Deputy Secretary-General of Hezbollah Sheikh Naim Qassem spoke at the Fourth Global Convention of Solidarity with Palestine on March 13, saying that the only way to regain Palestine was through resistance and “first and foremost, armed resistance.”
He further declared: “We want victory—today, tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow—but nobody can exert pressure on us… and take through our surrender what they could not wrest from us through war. We are in no hurry.”
Sheikh Qassem criticized U.S. intervention in Iraq and Syria and its support of the Saudi and Bahraini rulers, saying that the story of America “is the story of Satan.”
Following his speech, American activist Rabbi Dovid Weiss of Neturei Karta presented him with a gift “from the Jewish people, from my brethren in Palestine and around the world.” Sheikh Al-Qassem received the gift on behalf of Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah. The proceedings were broadcast on Al-Manar TV.
Following is a transcript:
Naim Qassem: Palestine must be restored to its rightful owners. We must cooperate with the people of Palestine in order to restore it to them.
As for America—its story is the story of Satan, who has not left a single corner in this world that he did not destroy. The American intervention in our region has destroyed it, harmed its people, increased the arrogance of the Zionist occupation, and abetted its expansion and aggression. America occupied Iraq and brought takfirists to Syria, thus destroying it. It supported Saudi Arabia in its aggression against Yemen, and protected the rulers of Bahrain in their oppression of their people. It left the fingerprints of destruction when it interfered in the Arab Spring, which was meant to bring liberation, but was used by them as a pretext for sowing destruction. All of this was done in order to defend Israel.
We say to the Arabs, to the Muslims, and to the world in its entirety: Any of you who are incapable of supporting the Palestinian people should remain silent rather than supporting the enemy.
There is no way to regain Palestine other than through the resistance—first and foremost, armed resistance, followed by all other forms of resistance. We shall not replace resistance by weapons with any other form of resistance, until this enemy surrenders, and surrender it will.
The backbone of the resistance is the Palestinians. The head of the resistance is the Palestinians. Nobody will take their place. We are not acting on their behalf. We are with you, we are behind you, and we support you, but it is you who are at the helm. You have proven throughout history that you are a nation worthy of fighting for its cause. Keep on this path, and we are certain that you and we will be victorious on the path to liberation.
If anyone is interested in knowing when we expect to be victorious, we say: We are in no hurry. We want victory—today, tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow—but nobody can exert pressure on us with regard to the place or the time, or [threaten us with] international considerations, and take through our surrender what they could not wrest from us through war. We are in no hurry.
MC: I invite Rabbi Dovid Weiss to come to the stage, in order to present a symbolic gift to Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, who is represented here by Sheikh Naim Qassem.
[Weiss embraces Qassem and hands him the gift.]
Rabbi Dovid Weiss is presenting a gift to Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah … to Deputy Secretary-General Sheikh Naim Qassem.
[Qassem and Weiss stand for photo op, both holding the gift.]
Naim Qassem: In Palestine, the Jews are with us, the Christians are with us, and the Muslims are with us. We are all with Palestine.
Dovid Weiss: With the help of the Almighty. We simply gave a symbolic, little gift from the Jewish people, from my brethren in Palestine and from around the world, to show that this is not a conflict between religions. This is not a conflict between Jews and Muslims. This is the despicable narrative of the Zionist state.
We pray every day for a free Palestine. We want it returned to the Palestinian people. The Muslim people were so good to us. They gave us… embraced us, in our suffering throughout the exile. We want to show our gratitude. This is to show that we are both working together in peace and solidarity, in harmony, as we have lived for so many hundreds of years. God should help. He should bring this about—soon in our days—a free Palestine. As a Jew, we would be able to show our appreciation, our gratitude, to our brothers and sisters, the Muslims and the Arabs.