8th anniversary of the Liberation of South Lebanon

SAYYED HASSAN NASRALLAH’S SPEECH IN BINT JBEIL ON MAY 26, 2000

On the Day of Resistance and Liberation, the day of historic and great triumph, we meet here in the heart of the region that regained the nation and was in turn regained by it, in the air of commemoration of the the 40th day of the anniversary of Imam Hussein’s Martyrdom, to emphasize again his sayings, to prove once more that blood here has overcome the sword, that blood has overpowered and defeated the sword, that blood has shattered every shackle, and humiliated every tyrant and oppressor.

We gather here to celebrate the victory that was made by Martyrdom, by blood. When we talk about this victory, about the liberation of the land, about the freedom of the human bing, about the dignity of the nation, about the glory of the Umma, we must remember all those who contributed to the making of this victory. We, the slaves of God, before anything else declare before the whole world that this victory has been granted us by God Almighty. It is He who guided us to the path of resistance. It is He who directed us on the right path. It is He who filled our hearts with tranquility and our souls with the love of Martyrdom. It is He who hit targets, He who destroyed the military positions and forts, He who killed the tyrants, He who made this victory. We thank and glorify Him, ask His forgiveness and submit to Him, and pray that He would complete our victory and liberate all the land and free all our brothers and the entire Umma that is suffering and oppressed.

We must speak first of the Martyrs, all the Martyrs, the Martyrs of the Resistance from Hezbollah, AMAL and the Lebanese national forces, the Martyrs of the Lebanese Army and the Syrian Arab Army, and the Martyrs of the Palestinian Resistance. We must acknowledge that after God Almighty, these Martyrs had the greatest role to play: to the Master of our Martyrs Sayyed Abbas al-Mussawi, to the Sheikh of our Martyrs Sheikh Ragheb Harb, to a dear brother who was a lover of Martyrdom — the Mujahid Sheikh Ahmad Yehya, who was Martyred recently, and who insisted on becoming the first Sheikh to execute a Martyrdom operation in the history of the conflict with the ‘Israeli’ enemy. We must express our gratitute to these Martyrs, from Ahmad Qassir, to Bilal Fahs to Ammar Hammoud: their pure blood has made this victory.

We must recognize the sacrifices of the Resistance fighters who left their homes, parents, universities, workplace, and spent their youth in combat and Jihad. We must also mention the families of the Martyrs, and the detainees who remain in prisons. We must mention the injured, and the families of all these people, and all those who brought up and prepared and founded for this line of struggle and resistance in Lebanon. We must not forget the Imam of the Mujahideen and the Martyrs, Imam Ruhollah al-Mussawi al-Khomeini, we must mention the first founder of the line of the resistance on Lebanese land, the disappeared Imam Mussa al-Sadr (may God bring him back safely). We must also bear in mind all the clerics who gave sacrifices and all those who worked so that there would be in Lebanon a Believing and Resisting people ready to offer sacrifices.

We must bear in mind the inhabitants of the “strip” who suffered and tasted tragedies, and the people of the villages on the front lines of confrontation who were bombed on a daily basis. We must bear in mind the public stance, and the political forces, personalities, parties, and associations, which embraced the Resistance. We must praise the public official stance, especially in this era, the era of President Emile Lahoud, and in the shadow of this government, the government of Prime Minister Salim el-Hoss. In addition, there are two men who must be mentioned, and two countries to which we must express our gratitute to and to which this victory is attributed as well: the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Syria — the Supreme Leader Khamenei and the Arab leader President Hafez al-Assad.

He who wants to be fair in diagnosing the truths must admit to the following: Ayatollah Sayyed Khamanei sponsored, supported, backed, and prayed for the sake of these fighters day and night for God to render them triumphant. The Islamic Republic stood by Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine, and tolerated all kinds of intimidations and threats on the one hand, and enormous temptations on the other hand, in order to abandon its support. However, it refused to do so, because the stance is doctrinal, moral, and humanitarian. Syria, which protected the Resistance and guarded it at every difficult juncture since the early days. Who can forget Syria in 1982 fighting against the ‘Israelis’ on Lebanese territory?Who can forget President Assad during the July 1993 war? Who can forget him in the April 1996 war? Who can forget him as he stood firm and steadfast in Damascus while the whole world had gathered in Sharm el Sheikh to condemn the Resistance and categorize it as terrorism, in order to defend ‘Israel’? Today, on this day of victory, on the Day of Resistace and Liberation, I thank on your behalf every Lebanese, Arab, and Muslim, and to every free man in this world, who backed the Resistance, stood by it and supported it in words, stance, the pen, money, supplications, and smile.

