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Ashura 2019

 

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on the 30th Anniversary of Establishing the Islamic Resistance Support Association

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on the 30th Anniversary of Establishing the Islamic Resistance Support Association
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Translated by Staff, Hezbollah Media Relations

The full text of the speech delivered by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Islamic Resistance Support Association (IRSA) 8-3-2019

In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and prayers and peace be upon our Master and Prophet, the Seal of the Prophets, Abi al-Qassim Mohammad bin Abdullah and his chaste and pure household and his virtuous and chosen companions and all the prophets and messengers.

Gentlemen, brothers and sisters, peace and Allah's mercy and blessings be upon you all.

I congratulate my brothers and sisters, from Hermel to Baalbek to Dahye, to Nabatiyeh and to Hanaway, on this precious occasion.

Salutations and gratitude to the brothers and sisters in the Islamic Resistance Support Association.

To start with, we must all remember the people who initiated this blessed and great work more than 30 years ago, especially when the resistance was strange, poor and had limited capabilities. They dedicated themselves, exerted efforts, benefited from their relationships and did what they had to in order to raise funds. They continued to support this resistance and saw it grow, become greater and triumph.

It began with the first group of brothers and sisters who volunteered from different areas. Then the Islamic Resistance Support Association in Lebanon was established under a single organized central framework. It had its system, mechanisms and extensions.

I thank the brothers and sisters who were tasked with managing this institution. I extend special thanks to my dear brother and beloved Hajj Hussein al-Shami as well as all our brothers and sisters in the central administration and different directorates in different areas. I thank them and all those who successfully carried out their responsibilities during the thirty years.

We have to single out the dear and precious sisters because they form the largest part of the Islamic Resistance Support Association. They also do the bulk of the activities and the work of this organization. Of course, the men also agree with this acknowledgement. They will not get upset.

I thank you for all these efforts and all these sacrifices. I also recognize as we talk about the volunteer work that many of you have grown older and beards have become grey during your work on this path and in this organization. Many of you spent their entire youths in this jihadist and blessed work.

I must recognize their honesty, sincerity, precision and responsibility in safeguarding the funds and donations. You were the true custodians who delivered these donations to their rightful owners and to the Mujahideen.

We must also extend our gratitude to all those who have provided support directly or through you [the IRSA], including the donors and the volunteers, who gave their money. Many of them provided in-kind assistance. But the majority provided financial assistance. To all our good people, we extend our greetings, thanks and appreciation.

Some people think that this resistance only depends on the support of some friends, especially the Islamic Republic of Iran or some financiers. But there is extensive portion that depends on the support of the people, this blessed support. Here, we are talking about the father, the mother, the wife, young and old, school children, the sons and daughters of the martyrs who put money in the resistance’s donation boxes every morning throughout the year.

Some people give money in the institutions, at the doors of shops, on the roads, during occasions, through monthly donations and through various activities carried out by the Resistance Support Association. They give one thousand Lebanese Lira, ten thousand Lebanese Lira, one hundred thousand Lebanese Lira and two hundred thousand Lebanese Lira.

At first glance, these sums of money seem to be modest. But the river or the sea is formed from water droplets that accumulate and form a large river or floodwaters.

We take pride in these people, their love and their support. These people carried on with their work even at a stage when the resistance seemed to have great financial potential. They did not stop donating because they wanted to be partners in the resistance on the one hand. They also wanted to be mujahideen in money alongside jihad of the self and the kin on the other hand. They also wanted to express their pride and love.

We witnessed this on many occasions. For example, in the past few years during the battles along the eastern chain in the Bekaa and in the battles to defeat the Takfiris and the terrorists along our mountains, we saw how the women and the residents in the various villages of the Bekaa and in cooperation with the Islamic Resistance Support Association and Hezbollah’s women's association insisted on preparing food and packing them with fruits and sweets. I assure you that the fighters along those fronts did not need money or food. The financial cover by the resistance was enough. But the people insisted on doing this using their own money and what they saved for winter. We know the situation of our families and villages. This also took place in the South during the days of the resistance and the wars, during the July war, before 2000 and after 2000. This is the case of these people. We are stronger because of them. And we will continue and thrive because of them.

Of course, the most important thing the Resistance Support Association gave was the opportunity to expand the area of jihad. The resistance battles through its men. The mothers and fathers are partners in this type of jihad because they offer their children who are a part of their souls and a part of themselves. There is another area for jihad, which is jihad through money. Any resistance needs money. I will return to this point in the second section of my speech.

Any resistance needs money. It is one of the natural elements of power in life, the divine norms of history and societies.

The Prophet’s (peace and blessings be upon him and his household) da’wah [call towards God] was in need of Khadija’s money and any money to consolidate and establish this young movement and to enable it to withstand the confrontation in the face of those who wanted to uproot it.

