In a comprehensive interview with the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, Hezbollah’s deputy secretary-general, Naim Qassem, asserted that attacking American positions in the Middle East is ‘essential’ to halt the mass extermination of Palestinians in Gaza, facilitated by the unwavering support from Washington to Tel Aviv. According to Qassem, without US assistance, Israel would have succumbed to the October 7th attack.
“It is the [Western] axis that supports the occupation, legitimizes the murder of children and women, the destruction of hospitals, and grants immunity to Israel to continue its massacres. The US supports these massacres, which is why attacking the US is essential to stop the aggression against Gaza,” Qassem stated in the interview published on November 14th.
Qassem emphasized that the US military intervention is integral to the violent Israeli reaction and serves to protect this “monstrosity.” The daily bombardment of US bases in Iraq and Syria by local resistance factions since October 17th has led the Pentagon to deploy nearly a dozen warships, thousands of troops, and heavy weapons to the region.
The Hezbollah official contended that Israel “holds [today] thanks to US support.” He pointed out that if Israel resists, it is due to the support of the US; otherwise, it would have collapsed within a few days. Israel, according to Qassem, is under intensive treatment by the West, and the duration of this support’s effectiveness remains uncertain.
Addressing the clashes between Hezbollah and the Israeli army on the Lebanese border, ongoing since October 8th, Qassem stated that Hezbollah has a plan to “force Israel to curb itself.” However, he added that any decision would be made on the battlefield, and the possibility of the fighting extending beyond the Lebanese border region depends on the evolution of the Gaza war and Israel’s hypothetical decision to start a wider war.
“If they attack us, we will have to defend ourselves and use all our power,” he declared to El Mundo.
When asked about the prospect of a ‘wider war’ being accelerated by a defeat of the resistance in Gaza, Qassem responded, “We will decide when the time comes. Now is not the time to talk about red lines.”
Qassem highlighted the main difference between the Lebanese resistance and the Israeli army, stating that a confrontation cannot be measured solely in terms of military capacity. He emphasized the motivation and desire of the resistance to defend its people and land, asserting that the real victory is ensuring the enemy does not achieve its goals.
Regarding Hezbollah’s current position compared to 2006, when Israel suffered a humiliating defeat, Qassem stated that Hezbollah is “in a much better position” and clarified that they don’t need more weapons but more warehouses.
Addressing the use of nuclear weapons, Qassem dismissed fears, stating that if Israel used nuclear weapons, it would kill Israelis before harming Hezbollah. He criticized the arrogance of Israeli cabinet members suggesting the use of nuclear weapons.
“If Israel decided to extend aggression [against Lebanon], it would dig its own grave and give us a good opportunity to eliminate it once and for all,” Qassem asserted.
He also criticized Western media for portraying Israel as having a right to the occupied territories and being the victim. According to Qassem, the reality is that Palestinians are occupied, and Israel is the occupier. He emphasized the need to address the problem of occupation rather than focusing on resistance to occupation. For Hezbollah, Israel has no right to exist, and Palestinians are the real owners of the land.
This interview suggests the possibility of a widening of the conflict to directly involve the US in the Arab-Israeli struggle, especially concerning American-controlled enclaves in the Middle East.