April 9, 2008 Special Dispatch No. 1842

Saudi Columnist Slams Nasrallah's 'Body Parts' Speech

April 9, 2008
Saudi Arabia | Special Dispatch No. 1842

In an article in the Saudi daily Al-Watan, columnist 'Ali Sa'd Al-Moussa harshly criticized Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah's speech, in which he claimed that Hizbullah had in its possession the body parts of Israeli soldiers. [1]

Al-Moussa wrote that Nasrallah's statements were reprehensible, and that they harmed the image of the Lebanese people and the Muslim nation while allowing Israel to appear as the victim.

The following are excerpts from the article:

Could Nastallah Have Said Anything More Brutal or More Harmful to Our Image?

"'We have the remains of Israeli soldiers. Severed heads. We have some arms and legs and a nearly complete body - from the head to the middle of the torso.' Read the ugly details in the previous sentence and judge: Could Nasrallah have said anything more brutal, anything that does more to distort the image of our people, our religion and our nation?

"Mr. Hassan [Nasrallah], I do not think that our glorious religion [of Islam] has ever, throughout its history, described human beings as [collections of] spare parts. In our rich heritage - from the glorious battle of Badr to [Operation] True Promise [Nasrallah's name for the 2006 Lebanon war], I never read of any military commander who went into such disgusting details. Believe me, I would have kept silent had I not felt great shame at hearing the entire world - East and West - quoting this line at the head of its news broadcasts and in the main headlines of the newspapers.

"I know, Mr. Nasrallah, that the cruel Israeli administration places great value on any remains of Israeli soldiers, and that you mention these body parts for bargaining purposes. I am aware that in return for the severed head of the Israeli [soldier], we may receive dozens of living Arab [prisoners]. And I am also aware that even the [severed] leg of a Zionist may constitute a [valuable] bargaining chip, leading to the release of several living Arab prisoners from Israeli jails.

"[But] we also know that [the Israelis] place more value on, and have more respect for, the bones of their soldiers than we have for [living] Arabs. Life has become so cheap for us that the body parts of a dead Israeli are [exchangeable for] dozens of living Arabs."

Operation "True Promise" Yielded Nothing but False Promises Enveloped in Rhetoric

"Let us see why this is so: I have not the slightest doubt, Allah forbid, as to the justice of our [cause] and as to the sanctity of our wars against the oppressive and occupying Zionist entity. But what is the cause of this humiliation and devaluation [of life]? The reason, honorable sir, is that we continue to churn out the same boastful speeches which leave us with nothing but imaginary victories. The battles we wage yield nothing more than a few body parts [of enemy soldiers], or a couple of hostages. And what price [do we pay]? [The price is] hundreds, even thousands, of Arab youths in Israeli jails, whose numbers multiply with every [war] like [Operation] 'True Promise' - while our only reward is false promises enveloped in rhetoric!

"[But] the chief reason [for our humiliation] lies in [the fact that] our enemy knows how to speak] the language of the world. It knows how to tap into the world's emotions, and to sugarcoat its oppression, tyranny, occupation and violence, presenting itself as a victim surrounded by savage beasts... And our statements provide [our enemies] with a golden opportunity. If they now tour the world, spreading your famous line about the remains of bodies and human spare parts, they will consider it the greatest achievement of their [entire] long war. [It will enable them] to present themselves as the victims, while [in reality] it is we who are the victims.

"Honorable sir, war is not [fought with] Katyusha rockets alone. Half of it is [fought with] words, and it is words that will decide [the final outcome]."

[1] Al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), January 22, 2008.

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