Translation : unz.com/sayedhasan
[...] (Finally), Palestine, (the most) important question —I will be brief because everything we said before had to do with Palestine. Tomorrow (May 15) is the 70th anniversary of the Nakba (‘catastrophe’, designating the forced exile of Palestinians in 1948), the Nakba of Palestine, or rather the Nakba of Arabs, Muslims and the (Muslim) Community, and even the Nakba of humanity. What happened 70 years ago and has continued for 70 years is a badge of shame (branded with a hot iron) in History and on the forehead of all mankind, of all States and world leaders, as well as all international organizations in the world. And it continues to this very day: what is happening today in Gaza —tens of martyrs, over a thousand injured— is a continuation of what happened 70 years ago.
The Palestinians, for 70 years, did not abandon their cause. They may have differed on some choices, but none of them has accepted that the Palestinian cause is liquidated or definitively closed, regardless of the minimum (1967 borders), median (1948 borders) and maximum (historic Palestine) terms. And their struggle, their fight, their sacrifices and martyrs have continued until what happens today.
Today we are also facing a great and very dangerous challenge to the Palestinian cause, of which I will talk briefly, ie what is known as (Trump’s) (definitively settling the Palestinian issue), and according to some information —I do not have specific insight about it, but that’s what can be read in the media—, Trump will announce in May, in the last remaining two weeks, he will officially announce this Deal. And the US project to solve the Palestinian issue is this, points 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 (which I’m going to detail).
(What is the position of Trump “O Palestinians, O Arabs, O Muslims, if you agree (to the Deal), you’re welcome, come and sign it. If you do not agree, so long (we have nothing more to say), and we will still impose it on you.” Because I forgot something in the first part (of my speech) about the consequences (of the American withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal), it’s not only that (Trump and the United States) do not respect (the agreements nor the world) but they take (unilateral) decisions that favor their interests and just impose them (forcefully) to the world. And those who do not give in, they subject them to sanctions, even if they are their allies. They are not going to propose a settlement (of the conflict), but they will announce it (as a fait accompli). If you accept it, you’re welcome. And if you refuse it, they will wage war against you, inflict sanctions on you, impose it to you (by force). Such is the danger facing the Palestinian cause these days.
It started with the recognition of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) as the capital of Israel, and now it’s done, despite the fact that Trump had promised the Arab (leaders) it would take two or three years and that there was time before its implementation. But no, they chose a modest place of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and rushed to move their embassy (for the inauguration) today.
Well, what is this project, a clear, known project about which nothing is hidden?
1 / No Quds (Jerusalem), neither East nor West (for Palestine), it will not even be a matter of discussion. And what appears of the holy places, is that neither what is on the surface, nor what is underground (will be given to the Palestinians). No Quds (Jerusalem). Al-Quds is the eternal capital of Israel. If a Muslim wants to go to the Al-Aqsa Mosque (the third holiest site in Islam), or if a Christian wants to go to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, he has to ask Netanyahu. That’s the first point. This is definitely settled for Trump, he announced it.
2 / No return of Palestinian refugees. Nothing at all. Now they’re wondering what to do at the Sinai (Egyptian desert), whether they will take them there… Palestinian refugees will either take the nationality of the country in which they reside, or be sent to other places. But there shall be no return of refugees (in Palestine).
3 / The Palestinian State will be Gaza. That is all. The State of Historic Palestine, which is two or three times larger than Lebanon, will be limited to Gaza.
4 / As for the Palestinian presence in the West Bank, it will take some form: self-governance, regional autonomy, partly linked to the ‘State’ of Gaza… I do not have details on that.
5 / Treaties of comprehensive peace. And all Arab and Muslim countries will have to stand in rank, recognize Israel, establish relations with Israel, normalize relations with Israel, and those who do not accept will be subject to sanctions, blockade, pressures and plots ready to be implemented.
Such is the “Deal of the century”. What then is the “Deal of the century” (if not that)? That is to say, the liquidation of the Palestinian cause. This means that the Palestinian cause will end this way.
In this context, what should be our position? We must not be content to describe and analyze. Let’s be realistic. Trump is serious in this choice, and things take their natural course. What is happening, and what does it require from us? From us and others, every Muslim, every Arab, every Christian, every worthy man in this region (and in the world).
What is happening now is that there is a process to impose this outcome. The first step in this process, is the (considerable) pressure exerted on Iran. Currently the pressure on Iran is maximal. Perhaps we who are staying in Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, are not well aware of this. Today, they are exerting maximum pressure on Iran. They work on finances and on the economy (of Iran), to bring down the Iranian currency, and to undermine the economic situation inside the country, in order to create situations of popular demonstrations against the government and against the regime, and therefore lead Iran to a (completely) different location (domestically and regarding its stance on Palestine). The ultimate pressure on Iran consists in the removal of the nuclear deal, the return of US sanctions and the threat of new sanctions. It is not just the old sanctions but also new sanctions against Iran.
