I seek Allah's refuge from the cursed Devil,
In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate,
Praises be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds,
Peace and prayers be upon our master, the Seal of Prophets Muhammad Bin Abdullah; on his chaste, benevolent Household; on his chosen, upright companions, and on all prophets and heralds,
Allah's peace, mercy, and blessings be upon all of you,
Actually, I haven't been intending to ask for your time to make a speech tonight, though I'm going to address very important issues tonight. I was going to wait for a near chance to address them.
But the rumors propagated in the couple of days ago were kind of affective; frankly, they made me decide to address the issues I'll speak about now as quickly as possible. I would like, as well, to prove false all rumors you've heard; you really have to aware of the news and the media's war against Hizbullah, whether in the recent years or days.
Anyway, I thank all the ones who called to check whether I was well or not, and all who cared, were touched, and prayed for me. I ask Allah the Exalted in Might and Perfection to allow me to fulfill what they're looking forward to seeing fulfilled. I love and respect them just like they love and respect me.
Well, now I'll make use of our time and make some stances and comments on recent, critical issues.
First, I have to address the electoral law, especially after His Excellency House Speaker Nabih Berri today withdrew the proposal he'd made to bring the discordant parties together.
In the recent weeks, we've heard criticism on the proposal of "the Orthodox law", which we voted for as we were part of the team involved with the common committees.
We can actually distinguish two kinds of the criticism we've heard in the recent weeks: The first represents mere accusations that are not even worthy of comments or replies. At the end of the day, some political parties can only make accusations and derogatory references to others... As for the other critics, they've tried to make an objective and scientific approach in their discussion on their fears and remarks, as well as on potential threats they might face.
Of course, we must understand their remarks and fears. They spoke about further sectarianism, federalism, danger facing the national unity, fear for the government, extremism, and sects.
And a bunch of related notes has been said, but I do not wish to discuss them now. I just want to say there's a suitable alternative, and it's not new. My brothers and I (Hizbullah) will work seriously to accomplish this alternative.
With respect to the proposal of the electoral law of "the Orthodox law", it tops all other proposals for now as a result of the common committees' voting. However, now all are seeking alternatives.
Okay, let's put some logic into this issue; the draft law seeing Lebanon as a constituency represented by proportionality is fair. There's no other draft law as fair as it is in the first place. This draft law achieves equality, and national unity and solidarity. It protects the country and prevents extremism. So we can ask people to consider this draft law's goodness for our country.
Let me get straight to the point; first, this draft law is based on a single criterion: Lebanon is one constituency. And this will make us avoid having smaller constituencies, which- in fact- are not fairly distributed. Besides, certain parties are trying to exploit these constituencies to serve their own sects, political currents, alliances, and correspondences. So contrary to the other draft laws and proposals made, a single criterion helps us avoid injustice and make MPs represent the Lebanese fairly. Whether Muslim or Christian, every Lebanese can elect 128 Muslim and Christian MPs if the same number of MPs is maintained.
Why should the Lebanese in different electorates vote for unequal numbers of MPs?! All of us, the Lebanese residing in the southernmost point of the Lebanon through the northernmost one, must vote equally for 128 MPs. Now that's what I call patriotic; Christians, Muslims, and all other sects elect 128 MPs. This will bring the people of different sects together and make each MP really represent the entire Lebanese nation. So let's forget all about the silly stuff of little electorates!
Okay, so what does this require?
It requires that all sects and political powers get allied because when we address proportionality and one electorate, we strengthen moderation and weaken extremism.
And as we depend on proportionality, we allow all sects and political powers of strict or moderate viewpoints to get represented fairly. So we have the chance to reach a fair, ethical, and patriotic electoral law that can maintain equality among all Lebanese, achieve national unity, and make the right representation. I believe we must make use of this chance to avoid any threat of a sectarian conflict. So why don't all discuss the issue objectively?
So far, we and others have been making this approach as if it were an unachievable dream. But who says so?!
