Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on July 7, 2020: The Day He Launched Battle to Confront Economic Crisis
Translated by Staff
Televised speech by Hezbollah’s Secretary General, His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, on the latest local and regional developments (7/7/2020)
I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. 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 Prophets, Abi al-Qassem Muhammad Bin Abdullah and his good and pure household and his good and chosen companions and all the prophets and messengers.
Peace and Allah's mercy and blessings be upon you all.
I apologize for the delay. We took up a few minutes for prayer time. God willing, we will address this matter in the future.
In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Merciful. Before I begin talking about tonight’s main topics, I would like to briefly shed light on some occasions.
First, we are nearing the anniversary of the July 2006 war, which the “Israeli” enemy calls the second Lebanon war. It was a war in the full sense of the word.
We remember the enormous sacrifices, the great victories, and the great failure of the American-“Israeli” project in our region that was called the New Middle East.
I just wanted to say as the anniversary is nearing – from July 12 to August 14 – that we have ample time to talk about this war and this occasion as well as speak with the families of the martyrs, the wounded, the mujahideen, those who made sacrifices, were patient, gave their support, the victors, and about those defeated in this war.
The anniversary of the defeat of the takfiri terrorists that were controlling the Jaroud in the Bekaa area is coming in a few days. The Jaroud, as the Lebanese people remember, was liberated in two stages. The first stage was following the confrontation with the Nusra Front. The second stage was following the confrontations with Daesh. The former stage was achieved in the month of July around this time.
The third occasion that I would like to point to is the tenth anniversary of the passing of His Eminence Ayatollah Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah, who was a compassionate father, a wise guide, and a strong pillar in all stages. He was all this to us and to this faithful, jihadi, and resisting generation.
After ten years, we still feel that his pure spirit is with us. I am repeating the same text that was in the obituary ten years ago. We feel that his pure spirit, his kind words, his kind smile, and his solid positions have remained in us, will continue to guide us, and be a strong renewed motivation for us to persist and continue jihad.
This is the last point in the introduction. In the past few days, we lost a great scholar and investigator, who came from a long line of scholars and martyrs. His Eminence, the late Allamah Sheikh Mohammad Jaafar Shamseddine, may he rest in peace. He provided Islam, the Islamic culture and thought as well as the youth and the Hawzas with great scientific and educational services. He was also a supporter and a backer of the resistance in Lebanon through all the stages. He made great efforts, even risking his well-being, to unite all the ranks, and face sedition during the most difficult days of the resistance.
On behalf of Hezbollah and myself, I extend our deepest condolences and heart-felt sympathies to his honorable family. And I ask God Almighty to grant them patience and solace and receive him in His mercy. May He accommodate him in his spacious paradise and join him with his loved ones and with Muhammad and his pure household (peace be upon them all).
I intend to discuss three topics.
First part: The economic and the living situation in Lebanon as well as the attempts to address and confront it – this is the Lebanese people’s daily concern
Second part: Lebanese politics
Third part: Regional developments
Before we start talking about the first topic, things must be corrected and stirred in the right direction. The current situation people are living – at the financial, economic, and political levels – requires unity among all Lebanese and cooperation. Therefore, I do not want to enter into quarrels with anyone regarding everything I will present or say, but rather I will try to be as positive as I can.
Economic collapse or starvation doesn't affect one area of Lebanon or one group. Unfortunately, some speak this language. So, anyone trying to confront this must do so with the awareness of how to solve the problem for all Lebanese in every area. I should not only care about my people, area, or a couple of villages. It should be a national approach.
This cannot be simply be disassembled or simplified as some people think. We need a continuous integrated national effort. Each one of us must think of all the Lebanese people and residents on Lebanese territory. This includes the Palestinian refugees, the displaced Syrians, non-Lebanese residents residing in Lebanon.
At the end of the day when certain things collapse or certain dangers occur, the repercussions will be on everyone. This is a main issue that should be present in any approach. The approach should stem from what our humanity, morals, our religion, and our patriotism tell us.
Based on the aforementioned, I said that we need to correct some things to be on the right track.
In the context of correction, when we raised the issue of turning eastward, I was clear in my last speech that this didn't mean turning our back on the West. I was clear when I said that we must be open to the whole world except “Israel”.
And I had the courage to say that even though America is an enemy in our political and cultural thought, we will not be an obstacle if it is going to help Lebanon, like any country in the world, and take it out of its crisis.
