheikh Jarrah.

Despite the very obvious attempts by Western social media to limit pro-Palestinian accounts from spreading their narrative, with Instagram and Facebook reducing the reach of pro-Palestinian content, the consensus around Israeli brutality during the battle, and “Israel’s” targeting of foreign media reporting on the battle shifted the balance toward Palestine.

This success was also in part due to the fact that people around the world had begun using TikTok, a Chinese platform that the West had no control over, and thus could not use to shape an anti-Resistance consensus. Thus, video and photographic content of the IOF’s targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure could no longer be ignored and shifted world popular opinion against the Israeli war machine.

As a result of this shift in world public opinion, recommendations were made to Israeli decision-makers to further enhance “Israel’s” presence on social media and organize it as a “force multiplier”.

Security strategy

One of “Israel’s” main concerns is the perpetuation of security, and for Israelis living on the occupied territories to sense this security. Without said security, there would be no migration toward the occupied territories, “Israel” could neither build settlements on occupied territories and expand its colonial presence, nor could it afford to maintain its existence.

One of the main pillars of Israeli strength is for it to give off the impression of it being an impregnable fortress, either by way of building walls, or surrounding itself with the figurative Iron dome, so that any targeting is rendered futile, thereby allowing it to perpetuate its existence by sheer awe factor.

The Resistance’s main takeaway from the Seif Al-Quds Battle was that the myth of the Iron Dome, and the sense of security felt by Israeli settlers, especially those living in the Gaza envelope, were both dissipated. The Resistance’s use of rocket volleys in order to land actual hits on Israeli settlements and cities located deep in the occupied heartland meant that settlers had to contend with something new: rockets landing near them, and the possibility of dying or facing gravy injury at any moment; the Iron Dome could no longer protect them, and in their eyes, their government and military had failed them.

A second threat that Israeli decision-makers had to contend with was two-fold:

–          Prolonging the battle amid depleting Iron Dome reserves and an unwillingness to launch a ground incursion because of the risk of suffering heavy losses.

–          The possibility of developments ensuing on the northern front with Lebanon and Hezbollah joining the battle.

Multiple fronts

Faced with the prospect of “Israel” having to contend with multiple fronts, the IOF has decided to launch its largest-ever military drills, which were supposed to take place last May, but were delayed on account of the battle of Seif Al-Quds.

Put simply, even according to Israeli military minds, the occupation cannot withstand a multiple front approach and has had a hard enough time dealing with either the Lebanese or the Gaza front alone. One main problem faced by Israeli decision-makers is that the occupation cannot sustain a battle for an extended amount of time, not to mention the prospect of having to contend with multiple fronts.

If a wider war breaks out, “Israel’s” strategy will be an offensive one that will feature the use of ground forces, making high casualty rates in the IOF inevitable. In the words of the IOF’s Chief of General Staff, Aviv Kochavi, the strategy “Tel Aviv” will employ will be one of “widely expose, widely strike, and widely destroy.” This means Israeli occupation forces will be seeking high-intensity, simultaneous attacks on multiple fronts in order to inflict maximum civilian losses using air superiority so as to establish deterrence.

Non-military strategy

Other than “Israel’s” military strategy, its immediate concern is the Resistance factions in Gaza, who can mobilize the occupied territories. As such, one of its aims is to use the tools and influence at its disposal in order to weaken Resistance factions operating in Gaza by using a three-pronged approach:

1-     Halting the transfer of funds from Qatar to Gaza: Since it cannot use any of its influence against Iran, “Israel” is seeking to use its influence with Qatar in order to restrain the Gaza front, limit Hamas’ influence outside of Gaza, and stop using its media arm to fan the flames.

2-  Enlisting the help of Egypt to place pressure against Resistance factions by obstructing reconstruction in Gaza and closing crossings into the Sinai Peninsula.

3-     Preventing people from Gaza from being allowed to work in other parts of the occupied territories.

Aside from Gaza, its other main concern is the Lebanese Resistance. One strategy that Israeli pundits have been adopting over the past few months rests in applying internal pressure on the Resistance in order to weaken its popular foothold, or as one Israeli Reserve Forces Major put it: the “solution” to Hezbollah’s possession of precision missiles no longer lies in military threats, but “in the ability of the international community and ‘Israel’ to take advantage of the unprecedented internal crisis in Lebanon in order to succeed in fatally damaging the organization’s status (or force it to take over Lebanon and pay a very high price).”

As things are headed, with the promise of a unified answer to the violation of Palestine and Al-Aqsa by the leaders of the Axis of Resistance, there is a probability that the upcoming war will not be only limited to the Palestinian theater. An end to the illusion of Israeli and settler security is one that can prompt a reverse migration from Palestine, and an end to the misery suffered by its people for the past seven decades.

There is an old adage that says, the land’s owner is the one who defends it. Perhaps the coming battle will reveal to the world who the land’s true owners are: those rooted in it and are prepared to give their lives defending it, however possible.

Nasrallah to Israel: ‘From here on, Iran may strike you back directly’

May 3, 2022

Description:

Hezbollah’s leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah warned Israel in a speech on International Quds Day on 29 April 2022, that the Islamic Republic of Iran may strike back directly at the Tel Aviv regime from here on in retaliation for any attacks on Iranian forces in the region.

Seen as a symbol of resistance and anti-imperialism to many in the Arab and Islamic world, Hezbollah is simultaneously listed as a terrorist organisation by a number of Western states, including the U.S., the UK, Canada and Australia.