Now we have the chance to achieve this patriotic, even humanitarian dream. It's a dream of justice, equality, and right representation. Therefore, we can deal with all remarks on the draft law of "the Orthodox law". That's why we do call on you to consider this proposal. We shall as well make corresponding legal steps and work together.
So if you wish to get a real patriotic alternative, here's the draft law of "the Orthodox law". And I tell "the March 14 Alliance": Since some days ago you claimed that the majority of the Lebanese belongs to your sects and is on your side, why don't you consider the other proposal of representing Lebanon by one electorate? Then, you will win the majority of the votes and become the governors. Why not?
Another point I'd like to address is the postponement of the elections as certain political teams have been accusing others, including us, of intending to postpone the elections or impede them.
Frankly speaking, I tell the Lebanese many foreign and local political teams are covertly trying to postpone the elections. But none of those dares say they seek to do so; they wish to blame someone else for it.
Among some Lebanese political teams, Hizbullah is accused of intending to postpone the elections or impede them.
I do not intend to defend our allies now, so I'll speak on behalf of Hizbullah only. This is absolutely untrue and unfair! Frankly, we do need to get the elections held on time.
In contrast, the 1960 law is now history to the majority of the Lebanese, and none wants to refer to this law in the coming elections. We want a new law. We want elections!
Clearly, "the March 14 Alliance" is making contradictory statements, claiming Hizbullah and their allies intend to make use of the chance to win the majority's votes in the next elections. At other times, the other "March 14" politicians are telling their colleagues, "the Lebanese Phalanges" and "the Lebanese Forces", they must not agree on "the Orthodox law's" draft law because it will make "the March 8 Alliance" gain the majority of the votes in the coming elections.
Whether we suggest the proposal of turning Lebanon into one proportional electorate or 5 districts, they say that'll give us the majority of the votes.
Likewise, when we suggest the government's law or House Speaker Berri's "64/64" proposal, they say that'll give us the majority of the votes. Okay, so why on earth will we want to stop the elections if most of the proposals give us the majority of the votes?!
The truth is it's of our interest to get the elections held. Besides, we have tightened the alliance with our allies, and now it's more popular than ever before. But I don't know how things will be in 6 months or a year or two because things always change.
We don't suffer any organizational, financial, or other types of crises, unlike what some media claim. And things in Syria are still the same. So I just can't understand why we'd want to postpone the elections! Let those accusing us of this explain to us how we want to postpone them!
It's of our best interest to hold the parliamentary elections.
In contrast, the parties with unstable alliances and financial crises have been betting that the Syria crisis will have reached a certain outcome by election time, so they intend postponing the elections for 6 months, a year, or even more. They've been expecting changes in Lebanon or the region. But you know well what we think of the whole issue and what the outcomes will be. Therefore, I say: We insist on referring to a new law to hold the elections on time.
Yesterday, Head of "Loyalty for the Resistance Bloc" met His Excellency President Michel Suleiman and informed him of our stance. Today as well, I declare to all political powers that we refuse postponing the elections and insist on holding them on time.
As for the teams seeking postponement, they must be brave enough to tell the people they believe the elections must be postponed for "some national reasons"... But they must not try to postpone them while blaming others for that!
In regard to "the Wages and Pensions Inventory" and the protests of the syndicate committees, Hizbullah's dear MPs and officials have declared our stance several times earlier: We want this case resolved, and we call for a quick exceptional session. We do hope His Excellency the president, the premier, and the ministers do not bet the protestors are eventually going to feel tired and quit their protests. We, as well, call on the respected syndicate committees not to threaten the government the way they're doing now.
We call for an exceptional ministerial session, whether this is going to take 6, 7, or 8 hours. This case must be handled and passed to the parliament. Some claim that this will cause a currency crisis, but this is absolutely untrue. If the Ministerial Council passes this case to the parliament, it doesn't mean a resolution or a law has been made; this actually requires parliamentary debate. The good thing about the parliament is that all blocs can declare their stances there; whereas now some blocs are declaring different stances to the syndicate committees than the ones they're declaring to other teams.
