Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

What Nasrallah Did Not Say Directly - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page

I always recommend reading Hassan Nasrallah’s speeches rather than listening to them, because reading one of his speeches unemotionally allows one to read between the lines. The latest speech given by the Hezbollah leader was as if he were trying to compete with Mr. Amr Musa for the position of Secretary-General of the Arab League. In this speech, Nasrallah spoke about Lebanon, the Arabs, and the world [at large], and offered his opinions and his congratulations on initiatives that have been taken. The most important thing highlighted in this speech was his statements about the elections, the peace process, and Turkey, and in the process revealing [several] important issues.

Nasrallah said that following the election of [US President] Obama “Many people waited and gambled and kept watch, saying wait, for there will be big changes” but that “the reality of this mirage was soon revealed.” Nasrallah then quoted a Palestinian negotiator who had told him that we have negotiated for 18 years and not achieved anything. Nasrallah said “the number 18 is an interesting number; [there have been] 18 years of negotiations whose only results are failure, frustration, loss, humiliation, and occupation. In contrast 18 years of resistance in Lebanon has resulted in the liberation of Beirut and its suburbs, the [Lebanese] mountains, Bekaa Valley, and southern Lebanon from Zionist occupation…and without any favors from anybody in this world.” The crux of the speech can be seen when Nasrallah said “we are with ‘Sunni’ Turkey if it wants to defend Palestine, the Gaza Strip, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

This means that Nasrallah is saying that Turkey must abide by Hezbollah’s positions or Hezbollah will cut its ties with the country, and this brings us neatly to our next point; Nasrallah praised the speech given by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Turkey about the resistance. However despite this, President Bashar al-Assad told a Turkish newspaper that he advised the Turks on the necessity of maintaining good relations with Israel and Europe in order to assist Syria with the peace process and the restoration of the Golan Heights.

How can we assess this?

This is not to mention Nasrallah’s disdain of the peace process, and France now becoming involved in the Syrian – Israeli peace [negotiations]. In fact, the Syrian President announced a few weeks ago that we are not far away from seeing Israel becoming [directly] involved in the [Syrian – Israeli] peace negotiations, while just two days ago an Israeli official spoke of his country’s desire to start negotiations for peace with Damascus without setting any preconditions.

Does Nasrallah’s statement about Turkey also apply to Syria?

Is it reasonable for Nasrallah to disparage the peace process, and all those who want to liberate their lands without taking up arms, and then come out and commend Syria and its president?

Therefore due to the unconvincing nature of his speech, it is clear that when Nasrallah praised Syria and its president he was merely trying to disguise [his true feelings] or attempting to be clever. Nasrallah’s statements about his joy at the Saudi Arabian – Syrian rapprochement are therefore similarly doubtful, especially after he called for Saudi Arabian – Iranian rapprochement. If Nasrallah meant what he said about the Arab world and [the importance of] good relations, why did he not talk about the necessity of Syrian – Egyptian rapprochement, for example?

Nasrallah’s speech, despite his [attempt] to be clever, revealed many important things, such as the difference in the positions of Hezbollah and Damascus today.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

More Posts