Date: May 1, 2022

( Please help us keep producing independent translations for you by contributing a small monthly amount here )

Source: Spot Shot Video (YouTube)

Transcript:

Hezbollah’s Secretary GeneralSayyed Hassan Nasrallah:

The biggest response to the treacherous normalization meeting in the Negev was those operations that took place in Tel Aviv and Occupied Palestine. (They formed) a harsh, decisive, and firm answer. The message these operations are delivering to the Zionists is: ‘your normalization with these Arab states won’t protect you’, and this message says to the Arab states as well: ‘your relations with Israel won’t protect you’.

I wish to tell you a piece of information, (it is also directed) to the media, after the Zionists, the Mossad, attacked the Islamic Republic (of Iran) from (the) Erbil (base) in Iraq, and the Islamic Republic struck the Mossad (base in) Erbil with 12 Fateh-110 missiles – the missile strikes that accurately struck their targets – Iran sent a clear and public message, and I want to add a non-public message to that public message. I learned that the Islamic Republic notified regional states that have normalized (relations) and established ties with Israel, (ties) which may (may entail the) building (of military) bases for Israel on their territories, that any aggression against Iran from these states will be responded to (by striking) the Israeli base(s) in these countries, regardless of the country from which the aggression against the Islamic Republic of Iran was launched from.

 The normalizing states have received this message, and so did the temporary Israeli entity, and we are making progress on another matter, which I wish to inform you of too, (and that is that) the Islamic Republic’s field and military stance is now advancing to the extent that, in case of the continuation of Israeli aggression against the Iranian presence in the (West Asia) region, it may strike Israel directly. This position is evolving, its preconditions are developing, and the issue depends on Israeli behaviour, and (the extent of) Israeli foolishness and Israeli stupidity. Officials in the Islamic Republic said: ‘The era in which we bring (back) our martyrs (to the homeland) and hold funeral ceremonies for them is over. (Today) we will avenge our martyrs’. This is a significant development.

Here I should also talk about a point that has to do with Lebanon in relation to the Israeli issue. In May last year, they wanted to conduct major (military) exercises at the level of the entire (Israeli) entity, and we warned (them) then. Today, I wish to reiterate. In May, which happens to be the month in which the (parliamentary) elections (in Lebanon) are taking place, perhaps on the first days or first week of May – they haven’t announced an official date yet – major exercises will take place in the (Israeli) enemy’s entity. Last time, they cancelled it because of The Sword of al-Quds battle and the Palestinian victory (back then). This year, it seems that they are willing to conduct these exercises, in which the navy, air force, ground forces, security bodies, internal front and reserve forces will take part, and it is (planned) to continue for a month. It’ll be a month of (continual) exercises. I wish to say to the Zionists today, that first, this matter does not frighten us, yet it calls us to be careful. We must always consider, in a time of exercises of this kind, and a high Zionist readiness of this kind, that the Israelis might commit a certain act of foolishness, (like) striking a target, assassinating a (certain) figure, bombarding (targets), we can’t know for sure what they might do. They would suppose that as we know Israel is in a state of readiness and (conducting) major exercises, we would recede, be scared, and retreat.

I say to the enemy: first, we are waiting for your exercises – and here the Lebanese people will be surprised, in the past few weeks, while our electoral machines were running, our jihadi troops were conducting silent exercises, and many people might not have noticed that. Exercises (were conducted) for all scenarios, theories, and weaponry which we possess. And I announce today, when Israeli exercises begin, whether they start before the elections or after – (and this is for everyone to hear) so that no one gets surprised – but of course no one will see anything with their own eyes, and this is one of the characteristics of the (Islamic) resistance in Lebanon, when the Israeli exercises start, we, the (Islamic) resistance in Lebanon, will be at the highest level of alertness and readiness. The brothers (in Hezbollah) are informed of this situation and they’re carrying out (the required) preparations, so that we don’t end up taken off guard. I also say to the Israeli enemy: do not bet on a (state of) exhaustion or weariness in a place or another (in Lebanon), hunger or poverty here, or fear or hesitation there. Any mistake – any mistake, any foolish act, any act of aggression, (be it) small or big, that the Israeli enemy might do, will be met by an instant and direct response, and you (Israelis) will not hear (the statement of) ‘we (Hezbollah) reserve right to respond at the appropriate time and place’. These major exercises of yours do not frighten us, and it will not prevent us from establishing the (regional) deterrence equations that have protected (the peace and sovereignty) of Lebanon to date. Do not presume that we are now preoccupied with the elections. The elections won’t distract us from (military) readiness, nor will they distract us from responding to aggressions and protecting our country, which is the original and main goal (of ours).

Israeli media: Upcoming weeks pose huge challenge to Israeli army

30 Apr 2022

Source: Israeli media

By Al Mayadeen Net 

Israeli media comment on the speeches of Hezbollah Secretary-General and IRGC Commander on the occasion of International Al-Quds Day.

Israeli occupation soldiers

Israeli media underscored Friday that the upcoming weeks will pose a major challenge to the Israeli security and military establishment.

Arab affairs commentator on Israeli Channel 13, Hezi Simantov, said that Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Commander Major General Hossein Salami praised and encouraged Palestinian operations.

Simantov added that the two leaders called on more Palestinians to carry out operations in occupied Palestinian territories, knowing that it would be difficult to thwart them in advance.

The Israeli commentator pointed out that the Hamas movement will continue to activate one-man solo operations carried out by Palestinians in the occupied territories in the coming weeks, considering that this would be a major challenge to the Israeli occupation security and military establishment.

It is noteworthy that Sayyed Nasrallah underscored Friday in his speech on the occasion of the International Al-Quds Day that these operations exposed the fragility of the Israeli occupation’s security and the weakness of its security apparatus. He stressed that they also impacted the Israeli settlers’ trust in their government and army, which has vast tremendous repercussions.