So the good thing about the parliament is that there'll be an open debate whereby the economic and syndicate committees can express their opinions. That way, the case can be resolved. But things must not go on this way.
Thus, we again call for a quick and an exceptional and open session to resolve this case in any possible means before sending it to the Parliament, where the debate must include all viewpoints and fears of the involved groups.
Now I'd like to address the issue of kidnapping, which is really threatening the Lebanese. We do believe this is a dangerous criminal act, and I call for national cooperation to face it. The Lebanese State, security systems, and judiciary must do their best to deal with this phenomenon.
By no means do we find any reasons for kidnapping reasonable. So we call on you to inform the authorities in case you learn anything about a kidnapper or more. Those must be chased and arrested.
By the way, the Lebanese Army and the security systems have access to all Lebanese territories. We believe this phenomenon must be perfectly treated, and I call all citizens to help as this is a national, ethical, and religious duty. All citizens must cooperate with all security systems to face this phenomenon by exposing any information they have, obstructing any kidnapping, and cooperating with the security systems to find kidnappers and free the kidnapped. So we must work together to fulfill this national, ethical, and religious duty.
I'd also like to say to some kidnappers and to their families: You're making one of the worst choices getting ransoms because this will destroy your families and houses in this worldly life, and you'll suffer in the afterlife, too. All of us must cooperate seriously to face this phenomenon.
Furthermore, I wish to address the incidents which occurred along the borders with Hermel and in Rural al-Qsayr; last week, too much was said regarding these incidents. Some even claimed that the so-called "Free Syrian Army" shelled Hizbullah sites in Hermel, and I was there and got wounded!
Likewise, yesterday they made up news that a Hizbullah motorcade was blasted in Jdaydet Yabous, and our brother His Eminence Sheikh Naeem Qassem was wounded! Of course, these are only lies! But I'd like to make a comment with respect to the issue of Rural al-Qsayr as dangerous rumors have recently been propagated again. Though I addressed this earlier, I need to comment; it's a serious issue:
The media reported the statement of the US ambassador to Lebanon (Maura Connelly), who did not confirm the statement, but did not as well refute it. Anyway, the statement said that Hizbullah and the Syrian regime had agreed on occupying or dominating a number of "Sunni" towns- like they said. Sorrowfully, I'll have to use this kind of terminology to make things clear. So it was said we intended to connect the Syrian Rural al-Qsayr, which lies near the borders of Hermel, with the Syrian villages whose residents are Shia or Alawite. They also said we had a plan of "division", "an Alawite State", or so.
When certain incidents occurred a few days ago, many incidents were faked, and this is dangerous! And a whole lot of media means began addressing "threats" and propagating rumors. And every official (whether still in "service" or not) of the Syrian opposition or the so-called "Free Syrian Army" was there to speak about that, analyze it, comment, and threaten us!
That's why we need to learn the truth so that we can make the right stance. So what does the truth say? Those do not have any evidences that we have a scheme in mind.
Hence, I must say there is no such scheme at all, and they're saying nothing but lies. Most of the Lebanese residents in that region are Shia, and some of them belong to Hizbullah, that's right, and I've spoken about this to the media earlier. But until this very moment, none of them has seized any Sunni village, nor does anyone plan to do so.
If we examine the actual incidents, we'll find a completely different fact. In the recent months, the armed Syrian opposition seized villages with Lebanese Shia, dislodged them, and burned the houses of some of them, as in the case of the well-known Om-ad-Damamel Village, whose villagers have been forced to leave to other villages by the borders or to Hermel. Why don't the media ask them what happened to their houses and who occupied their village?! Here we go: You can see what happened to this Shia village! Likewise, the residents of the Shia quarters in villages and towns with a Sunni majority were dislodged. And there's much more that I won't say.
In the recent days, some calls and declarations have been made via You Tube and media. And that reveals hundreds of armed men have launched a strong military campaign to dislodge the residents of those villages and seize them perfectly. It was meant to get those citizens out of their homes and out of the borders.
The Lebanese, Syrians, and any Arabs following up with what is going on must realize the truth is being hidden.