Jihad through money does not need explanation. Allah Almighty confirmed in his book in many verses. I will just mention some for the sake of reminder and blessing: {Go forth, whether light or heavy, and strive with your wealth and your lives in the cause of Allah. That is better for you, if you only knew.} {The ones who have believed, emigrated and striven in the cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives} what is their story? {Are greater in rank in the sight of Allah. And it is those who are the attainers [of success]. Their Lord gives them good tidings of mercy from Him and approval and of gardens for them wherein is enduring pleasure. [They will be] abiding therein forever. Indeed, Allah has with Him a great reward.}

For all those who want to really donate money and are looking for a secure channel and a safe institution that they can trust with putting their money in the right place and on the right front, they turn to the Islamic Resistance Support Association that has formed and still provides this opportunity as I have said.

Dear brothers and sisters, I would like to talk about two basic files inspired by developments in recent days.

Both files are, in any case, related to money, support and the financial and economic situation. This includes the issue of US sanctions, the financial blockade, the terror lists and the British decision to include the political wing of Hezbollah to the its list of terror organizations as well as their consequences.

In the past, they included the military wing to the terrorism list. And in the past few days, they added the political wing.

In this matter, when we talk about US sanctions, it is expected that it will be hard on our supporters, on us, on the Islamic Republic, on Syria, on all movements and the axis of resistance.

In Lebanon, they headed to the banks. They started with a siege and extensive restrictions. They put together a list that included the names of merchants, companies, institutions and associations. They classified it as a terrorist list and banned financial and banking activities with those named.

They included names of Lebanese traders on the sanctions list. This is likely to carry on and we might see new institutions, new names and new constraints. And this is a continuing course.

This is regarding the American sanctions. On the other hand, we will also find the creation of terror lists. For example, since when did the Gulf States have a terror list? In recent years, they have created a terrorism list.

There are countries in the world that either started to create a terror list or already had a list. Some of them put us on this list as Britain did. We have to expect other countries to take the same step and put Hezbollah on the terror list and classify it as a terrorist organization.

Hence, this is a continuous path. But how should we look at this path? Sometimes we look at these procedures as a process disconnected from the past and the future. At other times, we look at them as general and continuous – that are past, present and future.

The correct one is the second. Why? Because this makes us understand exactly what these measures mean? In what context do they come? What objectives do they want to achieve? Let us confront and disrupt these objectives. And this is the responsibility of the resistance, its people, its public, its environment and its supporters, and everyone who forms part of this historic humanitarian movement in our region, and not only in Lebanon.

What is the context? Here, we have to understand that we are strong oppressed people and not weak and oppressed. Here, we are being attacked but we are strong. We are a strong oppressed people. This means that since 1982, America and “Israel” – that is the people who have an American-Zionist hegemonic project in our region, our countries, our resources and our sovereignty – have been dealt consecutive defeats. This is clear and we have spoken about this in the past. This is just a quick reminder. We will not stop at every point. The 1982 invasion, for example, was an American-“Israeli” project for Lebanon, Palestine, the region and the settlement. Who thwarted and defeated this project? The resistance movements in Lebanon. Here, I am not only talking about Hezbollah, but Hezbollah, the Amal movement, the national parties, the Islamic movements and the various resistance factions, supported by Syria and the Islamic Republic of Iran, from 1982 to 1985. The subsequent events of this project also failed.

In 2000, the “Israeli” defeat in Lebanon and then the “Israeli” withdrawal from the Gaza Strip thwarted the project and “Israel’s” great dream. And I will talk about it in detail. So, there is no need to talk about it here.

In 2006 and before 2006, with the coming of the new conservatives to the United States, there was a huge US project to re-establish control over the whole region. It began with the invasion of Afghanistan, the occupation of Iraq, the attempt to besiege Iran, the isolation of Syria, liquidating the Palestinian cause and striking and crushing the resistance in Lebanon in 2006.

The steadfastness of the resistance in Lebanon in 2006, the resistance in Gaza in 2008 as well as the steadfastness of Syria and Iran have thwarted this great and dangerous project against our region.

In 2011, the project began to target what I call the pillar of the resistance tent in our region here, Syria and the Syrian state. Then years later, it returned to Iraq through Daesh. It also targeted the entire resistance axis. It continued to pressure Lebanon, Palestine and the Palestinian people. It launched a war against our people and our brothers in Yemen and occupied Bahrain and so on. All these came in the context of a US-“Israeli” project. I previously said that many regional countries were tools in this project.

Again, the resistance axis, the countries of the resistance and the resistance parties stood in the face of this war and in the face of this project. They settled the battle in Iraq. At a very high cost, they settled the battle in Syria. It completely resolved the battle in Lebanon. The resistance in Yemen is still steadfast in the face of all forms of aggression and siege. So is the Islamic Republic and its steadfastness against sanctions. Thus, this project also failed.