In the same context, the Israeli newspaper “Israel” Hayom quoted an excerpt of Nasrallah’s speech, in which he said, “I found out that Iran informed normalizing countries that any aggression against Iran from these countries will be responded to, and this message has made it to [“Tel Aviv”]… Iran could strike Israel directly, and its preludes are becoming greater by the day.”

The newspaper indicated that in his statement, Nasrallah meant by the normalizing country the two Gulf states who signed the so-called “Abrahamic Accords”, namely the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Sayyed Nasrallah Warns Zionists: Demise of Al-Quds Means Demise of ‘Israel’

 April 29, 2022

Click to watch the Video

Marwa Haidar

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah on Friday warned the Zionist entity against targeting Al-Quds, stressing that the demise of the Palestinian capital means the demise of ‘Israel’.

In a lengthy speech on the occasion of International Al-Quds Day, Sayyed Nasrallah delivered several messages to the Israeli enemy, its backers and inferiors in the region.

His eminence stressed that the Resistance is making head against Israeli enemy despite all means of pressures adopted by the occupation and its backers.

Sayyed Nasrallah underlined that the formula that relates between Al-Quds and Gaza is still persistent, warning the Israeli enemy of the status of the Palestinian capital according to powers in the Axis of Resistance.

In this context, he urged countries and armies of the region to deliver a message to the Israeli occupation that says that the demise of Al-Quds means the demise of ‘Israel’, hinting out that any aggression on Al-Quds could lead to a regional war with Axis of Resistance.

Commenting on Israeli threats regarding the upcoming drills, Sayyed Nasrallah revealed that the Lebanese Resistance group has staged a ‘silent’ military drills in the last weeks, warning the Israeli enemy against attacking Hezbollah.

“Any folly by the Israeli enemy will be met by harsh response in a flash. This means that Israeli officials in such attack will not hear the statement: ‘Hezbollah reserves right to respond in the appropriate time and place’… We will retaliate at once.”

Al-Quds in the Conscience of the Muslim Nation

At the beginning of his speech, Sayyed Nasrallah saluted dozens of thousands of Palestinians who performed prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan.

He also saluted those who have been barricaded at the holy site in the latest weeks to defend it against Israeli attempts to desecrate it. His eminence, meanwhile, hailed the mass rallies which took place in about 90 countries across the world, especially those held in Iran and Yemen.

Talking more about the occasion, Sayyed Nasrallah said that the founder and the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic Imam Ruhollah Mousavi Khomeini wanted through designation the last Friday in Ramadan moth as International Al-Quds Day to “keep Al-Quds in the conscience of this nation.”

Israeli Schemes of Forgetting, Despair and Exhausting

He noted that the Israeli enemy and their backers adopted three paths in dealing with Palestine and the Muslim nation: forcing the Muslims to forget Palestine and Al-Quds, despairing Palestinian people and exhausting Palestinians as well as countries in the region.

In this context, Sayyed Nasrallah said that the first path has been foiled, stressing that “the Israeli occupation failed to take the Palestinian cause off the nation’s top priorities.”

He noted that normalization deals between some Arab countries, which are aimed at despairing Palestinian people has also failed.

“The aim of normalization deals was to tell the Palestinians that there is no hope and that they have to surrender. However, this path has also failed.”

“The heroic operations in occupied territories as well as firing rockets and the confrontations in Jenin… All these indicate that Palestinian people believe in victory.”

“The third path is the exhausting one. And it’s aimed against Palestinians and all people in the Axis of Resistance. This path includes all forms of pressures against our people and the Resistance groups, like sanctions, financial pressures and terror lists.”

His eminence stressed here that despite sufferings, this path has failed and that Palestine and Al-Quds is still one of this nation’s top priorities.

Axis of Resistance Making Head

Sayyed Nasrallah affirmed that Palestine and Al-Quds “are part of our religion, ideology and dignity which we will never abandon.”

He noted that Axis of Resistance has not relied on the political stance, but went for the military confrontation, underlining the importance of such option.

“Military confrontation proved ability to achieve victories and this path should continue. Military confrontation tops acts of resistance against Zionist entity throughout long years of Jihad. Military confrontation has proved that ‘Israel’ could be conquered and that this entity is not a destiny.”

Sayyed Nasrallah then talked about achievements secured by the Axis of Resistance in the latest months, noting that the “Int’l Al-Quds Day comes this year as the resistance against occupation is making head.”

He hailed the individual operations taking place in Palestine in the latest weeks, calling for offering all forms of support to Palestinian people.

“Individual operations carried out by Palestinians against Israeli occupation in the latest weeks are game-changing acts of resistance. They Palestinian individual operations revealed the Israeli occupation’s vulnerability.”

He said that the individual operations toppled the Israeli formula which is based on occupation and security, noting that the Zionist entity “can’t survive without security” and that this is one of the most achievements secured by this kind of operations.

Unwavering Commitment to Al-Quds

The Hezbollah S.G. also pointed to the Al-Quds-Gaza formula established by Palestinian Resistance following Sword of Al-Quds Op. in 2021, stressing that such formula is still persistent.

Then, he highlighted the unwavering commitment by Axis of Resistance powers towards Al-Quds.

‘We reiterate the regional formula which stipulates the solid relation between the Axis of Resistance and Al-Quds.”

In this context, he called on some Arab countries, which have relations with the Zionist entity, to deliver a message to the Israeli occupation that reads: Demise of Al-Quds means demise of ‘Israel’.”

“The future of Axis of Resistance is hope while the fate of the enemy is defeat.”

Attack on Iran and Israeli Drills

Sayyed Nasrallah then cited when the Zionist entity attacked Iran from Erbil last month.

“Iran retaliated by firing 12 missiles on Israeli Mossad facility in Erbil. Tehran at time delivered a message to regional countries which established ties with Zionist entity that any attack on the Islamic Republic through their soils will be met by harsh response.”

