Party of God's glorious victory wrapped up in mufti


MEMRI comes up with an interesting and encouraging video clip: Ali Al-Amin, the Shiite Mufti of Tyre, making some strongly critical comments about Hezbollah in an interview with LBC's May Chidiac:

Sheikh Ali Al-Amin: "With regard to the [Hizbullah] victory, as it has been called—I don't believe it was such a victory… I don't want to get into an argument about the meaning of victory, but I ask: Were we in such a state of defeat before July 12 that we needed such a 'great' and 'strategic' victory following July 12?"

Interviewer: "When posters of [Hizbullah leader] Hassan Nasrallah are raised in the streets of Arab cities and at the [Sunni] Al-Azhar University—shouldn't this be considered a victory for Hizbullah?"

Sheikh Ali Al-Amin: "In Arabic, we have both truth and figurative language. This may be a victory in the figurative sense, a moral victory. This is not entirely impossible. But if 'strategic victory' refers to our bombing of Haifa… Saddam Hussein attacked Tel Aviv with Scud missiles—was that a strategic victory as well? We were not in a state of defeat before July 12. We were winning, and we had an important and great achievement, which we should have preserved."

Interviewer: "What achievement are you talking about?"

Sheikh Ali Al-Amin: "The achievement of the year 2000. Before July 12, we still had this achievement, and there was a possibility [for Hizbullah] to be incorporated in the state, rather than have such a war imposed on us."

Interviewer: "But the issue of the Shaba' Farms still remained, and this has always been the pretext for continuing the resistance operations, and even for the capturing of the Israeli soldiers."

Sheikh Ali Al-Amin: "But now, after July 12, they accepted that the Shaba' Farms issue could be resolved through diplomatic means, through the U.N. This was possible before July 12."

It goes on like that. Al-Amin's view is so critical that you might think Chidiac, who is certainly no supporter of Hezbollah and who lost an arm and a leg in a car bomb attack last year, is defending the Party of God rather than just asking tough questions. You can't make out Chidiac's artificial arm from the in-studio angle, but it's worth watching for Al-Amin's eye-rolling and exasperated delivery.