What I want to say regarding the present situations and the future is that Trump and his son-in-law Kushner are aspiring to accomplish a historic achievement in the region through the deal of the century. Who is confronting it? The axis of resistance, the resistance movements, the countries of the resistance but, first and foremost, the Palestinian people. Every year, “Israel’s” annual estimates point out that the Islamic Republic of Iran is an existential threat and Hezbollah is the central and biggest threat. It is afraid of the entire axis of resistance from Gaza to Syria, even Yemen. It [the resistance axis] is becoming a concern and a threat to this entity. 

Therefore, brothers and sisters, this context – that is when they put us on the terror list and take punitive measures against us because we defeated them, we broke them, and thwarted their projects and because we are strong and capable, and because we are defending our resources, sovereignty, people and country – is not weakness. It is not a context of weakness at all.

Because they are unable to do anything after the failure of all these wars, what can they do today? America, itself, came to the region and was defeated. It came to the region in the beginning of 2000 and remained in the region and was defeated. The resistance defeated it in Iraq. Today, it has defeated in Afghanistan. It was defeated in Syria. It is being defeated every day in Yemen. Now, they want to create a new war! The “Israelis” are afraid and terrified of launching any war. Everyday, you hear that the “Israeli” army is not prepared and the ground forces are not prepared, etc. And finally, a few days ago what did they bring? The US THAAD missile system. This means that they do not even trust the systems that they have been huffing and puffing about for years to defend their internal front.

So, in the face of failure and the inability to go to war and resort to military options, and after operations and assassinations failed to achieve their objectives, we have grown stronger, firmer and more insightful. This is what Sayyed Abbas meant when he used to echo Imam Khomeini’s phrase: "Kill us, our people will become more and more aware". The resistance grew in strength and became more resolute. Its people embraced it and sympathized with it when they found that their leaders are being killed and martyred. Thus, what remains? This path and this option remained.

Thus, the sanctions and the terror lists are war. Bothers and sisters, the attendees and all people listening, we have to deal with them [the sanctions and the terror lists] as a form of war. There is a military battle underway and there is a security, media, political and cultural war underway. This is part of the financial, economic, moral and psychological war.

Hence, we have to confront this war. I am transparent and clear. What I say to the few during closed-door sessions, I also say in sessions that include thousands. Today, I will say it on television. When we face financial difficulties as a result of these measures and these sanctions, it must be clear to us that this is part of the war. This has nothing to do with administrative error, administrative organization, or a shortage here or there. This is one of the consequences of the war that was and is being waged against us. By the way, this war is not only waged against us, but against Iran. This includes the tightening of sanctions on Iran. Today the Americans asked the UN Security Council for sanctions against Iran, and the Americans are following up on the minutest details.

Thus, the tightening of sanctions on Syria. What they were unable to achieve through the military battle, they want to take through economic pressures – pressure on Syria’s living standards and by imposing hardship on the Syrian people in various areas, including their personal, social and economic life.

The siege on the Palestinians, both in Gaza and in the West Bank, the demolition of houses and salary cuts as well as the prevention of access to aid are also ongoing.

In Yemen, starvation, the financial and economic blockade as well as the siege imposed on the ports are also ongoing.

The sanctioning and terrorist designations against all of us are also ongoing.

Yesterday, Netanyahu classified al-Aqsa satellite channel a terrorist organization – a television station!

The Americans are also putting the Iraqi resistance factions on the terror lists. The latest faction they added to the list of terrorist organizations are the brothers in Iraq’s Nujaba movement.

So, this is a course of action taken against anyone related to this historic resistance movement. I say, it is historic in our region, including states, governments, movements and people. The objective is to weaken us, break our will, impoverish us and starve us, so that we collapse and surrender. This means that those who were unable to crush you by waging wars, fights and assassinations, think and assume that they can break you and force you to collapse through impoverishment, starvation, financial blockade and what they call draining the sources of funding.

In return, throughout this war we must:

First, be steadfast and strong. This should not affect our will, our resolve or our morale.

Second, despite all that is going on and what is being said, they will be disappointed, because, God willing, they will not be able to impoverish us, nor starve us, nor isolate us. Those who support us will continue to support us, yes – be they nations, people, our people or the supporters of the resistance in Lebanon.  Yes, we may face some difficulties, we may face some trouble, but I tell you from the position of a person who manages this on a daily and detailed basis: "No, we will continue our work. Our basis will remain strong and united. It will continue. And they will not be able to stop the flow of blood in our veins or determination in our will. Trust this completely."

"Yes, we may face as I said some difficulties and some hardship. But with patience, tolerance, good management and prioritizing we can confront this war, and we can weather this war."

When we were fighting during the July war, some stood at the edge of the river waiting for our bodies – this is present in political discourse. But they were disappointed, and we triumphed. When we went to Syria as part of confronting the global war, there were also some people, some in the world, some in the region and, unfortunately, some in Lebanon who stood at the edge of the river waiting for our bodies and our defeat. But we triumphed, and we were part of the great victory in Syria. I tell you, all the supporters and all the loyal and sincere people as well as those who are standing on the edge of the river waiting for our bodies and assuming that we will collapse due to the lack of money, poverty and hunger: You will be disappointed. This resistance will not weaken. On the contrary, it will become stronger. Its number and equipment will only grow. It will be ever more present, determined and influential. It will achieve more victories in this region. We have to be patient. Only time will tell.

