I typically “tweet” Nasrallah’s speeches. Unfortunately, this time I was not able to tweet his speech since I was driving. I was able, though, to take notes while driving (and the notes were good when the traffic was bad : – ) First time, I really wanted a traffic jam).
Here are my notes, in the order in which Hassan Nasrallah spoke. Previously, I translate literally. This time, forgive me for paraphrasing. Will put in quotes particularly important statements which are not a paraphrase. What is bolded is a quote and not a paraphrase.
Note: I did not include my thoughts on the speech. I bolded the sections in the speech that either have been highlighted in the press or received lots of applause from the floor.
—————– Nasrallah’s speech on the Day of Martyrs of Resistance — 16 February 2011 ———————
This day is to honor the martyrs Abbas Moussawi, Ragheb Harb, and Imad Mughniyeh. There are other anniversaries to commemorate. The birth of Prophet Mohammad. Also: on 11-February-1979, the Iranian revolution. And, now, on 11-February-2011, “the victory of the Egyptian people over oppression.” “Let 11-February be the anniversary of the fall of the two most important US allies in the region”. [Nasrallah also spoke briefly about the other anniversary: 14-February-2006, the assassination of Rafiq Hariri.]
We do not remember our martyrs to make them grander; they do not need us to do that. “We remember our martyrs for us and not for them. We sit with them, anew. They are the teachers.” We sit with them and renew our vows for resistance.
These three (Abbas Mousawi, Ragheb Harb, and Imad Mughniyeh) are the founders of our resistance. They are the first stones in our foundation. They were there from the start to their martyrdom. They did not despair but remained productive throughout. Next year marks 30 years of our resistance. These three worked for 30 years, from the start of our resistance.
“Resistance is a natural response from people in response to oppression and occupation.” Resistance is the insurance to stability to justice.
Resistance movements… “any peace in the region – or anywhere – has one basic condition: justice. Peace and stability based on oppression cannot be real peace or lasting stability.”
To understand the essence of the issue, we need to return to the roots. The main problem in the region for more than 60 years has two complementary faces. 1st: Israel and Zionism.
They started wars against Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt. … For hundreds of years, Jews lived in peace here – whether under Arab rule or under Islamic rule. … Zionists came, invaded, slaughtered, burned homes, confiscated lands, expelled people – and all with complete Western support (and some local regimes, as well). They led expansionist wars.
Resistance is a natural response to occupation.
What is justice? Here I have a message to Obama and Clinton. There are 2 faces to justice. First: The houses and the lands have to be returned to their rightful owners, those dreaming of return. There must be a right of return of the millions of Palestinian refugees in the diaspora and in the occupied lands of 1967. Second: The war criminals must be tried.
It is a false peace via negotiations that give concessions without recognizing any rights of the people and rewards criminals; this cannot bring peace.
Where is the United States in setting up international tribunals for the Zionist criminals? Rather, they are changing laws in the West so no one can take an Israeli war criminal general to court.
[The second complementary face to the region’s problem] is the US/Western regime, with the dictatorial Arab regimes, and supported by intellectual elite and media power, to promote US interests – be they economic, political, or strategic security – and to support Israel.
The closer [these dictatorial Arab regimes] are to Israel, the closer they are to the US. It is not human rights or justice or democracy that the US concerns itself with but Israel.
During the Shah regime in Iran, there were only three red lines: US, Israel, and the person of the Shah. The regime in Iran then was American; the Shah was just a figurehead. The Iranian revolution was to expel the US agent in Iran.
The US and the West considers you part of the Axis of Peace if you are with Israel, and part of the Axis of Terror if you refuse to surrender to Israel (and not even fight, just refuse to surrender).
In the ’70s, people in the region felt despair; the felt they had no ability but to accept the confines of Israel and the US. Camp David was a large blow to the region [and assisted in this sense of despair]. The Iranian revolution was a “real earthquake” – they kicked the US out from Iran, they cut relations with Israel, and they changed from a strategic ally to Israel to becoming a center in support of resistance in the region.
