Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave a speech to a crowd of thousands in the southern Lebanese town of Bint Jbeil on Thursday, telling his audience that "Lebanese resistance is more powerful than the swords of Zionists."
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded to Ahmadinejad's speech at Independence Hall in Tel Aviv on Thursday, and said: "We heard the blasphemous curses from the Lebanese border today. The best answer to these swears was given here 62 years ago: The state and all that was built and created since then."
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The prime minister said, "Look at what a people, look at what a country, and what an army the people of Israel have."
"We will continue to build, to create our country, and we know how to properly defend ourselves," Netanyahu said.
Ahmadinejad called Bint Jbeil, a border village that was bombed by Israel during the Second Lebanon War, "the capital of freedom, the capital of resistance and victory."
"The world knows the Zionists invaded Bint Jbeil to break down the
resistance, but today they are nowhere to be found, and Bint Jbeil is
still here," Ahmadinejad said. "Bint Jbeil is still alive and standing
up against us. Bint Jbeil stands against the enemy to the last minute."
"The Zionists will not last long," Ahmadinejad exclaimed. "Bring defeat to the Zionists."
Ahmadinejad also called for Palestine to be "forcefully freed" and for the Zionists to go "back to where they came from."
The Iranian president lamented the "Palestinians that were kidnapped and put in jail. The Zionists commit war crimes against the Palestinians and Lebanon," Ahmadinejad said.
He also claimed that "The Zionists are responsible for the economic crisis and air pollution in the world."
At the same time, Israelis held a protest in Avivim, a town on the
Lebanese border. Demonstrators released blue and white balloons to
represent the Israeli flag, and held signs with messages such as:
"Ahmadinejad, learn from Cyrus the great and Ahasuerus, the good kings
for interfaith dialogue
Also on Thursday, Ahmadinejad was awarded an honorary doctorate in
political sciences from the Lebanese University in Beirut on Thursday,
according to a Press TV report. During his speech at the university,
Ahmadinejad reportedly accused the West of blocking other countries from
accessing peaceful nuclear technology.
have deprived other nations of this technology and have monopolized it,”
Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying.
leader also slammed the US for its military policies in the Middle East,
accusing Washington of killing innocent civilians in Afghanistan under
the guise of the War on Terror.
Thursday, Ahmadinejad called on all religious scholars and leaders to
come together in solving challenges facing human societies during a
meeting with Lebanese scholars, clerics and religious leaders on the
second and last day of his visit to Lebanon, Press TV reported.
“Scholars of divine religions can put major challenges
facing human societies on the agenda to find … solutions to them,”
Ahmadinejad said, according to the Press TV report.
"All divine religions guide mankind to prosperity and invite human
societies to monotheism, justice and friendship," he added.
AP contributed to this report.