Hezbollah’s no.2 , Deputy Secretary-General Sheikh Naim Qassem on Wednesday questioned former PM Saad Hariri’s leadership of the Sunni community in Lebanon and stressed that he was “not their sole representative”.
In a speech representing Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah during the inauguration of the fourth International Conference on Sheikh Bahaei in Beirut Qassem said that the dispute in Lebanon is not religious( between the Sunnis and Shiites) but is political between 2 political parties ( The Future Movement and Hezbollah) adding that the religious slogan is being used for incitement due to” their failure to propagate their (political) vision.”
“The Sunni community is the community of resistance and it had pioneered the resistance against the Israeli scheme and it cannot be solely represented a few figures or movements and it should not be held responsible for their stances,” Qassem added.
“ Former Saad Hariri is not a sole representative and the sect must not be held responsible for his decisions. There are people who are concerned with Islamic unity and resisting the Israeli enemy. They reject to support schemes that serve Israel’s plans and are promoted by the U.S. and funded by some oil-producing (Gulf) states. We cooperate with them and are honored to be with them in the same anti-Israel front,” Qassem added.
Qassem stressed that his party was willing to cooperate “with anyone who endorses this vision, and even with those who restore their belief in this vision after straying away.”
According to an analyst , “the number 2 man of the Iranian backed Hezbollah militant group aimed at dividing the Sunni community in his speech by undermining its current leadership .”
Addressing the May 7 , 2008 event when Hezbollah occupied the western part of Beirut and tried to occupy Mt Lebanon when the cabinet of former PM Fouad Siniora decided on May 5 to remove the party’s telecommunications network Qassem said
“What happened on May 5 (2008) is the real crime, which was aimed at destroying the Resistance’s telecom network … which would have served Israel. ” Qassem
“What happened on May 7 was an armed clash between two parties, as the Future Movement had 3,000 gunmen deployed in apartments and buildings and they opened fire first by attacking the General Labor Confederation’s demo with RPGs,” he added.
“We were very keen on containing this sedition, so it ended within hours and the army took control. We were defending ourselves and preventing civil strife and we did not attack anyone. Our arms are pointed at the Israeli enemy and that page has been turned and we must open the pages of rapprochement, construction and resistance.”
Qassem in the speech was responding to Hariri when he said last weekend:
“May 7,  was not a glorious day but a disgraceful one. It poisoned life between brothers and when certain parties pointed their guns at fellow Lebanese to accomplish political goals”
Hariri explained why the people in Beirut did not fight back.
“In May 2008, people of Beirut chose peaceful resistance to prevent the ghost of the civil war from returning. Since May 2008, honorable people in Beirut and Lebanon made sacrifices…to defend Lebanon by rejecting violence and non-state ( Hezbollah) arms and by holding on to democracy to express their opinion.
Qassem in his speech avoided talking about Hezbollah attack against the Druze community in May 2008 when Hezbollah reportedly lost more people during its failed effort to occupy Mt Lebanon than in the 2006 war with Israel and the his (Qassem’s) son was reportedly killed in the Mt Lebanon battles.