For 30 years, the resistance in the region has continued. Syria has remained resistant. The Palestinians have continued their resistance. And in Lebanon as well. In the past decade, we have seen resistance in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the last few months, Tunisia. And the most important: Egypt. And now from Bahrain to Yemen to Jordan…
The largest event – 11 – February – 2011 – in which another regime has fallen due to the youth and the people. This is historic. A salute to Egypt and its people – for what they have given to the region (to the “Ummah”). The fall of the Mubarak regime is the reason for the liberation of Muhammad Mansour [imprisoned Hezbollah member] who was accused of conspiring to destabilize Egypt and to destroy the regime of Hosni Mubarak.
There are numerous questions now. [For example…What will happen to Camp David?] We can say, whatever will happen, after Mubarak’s regime will be very different from Mubarak’s regime.
The biggest loser [in the downfall of Mubarak] is Israel. But let me also say: US imperialism is beginning to fail in the region. … Hosni Mubarak has left orphans in Egypt and Palestine and Lebanon. [much applause from the floor in response]
The region has entered a new era. Netanyahu has said this is “an earthquake with unknown consequences.”
The biggest loser is the US and Israel – and all [in the region] who has tied his future with the US.
Israel is scared. They have to re-examine their strategy now. Their previous strategy was based on a calm border with Egypt. They moved military bases from northern and central Palestine to southern Palestine. Now they need to re-examine.
Israel also depended on Egypt to pressure Palestinians in negotiations, and to besiege Gaza. Hosni Mubarak’s position in the Gaza 2008 war was clear to all. And his role in the 2006 war against Lebanon was clear to all. And the other regimes that supported that position will also fall! Mubarak was among those who was angered [literally: whose face was blackened] upon the 2006 victory.
Even if Egypt does not fight against Israel, it will [now] remain a worry to Israel. This revolution was a surprise to Israel, and so Israel does not know what other surprises can arise.
Ehud Barak has stated: “The region changes in front of us. We saw what happened in Lebanon; the government to one that is uncomfortable to us.” So, the previous government was comfortable to Israel?
Continuing with Barak: “Egypt shows us how unstable the region is. We see protests elsewhere. And we see Turkey changing.”
Gabi Ashkenazi has stated that: “the circle of confrontation has widened … because of the weak, moderate regimes.”
Days ago, it was Ashkenazi’s farewell. He said: Hamas and Hezbollah are resistance. He said Hamas is not capable of controlling the Negev, and Hezbollah is not capable of controlling the Galilee. [Note: here is the article in Ha’aretz. His direct quote is: I don’t discount Hamas or Hezbollah,” Gabi Ashkenazi said while speaking at the 11th annual Israeli security conference in Herzliya, “But they are not able to conquer the Negev or the Galilee.”]
Note how the narrative has changed. The talk has changed from Israel occupying Lebanon to the resistance not being able to occupy Galilee and northern Palestine.
The new IDF chief of staff, Benny Gantz, [on his 2nd day as the IDF chief of staff] went to the border with Lebanon with Ehud Barak. Barak said to his soldiers: you should be ready. You will be asked to enter Lebanon again in the event of a war with Lebanon.
I say to Ashkenazi and Gantz, hem, using Barak’s same language, on this anniversary, I say to our fighters in the Islamic Resistance: be ready. If a war is forced upon Lebanon, you will be asked to control Galilee. Or, more accurately, to liberate Galilee. [much applause from the floor]
You [Nasrallah continuing to speak to Israeli leaders] have been wrong for 30 years. And you’re still wrong. Wrong against a people willing to die for their dignity.
An Israeli military expert on rockets has said, one year after I said it, “Hezbollah is able to closer our airports, ports, electrical power stations, and strategic sites. I only hope that the Israeli population has good shelters.”
Regarding the killing of Imad Mughniyeh, yes, I say to Israel, the decision to take justice for Imad Mughniyeh will be implemented. Wherever you go in the world, anytime, be worried, you Israeli generals!
