"Humanity is interested in a multipolar world that displaces U.S. hegemony," said Professor Ahmad Malli, a member of Hezbollah's politburo.
On Monday, teleSUR contributor Yunus Soner conducted an exclusive interview with Professor Ahmad Malli, who is a member of Hezbollah's politburo and the director of the Center for Legal and Political Studies at the Lebanese University.
Below are the fundamental aspects of their dialogue:
How do you see the current situation in Palestine, Gaza, and the West Bank?
Truly, on October 7, we entered a new era in the Arab-Israeli conflict. We are witnessing a turning point in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Many equations in this conflict have changed. As usual, we Arabs had our setback on June 5, 1967.
I can say that October 7, 2023, is Israel's June 5, 1967. But we can compare what happened. October 7 is like our Arab defeat of June 5, 1967. What happened? The Gaza Strip has long been called the world's largest war prison.
The Gaza Strip, a small area with 365 square kilometers, launched this attack. For 15 years, it has been under siege from all sides and even from the sea because the Israeli navy controls the Mediterranean. Therefore, I can say that it is impossible for Israel to erase the results of this attack. We are truly entering a new era for the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Israel's founder, David Ben-Gurion, said that unlike Israel, the Arabs can lose many wars. Literally, he said, "When Israel loses a war, it is the end of Israel." It is indeed a prophecy. That's why I understand why Western leaders come to support Israel. But I think it's too late.
If Israel invades the Gaza Strip by land, how will Hezbollah respond to this?
At this stage of the war, Israel continues to invade some parts of our land in Shebaa, Kafr Shuba, one Kafr Shuba and Al-Ghaja. We already have a part of our territory under the Israeli invasion. After the founding of Israel, Israel expelled our people, and now we have 400,000 Palestinian refugees. Israel stole their land and expelled them to Lebanon.
They live their lives in very difficult conditions. Lebanon is a small country with limited resources. They are our brothers and guests, but they are not obliged to solve the problem of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. The Palestinians must return to their homeland.
Since the beginning of this war and in the heart of the battle, every day we have martyrs defending our country. Furthermore, we are aware of Israel, which invaded Lebanon more than once. The last invasion was in 1982.
We are the access parties of the resistance in case of permanent coordination. And I think each side does its job with this war. Today, we read in the news of a meeting with Secretary Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah and Secretary of Islamic Jihad, Ziyad al-Nakhalah, as well as Vice Chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau Salih al-Aruri.
We are in permanent coordination and that each part does its job. And I believe that development will occur. Our attitude is related to development in the future.
Putin on the situation in the Gaza Strip:— DD Geopolitics (@DD_Geopolitics) October 30, 2023
We see that instead of punishing terrorists, Israel began to take revenge on the principle of collective responsibility... These bombings cannot be justified in any way. We must understand who is organizing the deadly chaos. Who… pic.twitter.com/0PZaCm5rAX
You have said that there is permanent coordination with the resistance, with Hamas, with Islamic Jihad.
Also, with different access resistance parties. In Iraq, I think since the beginning of the world, the Iraqi Mujahid entered this war. Furthermore, the Iraqi people and Baghdad witnessed large demonstrations. We cannot forget Yemen, either.
Do you see that this coordination is strengthening since October 7?
Of course. We are in a permanent battle against the Israeli occupation. Our brothers in Palestine and Lebanon. As I said, Israel continues to occupy a part of our land, and Israel is a major threat to Lebanon. Israel always attacks Syria. And the logic of things forces us to this permanent coordination.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to the Lebanese government to warn them not to enter the conflict. How do you see Lebanese politics in this situation? Do you support the Lebanese political forces? Do they support your approach?
I think we are in an ongoing relationship with the Prime Minister, the spokesperson, Mr. Berry. I think of Lebanon. The Lebanese show their interest and not the advice offered by the U.S. secretary.
The late Hafez Assad used to say that there is no American foreign policy in the Middle East, where we have an Israeli foreign minister. We can say that there is a kind of distribution of the war between the Lebanese resistance and the State. This is our innovation as Lebanese people.
So, you see that Lebanon is supporting its position of recovering the occupied Lebanese territories and this coordination with the other.
Most importantly, in this division of war, the Lebanese government is not responsible for our activities. I can say that there is a kind of gentleman's convention. Now, the United States has sent two aircraft carriers to the Eastern Mediterranean and their contacts continue.
At the same time, we see that various governments in the Middle East and West Asia are increasingly distancing themselves from the United States. Biden was not well received by the Jordanian authorities.
I think the Egyptian president also refused to receive him. Afterward there were conversations, but first they refused. The Turkish government also harshly criticizes the United States.
Do you see the diplomatic influence of the United States and Israel diminishing in West Asia?
Yes. Perhaps the United States is no longer the only superpower in the world, but I cannot minimize its power and capacity for aggression. Unfortunately, Israeli aggression always accompanies this power. As he said, they are now trying to force the population of Gaza to take refuge in Egypt.
An old project of the Israelis has been to expel Palestinians from the West Bank to Transjordan. And the Palestinians go to Sinai. As Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said, in case Egypt accepts the entry of the people of Gaza, we will wait in the West Bank.