The first victory is the liberation of a large part of our land and many of the detainees in the prisons of the occupation. It inflicted a great defeat on the enemy thanks to Jihad, resistance, steadfastness, and sacrifice. Today, we are here enjoying our freedom and security, and the enemy jets do not dare aim at you. Those who fear and tremble at the sight of a wooden model of a Katyusha launcher at Kfar Kila are more cowardly than to dare come here today. Today we are on our land thanks to the blood of our Martyrs, thanks to our people, and not as a favor from anyone, not from the United Nations which failed to implement its Resolution 425 for 22 years, not from the Security Council or the U.S., not thanks to negotiations or the government of Barak, who left this land because he had no other choice but to leave it. These sacrifices are the ones that returned, for the first time, Arab territory, thanks to force and resistance.

The second victory is the manner in which the enemy was forced to withdraw. You imposed on them the timing, the tactic, and the method, and you proved after the withdrawal that you are a people worthy of this victory. ‘Israel’ was planning on withdrawing weeks later, and handing over its positions gradually to the militia of Lahd, and preserving some positions, such as the Beaufort castle and Dabshe and some other border positions, so that if the United Nations decided to execute the Resolution and the UNIFIL forces came to take over the regions from which it would be withdrawing from, it would secure the enemy a calm, dignified withdrawal, and the freeing of our prisoners in Khiam would be portrayed as a favor from the enemy. But, you rejected this, and the first town you stormed was Qantara, then Deir Seryan, Qasir, Taybe, and soon the other towns began to be liberated and the outposts to fall and the militias of Lahd to fall apart one after the other, and in one night the border strip became two halves, and the complete collapse started. The Cabinet of the enemy held a meeting and found itself faced with two choices: either to re-occupy the positions to face the Resistance and have more casualties, or to speed up its withdrawal. It opted for the latter, and exited in haste, leaving behind all these tanks, armored vehicles, outposts, and artillery, as a confirmation that what happened in South Lebanon is a total ‘Israeli’ defeat.

You imposed on this enemy the method and timing of the withdrawal, and you caused the failure of the enemy’s landmine represented by the Lahd militia. The enemy was gambling — it was betting on the fact that this militia would hold its positions and fire at us, which would be followed by the entry of a UN delegation to negotiate with the state, and in return for the evacuation of the outposts, the criminal traitors and collaborators would receive amnesty. This, too, is over, it ended with the most humiliating picture possible for these agents, whose pictures you saw, the pictures of their humiliation at the gates of occupied Palestine. You saw how the enemy abandoned them. And then the world and the ‘Israeli’ enemy itself were betting on the fact that this area would not be happy with a victory, that it would not celebrate a liberation, it was betting that this area would enter a dark phase and sedition that knew no bounds, that families from this village would go to seek revenge from families from the same village or another village, or that this sect would attack that sect. The enemy imagined that villages would be destroyed (the same way that the town of Haneen was destroyed) and blood would be shed and massacres committed, but you proved and the Resistance proved, in congruence with the state, that the people of Lebanon, the state of Lebanon, and the Resistance of Lebanon, and all the sects of Lebanon are worthy of the victory, and today they are celebrating the victory.