Here, we come back to the work of the Islamic Resistance Support Association and say, ‘we definitely need to activate the work of the brothers and sisters. We need more sympathy again. Remember that from 1982 until 2000 and 2006, there was an urgent need. After 2006, we received great support, especially from the Islamic Republic of Iran. I told you in some meetings that we may not need the money, but continue your work to provide space for those who want to strive with their money. Today we are only halfway through. The Resistance Support Association must continue its activity and work to provide the opportunity for jihad with money and to help in this existing battle. I know our people and see the difficult living conditions in Lebanon. I said this during an internal meeting. It is also good to say it in the media. It is true. I did not ask people through the television to collect donations for the children of Yemen. The reason is because I did not want to burden people. I know the social and financial circumstances as well as the living conditions of the people who are going to participate. Therefore, neither I nor the leadership of Hezbollah officially asked. A few weeks ago, the brothers in the areas and the sisters in the Support Association, the [Hezbollah’s women’s] association and in Islamic associations, some brothers and sisters personally, some websites, al-Nour Radio Station, the social networking sites embarked on an activity. A sum of two million dollars was collected from this small country of Lebanon that is going through difficult circumstances.  I received the sum and gave it to the brothers in Yemen. Those are our people. This is the level of interaction. I have a lot of proof about how the wives of the martyrs, young and old, took part of their allowance, from their lives and what they save for the future of their children and give it to this resistance. Therefore, I announce today that the resistance is in need of its popular support and embrace. The Support Association should reinforce its activities as it used to before 2000 because today we are in the heart of the battle of this kind. I say that all the talk in the country about Hezbollah wanting to take the money of the state and the Ministry of Health as a result of the financial distress is baseless. I have responded to this talk before. Our legal, religious and moral position regarding the state’s money is clear. Today, the ministry that we most want to see under supervision, inspection, auditing and financial accounting is the Health Ministry. Here you go, check every penny. You will find in this ministry transparency and clarity on how each and every penny and pound are spent within the law and on the Lebanese people.

In this file, the second, the third and the last parts that I will be speaking of are related to the subject of fighting corruption.

In the same context, I will touch on the general national and internal front in Lebanon. Of course, if we want to use this term – what we call today – the fight against corruption and the financial waste in the state, we must recall and emphasize a set of points in light of recent developments. This is because we practically opened two files. Other files will come in this context during the coming period. The atmosphere in the whole country now entered the battle against corruption.

We stress on these points. I want to talk about them in sequence:

First, when we announced our political program for the next stage during the parliamentary elections, we said that there is a basic item that will be adopted which is working in the departments of the state to combat financial and administrative corruption and face the wasting of financial recourses. Why, at the time, did I explain this subject? I said it back then and I will say it now because I will start from here. At that time, all the political forces, all the officials, ministers and parliamentary blocs as well as the economic and financial experts and parties, all talked about the following:

They said, ‘if the Lebanese state continues on this path, we are heading towards financial and economic collapse. The state is heading towards bankruptcy. Did this happen a year ago or not? You bear witness and the Lebanese bear witness that this happened. What does it mean when a country or a state becomes bankrupt or is heading towards financial and economic collapse? It means there are no state institutions. Thus, the state will be unable even to pay salaries. It means security in the country will be lost because the state will not be able to pay the salaries of the army and security forces. In turn, the security services will stop services in the country because the state will not be able to do projects and provide services. It will even be unable to pay the salaries of the civilian ministries. This means crime will spread, people and the youth will immigrate. There will be internal conflicts. Internal security and peace will be lost. We are at an existential juncture. We are in front of a situation that is threatening the existence of the country. During the resistance’s battle, we were fighting for existence. But the most serious title was defending sovereignty, defending the country’s resources, defending its dignity, pride and freedom and to regain all its lands. But financial and economic collapse and bankruptcy mean losing everything. Losing the state and the country. The country will collapse.

We, Hezbollah, felt in 2018 the need to reengage with parliamentary elections. We are facing a new stage, a new duty – a new religious, moral, national and humanitarian duty. We fought in the South in order to defend our homeland. When we fought in Syria, one of the objectives was to defend Lebanon and its existence. If we were neutral in the internal battle and front, everything will be lost. Lebanon is precious to us. To every Lebanese, Lebanon is precious from a certain angle – be it cultural, intellectual, emotional, historical or religious. Lebanon is also precious to us. Since we are part of the Lebanese nation and have given precious young men, beloved sons, daughters and leaders for Lebanon’s pride, dignity and sovereignty and for the survival of this country, homeland and state, we cannot stand idly by for the sake of not upsetting or offending a certain party and leave the country to head towards collapse.

This is the true approach that we spoke about during the electoral campaign, the parliamentary elections and after that.  We still say until today that we will continue with this approach.

