Assange interviews Nasrallah in new TV program (JERUSALEM POST) By JPOST COM STAFF 04/17/12)
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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange premiered his new television show on
Tuesday with an exclusive interview with the outspoken but largely
elusive Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah, Lebanese Hezbollah´s secretary-
During the interview - which was Assange´s first for his new program
on the Kremlin-funded English-language Russia Television, The World
Tomorrow - the Hezbollah leader rejected claims that the group,
recognized as a terrorist group by Israel, the United States, Canada
and the Netherlands, fires rockets towards Israeli civilians and
Speaking with Assange via video feed and seated in front of a blue
curtain and the Lebanese and Hezbollah flags, Nasrallah explained
that Hezbollah began "reacting" to "Israeli aggression" following
the "resistance years" between 1982 and 1992, "strictly to stop
Israel from shelling our civilians." He said Israel has
been "shelling Lebanese civilians since 1948," when the Jewish state
Today, Nasrallah continued, Hezbollah and Israel have
an "understanding" whereby both sides agree not to fire on civilian
targets. He referred to a 1993 US-negotiated ceasefire between Israel
and the Lebanese group which ended a flare-up of hostilities between
the two sides, which was reaffirmed in a written ceasefire in 1996.
"That understanding makes sure both sides don´t fire at civilians,"
The Hezbollah leader explained to Assange, who sat next to a
translator in a television studio, how the group´s fighters are able
to outsmart Israel´s "sophisticated technology, weapons and
"The resistance is popular," he said. "Most of the men in it are
village boys, from small towns and agricultural communities."
He explained that the "code" used by the group´s members to confuse
the IDF is "simply the use of slang from their villages - from their
"Anyone listening trying to decode the language will not easily be
able to find out what they mean," Nasrallah said, smiling as he
recited "code" such as "cooking pot" and "donkey."
Hezbollah periodically claims to out Israeli spies within its ranks,
and uncover Israeli espionage equipment stashed in southern Lebanon,
the terrorist group´s stronghold, while Israel decries the terrorist
group´s use of Lebanese villages and populated areas to hide weapons.
While Hezbollah´s "resistance" to Israel is carried out via
paramilitary operations, the group has worked for years to build
political clout in Lebanon, and today boasts 12 members in the March
8 Alliance, Lebanon´s ruling coalition.
Underling such regional political influence, the Hezbollah leader
spoke extensively about his group´s attempts to encourage the armed
opposition in neighboring Syria to work with Syrian President Bashar
Assad, whom Hezbollah supports.
Nasrallah reiterated his group´s support for the Assad regime,
despite strong international and Arab objection to the Syrian
president´s violent handling of the anti-government opposition.
Hezbollah, along with Iran and Russia, have been the most outspoken
supporters of Assad as he continues for over a year to battle rebels
demanding he step down. The Syrian conflict has resulted in the
deaths of more than 9,000 people, according to the United Nations.
Still, while Nasrallah recognized that both Assad and the opposition
may have crossed "red lines," he said Hezbollah “hasn´t backed down
in the face of Israeli and American pressure" and shifted alliances.
Hezbollah encouraged armed rebels to engage in a dialogue with
Damascus, an offer that the opposition refused.
As long as the doors to a political solution are closed, Nasrallah
warned, then the fighting will continue.
Nasrallah explained that Hezbollah´s support of Assad was rooted in
the Syrian president´s service to the "Palestinian cause." He
insisted that Damascus is "willing to undergo reforms and prepared
for dialogue," and added that Hezbollah would happily fulfill the
role of an external arbiter between Assad and the opposition. (© 1995-
2011, The Jerusalem Post 04/17/12)
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