Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on April 22, 2019, on the anniversary of the birth of Imam al-Mahdi and the 34th anniversary of Imam al-Mahdi’s Scout Foundation.


[…] My second point concerns the (prospect of an) Israeli war (against Lebanon). Generally, when any news source publishes (sensationalist and misleading) statements (about Hezbollah), even if they concern me personally, I don’t comment on it, nor do my (Hezbollah) brothers, because really too much things are said about us: statements, press or scientific articles, analyzes, etc., the majority being wrong or based on false information, (mostly) animated with bad intentions towards us, etc. [If we were to refute everything, we would no longer be the Party of God, but the Party of Rebuttal].

But today I am forced to react to what has been posted two days ago in a Kuwaiti newspaper, because unfortunately the media in our country have widely reported these (preposterous) statements. It is true that it was Saturday and Sunday, and it seems they had nothing else to get their teeth into, so they broadcast this information (again and again), despite the fact that this kind of (fake news) reports are found daily. This went viral on social networks, and even prominent, dear and close friends and outlets, have been affected by this story and have published articles about it. Anyway, let me comment on this, because it concerns all the Lebanese, and also concerns the region.

What has been published is entirely false, and I will return to the content of these (alleged) remarks. And it was published at a particularly damaging time. The content of this information is wrong, and the timing is particularly damaging (for Lebanon).

Let’s talk about the content. I never made the statements attributed to me. I never said, neither in an internal meeting in restricted or extended format, nor during a head to head meeting, nor did I even say so to myself, I have never said that there would be an Israeli war against Lebanon this summer. Never. Even at the level of thought, I’ve never thought so. I have neither spoken of certainty of war, nor of probability of war, nor even of the expectation of such a war. This did not happen in no internal meeting whatsoever. I am categorical. I will return to this point.

And likewise, I have never, ever said in any internal meeting that if a war happens, I would not be among you (because Israel would have killed me). How could I predict the future? How would I know if I’ll still be alive? Life and death are in the hands of God, the Almighty and Exalted.

Allow me to joke a bit. On the contrary, if we are to seek the opinion of visionaries — I say this because back then, some people got angry with these earlier predictions —, allow me to retort, on the same basis (the divining of the Kuwaiti newspaper), that some of these visionaries have predicted that I would live a long, very long time, that I would stay with you, of course with the permission of God Almighty and Exalted, and that I would not be killed by Israel, but that I would be of those who enter into (a fully liberated) Palestine and pray in the Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Mosque, etc. Is this prediction okay with you? Such predictions exist, so you should also mention them, since you have clearly undertaken to tell about prophecies (and not valid information).

No, I never said anything like that, and I never said at any time that our front line will be killed, that our second line will be killed… My Goodness, you talk about a real massacre, a cataclysm! The front line would be killed, the second line would be killed, and the third line should bear the burden (of fighting)… I recommend this (Kuwaiti) newspaper to redirect the author of this (nonsense), whom I do not know, to a writing career in science fiction movies. The content of this article was absolutely meaningless and no basis whatsoever in reality.

I have one last thing to say about the content of these comments (falsely attributed to me): in general, even in our internal meetings, we perform what we call an assessment of the situation. We ponder whether an (Israel) war is prepared (against Lebanon). As a Resistance, our military and defensive stance must always be based on the most pessimistic estimates. We always ask our brothers (of the military command) to be constantly prepared for the worst, because their responsibility is not political analysis (regarding the likelihood of an aggression). We must be constantly prepared to deal with the worst. But there was no discussion on the expectations and probabilities (of war).

Anyway, because of the atmosphere to which I respond, I’ll allow myself to give my personal opinion, without attributing it to Hezbollah as a whole. Of course, we affirm nothing with certainty, and we do not reject any possibility categorically. On the contrary, since these words are attributed to me, personally, I consider an Israeli war against Lebanon very unlikely. This is my personal opinion. And that’s what I say in some (high-level) meetings, with two or three people, when I am asked about my opinion. I also tell (the Hezbollah commanders) that what I think should not be important for them because as military men, they must constantly be prepared for the worst. But they insist to know my opinion.