Based on the aforementioned, we consider ourselves to be fighting a necessary and very important national, moral, and jihadist battle. It is no less sacred or important than the resistance’s battle against the occupation and the Zionist project in the region. It is not less important, nor less holy and nor less of a duty. I say this for all the people in Lebanon who are fighting this battle with us. Thus, this is the answer to those people in Lebanon who are asking today about the reason Hezbollah is fighting corruption and financial waste now. In the past, we were fighting a big battle. But the situation was not as serious as the state’s existence and survival as well as the homeland’s survival. Today, the danger has reached a stage that cannot be overlooked. This is the true reason. Some people now say that because Hezbollah is done with the battle in Syria or semi done, it no longer has anything to do. That is why it came to Lebanon to open the fight against corruption, to find something to do. O, people! No one has as much work as we do. We have plenty.

Some say that Hezbollah’s objective is to gain popularity and be popular. We have the largest popularity in Lebanon and the results of the election clearly show that we do not need popularity. On the contrary, the fight against corruption and financial waste might cost us to lose some of our popularity in some places. We do not regard this as a popularity contest. We consider it as a duty and a battle we have to fight. Whether our popularity increases or decreases is not what we look at.

Others said that Hezbollah’s objective was political vengeance. This is not true at all. If our objective was to seek political vengeance, we would not have supported, called for and participated in forming a national unity government for everyone accusing us of political revenge to participate in. what we truly want is to prevent the economic and financial collapse, combating financial waste and useless spending, stop the theft of public money and confront financial and administrative corruption in state administrations so that the state, the people of Lebanon and Lebanon remain. This is first.

Second, the battle to combat corruption and the waste of financial recourses – you will hear these terms ‘the battle to combat corruption and the waste of financial recourses’ for many years – is a long battle. We want to accomplish the objective. It is not important to us to seek gains politically or in the media. What concerns us is to end the waste and corruption. It is important for us that the stolen money from the state be returned to the state because that money belongs to the Lebanese people.

Based on this point, we are interested in the objective. We do not care about the political and media gains and popularity. Based on this principle, we are not competing with anyone in this battle, not with any party, any movement, any leadership, deputies, ministers, associations or any civil society. We are not competing with anyone. And we are not willing to compete with anyone. In this battle, we are with anyone who submits a proposal, takes a stance or presents documents to the judiciary. There is a lot of talk in the media stating that the judiciary demands evidence and documents and not media reports. We support anyone who has evidence and documents related to the corruption and financial waste in the state file and submits it to the judiciary. We accept anyone who raises the banner of this battle to our leader. We are ready to be his soldiers and officers. Therefore, this is our objective with all honesty and loyalty. We want to achieve the goal. That is why, the Loyalty to the Resistance bloc prepared a group of law proposals a few days ago to present it to the parliament to assist with the fight against corruption and financial waste. Other parliamentary blocs happened to prepare similar proposals and announced them in the media. Hence the Loyalty to the Resistance bloc decided not to submit its proposal so as not to look like it is a competition and because the goal is being achieved either way. If there are other parliamentary blocs that submitted a set of proposals we believe in, the same way it happened in the last session, then we are with them. We support them and back them. We will stand behind them.  We do not insist on being at the front line alone or always be at the front line. No, anyone who steps forward in this battle will relieve us from some work because we have plenty. They will also serve this battle more because they are making it into a national battle.

Third, also related to the battle against corruption and financial waste. From day one, we wanted it to be a national battle and not a party’s, a group’s, a class’s or a sect’s battle. We want it to be a battle for all the Lebanese. This is how we hoped the resistance would be. This is also what we hope in the fight against corruption and financial waste and for everyone to participate from their positions, including politicians, journalists, media professionals, political and economic elites, economic bodies, ministers of parliament, parliamentary blocs, the government, all state institutions, and first and foremost the Lebanese judiciary. If it is possible to form a bilateral, a tripartite or a quadripartite coordination or any form of coordination and cooperation as well as role distribution, we are ready and we support it. As I said a little while ago, we do not want to be alone in this battle. But we are not afraid to be alone. We are not afraid to be alone. But the right thing is to have a full national battle, so that it cannot be attacked using sectarianism, politics or any other consideration.

