South Africa's prime minister John Vorster (second from right) is feted by Israel's prime minister Yitzhak Rabin (right) and Menachem Begin (left) and Moshe Dayan during his 1976 visit to Jerusalem. Photograph: Sa'ar Ya'acov
”During the second world war the future South African prime minister John Vorster was interned as a Nazi sympathiser. Three decades later he was being feted in Jerusalem.”
From Guardian, February 7, 2006;
McGreal, ‘Brothers in arms - Israel's secret pact with Pretoria
Right Image: Qana Masscre by Israeli Air Force July 2006
BRUTAL ISRAELI AND USA ATTACK LEBANON –
THE LONG LAID IMPERIALIST PLANS COME TO FRUITION
We have previously argued that:
(i) Israel is the client state of the American imperialist bourgeoisie in the Middle East.
(ii) Establishing Israel allowed Western bourgeoisie – in particular the USA – to exercise control over the oil supply of the Middle East. MLOB 1973 Formation Israel & on the PLO
(iii) As planned by USA imperialists, the destruction of any independent
state policy in Lebanon is essential to any attack on the states of Syria and Iran.
Notes On Lebanon – written 1987: http://www.allianceml.com/BLAND/Lebanon_WBB.htm
iv) The recent assassination of the ex-President of Lebanon Hariri was a signal that imperialism wished to re-create a renewed ‘permanent’ destablisation of Lebanon.
Reactionary terror continues in Lebanon http://www.allianceml.com/PAPER/JULY2005/ReactionaryTerrorLebanon.htm
We believe that this background remains at the heart of the current war in Lebanon, launched by the determined war-mongers of the apartheid Israeli state with the blessings of the USA imperialists. A little noticed feature of this war, has been the coincidence in timing with the inauguration of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline. This bypasses Russian territory, moving oil into the Eastern Mediterranaean, into Israel’s jurisdiction.
In this article:
First we give a chronology of key recent events over the last two years, to up-date the analyses cited above. A calm appraisal of these facts dispel any doubts, as to the real genesis of this war. This brutal war was manifestly not launched as an act of “self-defence” by Israel.
Nor was it triggered by the Hizbollah (also known as Hi’zbullah or Hezbollah) of Lebanon.
The origins of this current vicious war of the Israelis, reside in an old dream of the Zionists to control Lebanon. As David Ben-Gurion wrote in his diary in 1948:
“The Lebanese government should be overthrown.. a Christian state South to be up there, with its Southern frontier on the Litani”.
Gilmour, D: “Dispossessed”; London; 1983; p. 220
This war was well planned. As FAIR has reported:
"Of all of Israel's wars since 1948, this was the one for which Israel was most prepared," Gerald Steinberg, a political science professor at Israel's Bar-Ilan University, told the San Francisco Chronicle (7/21/05). "By 2004, the military campaign scheduled to last about three weeks that we're seeing now had already been blocked out and, in the last year or two, it's been simulated and rehearsed across the board." The Chronicle reported that a "senior Israeli army officer" has been giving PowerPoint presentations for more than a year to "U.S. and other diplomats, journalists and think tanks" outlining the coming war with Lebanon, explaining that a combination of air and ground forces would target Hezbollah and "transportation and communication arteries."
Second we will discuss the identity of Hezbollah. We argue they are the most advanced representatives of a pan-Lebanese bourgeoisie. We reject the characterisation of Hezbollah as ‘terrorists’ – as alleged by the USA - or as ‘individual terrorists’ by some progressives. We also reject the characterization of them as a pro-Syrian comprador front – what Marxist-Leninists might term comprador agents.
Syria: Alliance 51: Table of Contents
Individual Terror_Marxist-Leninist Attitudes to:
A BRIEF CHRONOLOGY OF RECENT EVENTS LEADING
THE JULY 2006 ISRAELI LAUNCH OF OPEN WAR
The pattern that emerges from events in the last 2 years in Palestine, is the emergence of two definite opposed wings in the Palestine Authority, after the death of Yasser Arafat.
This not the place for a full evaluation of Arafat.
