Live From the Middle East:
Inside Hezbollah Leader Imad Mugniyeh's Funeral
by Trish Schuh February 21, 2008
Hezbollah Women's Association assemble during Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah's eulogy
for Mugniya at the Mosque of the Martyrs in Dahiyeh, south Beirut.
BEIRUT, Lebanon -- It was clear something big was about to break in the war on terror. In the weeks
before "the world's most wanted terrorist," Hezbollah's Imad Mughniyeh, was assassinated, half a dozen telecommunications
cables had been severed to countries throughout the Middle East. Or sabotaged, as the U.N. suggested.
types of communications interception often precede the launch of surprise military operations as a way to stop information
leaks.Telecommunications to all countries in the region had been affected except America's main allies, Israel and Iraq. For
a short period, Hezbollah's main sponsor, Iran, was completely blacked out. Then a few days before Mughniyeh's killing, America
sent anti-missile warships to the Israeli port of Haifa. Soon Patriot missiles that could knock out Hezbollah's incoming Katushya
rockets were being deployed across northern Galilee. If Hezbollah retaliated for Mugniyah's death, the U.S. and Israel were
In Lebanon, America's primary spokesman, Walid Jumblatt, had escalated the war threats
against Hezbollah: "If you think we are going to sit with our hands tied, then perhaps we have to burn everything. If
you want chaos -- then we welcome chaos. If you want war -- then we welcome war. We have no problem with weapons or with rockets
which we will launch on you!"
According to former Mossad officer Victor Ostrovsky, Jumblatt
had been employed by the Mossad going back to the Lebanese civil war, and so his words held weight. In past months, Jumblatt
had often condemned Mugniyah, and had even gone so far as to call for car bombings against Damascus.
On the night Israel and America car-bombed Imad Mugniyah in Damascus, the Hezbollah-dominated neighborhood Mugniyah
grew up in was hit by an earthquake, and the shock waves shook deep into Israel. Rumors swirled that the demise of Mugniyah,
like Saddam Hussein's Iraq, commemorated Purim, the Jewish triumphal feast wherein Israel's enemies "meet
The Jerusalem Post suggested something a bit more mundane: Mugniyah's killing was to prevent planned Hezbollah retaliations
after Israel's 2007 bombing of an alleged nuclear site in Deir Ez Zor, Syria by the IDF.
This writer had been
on assignment for Esquire, and was the only reporter to actually be in the oil hub of Deir Ez Zor at the time. I spoke to
officials from Shell Oil who regularly monitor the area as part of ground operations. They stated that Shell's field instruments
had detected no rise in radiation levels after the IDF hit. The charges of Syrian nuclear activity at the site? "Pure
bullshit," one of them told me.
But Mugniyah had been in the crosshairs long before the recent
IDF strike on Syria. The Mossad said his death "took years of planning." America's CIA had also been pursuing him
as the mastermind of Hezbollah's military wing for decades. In 2002 they put a $25 million dollar price tag on his life. America
held Mugniyah responsible for terrorist acts committed against France, Israel and the U.S., during the height of the Israeli
occupation of Lebanon in the 1980's and early 90's. Inside Hezbollah Leader
Imad Mugniyah's Funeral
Backed by Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, Mughniyeh was accused of planning
the bombings of the U.S. and French Embassies in Beirut, and the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires. He was also blamed for the
infamous 1983 U.S. Marine Barracks bombing that killed 271 American servicemen. None of the cases have officially been solved.
Sheikh Khudr Nur Ad Dine of Hezbollah's Political Ruling Council denied that Hezbollah had a role in the crimes. "More
than once Hezbollah leaders have denied this. Beirut was filled with many groups. Some with Islamic names were hostage takers,"
he told me. "At the time, we didn't operate in Beirut. We weren't involved in the civil war, only the resistance in
the south against Israel."