Turning eastward does not mean being cut off from the rest of the world. On the contrary, it’s turning east, west, north, and south. Turning to any country except for the usurper entity. Any country that is ready can come to Lebanon, invest in Lebanon, work in Lebanon, put deposits in the central bank, provide aid and loans, open lines of credit. We're completely open to this.
Unfortunately, some tried to improperly classify the matter and say we're pitting one axis in Lebanon against the other. We never said this. Some have said that the U.S. and the West are Lebanon's indispensable oxygen. We are not asking you to cut it off. Breathe it. But my question is what will you do if the U.S. cuts it off? Will you die or look for another source of oxygen to stay alive?
We do not want to cut off oxygen from anyone in Lebanon at all. We are also putting all our ideological, jihadist, and political considerations aside, with the exception of the “Israeli” issue. I say, let Lebanon be open to everyone so that it can overcome this difficult stage.
Others said that the goal of turning eastward was to change the face of Lebanon's civilization and the identity of its economic system – honestly when one looks at the comments and responses, he can only laugh at them – as if Lebanon isn't in the Middle East but in South or North America. Lebanon is part of the East. Nobody raised this matter.
For example, if we said that China is going to invest in Lebanon and will commit to projects without taking a penny from the Lebanese state, that is according to the B.O.T. format, does that mean we want to transform Lebanon’s economic structure into a communist or socialist one? This talk is just to disrupt. It is not based on any reason.
Regarding Iran, some said we are trying to turn Lebanon into an Iranian model. We never said this. All we said was that we have a friend called Iran who can sell us fuel/petroleum byproducts in Lebanese pounds. We are asking it for help. Otherwise, they need hard currency, they need dollars and the euros.
When the Iranians accept to sell Lebanon fuel/petroleum byproducts in Lebanese liras, they are making a big sacrifice. What does this have to do with applying the Iranian model or the Iranian economic model. It is like “Lebanon is on the Mediterranean Sea; thus, Brazil exists.” What does this have to do with that? It is just intended to scare and intimidate people and instill doubt.
Even though we do not have a problem regarding this matter. We only have a few countries in the world that we are friends with or have relations with. We have no problem with you bringing fuel/petroleum byproducts to Lebanon using Lebanese pounds. We will not be intimidated. We will not accuse you of imposing their model onto Lebanon.
Also, you can rest assured. Lebanon doesn't currently have the components to be transformed into the Iranian model, not that the Iranian model is a bad thing. The Iranian model enabled Iran to withstand 40 years of wars, sanctions, and blockade. Iran eats what it grows. It has a semi self-sufficient agriculture. It has advanced industries and very sophisticated military industry.
A few months ago, Iran sent a satellite into space. The Iranian model has self-sufficiency in gasoline, diesel, fuel and electricity. It sells electricity and fuel to neighboring countries. It produces over 90% of its medicinal needs. It also sells medicine to neighboring countries.
Hence, this model produces results. Why are you scared of it? Nonetheless, Lebanon doesn't have the components for the Iranian model. So, rest assured.
If the brothers in Iran extended a helping hand to their brothers in Lebanon in some way, this should be respected and appreciated, and not a point of intimidation or skepticism.
Iran has withstood 40 years of sanctions and still is. Of course, it has a problem with the hard currency because the world is connected to the dollar, to New York, to America, and to this process. This is problem of the world today. The dollar is what is left of the America’s strength, apart from the military power. The U.S. holds on to the dollar and imposes financial and economic sanctions. However, despite all the threats and the sanctions, Iran was steadfast for 40 years. No country in the world, regardless of its economic model, would have been able to resist for 40 years the way Iran did amid all the wars, sanctions, and blockade.
Look at Lebanon. It was subject to some sanctions and intimidation, and some people and political forces are ready to cave in and abandon everything.
In any case, we said we did not want to create debates. But I would like to reassure everyone that no one is trying to impose the Iranian model on Lebanon’s economy or change the face of Lebanon’s civilization. We do not want to transform the economic system into a communist or a socialist system.
All we mean by turning eastward is that since France won't disburse CEDRE funds, the U.S. is imposing sanctions, and the Arab countries won't help for different reasons, we should accept help from whomever offers.
So, if China, Iran, Iraq, Russia, or any country in the world – be it in the east or the west – is ready to provide assistance, Lebanon should be open to it. It must communicate with this country. It must look for opportunities.
