The following are English-translated excerpts from a speech delivered by Hezbollah’s leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on November the 11th, 2021.
Source: Spot Shot Video (YouTube)
Date: November 11, 2021
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Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s Secretary General:
Israel is suffering from an unprecedented, deep existential crisis
Israel during the ‘Arab Spring’ era began to speak about a strategic environment that is highly favorable to it, you all remember this. Israel has once gone back (to a state of) anxiety. Anxiety about Lebanon, about Palestine, about the region and about its existence. Look at the (Israeli military) maneuvers – that began a couple of days ago in the north of occupied Palestine – and will continue for one month. They used to conduct a maneuver once a year, but now they conduct one every few months. Why are they conducting these maneuvers in the north of occupied Palestine? Is it because there are ‘musical groups’ in Lebanon? They use to talk about (musical) bands in 1967 (i.e. when Israeli officials would joke that the Israeli army could seize Lebanon merely by using a musical band). Well no, it is because they are afraid of Lebanon. For the first time in the history of this entity, (for the first time) in more than 70 years, Israel is afraid of Lebanon.
Israel is not afraid of Lebanon launching a missile, a Katyusha (missile) or an explosive device at it. It is rather afraid that (a force from) Lebanon will storm a large area of its territory in the north via a ‘Battle of Galilee’ (scenario). Today, the terms ‘Galilee’ and the ‘Battle of Galilee’ have become powerfully present within the Israeli conscience and culture, and within the military calculations of the Israeli political and military leaders. Consequently, they fortify (and build) walls, alter the (physical) geography (or landscape), bring (various military) divisions to the borders, and hold semi-monthly or semi-seasonal maneuvers in the northern region. They perform the maneuvers based on the possibility that the resistance in Lebanon (Hezbollah) will enter the Galilee (region). If what I’m saying is simply media (propaganda), then why would the Israelis need all these measures, steps, maneuvers, (and commit all of these) resources and (carry out) all of these efforts? This is evidence that Israel believes in (the capabilities) of the resistance in Lebanon. It believes that (Hezbollah) keeps its promises. It strongly believes in the abilities and greatness of its men, (and believes) in its exceptional position (today), and (believes) in the importance of its strategic minds and it acts on this basis. (Israel) does not tolerate, nor does it belittle, nor (does it have a) complacent (attitude) towards Hezbollah.
(Israel) is anxious/concerned about Lebanon, about this ground force, which they fear may enter the Galilee or north(ern) region. If such a thing were to occur, it would have major repercussions on the (very) existence of the Israeli entity. The issue is not a question of thousands or hundreds of kilometers that the resistance (may) liberate, but rather, (it is to do with) the repercussions of this step on this entity (and its existence). (The Israelis) view it from this strategic angle, and not from a (rigidly) territorial perspective with limited influence. Israel is (also) concerned about the resistance’s missiles, especially the precision-guided missiles. They are anxious about Lebanon. Therefore, they are concerned about a (possible) war with Lebanon.
In Lebanon, everyone – with the exception of a few – have forgotten about (potential future) war with Israel. People in Lebanon are concerned with (accessing sufficient) oil derivatives, the price of petrol and diesel, unemployment, and the dollar exchange rate. As for the (Israeli) entity, its people live with anxiety about a (future) war with Lebanon. Therefore, they are thinking day and night about these matters and (continuously reformulating) their calculations. This is one of the blessings of the pure blood of our martyrs.
Even at the regional level, the (Israelis) are living with existential anxiety, especially after the ‘Sword of al-Quds’ (battle) and after the uprising of the Palestinian people in the West Bank, al-Quds (Jerusalem), Gaza, and within the 1948 territories. Free up some time to follow and read what the current and former Israeli officials – from Bennett to Lapid, to Netanyahu, to military personnel and politicians – are saying about the current state of Israeli society, how it is on the verge of (sinking into) the abyss, for reasons that I will not discuss now because we don’t have enough time for that.
(Israel is also) concerned about the strength of the Axis (of Resistance), which is increasingly progressing, developing, becoming stronger, clinching more victories and getting out of all the difficulties and wars that surrounded it for at least (the last) 10 years. The funny thing is that some people here in Lebanon present an assessment that says that the Axis of Resistance in the region is getting weaker, and it is their axis that is getting stronger, with the knowledge that all (available) facts confirm the opposite. I do not know where they read, with what eyes do they see, and with what minds do they analyse the situation in the region. Nevertheless, we are before a new situation that we will discuss more later.
