Today is Al Qods Day. It’s the last Friday of the holy Month of Ramadan. Following the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the establishment of the Islamic Republic in it, the toppling of the US-Israeli Shah Pahlavi regime and the transformation of the Israeli Embassy in Tehran to the first Palestinian Embassy in the whole world, Imam Khomeini (May Allah glorify his soul) announced the last Friday of the Holy Month of Ramadan of every year as AlQods International Day for evident reasons related to reviving the cause of Palestine and reminding the nation of its historic responsibilities. Following the decease of the Imam (May Allah glorify his soul), His Eminence Imam Sayyed Khamenai carried on his track and course stressing his commitments to the late Imam’s principles and stances in all perspectives on top of which are the cause of Palestine, Al Qods, the Arab-Israeli struggle, backing the Palestinian people, the Arab peoples in the region and the resistance movements. Thus after the decease of the Imam, Al Qods Day remained one of the most important causes which the Imam left among his holy, glorified, great and lasting heritage.
Al Qods Day is the day of the holy city with what and who are in it including the threatened religious sanctities of both Muslims and Christians. Someone might ask: are there no sanctities for Jews in Al Qods? There is controversy over this issue. What the children of Israel have done through history with their prophets, themselves, their tribes, their clans and those who overpowered them didn’t preserve and keep anything for them. So the city with all its religious sanctities is threatened, and Al Qods Day is the day of the city and whoever are in it among its Arab people- Muslims and Christians alike – who are threatened of being uprooted also.
Al Qods Day is the day of Palestine – all Palestine from the sea to the river. Al Qods Day is the day of the Palestinian and Arab prisoners who are jailed in occupation prisons. Al Qods Day is the day of Palestinian refugees whether in Palestine of in exodus. Al Qods Day is the day of the patient, fighting, resisting and steadfast besieged Gaza. Al Qods Day is the day of the Palestinian resistance with all its factions and currents. It’s the day of the Lebanese, Arab and Islamic resistance. It’s the day of every resistant fighter who opposes and remains steadfast in face of the Zionist project in our region. Al Qods Day is the day of the nation, the day of reviving the nation and the day of reminding the nation of both its historic and religious responsibilities.
The main issue of Al Qods Day before whatever topics and details – the key as we always put it – is the stance from the Zionist occupation of the Palestine lands and the Arab lands which are still under occupation whether Golan Heights or Shebaa Farms or Kfar Shouba Heights. So the main issue is the stance from the occupation and consequently the stance from this entity which was formed and established on the bases of occupation and control. We have a clear stance and firm and final principle which we always express on Al Qods Day regardless of the diverse viewpoints whether in or outside Lebanon. That’s because what is right is right and must be said and announced aloud and because what is false is false and must be denied, refused and confronted. We frankly and openly say that Palestine from the sea to the river is the property of the Palestinian people and the whole nation. The Zionists have no right in this land. We are ready to discuss this topic on religious, historic, rational and legal bases depending on holy books including the Old Testament which is widespread and recognized now among the Jews of this time. Based on what has been acknowledged by people all through history, we stress that Palestine is the right of this people and this nation and it’s not the right of the Zionists at all. In the Holy Month of Ramadan when Muslims recite the Holy Qoran and seek to complete reading the whole Book of Allah more than once, interpretations assemble in the minds clearly. The Holy Qoran tackles repetitively the stories of the children of Israel and the prophets of the children of Israel. Such concepts were mentioned in previous books especially in Torah and the other books Allah revealed to the prophets of the children of Israel. We recognize based on the Qoran and our Islamic teachings that Allah Al Mighty promised Abrams (pbuh) to give his descendants the holy Land. We do not deny that. That is present in our Qoranic text. Back also to the Qoran, the Old Testament, the sayings of the prophets of the children of Israel and the historic events, Allah Al Mighty promised the descendants of Abrams the Holy Land; but the descendants of Abrams are not only the Jews and the Zionists as a political or religious trend or as a tribe and race. A great section of Arabs are among the descendants of Abrams (pbuh). The descendants of Abrams are from Ishmael and Isaac. But in the Torah, the Bible, the Psalms and the Qoran, Allah promised the descendants of Abrams the Holy land. Which descendants? They are the good, the believers, the chaste and the pious among them. They are the followers of Abrams the father and the prophet and the followers of religion of Abrams (pbuh). As for the descendants of Abrams who are criminals and killers who slaughtered prophets, spread corruption on earth and perpetrated horrible deeds and great sins, they are not promised in the first place to say the promise was withdrawn. They are not promised on the first hand. In the Old Testament and in history books after Moses (pbuh) crossed with the children of Israel towards Palestine and the Holy Land, the children of Israel worshiped the bull and the idols and disobeyed Allah and harmed His prophet and conspired against him and his brother Aaron. Allah ordered them to go astray in the desert of that land for forty years. So they are not promised. When the disobedient and their descendents who denied the blessings of Allah were terminated – after forty years – the children of the prophet of Allah Joshua entered the Holy Land. They were the religious, pious and devout descendants of the children of Israel from the descendants of Abrams. Still when they resorted again to corruption and killing the prophets, Allah Almighty controlled over them who killed them, destroyed them and dispersed them. Now they are digging under the Al Aqsa Mosque in search for a temple which was destroyed three thousands years ago due to their crimes and corruption. Neither in the Torah, nor in the Bible, nor in the Psalms, nor in the Qoran nor in any divine book is there but one principle: The land is Allah’s. He bequeaths it to whoever He wants among his good servants. This land is the promise of Allah to the good among his servants.