Working doubly for Hezbollah and Islamic
Jihad, Mughniyeh was wanted for the kidnapping, torture and death of U.S. government figures such as CIA station chief William
Buckley, Lt. Col. William Richard Higgins, and the hijacking of a TWA flight in which a U.S. Marine was shot.
Mughniyeh was also blamed for rampant hostage-taking during the civil war, especially the kidnapping and seven-year
confinement of Associated Press reporter Terry Anderson.
Mughniyeh's invisibility and elusiveness
were legendary. He never gave interviews or photo ops, and the one picture circulated of him was sometimes thought to have
been of someone else altogether. Press reports claimed Mughniyeh had even had plastic surgery to disguise his facial features.
I spoke with one of the few journalists ever to see Mughniyeh, veteran Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk, who had traveled
to Tehran to appeal for the release of his colleague, Terry Anderson. "Mughniyeh's hand shake was like a vise grip and
he wouldn't let go," he said. "His defining trait was that he was a very, very angry man. He also had this absolute
confidence in his own view of the world. Almost like George Bush in his self-righteousness."
Fisk thought that Mughniyeh could not have committed all the acts attributed to him. "Some of the operations, he was
too young to have had the expertise to carry out. He was only 19 or 20 at the time. Others -- like being two places at once
-- were a physical impossibility."
Ironically, Fisk's assessment would likely be an unwelcome
downgrade of Mughniyeh's "accomplishments" to the Shias who turned out for his funeral in south Beirut this week.
Despite sheets of rain, tens of thousands stood outdoors for hours to hear Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah eulogize
"the life, work and sacrifice of Martyr Hajj Radwan."
Afterwards, they marched unbowed
by rain or mud through an impoverished neighborhood still smashed by the Israeli war of 2006. Flashes of sporadic gunfire
erupted in spontaneous tribute to Mughniyeh. Women threw rice on the passing casket from balconies high above the street for
"Groom Mughniyeh" who died a martyr, and who was now being wedded in Paradise to 72 virgins.
One mourner proudly pointed out to me a wide, empty gash in the ground. "That used to be an apartment over there.
When Hezbollah caught dozens of Arab spies
At one of the memorial services, I asked Mughniyeh's
oldest daughter Fatima about the ethics of killing 271 U.S. Marines in their sleep. "America was invading our country,
like Israel... my father's duty was to defend Lebanon," she said. "Now they've killed my dad. But I and my husband
and my brothers and my father's students will carry on to victory."
The sign carried by the funerary
color guard echoed her threat: "Don't worry. This account will not be closed until the killing of Hajj Imad is avenged."
Lebanon's Al Manar TV "Marked for Death"
Muslim's Weekly by Trish Schuh 7/17/2006
After years of asymmetric
attacks on the First Amendment- assassinating journalists, surveilling dissenters, and censoring the free flow of information-
the Democracy Mukhabarat rules. Using 'national security' to circumvent scrutiny or prosecution, the Bush administration
instead labels opposition media as the criminal, declaring the Fourth Estate to be the Fourth Front. "Full spectrum information
dominance" equates 'unfriendly' media with enemy propaganda, declaring both "a weapon of war" and a legitimate
In 2004, the US government also declared it a Terrorist Organization. Under US Executive Order
12334, Lebanon's Al Manar TV was the first television station ever to be legally designated a 'terrorist entity' equivalent
to Al Qaeda. The Bush administration, at Israel's urging, silenced Al Manar satellite transmissions into the US. In 2006 the
order was expanded to include Al Noor Radio, Al Ahed & Al Intiqad Newspapers and their parent company the Lebanese Media
Group. On March 23, the US Treasury Department froze Al Manar's financial assets. On July 13, the Israeli Defense Forces tried
to blow Al Manar up. Three employees were injured, but broadcasting goes on. IDF also bombed Al Noor Radio.