Now the rest of these towns' residents are using their arms to defend themselves and their houses and fields. They've lived in that territory for hundreds of years; you can see this is not a short period at all. But the way "the Sykes-Picot Agreement" (also known as "the 1960 Asia Minor Agreement") published the borders joined those towns to the Syrian territories. The residents' nationalities are still Lebanese, however.
Any sane person can tell they have the right to defend themselves and their properties and existence. Likewise, all Muslim jurists believe anyone killed while defending his/her rights is a martyr. So those residents do not need any fatwa to defend their rights. And that's it.
Those fighters are not assailing, killing, dishonoring, or robbing any civilians. All they are looking forward to do is defending their rights against assails. And I do reiterate to you and to the residents there, some of whom belong to Hizbullah, that it's their legitimate right to defend their lives and villages against any armed attackers. But they can not at all kill, dishonor, or assail any civilians of any sect, no matter whether they are part of an opposing movement. Even when it comes to the armed men they captivate or wound, they must not kill them. The fighters are abiding by this, and what's actually happening is that they're moving any attackers they wound to the Lebanese hospitals.
By the way, the people of that region are aware of these facts. Let me tell you more. Since the same families have lived there together for hundreds of years, sane, revered figures have brought any conflicting people residents together. Recently, however, the armed Syrians and non-Syrians coming from outside, seeing they could not exclude that region from their presumed battle, have been spoiling any agreements made and preventing others from taking place.
Hereupon, I do call on the residents of that region to benefit from any chance for reconciliation. They must try hard to prevent bloodshed and defend themselves and their properties against any conflict inciters.
I also need to ask the political teams making too much criticism what the Lebanese State has done to save the 30,000 Lebanese civilians present in that region! Has it done anything at all to them, especially when they belong to different sects.
I am not specifically asking the state to get the Lebanese Army deployed on the Syrian territories, but I am asking why no political or diplomatic efforts have been made!
We all know that Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, and the United States that many love, can influence those armed opposition groups. So has the Lebanese State made any approach to get this case solved?! Has any diplomat or Lebanese politician made any effort to cease the ongoing invasion?! What is happening in the villages by the borders is demographic change, masses dislodgement, and sectarian cleansing!
But none of them has made a single step! Instead, they play philosophers, accusing us of having a certain scheme in mind or abiding by the orders of another state... After all, these are nothing but lies!
We insist that the Syrians stay united and consolidate with each other. In the first place, we are against Syria's division because this is a strategic danger threatening the entire Middle East and its peoples. After all, this is the result of an "Israeli" scheme, which we oppose. We're not ready to take the least part in this.
Now I'll address the issues of the Lebanese interior. Today the Lebanese are concerned about "the Wages and Pensions Inventory", the electoral law, and kidnapping. Still, they're concerned about something more serious, and now everyone's is talking about it. So I want to treat the issue but not to scare people. At the end of the day, there are facts that we can't hide. To be honest, I tell you certain teams are working day and night to bring about a Lebanese sectarian conflict, particularly a Sunni-Shia conflict. All facts point this out.
But should we give up? No, for all of us realize that a Sunni-Shia conflict will harm the Shia, Sunni, and the other Lebanese. Any conflict, whether s Sunni-Shia one or a Muslim-Christian one does not at all comply with the standards of nationalism and legitimacy. We do refuse any conflict.
I ask the ones calling out there will be sectarian conflict not to be so happy; if this happens, it's going to destroy all and burn our country. If they really think anyone will benefit from this, they're absolutely wrong.
Of course if we wish to resolve this issue, we'll need sane, responsible figures that cooperate with all teams involved to clarify all things. I address all patriots, especially the religious ones: We must get ready for the Judgment Day, and we need to do well to prosper in the hereafter.
That's why we do need to inquire about any news we hear rather than behave recklessly or temperamentally. We're all meant to inquire about any news we hear, whether we belong to the Shia, Sunni, or another Muslim sect or to Christianity.
