Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered a speech during a ceremony honoring children of the party’s martyrs.As an editorial in Now Lebanon put it after Nasrallah's second speech attacking the STL:
He started out by defending the resistance and pointing out its achievements in 1982 , 2000 and 2006 .
He said :” [Lebanon's enemies] may bargain on gas and oil but they can never bargain on the Resistance.”
He concluded that the “Resistance is the most precious of what we have. We will not allow any small or big person in this world to touch any of its dignity. ”
Nasrallah used the occasion to attack the Special Tribunal for Lebanon for the third time in 10 days.
He accused the UN investigation team of being formed from officers closely associated with Israeli Mossad spy agency :
“Should an Investigation Committee made of Americans and the British government where investigating officers are brought from intelligence services closely linked to the Mossad be entrusted with a big issue at this level?” , he said.
Nasrallah also attacked the March 14 leaders who were critical of his previous two speeches:
“Is the behavior of some political forces in Lebanon and the Attorney General and the International Tribunal the behavior of those who seek the truth?, he said
Nasrallah suggested setting up a Lebanese committee to investigate the issue of false witnesses, who he said “misled the investigation for 4 years.”
“Distortion of the Resistance, the dearest to us, will not be allowed,” he added.
On the face of it, Thursday night’s speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah marked another milestone in the party’s proud policy of intimidation. Those of us who lived through the attempted coup of May 7, 2008 know only too well what Hezbollah and its allies in the opposition March 8 bloc can and will do if they feel their agenda is under threat.However, Nasrallah's threats may be masking his own nervousness:
Nasrallah’s speech, the second in which he has sought to discredit the Special Tribunal for Lebanon – the court formed to find the killers of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 21 others as well as the victims of subsequent political violence – targeted the March 14 bloc and urged its members to reconsider the “choices they made.” In short, as March 14 General Secretariat Coordinator Fares Soueid said in an interview on Saturday with Radio Free Lebanon, Nasrallah was suggesting March 14 surrender the ideals forged in the heat of the 2005 Independence Intifada.
If we follow Hezbollah’s advice, we will have allowed threats and intimidation to derail justice, even if it is sold as a move to avoid civil violence. Nasrallah wants us to believe that the Resistance is more important than justice and that we should give up our pursuit of it because he will allow nothing to harm the Resistance.
Meaning what? That Hezbollah and its allies will take their gunmen onto the streets once again? That the government will be toppled and another more pliant cabinet installed to derail the tribunal? Both courses of action are hardly likely. They would not only be an admission of guilt to all but the most blinkered supporters, but would also once again prove that Hezbollah has no policy for advancing Lebanon as a modern state and no blueprint for building state institutions. It can only offer violence and conflict on behalf of its Iranian clients.
In fact, since 2005, Hezbollah’s contribution to the national whole has been one war, one downtown sit-in and one bout of murderous, civil violence. Let us also not forget the vast array of tools it has at its disposal for obstructing basic constitutional processes, such as elections, the selecting of a president and the forming of a government.
But short of throwing out the tried and tested, but ultimately weary Zionist card, Nasrallah has few options. This has been demonstrated by the mixed signals he has sent in the previous 24 hours. He will not allow the Resistance to be harmed, and yet he will enter into talks on the matter, either within the cabinet or at the national dialogue table, but only on the condition that the talks do not start on the basis of Hezbollah’s presumed guilt. These provisos have all the hallmarks of desperation.