This is just to clarify matters.
We come to where we are today. When approaching the economic, living, financial, and monetary crisis, we must talk about them while people keep pace. We all must have the knowledge and the awareness so that we can together face this challenge and threat.
A lot of the Lebanese have political awareness and culture. Many of them have awareness and culture of the economic and financial issue. But we must generalize this culture so that we can all keep pace and shoulder the responsibilities.
The first part:
There are two levels in the economic crisis.
The first level: There is a big and huge topic when talking about getting Lebanon out of its economic crisis and reaching a stage of economic recovery and stability. This is because there is a debt of about 80 billion to one hundred billion dollars. We have deep economic crises. There is a discussion regarding the old and current economic policies. This is a big topic, of course, that needs the state with all its institutions, the society, and perhaps external help. We are not talking about this topic.
The second level: There are risks of economic and financial collapse. There are risks of hunger. How do we prevent economic collapse and hunger and their repercussions on the Lebanese people and residents in Lebanon?
We are talking about the second level. How do we prevent collapse and starvation? This must be addressed first before we can deal with the first level.
Of course, if we can achieve this, we will enable the country, the state, the government, the state institutions, the army, the Lebanese people, and the security forces to withstand and continue the path in addressing the first level – getting out of the economic crisis.
So today I will be talking about several points related to the second level.
1- The first thing we call for when talking about the second level is that we shouldn't confine ourselves to one path in trying to prevent collapse like confining ourselves to IMF negotiations and awaiting their results before starting on alternative paths. What if these talks fail in six months or a year? Do we only then start looking?
We must not derail this path – negotiations with the IMF. But we must open up all possible pathways that would prevent Lebanon’s collapse and starvation. On this basis, we spoke about a set of ideas, and the topic of turning eastward came up in the general methodology. There must not be a state of despair or surrender among the Lebanese people. Passive waiting must not take over the general performance – to wait and see what the IMF will decide; will the U.S. forgive Lebanon or not? What are the developments that might take place in the region? by doing so, we are not being active. Rather we are waiting passively. This is wrong.
As a state and a people, we must be active. We should not stay home and wait. Whatever path can be opened, we must open it. Whatever path leads to a solution, even if we are not sure it will to results, we must take it. We must knock on all doors to reach a possible outcome.
Today, the Lebanese state and people are facing a threat – the threat of collapse and starvation. This is the most serious threat that can face a people or a state. Should we give up to the threat? Or should we turn it into an opportunity? I say to all the Lebanese people: we as a state and people – we will not talk about the tripartite equation because we need a different and new equation – are able to turn the threat into an opportunity. This threat can even be an occasion to take very important steps that will not only save Lebanon, but they will also put Lebanon on the track for economic prosperity and not repeating the failed policies of the past.
I will say how. We must have hope, confidence in our ability to rise and transform threats into opportunities, and not despair, surrender, and submit. We must have the mentality that we can do so much when it comes to, for example, moving the wheel of the economy. I will shed light on the agricultural and industrial productions later.
The Lebanese government and we were told that Chinese companies are ready to invest billions of dollars in Lebanon. I will not delve into numbers. It is natural for Lebanon to initiate talks - just as PM Hassan Diab did – and not wait since the Chinese did not talk to us or send us anything.
You can see that the country is in danger. You as an official must initiate talks with China. Ask the Chinese about their conditions and see whether these conditions are in the interest of Lebanon and if Lebanon can accommodate them. So, we opt for this option instead of waiting around ad putting doubt like some Lebanese people are doing. Some said that China is not ready and has no desire to invest in Lebanon. China will not make a problem with the U.S. for Lebanon.
Hold on. Why are we disagreeing on this? Let us ask the Chinese. What is the point of diplomacy, the Foreign Ministry, and the people concerned with the economy? Let the Lebanese state – not Hezbollah, the Amal movement, the Free Patriotic movement, or any political party – talk to the Chinese. There should be no mediation regarding this matter.
If you want an indication of the effectiveness of the Chinese offer, just look at the angry American response, from Pompeo, to Schenker, to US State Department aides, to the US ambassador in Lebanon. All of them started saying that the Chinese aid won't help. China will spy on Lebanon, as if the CIA isn't. And if something went wrong regarding the financial obligations, they will confiscate the state's assets. They started talking in this sense to spread fear. This is evidence that this is a useful and serious option. Otherwise, why else would the Americans do this? Why would they want to launch a clear and open campaign? They are launching this campaign to scare the Lebanese people from doing business with the Chinese. This is only evidence that the Chinese offer will release the American stranglehold on Lebanon, and I'll talk about that shortly.