Lebanese Media Group is affiliated with the Arab League, the Arab Federation of Journalists and the Union of Arab Audiovisual
Media. It complies with Lebanese law and some of its staff are also democratically elected Ministers in Parliament. The organization
has won dozens of awards from media associations around the world, and Al Manar footage has been shown by such western outlets
as Reuters, AP, CSPAN, BBC, EuroNews, FOX and CNN.
In Lebanon, each major religious sect has its own broadcasting
outlet. But only LMG has been targeted. LMG and Al Manar TV is the broadcasting outlet for Hezbollah. On April 21, 2006 I
asked Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora about the distinction. "Well of course we would prefer that all media be
treated equally democratic, but we do not make American laws so I can not comment."
After the initial State
Department decision, in January, 2005 local and international press demonstrated in Beirut to support Al Manar. The National
Audiovisual Media Council denounced the US decision. Competing MBC TV producer/director Suzen Moussa challenged the decision's
fairness, and Ghassan Hajjar, an Editorial Director for New TV told me: "International law protects the right of free
speech equally to all world press- American, Israeli and Arab. No one has the right to accuse Al Manar of terrorism for speaking
In America's losing battle for Arab hearts and minds, Al Manar propaganda is as effective as
American propaganda is impotent. Lebanon's Daily Star quoted an estimate that Al Manar has up to 200 million viewers via satellite,
correspondents worldwide, and a nightly news program that often outranks Al Jazeera. It broadcasts in Arabic, English, French
An American AUB professor in Beirut, Dr. Judith Harik, told me that
Al Manar often features video not seen elsewhere. "Many people here tune into Al Manar whether they are Christian, Druse,
Sunnis or what, because Al Manar has very good reporting. Their analysis is very precise and very well thought out. They're
very shrewd, forthright and are taken very seriously."
Especially in Israel. It was Al Manar's Hebrew broadcasts
and images of IDF casualties during the occupation that galvanized Israeli public opinion against the war. The Israeli military
had portrayed its losses as minimal, until Al Manar exposed the toll. Speaking to Adnkronos International, Hezbollah media
director Hassan Ezz Eddine summarized the Israeli response: "We have to watch Al Manar to learn the truth about our boys
As a "fair & balanced" Arab TV network, Al Manar TV dubs itself 'the media of
resistance' to Israeli and American occupations. Al Manar's blunt, relentless criticism of US-Israel policy has been called
hate speech and incitement to violence. The US State Department deems Hezbollah and its TV station, "the A team of terror"
and more dangerous than the "B team Al Qaeda." Ironically, the US-sponsored Tolo TV in Afghanistan regularly features
Taliban/Al Qaeda interviews along with Taliban chanting. Attempts to halt such broadcasts were condemned by the international
community as censorship.
In the Haret Hreik district of south Beirut, Al Manar headquarters are in a packed, threadbare
neighborhood of family-owned shops and apartment buildings. The streets are marked by blue and yellow Zakat donation boxes
decorated with upturned hands over an AK-47 raised in the fist of the Shia martyr Hussein, cousin of the Prophet Muhammad.
It is the Party of God's trademark, and it adorns everything from Hezbollah's yellow flags and pennants (Hezbollah owns exclusive
rights to Lebanon's soccer league), to its coffee mugs for sale at area souvenir shops.
After clearing a checkpoint
with armed guards, I visited Al Manar's high tech offices. The state-of-the- art facilities included an extensive video archives/library,
modern recording studios, sound booths and edit bays. In the Green Room I spoke to Sheikh Khoury Noor Ad Dine of the Hezbollah
Political Council. He denied that the TV station committed atrocities or waged war on civilians. In fact, a large percentage
of Al Manar employees are female. "Hezbollah differs from many Islamic groups in our treatment of women. We believe women
have the ability like men to participate in all parts of life."
From its founding in the 1980s, Hezbollah
women have headed education, medical and social service organizations. Most recently Hezbollah nominated several women to
run in the Lebanese elections.
It named Wafa Hoteit as a Chief of Al Noor Radio (also recently bombed), and promoted 37-year old Rima Fakhry
to its highest ruling body, the Hezbollah Political Council. Part of Fakhry's duties include interpreting Islamic feminism
in Sharia law for the Committee for Political Analysis.
