Extract from an interview with Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on May 26, 2020, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Liberation of southern Lebanon. The interview lasted almost 3 hours.
Will Al-Quds (Jerusalem) be ‘liberated’ like the Crusaders in 1099, who put to the swords all the Muslims & Jews, including women and children, or like Saladin in 1187, who allowed the Christian occupiers to leave safe and sound? For its part, in 1948, Israel largely resorted to massacres in order to terrorize and expell the Palestinian population. Nasrallah clearly marks his preference, but as he explains, it will not be up to him, and once the Great War of Liberation has started, “there may be no more time for them to leave Palestine, and there might be no safe place for them in occupied Palestine. […] And the scale of the massacres committed by Israel against the Palestinian people and the peoples of the region, its partnership with Daesh and its open complicity in the project of partition of our region […], all this will push the people of the region to issue a capital verdict against them.”
Source : lecridespeuples.fr
Translation : resistancenews.org
Journalist: […] Eminent Sayed (descendant of the Prophet), we started (this interview) by tackling (recent statements by Ehud Barak affirming that as early as 1985, he had foreseen the Israeli debacle which occurred in 2000), and you declared that as early as 1982, the Resistance envisaged victory as a certain horizon. Now, I look to the future and ask you: in the eyes of Hezbollah and the Resistance, how do you envisage the year 2035 (regarding the existence of Israel)?
Hassan Nasrallah : 2035? You are therefore asking me about the 25 years (of maximum existence) predicted by His Eminence the Supreme Guide (Sayed Khamenei in 2015). His Eminence the Guide, may God preserve him, did not declare that Israel would disappear in 2035, but said that he was not even sure (and that it was even unlikely) that it would survive until then.
This is an intimate conviction, an absolute certainty in our eyes. This entity —we no longer speak only of (the occupation) of southern Lebanon, but of (the very existence of) the Israeli entity— is, firstly, an artificial entity, fabricated from scratch and (a body) foreign to this region, it is a foreign body (implanted by force) in the Middle East.
Second, there is a very important point, that it is a racist entity. His Eminence the Imam Musa al-Sadr, may God bring him back safe and sound among us, insisted a lot on a very important point, namely that Israel is not a Jewish State. They claim it is a Jewish state, but it is (by no means) a religious State. Why, is Netanyahu someone pious? If we consider his government, there are a few ministers of religious parties, but the Israeli right and left (who are the majority) are not pious or religious. It cannot be said that it is a religious State governed by the Torah. Why is it a racist state? Because they consider themselves to be the descendants of the children of Israel (another name for Prophet Jacob), they consider this land to be their (exclusive and eternal) property, that they are God’s chosen people, that it is their right, (that the Goyim are inferior creatures vowed to serve them), etc., etc., etc. And it behaves racistly.
On the one hand, it is therefore a racist, artificial state, foreign to the region and its texture. On the other hand, fundamentally, it is based on terrorism, murder, rape, and has no legality, no legitimacy, no moral or ethical foundation, no humanitarian foundation. And it relies partly on its limited intrinsic force, which is not an absolute force, partly on the passive environment (of the Arab regimes subservient to Washington), and on its main support force, namely the United States of America and the West. All of this is not going to last (forever).
The pre-2000 Israel —and they themselves recognize it today— is no longer the post-2000 Israel. The allegedly invincible army has become a defeated army, not only in southern Lebanon, but even in Gaza. And it will be defeated in any new confrontation, with the grace of God. The situation of our region must not deceive them because of the complacency of some regimes (Arab-Muslim vassals of the United States). For the peoples (of the region), the faith in the (armed) Resistance and the credibility of this choice in the eyes of the Arab-Muslim peoples are stronger than ever, despite the lies of the electronic armies.
And the foundation on which Israel fundamentally rests, their true pillar, namely the United States, is not meant to always remain so powerful, so imposing and so arrogant, capable of threatening the whole region, all the Arab regimes, and constituting an unwavering and eternal support for the Israeli entity. Recently, one of the great intellectuals of our time, Chomsky, said that the United States is headed for disaster. Whoever looks at this President (Trump), this administration, his behavior, it is clear that they are heading (straight ahead) towards a disaster, a disaster in every sense of the word.