This area post-‘Israel’ has entered a phase of light, and came out of a phase of darkness after 22 years of repression and arrest of citizens by the Lahd militia, whose families are still here, despite their destruction of houses and the repression at their hands in the past. Was a single person killed? I said a few days ago: when the Nazi army collapsed in France, the “civilized” French army executed 10,000 French collaborators without trial. The Resistance in Lebanon and Lebanon are more civilized than France and the rest of the world. Was anyone killed? Anyone beaten? Was one drop of blood shed at the entire length of this land? This was the perfect scene that astonished the world. This was the military and political victory that was achieved. Yes, mistakes can happen, and the whole world was astonished because they know that in such cases elsewhere, there would be killing, destruction, massacres, theft and looting. But what hapened here? Perhaps there were a few mistakes from thieves and trespassers, but that is a very small part of the bigger picture. Why do some people insist to place the civilized image such as this one on the same level as the few mistakes that happened in the area? I tell them: abandon your fears, come out of your grudges, be true Lebanese and true patriots in this historic moment.

I would like to clarify some points:

First: we must preserve this achievement and victory, strengthen and fortify it, and this requires more effort and bigger sacrifices, as well as greater modesty from everyone.

Second: we must prove this region that we are worthy of victory. We have proven this over the past few days, but do not let anyone to enter the line and ruin this victory over the coming days and weeks. I am not talking about fears, but we are in the neighborhood of an enemy that cannot tolerate all this joy on your faces, for it is accustomed to see aching and sad faces. It can’t tolerate to see the joy in your eyes, for it got accustomed to seeing tears in your eyes. Here, no one must be afraid, not of the Christians and not of the Muslims. I won’t enumerate the villages and towns, but I say: this is the responsibility of everyone, everyone must bear the responsibility. If there is a simple problem we can solve it, but if we magnify the problem we would be losing the opportunity, and striking a blow at our co-existence, so let us keep things in their proper size. This region is in need of fortification after this dark history. It is the responsibility of Muslim and Christian clerics, of political forces present in the area, of activists, intellectuals, and all our people, to work on nursing the wounds in every town and between all the families.

Third: the collaborators are a lesson to all the Lebanese, and this is a new experience. You saw how they were humiliated, how they accuse their leader of betraying them. Antoine Lahd the agent says: we were loyal to ‘Israel’ for 25 years and it betrayed us and left us in one night. This must be a lesson for every Lebanese, Muslim or Christian, that ‘Israel’ does not care about and is not interested in anyone in Lebanon, and it lies on the Christians and Muslims when it claims it is cautious for them. What is important for ‘Israel’ in Lebanon are its interests, benefits, and greed. We, Muslims and Christians, in the eyes of these zionists are nothing but servants and slaves for God’s “chosen people”. Some Lebanese must understand this truth and benefit from these lessons. The Lebanese people should know that their choice must be a patriotic choice, that they must not make mistakes with their sectarian calculations for it would lead them to ‘Israel’. The interests of all sects in Lebanon lay in their patriotic choice. The choice must be an Arab one, to fortify national security in Lebanon, to fortify this area. The agents must stand trial, and held accountable for their deeds, and face the harshest punishment, so that they would set an example for the future, so that there would be no landmine or fuse in this region that might be used by anyone, neither an excited revolutionary nor a preying spiteful individual.

Fourth: on this day of victory, with regards to this area, I declare that we in Hezbollah do not want to be a substitute for the state. We are not a security authority, and will not be so; we are not a security reference, and will not be so. The state is responsible for this area. The state has sovereignty over it, and the state decides whom it should send: security forces, fortifying police stations, or deploying other security apparatuses. We do not bear any security responsibility in this region at all.

Fifth: responsibility for development and reconstruction: the extent of the destruction in this area needs a state. Of course, Hezbollah has offered blood and sacrifices, and we will extend our helping hand, but the responsibility is the responsibility of the state, and the state must deal with this area on the developmental level urgently and exceptionally. Here I emphasize that the extent of needed work in terms of development and reconstruction and services is vast and exceeds the capabilities of any one foundation. It exceeds the capabilities of any one ministry. All the ministries of the state must be alerted to come here and bear their responsiblities here, meaning the liberated areas from the South to the Western Beqa`a, the confrontation villages which bore the brunt of the Resistance more than other villages, because they were subject to continuous bombardment and aggression and attacks. But when we talk about developing this area as part of the reconstruction process, we must remember that there is a region to which the Resistance owes a great favour: the Ba’albak-Hermel area. This is where the Islamic Resistance was founded, and sheltered the Mujahideen from the South and Beirut. Ba’albak is the city that was subjected to continuous aerial bombardment, and sustained, on the developmental and economic levels enormous losses, and offered hundreds of Martyrs. It is hard to find a village in the Ba`albak-Hermel area in particular, and the Beqa`a in general, which has not given Martyrsfor the liberation of the South and the Western Beqa`a. This area, which remained steadfast for all these years, because its priority was liberation, was convinced along with us that the priority of liberation was worthy of patience and endurance. The son of Ba`albak-Hermel who offered the blood of his son for the liberation of the South endured hunger and deprivation, and now, the development of this region must be on par and synchronized with the development of the South. We are talking about an emergency committee for both areas, if we want to be loyal to the weak, the deprived, the suffering poor people who fought and made the victory.