I asked Sheikh Khoury if Sharia law liberated women to
be recruited in the military or as 'suicide bombers'? "Not now. We don't need it at the present. If we need it in future
we would." But the staff at Al Manar has no combat function. These sisters, daughters and mothers in the mujahedin shoot
film, not bullets.
It was an issue I also raised with Al Manar film editor, Farah Noor Eddine, 30. Eddine has
a B.A. in Journalism. She emphasized that she has relatives in the US and likes Americans. "Being Hezbollah doesn't mean
that you are a military woman or a military creature. Hezbollah, the 'Party of God' is mentioned in the Quran. It's a way
of thinking or acting. We are ordinary persons." She is a vegetarian, plays ping pong, but has never fired a gun or seen
a 'suicide vest.'
With Israel attacking Beirut, "Radical Islamic Terrorists" are again the demons of
US media sensationalism. It was a charge that exasperated Health News anchor Mariam Karnib, so I asked her to define terrorism.
"It is using excessive force or violence in a way that is not justified. They are calling us terrorist, but I know I
am not like this. I was brought up here. We know our rights. We are not fools."
Ms. Karnib, 29 has a B.A.
in Political Science and a B.A. in Social Science and is now earning a Masters in the Sociology of Communication.
I asked her if Hezbollah women are familiar with the notorious Saudi website, Al Khansaa
that trains female jihadis. She was not aware of it, she said, and when off-duty preferred happier fare. "I love Danielle
Steele, Barbara Cartland and Barbara Taylor."
Al Manar TV has been boycotted for inciting
violence and suicide attacks against Israel in its MTV-inspired videos, and "Death to America" is a signature slogan.
Ms. Karnib dismissed the idea that Al Manar clips were powerful enough to produce this result, and felt sloganeering could
not be taken seriously. The most effective training for 'militants' was American cartoons, she explained, which "are
filled with alot more violence, terrorism and hatred- and they are aimed specifically at impressionable children." She
also criticized video games which promote brutal killings of 'Arab Terrorists' and 'Muslim fanatics'.
the game of dueling propaganda, Hezbollah has met its match. Israel's media features extermination, liquidation and elimination
as frequent themes, especially regarding the Palestinians: "those people will become even bigger animals than they are
today, with the aid of an insane fundamentalist Islam. So if we want to remain alive we will have to kill and kill and kill.
All day. Every day." Jerusalem Post, 5/21/04
More recently, the Chairman of the Yisrael Beiteinu
Party, Avigdor Lieberman called for Arab Knesset members to be executed. Israel Koenig (from Israel's Al Hamishmar newspaper):
"We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation and the cutting of all social services to rid the
Galilee of its Arab population."
According to the The NY Sun, the crusade against Al Manar
TV originated with Israel's Natan Sharansky and former Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom. The Israeli Defense Forces' Arab Media
desk decided its propaganda leafletting of targeted areas prior to bombing them was inadequate. "Israel must concentrate
on Arab media."
The bicoastal Herzliya-DC Neocon state within a state has orchestrated its
series of "Clean Break" Arab wars via the US-Israeli military/media complex, where the Fourth Estate doubles as
a Fifth Column.
On the US side, Israeli Avi Jorisch wrote a book on Al Manar TV called "Beacon
of Hatred" for AIPAC's Washington Institute for Near East Policy. It was endorsed by Dennis Ross and used to pressure
Congress and the Pentagon (which had not previously known of the station) to censor Al Manar. The coalition also pressured
commerical advertisers to boycott LMGr.
Anti-Defamation League, CAMERA.org, American Jewish Congress
and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies also allied with AIPAC against Al Manar worldwide. The neocon Middle East
Media Research Institute (MEMRI) took credit for persuading world leaders in Germany, Sweden, Australia and France to outlaw
Al Manar. The Netherlands and the EU followed suit, and Spain was coerced into removing Al Manar from Latin American programming.
