• Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah's Third Address Since Oct. 7

    January 3, 2024
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    Speaking for the third time since the start of the Oct. 7 Hamas-Israel war, global attention was on Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah Wednesday to hear his response to the killing of Hamas Deputy Political leader Saleh al-Arouri and six other Hamas members in a strike in Beirut’s southern suburbs of Dahiyeh.

    Although Israel has neither confirmed or denied that it was behind the Tuesday’s strike, it is widely accepted that Israel was.  

    Nasrallah’s speech on Wednesday was originally scheduled to mark the fourth anniversary of the death of the late Iranian military general Qasem Soleimani, who was killed on Jan. 3, 2020 by a US strike in Iraq.  

    But, Nasrallah pivoted in light of the events the day before. 

    The last line of Nasrallah’s address, broadcasted on Lebanese channel al-Manar, summed his over-all theme.

    “Yesterday's crime will not go unpunished,” Nasrallah emphasized. 

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    He started off his address offering condolences.  

    "We extend our condolences today to the martyrs, the great leader Qasem Soleimani and his Iranian companions in Baghdad, and to Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the great martyr, and his Iraqi companions,” said Nasrallah. 

    And, then the Secretary General referred to the road bombs in Iran earlier in the day. 

    "What happened today in Kerman [Iran], and the attack against those commemorating this event [for Soleimani], women, men, children, where there were numerous martyrs, more than 80 according to my information, and 160 injured, we extend our condolences to their families,” added the secretary-general. 

    Noting that he will speak further about Soleimani on Friday night, Nasrallah moved onto Saleh al-Arouri’s assassination on Tuesday. 

    "We extend our condolences to our brother, the great leader Sheikh Saleh, Vice President of the Political Bureau of Hamas, who fell as a martyr yesterday in a blatant Israeli aggression against the southern suburbs of Beirut,” and added, “Your blood, your sacrifices ... will have positive consequences on Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and the entire region."

    Then Nasrallah launched into the heart of his message and did not sugar-coat his fighting words of threats and warnings, and subjectiv analysis of the situation at hand. He was clearly playing to his audience with symbolism and carefully chosen words.  

    Here are some specific highlights:

    Nasrallah described Tuesday’s strike as "very dangerous" reminding his audience that it's the "first time something like this has happened since 2006," referring to the 2006 Lebanon War, also known as the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war, which lasted a little over a month.

    Although he did not declare any major escalation at this time, he gave a stark warning: “If a war is waged against Lebanon, Lebanon's interest will be to go to war all the way, without limits,” Nasrallah declared.

    "We fight on the front with precise calculations. But if the enemy considers waging a war against Lebanon, our battle will be boundless, without rules. They know what I mean. We are not afraid of war. Those who think of going to war with us will regret it. War with us will come at a very high cost,” he boasted and seemingly to infer the message of martyrdom.  

    Nasrallah reiterated the independence of the regions' various organizations, often referred to as the 'Axis of Resistance,' which includes Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas, and recently the Yemeni Houthis and Iraqi militants. 

    Still insisting as he has done in previous addresses since Oct. 7, “the resistance organizations operate independently from each other, each in its own country. We consult with each other, but each one makes decisions based on its interests and those of its population,” although they all showed up in Riyad several weeks ago. 

    "The greatest challenge for the 'Axis of Resistance' in recent months has been the al-Aqsa Flood operation,” the Secretary General stated. “From three months ago until today, we have had martyrs, sacrifices, displaced individuals, damages, destruction, dangers, and prices to pay. But also resistance, courage, combat, defiance, losses in the enemy's ranks, and a refusal to surrender,” he added. 

    In other words, Israel’s bombing of Gaza has been overwhelming for now, but then the Secretary General noted in a twisted way that all is not lost. 

    "The Palestinian issue was forgotten, it has been revived, and Israel has failed to wear out the Palestinians ... Support for the resistance within the Palestinian population has increased, as well as in the region,” he noted. 

    Then slamming Israel and the U.S., Nasrallah continued,"Israel has failed to achieve its war goals. It has not succeeded in freeing the hostages. It has not succeeded in controlling the Gaza Strip. What has happened since Oct. 7 until now, and what will happen in the future, has weakened Israel and put it on the path to extinction. No one will be able to defend it. As for the Arab thrones, let them protect themselves first.”

    “Al-Aqsa Flood has succeeded in destroying the image of the United States,” claimed Nasrallah. 

    Boldly, he drew a line in the sand with Israel and the U.S. and its allies. 

    "The land of Palestine, from the river to the sea, belongs solely to the Palestinian people,” he declared. "Hamas has the highest level of support in its history within the Palestinian population, and that is a significant achievement. The image of Israel in the world has also collapsed,” he furthered boasted.

    "What happened during these three months dealt a blow to the normalization efforts [with Israel] that were underway. Israel has utterly failed on the moral front. Israel, the killer of women and children, the one who starves populations and holds the title for the largest genocide in modern history,” Nasrallah pronounced referring to the agreement between Saudi Arabia and Israel that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bragged about at the UN in September in New York. 

    Analyzing the situation to date though, Nasrallah added, “Today, Israel fears for its existence. It has called up its reserves and used all its weapons, also calling on the Americans in the region for help. The Israelis think it's an opportunity to put an end to Hezbollah in Lebanon, claiming that the world currently supports them. However, the resistance has deprived Israel of the element of surprise by opening the front. What has prevented Israel from waging a war in Lebanon so far is the strength that exists in Lebanon."

    And, in the end, Secretary General Nasrallah had a specific message for Israel’s Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant: "You will not succeed in achieving your war objectives, if God wills it."


    Christine Dolan

    Christine Dolan is a seasoned Investigative Journalist, television producer, author, and photographer. She is Co-Founder of American Conversations whose format focuses on in-depth analysis of critical issues about “the story behind the headlines.”
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