How does strife usually begin? People face their guns at others when they decide to stop thinking logically and allow their temper or anger to control them. That's when they turn crazy and start killing each other.
But how does this begin most of the time? It begins when false news is propagated to provoke others. That's why we must reflect upon the news we receive. If the news is true, we can debate it. If the news is false, we can settle things down together. Thus, we avoid destroying our country, our present, and our generations' future. We must not reach the point that our enemies want us to reach.
Okay, now any sectarian of the many sectarians we know today might show up and say: "You, the Shia Hizbullah, we have several accusations against you."
We constantly hear accusations whether in parliamentary or ministerial sessions. Media report them, too. But we're ready to debate them. But the problem is that facts are being hidden, and false accusations are being made. We're not supposed to censure each other and initiate strife.
Though some might think I should not say what I'll say, I believe the current stage requires that I speak out frankly. The statements, declarations, press conferences, and speeches channels are reporting show some parliamentarians and Sheikhs of the respected Sunni sect working hard to incite strife. So why doesn't anyone ask them: "Brothers, where exactly they want to get?"
There are many sane figures in our country that can debate any of their claims. But the problem is that part of their claims is based upon illusions and dangerous, unjust accusations against Hizbullah or the Shia. Can they even explain their dangerous accusations?
I'll give some examples in the minutes I have left before ending my speech.
Recently, Sheikh Ahmad Abdul Wahid and Sheikh Muhammad Mer'eb were martyred at a Lebanese-Army checkpoint in the north of Lebanon. Then, parliamentarians and sheikhs of the north accused Hizbullah of killing them. This is absolutely unjust! Were Hizbullah men present at the checkpoint to kill the sheikhs!
Soon afterwards, their analysis said the Lebanese-Army intelligence had been executing Hizbullah's orders! Then the analysis said the entire Lebanese Army was executing Hizbullah's orders! So who on earth can tell that the command or intelligence of the Lebanese-Army has ever been executing Hizbullah's orders?!
So I tell them: Fellow citizens, you're claiming something that might spark civil war or strife among Muslims! What kind of evidence do you have to offer to rationalists so that they put us on trial?!
Okay, so get your evidence, and we'll agree to let the rationalists put us on trial and choose the judiciary they want. But I absolutely refuse this accusation! How could anyone ever believe that Hizbullah might have killed those sheikhs?!
After that, they accused Hizbullah of deferring the trial of the arrested Islamists, as if we had seized the Lebanese judiciary! That's absolute nonsense!
Hizbullah do not seize the Lebanese judiciary! Assuming that we could influence any figure of the Lebanese judiciary, we'll have asked them to put the arrested Islamists on fair trial. What kind of evidence against us do the claimers have?!
Now hundreds of Islamists are arrested: Sunni families in Beirut and abroad have been listening to news that Hizbullah is deferring their fair trials after a five-year-long-imprisonment! Where do those claimers think this is going to take us?!
Another example is General Wissam el-Hassan's terrible assassination. As soon as the man got martyred, the same parliamentarians, sheikhs, politicians, and media accused Hizbullah of his assassination! No investigations had even been launched yet! While investigations into the case are still being held, they stick to this accusation. And this might cause Lebanon very dangerous consequences!
Then it was time for the Tal Kalakh group that crossed the Lebanon-Syria border to the Syrian territories, where they clashed with Syrian forces. As some got wounded or killed and others escaped, Hizbullah were accused of having infiltrated the group and ambushed it in Tal Kalakh, given orders to the Syrian military, and killed some members of the group!
Don't those claimers ever think of the Judgment Day?! By the way, this is great evidence that there is such a day because things go on unfairly in the worldly life. So what will those claimers say to Allah the Almighty on the Judgment Day?!
Now it was time for the Ersal incident, when dear Lebanese-Army soldiers were martyred. Yes, they are dear to their families and the army. And the Lebanese Army is dear to all Lebanese.
As soon as the group of abductors entered Ersal and clashed with the Lebanese Army, killing some soldiers, they accused Hizbullah of that! No investigation had even been launched yet!