Here, we can only point out that by the end of his life, he had forfeited much of his (and that of the Palestinian people’s) independence, to the USA imperialists and their Israeli allies. In the hopes of keeping the mini-state of the Palestine Authority alive, he presided over the disintegration - from an intense factionalism, and very visible corruption – of the Palestine Liberation Organisation. While he retained the affection of many of the Palestinian masses, who recalled his earlier militancy, he was trapped. For much of his last years, he was in fact, even physically trapped by the Israeli army, in his compound.
Inevitably, the locus of resistance to the Israeli fascists would move away from the PLO and its related Fatah armed organization. The resistance passed into the hands of ‘Hamas’. This organization followed the pattern of Hezbollah (Lebanon), which is discussed in more detail below. That is a pattern of a national liberation resistance led by representatives of a small but definite, national bourgeoisie. These have often taken on he clothes of a religious Islamic fundamentalism. While they have often continued an incorrect approach of an ‘individual terrorism’, they have been progressively moving away from this as a strategy. Instead of individual terror, they have been moving towards the stances of a mass movement.
Hence their leadership of the Second Intifadah.
In opposition to this resistance, were the ‘moderates’ of the Palestine Authority – men such as Mahmoud Abbas. They had been part of the Arafat PLO, and had participated in the previous struggles, exemplified in the heroic stands in Shabra and Shatilla in the Lebanon camps. They were however increasingly content with administering a small insignificant part of the former, expropriated “Palestine” – that was the hemmed in and suffocated and controlled “Palestine Authority”. In this in-hospitable scrap of land, they developed a corrupt infrastructure, and became recognized as a comprador agency by the Israelis and their imperialist USA overlords.
The two years after the death of Arafat, have been filled by the abhorrence of imperialism for the Hamas and their promotion of those like Abbas. This pattern emerges from the chronology of events in the last 2 years.
At Algiers, the Palestine National Council undertakes to recognize the partition of the country and to be satisfied with a state within the 1967 borders. This was only agreed to by sections of the Palestinian movement loyal to Arafat.
Only some 16 years later do the militants of Hamas use terms like ‘truce’ with Israel.
Senior Hamas official Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi offers a 10-year truce, or hudna, in return for a complete withdrawal by Israel from the territories captured in the Six Day War, and the establishment of a Palestinian state ” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamas
The death of Yasser Arafat
January 10 2005
Mahmoud Abbas is confirmed as winner of the Palestinian presidential election.
Israel and USA quickly support Abbas, moving to demand that he institute crack-downs on Hamas militants:
“Mahmoud Abbas today… became Yasser Arafat's successor, after winning a landslide victory in the Palestinian presidential election. The militant group Hamas, which boycotted the elections along with another militant group, Islamic Jihad, said it could work with Mr Abbas, but questioned his real margin of victory and complained of electoral irregularities. Final results announced today gave Mr Abbas 62% of the vote. His nearest rival, Mustafa Barghouti, had 19% of the vote and conceded defeat. “
“Deputy prime minister, Ehud Olmert, said a Palestinian crackdown on militants was a precondition for … the peace process, including consulting with the Palestinians on the planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip this summer. …. Mr Sharon asked the Israeli parliament to ratify …. his plan to pull out the almost 9,000 Jewish settlers who live in the Gaza Strip. Mr Sharon… was expected to win approval“. http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,2763,1386862,00.html
January 15 2005
Just as quickly, Israel breaks off contact with Abbas to push him further to become Israel’s policeman:
“Israel announced … that it was suspending all contact with the new Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, and his government, claiming that members of the Palestinian security agencies were involved in an attack in Gaza which killed six Israelis. Aides to Ariel Sharon, the Israeli prime minister, said relations would be suspended until Mr Abbas took action against the militant groups behind Thursday night's attack.”
