Julian Assange Hosts Hezbollah Leader in TV Series Debut

WikiLeaks founder talks Israel, Syria, rockets with Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Hezbollah.

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Julian Assange, the founder and editor-in-chief of the controversial whistleblowing site WikiLeaks, has been under house arrest in the English countryside for over a year and a half, but that has not stopped him from stirring up political controversy. On Tuesday, Assange's new talk show, The World Tomorrow, debuted with an interview with Hassan Nasrallah, secretary general of Hezbollah, a Lebanese militant group and political party. The first episode of the series was broadcast on RT, a Russian 24/7 English-language news network.

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According to the show's press release, The World Tomorrow will feature "an eclectic range of guests, who are stamping their mark on the future: politicians, revolutionaries, intellectuals, artists and visionaries." The series seeks to ferment the emergence of new protest movements across the world, and, in Assange's own words, its goal is "to capture and present some of this revolutionary spirit to a global audience."

Hezbollah is regarded as a terrorist organization, in whole or in part, by the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia, among others, for tactics used in its armed resistance movement throughout the Arab world. Since 2008, Hezbollah has been an official part of the Lebanese government, controlling 11 of the country's 30 cabinet seats.

The conversation between Assange and Nasrallah focuses on Hezbollah's conflict with Israel and the uprising against Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria.

Speaking from a secret location in Lebanon, Nasrallah explains that Hezbollah's policy is that Palestine belongs to the Palestinians, but he also seems open to a negotiated settlement. "The only solution is to establish one state on the land of Palestine in which the Muslims and the Jews and the Christians live in peace in a democratic state," Nasrallah tells Assange through a translator. He also stresses that Hezbollah's rocket attacks against Israeli civilians started as a reaction to attacks the Israeli military carried out against Palestinians, and he explains that Hezbollah continues to use the tactic as a deterrent.

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Regarding Syria, Nasrallah claims that America and Israel want to push the country into a civil war. "What we have called for in Syria is dialogue and reform and for the reforms to be carried out," Nasrallah says, explaining that Hezbollah supports Assad's regime because of its refusal to back down in the face of Israeli and American pressure. Further, Nasrallah claims that Hezbollah contacted Syrian opposition forces to encourage dialogue with the Assad regime but that the suggestion was refused.

Nasrallah's interview with Assange is the Hezbollah leader's first of the kind in six years, and he appears comfortable talking with Assange about his group's agenda as well as his roots as a boy growing up in east Beirut.

According to the show's original press release, The World Tomorrow will be a 12-part series, and Assange has completed filming the entirety of the show.