‘Dignity and Victory’

Excerpts of speech delivered by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah during the “Dignity and Victory” Festival on Tuesday 26 July 2011 (video in arabic can be found here):

Allah Al Mighty says in His Holy Book: “Call to mind when ye were a small band, despised through the land, and afraid that men might despoil and kidnap you; but He provided a safe asylum for you, strengthened you with His aid, and gave you good things for sustenance: that ye might be grateful.

Praise be to Allah on His victory, support, mercy and kindness.

Going back to the days of war, I believe that among the most important factors that contributed to the victory achieved by this front and the defeat that afflicted the other side were determination, mutual confidence, hope of victory, faith and steadfastness on all domains and dimensions. It’s the steadfastness of the people. Steadfastness mainly means not giving up to the conditions, pressures and settlements that might not be to the interest of Lebanon. It’s the steadfastness of the Army and the security forces. The main factor of this steadfastness which set the basis to every other kind of steadfastness is the steadfastness of the Resistance fighters in the battlefields. This steadfastness in itself and apart from its results was a real miracle. How could thousands of Resistance fighters who did not have an aerial cover fight night and day all through 33 days in all villages, towns, hills, valleys and posts? How could they practice all kinds of fighting, confront soldiers, battalions, brigades and squads, and face tanks and launch rockets while fire and shells were raining over them and while houses were being demolished all around them in an unimaginable way? This steadfastness is legendary. In fact and in all norms and military standards, man can not imagine such steadfastness and determination.

… On the other side, the Israeli enemy started the war against Lebanon with arrogance, pride and overconfidence, though it was still under the effect of the defeat of 2000 and the defeat of pulling out of Gaza Strip in face of the Palestinian Resistance and the Intifada of the Palestinian people. Still that is its nature. It has a haughty arrogant nature. However, no soon that turned under the impact of the steadfastness of Lebanon with all its components and under the impact of the steadfastness of the Resistance fighters in particular into perplexity, weakness, confusion and led to crisis of confidence among Israeli soldiers, officers, leaders, and generals and among the army leadership, the cabinet and the people who is occupying Palestine. Here I may talk about two levels: a higher level which is the collapse of confidence and a lower level which is the shake of confidence to a great degree. This is what we witnessed in the remaining days of the war whether on the level of political, military or popular performance. As the Israelis and their generals, elites, leaderships and even their people and polls show and acknowledge, this war has left dangerous repercussions on the entity and its political, security and military present and future. However in my opinion – and we are talking in the fifth anniversary of that war – the most important and strategic outcome of July War was the crisis of confidence which was shaken to a great degree among the occupation’s people, political leadership and especially among the army.

… I will give one example only which was given by Shimon Peres who is currently the head of the state but with little scrutiny we may say that he is the only one to remain from the generation of Sharon and Isaac Rabin. So what did the eldest of the Zionists find and always tries to reiterate? He found that there are two achievements. Now pay attention. There are two achievements which deserve a pose made during July War:

The first achievement is forcing so and so – meaning me – to enter the bunker.

The second achievement is preserving calm on the northern borders of occupied Palestine.

Let’s go to the text of the interview he made some short time ago in which he says: The war halted the lunching of rockets on our settlements and Hassan Nasrallah is hiding in his bunker and running away from the horror of the international law. These are the two great achievements.

I will comment on this. If you searched, you would find that these comments were made by the Israelis. So they themselves answered Shimon Peres.

First: Forcing so and so to the bunker was not even set among the war objectives. During the thirty three days, none of the Israeli leaders said that one of the war objectives was to prevent so and so from stepping the street.

Second: Such a result – i.e. preventing someone from stepping the street does not deserve launching a war that leads to serious results as far as the enemy entity is concerned. No rational human being might take such a step.

Third: None of the war objectives was achieved. This is said by the Israelis with the exception of those who try to mislead or lie. Among the war objectives was crushing and weakening Hezbollah; but it grew stronger. Among the war objectives was restoring the two Israel prisoners without negotiations. However, they returned following vertical negotiations and our detainees returned with pride. Among the war objectives was finding a new Middle East. This Bush-Condoleezza Rice version of the objective was put to an end as well.

Now we turn to the second achievement which is preserving calmness on the northern borders. The border between Lebanon and occupied Palestine has been calm since May 25, 2000. It did not need a war to be launched on Lebanon and afflict Israel with all of these losses so that calmness is restored at the border. The calmness along the border was imposed by the Resistance with its victory in 2000. The calmness, tranquility and serenity enjoyed by the people of the South who returned to their villages and fields and built their houses even at the barbed line were imposed by the Resistance through the balance of deterrence and the balance of terror in 2000. The Israelis, who are speaking of calm have forgotten that ever since 1948 and since their occupation of Palestine, were the ones who used to launch wars, perpetrate crimes, storm into our land, occupy our land and rob our natural resources. Years ago they used to rob Al Wazani River. However, because of the Resistance, calmness was imposed and the aggression was prevented. That’s because the Resistance is not a project of war. We always used to say that the mission of the Resistance is to defend its country, land, people and the dignity and honor of this people. This was achieved on May 25, 2000. So even talking about calmness at the border is beyond question. Consequently, it is not an achievement. With all the Israeli exerted efforts, the higher voice in the entity is for those politicians, generals and elites who still talk about the defeat, flop and inability and call for a serious and not a false address or else defeat will be reiterated in any future war.