Personally, I tend to consider an (Israeli) aggression as highly unlikely. I have my reasons, of course, and this verdict comes from my analysis. By definition, an analysis may be right or wrong. My reasons are: lack of preparation of the Israeli home front, as was demonstrated by past events. Despite all the Israeli trumpeting about their ability to deal with incoming missiles, we saw how two missiles fired from Gaza by mistake (have shattered this pretense) by hitting the vicinity of Tel Aviv. Then a missile mistakenly fired from Gaza hit the north of Tel Aviv. But all the Israeli security measures (Iron Dome & Patriot antimissile systems…) were absolutely powerless. And Israeli (military and analysts) themselves say that the Israeli home front is not ready.

Any hypothetical Israeli war, to achieve its objectives, requires a ground operation. The time when the air force was enough to win a war is over: today, it is a basic military reality accepted worldwide. If Israel wants to launch a war, to be able to achieve its objectives, it is forced to launch a ground offensive. And everywhere in Israel, they keep repeating that the Israeli infantry is unable to engage in a war. Many reasons lead us to… lead me personally to be inclined towards the improbability of this choice.

Currently, Israelis are pinning their hopes on something else. They say it is unnecessary to launch a war as long as Mr. Trump and Mr. Pompeo are with them, and I will conclude my speech with today’s press conference by Pompeo (on Iran). The US is trying to starve the world (to submit it to their diktats): they want to starve Iran, Syria, the Resistance movements, Venezuela, they starve the whole world (with their sanctions). Therefore, Israel says that since they have a chance to starve and impoverish Hezbollah, and see us eventually disappear because of our (alleged) financial crisis, or, as some Israeli officials have said, to see us sell our weapons and missiles to be able to buy bread, there is no need for war (in their eyes).

Anyway, I will not go into details now, but I was forced to say all this, because the misfortune of some makes the happiness of others. I mean, I was forced to say this because these (false) comments attributed to me had a negative and unjustified effect among some (pro-Hezbollah) people, some politics and among many analysts. But if I have to speak about this issue not from the standpoint of expectations and probabilities (of war, but with certainty), I tell you what I’ve always told you, that Israel is an avid enemy whose nature is conspiracy, deceit and betrayal, and therefore all possibilities must be taken into account in our calculations. We cannot allow ourselves to rely on a particular analysis (in our defensive actions, we must always be prepared to deal even with the unlikely and unexpected). 

As for the particularly damaging timing of these false statements, it is because we are in April, and that the summer season is about to begin. Why would anyone fabricate and broadcast these unfounded statements attributed to me, the opposite of the truth? Why did these comments spread so quickly and were so widely commented? I call on the media, I invite (them to be cautious): O my brother, I speak (regularly) on TV, and I do so often enough God willing, and we have official bodies who express the opinion of Hezbollah. Is it all it takes (to spread widely false information)? That someone writes that so and so told him from so and so that so and so reportedly would have said such a thing, during an internal meeting, and then without any research or reliable confirmation about this report, we’ll take the report for granted and build up analysis, positions, etc. ? This greatly harms the country (taking away potential tourists, having a negative impact on the economy, etc.), especially with such a timing. 

I would like to issue a warning in this respect (and I hope for more caution on the part of the media). In such matters, it is sometimes simply neglect on the part of journalists, who don’t necessarily have bad intentions or bad thoughts, but sometimes it is a deliberate campaign, coordinated and designed to harm (Lebanon and Hezbollah), and this is why we must always thoroughly check and ensure the validity of the information. Do not hasten to circulate or comment pieces of information (especially sensationalist ones) without a confirmation (from a reliable source).

For example, a few days ago… Never mind, I’ll give names. If you turn on the Al-Arabiya TV… I do not do it, but those who do inform me. This TV channel speaks of clashes between Iranian forces and Russian forces in Aleppo. Then (it tells us that) Iranian and Russian forces clash in Deir Ezzor, and that Hezbollah is involved in the fighting. And (we constantly see such) breaking news and other (similar information) on the scrolling banner (at the bottom of the screen). These are just lies, without any foundation of truth.