Now, the Lebanese government should contact China, send delegations to China, and engage in direct discussions, and through some media outlets. This is one.
2- We also thank our Iraqi brothers. Ministers from the Iraqi government came and met with Lebanese officials, including the prime minister and competent ministers. There was a positive atmosphere that was reflected in the media. We should follow up on this matter.
I repeat and affirm, Iraq is a very great opportunity for Lebanon. It is an open country, a friendly country, and a loving country. The relationship between Iraq and Lebanon as two countries and two peoples are excellent. Iraq is a very large and capable country economically. We can start cooperation at the level of agriculture, industry, medicine, and tourism – there is mutual religious tourism. All these are opportunities. They will allow the flow of money, create job opportunities, and revive the different sectors.
We already have naysayers saying we shouldn't pursue the Iraqi option because the U.S. might pressure the Iraqi government. So, should we just sit and despair? Or should the Lebanese government send a delegation, like the Iraqis did, and continue negotiations to reach results. This is also another option to be explored.
We spoke about these two propositions. Thank God, there are options to be explored.
3- The third issue that we raised was the central bank. The central bank has to pay billions of dollars. There is a problem in numbers in Lebanon. But there are billions of dollars to cover Lebanon’s need for oil derivatives. If we asked our brothers in Iran to sell us gasoline, oil, gas, oil derivatives, and diesel in Lebanese pounds, this would relieve pressure off the central bank, which is hard-pressed for dollars.
This amount, if it is available to the central bank, would allow it to give to the banks to solve the depositors’ problems.
This proposition has a lot of advantages. I will not talk about them because if I did, it would be understood as putting pressure on the Lebanese.
I don’t want to speak ahead of the brothers in Iran. but eventually, they will declare an official position. But I can tell the Lebanese people this: I guarantee you this.
In any case, we started discussions and presented it to Lebanese officials. There is a calm discussion regarding this matter. let us see how the matter unfolds away from the media and explanations made in the media. Let us where this option will lead. But this option has great advantages on the assets of Lebanon’s central bank, on banks, on depositors, on agriculture, on industry, on electricity plants, on electricity, on the value of the national currency, on the trade balance. We will talk about this detail later.
Of course, there are some who are spreading doubts and intimidation. What's the end result we will get? I don't know, but we must still explore all options, so our conscience is clear – we tried everything to rescue Lebanon economically.
In the same context, the Lebanese government should also initiate. It should contact other states. It seems that there is something of this sort. Let them say no. but at the very least, we are trying and looking for options.
We must also not forget the option of opening up to Syria. The situation should not remain that the whole country has surrendered to the Caesar Act. We must challenge this law. There are loopholes and exceptions. We must not surrender to this law.
In any case, what does this methodology mean? It means that there is a movement towards confronting hunger and collapse. This gives hope to the Lebanese, meaning that we are not powerless, and we did not surrender. At the same time, it sends a powerful message to the Americans and others who wants to strangle Lebanon: we have alternatives, and you won't be able to blockade, strangle, starve, or defeat Lebanon. This will force America to despair and to do so quickly. This is the importance of this methodology.
Based on the above, one of the options we have in Lebanon is right in front of us. I am not imposing this option as we have agreed from the beginning that there are more than one road and more than one choice. Decades of economic policies in the country – I will not criticize whether they were right or wrong – turned Lebanon into a service-oriented economy with the focus on the banking sector, tourism – that is airport expansion and building ports, highways, and hotels. A country reliant on the service industry.
These policies were within a vision - a true or false vision is another discussion. What happened due to these policies? These policies led to collapse of two sectors: the agricultural and industrial sectors. These two sectors remained steadfast despite all the conditions that Lebanon went through before and during the civil war and after the invasion in 1982 to 1990s.
The policies that were adopted led to the collapse of these two sectors. In the agricultural sector, you find that the farmer is not supported. There is no budget. There is no financing of agricultural projects. There are no agricultural investments. This of course increases the cost of production. When the farmers are not being supported with the production costs, the cost of production becomes increases. When the cost of production increases, it would difficult for marketing this agricultural product in the Lebanese or foreign markets since other produce are cheaper. Thus, the farmer will be forced to throw them on the streets like we see every year.