A State whose very existence relies on a foreign element is bound to collapse when the foreign element weakens. This is why we consider that it is only a matter of time (before Israel disappears). The future we are looking at (with certainty) is not only that of the year 2000 (an Israeli withdrawal from this or that area); it is that of a region in which it is absolutely impossible —this is how I see it— it is absolutely impossible for this cancerous tumor to remain, this germ of corruption, this absolute evil, this artificial entity devoid of any legitimacy, any ethical foundation, based on racism and terrorism, and which only endures thanks to foreign support. When the equations are changed, (the Zionist settlers) will have no choice but to pack up and leave.
As far as I am concerned, the spectacle of the Zionist settlers packing their bags and boarding planes or boats to return to where they come from is an absolute certainty, an inevitable necessity. It’s just a matter of time. And that day, I hope that the Resistance movements in the region will allow them to pack up and flee (safe and sound), just like they fled (from southern Lebanon) in 2000 and like they fled from the Gaza Strip (in 2005).
Journalist: “We will be praying at al-Quds soon”, (you said). This certainty that you have…
Hassan Nasrallah : I cannot say exactly what length of time we should put behind the word “soon”, but it is only a matter of time. I see it as a spectacle that will inevitably happen. It is above all a divine promise, and a well-rooted historical tradition. The whole story (shows that the Empires collapsed and that the colonists and invaders ended up packing up). We are not talking about something that would be unprecedented or contravene historical experience. It is history itself and its laws that predict such an outcome.
Journalist : Eminent Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary General of Hezbollah, what you are saying is a strong, existing and present opinion. But on the other hand, there are people who consider that Israel has succeeded in creating changes (in its favor) in the strategic environment. We know that Israel often holds conferences and likes to talk about its “strategic environment” (in the Middle East). Some believe that Israel has succeeded in bringing about (profound) upheavals which will enable it to restore its capacity for initiative. They maintain that in 2000, the strategic environment was much more favorable to Hezbollah than today: you had the upper hand, there was an Intifada in occupied Palestine (from 2000 to 2005), there were armed operations (of the Palestinian Resistance) in the heart of Tel Aviv, there was universal and massive Arab popular support (for the Palestinian cause), there were Arab regimes embarrassed (by their inaction & alliance to the West), stability reigned in Syria, and even Turkey then approached the Resistance Axis and distanced itself from Israel. But today, the United States has been present in our region for 20 years (since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and then Iraq in 2003), Syria has withdrawn from Lebanon, the Arab Spring led to the targeting of Arab armies (destruction of major Arab countries like Syria and Libya), Arab countries normalize their relations (with Israel), and even in Lebanon, there is no internal stability. Is all this true? And my second question is this: to whom does the strategic environment give the capacity for initiative today?
Hassan Nasrallah : These are very broad questions… Even in the clues you mentioned… There are things that have not changed, at least not in favor of Israel, and may have improved (in our favor) in some way.
For example, in 1982, in Lebanon, there was a civil war. There were fundamental divisions, frontlines (in Beirut itself), battles, Lebanese (movements) who fought alongside the Israelis against other Lebanese (like the militias of Samir Geagea, Bachir Gemayel, etc.). Today, there is no more civil war. There are no more frontlines, are there? There are certainly…
Journalist : But I asked you about the situation in 2000. It was in 2000 that the strategic environment was particularly favorable to the Resistance, and (obviously) not in 1982.
Hassan Nasrallah : All right, let’s not talk about 1982. But even in 2000, I don’t consider that the interior atmosphere in Lebanon was much better than that of today, if we want to speak of the interior atmosphere. Some of the fundamental divisions persist internally (between the pro-Westerners of the so-called March 14 alliance and the pro-Iran sovereignists of the March 8 alliance).