On Al Qods Day in the month of fasting and night-worship, I say specifically to Muslims who are fasting worldwide: If you really want to fast, today we are verifying an aspect of fasting. “O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may learn self-restraint”. The aim of fasting is to become self-restraint and pious. Pious means that we do not anger Allah by any of our sayings or deeds. Pious means to label what’s right as right and what is false as false. Pious means that we do not alter what is right to what is false and what is false to what is right due to fear or greed. Today, you and I – who responded to the eternal call of Imam Khomeini (May Allah glorify his soul) announce hereof from the Compound of Sayyed Ashuhada (pbuh) which embraced the bodies of our martyrs in the resistance and still does – announce our steadfast adherence to the principles which will never alter:
First: Historic Palestine from the sea to the river is for the Palestinian People and the whole nation.
Second: No one in the world – whether Palestinian, Arab, Muslim and Christian no matter what historic, revolutionary, public, legal or constitutional representation or legitimacy he claimed – has the right or is allowed to concede one grain of soil from the land of Palestine or a drop of water in Palestine or one letter of the name of Palestine.
Third: the Israeli entity founded on the land of Palestine is a usurping, occupying, aggressive, cancerous, illegal and illegitimate entity.
Forth: No one has the right to recognize this entity or acknowledge its legitimacy or recognize its existence.
Fifth: Dealing with Israel is prohibited. Normalization with Israel is prohibited. This is what Muslim scholars, jurists and authorities unanimously agree on. Whoever says otherwise let him show up and give his evidences. These principles and firm beliefs are not changed at all with time, circumstances, and conditions of strength and weakness. Brothers and sisters! Some talk about our inability; we might really be for one reason or another unable to liberate Palestine and restore the Holy site of Al Qods in the current circumstance. We might be unable to do anything at all. We might be unable to get entangled in a war, to resist or to make an uprising, but we are not obliged at all to recognize, acknowledge, succumb or give in to our enemy and seal for him the title deed and the bill of legally controlling our land, holy sites and wealth. No one can impose any such thing on us. This is a psychological, personal and public stance. This is the stance of the nation. No one can impose any other thing on us. This is our nation. For more than sixty years, the whole world is pressing to recognize Israel, deal with Israel and normalize with Israel. Still they could not impose that on us. Even the countries which have made so called peace agreements with Israel could not impose on their peoples to deal with Zionists or to normalize with Zionists. So it is possible that we do not recognize, acknowledge, succumb and conclude agreements. Today we are not weak and unable. Let’s then at least say – and here I am saying on your behalf and announcing as a part of this nation in the month of fasting and night-worship: O Allah have witness on us in Your Month, days and nights that we as part of this nation will not recognize Israel, deal with Israel, normalize with Israel, succumb to Israel and give in to Israel even if the whole world recognized it. Our faith, concept and media will remain: Israel has an illegal existence. It is a cancerous grand which must terminate to exist.