His eminence then tackled the upcoming Israeli drills in the Zionist entity next May. He revealed that the Hezbollah holds ‘silent’ drills frequently, stressing that the Lebanese Resistance movement is fully ready to confront any potential Israeli aggression.

“Any Israeli folly will be met by harsh response. In such case you (Israelis) will not hear ‘we reserve right to respond in the appropriate time and place’. We will retaliate at once.”

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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Will a regional war over Al-Aqsa Mosque revive The Palestinian cause?

27 Apr 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

Robert Inlakesh 

“Israel” has, for long, not had to worry about the Arab and Islamic nations attacking it to liberate their own lands, as well as those of the Palestinians, today we are growing closer to a new equation.

At this point, a multi-front war with “Israel” will completely change the equation in the struggle for the liberation of Palestine.

Violent Israeli incursions into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, during the Holy Month of Ramadan, threaten a renewed round of violence in the Palestinian occupied territories and perhaps beyond. Why is the regional dimension to the Palestinian question being left out of Western analyses and what difference will another ‘Arab-Israeli’ war make?

Last May, the ‘Joint Room’ of armed resistance factions in the Gaza Strip launched Seif al-Quds (Sword of Jerusalem), a military operation to defend the al-Aqsa Mosque, after it had been repeatedly desecrated and its worshippers attacked, leading to an embarrassing set back to the Israeli regime. The 11-day war, as it is now called, spelled massive death and destruction in the Gaza Strip. Roughly 270 Palestinians were killed and at least 14 Israelis (the number of soldiers killed is still unconfirmed), clearly showing the suffering on the Palestinian side to have been much greater. However, the symbolic victories won during the battle with “Israel”, not only launched from Gaza but everywhere inside occupied Palestine, left the Israeli regime begging for a ceasefire.

The battle of Seif al-Quds represents an important marker in the history of modern Palestinian armed struggle, emerging as a symbolic driver of the armed struggle much like the battle of Karameh. The battle of Karameh, which took place in 1968, when PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization] aligned forces and the Jordanian military fought the Israeli regime, was not a conventional military victory over “Israel” for the PLO, but instead proved “Israel” to be beatable. Prior to this battle, in which Jordanian and Palestinian forces still suffered heavy losses, the Fidayeen operations did not carry as much symbolic weight and provided a light at the end of the tunnel for Palestinians. The battle of Karameh however, proved that Israeli military vehicles could be destroyed and their military could be fought for over 15 hours and not achieve a decisive military victory over a dedicated Arab fighting force.

Up until May of 2021, it was generally thought that the armed factions in Gaza could not outwit their Israeli opponents and any war would produce the same results as previous battles. That being, massive death, and destruction in Gaza, combined with the besieged territory’s isolation from all other fronts. The battle of Seif al-Quds flipped this way of thinking on its head and sent a strong message regionally. There then emerged a full unified militarized force inside the Gaza Strip that could unite the Palestinian people, outwit its Israeli opposition and provide an alternative path for the Palestinian movement. 

What made the victory, led by Hamas, so important, was its ability to transform the way the Arab and Islamic nations view the Palestinian cause and the battle having signified the re-birth of the armed struggle as the principal means through which liberation is to be achieved. The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) had abandoned the armed struggle altogether by the end of the second Intifada, instead of pursuing fruitless dialogue with “Israel”, whilst committing itself to “security coordination”, which benefitted “Tel Aviv” solely. The Palestinian Authority (PA), as of earlier this year, officially absorbed the PLO into itself. This means that instead of the PA being an offshoot of the PLO, the roles are now reversed.

The Arab Peace Initiative of 2002, was for long the consensus position of the Arab Regimes; that normalization comes only as the result of a withdrawal from the territories occupied in 1967 and the formation of a Palestinian State, with “East Jerusalem” as its Capital. The Trump-era “Abraham Accords”, which saw Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco, join Jordan and Egypt in normalizing ties with “Israel” and spelled the death of the Arab Peace Initiative. The Palestinian Authority (PA) has no regional powers behind it, meaning no leverage over “Israel” that it can use to force through a so-called two-State solution. The PA does not even possess any symbolic power through mass support from the Arab and Islamic world, on top of this it continues to prevent democratic elections.

Although the Palestinian cause had for long been the central issue of the Arab and Islamic world, the wars of aggression against Iraq, Libya, Syria, and other countries in the region took much of the attention that had been placed on the Palestinian issue in the past. Now, despite the suffering throughout the region, Palestine is again at the top of the agenda, however, there is still work that must be done in order to push towards the protection of Holy sites, revolution, and eventual liberation. 

The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank is the primary hindrance to a new Intifada, this PA is slowly weakening and is displaying its inability to control many areas, the most obvious case being in Jenin camp. The Israeli occupation forces receive the bulk of their intelligence on the activities of Palestinians, deriving their control, from the PA. Right now there seems to be an ongoing battle inside the ruling Fatah Party – which runs the PA – for the very soul of the organization and there are two possible conclusions to this phase of PA rule in the West Bank; the complete collapse of the PA, or a new Fatah leadership which will pursue a more hostile stance against “Israel”. In either case, “Israel” will be put in an extremely difficult position in the West Bank.

A Regional Front Against ‘Israel’

Following the battle of Sayf al-Quds last year, the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah, announced that he sought to form a multinational force which would transform any battle over al-Quds into a regional war with “Israel”. Later, groups from within the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), Yemen’s Ansarallah, as well as the Palestinian factions, all signed on to this mission. 

In Western media, the reporting on the repeated attacks on worshippers at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound has not only been littered with lies to protect the image of the Israeli forces but has also left out the possible regional response that such attacks could trigger. It seems that this piece of the puzzle has not yet been factored into the Western analysis, which will only go as far as looking into the possible reaction of Hamas and Islamic Jihad from Gaza. 

