January 28, 2009 Special Dispatch No. 2172

Hizbullah Secretary-General Nasrallah Urges Egyptian Officers to Rebel Against Their Regime's Policies, Calls For Demonstrations in Arab and Muslim World to Pressure Governments

January 28, 2009
Egypt | Special Dispatch No. 2172

On December 28, 2008, Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, launched an unprecedented attack on the Arab regimes, particularly that of Egypt, accusing them of collaborating with Israel. Speaking on Hizbullah's Al-Manar TV, Nasrallah called for demonstrations to be held throughout the Arab world to pressure the Arab regimes to halt the Israeli offensive, and to compel Egypt to open the Rafah crossing. He also called on the Egyptian masses to storm the Rafah crossing and open it by force, saying that anyone killed in these actions will be a martyr for Jerusalem and for Islam.

Following are excerpts from an English translation of Nasrallah's statements, posted on the Hizbullah website. [1]

Some Arab Regimes Are Urging Israel to Crush Hamas and Helping It To Do So

"As Lebanese, we can understand what is happening in Gaza well. It is the same as what happened here [i.e. the 2006 war with Israel]. The same choices are offered, the same battle, the same collusion and, God willing, the same consequence and result...

"Brothers and sisters... It is clear that there is an ongoing American-'Israeli' project in the region that wants to impose an unequal settlement on the rest of the Arabs, after Egypt and Jordan [have] signed so-called peace treaties with 'Israel.' Palestine, Lebanon and Syria remain, and the Americans and Zionists want to settle the issue according to their conditions. Palestinians, Lebanese and Syrians are to obey and surrender to these conditions, and are not allowed any other option.

"[The] Americans and Zionists work to impose these conditions by force – through pressure, blockade, internal strife [instigated in order] to trap resistance movements in internal sedition, through media, political and psychological warfare, [and through] assassinations and wars. [The goal] is to subdue those who have not yielded so far to [the] American and 'Israeli' conditions [to their] and will.

"Some Arab regimes are true partners and part of this project. It is not [just that] there is Arab silence – there is real and complete partnership in this. I do not mean all Arabs or all Arab regimes, but particularly [those] that have signed so-called 'peace treaties' with 'Israel.' They are working today at every level – politically, psychologically, socially, culturally and [through] media, security and the military [apparatuses] – on preparing the [ground] for the surrender of [those who resist] the American-Zionist project [regarding] the Palestinian question and the Arab-'Israeli' conflict.

"So let us be very clear, we are [facing] a partnership and the complicity of some Arab countries in what is happening in our region.

"The 2006 war was waged against us in Lebanon with Arab consent, at certain times upon Arab request. The 'Israelis' were crystal clear when they revealed this, and the Arab regimes cannot deny this because the 'Israelis' might possess evidence [of] their collusion – [proof] that the 'Israelis' were contacted [by Arabs] and asked to '[get] rid of' Hizbullah. When the war started, [the Arabs] were comforting the 'Israelis' after their initial failure in the first few days, yet those Arab regimes continued to demand 'Israel' to eliminate Hizbullah and 'cut Hizbullah's head off.'

"[The same thing] is happening in Gaza today. Those same sides are asking 'Israel' to eliminate Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and the rest of the resistance factions, to [chop off] the heads of the mujahideen and resistance fighters, to do away with [them] and settle this battle once and for all. In fact they are helping the Zionist entity in this, and this is the truth...

"I even say to you that some of these Arab regimes are the real and original cause behind [the] internal Palestinian division and fighting. These regimes contributed, instigated, financed and armed, [until] the situation [deteriorated to the point] of fighting between [the] Palestinian factions, just as they did before in Lebanon...

"[These Arabs] are not neutral, they are not even uncomfortable – they are convinced of what they [are doing] and are doing [it out of] commitment to the project, and this is a very unfortunate thing. Then, when infighting and internal division in Palestine or Lebanon happen, these same Arab regimes use that as [an] excuse to pull out and say, 'Well, look at the Palestinians. When they kill each other what are we [supposed] to do?' Regrettably, they use [this excuse] only to evade [their] responsibility towards Palestine or Lebanon.

"In the July 2006 war, and today in the Gaza Strip, no one asked these Arab regimes to open a front and fight [instead] of the Lebanese... or the Palestinians, but only to make a fair and appropriate political stand, at least on media level. [But today], as in the July War, we find [that] the Arab regimes hold the victims responsible."

At Height Of Blockade On Gaza, Egypt's FM Said: "We'll Break the Legs of Anyone Who Attempts to Cross into Egypt"

"Yesterday, we heard an Egyptian official [i.e., Egyptian FM Ahmad Abu Al-Gheit] [saying that] the side that 'aborted the Palestinian national dialogue efforts [was] responsible for what is happening in Gaza.' By that he meant Hamas. He then added that, in the [Egyptian] view, [the Egyptians] had issued warnings, and 'those who did not heed them [must] bear the responsibility on their own!' Could any human being believe such talk coming from an Arab person or official?