MEMRI has recently announced a new front: France has just agreed to silence Iran's Al Sahar TV.
success has emboldened an expanding wish-list of opposition media "soon to be banned." Like a press version of Daniel
Pipe's "Campus Watch", Israel's Foreign Ministry, the IDF and its US surrogates are blacklisting a number of Arab
media- Palestinian TV, Egyptian televsion, Saudi Arabia's Al Majd and ART TV, and Iran's Al Alam. Bombings in Iraq of Al Jazeera
and Al Arabiya are well known, and now Al Manar's facilities have been completely flattened. Both the Committee to Protect
Journalists and Repoters Without Borders condemned the attacks.
The US State Department's Counter-Misinformation
Office is another tool used to monitor international Arab media. It tracks image offenses against Israel under the Global
Anti-Semitism Awareness Act passed by Congress to track anti-Jewish hate speech worldwide. Todd Leventhal, whose propaganda
pedigree includes the Pentagon, NSA and the Information Operations Task Force (renamed after the Office of Strategic Influence
closed) allegedly did similar Israeli protection work for the Voice of America.
In 2005, the Israeli
Knesset passed the Global Holocaust-Deniers Bill that criminalizes questions and free speech concerning the Holocaust. It
creates a criminal category for Holocaust questioners and even allows Israel to extradite 'Holocaust Deniers' worldwide for
prosecution. The law has no statute of limitations. Al Manar TV's dispute of the Holocaust was one reason for it being declared
a terrorist organization, according to US government sources.
According to Israeli media, Israel's
Embassy in the USA refers to US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton as "Israel's sixth Ambassador". At Bolton's
behest and with Israel's string pulling, on September 14, 2005, the United Nations passed Resolution 1624. According to Rep.
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Res. 1624 designated Al Manar a terrorist entity. As a followup to UN Resolution 1624, the UN Secretary
General distributed a proposal in closed session for a "code of ethics" for journalists to fight the war on terror
in 2006. It would ban interviews with 'terrorists' and press reports "that generate sympathy for terrorist causes."
Terrorism, still undefined by the UN Counterterror Commission seems to equal those who defy the western agenda. The issue
of state-backed terror is carefully avoided.
On July 16, 2006 I spoke with Al Manar TV editor
Ibrahim Moussawi in Beirut. With explosions in the background, he denied American media reports of a hundred Iranian Revolutionary
Guards helping Hezbollah in the south. "Lies- all lies. Israeli propaganda! Why do you believe this? We have enough of
our own Lebanese to fight. We don't need Iran to win!" Al Manar writer/producer Fatima Berri's words on the Islamophobic
propaganda constantly leveled at Hezbollah- and Arabs in general- said: "It is untrue information. To use lies, make
up information to use against you to adjust to their policy."
Now the policy has come home.
English-language outlet Indymedia which often bucks established opinion, defends Palestinians and challenges the Fifth Column
media has just been sanctioned for its article comparing factually documented statistics of varying estimates of Holocaust
victims in World War ll. Indymedia has never advocated or used violence against any party but in March 2006 Indymedia, like
Al Manar TV, was put on the "Terrorist Watch List."
Jan 16, 2014 Hizbollah members Salim Ayyash, Mustafa
Badredine, Hussein Onessi and Assad Sabra on trial for the assassination of former PM Rafiq Hariri in The Hague
HEZBOLLAH HANGS TOUGH
by Trish Schuh
The Indypendent March 7, 2005
is a Syrian-Iranian sponsored political/resistance party that began over 20 years ago to fight the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.
Accused of bombing the U.S. embassy and the American marine barracks in Beirut in 1983, Hezbollah has long been designated
a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department. Since the end of the Lebanese civil war in 1990, Hezbollah has operated
extensive social service networks including schools, hospitals and community centers throughout Lebanon. It also holds 12
seats in parliament.