In a multinational ‘Quds Day’ conference, broadcast on Tuesday, we saw the emergence again of the regional axis that pledges to take on “Israel” and defeat its aggression against al-Quds. Key to this conference were leaders of resistance factions from Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq, and Palestine, which all spoke of a regional coalition that will use armed struggle to liberate al-Quds. The Palestinian issue “cannot be resolved at the negotiation table,” said Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, whilst Hezbollah’s Sayed Hassan Nasrallah announced that his patry would be on the front lines of the fight for al-Quds. The issue of Arab normalization was also a central issue addressed during the conference, indicating that the coalition of resistance Parties is seeking to send the region a message through armed struggle.

At this point, a multi-front war with “Israel” will completely change the equation in the struggle for the liberation of Palestine. If Lebanon, Yemen, and Iraq become involved in a battle, alongside the Palestinians, this will completely transform the issue and force the international community to take the Palestinian struggle seriously. Most importantly, however, the Arab and Islamic leaderships – which operate outside the resistance coalition – will have to reconsider their roles in the conflict if such a war breaks out. The only missing piece in this picture is Syria, if Damascus takes advantage of the situation and launches an offensive in the Golan Heights, this will force countries regionally to re-engage with the Syrian government and will give Syria a central role in seeking a solution for Palestine, tying the fate of its occupied territory to those of the Palestinians. 

“Israel” has, for long, not had to worry about the Arab and Islamic nations attacking it to liberate their own lands, as well as those of the Palestinians, today we are growing closer to a new equation. The obstacles ahead are; who will be the accepted Palestinian representatives internationally? How to bring the region into a multi-faceted confrontation with “Israel”? And how to strive for the full initiation of a Third Intifada? If these questions can be answered, the Palestinian cause will not only be the central issue regionally, it will possess much greater power for liberating Palestine than ever before.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

نقطة التحوّل الثالثة في يوم القدس

الخميس 28 نيسان 2022

 ناصر قنديل

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ربّما لم يكن أحد، غير الإمام الخميني، يدرك الدور الذي سيلعبه الإعلان عن اعتبار الجمعة الأخيرة من شهر رمضان يوماً عالمياً للقدس، أبعد من مجرد إحياء مكانة القدس في الذاكرة الإسلاميّة، والذين تابعوا عن قرب حجم الاهتمام الذي أولاه الإمام لإنجاح إحياء هذا اليوم، وحجم المتابعة التي حظي بها الإحياء في أولوياته، كانوا يتساءلون عن سبب تشبث الإمام بهذه البصمة الشخصيّة التي وضعها على مسار المواجهة المفتوحة التي التزمتها الثورة الإسلامية في إيران تجاه فلسطين، وكيفية رؤيته لمكانتها الأبعد مدى بكثير من مجرد الإحياء التذكيريّ، أو الذكرى الإحيائيّة.

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بعد سنوات على الإعلان، والمتابعة الحثيثة من الإمام لضمان أوسع مشاركة على مستوى عدد الدول، وأعمق مشاركة على مستوى شرائح المجتمعات، بدا أن الرسالة التي أرادها الإمام وصلت للفلسطينيين، الذين ظهر لهم بوضوح أن قضيّتهم حية في وجدان أكثر من مليار مسلم على مساحة العالم، وأن نهوضهم بأعباء الحفاظ على القدس لن يذهب هدراً، ولم تكن محض صدفة أن تبدأ المواجهات الأشد حماوة مع قوات الاحتلال في التصاعد قبيل موعد يوم القدس، وتتصاعد إلى الذروة يوم الإحياء، كما تقول يوميات انتفاضة الحجارة، ولا كان صدفة أخرى أن يكون التزامن الموازي بين المواجهات الساخنة في انتفاضة الأقصى، والتي كانت القدس محورها، مع إحياءات يوم القدس، بعدما أعادت الانتفاضة الأولى القضية الفلسطينية إلى الساحة الدولية من بوابة المقاومة الشعبية، وشكلت الانتفاضة الثانية نقطة التحول نحو المقاومة المسلحة.

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استند الإمام إلى مشروعه بجعل المقاومة الهادفة لتحرير القدس مشروعاً يتغذّى من مكانة شهر رمضان لدى المسلمين، وما يرتبط بقيمه التي ترتكز على تشاطر الشعور بالحرمان، وعلى الاستعداد للتضحية من أجل مسح دمعة محروم، وعلى الاقتراب من مفهوم التوحيد القائم على رفض ألوهية قوى الدنيا، وعدم محاباتها، ورفض الخضوع لها، والخوف منها، أو السعي لمراضاتها، على قاعدة أن التوحيد يعني أن الله واحد، فهو إما أن يكون الله أو أميركا، وإذا كان الله يدعوك للقدس وتنهاك أميركا عنها فأيّهما ستختار؟ وإذا كانت أميركا تدعوك للتطبيع وينهاك الله عنه فأيّهما ستطيع؟ وسنة بعد سنة، كان اتساع الإحياء وتجذره، يجعل من اليوم العالمي للقدس نهراً شعبياً عالمياً جارفاً تتوسّع روافده وتزداد غزارة وتدفقاً وغضباً، وكان إيقاع هذا التعاظم يلقى صداه في فلسطين. وكان تنامي المقاومتين الشعبية والمسلحة في فلسطين يزيد هذا النهر الجارف إدراكاً لموقعه في مشروع التحرير والمقاومة.