Conal Urquhart: “Israel breaks off contact with Abbas”; The Guardian;
January 24th 2005
Abbas forces his opposition to accommodate Israel. The resistance groups ‘Hamas’ and Islamic Jihad’, agree to halt attacks on Israel
and Islamic Jihad have agreed to suspend attacks on Israel in order to
new Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, time to secure international
for a comprehensive ceasefire that would end more than four years of
The Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, has said "quiet will be met
quiet". But the army chief of staff, Lieutenant General Moshe Ya'alon, told the Israeli
that the military would continue operations against Palestinian
those areas where Palestinian security forces are not operating, which
much of the West
“Abbas seeks pledge from Sharon to win lasting ceasefire”
The Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,1396958,00.html
February 8, 2005
A formal cease fire, between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, is agreed to at a summit in Sharm-el-Shaikh:
“The Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, and the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, today agreed a ceasefire and pledged to end violence after more than four years of intifada. At a summit hosted at Sharm el-Sheikh by the Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, the two leaders said they were committed to a truce and seizing the best opportunity in years to secure peace. Mr Abbas - who, in the lead-up to the summit, secured a fragile ceasefire from armed Palestinian groups which has largely been maintained in the last fortnight - said: "We have agreed on halting all violent actions against Palestinians and Israelis, wherever they are." Mr Sharon made a similar statement, saying that the two men had agreed that Israel "will cease all its military activity against all Palestinians everywhere".
Mark Oliver and agencies, “Sharon and
March 10, 2005
Former chief state prosecutor Talia Sasson, reports that the Sharon administration, in concert with the Israeli military administration in the occupied territories and the World Zionist Organisation, of using, at least, tens of millions of pounds for "systematically establishing illegal settlement points". These were to enable a violation of the Israel law, supposedly outlawing extension of settlements:
“The Israeli government is guilty of systematic fraud, "institutional lawbreaking" and the theft of private Palestinian land to covertly establish illegal Jewish outposts in the West Bank. . . The report reveals a widespread conspiracy involving government ministries, local authorities and the military to assist Jewish settlers to build the outposts in violation of Israeli law and the government's publicly stated policy. . . . about half of the 100 or so outposts in the occupied territories were built since Ariel Sharon came to power four years ago.. …. "[The housing ministry] prepared areas, paved roads, connected [outposts] to water and electricity and built public buildings for unauthorised settlement outposts. The assistance was carried out in the guise of building new neighbourhoods for existing settlements, all to circumvent the difficulty of the lack of a government resolution to establish outposts," said the report. Some of the outposts were built on private Palestinian land but the Israeli army protected the settlers who were squatting there from claims by the Arab owners. The report says that the outposts were often established by subterfuge. One tactic was to build a mobile phone mast, sometimes a fake, on Palestinian land. Next came a guard post to protect the mast followed by a paved road and then mobile homes for the guards to live in. Shortly afterwards settlers moved in. In 2003 alone, the government spent about £5m on providing mobile homes to the outposts.
Chris McGreal ’ Israel accused of assisting illegal outposts’, The Guardian; http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,1434126,00.html
15 July 2005
The Israeli army masses forces on Gaza border strip, intending to attack Gaza. USA on tactical grounds, disagrees - Condoleeza Rice in an “acrimonious and stormy” meeting, forces stand-down of the Israeli army. " Steven Erlanger, “U.S. Presses Israel to Smooth the Path to a Palestinian Gaza”, New York Times, August 7 2005.
August 20 2005
In an elaborate show of peaceful intent, Sharon ensures the Israeli army evacuates Jewish settlers from Gaza. This is popular with the majority of the electorate – who at this stage did want peace - but the settler hawks are violently against:
and policemen yesterday .. removed Jewish families from all but four of
doomed Gaza settlements .. an operation that appeared to gain popular
in Israel. A poll in yesterday's Yedioth Ahronoth found that 59% of
voters said they backed the pullout from Gaza and 89% said that the
forces had handled it well in the face of widespread verbal abuse from
settlers, including being called Nazis. The prime minister, Ariel
benefited, with 61% of voters saying he had provided good leadership on
Chris McGreal Settlers cleared ahead of time
The Guardian; http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,1552977,00.html
Israel supposedly “disengages” from Gaza. However, as one Israeli scholar, Tanya Reinhart, puts it:
“Israel prevented any possibility of economic independence for the Strip and from the very beginning,
Israel did not implement a single one of the clauses of the agreement on border-crossings of November 2005. Israel simply substituted the expensive occupation of Gaza with a cheap occupation.”