When it turned out this was absolute nonsense, some further claimed it was Hizbullah who ordered the Lebanese-Army soldiers to enter Ersal and arrest certain persons!
What kind of evidence do they have?! What crazy act are they doing?!
Ersal is located in "the Baalbek District" in "the Beqaa Governorate", and the majority of the Shia living in its surroundings belongs to Hizbullah and the Amal Movement. So they told the citizens of Ersal it was Hizbullah who sent the Lebanese Army, broke into the town, abducted people, and killed others! For heaven's sake, show me the evidence you have. Forget about me; just show it to rationalists. What consequences will this result in?!
I know some might ask me why I'm saying so. But I am confident I am doing the right thing. I've even begun to believe some teams are now working harder to incite strife as soon as possible. I understand that now I must be frank and tell the truth.
Let's move on to Saida, where we have many allies and beloved families of different sects, particularly of the respected Sunni sect. Besides, thousands of Shia families have lived there for hundreds of years, and thousands of Saida citizens vote for us. Now, unfortunately, Shia can't reside in Saida before they get "permission" from certain figures!
So let me remind them that Hizbullah, as well as Saida Shia residents took part in the fight for liberating Saida and the South. Also since "Israel's" withdrawal from Saida, Hizbullah have owned centers, apartments, houses, mosques, and complexes. The ownership refers to 20, 23, or 25 years ago. But now some figures are trying to change this!
Even before a chapel or a mosque was built in Abra, we owned centers. It was not we who established new centers beside a mosque, but rather it was others who built a mosque beside our over-twenty-year-old center. What do they exactly want?! They keep swearing at us, but we're not going to get provoked, and none of us is going to react. I praise Allah the Almighty as He has given us enough patience to do so, and I reiterate it is illegitimate for our beloved audience and staff to react to any derogatory acts as this will eventually lead to strife.
What's "interesting" is that every time they come up with a different idea for the conflict: it might be a matter of flags, banners, apartments, or complexes!
Okay, I have a question for the citizens and fellow partners in Saida: Aren't there any rationalists with a sense of responsibility in Saida?! Can't the government bear any responsibility at all?!
Are we supposed to end up fighting with them?! Well, all facts point they're trying to make us do so, but we're trying to stay patient as long as we can... Anyway, I do not wish to say more on this issue. So I call on the teams involved to act responsibly. Though we're trying very hard not to end up fighting them, we warn them they must stop offending us. I repeat, we're trying very hard to avoid any kind of conflict, but they must reconsider their actions.
We do not intend to break into anyone's house or mosque. We do not want to assail or control anyone. Day and night, we're keeping ready to face "Israel's" schemes against Lebanon, the Palestinians, and the entire region. So we do not really wish to get busy doing something else, but enough is enough!
All of us must act responsibly to maintain our country's stability, but the government holds prime responsibility. So I call on the government to act responsibly on all Lebanese territories.
As to the claims on "no-go zones" anywhere in Lebanon, they're not true. Every now and then, someone claims there are "no-go zones" in Beirut Southern Suburb. Well, we used to have a no-go area, but no it's all open.
What is going on right now must stop in a way or another. We hope that those teams reconsider their acts and that all fulfill their responsibilities- God willing. We ask Allah the Exalted in Might and Perfection to protect this country and its people.
And though different stances on the Syria crisis have been made, it does not mean a Shia-Sunni conflict exists. A big part of the Sunni of Syria and of the Muslim World and the Arab World has made the same stance that we've made. Because this is a matter of political disagreement, it must never be turned into a Shia-Sunni conflict.
If any teams have any remarks to offer as to our stances, views, and even conduct, here we are. Let us put an end to this disagreement rather than worsen things or initiate absolutely unjustified battles.
Anyway, I ask Allah the Almighty to keep us all in healthfulness and help us all to overcome the current stage responsibly, rationally, honestly, and firmly.
In case they propagate further rumors about my health [His Eminence makes a joke], I'll address you.
May Allah's peace, mercy, and blessings be upon you.
Source: Hizbullah Media Relations, translated by al-Ahed News