And there is something I want to focus on: when we talk about near or distant history, we should not embellish reality. You have to describe the history as it is. In 2000, there was no unanimity on the principle of Resistance (to the Israeli occupation). There was no union of the Lebanese (besides Hezbollah). It’s a fiction. On the contrary, there were severe differences on the question of the Resistance, and some Lebanese forces considered that Hezbollah was not even a patriotic movement or linked to Lebanon, and was only fighting in the interest of Syria and Iran. (Resistance) operations in the south were mentioned as (reprehensible) violence, and some Lebanese media did not designate our martyrs as martyrs, but simply as “killed”: the young resistance fighters were “killed”, and the Israeli soldiers were “killed” (they made no difference between the two). I don’t want to reopen this page of history. But I emphasize that there was no unanimity. Contrary to all those who claim that Hezbollah would have lost the unanimity it enjoyed before, I maintain that since 1982 to this day, the Resistance has lost nothing, for there was NEVER unanimity on the question of the Resistance. This has always been a point of disagreement.
Regarding the points you raised about the strategic environment, we interpret the arrival of the Americans in the region (in 2001) differently. In our eyes, this is proof of the advance of the Axis of Resistance: when the United States realized that Israel alone was unable to protect the interests of Washington, which is its fundamental role, because this entity is an instrument (of British and then American imperialism); when the United States became convinced that the regimes in the region it supports (Saudi Arabia, Gulf countries, Egypt, etc.) became incapable of protecting the interests of Washington, when they started to be afraid of certain States in the region (Syria, Iran) and of the peoples of the region, who risked transforming the Middle East in a direction contrary to Washington’s interests, this forced them to be present directly with their fleet, their military bases, their armed forces, etc. It is a sign of the strength of the strategic environment in our favor, not in favor of the enemy. So much for the first point.
Second, so as not to tackle all the points you mentioned one by one, let’s look at the other side. Where was the Resistance? Today, when we ask to Israel if the Hezbollah of 2000 is the same as that of today, Israel answers: “Of course not ! It has grown and strengthened, and it is dozens of times more powerful than before!” We went from the status of a (guerrilla) Resistance, a small group of young people, people with faith but with (very) limited capacities, to that of a “terrorist army”, in the words of the Israeli chief of staff, but I underline the word “army”. And he adds that Israel must work to widen the gap between the Resistance and the Israeli army again, which indicates that Hezbollah is on the rise.
If we consider the Palestinian people, there were a lot of people within Palestine who were counting on negotiations (to achieve a peace agreement and a Palestinian State), but today negotiations have reached an dead end. Today, the level of support of the Palestinian people for the choice of the Armed Resistance is higher than ever. So we are talking about an upheaval in the strategic environment (but it is certainly not in favor of Israel). Because the Palestinian people are the key. The main element that will decide the future of the (Zionist) entity is the state of mind, the point of view and the convictions of the Palestinian people, as well as their will and determination.
And with regard to Gaza, which was occupied in 2000, to speak of the year 2000, today, Gaza is in the hands of the Resistants. After 2000, all that the Israelis feared from the Palestinians was an ambush, an explosive charge, or a martyrdom (operation) here or there. But today, the leaders of the factions of the Resistance in Gaza (Hamas and Islamic Jihad) claim that their ballistic capacity allows them to strike all the cities of occupied Palestine. Who is this development favouring? And this is happening in the very heart of Israel, in its security and existential depth!
In our view, the transformations in the region are in our favor, not in favor of the enemy. We are not saying that the strategic environment is entirely in our favor, but it is not entirely in favor of the enemy. There are strengths on both sides…
Journalist: Is there a balance?
Hassan Nasrallah : Yes, there is a high level of balance. Without this balance, Israel would have waged a war against Lebanon now (taking advantage of the war in Syria and the economic and health crisis in Iran).
Journalist: Does the current strategic environment give Hezbollah the initiative, the capacity for initiative?
Hassan Nasrallah : Hezbollah has the capacity for initiative, and the enemy also has the capacity for initiative. But because of the balance (mutuel deterrence) between the two, each one thinks twice (before attacking the other). Everyone thinks twice. […]
“Any amount counts, because a little money here and there, it’s like drops of water that can become rivers, seas or oceans…” Hassan Nasrallah