July 14, 2006; Tanya Reinhart , “What Are They Fighting For?”, Counterpunch http://www.counterpunch.org/reinhart07142006.html
Israel continues to provoke, kill and goad residents of Gaza. The US Scholar Norman Weinstein
tots up the ratio of transgressions between Israel and Palestine:
“Since September 2005 till today… between 7,000 and 9,000 heavy artillery shells have been
shot and fired into Gaza. On the Palestinian side, the estimates are approximately 1,000
Kassam missiles, crude missiles, have been fired into Israel. So we have a ratio of between
seven and nine to one.”
AIPAC v. Norman Finkelstein: ‘A Debate on Israel's Assault on Gaza,’
June 29, 2006; http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/06/29/1420258
Casualties are overwhelmingly in the Palestinian camp:
“In the last six months, approximately 80 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza due to Israel artillery
firing... There have been exactly eight Israelis killed in the last five years from the Kassam missiles.
Again, we have a huge disproportion”.
AIPAC v. Norman Finkelstein: Ibid
November 22, 2005
Sharon recognizing the comprador value of Abbas, has courted much discontent with the more short-sighted hawk militants in his Likud Party. The Labour Party led by Shimon Peres, leaves the coalition with Likud. Sharon declines to face the Likud hawks alone – and he forms a new party – ‘National Responsibility’.
”Ariel Sharon .. launch(d) a new party, National Responsibility... Opinion polls suggest it will drive the once dominant Likud to the margins of Israeli politics, because of infighting in the ruling party over the removal of Jewish settlers from the Gaza strip, and compete with the Labour party for power. . . . . Mr Sharon:. "After great hesitation I decided to leave the Likud. The Likud in its current format cannot lead Israel to its national aims ... Remaining in the Likud means a waste of time in political fighting," he said. "The task in front of us is to create a base for a peace agreement in which will we will create the permanent borders of the state while demanding the cessation of terror. The disengagement [from Gaza] gave us a historic opportunity. I don't mean to miss it." Mr Sharon, 77, said that National Responsibility would be committed to the US-led "road map" . . . The Gaza pullout prompted the rebellion in Likud by MPs who accused him of treason and rewarding terrorism.
Chris McGreal “Sharon alters political
The Guardian; http://www.guardian.co.uk/frontpage/story/0,,1648030,00.html
In reality, Sharon shrewdly and covertly, continues a policy of Israeli expansionism:
“To the Palestinians, Sharon appeared intent on carrying through a modified version of his longstanding plan to rid Israel of responsibility for as many Arabs as possible while keeping as much of their land as he could. While Tony Blair was praising the Israeli prime minister for his political "courage" in leaving Gaza in August last year, Sharon was expropriating more land in the West Bank than Israel surrendered in Gaza, building thousands of new homes in Jewish settlements, and accelerating construction of the 400-plus miles of concrete and barbed wire barrier that few doubt is intended as a border. Palestinians said that whatever emasculated "state" emerged - granted only "aspects of sovereignty" with limited control over its borders, finances and foreign policy - would be disturbingly reminiscent of South Africa's defunct bantustans.”
Chris McGreal ‘Brothers in arms - Israel's secret pact with Pretoria’; The Guardian; February 7, 2006; http://www.guardian.co.uk/southafrica/story/0,,1704038,00.html;
January 4 2006
Ariel Sharon has two major strokes, and is left permanently unconscious.
Ehud Olmert becomes the interim Prime Minister.
The Second Intifadah continues, but with an appalling casualty to Palestinian children and adults:
“the disturbing number of children who die under Israeli guns (more than 650 since the second intifada broke out in September 2000, of which a quarter were younger than 12 years old); the abuse of Palestinians by settlers, and the humiliations meted out at the checkpoints.”
Chris McGreal ‘Brothers in arms - Israel's secret pact with Pretoria’; The Guardian; February 7, 2006; http://www.guardian.co.uk/southafrica/story/0,,1704038,00.html;
Hamas wins elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council.
“Preliminary results give Hamas 76 of the 132 seats in the chamber, with the ruling Fatah party trailing on 43. ….. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Fatah party, says he remains committed to a peaceful settlement…….. In Israel, interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said after a three-hour emergency meeting on Thursday that Israel would not negotiate with a Palestinian government including Hamas: "Israel will not conduct any negotiation with a Palestinian government, if it includes any (members of) an armed terror organisation that calls for Israel's destruction,”.
