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I Don’t Care How Many Lebanese Die ‘For Palestine’

By Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary-General, Hezbollah

Nasrallah Feb 2016Liberation of the Islamic land of Palestine from the infidel Zionists remains the sacred duty of all Muslims, regardless of local nationality. That is why it ultimately does not matter how many Lebanese must die in the process of realizing that dream.

I write this in response to ongoing rhetoric accusing me and my movement of placing Iran’s Shiite conquest ambitions above the interests of my country, accusations that flow either from ignorance or malice, perhaps both. In fact, the interests of Lebanon appear nowhere in my hierarchy of considerations, making that accusation nonsensical.

Of course the welfare of the inhabitants of Lebanon does not go unnoticed or unconsidered, just not as a value in itself. When I remarked, after our disastrous war with the Zionists almost twelve years ago, that had I known in advance the Zionist response would be as destructive as it indeed was, I would not have launched the war, it was not an expression of care for the people of Lebanon, but a calculated acknowledgement that Hezbollah could only go so far in prosecuting a conflict without losing its grip on the country as the punishment became too much for the populace to bear. Let that be clear.

We do have to couch our rhetoric in terms that imply, or even declare outright, that we act for Lebanon’s benefit, but let us also be clear on the fact that the majority of Lebanon’s inhabitants hold a very different understanding of “Lebanon’s benefit” from the one we use. They, naturally, associate the term with prosperity, security, and serenity, whereas we define it only in terms of how well Lebanon benefits Iran’s regional ambitions.

Sometimes we also couch that rhetoric in terms of justice for Palestinians, about whom we care so much that we oppose letting them hold most jobs, live outside refugee camps, own property, or gain Lebanese citizenship. This represents yet another way in which the slander of our not caring about the Lebanese relies on half-truths: singling out the Lebanese for that honor distorts the fact that we are equally willing to subordinate the fate of Palestinians to the goals of Iran’s regional hegemony as we are Lebanese. And Syrians, for that matter. Really, anyone who can be forced to provide cannon fodder for Tehran’s adventures in imperialism. We do not discriminate in that regard.

Oh, and we do not care how many Palestinians die for Palestine, either. But that hardly seems controversial, since they do not care, either.

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