Also, some invested in the agricultural sector when the rates the central bank or the banks were high. This person looked at the profit he would be from investing in agriculture or industry. It is more or less 5 or 10%. So, he put his money in the bank and waited for his profit. Basically, these policies destroyed the agricultural and industrial sectors. Thus, we became a consumer country, a country that buys everything. We even import basic foodstuffs from abroad. We became almost completely a consumer country.
Now, we're feeling the mistake and the danger. But we can still turn this into an opportunity and address the problem. The Lebanese people are afraid of collapse and hunger. What should we do? We have to turn Lebanon into a productive country, regardless of the international economic situation.
Regardless of the future of the world economy after COVID-19, whatever happens to the U.S. economy or the economy in the region, being productive is essential for any country to live a decent life. Can we survive without oxygen? Can we live without water? Agriculture and industry are like oxygen and water to any people. Former policies asked us to live off imported oxygen and water. I’m just giving an analogy here. our industry and agriculture were put aside. Everything we wear, use, eat, and drink should come from abroad. Today, we can change the equation and start producing.
Here lies the responsibility of the Lebanese state, the Council of Ministers, the Parliament, and officials. Meanwhile, the people’s responsibility is to support the state. We must all cooperate. The Lebanese state should revive the agricultural and industrial sectors. All the political forces as well as the parliamentary blocs, the government, and the officials should all shoulder their responsibilities in reviving these sectors to enable the country to stand on its feet and prevent it from going hungry. The Lebanese people also have a responsibility. They are a big part of this battle and its main driving force.
In other words, we must plant. We have vast swathes of arable land. Lebanon’s climate is suitable as is the environment. It has rivers and springs. The water is only wasted because it flows into the Mediterranean. Land reclamation for agriculture is not a difficult and complicated process if all the possibilities are available. So, what do we need?
We need to make a decision. We need will power and start planting. Let us take the agricultural sector and based on it approach the industrial issue. What do we need?
First, the people should believe in the option to cultivate. Secondly, there should be motivation, will, and determination. Thirdly, we have to cultivate the land. We as Lebanese people, state, political parties, cooperatives, merchants, etc. should help people who are cultivating and reduce the cost of production. We should help those planting and producing sell their produce in the local and external markets. We should cooperate in this whole process. We need guidance; what should be cultivated and how much. The same goes to industry. We might start with craft (handmade) industry or something to do with food that is low cost because we want to stave of hunger. This is the path required now.
What I am saying today is on behalf of Hezbollah and not the Lebanese government. on behalf of Hezbollah, we call on the Lebanese people to fight the battle of reviving the agricultural and industrial sectors. We call for an agricultural and industrial renaissance as a necessary condition for resilience, facing hunger, and living in dignity.
This matter was part of our interests. But our priority was and still is resistance. Then we have the political work. We also have activities related to agriculture and craft industry as well as of social and medical nature. But these activities are limited.
But today we in Hezbollah took the decision to confront collapse and hunger. We say that this is Lebanon’s battle, just as the resistance’s military battles to liberate the land or to fight the takfiri terrorists are Lebanon’s and the Lebanese people’s battles, even though some are not fighting them. This is Lebanon’s battle as well as the Lebanese people’s and people residing on Lebanese territory. Everyone should be fighting it.
That is why the entirety of Hezbollah will be fully committed to this, not just a certain apparatus, unit, or institution.
Today, I want to announce that we have taken the decision that all of Hezbollah, with its human and material capabilities, relationships, friendships, and alliances will be at the heart of this confrontation, challenge, and battle. And we want to cooperate with everyone, just as we did in the fight against COVID-19. We came out in full force. We saw how the situation in the country was when all the Lebanese people cooperated with each other in the fight against the pandemic – even though we need to emphasize on this again.
In the same context, I would like to address the supporters of the resistance and tell them that in the past decades and years, we adopted the slogan: "Where we should be, we will be". So, we were present wherever we were needed. We achieved victory and accomplished goals during every challenge; this is what happened during the resistance and liberation battle, during the confrontations with the takfiri terrorists, and in the face of projects, such as the new Middle East. We assessed whether the challenges required us to be there, and we achieved victory.
