Hizbullah terrorist chief Hassan Nasrallah complained bitterly in a speech broadcast Wednesday that U.S. President Barack Obama favors Israel over Arabs and Muslims. The fiery remarks, beamed to tens of thousands of supporters in a southern Beirut suburb, marked Lebanon's "Shahid Day."
Nasrallah rarely has spoken in public since the 2006 Second Lebanon War, beaming his addresses to the public by a video hook-up from a secret hideout, due to fears of assassination by Israeli intelligence agents. His second-in-command, Imad Mughniyeh, was killed in a February 2008 car bomb attack in Damascus by unknown assassins. Since the assassination, Nasrallah has tightened his personal security arrangements even further.
Referring to President Obama, Nasrallah said, "When he was elected, many relied on him and believed it would mark a major turnaround in favor of the Arab world, but this notion quickly dissipated." Instead, he claimed, Obama has strengthened his commitment to the security of the Jewish State. The evidence, he said, was to be found in Obama's videotaped message to participants at a memorial rally in Rabin Square to commemorate the 14th anniversary of the assassination of former Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin. In his address, Obama told the crowd "The strong bond between the United States and Israel cannot be broken. Our support in defending Israel's security will never waver..."
Nasrallah accused Obama of conspiring together with Israel to make a show of demanding the Jewish State freeze all construction in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem as a "tactic" before gradually backing down, calling it a "ploy to pass the time and gain Arab sympathy."
He lamented that the world had hoped a new face in the White House would "try and change the savage American policy," but said that what has resulted instead is even worse.
"What we see is absolute American commitment to Israeli interests, Israeli conditions and Israeli security... while disregarding the dignity or feelings of the Arab and Muslim people and their nations and governments," according to Nasrallah.
Noting that the joint U.S.-Israel Juniper Cobra military exercise had just ended, he declared, "The Americans are coming for the first time in decades, and perhaps the first time since Israel's existence, to be a field partner in any confrontation that Israel might force on Gaza, Lebanon, Syria or Iran."
The joint military drill was held to test an air missile defense system that would protect Israel from attack. During the 2006 Second Lebanon War, Hizbullah fired thousands of short and medium-range Katyusha missiles at the Jewish State, nearly reaching the central region. More recently, just prior to and during the counterterrorist Operation Cast Lead carried out by the IDF in Gaza, the Hamas terrorist organization launched Kassam and Grad missiles at southern Israel that reached as far north and east as Ashdod, Be'er Sheva and Yavne.
The Hizbullah secretary-general accused Obama of providing even stronger military support for the Jewish State than had his predecessor, former President George W. Bush. He added, "We did not see this during the Bush Administration."
The stinging criticism reflected a deep anger; Bush was despised by much of the Arab world due to his declared war on terror, the U.S. invasion of Iraq and his willingness to bluntly label PLO chairman Yasser Arafat "a terrorist."