We are not committed to acknowledging, recognizing, normalizing or conceding to Israel even in the hard and harsh conditions. Since its foundation, Lebanon is living hard conditions. Its textile is complicated. Its circumstances are difficult and its capabilities are humble. Since 1978 and 1982 it has been suffering from wars, civil war, sectarian divisions and horizontal and vertical aligning. This Lebanon which has many problems and disorders did not concede to Israel officially or publicly. Until this very moment and for 61 years, Lebanon has not conceded one grain of soil or drop of water to Israel. We are not obliged even if the country is weak, the region is weak and Israel is powerful and the conditions are difficult. Yes, an orphan trial was made but aborted rapidly. It’s May 17th Agreement. So if there is a country with a determined people, there will be no concessions. We don’t want to fight and wage a regional war; but we will not as well concede our rights and we will carry on demanding our rights. We will not conclude agreements and give up. We might not wage a war for restoring Kfar Shouba and Shebaa Farms but will we leave them in the hands of Israelis? No we will carry on demanding them and talking about them. This is the least we can do, and we are all able to do it. Take also Syria. Some people always talk about opening fronts. Since 1967 and October War and for decades until our day, Syria did not open a front and so far it did not fight. This has its conditions which might be right or wrong. This is another story. But no one may ignore that Syria for thirty or forty years – whether under late President Hafez Assad or under President Bashar Assad currently and despite the siege, international sanctions, isolation, conspiracies and the most difficult conditions it has passed through especially in the latest years after the occupation of Iraq and all the changes that took place on the Arab, international and Islamic levels and all what Syria has been subject to – has not conceded one grain of its soil or one drop of its waters. Syria must be hailed for that. This must be recognized and esteemed highly. Well there is a regime in Syria and it is not like Hezbollah or the resistance movements in Palestine. These are movements and factions. No Syria has a regime, an army, a government, infrastructure, economy, relations and still it remained steadfast. It’s true it did not fight and rather close a front but still it did not surrender. It did not give in and sell its lands and waters. We all know Geneva Summit which took place between President Hafez Assad and President Bill Clinton. We all know that. They were ready to give; still the whole settlement between Syria and the Israeli enemy was ceased due to a couple of water meter cubes in the Sea of Galilee. So that is possible even in case of an Arab regime and not a public resistance movement. This Arab regime which has economic, social and political responsibilities and international affairs could remain steadfast because it was relying on righteousness and law. So because it has a will, it could remain steadfast.
So, brothers and sisters, it is not that we are before two choices: either war or if not able to fight we succumb. No there is a third option which is to remain steadfast, oppose, resist and work to achieve power and capability and wait for changes. This is our proposal on Al Qods Day. Our choice is not to succumb. No we might remain steadfast and not succumb. We can oppose and work to achieve the elements of strength and power and await changes. This is a logical, rational and successful option. It has proved fruitful. When talking about the options we have today, we have the option of negotiations. After all these years, it was proved that negotiations are a fruitless track. That does not need much evidence and more concessions and right-wasting (at times for free). Whoever has anything else to say, let him show up and say it. Today Mr. George Mitchell has informed the Palestinians that he has failed to convince Netanyahu to temporarily freeze settlement building. This has two suppositions: the supposition of the American inability which says that Obama’s administration is unable and weak and can’t press Netanyahu and impose that on him. I do not believe that. If the US administration is weak, will you bet on the inability of the unable? If the great US administration can’t impose on Netanyahu, according to this supposition, to freeze temporarily settlement building, how may it make a settlement in the region and give the least rights to the Palestinians and the Arabs. This is as far as the supposition of inability is concerned.
The second supposition is that of deception and this is what I say is the truth. I am not convinced that they are unable. Rather they are deceitful. They came to say that we pressed on Netanyahu and he did not respond. He is in a difficult situation. The extreme right will soon kill him as they killed Isaac Rabin. O Arabs we must offer a reasonable and acceptable price which would make Netanyahu accept a temporary freeze of settlement building. So let’s go towards normalization and offer more fruitless concessions. This is the track of negotiations. There are other choices. There was another choice which was tackled in the last decades and the courtesies of our generation and the generation that preceded. It’s the choice of announcing an Arab, comprehensive war. Let’s open all fronts and mobilize all armies and break through Palestine from all its gates. This is a nice speech and a good choice. But it seems that who doesn’t want to fight renders the stone heavy. So if we are to wait until the day on which all the Arab regimes get convinced in opening all fronts and dispatching all armies to liberate Palestine, we will have to wait for hundreds of years to come. God knows. Indeed this track of thinking had led to the loss of the resistance in many mazes. Many of the currents and movements which adopted the choice of fighting the Israeli enemy and confronting the Zionist project have been lost based on this theory (the strategy of changing the regimes). Thus the way to Al Qods came to pass through Junieh. That means we have to change the regime in this and that Arab country so that we would have regimes which all are convinced in war so that they would dispatch their armies. But what is taking place is that even when the regime changes and a new regime is installed, the new regime gives up fighting.