Today, I would like to tell our brothers and sisters, men and women, young and old, in the battle of agriculture and industry, we will be where we are required. We will be in this new field.
In other words, we must all become farmers and manufacturers, within the available capabilities. Being a farmer is not shameful. It is a glory and not shameful when our young and old plough the land and cultivate it. Many of the prophets, messengers, and saints throughout history were farmers and peasants grazing sheep, livestock, etc. We have to be farmers not only to save ourselves but also to save our country. We are thinking about all the Lebanese areas and all the Lebanese people.
Now some may say that Hezbollah is only concerned about its people and its environment. We're concerned about all Lebanese areas, factions, and people. We are human being with morals and faith. We are nationalists. This is how we think. This is how we think because we are humane. To all my brothers and sisters, this is the new phase we must confront. Wherever we have potential arable land, even a front yard, balconies, and rooftops in Dahiyeh and in cities, we must cultivate it. This is our new battle.
As for how to agricultural guidance and reducing the cost of production, we will talk about them in future addresses. We have a complete vision on this matter, and we have extended our hand to everyone.
The same applies to the industrial sector. As I said, we should opt for light homemade products and food products that do not cost much. We have to follow in the footsteps of other people who attained their independence. When we eat what we plant and wear what we manufacture, then we are a people worthy of independence, freedom, dignity, and sovereignty. Here we go back and open the file of the national industry and import from abroad. All these details will come later.
The date 7-7-2020 (Tuesday) is an easy one to remember. Let us say that on this day we want to declare an agricultural and industrial jihad at the popular level. This is not an official decision. In 1988, the resistance in Lebanon was not established by a government or official decision, but rather a popular decision. Today, we should head towards agricultural and industrial jihad, resistance, or renaissance. Call it what you want, we'll decide on a name later, but this should be our direction.
We should engage in an organized work or individual initiatives. All the Lebanese must cooperate. Popular efforts must also integrate with the efforts of the state to overcome the stage of hunger, the stage of collapse, and the stage of fear and anxiety. We should establish a strategic exit from the coming economic crisis.
The second part:
Regarding domestic politics, I want to confine myself to one issue that we consider dangerous in Lebanon – the American interference and blatant performance of the State Department in Lebanon, particularly that of the U.S. ambassador to Lebanon.
During the past few months, since Ambassador Shea came to Lebanon – welcome to and to the other ambassadors – we’ve seen the way has been acting in Lebanon – as military governor, a high commissioner, or someone with military authority. She expects everyone in Lebanon to fear her, submit to her, appease to her, listen to her, appease to her, and ask for her approval.
When we talk about U.S. interference, we can say that they are numerous. As I have mentioned, her movements were clear and blatant. For example, what is the U.S. ambassador’s business with financial appointments. What right does she have in accepting this person and refusing that? This happened, and she spoke with many officials and threatened many others. She demanded that a certain person be appointed deputy governor of the central bank. She also demanded that if this certain person was not appointed deputy governor, then he must be appointed as head of the Banking Control Commission. Some might say that this is not a new thing.
What is new is that today this matter is being done in the open. All the Lebanese have sensed it. I don’t know what they used to do in the past. Of course, I know. But I don’t have proof. But go ask the officials she spoke to. They'll tell you the U.S. ambassador told them to appoint specific people and not others as deputy governor of the central bank and if not head of the Banking Control Commission, otherwise the U.S. would withhold funds. Is this how an ambassador should behave? Is this a friendly country or a colonialist country?
This is how a colonialist country acts. Let me give you another example. This might have given some people last week the impression that there will be a change of government and that it will be toppled. This is because they believe and are accustomed to the U.S. being divine. If America said something, then it must be done.
In the past few days, the U.S. ambassador was quoted by more than one party and person that she said last week that the government is finished, that it must be toppled, and must resign. What is your business? The Lebanese people are the one who determine if the government remains or goes. The Lebanese Parliament determines if the government remains or goes, not the American ambassador or the U.S. State Department. However, she continues to interfere in this issue. She discusses the identity, nature, and composition of the next supposed government. Is this not a blatant interference in Lebanese affairs?
Let me tell you what is more serious and dangerous – the American ambassador appearing on Lebanese, Arab, and non-Arab television channels and attacking a prominent Lebanese party. I do not want to praise Hezbollah and describe its popular, organizational, political and parliamentary size and its impact on the country and the region. Others will talk about this.