The resistance in Lebanon was able to secure justice and stability. The resistance in Lebanon, along with Palestinians in Lebanon, was able to return Lebanese lands to its rightful owners. This was achieved by the Lebanese resistance, and our Palestinian brothers in Lebanon, not by any tribunal or by the US. The second part of justice was that many criminals were killed in this confrontation – including the former Israeli commander in Lebanon who was killed in Lebanon.
Ganetz – the new IDF Chief – has a lot of experience in Lebanon. He failed in Lebanon. He fled in 2006. [Nasrallah here lists other experiences that Ganetz has had in Lebanon but I was unable to take notes during that time.]
From 25-May-2000 [when the Israeli military and the SLA fled from almost all the occupied Lebanese lands] to 12-July-2006, the South, West Bekaa, and Lebanon as a whole ha stability not seen in 60 years. Since 2006, the resistance, and the Lebanese army, and the people, have together built stability in the South – again, a historic stability.
Now to talk about Lebanon’s internal issues.
(1) The weapons of the resistance. We’ve heard the speeches [from March 14]. What remains of 14-March wants to re-open this issue; they never left it. They talk of a “national disagreement” on this issue. Yes, we agree, there is a national disagreement. I never claimed national unity. From the start, there has been a national disagreement. But the weapons are the detail. The essence is the resistance itself. We disagree – were and still — over the choice of resistance. Before 1982. More powerfully since 1982. Look at the May 17 agreement. Akin to Camp David. It pains me that Israel today agreed to allow more Egyptian troops in Sinai to protest the gas lines to Israel. Israel allowed Egyptian troops on Egyptian soil! They had to ask permission from Israel. This is what was wanted in 17-May. Now, the Lebanese army can move freely in the South — because of the martyrs not from humiliating negotiations. Thank you [referring to 14-March] for not lying; speak the truth. Previously, we had agreed to negotiate a shared defense strategy. If you are set, why negotiate? We are always ready for dialogue. … If you think your statements could affect our weapons, then save yourself the trouble.
(2) The court. We are all students of truth and justice. A calm request: is the court the path to truth and thus justice and thus stability? This court – which has false witnesses, political interviews. This court which issued a judgment prior to investigation and prior to evidence. There is another way. This court – structurally and operationally – is political. Now, if you want to continue with a court that only looks at one assumption, you are free to do so. We will respond based on what we know is counterfeit and injustice.
(3) The government. In brief, it is sad that their mistakes [referring to 14-March] are not what they state. 14-March was part of the neoconservative plan; their plan failed – Bolton, Feldman, Bush, and Obama, and Hosni Mubarak. These are not accusations; the relationships between 14-March and the neocons are known. Naturally, with the fall of US strength in the region, their own strength weakens. I call upon them to realistically study the region and to study their real mistakes. Need to go back to the root to discover the real mistakes. The first and biggest mistake is to be part of the US plan in the region and to make Lebanon’s future hostage to the US and to the West. They have tried to convince the world that this new government is Hezbollah’s government. Yareit. Their weakness is in their lying. They know this government is not Hezbollah’s. They know that Migati makes his own decisions. If Hezbollah were forming its own government, it would have been formed in the first two days. Their attempt to put US and Western pressure on the new government is not for Lebanon’s interests. Stop troubling yourself with disarming the resistance. UN SC resolution 1559 failed. The 2006 war failed. You want to put US pressure on a new government for what? …. for exporting stolen Lebanese moneys, maybe, as other Arab regimes have done. Lebanon needs a government to feels with the people’s hunger and unemployment, to listen to them, to solve their problems. A government when its army is confronted in 3edeiseh feels its government is with it and not relaxing. Lebanon needs a responsible, serious government – one that listens to its people and not to embassies. Can we – the new, real, representative majority – form a government of this kind? We had wanted a unity government, but alas. [March 14 did not want to participate in a government.] We gave them one year; they refuse to give us one day.
Today – 16-February – we remember our great leaders, their strength and sacrifice. We say to our all our martyrs: your blood has entered us into an era of victory and closed the door to an era of defeats.
—–End of speech —
Again, keep in mind: I was translating and taking notes while driving.