Lebanese fight on amid hail of bombs
World opinion turns against U.S.-Israeli aggression
Published Aug 10, 2006 3:03 AM
Aug. 9—Israel’s war cabinet
overwhelmingly decided today to send its troops deeper into Lebanon. This
decision is a major expansion of the ground war. It is an attempt to destroy the
resistance movement led by Hezbollah before any kind of cease-fire is agreed on
by the imperialist powers in collusion with Israel.
It is important to
look at what Israel’s U.S.-supplied jet aircraft, attack helicopters,
tanks, armored earth movers, laser-guided bunker busters and cluster bombs have
already done to a country less than half the size and less than half the
population of the state of New Jersey.
Israeli planes—more than 60
at a time —circle off the coast of Lebanon waiting their turn to drop
bombs on a country that has no defense system against aerial assaults
Whole sections of Beirut, Tyre and Sidon have been leveled. More than 75
percent of the southern part of Beirut is destroyed. The south of Lebanon has
been depopulated. Villages and towns smashed. The infrastructure—including
airports, ports, highways, major bridges, electric generating plants and oil
refineries—was destroyed in the first days of the Israeli
Casualties are far higher than the 1,000 recorded deaths—a
third of them children—because rescue workers are no longer able to reach
most bombed sites. There is no count of the thousands of lives lost due to
extreme stress, lack of needed medicines or unsanitary water.
6—the anniversary of the U.S. dropping an atomic weapon on
Hiroshima—the independent Israeli Committee for a Middle East Free from
Atomic, Biological & Chemical Weapons issued a report about the many
bunker-busting bombs—GBU-28—Israel has received from the Pentagon.
The report states that the bombs contain depleted uranium, which spreads toxic
and radioactive dust.
Most of the population now lacks basic supplies.
Fuel is so scarce that even generators rarely function. The bombing of oil
storage tanks near the coast has created an environmental
disaster—beaches, estuaries and the water supply are contaminated with
oil. Electricity, sanitation and garbage pick-up have disappeared. Social
service organizations, humanitarian organizations and hospitals are overwhelmed.
More than 25 percent of the population—a million people—is
homeless. Refugees are packed into schools, mosques, city parks and along
The national resistance led and organized by Hezbollah has dealt
continuing blows to the Israeli army. The Israeli military, once considered
invincible in its armored tanks, has been slowed, diverted and even held back by
the anti-tank weapons of the resistance.
Even though Hezbollah lacks
rockets with the precision or the enormous destructive power of U.S.-supplied
Israeli bombs, it still has the capacity to fire more than a 100 a day, shutting
down the northern third of Israel.
Hezbollah has spent years organizing
and training many thousands of people in military tactics. It also paid great
attention to the social and economic needs of the poorest segments of
The well-constructed maze of tunnels and bunkers has enabled the
highly organized, small units of Hezbollah and other resistance groups to
conduct numerous ambushes.
Every tank that is destroyed, every helicopter
gunship that is shot down sends the message that Israel is not
In past invasions, Israel was able to draw support from the
most conservative and privileged segments of Lebanese society—even
establishing a fascist army of collaborators. French colonialism, U.S. and
Israeli policies have all reinforced the centuries-old divisions of Lebanon into
rigid religious, ethnic and political groups.
But this time, the massive
destruction Israel has inflicted—and the organized military resistance and
political mobilization to meet it—has united Lebanon against Israel and
against the U.S.
As the Israeli military strategy has failed, Tel Aviv
finds itself in a crisis similar to the U.S. quagmire in Iraq. The whole Middle
East is electrified by seeing that a popular mobilization of the people is a
powerful weapon. Throughout the entire region, Washington’s full support
for the war has overwhelmingly united and hardened popular opinion against U.S.
Charges of war crimes
Three Jewish Moroccans
have submitted to the High Court in Rabat a document charging Moroccan-born
Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz with war crimes.
The leftist activist
Abraham Tsarfati, author Amran al-Malich and human rights official Zion Asidon
charge that Peretz should be tried in Morocco due to his dual Moroccan/Israeli
citizenship. They explain, “Moroccan law allows the trial of any Moroccan
national who has committed war crimes in or out of the
Defense Minister Peretz’s role exposes the
bankruptcy of liberal Zionists—in a crisis they are Zionists first. Peretz
is a former Peace Now activist and head of the Zionist Trade Union Organization,
Hista drut. His election as head of the Israeli Labor Party was heralded in
Israel, and even by some progressives in the U.S., as a sign of big changes.