So let’s put this choice aside. I am not saying it is totally hopeless. What I am saying is that it is not handy in the ten or twenty coming years. It doesn’t seem it will be practical with ease. Here I am saying as others do: when you hear someone among us saying let’s open all fronts to fight, he would be searching for a logical pretext not to fight. This is frankly speaking. When Lebanon was invaded by Israel, should the Lebanese people have waited for the Arab nations, a united Arab strategy and the Arab armies, Israel would have still been in Nabatiyeh, Bint Jbeil, Hasbaya, Jizzine, Tyr, Beirut, Junieh and would have also reached Zahle, Baalbeck, Hermel and Tripoli. This is where this way of thinking leads.
The other choice we are proposing and which I mentioned a while ago is opposing and remaining steadfast and having a public resistance. This does not need much interpretation because you are the people of resistance. In the history of the Zionist entity – for 61 years up to this very day- the hardest 10 years which Israel has passed through are the latest decade. This was the result of this choice. There are Arab and Islamic countries which are opposing and remaining steadfast. They are not succumbing. There is resistance in Lebanon. There is resistance in Palestine. What’s the result? It was the withdrawal of Israel from Lebanon except for Kfar Shouba Heights, Shebaa Farms and Al Ghajar. That was a great achievement and victory to Lebanon and a historic massive defeat to Israel. We all know what strategic Israel experts have said following the defeat of 2000. In 2000 also was Al Aqsa Intifada in Occupied Palestine. It was the public uprising and armed resistance which truly shook the Israeli entity. It made the Israelis perplexed and lost. Anti-migration started taking place. They started saying in Israel that they are leading the Independence War II. So for the first time the Israelis feel there existence is being threatened due to Al Aqsa Intifada and the struggle and sacrifices offered by our Palestinian brethrens. Then came the withdrawal from Gaza and the defeat in Gaza. Then was July War in 2006 which shook essential bases in the entity’s existence which has to do with its army and its morals, capacities and the confidence in it. So this is the choice I am talking about. I do not want to put forth theories on it. We are saying this choice is the true choice because it leads to such and such. Here I am saying to all Arabs and Muslims: this is a true choice not because it leads but because it has led. So experience and facts have shown the validity of this choice. We can restore our territories with resistance. The proof is that we restored it in Lebanon. The proof is that we restored it in Gaza. We can cripple all the aims of the enemy no matter how mighty he is. The proof is that we did so in July 2006 and our brethrens have done in Gaza War. So that is possible. Consequently, I am frankly saying. We do not need to open fronts. Some people have made theories of opening fronts. Well no we do not need to open fronts.
On Al Qods Day, I say the valid strategy is the following. Here I will announce the valid strategy:
Let’s start with Lebanon. Guard the resistance in Lebanon. Well if you do not want to guard the resistance in Lebanon, it’s up to you but at least “leave it alone”. This speech is not addressed to the Lebanese. Most Lebanese back the resistance with no doubt and guard it. Experience has proved that. I mean some in Lebanon and some Arab states who have done what they have done in July War and have done what they have done before July War and after it.
Second: Support the Palestinian people. Keep your armies guarding your thrones. Blessed are they for you. Support the people and the resistance in Palestine. Help the Palestinians remain in their land. Lift the siege on them. Do not supply them with arms; let them pass arms. Do not fund them but do not block the way before those who are funding them. We can’t be more humble. If you – the Arab states, the Arab nation and the Arab people – do not want to support them, don’t then. Iran is supporting and openly now. Here is Ahmed Najjad. He doesn’t fear anything. Here I am saying support the Palestinian people. Support the resistance in Palestine. Lift the siege on the Palestinian people. Muster the Palestinian lines. Make peace between them. Unite their word and stances. Do not conspire against them. Do not instigate one side against the other. Do not purchase arms to any side to kill the other. To Palestine the arms of ordeal and internal fighting pass; whereas the arms to fight the Zionists are being confiscated. Is not this the truth? Do not furnish the Israelis with information about the Palestinian resistance, its cells, arms, capabilities, tunnels, smuggling ways and its leaderships and their dwelling places… Leave them alone. As I said in July War when I told the Arab leaders to leave us alone, today I tell them leave the Palestinian People alone. Either you support them or leave them alone. Now we are fasting the days of the Month of Ramadan. If the siege was lifted from the Palestinian people which was also supported and backed, the Palestinian people have capacities, leaderships, men, women, youths, courage, faithfulness, patience, tolerance, will, determination and the spirit of struggling and martyrdom which enable them from restoring Al Aqsa Mosque to the whole nation. They are not in need for your armies and fronts and neither our front also. This is the scope of this choice.
