Tuesday, July 18, 2006
The above link will take you to the Workers Vanguard leaflet on this issue.
After nearly starving the Palestinian people in Gaza for weeks, cutting their power, threatening their elected leaders and sabotaging all attempts at normal government, Israel came under rocket attack by Hezbollah petty-bourgeois religious nationalists stationed in Southern Lebanon. Using the capture of two Israeli soldiers as a pretext for war, Israel has mobilized massive and bloody retaliation against the whole population of Lebanon!
The Associated Press reports the following:
“At least 548 Lebanese have been killed since the fighting began three weeks ago, including 477 civilians and 25 Lebanese soldiers and at least 46 Hezbollah guerrillas. The health minister says the toll could be as high as 750, including those still buried in rubble or missing.
In all, 56 Israelis have died — 37 soldiers as well as 19 civilians killed in Hezbollah rocket attacks.”
Newsweek reports that Israel regards any building where Hezbollah hides is “a legitimate target.” Furthermore, Newsweek tells us, that this policy practically means that any building suspected of housing Hezbollah is a legitimate target. This demonstrates from the mouths of the U.S. bourgeois media that the Israeli bombing will necessarily target civilians as we have abundant proof.
The U.S. for its part has rushed to use the attacks by its sub-imperialist enforcer in the Middle East, Israel, to threaten Syria and Iraq! This all must be viewed in the context of U.S. imperialism's global "war on terror" which is an ideological obfuscation of the real war on potential rivals, minority movements, nationalist movements, and the remaining deformed workers states: China, Cuba, North Korea, and Vietnam.
Western bourgeois Media has taken up the line of the U.S. and Israel without dissent. They minimize the totally asymetrical attack by wealthy and well armed Israel against barley reconstructed Lebanon. Workers, Marxists, Anarchists, and all of the oppressed must see Israel's attacks as part of imperialism. All should Defend Lebanon from these attacks!
Why should workers and Marxists Defend Lebanon, Gaza, and Palestine? Spartacist No. 55 Autumn 1999 states, quoting Lenin’s 1915 ‘Socialism and War’: “A revolutionary class cannot but wish for the defeat of its government in a reactionary war, and cannot fail to see that the latter’s military reverses must facilitate its overthrow.”
Meaning that “…in the case of an imperialist war against a small nation or semicolonial people, it is the duty of the working class not only to fight for the defeat of one’s “own” government but to defend the victims of imperialist aggression (ibid)”.
Let's consider some more arguments about this conflict:
First, look at the death toll and see how disproportional the Israeli response is: 370 Lebanese killed to 35 Israelis (New York Times, July 23, 2006), which is nearly 10: 1! If Hezbollah and Hamas have attacked civilians in “terrorist” attacks as many point out then Israel must be a state terrorist actor themselves in destroying the homes of “suspects,” deliberate segregation of Arabs, bombardment from tanks and aircraft of civilian areas, huge wall building (remember how the Western imperialists hate walls and denounce those who build them i.e. the Berlin Wall) and widely suspected possession of WMD’s in the form of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. As for kidnapping and torture, we can say the same for Israel, if not on a larger scale. The point is that the targeting of civilians by both Israel and various Arab nationalist militias are criminal acts and must be condemned. However we cannot forget the actual power dynamic in which Israel acts as a proxy for U.S. imperialist repression of Arabs.
Second, what is it that “throws the Middle East into instability?” Is it the involvement of other Middle Eastern countries or is it the involvement of the United States and their imperialist powers? It is the involvement of the U.S., the largest imperialist power in the world that makes the region unstable. It is the areas where Imperialist rule is being enforced that are unstable: Afghanistan, Iraq, and Israel/Palestine. In addition, what does ‘stability’ mean? Does it mean that Arabs quietly acquiesce to outside domination and interference into their affairs? Does it mean that the class rule of the property owners is enforced through military states? That is not stability. Real “stability” is when every country and nation is free from the domination by another country or nation. In the current world, this national freedom must also be linked to a fight against imperialism and capitalism, and for socialist emancipation of the working class from its own greatest oppressors, their own ruling classes. National liberation without socialist revolution merely creates the conditions for the domination of workers by capitalists.
Unfortunately, the current leaders of the Palestinians and the Arab resistance are nationalistic misleaders. They use fundamentalist Islam, anti-woman bigotry, and anti-Semitism to marshal their populations, restrain women’s rights, and deter inter-communal, internationalist cooperation. On the Israeli side the workers are mislead by a nationalist Zionist Labor party and bureaucratic union leaders that are more interested in the preservation of the Israeli exclusionary militarist state than they are in international labor solidarity, and self-determination for all peoples. Both sides need internationalist workers parties that will champion the cause of Palestinian independence, the overthrow of capitalism through socialist revolution the creation of a united federation of the Middle East.