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لا يمكن كتابة تاريخ تحوّل الداخل الفلسطيني نحو خيار المقاومة بعد هزيمة عام 1982 للمقاومة الفلسطينية في لبنان أمام جيش الاحتلال، دون الانتباه لمكانة ثنائيّة تصاعد المقاومة في لبنان بوجه الاحتلال وحضور اليوم العالمي للقدس، ولا يمكن كتابة تاريخ تحوّل الانتفاضة نحو المقاومة المسلحة وصولاً لتحرير قطاع غزة، منذ اندلاع الانتفاضة الثانية عام 2000، دون الانتباه لمكانة ثنائية انتصارات المقاومة في لبنان وتعاظم حجم حضور اليوم العالمي للقدس، وها نحن مع مرور أربعة عقود على إعلان اليوم العالميّ للقدس. وفلسطين في خط المواجهة الأول، تستنهض العالمين العربي والإسلامي لنصرتها وقضيتها، ندرك أن ما كان في معركة سيف القدس، وما سيكون في الأيام المقبلة لهذه السنة وللسنوات المقبلة، ونحن نترقب التحوّل الثالث بتزاوج الانتفاضة الشعبية والمقاومة المسلحة في مشروع التحرير، لن يكون بعيداً عن إيقاع الحضور المتنامي لإيران والجمهورية الإسلاميّة فيها على مستوى المنطقة والعالم، ودرجة إخلاصها لقضية فلسطين ومشروع المقاومة فيها، ولا هو ببعيد عن الموقع المحوري للمقاومة الإسلامية في لبنان ودرجة صدقها في اعتبار قضية فلسطين والمقاومة لأجل تحريرها، قضية وجود ومصير. وبالتأكيد في قلب هاتين المعادلتين سيظهر حجم الأثر الذي تركه الإحياء المتنامي لليوم العالمي للقدس، داخل فلسطين وخارجها.

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عندما قال الإمام الخميني مع وصوله الى مطار طهران، اليوم إيران وغداً فلسطين، لم يكن يطلق مجرد شعار مبدئيّ، بل يعلن بدء تنفيذ خطة كان يملكها، ستتكفل ببصمة حضوره وهو غائب أن تمتلك ديناميكيّة تحقيقها.

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Axis of Resistance leaders stress unity in Al-Quds day

April 26, 2022 

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Al Mayadeen Net 

On the occasion of the International Al-Quds Day, the leaders of the Axis of Resistance underline their support for the Palestinian cause and Al-Quds.

Leaders of the resistance in the face of the Israeli occupation in West Asia

On the occasion of Al-Quds day, resistance figures from West Asia delivered addresses to voice their unequivocal support for occupied Palestine and its occupied capital, Al-Quds, against the Israeli occupation and its malicious plans for the country.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah 

Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah underlined the importance of the Palestinian cause and how it had been gaining momentum as of late, “and you can find more supporters and resistance fighters who are ready to make sacrifices for [Palestine].”

“The enemy’s strategy relied on betting that over time, the world would forget about the Palestinian cause,” he said, though he did indicate that the status quo was completely different due to the beliefs, the resilience, and the vision of the peoples and countries of the Axis of Resistance.

“The growing Axis of Resistance must also be named the Axis of Al-Quds because it is the axis’ common central point,” Sayyed Nasrallah highlighted.

Al-Quds, according to the Hezbollah chief, has today an axis that is coming together to impose a new regional state of affairs to firstly defend it and secondly liberate it. He also touched on the efforts of the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza, who he said were “creating epics” that have been shaking the Israeli occupation to the core.

“We, in Hezbollah, see ourselves as on the frontline alongside our brothers in the Palestinian resistance factions […] and all of those who belong [to this axis] are subject to blockades and sanctions whose goal is to make them give up Al-Quds, Palestine, and the principle of resistance,” Sayyed Nasrallah underscored.

However, he said resilience in the face of blockades, sanctions, and terrorism was a pivotal part of the resistance. “We are committed to our great martyrs in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Yemen, spearheaded by Al-Quds’ martyr Hajj Qassem Soleimani.”

Ismail Haniyeh

Hamas politburo chief Ismail Haniyeh spoke on the occasion by saying Al-Quds day came this year as Palestine and its Islamic and Christian sanctities undergo major events.

“The heroic operations clarified several facts, mainly that the choice of the resistance is that of the people, not that of a faction nor the elite. [The acts of resistance] consolidated the significance of the West Bank and its people in terms of confrontations with the Zionist enemy,” Haniyeh said.

The new wave of resistance, he clarified, underlines that the issue of Al-Quds, Al-Aqsa, the right to return, and the prisoners “cannot be solved on the negotiations table.”

Haniyeh also indicated that two factors pushed the Israeli occupation to expedite its plans to divide Al-Aqsa mosque, which he said were: Arab normalization with “Tel Aviv” and “Israel” “using the world’s occupation with the Ukraine war” to further violate the rights of Palestinians.

However, he stressed that despite all of the world’s major events, “Al-Quds and the Palestinian cause managed to make headlines once again.”

“There will be no peace nor security in the region unless the Palestinian people fully enjoy their right to their soil and country,” Haniyeh added.

In a similar vein, Haniyeh also underlined that the Israeli occupation’s attempt to cross more red lines and “commit more idiotic acts could turn this confrontation into a regional conflict.”

Ziyad Al-Nakhalah

Palestinian Islamic Jihad Secretary-General Ziyad Al-Nakhalah kicked off the speeches for the occasion by underlining the Palestinian people’s support for their country against the Israeli occupation. 

“Our people are strong, and they continuously underline that they will not give up on Al-Quds […] we will not back down nor make any compromises,” Al-Nakhalah said on Tuesday.

The PIJ chief also praised Iran’s role when it came to the resistance, saying, “Iran embraces the resistance, and it opens many doors for the resistance fighters to achieve victory.”

He also highlighted that it was painful for the Palestinian people to be left by their brothers and sisters amid these conditions, noting that several countries had “sent congratulations messages to the [Israeli] occupation.”