It is the first time that the Israeli entity experiences such a deep existential anxiety. Today, there are questions among the elites and people of this entity regarding the legitimacy of the (Israeli regime/entity) and the (to what extent is it still) possible for it to continue (as an entity). Can we remain in this region in the face of all these internal and regional transformations and challenges? The (Israelis) are trying to breathe (i.e. catch a breath, gain some respite) through normalization (efforts), that is, by building relations with some Arab states, but the Israelis know deep down that all these states will not be able to protect neither their occupation nor their walls nor their castles from the men of the resistance in Lebanon, Palestine, and the entire region. They know this. They are comforting themselves with the normalisation efforts that we are witnessing in the region. Therefore, what we (have) achieved today is huge.
We even understand what is going on inside occupied Palestine (from this lens). This unjustified and increasing violence against the prisoners, the people of al-Quds, in the Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan, and other neighborhoods, and against the Palestinians in the 1948 territories and the West Bank, together with the tightening of the siege on Gaza, (all this violence and brutality) is not a sign of strength, but rather a sign of anxiety, fear, and panic, because whoever resorts to this level of violence and this level of injustice is weak, afraid and anxious. This is from the achievements of (our) martyrs.
‘Yemen’s victory over Saudi Arabia will have huge & region-wide ramifications’
Regarding the issue of Yemen, if (the problem with Hezbollah) is our (supportive) media stance – Hezbollah has been clearly (supporting) Yemen since the first night the war was launched on Yemen and the Yemeni people. We’ve been giving speeches (in support of Yemen) for 7 years, and you (Saudi Arabia) have punished us (by) blocking the broadcast of (the Hezbollah-owned) Al-Manar TV (via Saudi-based) Arabsat and Nilesat (satellite operators), and you’ve punished us as a party and we said it’s alright, we accept this punishment and we consider it a sacrifice for the sake of our honorable humanitarian, moral, and faithful stance (with which we support) the Yemeni people and (stand against) the aggression on Yemen. We weren’t upset (at all), we said ‘okay, it’s fine with us’.
We’ve been upholding our stance for 7 years. Actually, in the last few months, we barely talked (about Yemen) as we were preoccupied (in Lebanon with issues related to) diesel and gasoline (shortages), (the increasing) dollar (exchange rate), and (traffic jams caused by cars lining up at) gas stations and so on…so, (if we spoke) about Yemen (during this time) it would make the Lebanese people (wonder) and say: ‘look (how troubled) we are, (yet) Sayyed (Nasrallah) and Hezbollah are concerned about (external affairs)’. So recently, it’s quite the opposite – if someone wishes to evaluate the media attacks by Hezbollah against Saudi Arabia and the Saudi war (on Yemen), (they would see) that in fact it has been less than ever, because of the preoccupation of Hezbollah (with internal Lebanese affairs), so why (does Saudi Arabia put pressure on Lebanon because of Hezbollah) now, if the issue was related to (Hezbollah’s support for Yemen through the) media?
Indeed, the issue of Yemen – (dear) brothers and sisters, and O’ Lebanese people, you should know why (Saudi Arabia) is causing you trouble, (it’s because they fear the fall of) Ma’rib, it’s because of the aggressive war on Yemen and the consequences of (this) war. There is no need – as there isn’t enough time – for analysing (this matter much), (however,) after 7 years of (ongoing) war, hundreds of billions of dollars, hundreds of billions of dollars (were spent funding this war) during the past 7 years, and the result of this war was failure, a complete failure (for the Saudis).
It suffices to (prove this failure) to quote (the statements) of a man who’s well known by the Lebanese, a man who’s known by politicians, parties, and especially the NGOs who used to hold meetings with him at the (US) embassy, (he’s none other than David) Schenker, do you remember him? That Schenker guy. What did he say a few days ago? He said that ‘the fall of Ma’rib would be a defeat for Riyadh and Washington’, ‘the fall of Ma’rib would mean that the other side has won the Yemen war’. That’s Schenker (saying it), not someone from the Axis of Resistance. The ramifications of (the Saudi defeat) in Ma’rib will be huge in Yemen, and throughout the region, and Saudi Arabia is aware of this.
Here, one might think, perhaps the fabricated (Saudi diplomatic) crisis with Lebanon is as follows: ‘O people of Lebanon, our problem is with Hezbollah, you (should) pressure Hezbollah’. Some assume that this (fabricated crisis is designed to be a) pressure (tool) on Lebanon so that Lebanon would pressure Hezbollah, and Hezbollah would (consequently) pressure Ansarullah to stop the war in Yemen. (Well,) if the Saudis think that way, it means their minds are (at least) working (i.e. they’re exerting some intellectual energy), (it means) they’re not only venting their anger on us! Yet, this issue is not true, it’s not reasonable – yes, sometimes one might busy his mind with unreasonable issues. Okay why (is it not reasonable)? (Simply) because – and here I want to make something clear – some talked about it in Lebanon, and some friends of ours were taken (by it) and considered it a feat for Hezbollah, (in fact,) from one side, it would be a feat for us (to be leading the fight against Saudi Arabia in Yemen), however, it is not true. We do not need baseless feats – thank God – we have (countless actual) feats (to be proud of); our martyrs are our glory, isn’t that what Sayyed Abbas (Al-Musawi) used to say? They are our history that speaks for itself, they’re our honor and our glories, and all that you wish to say (in praise of them).
