Hezbollah Chief dismisses Australian designation

November 27, 2021 - 18:3

TEHRAN - In a speech, the Secretary General of Lebanon’s Hezbollah has touched on recent measures taken by several western countries against resistance movements in West Asia saying they have been placed under “some Western country’s terrorism lists, this involves resistance movements in Lebanon, Palestine Yemen, Iraq. Sometimes it’s their factions, their leaders and sometimes the entire movement itself is placed on their terrorism list. This path will continue, as we said previously, it will continue. With regards to us in Lebanon, this certainly is related to regional developments and the upcoming parliamentary election.”

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah says the measures to blacklist resistance movements will increase pressure and threats against anyone who supports the resistance with a word or backs it with any funds or stands in defense of it in the Arab and Islamic world. Nasrallah indicated that Israel is playing a role and said the issue requires another speech in which he will divulge into details. Hezbollah has previously said after it was placed in its entirety on the American “terrorism list” that it will not change its approach or goals towards Israel and its support for the Palestinians cause and the holy sites in occupied Palestine. Nasrallah is on the record as saying the movement will help Palestinians liberate every inch of their land “if they are on a terrorism list” or “if they are not on a terrorism list.” Likewise, Hezbollah has made clear it will defend Lebanon’s sovereignty no matter what the cost.

On Wednesday, the Australian government listed Hezbollah as a "terrorist organization", extending an existing ban on the movement’s armed wing to cover the entire organization including its political faction. The move has been criticized as Hezbollah plays a role part in Lebanese politics; it has members in parliament and helps with the government formation. The movement has also played a major role in liberating Lebanon from Israeli occupation while being praised for helping in the fight against terrorism in West Asia.

“What’s more important is preserving this sovereignty, and keeping this [sovereignty], you need an ongoing battle.”Following the move by Canberra, in a statement, Hezbollah condemned Australia's decision, describing it as "a blind bias" in the service of Israeli interests. Before that, the UK government was censured for classifying the entire Hamas movement as a “terrorist group” despite it being democratically elected to power and its social welfare services to Palestinians living in the besieged Gaza Strip. Rights groups have denounced Israel for its land, air and sea blockade of the Gaza Strip which has been described as the world’s largest open-air prison. 

Over the past weeks, the U.S. has also sanctioned several individuals from the Ansarullah movement; part of Yemen’s Government of Nation Salvation.

Analysts argue that Israeli lobby groups are in the pockets of many western politicians which in essence means Israeli lobbying is working on behalf of British, American or Australian foreign policy. In the case of the UK, the decision against Hamas was made and announced by the Home Secretary, Priti Patel. The same Priti Patel that was forced to resign from former British Prime minister Theresa May’s government four years ago from her ministerial role as international development secretary because of unofficial meetings with Israeli ministers, businesspeople and a senior Israeli lobbyist. At the time, the forced resignation dominated the headlines as revelations emerged of secret meetings with Israeli officials. She had spoken to the former Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu with no officials present, in a meeting that the British Prime Minister or government reportedly was not aware of. Twelve other meetings were also held with more Israeli officials in the presence of an experienced Conservative party Israeli lobbyist.

Patel later admitted that during the 13-day visit to Israel, she had wanted to give British money to the Israeli regime forces in the occupied Golan Heights; at a time when the Syrian army was trying to liberate a neighboring region from terrorist groups. Later, Israeli media cited two anonymous sources as saying that Patel had actually revealed the meetings with the Israelis in advance to the British Prime Minister but she was told not to declare them in public as they would embarrass the UK Foreign Office.

This would perhaps explain why she was forced to resign instead of being fired.

Sayyed Nasrallah linked the recent designation by Australia by urging all Lebanese to continue living up to their responsibilities to safeguard their country’s independence from enemy forces. Nasrallah noted that if the country’s independence was not complete it must be transformed to full independence. He says maintaining the “country’s independence, sovereignty and freedom at a [legitimate] level for the country, the state and the people is a battle that must go on.”

The Hezbollah chief pointed out that Lebanon might have sovereignty but what’s more important is “preserving this sovereignty, and keeping this [sovereignty], you need an ongoing battle. The same is applicable to freedom and the same is applicable to independence.”

An entire generation, he said, fought the biggest battle for independence since 1982 “when Israel occupied large swathes of Lebanese territory, around half of Lebanon, but what was more dangerous, [Israel] occupied the capital Beirut and the enemy’s tanks reached Baabda Palace (the Presidential Palace), and we still have, until now, the photos and videos of Israeli military officers inside the Presidential office.”

He went on to say “this was the most dangerous time our generation lived through, an era that the enemy was being supported by the West and especially the United States... and it was said during that time that Lebanon was a part of Israel.” Sayyed Nasrallah says a “large fraction of the Lebanese people resisted, put their faith in [Hezbollah] and the different aspects of the resistance, supported this resistance, especially the armed resistance through parties, movements, and factions in more than one region and under more than one slogan; from the significant victory in 1985” when the enemy’s forces withdrew from the Capitol as well as many villages and towns that had been liberated until the great victory that was achieved in 2000” when the Israeli military was forced to flee southern Lebanon.

That, he said, was “a huge victory for Lebanon’s independence, sovereignty, and freedom.” A victory that “withdrew Lebanon from plans” to include the country as part of Israel. However, Nasrallah says this battle is ongoing so long as Israel occupies a part of the Sheba’a Farms and parts of two other towns in the country’s south; it means Lebanon does not enjoy full sovereignty. He added that so long as Lebanon is prevented from fully accessing its natural gas and oil “that means we are facing a lack of total sovereignty”, he said, “when we witness every day the blatant American meddling in [our] judiciary, politics, the military, security institutions, and the political life [among the Lebanese] and the upcoming parliamentary election; this is also a derogation of our independence, sovereignty, and freedom.”

He noted that everyone wants full independence, sovereignty, and freedom, but raised the question over “what measurements are used” to judge whether the current situation is one of sovereignty or hegemony, freedom or bondage. “Unfortunately, even in Lebanon, there’s different points of view” regarding this matter. As long Lebanon is under ongoing Israeli threats “over the past two days, we heard new threats” he said, “then we are still in a battle for full independence, sovereignty and freedom, and just like we were victorious before, we will continue this battle with steadfastness and patience and reliance on God to achieve another victory; the day will come when we achieve full, real sovereignty that will leave no room for questions among any freedom seeking Lebanese people.”

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