"At the height of the blockade on Gaza, when Gaza was suffering from hunger and illness, that same person said, 'we will break the legs of anyone [who] attempts to cross into Egypt!'... By God, life has no value in the shadows of such figures and leaders, [who] plot and plan against the nation. When 300 martyrs [are] massacred in Gaza in minutes, an Arab official stands [up] to declare [that] he holds the victims and the martyrs responsible for the confrontation, as if expected Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and the Palestinian factions in Gaza to agree to an extension of the calm [that meant nothing but] blockade, starvation and humiliation [for Gaza] in the past six months!..."

The Arab Peoples Must Take to the Streets and Force Their Governments to Act – Anyone Who Is Killed Will Be a Martyr

"But what is the responsibility of the nation today? We as a nation are faced with a central goal [that] we ought to aim for in the current crisis: ...stopping the Zionist attack on Gaza and not allowing this attack to achieve any of its goals, purposes or objectives, [so that] the victory will be for Gaza despite the great sacrifices. Every state should work toward this goal, not only the citizens of Gaza.

"People whose governments have not taken any action at all should force their governments to act. It is not at all justifiable for people to say, 'We cannot move because of [our] repressive regimes.' We ought to [take to] the streets in the Arab and Islamic world, raise our voice to the world and put pressure on our governments. Even if they shoot us, it is still a must. Whoever falls martyr in these protests is a martyr [for] humanity...

"In [the] July war I did not ask this of the Arab peoples, but in [the] Gaza war, and the aggression against the Gaza Strip, I say it is [incumbent upon] all of us to go out [on] the streets in the thousands, tens [of thousands] and hundreds of thousands, to [make] demands of these government and [hold] them responsible. They know well what they can do, particularly in the current times. They can do a great deal [now that] the United States and European countries are suffering financial and economic crisis...

"Secondly, all the Arab and Islamic peoples [must] demand [of] the Egyptian regime... whose position is the cornerstone of what is happening in Gaza, not to open a battlefront or to fight, but only to open the (Rafah) crossing [so that] food, medicine, water and even weapons [can] reach our people in Gaza – for in Gaza there are people and resistance, men and women capable of resistance, steadfastness and victory. They have performed very well in all previous phases... Egypt is only required to open the crossing, indefinitely – for the living, not for the injured or the martyred. This Egypt, the Mother of the World, the largest and most important of [the] Arab States, it is not a Red Cross or a Red Crescent institution, [that it should] deal with the people of Gaza in this way."

The Egyptian Regime Must Resolve the [Situation] – Not Pressure Hamas to Return to Ceasefire or End the War…

"What is required of the Egyptian leadership and regime is to resolve this issue, and not to take political advantage of the war [in order] to pressure Hamas [and] the resistance factions in Gaza to accept [the] 'Israeli' conditions in return for a ceasefire or [an end] to the war – as some of us here in Lebanon did in the first days of the July aggression. They must help the people of Gaza politically, [in order] to stop the aggression without restriction or condition. This is the real responsibility. This is what our Arab and Islamic worlds should be calling [for] and demanding [of] the Egyptian regime."

"Up until now we have been talking with tact, and... making appeals, but after what happened yesterday, we say to the Egyptian regime: ...if you do not open the Rafah border crossing, if you do not come to your brothers' rescue in Gaza, then you are party to the siege, [to] the killing... [and to] causing the Palestinian tragedy. Egyptian officials have to hear this from all the peoples of the Arab and Islamic world: from religious scholars, political parties, and [the] elites, intellectuals and media professionals – from [all the] different sectors of our societies. They must know that they [will be condemned by] the entire nation and its history, [by] the prophets and the martyrs, if they do not rush to take this humane and historical stand now..."

The Egyptian People Must Open the Rafah Crossing With Their Bare Hands

"Let the Egyptian people go out on the streets in their millions. Can the Egyptian police arrest millions of Egyptians? No they can not! We all call upon the Egyptian people, because they are the ones facing this regime… People of Egypt, you must open this Rafah crossing with your bare chests if you have to, and I do not hypothesize here. I'm talking from a position of [one who has] participated [in] the resistance, which fought for 33 days... sacrificed and gave [the lives of its] martyrs. [According to] what we know and what we hear about the officers and soldiers of the Egyptian Armed Forces, [they are] still proud of their Arabism, [and] continue to oppose Zionism, despite the decades [that have] passed since the (so-called) Camp David peace agreement...

"I do not call for a coup in Egypt, and I am in no position to call for a coup in Egypt, but I [urge] generals and officers to say to their political leadership that [their] honor [as members] of the military, the responsibilities [with which they have been] entrusted, and their medals, prevent them from guarding 'Israel's' border while seeing our people being slaughtered in Gaza! The presence of everyone on board today is what [will] change the equation – Egypt with its people, its political parties, [its] religious scholars, [the] Al-Azhar institution [of] religious law, all the armed forces and the political elites. I do not think there is an excuse for anyone to fall back..."


[1], December 28, 2008. The text has been lightly edited for clarity.

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