December 29, 2009 Special Dispatch No. 2719

Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah Threatens: Lebanon's Christians Must Learn from Their Failed Bets on the U.S. and Israel – And from the Situation of Iraq's Christians

December 29, 2009
Lebanon | Special Dispatch No. 2719

Several days ago on December 23, 2009, former Lebanese prime minister and Kataeb (Phalangist) party chairman Amin Gemayel announced that his faction in the Lebanese parliament intended to appeal to the Constitutional Council over Article 6 of the Ministerial Statement of Sa'd Al-Hariri's government, which grants legitimacy to Hizbullah's weapons.[1]

In response, Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, in a December 27, 2009 speech marking the 'Ashura, called on Lebanon's Christians to learn from the situation of Iraq's Christians – whom "not even the mighty U.S. army there can protect." He also called on them to consider their options for the future, and to learn from past disappointments when they had pinned their hopes on Israel and/or the U.S.

Following are excerpts from Nasrallah's speech: [2]

Lebanon's Christians "Must Examine the Outcome of the Bets Some of Them Placed on the U.S. Administration"

"I say to you on this day: We [Hizbullah] are men of patience, men of sacrifice, men of steadfastness. We cannot be provoked, and we will not be ensnared by the provocation of some of the political forces in the domestic Lebanese arena.

"We understand the background and the circumstances [that led these forces to provoke us]. In the past, they wanted to attack Syria and the [Lebanese] opposition, and also attacked the resistance. [But] today they cannot attack Syria, [since,] Allah be praised, we have entered a new phase in relations [with that country]. Attacking the opposition in general is [also] somewhat difficult [today,] since the ministers of both the opposition and the coalition are in a single government. [Therefore], the [only] thing remaining for them is [to attack] the resistance and its weapons.

"All right, we understand this situation, and we say that we will not be ensnared by any provocation or [attempt] to create tension in Lebanon's political atmosphere…

"I want to address the Christians in Lebanon… I call on the Christians in Lebanon to conduct a calm discussion, far from the inflammatory speeches, inciting declarations and the like. [I call on them to conduct] a calm discussion amongst themselves regarding the options [that they will choose] for this [stage] and for the future. [I call on them] to benefit from past experience, to consider the experience of the previous decades, and [to examine] the outcome of the bets some of them placed… on Israel. Where did these bets lead Lebanon, particularly the Lebanese Christians? They must examine also the outcome of the bets some of them placed on the U.S. administration, and where these bets led Lebanon, particularly Lebanon's Christians."

"The [Entire] Mighty [U.S.] Miltary in Iraq cannot Protect Iraq's Christians"

"Today we have the example of Iraq before us. One hundred and fifty thousand U.S. troops, [all their] military bases, and the [entire] mighty [U.S.] miltary in Iraq cannot protect Iraq's Christians. It has reached the point where they cannot assemble in their churches to mark the birth of the Messiah, may He rest in peace. Can the U.S. provide them with the longed-for protection? We are not talking about [the situation] a century ago. We are talking about our time.

"I call on [the Lebanese Christians] to accurately read the international changes, the considerations, and the interests, [and to examine] how international and regional agreements are crafted, and at whose expense. I say to them as a [fellow] Lebanese that the interest of the Christians in Lebanon is in Lebanon, and nowhere else. It is in their interest to show openness, to cooperate, and to integrate with the other Lebanese. It is in their interest that no one will bring them into rivalry, enmity, and wars with the other Lebanese.

"The [Lebanese] Christians must not consent to [a situation in which a certain group] among them constantly continues to push them to suicide on the phony pretext of fear [of Hizbullah]…"

[1] Al-Safir (Lebanon), December 23, 2009.

[2], December 27, 2009.

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