Today some might say: O Sayyed! You are saying so but the conditions are difficult. And the conditions of the Arabs are harder and worse. This is true. This is the statue quo. But I would like to tell you that the circumstances in Israel now and in the future will be harder and worse. Israel before the defeat of 2000 is not like Israel after the defeat of 2000; Israel after the defeat of Gaza is not like Israel after the defeat of Gaza; and Israel after the defeat of July is not like Israel after the defeat of July. Today don’t be that much afraid of Israel. Israel is training, arming and maneuvering day and night because it is afraid. It is wailing because it is frightened. Is there a way out? Yes, there is a way out. I will show you the way out. I have always tackled it in previous occasions. But today I want to clarify it a little more. Let’s go back to history. We must read history and modern history too. There are many great states which if attacked remain steadfast, gain victory and put a decisive end to the battle. But at times if they dispatch their army outside the country land to another country, the army would be defeated and destroyed. Then the regime would fall and the state would collapse. Aren’t there such evidences whether in history or in modern history? I will tell you about the way out. Support the Palestinian people. Enable them to be ready and strong. Don’t let them be preoccupied with each other and with their livelihood, reconstructing their homes, prisoners and arrests and the like. Leave the resistance alone. One day the Israelis who are threatening – Yes I give in to the principle which is being tackled in Lebanon and which some political leadership in Lebanon are articulating. We can’t deny that – might wage a war on Lebanon. We do not want this war. I am not talking strategically to say we want a war. No we do not want a war. Well in 1982, we did not want war either. Neither did the Palestinians who were then in Lebanon. The Israelis took as a pretext the assassination of the Israel ambassador in London to wage a war on Lebanon. They invaded Lebanon. I don’t know what pretext they might take to wage a war on Lebanon, but many Lebanese and Arabs might find that threatening. Well with a sound will and a wise leadership, the threat might be turned to a chance. Here I am telling the Lebanese and the Arabs: We do not want a war. But in case Israel attacked Lebanon, we have to change the threat to a chance. What is this chance? It’s what I hinted to before. They would dispatch 6 or 7 squads to fight us – i.e. more than half of the Israeli army would be outside the land of Palestine. If our resistance was ready and could destroy this half and perish, disperse and crush them, what future will remain for Israel in the region? When I say that the next war will change the landmarks of the region, many interpreted that saying the Sayyed has owned nuclear weapons! By God we do not possess nuclear weapons. In fact, it’s prohibited that anyone possess or use nuclear weapons. What Imam Khamenai says is a religious rule and not political talk. Our jurisprudence says so. Owning and using such weapons are religiously prohibited. The landmarks of the region will change because Israel is a state which was made to an army. If we could destroy this army and we will destroy it God willing; if we could rush this army and we will crush it God willing; if we could perish this army and we will perish it in Lebanon God willing, what future will remain for Israel? Maybe on that day we did not need soldiers to reach Bint Jbeil. I remember in 2000 when the front posts fell in the border lines we did not need soldiers to reach Hasbaya, Bint Jbeil and Naqura. We reached there in buses, vans and cars. If the Israeli army was crushed in Lebanon, it is not unlikely that Allah would bless us to reach in busses and vans Al Aqsa Mosque. This is a logical, practical and methodical choice. It’s not theorizing and raising banners and composing Arabic verse. These are facts and a truthful course of events for the past, present and the future.
On Al Qods Day, I call on all Arab and Islamic governments and on all Arab and Islamic peoples to adhere to the choice of opposing, remaining steadfast, supporting the resistance and refusing to succumb, give in, normalize and yield and to dispense with the feelings of weakness, inability, impotence, inferiority and lowness. We are – O people – “Ye are the best of people evolved for mankind”. You are not the best in race, blood and origin but because we are the nation of enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, jihad, good deeds and calling for the good and interests and rights of the people and humanity.
I call for seizing this choice. On Al Qods Day, I will recall some topics swiftly. First I recall Al Aqsa Mosque which is today being subject to threats. We all need to make a single call: O Al Qods! But alas, it’s Al Qods which is today shouting: O nation! It’s Al Aqsa Mosque which is now shouting: O nation! The Israelis are still excavating beneath it. This is not a rumor anymore. It’s not the propaganda of the Palestinians which they report in the media to have the Islamic world sympathize with them. This has been confirmed in various ways including the acknowledgement of Israeli organizations. Excavating is taking place in full swing beneath the Mosque. Should the Israelis keep digging tunnels under the Mosque, we might wake up one day and the Al Aqsa Mosque has collapsed – God forbids. Who among Muslims might bear that? Who among their religious men, scholars, leaders, parties, men and women might tolerate that? What a nation is this and its first Kiblah, the midnight journey of their Great Prophet (pbuh) is threatened to collapse and cave in any time, any moment, any day? If the attempt of blazing a part of the Al Aqsa Mosque let – among its consequences – to the formation of the Islamic Conference Organization, doesn’t what is more dangerous than blazing which is demolishing, destroying and caving in necessitate on the Islamic and Arab states to take a decisive clear stance in this perspective? Muslim scholars might convene and make a clear call on the Zionists saying that causing damage to the Mosque would lead to events and developments in the region which can’t be expected at all. The reaction of the nation to what the Mosque might be subject to is outside the domestic, national and regional calculations. The Zionists must hear clear decisive words to stop digging tunnels which might lead to such a catastrophe.