“Islamic militant group Hamas has won a surprise victory in Wednesday's Palestinian parliamentary elections; http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4650788.stm
Former US President Jimmy Carter reports the elections were:
“honest, fair, strongly contested, without violence and with the results accepted by winners and losers. Among the 62 elections that have been monitored by... the Carter Center, these are among the best in portraying the will of the people.”
Jimmy Carter, ‘Punishing the innocent is a crime’, International Herald Tribune; May 7, 2006
“US President George W Bush said the poll was a "wake-up call" for the Palestian leadership, but he hoped Mr Abbas would stay in power. He said the US would not deal with Hamas unless it renounced its call to destroy Israel. But Hamas co-founder Mahmoud Zahhar refused to renounce violence. "We are not playing terrorism or violence. We are under occupation," he told BBC World TV. "The Israelis are continuing their aggression against our people, killing, detention, demolition and in order to stop these processes, we run effective self defence by all means, including using guns." “Islamic militant group Hamas has won a surprise victory in Wednesday's Palestinian parliamentary elections; http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4650788.stm
Both the USA and the EEC renege on commitments for aid to the Palestine Authority.
Israel refuses to meet with Hamas representatives who have been elected to government.
Hamas renounces the use of the tactic of suicide bombers:
“Hamas is to abandon its use of suicide bombers, who have killed almost 300 Israelis, in
any future confrontations with Israel . . . The Islamic group, which leads the Palestinian Authority, says,
however, that it may resort to other forms of violence if there is no progress
towards Palestinian statehood. Yihiyeh Musa,
a Hamas member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, said Hamas had
moved into a 'new era' which did not require suicide attacks. 'The suicide
bombings happened in an exceptional period and they have now stopped,' he said.
'They came to an end as a change of belief.' As Hamas toned down its
rhetoric, Israel increased pressure on the Palestinians, particularly in Gaza. Two
militants were killed in an airstrike near Gaza City yesterday and five men and a
five-year-old boy were killed on Friday night. Each day hundreds of
artillery shells are fired by Israel at northern Gaza. Palestinian factional
tension is also high and the price of commodities such as flour and sugar has more
than doubled as a result of Israel closing border crossings. Hamas is keen
to gain acceptance from the international community. On Friday the European
Union announced it was stopping direct funding of the PA, while the United States has
halted aid projects. Hamas needs outside funding of $150m each month to pay PA
wages or else the Palestinian economy will collapse.”
Conal Urquhart ‘Hamas in call to end suicide bombings’; April 9, 2006; The Observer; http://observer.guardian.co.uk/world/story/0,,1750028,00.html
Steadily, Israeli aggression escalates, taking a huge toll.
According to the Israeli human rights organisation, B'Tselem:
In May alone, 36 Palestinians were killed by Israeli security forces, one Israeli civilian died from injuries he
sustained the previous month.
By this time, EEC boycotts and direct Israeli assaults on Gaza are having major effects on the population:
“Save the Children’s UK Programme Manager Jan Coffey reported that 78% of the population in
Gaza were living below the poverty line with 10% of children under five suffering from chronic malnutrition.
In June, the World Food Programme reported that 51% of Palestinians - 2 million people - were unable to
meet their food needs without aid, and that in Gaza, “the situation is becoming critical”.
Justin Podur, ‘Summer rains’, ZNet; http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=10500
B'Tselem state that in the Occupied Territories and Israel, forty-two Palestinians, six of them minors, were
killed by Israeli armed forces. Twenty-four of the fatalities were bystanders not involved in the conflict.
The Israeli army assassinate the recently appointed Palestinian head of the security
forces of the Interior Ministry, Jamal Abu Samhadana, and three others.