But Hezbollah is a Lebanese party with a huge popular support. It is represented in the parliament and is part of Lebanon’s political life.
Every day the ambassador attacks Hezbollah, insults it, calls it a terrorist organization, accuses of it stealing and selling drugs, and all this non-sense. Meanwhile, the Lebanese state is silent. However, some politicians, media personnel, and political parties respond to her. But it seems that this lady is comfortable. She sees no problem in insulting, attacking, and offending it on a daily basis.
But what is more dangerous is pitting the Lebanese against each other. The U.S. ambassador is pitting Lebanon’s parties and officials against Hezbollah and its allies, pushing Lebanon towards internal strife and civil war. Should this be met with silence?
We can add to this the role of the US Embassy in the sanctions, the blockade, the threats, preventing investments in Lebanon, scaring off foreign investors, intimidating the Lebanese officials and government. They are doing this around the clock. This is unacceptable.
I put this in front of the Lebanese people, all the political forces in Lebanon, the government in Lebanon, and the state in Lebanon, as well as the political forces that claim to be sovereign. An ambassador of country in Lebanon is interfering with appointments, the government, the economic situation, while the Lebanese people are watching.
Meanwhile, an honorable, brave, patriotic judge made a decision concerning the ambassador’s movement and her dealings with the media. Whether this decision was legitimate or not, constitutional or not, is beside the point. For a Lebanese judge to make such a decision shows that there are honorable and courageous Lebanese judges. The U.S. embassy and the American ambassador were annoyed and demanded an apology from the Lebanese government.
If Lebanon’s ambassador in America spoke about what is happening now in the U.S. and criticized the performance of the Trump administration in dealing with the coronavirus and racism, what would have they done to him?
We do not want to talk about this issue, but many people stood up to defend freedom of the press in Lebanon. What about Lebanese sovereignty? Defend freedom of the media, but what about Lebanese sovereignty? Are these two things separate? How can freedom and slavery meet? Abandoning sovereignty is slavery. They do not go hand in hand.
In any case, Judge Mohammad Mazeh made the decision based on his patriotism, awareness, sense of responsibility, and realization that there is an ambassador who is inciting, accusing, insulting, pushes towards sedition, and attacking the Lebanese people.
Personally, because this is the first time I speak after this incident, I am proud of him. We [in Hezbollah] are proud of judge Mohammad Mazeh and in every patriotic, honorable, and brave person who dares in this difficult time to stand in the face of American policies and American administrations because the best kind of jihad is saying the truth in the face of an unjust ruler.
Today, the most unjust, criminal, terrorist, and brutal ruler on the face of this earth is the American administration. I hope the Lebanese judiciary and the Lebanese Ministry of Justice will reconsider their approach. They should treat this judge and his resignation with the same level of patriotism, honor, courage and respect that he expressed.
Hence, to limit the movement of the ambassador, legal methods must be followed. Great! God willing, the Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc will be submitting a petition to the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to summon the U.S. ambassador and ask her to adhere to diplomatic protocol and Vienna Convention. Our deputies will do this. We will not ask other deputies. We do not want to put anyone under the spotlight. This is the first step, but it is not enough.
The people in Lebanon also have a responsibility. Politicians and political forces, the Lebanese people, elites, media personnel, young and old, must raise their voice not in the defense of Hezbollah – we do not want anyone to defend us – but to defend Lebanon. They must raise the voice against starving Lebanon, besieging it, pitting the Lebanese people against each other, the pretentious intervention, the imposition of options or wills on the Lebanese people. You have to defend yourself, or else you can let her be.
Also, in this part, I wish that – I am keen to remain within the limits of decency while addressing her – I request that the U.S. ambassador not appear on our TV stations and lecture us and the Lebanese people about democracy, human rights, and sovereignty. Please do not talk about these because you represent a country that has waged wars, killed and displaced millions, the money and natural resources that you have plundered. Your country is still waging wars and killing all over the world.
Not to mention what is going on in the US, the inhumane actions taken against your people, racial discrimination, etc. You do not have any right to talk about human rights in Lebanon and lecture us. You, your country, and your administration.
Let's just talk about America's behavior in Lebanon, backing “Israel” and its wars on Lebanon before 1982 and the invasion in 1982. Tens of thousands of people were killed and wounded, and homes were destroyed.