The other topic has to do with the people of Al Qods: We are in the month of Ramadan. All through the Islamic nation, we are having our iftar in our house or at our parents’ or relatives. Some are having iftar in halls, hotels and restaurants. But aren’t many families in Al Qods having their iftar in the street because they were expelled from their homes unjustly?
Didn’t this move those fasting? What is our fasting like if we are not moved with such scenes? Anyway, we must make haste to support the families of Al Qods to remain in Al Qods with money to purchase houses or construct their homes or whatever. True Al Qods Institution and our brethrens are taking close care of that; but anyway we can’t play down this issue at all.
The third topic: Al Qods Day is the day of Palestinian and Arab prisoners. We have among them those missed including prisoner Yahya Skaff. Here I have something to say as far as the issue of prisoners is concerned. I have an emotional word to say. In fact, I mentioned this before but I will say it again.
If we roamed the Arab world at least asking: Do you know who Ron Arad is? Many will answer yes. He is an Israeli pilot who was missed in Lebanon in the eighties and the whole world is searching for him. Is that true or not? If now we asked who Shalit is? Many would know. But should we ask in these televised competitions which are made in the Months of Ramadan on Arab satellite channels or if we carried a poll in all Arab streets asking: Give the names of three Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons from among 8000 Palestinian prisoners? If the person we are asking is not Palestinian or whose relatives are not among the prisoners, I swear a few persons would be able to name three Palestinian prisoners. Is that true or not? Isn’t this unfair? If we asked for the names of three Palestinian women or elderly or children in Israeli prisoners… that means we are all neglectful towards the Palestinians in the Arab and Islamic world. Who are they? What are their names? Why should the whole world know who Ron Arad is? Remember the two prisoners whom we were keeping. I did not memorize their names to vex them. Why should we memorize their names? Why should we forget our names and remember theirs? Why should the whole world know Arad and Shalit but not the names of Palestinian, Jordanian, Syrian and Arab prisoners? Well now, you know why the name of Samir Al Qintar has become known worldwide? We kept prisoners for the sake of freeing Samir Al Qintar but we did not wage a war for him. So when you demand a prisoner and make an event out of that, his name would be known worldwide. So why are we numbers and they are names? When we talk about prisoners, they are names and we are nine, ten or eleven thousands. In graveyards, we are numbers and they are names and they are but a few foreigners and we are the nation of the billion and 400 million people. Isn’t this but a shame to the headbands, cloaks, turbans, beards, crowns, armies and the medals on the shoulders of officers? Isn’t this the truth?
Well who is doing anything for the sake of liberating these prisoners? The brethrens in Gaza arrested Shalit. The whole world was mobilized. We took two prisoners and tried to do something on the Palestinian level. They waged a war on us. Israel has the right to wage a war and it would be righteous in doing that according to the international community and many of the Arabs. But shame on you Hezbollah! How do you take two prisoners? And you Hamas too! How do you take Shalit as a prisoner? How do you assault the Israelis in this way? But as for the 10, 11 and 12 thousand prisoners including women, children and patients who have families and relatives, they are of no value. Isn’t that painful? This is also an occasion to recall that we must do something in this perspective on the media, political, legal, social and public level whether it be pressure, war or fighting. I don’t mean war but I mean there is responsibility towards that issue.
The Israelis are not able until now to settle the issue of Ron Arad though we gave them clear conclusions. True we did not give them a materialistic proof. Still I have to accept that hundreds of Lebanese and Palestinian missed who were arrested on Israeli checkpoints have died. Their case is over. I have not to ask them any more and without offering a materialistic evidence. Why? Is Ron Arad a human being and the Lebanese, Palestinians and the four Iranian diplomats not. No this issue will remain an open cause on top of them is the cause of Yahya Skaff. His case will remain open. Our human beings are human beings. Our human beings are highly esteemed whether dead or alive. He is dignified. His soil is dignified. His land is dignified. We will not neglect this point for one moment.
