Michael Totten

Siniora to Nasrallah: you are not God

By Abu Kais

Siniora (finally) delivered a sharp response to Nasrallah’s Thursday speech.  Details courtesy of Naharnet and the Lebanese Bloggers.

Addressing Nasrallah, Saniora asked: "who gave you the authority to say I [Nasrallah] am right and [those] who do not agree with me are wrong?"

"You are not our Lord and the party (Hizbullah) is not our Lord … Who appointed you to say I am right and all else is wrong?" Saniora asked Nasrallah. "This is a democratic country where the various groups make their points and discuss them … This is a nation of entente, a nation of dialogue," the smiling and calm Sunni premier stressed.

He said Hizbullah’s resistance, because of the party-led protest in Beirut, was "losing the backing of all Arabs and Muslims, asking: "Are the streets of Beirut the terrain for the resistance? Is Israel here in Beirut?"

Nasrallah in his Thursday address vowed to call for early parliamentary elections, predicting that the present majority would lose it.

Saniora satirically asked if Nasrallah was "a fortune teller. He declared the outcome of the forthcoming elections, formed a government and named its premier … he declared himself the ruler of the whole of Lebanon."

Nasrallah, according to Saniora, was "trying to launch a coup d’etat, or at least, threatening us with a coup d’etat and defining its outcome in advance. He is applying the ancient Lebanese saying ‘he beats me, he cries and rushes to complain."

Doha from the Lebanese Bloggers has more:

[According to Siniora] Nasrallah has delegated himself as the ruler of the country; he has decided ahead of time who will be the majority if Parliamentary elections take place, he has decided the characteristics of the Cabinet that he would oversee and also, who would head the Cabinet, "A Sunni Prime Minister who is clean, true, nationalistic, etc…"

Seniora asks, "Who has given you the authority to say someone is clean or not clean, his money is clean or not clean? This decision rests with the Creator and not with you. Is you party God?"

… Then Seniora discussed the Shebaa Farms issue. Nasrallah yesterday said that Seniora and his government are traitors for trying to get back Al-Ghajar and the Shebaa Farms diplomatically… Seniora questioned whether some folks want to truly liberate the Shebaa Farms. He said that during the hiwar (dialogue) sessions, the government saw that it wise to have Shebaa to be transferred to the UN’s purview, not under Israeli rule, until the Syrians decide to provide the UN with documents showing that the Farms are Lebanese. Despite such a practical approach, Seniora revealed that there was someone who visited him in the Serail and who wanted the Farms to stay under Israeli rule: it’s the Iranian Foreign Minister!

Then Seniora asked how Nasrallah says that the Opposition doesn’t get foreign support when Hizbullah gets foreign financial support in the millions and unfortunately not through legal channels, such as through the Lebanese Central Bank. Seniora said, "Yes many Arab countries have sent us financial support, but by depositing that money in the Central Bank to benefit all of Lebanon." He welcomed Iranian financial contributions for all Lebanese to benefit from and through a transparent mechanism, by depositing the money in the Central Bank.

Speaking of Iran,

Meanwhile, Iran declared support for Hizbullah in the current confrontation, hoping that the Shiite party will emerge victorious.

"What Hizbullah says is quite rational: that the acting government does not represent all Lebanese people," hardline cleric Ahmad Khatami said in his Friday prayer sermon.

"Every group, Shiite, Sunni and Christian, should have a share in the cabinet according to their size," he said, expressing the hope that Hizbullah "will come out of this political conflict victorious and proud."

Finally, the Lebanese army today responded to Nasrallah’s accusation that Siniora ordered the army to confiscate their weapons.

The Lebanese army issued a statement saying it received no orders from the government to block guerrilla weapons supplies during the summer war but said troops confiscated ammunition at one of the army’s checkpoints. Hezbollah requested the ammunition be returned, but the army said it was up to the government to make that decision.