Sixth: I tell all the Lebanese people, you must treat this as a victory for all the Lebanese, not a victory of a party or a movement or an organization. This is not a victory of one sect and the defeat of another. Wrong and ignorant is he who thinks that or says that. This is the victory of Lebanon, and the Resistance was a strength for the country, and will remain so. The Resistance used to show humbleness when it triumphed, used to show humbleness when it was lifted high by the Martyrs. I tell you: you will find the Islamic Resistance more humble than ever before, because in this victory we feel how great and powerful and mighty God is, and how weak we, human beings, are. If we depend on ourselves we remain defeated, whereas God is the absolute omnipotent. I promise you that this victory will not be exploited at the expense of this country or at the expense of any segment of the people of our beloved country.

Seventh: today, Barak calls upon Lebanon to consider the withdrawal a message of peace. This is trickery: he left Lebanon without any options, then he calls on us to consider the withdrawal “peace” after the killing of tens of thousands of civilians, and no less than 1276 Hezbollah Martyrs, and if we count the tens of thousands of Martyrs from the brothers in the Islamic and Lebanese national forces, what will the total be? After tens of thousands of civilians were killed in Lebanon, after our country was destroyed and economy shattered, and keeping in mind he still keeps our prisoners in his jails, and continues to occupy a land that is dear to us, the Sheb`a Farms, at the same time as he welcomes the millionth Russian immigrant and declares readiness for Palestine to welcome another million immigrants over the coming years and refuses the return of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and elsewhere to their homeland, what message of peace is Barak talking about? Then he starts to threaten and intimidate Lebanon. Regarding these threats and intimidations, I tell you: Sheikh Abdel Karim Obeid and Abu Ali al-Dirani and Samir al-Quntar, and every prisoner in the ‘Israeli’ jails will return to you soon, God willing. Barak and his government have no other choice. I advise him to leave the Sheb`a Farms and solve this problem. The days will prove that he has no other choice. International decisions do not concern us. We understand that there is occupied Lebanese territory which must be returned to Lebanon. The prisoners shall return, and the remaining land will be liberated, and there will be no options for this defeated enemy. As for the threats, we are not afraid of it; they are the ones who are afraid along the length of this border and this strip.

They were afraid of some women and children standing near the barbed wire, afraid of a stone hurled at them. You are here in Bint Jbeil safe and happy, and they are along the length of their colonies in northern Palestine afraid and terroized in the face of an unknown future. The era during which we used to be afraid of ‘Israeli’ threats and intimidation is over. It knows that the era in which its jets used to violate our airspace is over, the era in which its tanks violated our lands is over, and the era in which its boats violated our territorial waters is over, and that any assault on Lebanon will not be met with a complaint to the Security Council or with tears, that it will be confronted with nothing but resistance. If ‘Israel’ assaults Lebanon it will pay high costs.

Eighth: O Lebanese people, you are in front of big entitlements, the entitlement to the completion of liberation and the return of the prisoners, the building of the institutions of the state. With this harmony between the Resistance and the state, this sense of national responsibility, with this unity concerning the country, we can face all that and build for us and for the future generations a new Lebanon, whose strength will be in its power, in its blood, in its steadfastness, its might, its defiance of all storms. The new Lebanon will be a country of true co-existence. From now on neither a Muslim nor a Christian should let the zionists play with us, with our generations, our youth. The new Lebanon is a country for harshness in the face of invaders, a country for mercy in the dealings of its people, communities, and sects with one another.

