Hizbollah’s 2006 war with Israel: Key quotes

Published: 12 September 2006
Briefing Number 183

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Summary:A compilation of key quotes about Hizbollah's 2006 war with Israel .

‘Cowardly blending' by Hizbollah among women and children

Jan Egeland, UN head of humanitarian relief

Jan Egeland's comment that Israel 's campaign was “disproportionate” and “illegal” received wide international coverage. The following comment about Hizbollah, which Egeland made at a press conference after visiting Lebanon (as reported by the Associated Press, July 24 2006) received virtually no coverage:-

“Consistently, from the Hizbollah heartland, my message was that Hizbollah must stop this cowardly blending…. among women and children. I heard they were proud because they lost very few fighters and that it was the civilians bearing the brunt of this. I don't think anyone should be proud of having many more children and women dead than armed men….”

- For more see Beyond Images Briefing 180, 27 July 2006

Hizbollah is holding an entire nation “hostage”

Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General

On 20 July 2006 Annan said the following, in the course of a meeting of the UN Security Council (reported in the Jerusalem Post, 21 July 2006 ):-

“Hizbollah's provocative attack on 12 July was the trigger of this crisis…. Whatever other agendas they may serve, Hizbollah's actions, which it portrays as defending Palestinian and Lebanese interests, in fact do neither. On the contrary, they hold an entire nation hostage and set back prospects for negotiation of a comprehensive Middle East peace….”

- For more see Beyond Images Briefing 180, 27 July 2006

“Hizbollah did not ask the Shi'ites about the war…”

Sayyed Ali al-Amin, Grand Mufti of Tyre

On 22 August 2006 , Sayyed Ali al-Amin, the grand mufti of Tyre , stated the following in an interview with the Lebanese daily newspaper Al-Nahar:-

“I don't think Hizbollah asked the Shi'ite community about the war. Perhaps the great emigration from the south is the best proof that the people of the south were against the war. The Shi'ite community authorised no-one to declare war in its name or to drag it into a war that was far from its wishes and from the wishes of the other ethnic communities in Lebanon. …..”

- Quote by MEMRI, Special Despatch 1266 (dated 25 August 2006) (see www.memri.org ), as quoted by Amir Taheri in the Wall Street Journal 25 August 2006 - see Beyond Images Briefing 182, 7 September 2006

“To be a Shi'ite means not asking ‘why'…..”

Professor Mona Fayed, Lebanese University

On 7 August 2006 Lebanese University professor Mona Fayed (a Shi'ite) wrote as follows in an article in the Lebanese daily al-Nahar:

“….To be a Shi'ite means to incapacitate your mind and to leave it to the Iranian Supreme leader Khamenei to guide you and to decide for you what he wants concerning arms for Hizbollah, and impose a notion of victory that is no different from suicide…. To be a Shi'ite is to accept that your country be destroyed before your very eyes…. and that you accept standing up to the enemy with no complaints as long as there is a fighter out there with a rocket that he can launch at Northern Israel – or maybe even at its south …. without asking about the ‘why' or the timing or about the usefulness of the results….”

- For more see MEMRI Special Despatch 1258 ( 22 August 2006 ) ( www.memri.org )

“Nasrallah plunged Lebanon into…. loss and ruin”

Professor Fouad Ajami, Johns Hopkins University , USA

Ajami is Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at Johns Hopkins University in the USA , and one of the world's foremost experts on the region. In the Wall Street Journal on 21 July 2006 he wrote as follows:-

“Hassan Nasrallah, at the helm of Hizbollah, handed Lebanon a calamity right as the summer tourist season had begun. Beirut had dug its way out of the rubble of a long war: Nasrallah plunged it into a new season of loss and ruin. He presented the country with a fait accompli: the “gift” of two Israeli soldiers kidnapped across an international frontier. Nasrallah never let the Lebanese Government in on his venture. He was giddy with triumphalism and defiance when this crisis began. And men and women cooped up in the destitution of the Shiite districts of Beirut were sent out into the streets to celebrate Hizbollah's latest deed….

It did not seem to matter to Nasrallah that the ground that would burn in Lebanon would in the main be Shiite land in the south. Nor was it of great concern to he who lives on the subsidies of the Iranian theocrats that the ordinary Lebanese would pay for his adventure….”

- For more see Beyond Images Briefing 180

“If I had known….”

Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary-General of Hizbollah

“If I had known that the operation to capture the Israeli soldiers would lead to this result, we would not have carried it out…”

Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, speaking on a Lebanese TV station, Sunday 27 August 2006, as reported by the BBC ( www.bbc.co.uk ). For more see Beyond Images Briefing 182, 8 September 2006.