Lebanon News

Hezbollah strong enough to confront both fundamentalists and Israel: Qassem

Hezbollah's deputy leader Sheikh Naim Qassem speaks in front of students at the LU in Hadath, Lebanon, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)

BEIRUT: Hezbollah’s war against fundamentalist groups in Syria is not distracting it from fighting its eternal enemy Israel, according to the party’s deputy general-secretary.

“Israel is the main enemy,” said Sheikh Naim Qassem. “But the tactical priority depends on the direct threat, so our confrontation with takfiri groups derives from the direct danger they represent, and it does not affect our readiness to confront Israel.”

Qassem gave the speech in a conference organized by the Institute of Wisdom Knowledge as part of the Permanent Conference for Resistance. The institute is a research school close to Hezbollah that specializes in philosophical and religious studies.

The talk focused on demonstrating that Israel’s existence is illegitimate, that the country is an eternal enemy to Lebanon and all Arabs, and that armed resistance is the right way of confronting it.

“Israel is the enemy of humanity and truth,” said Qassem. “It cannot coexist with anyone.”

He added that diplomatic resistance, which he said was the preferred choice for Israel, had achieved nothing for the Arabs. Armed struggle, on the other hand, had accomplished a unique victory for Lebanon and the region, he explained.

He referred specifically to May 25, the day in 2000 when Israeli troops withdrew from the Lebanese south after 18 years of occupation, due largely to Hezbollah’s resistance activities.

Concerning the Syrian crisis, Qassem said there was a plan to defeat Syria and thus the resistance project, which he said was the reason behind Hezbollah’s need to confront the “takfiris.”





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