Ninth: this victory we offer to our oppressed people in Palestine, and to the people of our Arabic and Islamic Umma. From liberated Bint Jbeil I address the people of oppressed, tortured, persecuted Palestine. O people of Palestine: your destiny lies in your hands, your land you can restore with your will, with the choice of Izz al-Din al-Qassam, with the blood of Fat’hi al-Shiqaqi and Yehya `Ayyash. You can retrieve your land without any favor — a street here, a village there — from the zionist. You can return your people to their homeland with pride and dignity, without begging anyone. You can restore your land and inalienable rights even if the whole world has abandoned you. O people of Palestine, the road to Palestine, your road to freedom is that of resistance and uprising, true resistance and real uprising, not the uprising in the context of Oslo, not in the service of the relinquishing negotiator in Stockholm. A resistance that is not satisfied except with full rights, just as in Lebanon. All of Lebanon refuses that a small part of its land remain under occupation. This is the Lebanese example that we offer to our people in Palestine. In order to liberate your land you do not need tanks nor strategic balance, nor rockets nor cannons. By following the way of the past Martyrs who shocked the usurping zionist entity and terrorized it, you can have your land back, O oppressed and besieged Palestinians. You can force the zionist invaders to return to where they came from — the Falasha to Ethiopa, the Russian Jews to Russia. The choice is yours, and the example is before your eyes. Honest and true resistance can create a dawn of freedom for you. Dear brothers and loved ones in Palestine, I tell you: This ‘Israel’ that possesses nuclear weapons and the strongest air force in the region, by God, it is weaker than the spider’s web.

But, if you want to rely on great powers like you used to rely on the Soviet Union, you will not reach an outcome. If you are waiting for the international community, you will not have a result. If you are betting on equations, you will not reach to a result.

O people of Palestine: “If you assist the cause of Allah, He will assist you and make your feet firm.”
O people of Palestine: “If Allah assists you, none can overcome you.”

And I tell our Arab and Muslim peoples: O Arab nation, O Arab and Islamic worlds, disgrace and defeat and humiliation and shame are a thing of the past. This victory lays the foundation of a new historic era and closes the door on a past era. Put despair aside and arm yourselves with hope. Put weakness aside and strengthen yourselves with determination and will. Today, in the name of all the Martyrs in Lebanon, in the name of all the repressed people in Lebanon, I demand Arab governments to, at a minimum, stop normalizing relations with ‘Israel’, to cut their ties with ‘Israel’, to impose their stances and decisions on ‘Israel’. And I demand the Arab peoples to stand in support of Palestine and the people of Palestine, to refuse any form of normalization with this enemy. The great ‘Israel’ was defeated by the Resistance. The mighty ‘Israel’ can be defeated by resistance, and one of its improtant forms is resistance to normalization.

In Lebanon, this country of victory, of national and Arab-Islamic pride, of dignity, sacrifice, Resistance, and Martyrdom, I salute all the resistance fighters who defend this country. I tell them, I tell the Islamic Resistance, the Lebanese Brigades for the Resistance Against Occupation, the Lebanese Resistance Battalions-AMAL, the National Resistance Front, and the people: O Lebanese people: we are in the neighborhood of a conspiring enemy. Their nature is aggression and terror. Their racist nature forces them to continuously conspire.

We must therefore remain, all of us, in a state of continuous preparedness. We must preserve our resistance, our Army, our state, our internal national unity, in order to fortify this victory and prove that Lebanon is the castle that neither storms nor hurricanes can defeat, and the strongest of earthquakes cannot crack.

Blessed be this victory to the Lebanese, Arabs, Muslims and Christians, and all the oppressed people of the world, to the spirit of Imam Khomeini, to Mussa al-Sadr, to the Supreme Leader Khamenei, to President Assad, to every Lebanese, every Martyr, every honest Arab. Blessed be this victory, which placed the entire Umma at the gates of a new phase of coming victories, and ‘Israel’ at the gate of the phase of coming defeats.

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