Qassem: Lebanon will remain Hezbollah land for tens of years


Despite the uprising in the Middle east which is aimed at ending the dictatorships, Hezbollah deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem assured the Lebanese that Lebanon will remain Hezbollah land for tens of years.”

He told March 14 forces on Wednesday to “stop betting on regional developments to alter the balance of power in Lebanon,” stressing that Lebanon will remain “the Lebanon of resistance ( Hezbollah )for tens of years.”

His comments come on the same day that embattled Syrian president Bashar al Assad called for a referendum to end the single party rule in Syria and a day after the March 14 opposition held a rally in Beirut to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the assassination of former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri.

“To the March 14 bunch I say: stop betting on regional developments to alter the balance of power in Lebanon.. betting on America, Israel, the West will be of no use because you won’t gain anything from them,” Qassem said during a ceremony organized by Hezbollah at the Lebanese University campus in Hadath east of the capital Beirut

On Tuesday the leaders of the March 14 camp called on Hezbollah to hand over its controversial arms to the Lebanese army.

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea said during the rally “there is no future for illegal arms,” while former PM Saad Hariri said “we all want to bravely confront Israel” .

“Betting on the developments in Syria is a delusion, because whatever happens in Syria they will only serve to strengthen the regime,” Qassem said adding and whatever the outcome of the popular revolt in Syria may be it will not change the equation in Lebanon and even an earthquake cannot shake this equation.”

Qassem reiterated support for the so-called “army-people-Resistance equation,” describing it as “the reason of Lebanon’s strength,” noting that “this defense strategy will stay in place until we agree on a new defense strategy around the national dialogue table.”

He accused march 14 of sabotaging Lebanon by turning the North region into a Syrian (opposition) enclave in order to undermine order and stability in Syria.

“You want to sabotage Lebanon by turning the North into an area… that harms Syria’s stability by sheltering armed people.” he said

He concluded his speech by saying the Resistance is legitimate through its achievements, legitimate through the people’s endorsement and legitimate through its right to confront Israel.”

Israel withdrew on May 25, 2000 after 22 years of occupation. Hezbollah was credited by all the Lebanese for liberating south Lebanon but has since fallen from grace by its own hands when it pointed its guns in May 2008 against the Lebanese people following its 2006 war with Israel. Last year Hezbollah toppled the government of former PM Saad Hariri and now completely dominates the political situation in Lebanon.

UN Security Council Resolution 1701 helped solidify a ceasefire for the 2006 July War between Israel and the Hezbollah.

Lebanon is divided politically between those who support the Syrian regime and those who support the rebels.

The Hezbollah led majority supports the Syrian regime while the March 14 opposition supports the people of Syria.

Several reports circulated about Hezbollah’s support for the Syrian regime in its crackdown against the pro-democracy protesters. Other reports pointed to Iranian revolutionary guard support to the Syrian regime . The reports also revealed that hundreds of Iranians and Hezbollah members have been killed in Syria.

Hezbollah which is backed by Iran and Syria is the only armed party in Lebanon. All the other parties handed over their weapons to the Lebanese army at the end of the 1975 -1990 civil war .