Fourth, in the face of this battle, here I want to be more transparent. The corrupt in Lebanon and in the Lebanese state, the thieves, the looters, all those who stole and looted, and anyone who is thinking to steal and loot the public money in Lebanon will defend themselves. It is natural. They will not let this battle gain momentum because it will connect the dots. And eventually it will triumph, and they will pay the price. I will not say they will be the victims. But instead they will pay the price. They – those thieves and looters – will be punished. That is why the counter campaign began. I tell you this is normal. Remember with me what we have been facing since 1982 until now in the resistance’s battle. I tell you now, that is what we are facing in the battle to fight corruption and financial waste. It is the same thing. Subhanallah!

a. Causing despair: this is a difficult battle. You will not get anywhere. You cannot do anything. You will not be able to do anything. Oh, Lebanese people, you are betting on a mirage, are you not? It is the same discourse since 1982. The battle is difficult. The eye can't resist the awl. You cannot expel “Israel” from Lebanon. You … you … you. Now, it is the same thing. Causing despair among us and the people is part of the battle.

b. Doubting our battle: For example, the resistance is fighting to liberate our land. They say that we are fighting for Syria, we are fighting for Iran and we are fighting for the influence of I don’t know who. We are fighting to regain our homes, our villages, our farms and our fields. They accuse us with those accusations. Today, we are fighting this battle for return the public money and protect it. They say you are seeking revenge and to settle political scores with politicians and political movements. This is not true.

c. A great deal of insults, accusations and offensive words: Since we started work on the first file, we heard a great deal of insults, offensive words and accusations. By God, some even reached to the extent of saying that ‘Hezbollah originated from corruption, and they want to fight corruption!’ One of the trivial people – so that he does not think he is of worth – says that Hezbollah is plagued with corruption, and it wants to fight corruption. This is part of the insults and offensive words. To us, all this is normal. And we have gotten used to it.

d. Attempts to derail the battle against corruption to another path and transform it into a sectarian or political struggle to protect the supposed corrupt people. We are waiting for the judiciary.

e. Counting on us getting tired: That is, eventually they will tire and get bored, and they abandon this battle. They are also counting on the fear from the fallout. They will tell you ‘watch out, this will lead to a civil war. This will do something to the state. If you stop, Hezbollah or the other forces adamant on fighting corruption will stop. They will either stop or will resort to settlements.’

I want to tell everyone today because you will hear this during all the coming stages. This is our battle. This is one of our central battles. I want to tell everyone today the same discourse and logic in all the previous confrontations. However, I will not arrange them the way I did a while ago.

First: Do not count on our fatigue. We never got tired during the resistance’s battles from 1982 until today, 2019. The resistance is in the prime of its youth. It is 37 years old or 36 years old now. It is like a young man with a sound body and mind. The resistance is just getting started now. You and I might be growing older, but the resistance is still young because of the generations in it. The resistance as a group is not tired and will not be tired. We have just started with the battle against corruption. We have not reaped yet to get tired.

First, do not count on our fatigue.

Second, do not count on our despair. We will not despair and we will not be frustrated. We know that we are facing a difficult battle. We know that we are facing a long battle. We do not expect great and quick achievements within weeks or months. The Lebanese people and the people who support and is following up on the fight against corruption should know that this battle is difficult and long. It needs time, patience and perseverance to continue the work.

We do not care about the insults, the offensive words and the accusations. They are nothing new. We have become accustomed to them especially since 2005 until this day.

We heard this proverb ‘those who live in glass houses should not throw stones’ a lot. Well, those who have stones and found glass in our house, let them throw a stone at our glass. Let them go to the judiciary and complain. We went to the judiciary. We did not go any place else. We did not name anyone or defame anyone – not a person, party, movement or organization. Instead we took the file and submitted to the judiciary. Anyone who has any file or corruption charge against Hezbollah or any member in Hezbollah, be my guest, submit it to the judiciary. The insults, offensive words and empty accusations are useless. They will not discourage us. I tell you, they will not discourage us. On the contrary, it will make us more stubborn and willful. When we are insulted, cursed and accused, we become more determined, stronger, more impulsive and more provoked. In return, however, we will not provoke anyone.

In conclusion, do not count on our fear. Do not count on frightening us with sectarian strife or an internal war to keep us silent, back down from or stop this battle.

For those who think or doubt – and today these people are present in the salons, behind the scenes, in the newspapers, in the media and in the social networking sites, I want to tell them clearly and frankly – there are friends who are worried and opponents believe or doubt that we will stop the battle and not go till the finish line – that we are going until the end when we guarantee that our country has crossed the stage of existential danger or, at the very least, the danger of collapse. I tell them with a loud voice ‘you can think of anything and expect Hezbollah to do everything for this battle’ because as I said it is the battle of duty, the survival of the state and the survival of the homeland. It the battle of duty, the survival of the state and the survival of the homeland and saving the homeland from the corrupt, the looters, the greedy and the thieves until the end, no matter the sacrifices and the prices.

Fifth, we started with two files – of course we have a set of files. To clarify the picture and the scene, the first file is the most important, the largest and the most serious of files among the files of financial corruption and financial waste within the Lebanese state. In accordance with what is clear to us, so far it is this file that is the the most important and most dangerous. Maybe later, we might find something bigger. It is the so called the file of the Lebanese State’s financial accounts from 1993 until 2017. The $11 billion is part of this file. During this period, from 1993 until 2017, there has been an unhealthy, suspicious, ambiguous situation. So as not to judge, tomorrow we shall see. The finance minister declared that the file is done. And he will send a copy to the audit bureau, another to the presidency of Cabinet, and later a copy will be given to the parliament and the judiciary. Listen to what Mr. Alain Bifani, the Director General of the Ministry of Finance and to some o the explanations he presented. Of course since he is the Director General of the Ministry of Finance, he knows it better than anybody. He has been the Director General for many years. He headed a team of employees that gathered documents, numbers and lists. They reviewed, corrected and audited them. Some Lebanese might have heard what he said and some might have not. I hope that those who haven’t listen or read what he said. Bring the text. He announced that Lebanon is in front of a financial disaster. It is a very dangerous matter. It should be thought of carefully. It is not an ordinary matter at all.