Abu Ahmad Fouad

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Deputy Secretary-General Abu Ahmad Fouad said Al-Quds day was an affirmation that the rights of the oppressed peoples would not be lost with time.

He also praised the Islamic Republic’s role in combatting the Israeli occupation, saying, “Iran contributes and strongly supports the Axis of Resistance, especially the Palestinian resistance.”

“The free will of the Palestinian people and the backing of the Axis of Resistance will result in victory,” Fouad underlined.

Hadi al-Amiri

Iraqi Fatah Alliance chief Hadi Al-Amiri said, “We, alongside the Muslims and the free people of the world, stand in reverence of International Al-Quds Day,” and reminded that the Israeli occupation was still occupying Al-Aqsa mosque and usurping Palestinian land, which he stressed must end.

Al-Amiri stressed that the Palestinian cause and Al-Quds united the Muslim people regardless of their sects and the people of the world regardless of their religion, noting that Al-Quds day renewed hope for the supporters of the Palestinian cause.

“The Iraqi resistance factions feel the deep connection between the liberation of Iraq and the liberation of Al-Quds and all of the Palestinian land.”

“The liberation of Iraq from US hegemony is its liberation from the implicit, multi-form Zionist advance… and enmity toward the Axis of Resistance and defamation against it is an outrageous act that perpetuates normalization with the Zionist entity,” Al-Amiri stressed.

Archbishop Atallah Hanna

The Archbishop of Sebastia from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Al-Quds, Archbishop Atallah Hanna, underlined that the occupied city of Al-Quds was and always would be for its people, “and the policies of colonization of occupation in it are invalid, illegal, and illegitimate.”

The Islamic and Christian sanctities in Al-Quds, Archbishop Hanna said, are targeted and violated by the Israeli occupation, and there are serious provocations in the city. “The people of Al-Quds are the true defenders of this holy land and the [religious] sanctities in the name of the world.”

“We are in one trench and, as one family, we defend Al-Quds, and the occupation will not be able to steal Al-Quds from its people […] on International Al-Quds Day, I call on the Palestinian people to put their problems aside,” Archbishop added.

Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi

Ansar Allah leader Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi affirmed from Yemen that International Al-Quds Day was an “occasion to remind the Ummah of its responsibilities, and an important occasion to unify the people on one cause.”

Yemen’s “flagrant, principled, and religious” stance on the rights of the Palestinian people is unwavering, and “the land of the Palestinian people must not be taken for granted, nor should their rights and sanctities.”

“The Axis of Resistance will aim to increase the level of cooperation and coordination within the framework of this sacred goal,” Al-Houthi said.

He also added that the Yemeni resistance and the people of Yemen have undertaken Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s approach: any existential threat to occupied Al-Quds automatically equates to a regional war.

Mind tricks: Why resistance to Israel and imperialism are called ‘Shia causes’

April 20 2022

The Arab and Muslim street remains firmly opposed to western imperialism and Israel. So their Arab Sunni rulers began calling all resistance ‘Shia.’

By Omar Ahmed

Would Sunni Arab monarchs be able to continue conspiring with the west and Israel without labelling those who resist collaboration as ‘Shia?’Photo Credit: The Cradle

The past several decades have seen the political ascendency of Shia Muslims in West Asian geopolitics. While initially ignited by Iran’s Islamic Revolution of 1979, it was the aftermath of the illegal US invasion of Iraq in 2003 which accelerated this political shift by paving the way for Iraq’s Shia majority to govern.

A year after US troops occupied Iraq and overthrew its Sunni president Saddam Hussein, Jordan’s King Abdullah II, fearing a growing influence of Iran among Iraq’s Shia majority and their regional coreligionists, coined the phrase “Shia Crescent.” This so-called ideological belt, it is hypothesized, runs from Tehran through several Arab capitals, including Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut, and later Sanaa.

The idea has been criticized as it treats the Shia as a monolith and greatly exaggerates the extent of control or influence Iran exerts over the region.

Tehran’s efforts to forge ties with friendly governments, powerful political parties, and militia forces are arguably based on pragmatism and self-interest rather than sectarian ideology. Among the state and non-state actors that provide Iran with its regional strategic depth – and therefore, influence – are Sunnis, Druze, Christians, Alawis, Zaidis, and other non-Shia populations. This alliance is more commonly – and accurately – known as the Axis of Resistance and its fundamental tenet is opposition to both western imperialism and the Zionist project, and a desire for self-determination.

Axis of Resistance

With Tehran at its nexus, this network consists of both state and non-state actors. Notable Shia factions include Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs), Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement and Afghan and Pakistani brigades.

Sunni Palestinian resistance movements Hamas and Islamic Jihad are also considered to be a part of the axis, and an armed affiliate of Hezbollah, the Lebanese Resistance Brigades (also known as Saraya), is composed of Sunnis, Maronite Christians and Druze. At the state level are the mostly Zaidi, Ansarallah-led, de facto government of Yemen and the Alawite-dominated government of Sunni-majority Syria.

While not part of the axis per se, Sunni-majority Algeria has also consistently opposed Zionism and could strengthen its ties with Iran, especially in light of growing tensions with neighboring Morocco whose government has recently aligned with Israel.

Traditional western-aligned Sunni Arab states such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan have all expressed their own concerns about this Shia-majority, ‘Iran-led’ axis, and along with Israel have opposed the Resistance Axis. It is due to these mutual interests that there have been several proposals for a “Sunni-Jewish alliance.”

Arab normalization with Israel

This new public alliance tangibly materialized in 2020 with the signing of the Abraham Accords and the normalization of ties between Israel and the UAE, Sudan, Morocco and Bahrain (the latter is a Shia majority nation ruled by a Sunni royal family). Certainly, it ended years of speculation that there were indirect, covert ties between Tel Aviv and several Arab states.