Among the other issues is that of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. Here I stress that our speech as Lebanese and Palestinians stresses on confirming the right to return. That’s before talking about settlement and refusing settlement. We in Lebanon refuse settlement. All the Palestinian forces and people in Lebanon say they are against settlement. All the Lebanese say they are against settlement. There is a Lebanese consensus and a Palestinian consensus. There are fears that at any moment settlement will be refused. Should the settlement be imposed, it will be a conspiracy against the Palestinians before being a conspiracy against the Lebanese. It’s a conspiracy against Palestine before being a conspiracy against Lebanon. Settlement will be at the expense of Palestine before being at the expense of Lebanon. Let’s stress on the right to return. That’s because if we talked about settlement alone, we fear there’ll be a slip in the speech which might turn to be sectarian should it be a Muslim speech, a Christian speech or a sectarian speech. But there is a right. It’s the right of those people to return to their homes, country, land and sanctities.
The second issue is the civil rights of the Palestinians in Lebanon. This is among the well-established aims of Al Qods Day. We will always recall it and stress it. We can in this issue think with precision and wisdom without sliding into the risks of settlement. But the current statue quo of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon must not carry on.
Thirdly is the topic of camps. Two days ago when it flooded, you saw what the situation in some camps including Burj Al Barajineh was. In fact, we are neighbors with the Palestinian brethrens. How do we accept as Lebanese that our guests – as we refer to the Palestinians – dwell in such camps and neighborhoods in such difficult and hard situations? Let’s put the religion and Arabism aside and talk as human beings with feelings, emotions and values. This issue needs a serious addressing. We are not talking to raise the blame. We are talking about our responsibility as a civil national community. It’s the responsibility of the official regime to cooperate altogether on this issue to see where we will reach.
We are not alone in this track. Since the Islamic Revolution in Iran gained victory, it was fought because it adopted the essential causes for the nation. We are calling on all people to examine carefully why the war was waged on Iran and why it was isolated and besieged. Why when Iran was with the Shah, most Arabs were with it. When Iran was the police of the Gulf, all the friends were with it… But then Iran cut its relations with Israel, cut off oil from Israel, the Israeli Embassy was turned to the Embassy of Palestine and adopted openly supporting the Palestinian people and the resistance movements. Imam Khomeini from the first day was clear. He said: Israel is a cancerous gland which must cease to exist. In his statements, President Ahmadi Najjad did not say anything new. He is reviving the speech of Imam Khomeini (May Allah glorify his soul). Here America and the whole West regarded Iran as a threat. Iran is a great support to the Palestinian people and the Arab peoples. Thus they imposed this siege, war, pressure and isolation. Now it is subject to this malformation by some Arab satellite channels and Arab governments. The true guilt of Iran is that it stands by the resistance and the peoples of the region and Palestine. Now let Iran say it dispensed with Lebanon, Syria and the Arabs, the whole world will be ready to hold talks with it because Iran is not a small country. It has oil, gas, coal, market among other primary materials. It’s a great country. Historically it was as such. Iran is paying the price of its commitment to its principles. This must be known by all Lebanese, Arabs and Muslims.
During the recent developments, the whole world bet on the collapse of the regime. Indeed some did partake in the war against the regime from among the Arabs, Arab governments, Arab media and they failed as they failed during July War and Gaza War. We are proud of belonging to this axis which will not be defeated God willing. Iran hit the street today to say to the whole world which expected it to be confused, become weak, shake and collapse we are with Al Qods, Palestine, Lebanon and Gaza. We are with “Israel must cease to exist”. We saw the people. We heard the clear speech of the President of the Iranian Republic and Friday Imam, the slogans raised in the demonstrations. I know Iran and its wise and brave leader. I know its leaderships, people and stances. Here I am telling you: Iran can’t give up the peoples of the region and the resistance movements in the region. The Palestinian cause and Al Qods are to Iran, its head, leaders and peoples their prayers, fasting, night-worship, religion and Hereafter. Whoever bets on expelling Iran from the field and the square is deluded and doubtful. Today, I give my many thanks in the name of all resistance fighters, martyrs, prisoners and believers in the choice of resistance, steadfastness and opposition to His Eminence Ayatollah Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenai (May Allah prolong his life span) and the brethrens in the leadership of Iran and the Iranian people for all the moral, political, materialistic and financial support. This is a source of pride to Iran of which it must be proud worldwide and even before the international community and the Security Council. His Eminence Sayyed Khamenai was clear in Friday Prayers.