We started with this file, why? Because this is the right beginning. We did not choose a person or a group of people, gave them the file and started the battle. It is not like that. With all sincerity and loyalty, in the past few months we sat and agreed that the most important file is the one with a pivotal nature. It is the key to financial reform in the state. If it was not addressed, the other measures will not solve the problem. We should begin from here, from the financial reforms of the state budget so that the state has an annual budget. The Cabinet should present a budget and the parliament should approve it so that the government starts working according to the budget. There should also be supervision and accountability. The parliament can be asked and held accountable. If anything was submitted to the court of audit or to the judiciary, there should be documents and accounts. This is to enable the return of the public money according to the law and the constitution, to stop financial waste and to stop careless spending. To make things clear – I do not want to judge from now – we do not know where the money went and how it was spent through the years. Financial reform starts here. I tell you from now with all honesty, if Hezbollah today allows this file to be ignored or settled, it would be a lying and a hypocrite party. I’ve started with Hezbollah. This also applies to anyone who seeks to sideline the financial accounts file at the expense of the public money. They would be hypocrites. They would be liars who told the Lebanese people that they wanted to prevent collapse and to fight corruption.

This file is the key. It is the normal gate [to reform]. That is why we resorted to it. Of course to be frank and fair, we are not the first to go to this file. We do not claim anything more than what we did. The first to go forcefully to this file before the presidential election was General Michel Aoun, when he was president of the Free Patriotic Movement. The Free Patriotic Movement published the Impossible Acquittal’ book. After that a law was introduced in the parliament. The current Ministry of Finance is also applying this law. It paid a team of officials and employees in the Ministry of Finance to examine this file and accounts. The whole thing is excellent.

What we have done over the past few weeks is first we strongly highlighted this file. We said we have some documents and decided we will go to the judiciary. We acted quickly and took the file to the judiciary fearing legal considerations that can end or close this file due to the passage of time – ten years, 20 years or something like that. What we did is we shed light on this file. We spoke about it in the parliament, in press conferences and in the media. We took the file to the judiciary. We held everybody accountable for their responsibilities. For us, when the Ministry of Finance takes the file to the Audit Bureau and to the parliament, it is excellent. This objective is achieved. We submitted some documents to the judiciary. Also we included – which is frankly the most important – the remarks of the Director General of the Ministry of Finance at the conference. If the judiciary receives them, this means the objective is achieved. We had an objected that we must achieve. This was the right beginning.

Why? From 1993 to 2017 there were many finance ministers who chaired the Finance Ministry, none of whom considered that we are provoking or accusing them [of corruption]. There are former prime ministers, none of whom considered that we are provoking or accusing them [of corruption], except for one who felt that he was targeted and put himself inside the dock. We did not name him. We did not accuse him and went to the judiciary. Today, instead of resorting to sparring, provocation, accusations, insults and offensives words, go to the judiciary. This issue is in the custody of the judiciary. Of course, we will follow up on the judiciary, and we will see how it will address this file. We want convincing answers. We do not want prejudices. We are not making prejudices. It must be convincing because somewhere in Lebanon accusations are being directed at some bodies of the Lebanese judiciary regarding seriousness, integrity and how clean they are.

We do not want to pre-empt things, but we say that this matter is put on the right track.

Based on this, the second file we opened is the useless borrowing. There is an official governmental side negotiating with an international financial side for a loan of 400 million dollars, whose expenses are useless and meaningless. I repeat and say that they are offering some ministries some money from this loan. Then the minister tells them that he does not need this money. You should not take it. Why? Because a large part of this money will go to the pockets, to advisers, to persons, etc.

We raise this file. The prime minister interacted and asked for details. He promised that he would follow up. The Speaker of Parliament interacted very much and promised that he would look into this loan and others in the parliament – should it be a loan for useless things. Great! The most important thing is for us to eat grapes.

The Lebanese people will pay 400 million and will pay the interest of this money from their pockets, their hard work, their hunger, their medicine and their children’s milk. So if we prevent the loan, it would be an achievement.

We opened these two files. We have files that are pending. When we have data, documents, solid and strong facts for a file, we open it. One of the files we are discussing now transcends sects, regions and even political forces so that no one says that there is political vengeance or certain political targeting. Regarding the results up to this point, even though this battle is still in the early stages, I believe that important results have been achieved so far.

