Nasrallah skeptical of Obama's 'change'

Israelis "racist," Hizbullah chief says, and threatens to sever "Israeli hands that harm Lebanon."

nasrallah 248 88 (photo credit: AP [file])
nasrallah 248 88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah on Tuesday lashed out at Israel, calling Israelis "racist war criminals" and warning that Hizbullah was "stronger than ever." He also expressed skepticism regarding US President-elect Barack Obama's promises of change. In a speech marking Martyr Day in Beirut, Nasrallah said: "We come here every year to reiterate our pride and our respect for our martyrs. We mention them at every turn and not only on happy days. We remember them in our feelings and thoughts and in our everyday social interactions." According to the Hizbullah leader, Israel was behind a series of assassinations threatening the stability of the Lebanese political landscape. He warned, however, that his organization "is stronger than ever and is at the height of readiness." "The Israeli hands that harm Lebanon will be cut off, as they have been cut off in the past," he threatened. Nasrallah referred to this week's United Nations interfaith conference in New York, which will be attended by Saudi King Abdullah and President Shimon Peres. He called on Arab and Muslim nations to prevent the participation of Peres or any other Israeli dignitaries, who, he said, are "racist war criminals." "Take note of when Peres and the rest of the Israelis are arriving at the conference - right while they are tightening the siege on a million and a half Palestinians in Gaza and stepping up their attacks on the Palestinians in the West Bank," he said. The Hizbullah leader claimed that the American public's decision to oust the Republicans from the White House was a sign that the US had recognized US President George W. Bush's foreign policy as a failure. Nasrallah would not, however, voice support for Obama. "It makes no sense to depend upon a promise of change made by the oppressor," he asserted. "A nation that depends upon others' change is a weak nation."