You protected and supported all of “Israel's” wars against Lebanon. We are in July. The July 2006 war was an American decision and an American management. The blood of all the men, women, and children killed in the July war is in the hands of your criminal and murderous country that supports “Israel” and defend it. We do not need to prove this. All the Lebanese people know this.
Even regarding the takfiri terrorist organizations, your President, Trump, admits that it was the previous administration of your country that created Daesh and these terrorist organizations in the region. He accuses Clinton. Is Clinton Lebanese? Is Barak Obama Syrian or Palestinian? They are Americans. They were a president and a Secretary of State. They were the ones who created the takfiri terrorists. You are the one supporting the “Israeli” terrorism and are today empower “Israel” in oppressing the Palestinians and usurping the rest of their land in the West Bank.
So, you have no place saying these words. You should respect yourself, remain respectful, and know your boundaries. America has been exposed to the people of the region. This, of course, I am speaking to her as a representative of her country. Otherwise, this includes the entire State Department and every American administration – all of who are repeating the same thing.
One last advice for the American administration, and it is also good for the ambassador to hear and pass it on to her administration. You are waging a war on Lebanon. You are taking advantage of a circumstance in Lebanon that is a result of 30 to 40 years of accumulations of bad policies that led it to the current economic situation.
All Lebanese know that the economic, financial, monetary, and living conditions in Lebanon are caused by successive policies – corruption, waste, theft, irresponsible management of the situation, local and regional conditions, immigration, wars, etc.
As for pinning the situation in Lebanon on the resistance is something the Lebanese people will not allow.
The Lebanese people have reached a point where they are saying that is an economic crisis. While you have come to take advantage of this crisis and besiege the Lebanese people to impose options on them. Your most important objective is to isolate and weaken Hezbollah and end the resistance in Lebanon by starving the people and turning the Lebanese and its supporters against it. Wars have failed; the assassinations have failed; “Israel” has failed; the takfiris have failed; and all your efforts have failed. This is the last weapon in your hands.
I would love to advise you not to waste your time. First, this option will not bear fruit. Hezbollah will never surrender. The resistance in Lebanon will never surrender. Second, the policy that you are adopting regarding Lebanon – the blockade and the sanctions – will not weaken Hezbollah but rather strengthen it.
This policy will weaken your allies and influence. It will not make the resistance’s environment turn against it. Rather its adherence to the resistance will increase. The policy you are adopting will eventually make the rest of the Lebanese groups turn to the resistance and its local and regional allies because it will have no refuge after you push the country to collapse and starvation. With this policy, you are pushing Lebanon to be completely in this axis and with this team. Go and study it well.
Therefore, I invite you to abandon this policy. Do not torture the Lebanese people and do not punish them. Do not let the Lebanese people endure this ordeal that will not lead to a result.
In the first place, international law does not allow you to punish an entire people, starve them, and besiege them, as you did with many countries in the world from Syria to Iraq to Iran to Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea, as a means to punish or pressure a specific group. This will not lead to a result. Do not play this game and do not waste time.
The third part:
Regarding the regional part, I will talk briefly because I have already taken up a lot of your time. I apologize.
The most dangerous thing occurring now is the “Israeli” annexation of lands from the West Bank and the Jordan Valley. The Palestinian people are the only ones standing alone in this confrontation, with all their movements, factions, and forces. We're in constant contact with the different leadership of the Palestinian resistance factions.
Yesterday I received a message from the dear brother and head of Hamas’s political bureau, Mr. Ismail Haniyeh. We are in contact with the rest of the leadership.
What I want to say and call for at the end of this address regarding Lebanon and the countries and peoples of the region is that we must not forget the Palestinian cause despite our worries and the economic and living condition we are in. We must stand by our Palestinian brothers as a state, people, and resistance.
Anything we, the Lebanese state, and the other Lebanese factions alongside our Palestinian brothers can do in confronting this dangerous conspiracy, we must do because the its repercussions not only target Palestine and the Palestinian but also threatens Lebanon. it is known how its most dangerous repercussions will be on Lebanon.
Regionally, everyone must raise their voices, take a stand, be in contact with the Palestinian leaders and Palestinian forces, and cooperate in everything that can happen in the face of the annexation scheme.
Of course, we were like this in the past, but I liked to say today that this matter must be escalated because it is a sensitive, fateful, and historic moment.
Peace and Allah’s mercy and blessing be upon you.