One, today more than ever, there is national consensus on fighting corruption and facing financial waste, isn’t it? Is this true or not? All the officials are talking about the subject, all the parties, all the ministers, all the deputies, all the parliamentary blocs, all the political forces and all of our people and our society. There has never been a day when there was consensus on this national issue and also considering it a national priority that should govern all the political and official performance. This is one of our achievements. This is as a result of Hezbollah’s participation due to its influence and size. We were demanding this. Where are you, people? Here we are. As a joke, I saw some news headlines saying: What is the deal? Let them in Syria? Why did you ask them to leave Syria and return to Lebanon? Whether we are in Syria or not, when any existential situation in Lebanon becomes in danger, we will be at the front line without hesitation. Other political forces have also entered, and we know that they are serious and effective in this battle. This is an achievement.

Three, take for example, yesterday when the parliament insisted on a budget. They said, ‘we do not accept the Provisional Budget [Article 86]. Never. You have a specific time to bring us a budget. In this country, we will not spend except on the basis of a budget.’ This is progress. This is as a result of this climate. In the past, all of, the parliamentary blocs, including us used to agree. It was like: People, the situation is difficult, what do we do? We do not want to disrupt the state. The government committed to present a general budget on the allotted time. One of the achievements is putting the file of the state’s financial accounts under serious follow up. This is what I spoke about in the past, whether in the judiciary, the government or the parliament. This is also excellent.

This is the beginning of the big reform, to stand in the face of some useless loans. This is an achievement. Yesterday, the government also pledged to write off the hundreds of billions of useless spending that the MPs talked about, which the government has committed to also. This is also one of the results. Everyone is invited to work. Today, everybody has a responsibility to face this challenge. In every ministry, we have a minister and you have a minister. Let the minister apply the law in his ministry. Let him combat corruption and stop financial waste. This is possible. Here lies the seriousness. It is not only about presenting proposals, submitting files to the judiciary or looking for documents to create a file. No, everyone has ministries in this government – be it a small ministry or big. There is money there and laws. Let them work and support the political forces. Let the minister fight this battle in their ministries.

I will give you a simple example from the Ministry of Health since we are working on it responsibly, and also so as not to talk only about large files. This is a small file. It is an individual incident. One of the brothers, one of our friends, I know him personally. He told me the following. He has a son who has growth problems. He goes to a certain side belonging to the health ministry here in Beirut. He goes monthly or once every two months to take support medications. These types of medications are expensive similar to the medications of the incurable illnesses. What used to happen? He used to go. He needed nine injections, for example. So they would give him five. Listen to me very well. While I am saying this, many will say that this used to happen with them. They used to give him five out nine, and he would sign that he received nine injections. This means that this managing part “X” took four injections from him. Each injection costs 150000 Lebanese Lira. They set them aside and sell them in the pharmacies. The brother says, ‘since I need nine, I’ll take five from the health ministry. And ill buy the other four expensive injections from the pharmacy.’ But in fact he has already signed for them. Where? With this side. There are many like him. This is something known in the country, but was overlooked by the former ministries. This friend, I know him personally. I see him regularly. This brother says, ‘ the first day when the minister assumed his post in the ministry, I went to the center in Karantina to get the medicine. I needed seven injections. They gave me seven injections and made me sign that I received seven. I was surprised. Don’t you want two or three like the usual? No, no, no. If you need seven you will take seven. This is combating corruption. When managers and officials in the ministry trust that the minister who is heading this ministry, the health ministry, is supported by a side that is serious in fighting corruption and financial waste to benefit the people, especially the vulnerable, the oppressed and the poor as well as the deprived areas, they will be organized and disciplined on their own. We will talk about what was being practiced in the past later. This is just a model. If every minister took matters in his ministry with such seriousness, yes, we – Lebanon, all the blocs and everyone fighting this battle – can triumph and achieve great victories in a short period of time.

Therefore, brothers and sister, on this anniversary, on the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Islamic Resistance Support Association in Lebanon, which was part of the battle of the victors and the resistance of victory and the battle of achievements and the era of victories, today we must continue the resistance’s battle. We must continue the battle against corruption and financial waste. We must continue with this other part of the resistance’s battle, so that our country remains strong, powerful and sovereign and able to withstand all the storms and earthquakes as well as address its economic, social and livelihood problems. A safe country, a country whose people live in internal peace. They coexist, cooperate and integrate. This is what we look forward to. This is the reality of our objectives, and we have no other goals.

Again brothers and sisters, to all those who joined us today, from Hermel to Baalbek to Dahyeh to Nabatiyeh to Hanaway, to all those who sacrificed, stayed up at night and worked hard, to those who are trustworthy and faithful, to all those whose hearts are filled with love as they walked during the difficult days and preserved the trust of the martyrs and the resistance fighters, all the thanks, appreciation, and respect. God willing, more jihad in all the fields and more victories in all the battles.

God bless you and many happy returns.

Peace and Allah's mercy and blessings be upon you all.

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