This is a guest post by habibi
Hezbollah did not join the hostilities in any significant way during the Gazan conflict. That’s one escape from serious danger that the peoples of southern Lebanon and northern Israel can be grateful for in these times.
The rhetoric, though, is still very heated. Last week Hezbollah held a conference in Beirut called the “International Forum for Resistance and Opposition to Imperialism and Solidarity Among People”. A key aim, according to a lead organiser, was linking up with other “anti-imperialists” from around the globe:
“In this part of the world the resistance is Islamic. The resistance movement here must introduce themselves to other forces of resistance to imperialism around the world. The ideological differences must be postponed. The resistance must prevail. … An important goal of the forum is how, despite the ideological contradictions, to find how to work together hand in hand to achieve unity against imperialism.”
Along with Hezbollah, the other “anti-imperialist” speakers and delegates from the Muslim world included the deputy speaker of the Iranian Parliament, who was in Lebanon with a 40 man delegation, and members of Hamas and the PFLP.
It appears that the conference was predictably loopy and nasty. From a Los Angeles Times report:
Black clerical turbans bobbed up from the sea of long, curly hair and fashionable berets. Venezuelan leftists sought an interpreter to speak with Egyptian nationalists. Iranians handed out DVDs celebrating the assassin of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and baseball caps that carried a quote from Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini: “Israel must be wiped out.”
Many snoozed during former U.S. Atty. Gen. Ramsey Clark’s speech about American foreign policy in the 1950s. But all perked up when the Shiite militia Hezbollah’s No. 2, Naim Qassem, delivered a fiery keynote speech slamming the United States and Israel’s war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
“Imam Khomeini called America the Great Satan. Others call it imperialism or globalization,” he said to the hundreds who gathered here this weekend for a long-scheduled conference of Islamic, Arab, Western and Latin American opponents to the U.S. and Israel. “No matter what words you use to describe it, it’s the same enemy.”
The crowd roared with applause as each speaker denounced the U.S. and Israel. Interpreters translated speeches into English, French, Spanish and Arabic.
The three-day conference, which began Friday evening, presented a hodgepodge of ideas. Some participants mixed the rhetoric of class warfare with that of the Palestinian cause. “Resisting occupation cannot take place unless we fight against economic oppression,” said Laila Ghanem, a Lebanese journalist and activist.
Qassem urged more rhetorical support for Hamas, mocking Israeli and U.S. contentions that Iran and Hezbollah were secretly behind the militant group.
“They think we will be embarrassed if they say that,” he said to thunderous applause. “Well, we are with Hamas and Iran, and we add Chavez from Venezuela and Bolivia. Yes, we will be one front in the face of America and Israel, and our slogan will be, ‘Let imperialism fall.’ “
From Socialist Worker:
Osama Hamdan, the representative of Hamas in Lebanon, told delegates that the Palestinian resistance inside Gaza would “continue to confront Israeli troops”.
Hamdan said that “our fighters have managed to halt the Israeli offensive, and would continue to battle until the troops withdraw”. He called on the Arab regimes to back the resistance and European governments to cut all links to Israel. “We do not trust Mahmoud Abbas,” he said in reference to the Palestinian Authority leader. “He does not represent the Palestinians.”
In a message to the global movement, Hamdan said, “The resistance will survive because all the free people of the world support us. Our fighters are drawing hope from the solidarity they are seeing across the world.”
The conference debated the practical measures to help the Palestinians’ struggle. “Humanitarian appeals are now part of our political struggle,” one delegate told the conference.
From Workers World:
In the conference closing session, Palestinian Resistance hero Leila Khaled of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) spoke of the “unilateral ceasefire” just announced by Israeli forces. “We salute all those who fight to break the siege of Gaza. We affirm that this victory was won by our freedom fighters on the ground. The unilateral ceasefire proves that, with all its destructive capacity, Israel could not achieve its goals on the battlefield. They are now seeking the help of the United States to achieve those goals politically. But we consider occupation to be an act of war. When injustice is law, resistance is duty. And the only answer to occupation is resistance and liberation.”
No prizes for guessing who came from the UK. Yes, this conference was a must for the so-called “Stop the War Coalition” (StWC), just like the Cairo Conference, an annual assembly of Islamist extremists, including violent groups, and their international allies.
Showing solidarity with fanatical terrorists and their Iranian government backers is as low as it gets. Anyone in the UK who supports peace and human rights in the Middle East should oppose the StWC, not march with it.