Hassan Nasrallah delivered yet another one of his ultimately boring and tiresome speeches to an audience that has had it up to its eyeballs with his rhetoric of resistance, blood, fighting, destruction, and futile windmill-battle heroism that all Arabs, and particularly the Lebanese, have tired from.
If this idiot does not stop talking, the Palestinians are going to lose the last sliver of land they still hang on to. Nasrallah has not learned the lessons of 1948, or the lesson of Nasser, Arafat and all the other “heroes” before him [Nasrallah] of the dead-end Arab causes: You need to have free societies in order to muster the will for the Quixotic battles he is calling for. As long as Arab societies are the putrid cesspools where the human spirit is crushed by antiquated, ignorant, and ultimately useless beliefs from the Stone Age, no Palestine can ever be “liberated”.
But Nasrallah’s claim that Palestine belongs to the Arabs and the Muslims is debunked by the history of the land. Below is a timeline showing that sovereignty and/or rule over historic Palestine is nowhere exclusive to Arabs or Muslims. Excerpts from Hassan Nasrallah’s speech follow in the last section of this piece.
From about 3000 BC until about 1250 BC, Palestine was Canaanite-Phoenician, Hebrew, Persian, and Babylonian. These people were neither Arab, nor Muslim.
In 1250 BC, the Hebrews conquer it and run the place until 721 when the Assyrians seize parts of it. Other parts (Judah) remained Jewish until 586 when the Babylonians complete the takeover of Palestine. In total, Palestine was under Hebrew sovereignty for 664 years.
Then, it became Greco-Roman for close to 1,000 years (from 333 B.C. with Alexander the Great until 641 A.D. when the Arab armies conquer it).
Throughout these centuries and until 641 A.D., Palestine was pagan, Jewish and Christian. It was never Arab, nor was it Muslim.
The Arabs stay in Palestine from 641 A.D. until about 1071 A.D. (450 years) when the Seljuks (non-Arabs from Central Asia) seize it. In 1099, the Crusaders arrive and Palestine became European Christian from 1099 until 1187 when the Kurd – not Arab - Saladdin seized it.
The Mameluks (non-Arab Turks, Mongols and Circassians) seize Palestine in 1260 and hold it until 1516 when the Ottomans (non-Arabs) from Central Asia conquer it and hold it until 1918.
In 1918, Palestine became British, then divided into two states, an Israeli and an Arab. And that is where we are today.
Throughout this 5,000 year history, Palestine was under Arab rule for only 450 years out of all this history. It was in fact under direct Jewish rule for much longer than that: 664 years.
Throughout this history, all these conquests of the land we call Palestine-Israel today included massive migrations, settlements and colonization, such that there is no such thing as a “Palestinian” ethnic identity, any more than there is an “Israeli” ethnic identity for that matter. Furthermore, Jewish re-settlement in the 19th and 20th centuries is no different from Arab settlement and colonization after the Arab conquest, Frankish settlement and colonization (during the Crusades), or from any settlement and colonization by any of the peoples who conquered that miserable region through the centuries and the millennia.
I am not sure if the argument can be turned into a religious sovereignty one by running a similar accounting of historical rule based strictly on religion – i.e. Muslim rule versus Jewish rule, versus Christian rule, versus Pagan rule... But on the whole, I do, in fact, subscribe to the fallacy of Israeli-Jewish sovereignty as much as I subscribe to the fallacy of Arab-Muslim sovereignty.
But the fundamental reality is that no one can claim absolute sovereignty over the land. The land is no more Arab than it is Jewish, Central Asian, Muslim, Mameluk, Canaanite, Ottoman, Turkish, Christian, Greek, Roman, Perisan, Babylonian, British, etc....
Excerpts from Hassan Quixote Nasrallah’s speech in Beirut on Jerusalem Day today Sept. 26, 2008:
"Jerusalem and Palestine, from the sea to the river, belong to the Palestinian people, the Arabs and the Muslims, and no one has the authority to concede a grain of earth, wall or stone from the holy land."
"This is the greatest humiliation of this nation. The second message is to stress the historic, religious and legitimate responsibility of the Muslim nation towards Jerusalem, Palestine and the Palestinian people."
He warned Israel not to attack Lebanon. "I have always said that the way of the resistance is not a classic war. We are ready to help the resistance of the Palestinian people. But those who attack Lebanon – we shall face them.
"(Defense Minister) Ehud Barak spoke in the past about five divisions which would invade Lebanon, and today he talks about eight. Okay, he may have made new calculations. But you should know that your eight divisions will be destroyed on our territory by our fighters. If Israel makes this mistake… The enemy and the friend know these things are promises from the Arab victory periods and are not taken from the times of past defeats."
"We understand this. Our holy lands will not be liberated through talks with the West. The way to return the lands and liberate the Palestinian people is through desire, resistance and self-sacrifice in the region – the same resistance which succeeded in imposing itself on this entity."
"Unfortunately, there were those among the Arabs who took advantage of the conflict within the Palestinian people to wash their hands off the Palestinian issue. If the Arab nation does what is needed, the liberation of Jerusalem will be possible, maybe even soon."
"Following the reports in Lebanon that Israel objects to the US equipping the Lebanese army with a number of arm systems, can we maintain the sovereignty of Lebanon and its people this way? Must we really wait for permission from the US and Israel to equip our national army and give it all it needs to carry out its secret missions?”
"If we wait for the United State's permission, we might receive trucks, weak armored personnel carriers, etc, but we will never get weapons which will allow us to face the Zionist enemy. A national force is not built through an external entity, but through national determination."
"Israel is not only the enemy of the Palestinian people, but also of Lebanon, all the Arab people and all the Muslim nations. Israel is a cancerous tumor, as Imam Khomeini said.
"Today, as in the past, we stress that the only way to return the land and overcome the difficulties is through the way of resistance – by the Palestinians, the Lebanese and the rest of the region's nations. It's still possible, but today more can be done that ever before."
"Today the time of the Zionists' dreams has passed and the time of our dreams has begun. Today we don't just dream, we implement our dreams. After the year 2000 and following the historic victory in southern Lebanon, the al-Aqsa Intifada broke out. It was a historic golden opportunity to realize these hopes. Unfortunately, the entire Islamic nation did not stand by the Palestinians, who were forced to sacrifice victims."
As for dreams, Nasrallah went on to say that "while some people were busy with the internal crisis in Lebanon, there were people in the resistance who did not sleep at night since the end of the war – led by the martyr Imad Mugniyah, and they are still working to realize the dream."
"Out of all these things, the public's lack of faith in this [Israel] entity and its future is the most important. Polls released in Israel recently say two-thirds of the public believe they are living in an area where they feel insecure."
Nasrallah spoke during the al-Aqsa Day events, a tradition launched in Iran by Ayatollah Khomeini which calls for "Jerusalem's liberation” and is marked on the last Friday of the month of Ramadan.
The Beirut event was attended by representatives of the Lebanese president and army commander, the parliament speaker, diplomats and other supporters. It was held in the Sayyed Al-Shuhada Mosque, Hizbullah's main mosque in the Dahiya quarter.