After mass demonstrations on March 8 of 500,000 Lebanese, the Lebanese government
pushed for the reinstatement of pro-Syrian prime minister Omar Karameh who resigned last week. Targeted by neoconservatives
in Washington and Tel Aviv, Hezbollah could determine if Lebanon remains at peace or lapses into civil war.
Interview: Hussein Naboulsi
Director of Hezbollah Media Relations
Hezbollah, Beirut Lebanon
Q: Did Hezbollah assassinate Prime Minister
Rafiq Hariri or have anything to do with his death?
A: Rafiq Hariri was
one of our most important national figures. He saved Lebanon in many ways. He got us on our feet. He supported
the resistance and worked against Resolution 1559. He believed in our right to liberate Lebanon. And he supported
Hezbollah to the international community.
Q: Who killed him then?
Was it Syria?
A: There is a UN international investigation now that will
gather the evidence and determine who committed this crime. In one month we'll have the answers and we'll know.
Q: In the Arab press the US or Israel are accused of killing him?
We know this: those behind it were the enemies of the Lebanese. It is an attempt to destabilize the country and damage
our interests. Assess who has benefited most from his death to push forward their policies. There may be your answer.
Q: What will happen to Hezbollah if Syria leaves in compliance with UN Resolution 1559?
A: Hezbollah is Lebanese and supported by the Lebanese. We are not
an outside party from Sri Lanka, Hong Kong or foreign shores. Our members come from our own farms and villages and cities.
We have support from many Arab partners. We are democratically elected.
But Syria and Iran are 'foreign'?
A: We are proud to be associated with
them. Without their help, we would not have been able to liberate Lebanon from occupation.
Do you see demands to disband Hezbollah as a prelude to an attack on your ally Iran?
America is already stuck in one quagmire, Iraq...
Q: What if the EU stops
supporting you or designates you a "terrorist entity"?
and the Europeans know who we are and that we have a right to exist under the UN Charter.
We have been seeing many demonstrations against Syria-usually estimated at 25,000 or more. Is this accurate?
A: Up to now, they have been around 5,000 to 10,000 strong.
Do you think American intervention is behind any of it?
A: No- no
we cannot know this and we must be objective. Those against Syria are not our enemies. They are Lebanese and they
have every right to speak out. That is democracy. But they don't represent all of Lebanon. But there are
others with different opinions. They are afraid of our huge numbers. We are not against The Opposition.
We are for a Syrian presence. We are not trying to provoke any conflicts that will lead to violence. If we really
care about Lebanon, we must all be peaceful and respectful, for the good of the country.
If the Lebanese government itself orders you to disband, will you?
We are not just a militia. We must make that decision when it happens. Before then, I can not comment.
|2000: Hezbollah celebrates IDF exit from Lebanon
Hezbollah, Next American Target
Interview: Sheikh Hassan Ezzedine
Director, Hezbollah Media Relations
by Trish Schuh August
2, 2002 Indymedia
Q: This 'War on Terror' is not about Osama Bin Laden. Its a way to attack
Iraq. And after that, Syria, Iran and you here in Lebanon. What will you do?
This is only media talking.
Q: Actually, no one in the media is
saying this. When I bring it up, the idea is dismissed as an absurd conspiracy theory...
So what will you do when
A: I cannot comment on something unofficial.
Q: It seems they are laying the groundwork for an eventual attack. One US official even
called Hezbollah the "A Team of Terror". Bush is using the same language. He's official.
A: President Bush has no right to qualify countries, groups or political organizations as
terrorists. President Bush represents the head of terrorism in the world. First of all because he supports the
Zionist entity on a security and military level. This entity that kills civilians of all ages and destroys their homes.
And Bush is the one squeezing Iraq with sanctions. Because of these sanctions Iraqi children are dying
and they have no medicine or food. Bush came to
Afghanistan and killed innocent Afghan civilians who have no planes,
or arms and no way to defend themselves.
