Hizbullah Secretary-General Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah spoke to the masses, accusing Israel and the United States of trying to drive a wedge between supporters of what he called "the resistance", the Lebanese public and all other Arab nations.
"Today is the first anniversary of our divine victory. Today I call on the Lebanese people and all the nations of the world to thank you," said Nasrallah to the cheering crowd.
Hizbullah rally in Beirut (Photo: Reuters)
"I thank all the leaders, all the rulers, all the governments and all the organizations that stood by Lebanon and the resistance amidst July's aggression.
"I thank all those who helped us rebuild Lebanon after the war, and today I call on the people, I call on the Arab nations, the Muslims, the Lebanese people and the people of the resistance."
The definition of terror
"The United States and Israel have tried to isolate the resistance and its public from the Arabs, the Muslims, Lebanon and the rest of the world," accused Nasrallah.
"They've tried to do so using the American and Israeli media, accusing us of being terrorists… we called on them to check – is resistance the same as terror? But the US refused, knowing they are not the same.
"If they look into it, they would find that the US is a terrorist and that the Zionist entity is one of terror… what is the definition of terror? They refuse to say."
The resistance, continued Nasrallah, defeated Israel, breathing new life into a united Arab world. "The resistance presented a serious alternative to freeing the land and defending our country. We no longer have to humiliate ourselves in negotiations with Israel and the US.
"I said it a year ago and I'll say it again: This is a victory for all of Lebanon, all Arabs, all Muslims and all free men around the world… they want to tear us apart – nations, peoples, opinions and factions – that is their plot. The more divided we are, the easier it is for them to win, but we will fight back."
The US, Jewish plan
"This new Middle East they talk about is nothing but an old plan… Herzl wrote about it in 1897, saying the Middle East must be reorganized and lead by the Jews…even then he said the Middle East has no place for Arabs," said Nasrallah.
Speaking dismissively of the US and Israel's aspirations for the region, he added "they see Palestine as the natural obstacle between east and west in the Middle East… they keep talking about the new Middle East but returning to the old one.
"Just because we have defeated them now, doesn’t mean they won't try it again in the future," warned Nasrallah, "Next time they might try doing it not using religion instead of geography.
"If you are thinking of going to war with Lebanon – I promise you a big surprise that will change the fate of the war and the region," he warned Israel and the US, adding "if there will be a war – even though we do not want there to be – the resistance is standing at the Lebanese army's side, shoulder to shoulder."
Nasrallah went on to praise the Lebanese home front, calling the images of thousands of people returning to their villages "historic".
He further called on Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora to pay restitution to victims of war and pledged that Hizbullah would do the same. Hizbullah, said Nasrallah, had paid over $400 million in restitution money so far.