Hezbollah's Nasrallah: Gulf States' Attempts at Normalizing Ties With Israel Are Doomed to Fail

Hezbollah leader declares his organization a 'scapegoat' of Saudi allies' failures to prevail in the wars raging in Syria and Yemen.

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
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An image grab taken from Hezbollah's al-Manar TV on March 6, 2016 shows Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Lebanon's militant Shiite movement Hezbollah, giving a televised address from an undisclosed location in Lebanon.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah speaks on al-Manar TV in Lebanon on Sunday March 6, 2016.Credit: AFP
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said on Sunday that the desire of the royal Saudi family and other Gulf regimes to normalize relations with Israel will fail because most of the Arab people still regard Israel as an enemy and an occupier.

Appearing at an afternoon memorial for one of the organization's field commanders killed last week in Syria, Nasrallah related to a decision by Persian Gulf countries and Arab interior ministers to describe Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

In his view this step was an expression of anger and disappointment on the part of the Saudis and their allies after their failures in Syria and Yemen.

"He who fails gets angry and the one who gets angry makes decisions that vent his rage and frustration and looks for scapegoats, and this time Hezbollah and Lebanon became the scapegoats," Nasrallah said.

Nasrallah distinguished beween what he saw as a difference in approach between the regimes that choose to see Israel as a friendly nation and the people, including civil organizations an political parties.

In his view popular reactions in the Arab world and those of some of the governments that support Hezbollah are a message to Israel that most of the Arab world will not accept Israel as a friendly state, or a state that the Arab world can embrace.

"The reactions in the Arab world mostly support rejection and this is different than the position presented by some Arab regimes, mainly in the Gulf," Nasrallah said.

Even if some Arab regimes want normalization with Israel, the people oppose it because Israel is an occupier, and a country that harms the rights of the Palestinian people and all Arab nations, according to Nasrallah.

The Hezbollah leader pointed at the incident in the Egyptian parliament last week when a legislator threw a shoe at his colleague for his meeting with the Israeli ambassador. and the decision to oust that lawmaker, all occurring in a country that has diplomatic ties with Israel.

Nasrallah said his organization was preparing a plan to confront the decision made against it..

The Gulf states' decision embarrassed the Palesinians. Hamas chose not to relate to it, despite it being an organization that regards itself as rejecionist. The Palestinian Authority backed the Saudis and the Popular Front spoke out against the decision.

In Palestinian Authority areas many posters were put up demanding that Hamas express a view and not hide behind slogans or fail to respond. The PLO put out a laconic statement that it doesn't see Hezbollah as a terrorist organization and that it doesn’t take sides in any internal conflicts in the Arab world.



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