Key Speeches

Introduction > During the resumed session of the United nations General Assembly held on April 23, 1996

Israel attacked us and we retaliated with the unity of the Lebanese people

Mr. President,
Lebanon would like to extend its thanks to the United Nations for answering its call.
We highly appreciate the convening of an extraordinary session today to discuss the escalation of Israeli aggressions against Lebanon. It is an act of responsibility fulfillment before our nation incurring punishment without guilt.
Allow me to express my gratitude to you and to His Excellency, the Secretary General, for the United Nation’s momentum that serves humanity and the international legitimacy’s values upholding international solidarity, despite difficult circumstances and without any discrimination.
Mr. President,
Lebanon overcame the tribulations that lasted seventeen years and began recovering its status as a beacon of freedom, democracy, civil elevation and peace:
In fact, internal security was restored and the Lebanese Armed Forces as well as the legitimate Security Forces deployed in the Capital and in other areas. Moreover, the Lebanese Army started to take over the steadfast southern area of Lebanon to consecrate national sovereignty, along with the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) whom we thank for their sacrifices.
Our country reactivated its institutions and administrations whilst ensuring law enforcement and addressing the effects of war on national, economic, social, educational and environmental levels in addition to combatting the cultivation and prevalence of drugs, making Lebanon’s achievements admired worldwide.
We came to you in 1991 and appealed to you from this rostrum: “We want our right”. 
We requested your cooperation after implementing most of the national reconciliation document’s items on which all Lebanese agreed in Taif in 1989 and which received the support of the Arabs and permanent members of the Security Council.
We called for your cooperation in the implementation of Security Council Resolution 425 included in the Taif Accord, stipulating the expansion of the State authority to the South and West Bekaa through the deployment of the Lebanese Army and ordering the deployment of the UNIFIL to confirm the withdrawal of Israeli forces beyond our internationally-recognized borders, upon the adoption of this resolution in 1978.
However, Israel was bothered by Lebanon’s rebound and recovery on economic and reconstruction levels as well as by its endeavors aiming at recovering its sovereignty on occupied areas in the South and West Bekaa. Israel has, consequently, carried out daily abuses and occupied South Lebanon in 1993 drowning Lebanon, during the last two weeks, in blood and destruction.
We expected the world to assist us in enhancing our reconstruction capabilities,
But we come to you today, with the blood of our innocent compatriots,
With our hope that the international legitimacy can ensure the triumph of truth buried by Israel.
We come to you carrying the dignity of a wounded nation whose only guilt is disbelieving in violence and force as means to deter aggression.
Indeed, our country has always been a cultural and civilizational source of inspiration, a bridge between the East and the West. Its capital has also been the University of the Middle East as well as the destination of businessmen and tourists visiting from all over the world to admire Lebanon’s natural, historical and architectural masterpieces.
The Lebanese are the messengers of peace and reconstruction in their country as they are in Europe, America, Asia, Africa and Australia and their achievements are a proof…
How can Israel burn this nation and kill its citizens?
How can Israel destroy the achievements of this country throughout six years of crises?
How can our peaceful country be abused by Israeli jets violating our airspace on a daily basis and our regional waters while besieging merchant ships entering our ports?
How does the world accept the killing, displacement and humiliation of Lebanese citizens whereas it hurried in Sharm El Sheikh to condemn the explosion of a bus in Israel?
How do the Israeli people who suffered genocides in Auschwitz, Treblinka and elsewhere accept that their State kill more than one hundred innocent women, children, infants, elders and youths from Qana, the scene of Jesus’ first miracle, who took refuge in a location close to the UNIFIL to avoid massacres, bombings and killings expressing their confidence in international legitimacy? How do the Israeli people accept that their State exterminates families in Nabatiyeh and other villages where the population is armed with patience, faith in God and in Lebanon?
What do you want from Lebanon? Do you want mass graves that turn into a shrine for the world in our country that says: This is what you reaped. It is similar to the Israeli mass graves who were witnesses of Nazi practices sixty years ago….