This nation is not alone. Lebanon is not alone. Syria is not alone. Palestine is not alone. The peoples of the region are not alone. Consequently we own many elements of strength. We have transcended the most dangerous stage which is that of George Bush. Today the Israelis are in a bad condition. The Israelis are in a bad condition in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Today we are hearing the story of the armored- rocket in Czech and Poland. These two states are an example to all those who bet on the Americans. Poor are they in Czech and Poland. They evoked a trouble with the Russians. Then the Americans abandoned them. Why did the Americans abandon the armored rocket. That’s because they have a problem. They are weak and they have financial troubles. What’s their pretext? They found out that the Iranian rockets do not pose a threat. How it is so? All of a sudden, they discovered that and changed their track which was to cause an international crisis and a world war. They said they have another way in dealing with rockets… So we have crossed the difficult stage.
Gaza is besieged. We in Lebanon, many Arab and Islamic states have given us money and capabilities. A great number of our houses were reconstructed. Reconstruction is at full swing but it’s natural that it takes time. In Gaza, it has been almost a year since the aggression. They talked about billions of dollars in Sharm El Sheikh Conference. Where are the people of Gaza? They are still in camps and winter will in a couple of days. Will the homes made of clay stand in face of winter, war and aggressions? On Al Qods Day, we make a call, an appeal or a wish: Lift the siege from Gaza and help it. Pass to it cement, iron, raw materials and sanitary items. Help them build their homes. They don’t want to build castles and great edifices. They want to take shelter from winter and protect themselves. Isn’t this one of their responsibilities? Is this an Arab or Islamic world? We compose chants and anthems for our Prophet Mohamad (peace be upon him) in Arab satellites. Mohamad – the seal of Prophets – is telling us: “Whoever wakes up and sleeps again at night without considering the concerns of Muslims is not a Muslim.” We are all heading towards Eid. But what is the feast like in Gaza? What is the feast like for the families of prisoners, for the Iraqis, Afghans, and Pakistanis…Well in far places we can’t do anything, but here near us can’t we do anything?
What’s taking place in Yemen is sorrowful and painful. I do not want to interfere in the internal affairs of any Arab country. When some events took place in Beirut – this might have been reported in the media or not – President Ali Abdullah Saleh contacted us. Indeed I can’t talk on the phone. He talked with one of the leaderships and said: Give my regards to Sayyed Hassan. He expressed his emotions. He is thanked for that. He was afraid of the events that took place on May 5th and May 7th. He said By God, I call upon you to avoid such and such. We said indeed we are responsible for the people. Inshallah we will accept this appeal. Today I can’t talk with the Yemeni president on the phone. I don’t care who is right and who is wrong and what the details are or the whole story is. But take the initiative and order a cease-fire and stop fighting and fraternal blood shedding and the exsanguinations of the people. Open the gate for a political solution. You are able to do that. You can take the initiative. I am tackling this issue because I feel responsible. I don’t know the situation in the field. Who are interested in what is taking place: the Hittites or the Yemeni Army. Nobody contacted me or called upon me. I am not concerned with this issue but we are in the Month of Ramadan. After two days, it will be Eid. One day, O president, you made an appeal to us and we listened and honored you. It was our duty to do so. Today we are also appealing to you to order a cease-fire and stop blood shedding. Take the initiative. You are able to do that. Open the gate for political solution. Spare the lives of our people in Yemen.
In the Lebanese issue, everyone is occupied with his constitutional right. The Minister-designate practiced his right which he considers his right. The Opposition has practiced its rights. We went to naming. The Opposition did not name not as a result of weakness, inability or lack of men. The Opposition is able to name any personality from among the Sunni responsible leaders in Lebanon as a Premier according to our sectarian regime but it did not do that because doing so will cause tension for the premier whom the majority will name. We in the Opposition agreed not to name a premier. We see this as positive or else the Opposition and the parliamentary blocs were able to name any personality and charge him of forming a government even if the majority was to name another Premier. This might be seen as negative but it may be seen as positive. We said we are ready for dialogue and cooperation. What I want to say: let no one take the country to political tension or sectarian tension or factional tension, or security tension. There is no reason for that. We have all tried that. We will all lose. If we take the country to internal tension in allies and neighborhoods, we will all lose. Sectarian speech is a double-edged sword. Let no one resort to sectarian speech. Let the square be calm after the elections. After the feast, the president-designate will return peacefully God willing. He will sit with the parliamentary blocs and contact them. There is a legal and constitutional track. In Lebanon we have our democracy. Let’s be quiet and have patience with each other to reach somewhere. To reach late is better than leading our country to destruction.
On Al Qods Day, I thank you for attending. You are fasting and tired. But this is but a show of your faithfulness to AlQods and the Imam. May Allah make us among those adhering to the firm righteous principles. May Allah bless us with you to pray in Al Aqsa Mosque in Al Qods. Peace be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessing.
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