Is it only a nuclear issue? They know very well that there is no military nuclear (program) in Iran. The real reason was stated by Trump himself, I do not even need to make an analysis.
1 / nuclear weapons, knowing that it is a false (charge);
2 / ballistic missiles (owned by Iran) and the fact that Iran manufactures them;
3 / support from Iran to Hezbollah and Hamas. He said so explicitly. That is to say, to Palestine.
This means: “O Iran, my problem with you is not only the nuclear issue, ballistic missiles, their scope, their manufacture and their number. One of my main problems with you is your support for Resistance movements in the region.” And when Trump speaks of Hamas, in truth, it is not only Hamas. It is he who says ‘Hamas’. But the Islamic Republic stands with the entire Palestinian people and all the Resistance movements in Palestine, and supports all those who believe in the choice of Resistance in Palestine. Such is the (true cause of) the pressure against Iran.
“If you want us to go back to the (nuclear) deal, if you want us to waive the sanctions, to quit putting pressure on you with the conversion rate of your currency to the dollar, if you want us to allow European companies to continue investing in Iran and trade with you (O Iran), then leave Palestine aside, detach yourself from it (and toe the line like the others).” That’s the first point.
Second, the continuing pressure on Syria in order to monopolize and exhaust it. Syria is nearing victory. Soon they will resort yet again to the pretext of chemical weapons to come and threaten, intimidate and bomb, and if there were not some fears (for the USA), they would not content themselves with what they hit (the last time). The US wants to ensure that the Syrian leadership, President Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian state, the Syrian Army and the Syrian people continue to be drained in the inner battle, in order to get Syria out of this equation (Palestine).
Third, the continuing pressure on Resistance movements in the region, especially in Lebanon. They had already inflicted banking sanctions on us, and now they threaten us with new sanctions from the Congress, they threaten anyone who has links with Hezbollah, financially, etc., etc. You know the extent of this issue, we have already talked a lot about (in the past).
But what is even more dangerous, and it had been a while that there was no such thing, is that today, every day we hear threats of launching a war against Lebanon, saying that if such and such happens, they will send back Lebanon to the Stone Age, etc., this kind of intimidation. What does it mean ? This is part of this process (liquidation of the Palestinian cause), this is a way to say “Watch out you Lebanese, watch out Hezbollah, be reasonable, keep aside. Do not stand in our way by trying to help the Palestinians, give them support, backing and assistance, otherwise you’ll have all kinds of problems.” So there is also the pressure on Lebanon.
And lately, the renewal of the blockade against the Palestinians in Gaza to the point of starvation. Gaza today faces a famine situation. Over time, Gaza gets closer and closer to the situation of the Yemeni people. The situation in Gaza is difficult and (even) terrible at this point. There will come a time when people will not have money to buy food. Already, people have no money to buy food. What does it mean ? “Either we bring Gaza into submission and bend its knee by famine, until they fold and sign, either we lead it to an inner explosion.” And the leaders of the Resistance in Gaza acted (very) wisely, because they turned the threats of internal explosion into an opportunity with the March of Return, which will reach its pinnacle tomorrow. But this project and vision (liquidation of the Palestinian cause) are continuing.
It’s the same with the pressure on all Palestinians, on the Palestinian Authority, the Organization for the Liberation of Palestine, inside, outside, with refugees, moral, psychological and financial pressures, blockades, etc. What they ask from the Palestinians today, and we come to the position (required), what they want from the Palestinians today, through the blockade, pressures, famine, their efforts to break them and humiliate them, all this is to obtain their signature. This signature is very expensive, it is (really) expensive.
In addition to all this, in that process, we always find more support from Arab governments and the Gulf for the US-Israeli project of “Deal of the century” . This is also part of this process. And worse, what some Gulf countries do, is two things.
The first thing, which I have already referred to several years ago, is the religious and (Islamic) Law cover, that is to say the religious justification for surrendering to Israel. You see, when Anwar Sadat went to make a peace agreement (with Israel), it was (as) a political State, a secular President who was making peace with Israel. Sadat did not give any religious cover, nor did he invoke Islamic jurisprudence. He did not claim that he was following the will of God, the Prophet, and the Prophet’s companions, no. The most we could hear in the speeches of Anwar Sadat is that he tried to take advantage of a Quranic verse, reciting it in his Egyptian dialect (thus showing a lack of deference to the Quran, which should be recited in an unaltered classical Arabic), “And if they incline to peace, then incline to it [also].” (Quran, 8, 61). End of the story.