“Jamal Abu Samhadana was one of four people killed in the strike on a training camp in the Gaza Strip town of Rafah, …The 43-year-old was the founder of the Popular Resistance Committees, which has been responsible for regular rocket attacks on Israel…. Israel said it had targeted the training camp because it believed militants were planning to launch a major attack, but Hamas today described the strike as "a direct attack on the Palestinian Authority". "We consider this targeting of Abu Samhadana, the overseer of the interior ministry, a serious Israeli escalation and the realisation of earlier threats to target symbols of the Palestinian government," the Palestinian interior ministry spokesman, Khaled Abu Hilal, said. "We've announced before that we are a legitimate resistance government - allowed by all laws." ‘Hamas official killed in Israeli air strike’, Guardian 9 June, 2006 http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,1794089,00.html
Israeli shells kill seven seven children on their way to pick strawberries were mistaken for Palestinian militants and killed by Israeli tank shells. The tanks used anti-personnel shells, which throw out thousands of metal darts in a deadly cloud. Children aged 10, 12, 13 and 14 and three 17-year-olds were killed; at Beit Lahiya beach.
Hamas calls off its 16 month cease-fire.
“The most furious reaction of all came
militant wing, which called off its 16-month ceasefire with Israel and
threatened revenge attacks. "The earthquake in the Zionist towns will
start again and the aggressors will have no choice but to prepare their
or their luggage," the military wing said in a statement. "The
resistance groups ... will choose the proper place and time for the
strong and unique response." …. The Israeli army said it
"regretted" the deaths and called a halt to the shelling. It . . . .
The shells that hit Beit Lahia beach were the latest of more than 6,000
into the Gaza Strip by Israel over the past two months……Israel said it
fired thousands of artillery shells into the Gaza Strip in response to
Palestinian groups such as Islamic Jihad firing hundreds of homemade
into Israel. Israeli shells have killed about 15 civilians this year,
five children. The Palestinian rockets have not claimed any lives but
wounded several Israelis.. Human rights groups have described the
Israeli shelling as a form of collective punishment, particularly after
military changed its rules to allow shells to explode within 100 metres
built-up area.“ Chris McGreal ‘Death on the beach: seven
killed as Israeli shells hit family picnic’;
Abbas, aware that the beach massacre has created furor, tries to defuse the militant tide, by calling for a referendum to recognize the state of Israel. Hamas refuses.
Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas,
called his people to a referendum that would in effect recognise the
Israel, a move that was immediately denounced by the radical Hamas
as a coup. Abbas called the vote just hours after dramatic scenes in
thousands of mourners expressed grief and anger during the funeral of
family killed by an Israeli attack as they picnicked on a beach. . .
Hamas ended a 16-month truce by firing rockets at Israel and then
rejected Abbas's call for the 26 July referendum, which will ask
to endorse the policy of creating a state in the West Bank, Gaza and
Jerusalem, side by side with Israel. The referendum implicitly
Israel as a separate state, the first time the Palestinian people will
been asked to decide on such a fundamental issue. .. But the referendum
as undermining the mandate of the democratically elected, Islamic-based
government, which refuses to recognise Israel, and draws the
closer to civil war. 'It was a declaration of a coup against the
said Mushir al-Masri, a leading Hamas legislator, as he urged
boycott the vote. 'Whoever announced the referendum should shoulder the
responsibility for the dangerous consequences that may
Conal Urquhart; “Hamas fury over poll to recognise state of Israel”.
June 11, 2006 http://observer.guardian.co.uk/world/story/0,,1794920,00.html
An Israeli plane fire a missile into a busy Gaza City street, killing 11 people, including two children and two medics.
Israel’s Military report an Investigation, and claims that the Beit Lahia family was killed by Hamas shells:
“"The military definitely would not target
beach full of people," said an army spokesman. The military said that
although many of the shells fired .. were from Israeli gunboats, it
the explosives that hit the beach were from army artillery..” Chris
‘Death on the beach: seven Palestinians killed as Israeli shells hit
Independent reports dispute this, showing falsity of Israeli claims (Macintyre, ’Hospital casts doubt on Israel's
version of attack that killed seven Palestinians,’ The Independent, June 17, 2006)
The Israeli army kill three Palestinian children and injure 15 others in Gaza with a missile attack.
Israelis kill a 35-year old pregnant woman, her brother, and injure 11 others, including 6 children.
The Israeli capture two Palestinians;
Hamas, fire Kassam rockets into Israel. The Financial Times report: missiles, targeted at
the Israel town of Sderot, caused damage and some casualties but no fatalities.
Guardian leader: the home-made Kassam rockets are ‘not in the same league as
Israel's hi-tech (though not always accurate) weaponry’. (Leader, ‘Storm over Gaza’, The Guardian, June 29, 2006)
Israeli commandos enter the Gaza Strip and capture two Palestinians claimed by Israel to be members of Hamas.