Bush is a symbol- the American administration has
also bombed Hiroshima in Japan, created war in Africa and other parts of the world. He who has such behavior has no
right to judge other people when he himself assists evil.
Q: So you don't
believe we should fight the "War on Terror" or defend ourselves?
Under the pretext of fighting terrorism, Bush wants to dominate the world and exploit the resources of the world.
Q: Was 9/11 terrorism?
A: We were
among the first to condemn 911 as a criminal act. But there is no agreed upon definition of terrorism. Till now
America refuses to define terrorism. Because if there is a perception of terrorism established, we can point to which are
terrorist acts and which are not. Bush refuses to define terorism so he can use it as a pretext to commit
terrorism. We at Hezbollah want all nations to get together to set up principles defining terrorism.
Q: Is Osama Bin Laden a terrorist?
In our ethics, we believe human beings have dignity so that one can live with honor and be provided with the necessities to
exist in that condition. We believe killing those innocent civilians is a forbidden act against our beliefs and
Q: What is your relationship to Palestine?
Palestinians used to live on their land with the Jewish people- there was no problem. Britain and America
them financially, politically and militarily- while they killed Palestinians. They displaced them and took their
land by force. Then the problems began. According to the UN Charter and International Law, any peoples whose
land is occcupied have the right to fight the occupier. That is the right of the Palestinians.
|ZASSBOLLAH Italy soccer team named for Hezbollah
Q: Hezbollah condemned Arafat as a criminal for signing the Oslo Accords.
What leader would you approve?
A: We don't interfere in their affairs.
This matter is up to the Palestinians.
Q: Hezbollah doctrine is vehement
about supporting the right of "oppressed peoples." Does that include Jews under the Nazis?
A: The Holocaust is an historic lie. A French student wrote a paper on the subject saying
it was a skewing of facts and so the Jewish Lobby got him expelled. The number of killed were over estimated.
Q: Israel is a firmly established state that will not vacate its territory. So what is
a realistic solution for this area?
A: The occupiers must stop the occupation.
They must leave the land.
Q: What if that does not happen?
A: Israel doesn't want peace. Sharon won't leave the settlements. If he wanted
to withdraw to 1967 lines, he would do it. According to repeated UN Resolutions, he should completely leave Lebanon
(Shebaa Farms). Only Hezbollah resistance forced him to- and the Palestinian resistance will force him to
Q: Do Arabs hate Jews and Israel? Would Hezbollah ever work
with Jewish or Israeli organizations who advocate a Palestinian State?
Hezbollah hates oppression, occupation and racism. We hate aggression and corruption. All of these
in Zionism. ANY group in the world with these traits we oppose.
So you would work with a group who were Jewish, but anti-Zionist?
A: No problem with that. Any group against these bad characteristics-we
Q: So you are not against the Jewish religion?
A: No. Muslims are 'People of the Book', which began with Judaism.
Q: Its feared the Middle East crisis could lead to World War III. Is this just
A: Short term no. But long range it is very possible.
Bull's Eye on Beirut
Sheikh Khudr Noor Eddine
Hezbollah Political Council
by Trish Schuh February
05, 2005 Indymedia
Q: The US has declared
Hezbollah a terrorist organization. Could you comment?
others say about us must be backed by evidence. Many western journalists have said many things about us that are not true.
They have portrayed us as if we are not human beings, as if we haven't feelings, imagination, love for life or family. We
want to live in peace. We have children and friends and we like to live well. But the Israeli occupation that was in our area
pushes us to resist because no one else in the world came to help us or forced the Israelis to withdraw.
Q: How did Hezbollah start in the early 1980's?