I believe that King Abdullah will work against his own interests. Why is President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi also working against Egyptian interests? We are witnessing the decline of American influence in Western Asia.
After October 7, will the normalization of relations between Israel and some Arab countries stop or be reversed?
Unfortunately, when governments normalize with Israel, they don't ask their people. At this moment, despite normalization, we are witnessing demonstrations in Morocco, Amman, Egypt, and other Arab countries.
The Arab people support the rights of the Palestinian people and not the aggression of the Israeli army. Of course, I believe that the weakness of the United States in West Asia and the defeat of Israel will negatively influence the normalization process.
Do you believe that the war in Gaza is part of a global conflict in which the United States wants to maintain its hegemony while the other parties fight for a multipolar world?
Neither Russia nor China will send planes to the Mediterranean like the U.S. However, I believe that President Vladimir Putin, despite the good relations between Israel and Russia in the past, regards the siege of Gaza as the siege of Leningrad.
There is an implicit comparison between Israel and the Nazis who besieged Leningrad. I think your attitude is very important. And I think this is related to the conflict in Ukraine. I am sure that the Israelis support Zelensky.
Currently, China is very active in the diplomatic field, and we witness many statements by Chinese diplomats speaking about the right of the Palestinian people to have their own state. Appreciated from a global perspective, the outcome of the conflict in Gaza will increase the speed of the process towards the formation of a multipolar world.
Every four years, the U.S. National Intelligence Council and 18 intelligence agencies publish a world outlook. Since 2008, this periodical publication recognizes that the center of gravity of world geopolitics has shifted from the West to the East.
Former French president Sarkozy said something like this, “The emergence of Asian power is clear.” China, India, and Russia have two wings, one in Europe and the other in Asia. Humanity is interested in a multipolar world that displaces U.S. hegemony.
Netanyahu was going to travel to China in October. What is his interpretation of this?
The relationship between Israel and China is very good. We have two stages in relations between Israel and China. During the era of Mao Zedong, there was animosity between both countries since Mao Zedong supported Palestine. After 1978, another policy in which a good relationship between Israel and China prevails.
However, I think China also has a kind of balance. China has a great interest in the Arab world. It is not easy for China or Russia to support this type of aggression.
Now, regarding the conduct of Hamas, and contrary to all Western claims, any people under occupation have the full right to liberate their own territory. The reaction of the Israeli army is to attack hospitals and mosques and kill children. That's their reaction.
Yesterday, Hamas frogmen attacked the Zakim colony, which is about 70 kilometers from Tel Aviv, a military base, a power plant. This is a military action very different from the Israeli reaction.
Is it possible for Israel and Palestine to coexist as two states?
The late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat created the Oslo Agreement. Thirty years after its signing, where is the Oslo Agreement? Currently, the political landscape in Israel has completely changed with the extreme right.
Where is the two-state solution? It is not that the Palestinian people accept or do not accept the Israeli government and the different parties. I believe that the two-state solution is something that belongs to the past. Now I expect a reverse exodus from the Israelis.
Before, we used to see Palestinian and Arab refugees. Now we see Israeli refugees. The Israeli authority evacuated the settlement of Shmona and other colonies in northern Palestine. Now we see in the press Israeli attempts to receive Israeli refugees. I believe that Israelis are not used to enduring that life and that they will migrate. That is the importance of October 7th.
Within Israeli politicians, there was a lot of division before October 7. Do you believe that the opposition against Netanyahu is an opposition against Israeli policy towards Palestine? Or is this an internal matter between Israelis, who are always united against Palestine?
What happened on October 7 has repercussions on the Israeli political system... We will witness more internal divisions between the different political factions. Each faction will hold Netanyahu's faction responsible for Israel's defeat. I doubt Netanyahu will survive this crisis.
But if he resigns or is removed from office, will that be interesting news for the Palestinian resistance?
I don't think so. The resistance in Lebanon, Palestine or elsewhere does not rely on such political maneuvers because the essence of this war is the right of the Palestinians to return to their own land. Will any Israeli faction accept it? I doubt it. Why would Hamas or other Palestinian factions waste time on something that is hopeless?
To what extent is Hezbollah prepared for a full-scale war with Israel?
I am not a military expert, but everyone knows that Hezbollah is a responsible force. Given the logic of events, I believe that Hezbollah made all the accounts for every surprise in this confrontation.
What is the most immediate thing that Israel should do now?
The first thing is a matter of psychology because humiliation will be difficult for the Israeli army to accept. They react by killing children and women.
The problem is the origin of the Zionist colonial dream of razing a people and expelling them from their land. The Zionist dream is dangerous in modern history.
Unfortunately, when they decided to put this dream into practice, they did not read the history and the crusade came to our region. Those who have occupied a large part of our region for about two centuries are forced to leave.
What we witnessed on October 7 reflects the power of the Palestinian people and the Arab people. It is the result of the effort activities of the dedicated faction. The equation will change with the support of the free people of the world, the Muslim people, and the Arab people.