Hezbollah holds mass rally in honor of visiting Iranian president. Ahmadinejad says Lebanon is ' example and school for unwavering resistance to the world's tyrants'; adds both nations oppose 'crimes of Zionist enemy'
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is on a two-day visit to Lebanon, spoke before a mass rally organized in is honor by Hezbollah at the Dahiya quarter of Beirut, which is considered one of the Shiite group's strongholds.
Wednesday's rally, which saw masses gather at a local soccer field, waving Iranian flags and chanted "Welcome" in Persian, was missing Hezbollah Chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, who welcomed Ahmadinejad to Lebanon via a video feed from his bunker: "I welcome you here on behalf of the injured, the dead, the released prisoners and this people, who have fought to create the miracle of victory. You are a steadfast staff for the resistance."
"I come from the land of the Imam Khomeini, bearing the best wishes of the Iranian people and its leaders," Ahmadinejad told the masses. "Lebanon is the an example and school for unwavering resistance to the world's tyrants and a university for Jihad. Visiting Lebanon and meeting the leaders is a dream come true for me."
Ahmadinejad spoke in Persian and used an interpreter.
The Iranian leader wasted no time in attacking Israel for violating the Palestinians' rights: "Do you see anything but crimes in the past actions of the Zionist regime? The massacre of innocent people, the use of weapons, razing homes, confiscating medicine, food and water, attacking civilians in international waters and threatening the world is an everyday occurrence for them."
The West, he added, considers Israel "means of dominating the world," and to that end it has given it nuclear weapons.
Israel's weakness exposed
Turning his attention to the Second Lebanon War and Operation Cast Lead, the Iranian president said the two military campaigns "exposed Israel's weakness… it is also possible that those barbaric Zionists will seek a new regional adventure to try and compensate. I say – any attack will only bring this phony regime closer to its end."
As for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the talks are taking place while Israel "is perpetuating the occupation and disrespects International Law," he said. "The only way to resolve the problems in Palestine and bring peace to the region is to recognize the rights of the Palestinians, allow the refugees to return to their land and send the conquerors back to their homelands. The Zionists must return Palestine to its true owner, or they will be obliterated by the wrath of the Palestinian people."
Ahmadinejad accused Israel once more of kidnapping four Iranian diplomats 28 years ago. Israel has denied any involvement in the case, but according to the Iranian leader, "There is clear documentation that they are alive and held in a Zionist prison. The Zionists are responsible for their well being and must allow the Red Cross to visit them."
Iran and Hezbollah's grand plan
"There is negative talk in the Middle East about the Iranian plan, and they are planning to counter it, but I can testify – the Iranians want the same thing as the Palestinians," Nasrallah – speaking from his bunker – told the masses attending the rally.
"The Iranian and Palestinian plan is to see all the land, from river to sea, return to its owners. This was Khomeini's stand and Ahmadinejad said as much in his UN address – Israel is not a legitimate country. As for Lebanon, they want it to be a liberated, respectable country."
Eelier Wednesday, the Iranian president met with his Lebanese counterpart Michel Suleiman. After the meeting, Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying that "Lebanon has changed the equation of hostility in the region, turning the tables in its favor."
As for Israel, the Iranian leader said that Lebanon and the Islamic Republic were "two nations that love each other and share common interests. Both peoples object to the occupation and crimes perpetrated by the Zionist enemy. We support the Palestinian refugees return to their conquered land and the bitter fights against Zionist aggression."
The Hezbollah chief went on to laud the Iranian regime: "They have always supported us. Some say that Iran is the cause for internal strife, but Iran is one of the biggest sources for solidarity in the Islamic world."
Meanwhile, the White House condemned the visit, saying Ahmadinejad's visit to Lebanon showed he was continuing his "provocative ways."
Jerusalem also harshly criticized the visit, saying that Ahmadinejad's visit to Lebanon "illustrates how Lebanon has turned into a, Iranian satellite nation, thus joining the axis of radical countries which oppose the peace process and support terror."
Commenting on the Iranian leader's Hezbollah ties, the source said that Ahmadinejad "arrived in Lebanon like a commander arriving to inspect his troops, Hezbollah terrorists, who act as the Iranian military arm in the area.