When the Israelis occupied our land and marched to Beirut, the UN and the whole world watched our cities burn, our
farms and villages being destroyed, our children, old and young men killed. No one told Israel to leave or stop. We waited
nearly one year. Then we saw they weren't going to leave. As Muslims, we believe life without dignity, life without freedom
and independence doesn't mean anything to us. So we struggled to live as we like and push the occupiers off our land. Our
resistance started as military, and became political. Our people needed social and educational assistance. The Lebanese
government was so weak and no one from outside came to help us. So we built social centers in Beirut, the Bekaa Valley and
elsewhere. So now we have social, educational and medical services- not just military.
But when Israel first entered Lebanon, they were welcomed by the Lebanese themselves.
were a relief from the prior occupiers, until they became occupiers themselves.
Were you behind the violent kidnappings in the 1980's?
More than once Hezbollah leaders have denied this. Beirut was filled with many groups. Some with Islamic names were hostage
takers. From the beginning, Hezbollah was not responsible and there has never been any evidence that they were.
Q: What about your relations to Christians?
Many claimed Hezbollah killed Christians. Go to the south of Lebanon and see how the Christians were defended by Hezbollah.
Go to them and ask them directly.
Q: Were you responsible for the bombing
of the US marine barracks in 1983?
A: No. We were not involved.
Q: But news services got claims of credit from a group called 'Hezbollah'.
A: At the time, we didn't operate in Beirut. We weren't involved in the Civil War. Our mission
was the resistance in the south.
Q: In January 2002, Israel
and America allegedly caught Iran shipping missiles to Arafat for use against Israel?
A: For years, Israel has accused Syria, Iran and Hezbollah when they are weak.
They don't want to accept their crimes in the Palestinian Intifadah.
Iran training and funding suicide operations in Palestine?
is wrong. The Palestinians have their own training camps in the West Bank. They have much experience in military operations.
From long before the Islamic Revolution in Iran. They want to destroy Iran, and use this accusation as a reason.
Q: Are you connected to Saudi or Turkish Hezbollah, for example?
A: No. We are Lebanese only. We are not responsible for other groups. There are many Islamic
groups and most are not related. Hezbollah differs from most others. We have 12 members in the democratically elected parliament.
We have good relations with the government and army. We have women in high positions.
A US senator has compared Hezbollah to Saddam Hussein. Were you also supported by the CIA like Saddam?
A: No, never.
Q: Have you
used gas against your own citizens like he did?
A: Absolutely not.
Q: Did you ever behead anybody?
That is haraam- for all-Christians, Muslims, and Jewish.
about Ariel Sharon?
A: No. No we could only take him as a prisoner.
Our enemy has the right to fight us and we have the right to fight them. We have many rules in war. There are many limits.
One, that they are human beings with rights. For 1400 years, even before the Geneva Conventions, Islam said an enemy still
Q: What do you think of Osama bin Laden?
A: We don't accept him as an Islamic leader. He has harmed the perception of Islam in
the world and damaged the reputation of our religion.
Q: How do water resources
figure in your fight with Israel?
A: The Israelis want to tap
our rivers. The Litani and Wazzani are ours. One of them originates completely in Lebanon and we are forbidden to use it.
We aren't allowed to give our own water to our own people.
you have terror cells inside the US?
A: We do not have groups
outside of Lebanon, we are Lebanese.
Q: If a peace deal is signed
with Israel, would Hezbollah disband?
A: These are issues that must be
decided by the Lebanese government and we would follow that.
Q: Are you
growing drugs in the Bekaa Valley?
A: Drugs are haraam in Islam.
We helped clear the area of drugs- with the help of Syria.
USA is trying to get Syria out of Lebanon. What will you do then?
Fifteen years ago it was the US that approved Syrian deployment in Lebanon. Now Resolution 1559 is trying to take
advantage of the situation in Iraq to have us expelled.
has said you would use Iranian nuclear weapons against them via Iran?
That is not true. Israel makes many accusations against us like this.
In May 2004, the US House of Representatives passed a resolution to attack Iran...
America has enough troubles in Iraq. Change in the world must not come from military aggression. Iran is very different
from Iraq. Millions in Iran will defend the country if under attack. America would make a big mistake to attack.
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