Yet the Labor Party has been part of the Israeli government, together
with the Likud Party, for most of the six years of the Pales tinian Intifada.
The role of the Labor Party in Israel is similar to that of the Democratic Party
in U.S. imperialist politics.
The massive proof of Israeli war crimes and
the blatant U.S. support for these crimes has outraged even those who would
usually remain silent.
Israel has targeted clearly marked Red Cross
ambulances, refugee convoys, a bomb shelter in Qana, hospitals and the entire
civilian infrastructure. UN Human i tarian Coordinator for Lebanon David Shearer
warned that, “The deliberate targeting of civilian infrastructure is a
violation of international law.”
The Guardian of Britain reported on
Aug. 8 that Israel “has threatened to attack UN peacekeepers if they
attempted to repair bomb-damaged bridges in South ern
Planning & preparation for
Israel’s invasion and all-out assault on Lebanon and its
massive attack on Pales tinians in Gaza were not the result of the capture of a
single Israeli soldier by Hamas in Gaza, nor of Hezbollah’s capture of two
Israeli soldiers on the Lebanese border.
These soldiers were captured to
press for a prisoner exchange of the more than 10,000 prisoners held by Israel.
There have been relentless Israeli attacks on both areas for years and there
have been resistance actions by both organizations, and other Palestinian and
The July 21 San Francisco Chronicle explained:
“Israel’s military response by air, land and sea to what it
considered a provocation last week by Hezbollah militants is unfolding according
to a plan finalized more than a year ago.”
A Washington Post article
on July 16 was entitled, “Strikes Are Called Part of Broad Strategy: U.S.,
Israel Aim to Weaken Hezbollah, Region’s Militants.”
resolutions for a cease-fire
After resisting calls for a cease-fire
when Israel first started its bombing campaign, the U.S., together with France,
has now put forward a “cease-fire resolution” in the UN Security
Council that is in reality a plan to formalize the Israeli occupation and
reinforce it with an international military force.
It calls for disarming
Hezbollah but not the Israeli military. It does not even call for an Israeli
troop withdrawal from Lebanon. Israeli forces would actually remain until a
future resolution put an international force in their place.
resolution allows Israel to continue its offensive military operations
“for defensive purposes.”
Jonathan Cooke, a journalist based
in Nazareth, noted in an Aug. 7 Znet article that Hebrew Language media said the
plan was drafted with “close Israeli involvement.”
which is behind Israel all the way, has blocked all previous international calls
for a cease-fire. The resolution is strictly a ploy by the imperialists to come
up with a plan that Hezbollah cannot accept.
Danger of wider
As Israel expands the war, and moves deeper into Lebanon, the
danger of wider war grows.
Israeli war planes bombed the Syrian border
town of al-Qaa on Aug. 5, killing 33 Syrian farm workers and Lebanese civilians
and wounding 14. In two letters to the UN, Syria demanded a full UN
investigation of the massacres of civilians at al-Qaa and at the bomb shelter at
Qana, in Lebanon.
The Israeli media is reporting that Prime Minister Ehud
Olmert told a meeting of 50 government spokespeople on Aug. 7, “Our enemy
is not Hezbollah, but Iran, which employs Hezbollah as its agent.”
With the U.S. war in Iraq more unwin nable with each passing day, and a
powerful resistance in Lebanon, the threat grows that the Bush administration
will push to widen the war. Large sections of the anti-war movement in the West
have historically supported the state of Israel, which marches in lockstep with
U.S. imperialism’s aims in the Middle East. These latest assaults on the
Lebanese and Pales tinian people show that it is just not possible to be for
Israel and still be anti-war.
The Arab and Muslim people of the entire
region are under fierce and widening attack. They are waging a heroic
What is needed now is international solidarity that
recognizes the justice of their cause.
Articles copyright 1995-2012 Workers World.
Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.
Workers World, 55 W. 17 St., NY, NY 10011
Email: [email protected]
Subscribe [email protected]
Support independent news DONATE