… I tell you also from the post of someone acquainted with details that the strength of the Resistance today in Lebanon on the level of its morals, integrity, courage, human cadres and materialistic capabilities is better and higher than in any time in the past since its taking off. The enemy is familiar with this fact too.

… I tell the Israelis in particular: Listen to your generals who tasted defeat in Lebanon. The current chief of staff was the leader of the squad which was defeated in Lebanon in 2000. With his eyes he witnessed how the Israelis failed even to take their tanks and offices along with them and how they left Lahd Army behind in the streets. The commander of the northern front was in Lebanon. He fell in an ambush set by the Islamic Resistance. He has four bullets in his chest. You generals have tasted defeat in Lebanon, and you will not taste but defeat in Lebanon. Despite all the developments and advancements made by the Israelis to fill the gaps, the developments in Lebanon and what is taking place around us in the region and all the current events, indeed we are not war seekers. We are a group who are defending our country and our honor. We do not seek war but in case of war, our responsibility is to confront it. If anyone asks me; In case a war takes place now, are you ready to say the same phrase you said during the first days of the war when buildings were collapsing?

Now I am ready to stand and say with all might, determination and even stronger faith what I will say now to wrap this part. I have come to know the enemy whom Allah talks about and made us know when He says: “Thou wilt find them, of all people, most greedy of life”. Morals and trust that come with fake means no soon will collapse. They do not have innate courage. They do not have innate faith. They are a people who have doubt in themselves. In as much as I know this enemy, and in as much as I know this people and these heroic fighters, I say: As I used to promise you of victory always, I promise you victory anew. Thus I tell the Zionists: Do not attempt to approach Lebanon and abandon all your dreams and greed in this country forever.

… The second issue is that of oil and gas and the maritime borders with occupied Palestine. The Lebanese people are seriously before a true, historic and unprecedented opportunity in the history of Lebanon that makes Lebanon a rich country… Official estimations which are true estimations say that the wealth in our regional waters – the Lebanese regional waters – worth billions of dollars. So they are facts and figures which we as Lebanese have never dreamt of.

.. Here I would like to make a call so that those who want the Lebanese expatriates to return to Lebanon work seriously on this file since many people were forced to leave because of the social and living conditions.

… There is an area in this region at the border between Lebanon and Occupied Palestine. This area is 850 square kilometers. Lebanon considers that this region is its and within its regional waters. What did the Israelis do? They made a demarcation for the borders and included this area – 850 square kilometers – with the regional waters which they suppose is theirs at a time it is for Occupied Palestine. So it is a very big area – 850 square kilometers – which by the way researches say it includes oil resources worth billions of dollars; that is if we do not wish to say for hundreds of billions of dollars. Lebanon believes that this area (850 square Kilometers) is its and Israel has no right to adjoin it or search for oil or gas in it besides building facilities to dig out gas or oil from it.

Indeed when I talk about the logic of the Resistance, any Resistance fighter does not believe in anything called Israel. We do not talk about Lebanese-Israeli borders. We talk about Lebanon’s borderlines with Occupied Palestine whether it is territorial or maritime. In fact, we do not acknowledge Israel’s right to exist besides yielding to its right to drill oil or gas from the Lebanese or Palestinian waters. However we reserve this convictional position to ourselves. I am talking here from a national position and from a position that preserves the Lebanese national interests.

As concerning the existing facts, first: In the Resistance, we believe that the maritime border demarcation process is among the duties of the state and consequently, as a Resistance, we do not have a technical view in that. We will not interfere as what took place on the eve of the pullout in 2000. When dispute over Shaaba Farms and Kfar Shouba Hills and others started we stood aside. I remember that I gave a speech in which I said that the territorial border demarcation process is among the duties of the state. When the Lebanese state through its official institutions says this land is for Palestine and that is for Lebanon, we will accept as a Resistance. If there is a piece of land which the Lebanese state considers Lebanese, the Resistance will act accordingly. The same logic applies to the maritime borders. The Lebanese state and not the Resistance sets the maritime borderlines. However, when the Lebanese state demarks or considers a region or an area in the regional waters as Lebanese regional waters, the Resistance will act accordingly.

… I may as well today on the fifth anniversary of July War say with all confidence to all the states, governments and companies which would want to come to Lebanon to share in bids and start drilling and digging that Lebanon is able to provide these companies and their oil and gas facilities with protection. Lebanon is able to do that with all confidence. Do you know why? It’s not because it owns a strong air force but rather because who might attack these facilities have oil and gas. Whoever might attack the future oil and gas facilities in the Lebanese regional waters will have their facilities attacked. So let them know that Lebanon is able to do that. From this perspective Lebanon is fit of this blessing and of guarding this blessing. At times Allah bestows His blessing when He finds His slaves fit of guarding it.


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