King Hussein (of Jordan), when he officially made peace with Israel at (the border post of) Wadi Araba, he did not bring with him the religious organizations claiming that it was the will of God, the Prophet, the family of the Prophet, the Companions, nor, since he is a Hashemite King (descendant of the Prophet), did he claim that it was the will of the Banu Hashim, of his ancestors and forefathers, he did not claim that they accepted this, never. It was (only) a State concluding a peace treaty.
The great misfortune, as I said a few years ago, the great calamity is when Saudi Arabia walks this path. This is the great misfortune. This is the great calamity. Because we will then see the Grand Mufti, the Committee of great scholars, great scholars, jurists, muftis, scholars of hadith, commentators of the Qur’an, as it has already begun, (we will see them justify their surrender to Israel in the name of Islam)…
What have we just seen? It’s Mohammad Bin Salman who said it, but he first spoke with the sheikhs. This is what we heard : “O brothers, O Arabs, O Muslims, you are mistaken! Palestine is for them, O people, it is the Jews who are entitled to it. They are the legitimate owners. This is the land of their fathers and ancestors. And it is God who has given it to them. And the Quran says so.” Look how they want to lead people astray and fool them. “It is the Quran that says that.” And they cite verses from the Quran as evidence.
An imbecile from the Gulf claiming to be a strategic thinker —I saw him on television—, said: “Israel was mentioned 38 times in the Quran, but the word ‘Palestine’ is not mentioned in the Quran. So who is within his rights? Palestine belongs to the Jews. You do not have a say. Enough, give back the land to its rightful owners!”
And now what do we see? Look, now that Saudi Arabia gets (openly) involved, it would be religion, the Quran, History and God’s promise that would have granted (Palestine) to the Jews. And therefore, we Muslims, before 1948, and for hundreds of years, would have usurped Palestine, deprived its rightful owners from it, so we should apologize to them and also compensate them. And Mohammad Bin Salman is ready to pay those compensations. This is what is happening.
In an discussion with an important Sunni scholar, I told him: “If anyone has connections to Saudi Arabia, let him ask them ‘O my brothers, who came to Palestine and freed Al-Quds (Jerusalem), making it enter the great Islamic state? It is the second caliph Omar Ibn al-Khattab (revered by Sunnis). So be careful (with what you say). Who is it that would have ‘occupied’ Palestine (according to you), depriving (the Jews) of their rights (on this land) and would have taken away from them this so-called historic right?” But unfortunately, we have now arrived at a point where (we hear that) it would be their historical right.
I heard one of the important (scholars) in Saudi Arabia declare on TV that we must recognize that just as Mecca is a holy city for Muslims, just as Medina is a holy city and belongs to us, Al-Quds (Jerusalem), the House of Holiness, is a holy city for Jews, and so we should leave it to them, with respect, humility, generosity. This Arab ‘generosity’, which only manifests itself towards the enemy.
This first point is worse (than what was done by Egypt and Jordan).
And the second thing that is worse (than that) is that the Gulf states, led by Saudi Arabia, are leading the region against an enemy they have fashioned from scratch, and towards a war that they want to push the world to declare, namely against Iran. These governments are willing to pay the United States hundreds of billions of dollars to come and fight a war against Iran, without (any consideration) for Palestine and the Palestinian cause. This is part of the ongoing process.
(What is) the position (we must take)? To be realistic, and benefit from our experience (in Palestine) from 1948 to date, for 70 years, and from our experience in Lebanon.
O Palestinian people, O Lebanese people, O Syrian people, O peoples of the region, O Iranian people —as it is now in the heart of the challenge—, O all the peoples of the region. Pinning one’s hopes on international law, international institutions, international organizations, for any issue whatsoever, is vain, meaningless, empty talk. More than that. Pinning one’s hopes on the Arab regimes, in their great majority, for anything at all, is vain, meaningless, empty talk. I speak from our experience and from the experience of Palestinians. Where to pin our hopes, in short? On the position of our people, the position of some countries and the position of the Resistance movements. This is what brings results, and this is what changes the equation (in our favor). I do not speak to give hope. I only remind what the experiences taught us, that hope is open before us, and in very big way.
Today, a position is needed in two places.
First, with the Palestinians. Currently, it is not necessary that the Palestinian launch a war, or that they launch an armed intifada, or anything like that. This popular uprising expected from them, even if it does not materialize, only one thing is required from them, and that will be enough to dismiss the “Deal of the century”. Of course, now the Palestinians are demonstrating, and they have been demonstrating for weeks, and it destroys and annihilates (completely) the “Deal of the century”.