"Anyone who holds freedom and peace dear is concerned with the Iranian defiance; and Lebanon, which could have enjoyed peace and prosperity, has turned – led by Hezbollah – into a lackey for Iranian aggression."
More Quotes About "Palestine"
"There is no such country as Palestine. 'Palestine' is a term the Zionists invented. There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria. 'Palestine' is alien to us. It is the Zionists who introduced it".
- Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, Syrian Arab leader to British Peel Commission, 1937 -
"There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not".
- Professor Philip Hitti, Arab historian, 1946 -
"It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but Southern Syria".
- Representant of Saudi Arabia at the United Nations, 1956 -
Concerning the Holy Land, the chairman of the Syrian Delegation at the Paris Peace Conference in February 1919 stated:
"The only Arab domination since the Conquest in 635 c.e. hardly lasted, as such, 22 years".
"There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent (valley of Jezreel, Galilea); not for thirty miles in either direction... One may ride ten miles hereabouts and not see ten human beings. For the sort of solitude to make one dreary, come to Galilee... Nazareth is forlorn... Jericho lies a mouldering ruin... Bethlehem and Bethany, in their poverty and humiliation... untenanted by any living creature... A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds... a silent, mournful expanse... a desolation... We never saw a human being on the whole route... Hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil had almost deserted the country... Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes... desolate and unlovely...".
- Mark Twain, "The Innocents Abroad", 1867 -
"In 1590 a 'simple English visitor' to Jerusalem wrote: 'Nothing there is to bescene but a little of the old walls, which is yet remayning and all the rest is grasse, mosse and weedes much like to a piece of rank or moist grounde'.".
- Gunner Edward Webbe, Palestine Exploration Fund,
Quarterly Statement, p. 86; de Haas, History, p. 338 -
"The land in Palestine is lacking in people to till its fertile soil".
- British archaeologist Thomas Shaw, mid-1700s -
"Palestine is a ruined and desolate land".
- Count Constantine François Volney, XVIII century French author and historian -
"The Arabs themselves cannot be considered but temporary residents. They pitched their tents in its grazing fields or built their places of refuge in its ruined cities. They created nothing in it. Since they were strangers to the land, they never became its masters. The desert wind that brought them hither could one day carry them away without their leaving behind them any sign of their passage through it".
- Comments by Christians concerning the Arabs in Palestine in the 1800s -
"Then we entered the hill district, and our path lay through the clattering bed of an ancient stream, whose brawling waters have rolled away into the past, along with the fierce and turbulent race who once inhabited these savage hills. There may have been cultivation here two thousand years ago. The mountains, or huge stony mounds environing this rough path, have level ridges all the way up to their summits; on these parallel ledges there is still some verdure and soil: when water flowed here, and the country was thronged with that extraordinary population, which, according to the Sacred Histories, was crowded into the region, these mountain steps may have been gardens and vineyards, such as we see now thriving along the hills of the Rhine. Now the district is quite deserted, and you ride among what seem to be so many petrified waterfalls. We saw no animals moving among the stony brakes; scarcely even a dozen little birds in the whole course of the ride".
- William Thackeray in "From Jaffa To Jerusalem", 1844 -
"The country is in a considerable degree empty of inhabitants and therefore its greatest need is of a body of population".
- James Finn, British Consul in 1857 -
"The area was underpopulated and remained economically stagnant until the arrival of the first Zionist pioneers in the 1880's, who came to rebuild the Jewish land. The country had remained "The Holy Land" in the religious and historic consciousness of mankind, which associated it with the Bible and the history of the Jewish people. Jewish development of the country also attracted large numbers of other immigrants - both Jewish and Arab. The road leading from Gaza to the north was only a summer track suitable for transport by camels and carts... Houses were all of mud. No windows were anywhere to be seen... The plows used were of wood... The yields were very poor... The sanitary conditions in the village [Yabna] were horrible... Schools did not exist... The rate of infant mortality was very high... The western part, toward the sea, was almost a desert... The villages in this area were few and thinly populated. Many ruins of villages were scattered over the area, as owing to the prevalence of malaria, many villages were deserted by their inhabitants".
- The report of the British Royal Commission, 1913 -