In reality, they want to produce an atmosphere where two months before they speak of fighting (between the allies of Damascus), they will have set the stage, speaking of alleged competition, heightened sensitivity, enmity, hostility between Iran and Russia, and the allies in Syria. Then they’ll talk about fighting, after all this preparation of public opinion. But I tell you that all this has no basis of truth. Rather, the current cooperation between the allies on the ground in Syria is as positive as in the past, and in no way degraded. Sure, there may be some political differences here and there, but it never left and will not leave any trace on the cooperation on the ground, let alone get to a point where these allies will kill each other!

The Al-Arabiya TV channel (and their likes) do not report the actual events, but what they hope to see happen. This is not a news channel, but a media that manufactures (false) information and reports their hopes and illusions. This is why we must be vigilant with all that is said and written, especially if it concerns Hezbollah. For we are particularly targeted.

For example, a few days or weeks ago, when the media talked a lot about the fact that (US) sanctions would extend to the President of the (Lebanese) Chamber of Deputies, His Eminence Nabih Berri, and our brothers from the Amal Movement, the Free Patriotic Movement, and all our other friends and allies… But all that has no basis of truth. It was fabricated by politicians and journalists, and is part of the war they hope to see waged (against Hezbollah). They ardently desire, wish and hope that the US administration will do such a thing, and they are promoting this idea. But it has no basis of truth. We are thus targeted (permanently).

It has been some time that… At Hezbollah, it’s been some time that, because of the security conditions and the wars in Syria, we have not had our internal Congress. At certain intervals (six months, one year, one year and a half), we make some changes in our leaders. Some of our brothers are moved from one responsibility to another (within Hezbollah), and sometimes it’s a more important responsibility. At such occasions, there is always someone who’ll (maliciously) say that as part of the fight against corruption, Hezbollah has dismissed so and so (Hezbollah cadre). This is oppression, unfounded accusations, defamation, lies and attacks against our brothers, our brothers who are merely moved from a position to another, and who are part of our elite fighters, of our brothers who sacrifice (for our cause), and have assumed (heavy) responsibilities (with honor and success) for decades. They have many long years of effort and total dedication behind them.

Then any person, newspaper, magazine or website appear from nowhere, take their ease and allow themselves to insult great fighters, dear and close brothers, taking pretext of the slightest change in our organization, although it is a natural thing that happens in all groups or organizations, claiming that it took place within the fight against corruption. With us, a corrupt person is not moved from one position to another, but completely excluded from Hezbollah. The fact that so and so has passed from one position to another is natural in any organization.

What I would like to say, and what I hope in this regard is that everything that is written, especially in some Lebanese and Arab media, and especially those in the Gulf, should be read with a presumption of bad intention (from their part, i. e. read with suspicion), and must be checked. (The experience) taught us to always check (the veracity of information).

Today, or rather last night, I was sent an information (considered as reliable) from media websites that the Israeli Justice Minister —I speak of the enemy!—, the Israeli Justice Minister, so-and-so, would have said at an AIPAC speech that the Arabs of North Africa (Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco), the Arab countries and peoples, were to be liquidated and exterminated, etc., and that Israel would take care of it, because they are the enemies of Israel. Although (the comments are attributed to) the enemy, and I myself was a victim of false information some days ago, I was afraid to comment on this, and then find out that it all had been fabricated. So I asked our brothers who follow (daily) the Hebrew media to search the newspapers and Israeli websites to find out if this was true, but their research found that these alleged statements had no basis of truth. Although if that were true, it would have caused a scandal in the Arab world, and given a positive boost to Hezbollah (in terms of its popularity and the Resistance choice that it defends). But should we, only because a media reported comments that are in line with what we think and wish (to hear), condemn our enemy by disseminating these (falsifications)? Even with (statements about) the enemy, we must be cautious and wary. Even with the enemy!

I hope everyone will be more vigilant on these issues. […]

“Any amount counts, because a little money here and there, it’s like drops of water that can become rivers, seas or oceans…” Hassan Nasrallah 
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