However, it is important to differentiate between the policies of these governments and the popular sentiments among their citizens. According to an opinion poll carried out between 2019-2020 by the Qatar-based Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS), the majority of the Arab world (88 percent) opposes any normalization with Israel. This includes the Persian Gulf: “Refusal to recognize Israel is proportionally the highest in the Gulf region,” the report found.

Nevertheless, last month’s Negev Summit ushered in an unprecedented level of security cooperation between Israel and Arab states and may be a precursor to an ‘Arab-Israeli NATO‘ equivalent intent on confronting the Axis of Resistance, especially over heightened fears of a nuclear-powered Iran, should efforts in Vienna to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) fail.

The Palestinian issue

After the humiliating and resounding failures of pan-Arab nationalism to liberate occupied Palestine following the Six Day War in 1967, Egypt lost its position as the leader of the Arab world. This was cemented after Egypt made peace with Israel under Anwar Sadat in 1979, the same year as Iran’s Islamic Revolution.

As one of, if not the most pressing and long-standing Arab and Muslim issues of our time, the Palestinian cause was essentially abandoned by the Sunni Arab leadership, only to be championed by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its regional allies. Symbolically, the first statesman to visit revolutionary Iran was Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat who was given keys to what was once the Israeli diplomatic mission-turned Palestinian embassy, as it remains to this day. “We shall liberate the land of Palestine under the leadership of Imam Khomeini,” Arafat declared during his historic visit.

Significantly, during the 1990s, Iran’s support to Palestinians was not merely diplomatic but military too, as Iran has consistently been the main patron of Palestinian armed resistance factions Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), something acknowledged by the movements themselves.

Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, itself established with the help of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), has also been instrumental in assisting Palestinian factions in training and developing weapons capabilities. Early last year, IRGC Aerospace Force commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh stated, “All the missiles you might see in Gaza and Lebanon were created with Iran’s support.”

‘Iranian-backed’ doesn’t make these ‘Shia causes’

Well before the Abraham Accords, there were signs that a regional narrative was being developed to aid Arab autocrats in breaking with the popular causes of the Arab/Muslim world, namely resistance to Zionism and western imperialism.

Two years after King Abdullah’s ‘Shia crescent’ narrative began to be employed, the 2006 Lebanon-Israel war broke out. Although a historic ‘Arab nation’ victory against Israel was achieved that year, in a new public turn, the Arab League and the Saudis in particular were instead scathing in their criticism of Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah for what they said was an unprovoked and irresponsible conflict.

We have now reached an epoch, whereby vocal or material support for a plethora of resistance efforts in West Asia is seen as being ‘Shia’ or even ‘Persian’ rather than Arab or Muslim causes. These include the central issue of Palestine, as after all at the crux of it – that is to say armed struggle – it is only the Resistance Axis that now provides support where it materially matters.

The Palestinian cause has not always been a ‘Shia’ cause, argues Hussain Abdul-Hussain of the pro-Israel Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, who alludes to the anti-Palestinian sentiments in South Lebanon before the rise of Hezbollah. He claims – a criticism parroted by the pro-west Sunni monarchs – that Iran “found in Palestine a good tool to undermine the sovereignty of Arab Sunni governments” and to win over support from “Arab Sunni masses.” This assessment disregards the fact that even before the revolution, under the rule of Iran’s Shah, Iran’s religious and secular opponents were popularly pro-Palestine and opposed the Shah’s support of Israel.

Who else will oppose Zionism and western imperialism?

In Iraq, there is a lingering threat from pockets of ISIS remnants and legitimate grievances about continuing US military presence, which is likely to continue for years to come. Both of these threats to Iraqi sovereignty have been targeted by “Iranian-backed Shia militia,” many who are an integral part of Iraq’s armed forces in the form of the PMUs. Ironically, these anti-ISIS forces were in fact initiated by a religious ruling from within Iraq, independent of Iran’s diktats.

The world’s worst humanitarian crisis, according to the UN, is in Yemen which has been bombed and besieged almost relentlessly for seven years by a US/UK-backed and armed, Saudi-led coalition. Yemen’s resistance to this foreign aggression is led by the Ansarallah movement and its allied Yemeni armed forces. Here too, the Arab Sunni monarchs’ narrative has played a nefarious role, labelling Yemen’s resistance as ‘Shia,’ where in fact they are mainly Zaidis, who are in many ways closer to Hanafi Sunnis and who pray in Sunni mosques. As Iran and its regional axis support anti-imperialism, they are naturally more aligned to the Yemeni resistance, who are almost always now labelled as ‘Iran-backed’ or ‘Shia’ for their resistance against decades of exploitation and subjugation by Saudi Arabia.

For the divisive case of Syria, supporting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state against the aggressions of hostile states has also been cast as a ‘Shia’ cause, despite the fact that Syria’s Shia community – not to be confused with the Alawites – form a very small minority in the majority-Sunni country. Yet when contextualized as an important actor in the Axis of Resistance, in particular as a transit point between Iran and Lebanon and occupied Palestine, the sectarian designation becomes apparent.

The common denominator for these conflicts is that there is an opposing force to the Axis of Normalization and its US backer. It has become imperative, especially for the burgeoning Sunni Arab-Israeli alliance, for these forces to be deliberately cast as ‘Iranian-supported Shia proxies’ in order to dampen their own populations’ support for popular resistance.

Arab and Muslim populations everywhere would otherwise likely support operations to purge western military interventionism and Israel’s aggressions from West Asia. But say ‘Iran,’ ‘Persia’ or ‘Shia’ and the Arab Sunni elite manage to confuse and quash mass popular resentment of their own malign behaviors.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

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