But there is one basic thing that will prevent the “Deal of the century” to become effective, even if the whole world is unanimous about it, even if a decision of the UN Security Council (recognizes it): that no Palestinian sign it. That neither the President of the Palestinian Authority nor the PLO Chairman, neither Fatah nor Hamas nor (Islamic) Jihad nor anyone signs it. No Palestinian who claims he is the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people must sign this agreement. If they do not sign it, this Deal will have no effect whatsoever (it will be null and void).
Israel occupied Palestine, and in addition the Golan, and parts of Lebanon and the Shebaa farms so far —may God make the best out of it—, (but) the cause remained alive, Resistance movements have expanded and have become more powerful and more determined (than ever), and the awareness of the (Muslim) Community grew. As for the Arab leaders, nothing has changed, except that they took off their masks, but their essence and reality have not changed, (treachery) has been their reality for decades.
Therefore, the main position (required), from which derives the second position, is that the Palestinians do not sign. And even if a thousand Trump, a thousand Netanyahu and a thousand Mohammad Bin Salman strove to it, they could never impose on the Palestinian people the liquidation of the Palestinian cause.
And the second place is the Resistance Axis: the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Syrian Arab Republic, Lebanon (Hezbollah), Iraq, Yemen, our peoples in the region, from Bahrain to North Africa, Tunisia, Egypt, etc., etc. The Resistance Axis, with his countries, his parties (movements) and his peoples, must stand firm, enduring, not bow, not bend the knee, not give up, even if it is subjected to sanctions, blockade, even if the price of its currency is brought down, even if the war in Syria and Yemen is extended, even if (its members and supporters) are oppressed and imprisoned. It must remain firmly attached to its rights and yield nothing, and that is all that is required for us to overcome this stage (successfully). And we can overcome this stage.
In 1996, the world met in Sharm el-Sheikh, the whole world, and it was said at the time that the settlement (of the Palestinian cause) was over, that the Palestinian issue was over, and the world had made a final choice. But thanks to the battle that took place in Lebanon and Palestine, and to the endurance of Syria and Iran, (this final settlement) claimed to be “at a distance of but two bow-lengths or (even) nearer” (Qur’an 53: 9), the end of the Palestinian question in 1996, all (this) was shattered, and we are now in 2018.
The current project, as some say —these are not my words, but I borrow them— this project is based on the three vertices of a triangle: Trump, Netanyahu and Mohammad Bin Salman. In all likelihood —in order not to be categorical—, if only one of the three falls, the entire project will fall. Each of these three men, from the standpoint of political realism, (is unstable). Trump is faltering in the US because of the scandals, problems, etc., we do not know where he will lead the world and where he will lead the United States’ domestic situation. Netanyahu also because of the corruption cases which weigh (heavily) on him, and he strives to strengthen his position with political successes to save himself from all the corruption cases. As for Muhammad bin Salman, God knows what is happening in Saudi Arabia (dynastic and personal conflicts, rumors of serious injury and/or assassination attempt, etc.). Anyway, may God make the best happen. After King Salman, we’ll see what happens. None of these three is firm, solid, stable and rooted in his office.
And I add to this that all their projects in the region have fallen and failed, and they vainly wasted their resources, their allies and their instruments. And today, the Resistance Axis is stronger than ever. And after what happened in Syria several days ago, and what is happening today in Gaza, I tell you this: my brothers and sisters, do not listen to all these… Today my heart is stronger on this point. Do not listen to all the Israeli intimidation and war threats, these (claims that) they will achieve and accomplish (such and such things), strike (us) and swoop down on (us), turn our world upside down. In the vast majority, all (these rantings) are, according to me and to others —we talked about it with my brothers(-in-arms) —, I am convinced that these are empty words, vain threats. This Israel, if someone is more afraid to go to war than anyone else in this region, it is Israel. And although, as it is known, terrified people would scream louder, make threats, bomb the torso, shows muscles and insult, so that nobody approaches them, but as soon as we approach him, he flees for his life. As soon as one approaches him, he will hide in his hole.
We have very high hopes. We have very high hopes. We have (real) men in Lebanon and throughout the region, similar to the martyr Mustafa Badreddine, the (Hezbollah) martyred commander, courageous, determined and lucid. We have many men like Hajj Imad Moghnieh (Hezbollah martyred commander) among his brothers and comrades in arms. We have scholars, leaders, great (men), personalities, entire generations. And I know our new generation. Our new generation has even more enthusiasm, impulse and preparation for martyrdom. There is no loss or deficit in this regard, despite everything they do (to pervert it): social networks, games, numbness, moral corruption, drugs. Our new generation is stronger than that and stronger than previous generations. That’s why (we are not pessimistic), and we have high hopes. We just have to sustain our efforts, to stand firm and maintain this position. [...]
See also Part 1 (Trump only cares about US and Israeli interests) and Part 2 (Syrian strikes in Golan frightened Israel and shattered its prestige) of this speech.