I was fascinated to see this video. Here Khaled Meshaal answers many of the questions that have left me perplexed:
- why did he move his headquarters from Damascus to Doha?
- What went wrong between him and Bashar el-Assad
- Why is Hamas supporting the ‘Free Syrian Army’
Meshaal answers each question succinctly. Whether he answers them truthfully of course is another question. He claims that, despite all appearances to the contrary, he has not switched sides in the Syrian conflict, and yet he is living now in the very heart of FSA territory!
Meshaal is also questioned about whether Hamas still denies ‘Israel’s right to exist’. He answers like a true politician, but truly it is an offensive question. No one ever demands of the Israelis that they acknowledge Palestine’s right to exist. Indeed, all the indications are that they don’t and never will unless they are forced to.
If you can’t view this video, click here.
“If Syria falls, so will Palestine” – this was the claim made by Hassan Nasrallah in his May 25 address to a rally in Beirut. It sounds like an extraordinary claim. The far less contentious claim, I would think, is that if Syria falls, so will Lebanon.
Lebanon is a country that is already crowded with its population of 4.3 million. It is also already home to 600,000 Palestinian refugees. If the conflict in Syria continues, there will soon be more than a million Syrian refugees added to that mix! There is no way that the infrastructure of the country will handle a refugee population that could number more than 50% of its citizenry!
Perhaps Nasrallah was only throwing Palestine into the mix to broaden the appeal of his message. After all, support for Palestine against Israel is the common denominator between all states in the Arab and Muslim worlds. Even so, the fate of Syria certainly has broad implications for the region.
Apart from the threat to Lebanon, the isolation of Iran would be the most immediate ramification of the fall of Syria, and this is surely what Syria’s enemies are striving for. It is Iran that is resisting US/Israeli control of the region. As far as the super-powers are concerned, the Syrian people are just the canon-fodder in the broader battle for regional hegemony.
If Syria falls, so will Palestine, Hezbollah’s Nasrallah warns in speech
By Jack Khoury
In a televised speech, Nasrallah says Israel ‘fears rockets’ and cautions that militant factions taking over Syria ‘pose a threat to Lebanon.’
Hezbollah Chief Hassan Nasrallah opened a front against al-Qaida and its affiliated groups, especially in Syria, stressing on Saturday that his organization was prepared to send tens of thousands of combatants to defend Syria.
In a televised speech marking the 13th anniversary of the Israeli pullout from southern Lebanon, Nasrallah also said that “if Syria falls, so will Palestine, the West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem. We will enter a very dark phase.”
He also spoke about Israeli preparations for a possible conflict with Hezbollah and said that Israel formed a new government portfolio dedicated to protecting the home front. “In Israel everything is geared up for a conflict year round and all year they hold maneuvers. Israel fears rockets, because we have no air force. The Israelis built towns along its borders. They are bringing in Jews from Ethiopia, Romania, and Argentina, and placing them by our borders and providing them with money and arms. On our side of the border, our towns are nearly empty.”
Nasrallah did not present the fighting as a conflict between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, but rather as one waged between heathens serving a Western Zionist agenda and the Syrian resistance that refuses to accept the dictates of the West.
Nasrallah unequivocally stressed that the fall of the Syrian regime would be a blow to the “resistance.” “Syria is the backbone of the ‘resistance,’ that cannot sit still and wait while its backbone is being broken,” he said. “If Syria falls in the hands of the Americans and the Israelis and the American representatives in the region, the ‘resistance’ will be isolated and Israel will enter Lebanon and force its laws upon it. Lebanon will return to the Israeli era.”
In his speech, Nasrallah tied the U.S. and Israel to Jihadist organizations working under the aegis of al-Qaida in Syria: “These combatants coming from many countries received many allowances to leave their countries and arrive at Syria, this is the American method of destabilizing Syria from the inside, using these organizations that brand everyone is heathens, those organizations that had killed more Sunni Muslims than anyone else. An example of this is what is happening in Iraq, Pakistan, and Somalia. We think that the armed forces taking over Syria are a great danger to Lebanon and all the Lebanese, not only Hezbollah or the Lebanese Shiites.”
A great deal of Nasrallah’s speech was devoted to the situation in Syria, with Nasrallah reiterating his support for Assad’s regime. He added that “What is taking place in Syria is very important to Lebanon and is crucial to our future. We are on the border. We have the courage to talk and act and thus we will speak honestly – our position was clear from the get go. The demand for reforms is acceptable and this government has a place. Reforms should begin along with political dialog.”
Regarding Hezbollah’s involvement in the fighting in Syria, Nasrallah said: “We started getting involved only a few months ago. We tried to initiate contact through all our channels but they didn’t listen, stubbornly they decided to reject the dialogue – they want to overthrow the government at any costs.”
Nasrallah went on to say “We are in a delicate point in history. There is no time to burry our heads in the sand, it is time to raise our heads and stand tall in the face of the hurricane. So, in all honesty, what has this country [Lebanon] done? The Lebanese nation isn’t prepared to face the Israeli threat.”
According to him “The Lebanese resistance changed the Israeli equation. Currently, we are protecting Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria.”
Father Roy writes: This article was published today in a leading Israeli newspaper. I’ve done a bit of highlighting. Let’s notice that Iran is not calling for Israel to be “wiped off the map”. Iran is presenting itself as “an effective partner for settling global problems”. Peace, Roy
Iran calls on Non-Aligned movement to push for Israel war tribunal
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi quoted as saying such an initiative would also stop Israel from committing further alleged war crimes against Palestine.
Iran called on member states of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Wednesday to push for opening a war tribunal against Israel, the news network Khabar reported.
The network quoted Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi as saying that such an initiative would also stop Israel from committing further alleged war crimes against Palestine.
Salehi further called on NAM for formation of a committee for securing the rights of the Palestinians.
Iran also announced plans to propose the formation of a Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) troika, plus two neighbor states, to help settle the Syria crisis.
“Our specific proposal to the NAM is formation of a troika committee for Syria consisting of Egypt, Iran and Venezuela,” a head of the parliament’s foreign policy commission, Alaeddin Bouroujerdi said. Also on the committee would be Iraq and Lebanon – both neighbors of Syria – Boroujerdi said.
“During my visit to Damascus last week, President (Bashar) Assad said he would welcome any Iranian plan in this regard,” the lawmaker added.
Iran is a staunch supporter of Assad, and has called for negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition
The Iranian foreign minister had earlier said at the ongoing NAM conference in Tehran that Middle East peace could not be secured “by blind and discriminatory support by world powers for Israel’s state terrorism and its policies of occupation, aggression, threats, torture and devastation.”
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was also in Tehran for the summit on Wednesday, and was set to meet Iranian lawmakers in the parliament. A luncheon with Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani was also scheduled. Ban will also meet President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and chief nuclear negotiator Saeid Jalili.
During his visit to Tehran, which had caused some criticism in the United States and Israel, the UN chief is supposed to talk with the Iranian leaders both about the country’s controversial nuclear projects and alleged human rights violations.
Iran, in return, hopes to persuade Ban that Western accusations against the Islamic state on Iran’s nuclear programs were unjustified. It also plans to again present itself as an effective partner for settling global problems.
Iran also plans take the UN chief to the historic city of Isfahan in central Iran and avail its of the occasion to also show him the two uranium conversion and enrichment sites, both located near Isfahan.
A UN spokesman in New York, however, said that Ban would not inspect any nuclear sites during his Iran visit.
North Korea’s ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong Nam, also arrived in Tehran on Wednesday for the summit.