Is the interview with Nasrallah fake?
August 21, 2006
The interview with Hezbollah’s leader Nasrallah reported by Roza Çiğdem Erdoğan and Mutlu Şahin (of the Şeyh Bedrettin Film Collective) published in the national daily Evrensel on August 12 started widespread discussions both within Turkey and elsewhere. However, there are allegations that the interview, which had also been translated and published in the respectable international left internet site Counterpunch, was faked. The interview, now under suspicion, had enjoyed interest worldwide and had spread via internet throughout the world from Bolivia to France, and from England to the US, has been the subject of many debates and discussions.
Many articles were written about the interview, which was also mentioned in the respectable Turkish daily Milliyet. While creating surprise as well as interest, the interview included Nasrallah’s admiration for Deniz Gezmiş (a revolutionary leftist who was executed by the military rule in Turkey) and Che Guevara, his disappointment for not having the unity in the Middle East that existed before, and his words, “If the socialists are going to come to Lebanon with their motto of, ‘religion is the opiate of the masses’ they better not come.” The interview under suspicion also included issues specific to the left in Turkey.
The names who claim to have done the interview, Şeyh Bedrettin Film Collective (ŞBFK), do not have a positive image among the left circles in Turkey. The same group had recently claimed in mailing lists in the internet that they were able to enter Lebanon during the war and were also able to get interviews and discuss issues of anti-imperialist front with Kim Jong-Il, Hugo Chavez, Mahmoud Ahmedinejat, Fidel Castro, Moukteda es-Sadr, Beshar Esad and Evo Morales who normally would not give interviews to even the most famous journalists. In the past, since we suspected these announcements and did not want to be a party to disinformation, we chose to ignore these claims.
After the interview was translated and published in Counterpunch, serious accusations of its authenticity started to circulate as well. Below you will find the famous Lebanese Marxist author Gilbert Achar’s e-mail to the internet site ‘World War 4’:
Counterpunch prints “fraudulent” Nasrallah interview
Submitted by Bill Weinberg on Sat, 08/19/2006 – 02:38.
Lebanese scholar Gilbert Achcar writes via e-mail: “Many of you have certainly seen an interview allegedly done with [Hezbollah leader] Hassan Nasrallah by a Turkish radical left newpsaper… I have enquired about it, and a source in Beirut in close touch with Hezbollah has confirmed to me that it is a forgery.” However, Counterpunch has seen fit to keep the evident forgery on its website, despite growing questions about its authenticity (albeit, with a note at the end acknowledging the controversy). The pseudo-interview is interesting because of what it reveals about the willful illusions the radical left cultivates about radical Islam. (…)
We expect our friend daily Evrensel newspaper to make an announcement on the issue and clear the confusion this matter has caused in the public.