How can Israel destroy infrastructure, vital facilities, power stations, squares, hospitals, houses and historical monuments which are part of the world heritage according the UNESCO’s classification…
How can Israel commit the most brutal kind of crimes against a country that always calls for peace including the peace of righteousness? We would also like you to talk about Lebanon as a political, economic and cultural exception in the Middle East but does Israel want peace with our country whilst it is preventing it from rebounding?
How come we do not have the right to hold onto our land and sovereignty and how can Israel possess nuclear weapons and refuse to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty?
Israel attacked us and we retaliated with our unity and solidarity to defend our entity and our right to sovereignty. The international support for Lebanon’s cause was also an incentive to remain steadfast.
Mr. President,
We went to Madrid Conference on the basis of the implementation of international resolutions, particularly resolution 425 concerning which we received a letter of assurances and commitments from the U.S. administration in order for us to take part in this conference,
We participated to the Madrid Conference on the basis of solidarity with our Arab brothers and on ground of the implementation of resolutions 242 and 383 as well as the principle of land for just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East(…)
We haven’t come to the most esteemed organization of international conscience and to the General Assembly tasked with implementing international legitimacy and ensuring the respect of human rights neither to cry nor to complain but rather to face firmly altogether injustice, violations and massacres that are not subject to accountability.
 Israeli practices in Lebanon are a condemnation of conscience and civilization. It is a denunciation of international legitimacy that the free and civilized world took pride of to stop wars and violations among Member States.
Lebanon is a founding member of the United Nations Organization.
Lebanon is founding member of the League of Arab States.
Lebanon is one of the members who participated in drafting the United Nations Charter.
Lebanon has always been, within your organization and in all fora, a tireless defender of liberation and values of democracy, justice and peace.
Lebanon is a supporter of just and comprehensive peace as well as the peace of righteousness.
Lebanon calls for:
First: Condemning and punishing Israel for the crimes committed against Lebanon, Lebanese institutions, capabilities, sovereignty and against humanity.
It is worth mentioning here that not counting the Lebanese Armed Forces and Security Forces martyrs, the toll of deaths among civilians, until I left Lebanon, rose to 175 including 109 deaths in Qana massacre alone. Besides, more than one thousand were injured and over forty still hospitalized. 500 were also reported displaced.
Second: Implementing Resolution 425 immediately through the withdrawal of Israel from occupied territories in South Lebanon and West Bekaa beyond the internationally-recognized borders allowing, therefore, our Security Forces to take responsibility over the region. We have said: When Israel withdraws, the Lebanese State would be the guarantor of security in those areas.
Third: Adopting the necessary compensations for victims of catastrophes and damages incurred by Lebanon as a result of Israeli aggression. Specialized commissions are currently assessing damages that exceed, at first sight, hundreds of millions of US dollars.
Mr. President,
Lebanon has been paying the price of others’ conflicts on our land for seventeen years. How can Lebanon pay the price of others’ peace?
Your organization faces a test and our people drowned in blood are counting on you as are the history and the future.
It is a test of international credibility.
You face two choices: Either humanity enters the twenty-first century more confident about the role of  international legitimacy or it enters an era of chaos and barbarism (…)
In Lebanon, innocent blood was shed and this blood is calling, in every corner of your organization and of the conscience of loving nations, for justice and peace (…)
I left Lebanon and the churches’ bells were still ringing grief and minarets mourning.
I reached New York where we can find the headquarters of the United Nations, the defender of the world’s rights, particularly small States’ rights.
I came to New York and saw the Statute of Liberty. This icon is calling upon you as is my country to “Give the right holder his right”.
In face of force, we will raise the banner of truth. In face of the aggression’s injustice, we will uphold justice. In face of abusing our country, we will remain committed to international legitimacy…
Lebanon does not fade away and will always raise the banner of truth and peace.

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