(What am I referring to?). It was claimed that during the Saudi-Iranian talks in Baghdad – when the Saudis spoke to the Iranians about the Yemen issue, they asked them to let Hezbollah in Lebanon solve this issue, while others (even) said (the Saudis asked the Iranians) to (let) Sayyed Hassan (Nasrallah resolve the matter directly). This is not true, (none of) this happened in (the) Baghdad (talks), no such thing happened between the Saudis and the Iranians. In fact, (during) the four rounds of negotiations, neither Lebanon, nor Hezbollah were mentioned at all, whether regarding the Yemen issue or any other issue.
Indeed, the Saudis asked the Iranians to (resolve) the issue of Yemen, and the Iranians told them (they should) talk to (none other than) the Yemenis, (they need to address the Yemenis, and) they have Sayyed Abdel Malek (al-Houthi), Ansarullah, and their representatives inside and outside (Yemen to talk to). (The Iranians said,) ‘negotiate with them, and we’re ready to help with (whatever you) agree (on), however, we are not representatives – we do not represent Yemen, nor do we act by proxy (on behalf of them) or intend to negotiate on behalf of Yemenis’.
The brothers in Iran indeed act as such, whether regarding the Yemeni issue or any other issue; they never negotiated (any issue) on behalf of anyone, neither a Lebanese, nor a Bahraini, Iraqi, Palestinian, Syrian, Afghani or any other (party). The Yemenis are out there, (the Saudis can directly talk to them), and no one mentioned Hezbollah (in the Saudi-Iranian talks), keep this in mind as definitive and solid clarification (regarding Hezbollah’s relation to the Yemen war) – and it’s not that we weren’t informed about the talks, (in fact,) I’m privy to the minutes of the sessions that took place in Baghdad, (and) nothing like that happened.
So, where does the confusion of the Saudis lie at this point? Perhaps they have certain confusion which they demonstrated on more than one occasion; they imagine that the one leading the fronts in Yemen is Hezbollah – the leaders of Hezbollah – and those victories are being achieved because of Hezbollah, and the defeats inflicted on it (i.e., Saudi Arabia) are because of Hezbollah. Yet, these (claims) are only groundless delusions. The victories in Yemen were produced by Yemeni leaders, Yemeni fighters, Yemeni minds, Yemeni will, Yemeni faith, Yemeni wisdom, Yemeni miracles, and a divine victory for Yemen!
This is what’s (actually) happening in Yemen, you (Saudis) are deluded if you’re holding us responsible (for the Yemen issue). However, there is a problem with the Saudi mind, (their perception of issues) related to Yemen and all neighbouring states, which is arrogance and contempt of people, (believing) that they are superior to others, and that others are of lesser minds, (but in fact, things) are not like that (at all)!
If you tell the Saudis that Ansarullah and the Yemenis are really producing drones (themselves), they won’t believe you, (if you tell them) that they’re manufacturing ballistic missiles – they won’t believe you, that they’re even making (their) bullets, shells, and mortars – they won’t believe you. But this is a truth; those people (i.e., Yemenis) are highly intelligent, we know them up close (and personal), and we do not deny this. Therefore, this is a fallacious pretext! The issue of Yemen cannot be a pretext by which the Saudis punish Lebanon as a whole; if you (Saudis) want to punish Hezbollah, go for it, we’ve got no problem (with that), boycott us, fight us, do whatever you can against Hezbollah – you’re already doing it (anyway), you’ve been (fighting) Hezbollah since the 2006 war, day and night, but what’s the fault of the Lebanese people and the Lebanese state?
(Look at) the Americans, they followed a path, and eventually discovered that they’re harming the Lebanese people, their allies and friends, and it seems that they began to reconsider (the approach they’re following) at some point – however, this issue is yet to be revealed, whether they’re reconsidering (it) or not. Therefore, this is a fallacious pretext.
I say to Saudi Arabia: if you really wish to end the issue of Yemen, it cannot be resolved by pressures on Lebanon, nor even by pressures on Hezbollah in Lebanon or on anyone else in the world! There’s only one way (to do that), which is to accept a ceasefire, lift the siege (on Yemen), and go towards political negotiations. Any other way (will not avail you), neither (by going to) the US, nor (to) the UN Security Council, nor (to) the Arab League states, (nor by) severing diplomatic relations, or fabricating a crisis with states like Lebanon or any other (state), (none of this) could change anything or alter a letter of what’s being written (in the history books) by the mujahid, oppressed, and victorious Yemen! That’s the only way – there is no other way!
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