For two whole days, on Sunday and Monday, March 20-21, the Lebanon-based Al-Midian news channel associated with Hezbollah, broadcast a promo of the "Speech of the Year," soon to be delivered by Hassan Nasrallah.
As the time for the speech on Monday night approached, the anchorman declared with undisguised emotion (parentheses added by the author, M.K.): "The CEO of Hezbollah, Mr. Hassan Nasrallah, in a wide-ranging political, security-oriented and strategic talk, [including] a clear message to Israel and its leadership, our plans for facing any threat or attack, straight talk on Syria and President Assad, (telling us}) this is the situation and this is the reality, this is what the entire (Iranian) axis thinks, this is the truth about Iran and Russia's tactical and strategic role; clear and true words about the decisions of the Cooperative Action Council of Saudi Arabia and the Emirates in the Gulf, the Arab League and what will occur in their wake, these are the reasons that we have been called a terror organization and this is our message to the nation (world); deep thoughts on Arabism, on Al Azar (the highest Sunni institution in Egypt), on Sunnis and Shiites – Hassan Nasrallah in the 'Speech of the Year.'"
After this kind of promo, it is no surprise that there were masses of people listening carefully to that speech, because Hezbollah has, in the past few years, gone from being a Lebanese terror organization to becoming a fighting army on a pan Arab level, involved up to its neck in the wars being waged in Syria and Yemen. It is the representative of the threatening regional power – Iran -- and it is the geographically closest significant threat to Israel, with operative cells all over the world capable of terror attacks on different levels against a long list of possible targets.
Al-Midian's website article summarizing the speech was headlined: "Nasrallah: 'As for the war over Lebanon, we will go in there without a roof (the skies the limit for our actions), without borders (we will attack everywhere) and without red lines (we will use all kinds of weapons at our disposal, first against Israel, but there is also a Saudi address).'"
In the speech itself, Nasrallah said: "…past experience has taught us that the July 2006 war was waged at the demand of former US president George Bush in an attempt to change the Middle East (conspiracy theory at its best)…Israel does not start wars unless the US permits it to do so. It is almost certain that the Obama government will not allow Israel (to go to war) because it is coming to the end of its term and any Israeli attack on Lebanon is a gamble whose final outcomes are unpredictable. "
"Many Arabs are in the employ of Israel, some of them are regimes and some are spies. The regimes are known and familiar, and the Israeli spies work for themselves. For this reason, the war must have goals and lead to results. For Israel, the price paid is crucial, in people, morale and economics…Hezbollah, by means of its preparedness, wisdom, location and statements, has made Israel understand that any war on Lebanon will exact an enormous price, and that the end result would have to justify that price. Israel is afraid for the lives of its settlers (in his view, all of Israel is a settlement) and this is the pressure point we can use. Israelis know that Hezbollah has accurate missiles capable of reaching every spot in occupied
"The problem is not only the ammonia containers in Haifa, because (in Israel) there are factories. It seems as though the Israelis have international and Arab security guarantees, or a positive view of Arab regimes (such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt who will come to its aid in time of war), and (Israel thinks) that it won't be attacked by real missiles, which is why it built petrochemical and biological factories, atomic reactors, storage facilities for radioactive substances, nuclear warheads, with these factories and reactors located within cities or in proximity to them, some right next to cities - and if Israel decides to destroy our infrastructure we are justified in attacking any of those targets in order to deter the enemy.
"If we assume that we will attack those targets, what will the Zionist entity have to return to? After all, if these targets are located within urban areas, we have the right to bomb those areas. Israel is making plans and we have a list of factories, storehouses, and centers, their exact location, and Hezbollah has every possibility (of attacking them). Nothing will help the Israelis in that case, and they know that the price will be massive…there are biological institutes that manufacture everything Israel needs or exports. And when I observe the (Zionist) entity, I say: 'They know the Arab regimes have accurate missiles, so how could they build their reactors and industries inside cities?' I have no explanation for that except for the guarantees given them by certain Arab regimes.
"In the July (2006) and Gaza (2008-9, 2012,2014) wars, the Israelis claimed that several statesmen in Arab regimes demanded they not stop the fighting, and that Israel is familiar with the desires of several Arab regimes (the Saudis who would like nothing more than to destroy Hamas and Hezbollah), therefore Hezbollah has the right to have weapons in order to withstand Israeli violations. Israel sees itself as free to invade Lebanon's skies whenever it wants to, as well as breaking into Lebanese websites. Lebanon is actually under constant Israeli attack.
"Some think we are busy with Syria (and therefore cannot enter a war with Israel) but we have a group (a missile unit) that concentrates solely on Israel…there is no reason we should reveal (the information on the types of) weapons in our possession, but we have the right to have any weapons that will allow us to protect the Lebanese Army, the Lebanese people and the armies in the region (Syrian and Iranian) in order to protect their lives and sovereignty...any attack on Lebanon will result in a suitable response…no one gives guarantees and we are not in a position to exchange messages with the Israeli enemy, we are not interested in communicating with them in any way. We will not offer security guarantees to our enemy, we will simply tell him: Don’t' attack."
Nasrallah expended considerable time on Saudi Arabia in his speech, its war against Iran, its attempts to prevent the nuclear agreement with Iran, and on claims that the Saudis are behind the hereticizing organizations (those who call those who are against them infidels, headed by the Shiites), and that this is why Saudis "have placed us on the list of terrorist organizations."
He went on to assert that the Arab League's decision to call Hezbollah a terrorist organization is mistaken and baseless. Hezbollah, in Nasrallah's narrative, was busy fighting Israel when "those who do not like us (the Saudis) came and forced us to go and fight in Syria" (read: the Saudis serve Israeli interests…).
According to him, the Saudis do not want to talk to Iran, Syria (Assad) or Hezbollah, but aside from that, Hezbollah has good relations with all the Palestinian Arab groups. If Syria falls to ISIS or Jebhat al Nusrah, Lebanon will fall as well, which makes it crucial that Hezbollah fight in Syria despite heavy losses in dead and wounded.
In sum, it is possible to say that Nasrallah harbors a feeling of responsibility for the security of the Middle East and that he could shake up the entire region if he wished to do so. With the Iranians – and their newly acquired billions of dollars – behind him, he feels powerful and secure enough to threaten Israel and Saudi Arabia, to tell the whole world what to do, to talk about Lebanon as if it belongs to him. The truth is that from every practical point of view he is in control of just about whatever and whoever makes a move in Lebanon, so we must take into account that one of these days, and fairly soon, Lebanon will become an official Hezbollah state.
Happy Purim to all the House of Israel, and may we be saved speedily from the descendants of the wicked Haman, "who rise up in each generation to destroy us, but the Holy One, Blessed be He, rescues us from their hands…"
Written for Arutz Sheva, translated from the Hebrew by Rochel Sylvetsky, Op-ed and Judaism Editor.