06/18/2009, 00.00
LEBANON
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Hizbollah wants an “explanation” from Patriarch Sfeir

Hizbollah leader attacks cardinal for a statement the latter made ten days ago, on the eve of the elections, in which he expressed concern for Lebanon’s national and Arab identity. Nasrallah accuses Sfeir of not coming out against Israeli attacks and massacres.
Beirut (AsiaNews) – The leader of Lebanon’s Hizbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, has launched an attack against Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir, demanding he give an “explanation” for a statement the cardinal made on 7 June, eve of the elections, in which the prelate expressed concern for the Lebanese identity and Lebanon’s Arab character.

Our “national duty calls on all of us to be aware of what is being planned. We must work hard on thwarting all attempts that, if successful, could change the face of Lebanon,” Sfeir has said.

Speaking ten days later on Hizbollah’s TV network al-Manar Nasrallah called on the Christian religious leader to explain himself, accusing him of speaking out against Hizbollah, but not against Israeli attacks.

“Throughout the eighties and the years that followed, I never heard the patriarch talk about threats to the Lebanese entity,’ Nasrallah said.

He said that during Sfeir's presence in Bkirki, "we have seen Israeli massacres and aggressions and he never spoke of threats against the Lebanese entity. We never heard the patriarch warning against Israeli attacks.”

“It is shameful that the patriarch did not view the Israeli dangers as a threat to the Lebanese entity,” Nasrallah added.

Regarding Lebanon’s Arab identity, Nasrallah went on to say, “I believe that the opposition, Syria and Iran are all Arabs,” stressing that Iran was no longer Persian.

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