(See Guest Media Alert by Jonathan Cook, ‘Kidnapped by Israel’;
Capture of an Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit by Palestinian militants at an army post at Kerem Shalom near Gaza
Israel blocks peace initiatives between Hamas and Israeli religious leaders:
”Israeli and Palestinian sources (state) that just prior to the current crisis, senior Hamas leaders were in
active dialogue with Israeli religious leaders in a round of bilateral peace negotiations. Israeli negotiators included
Rabbi Menachem Froman, former deputy leader and co-founder of the Israeli Settler movement Gush Khatif;
Rabbi David Bigman, head of the liberal religious Kibbutz movement Yeshiva at Maale Gilboa; and
Yitzhak Frankenthal, founder of the Arik Institute. Ongoing negotiations had resulted in a breakthrough
peace ‘understanding’, which was to be announced at a press conference in Jerusalem to mark the launching
of an extraordinary peace initiative. Israeli Prime Minister Olmert had been briefed extensively about the initiative
by Frankenthal. Also due to attend the conference were Khaled Abu Arafa, the Palestinian Cabinet Minister
for Jerusalem, Sheikh Muhamed Abu Tir, senior Hamas Member of the Palestinian Parliament, and other
senior Palestinian delegates.The meeting was to announce a joint Israeli-Palestinian call for the release of
Corporal Gilad Shalit who had been abducted by Hamas in Gaza, along with proposals for the beginning of
the release of all Palestinian prisoners. These measures were to precipitate unprecedented new peace
negotiations on a framework peace agreement, drawn on the 1967 borders. The presence of Palestinian
Cabinet Officers and senior Israeli religious leaders in contact with the Prime Minister was to underline the
seriousness of this peace proposal on both sides. Just hours before the meeting was due to start, the Israeli
Shin Bet internal Security Service arrested Abu Tir and Abu Arafa and warned them not to attend the meeting,
under threats of detention. The meeting, which offered a major opportunity to obtain Shalit's release and launch
a new framework for peace, was thrown into disarray. The next day, the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) invaded Gaza,
and the day after both Abu Tir and Abu Arafa were abducted by Israeli forces, along with a third of the Palestinian
Cabinet, provoking a predictable escalation of violence.”
Shin Bet Vetoed Secret Israeli-Palestinian Peace Agreement
Israeli and Palestinian Sources Concur: Israel Made War Inevitable
Israel re-invades Gaza with 5,000 troops and then bombed Gaza’s only electrical generating station, so depriving
half a million people of electricity.
(‘Gaza: Israeli Offensive Must Limit Harm to Civilians,’ June 29, 2006;
The long planned but delayed assault on Gaza is dramatically escalated:
“Israel destroyed three bridges, and the main water pipes for two refugee camps. This precipitates mass death”;
(Hutton, ‘Israel's act of war is inexcusable,’ The Observer, July 2, 2006)
Gaza’s electricity cut off (Conal Urquhart, ‘Israel rounds up Hamas politicians,’
The Guardian, June 29, 2006)
Swiss Foreign Ministry declares:
"A number of actions by the Israeli defense forces in their offensive against the Gaza Strip have
violated the principle of proportionality and are to be seen as forms of collective punishment, which
(Bradley S. Klapper, ‘Switzerland: Israel violating law in Gaza,' Seattle Post-Intelligencer, July 3, 2006)
Swiss statement points out that the 1949 treaty of the Geneva Conventions, on occupying powers – is
being violated by Israel – this reads:
“It is prohibited to attack, destroy, remove or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of
the civilian population.”
(Cited, ‘PCHR Warns of a Humanitarian Crisis in the Gaza Strip,’ July 2, 2006;
Media Lens: July 10, 2006 http://www.medialens.org
Moves to arrest members of Hamas government taken in concert with the USA:
“The White House did not advise Olmert's
against taking steps that would lead to the fall of the Hamas
American officials did not attempt to intervene when Israel carried out
arrests of Palestinian elected officials affiliated with Hamas, which
to recognize Israel or to abandon terrorism. And they also did not
object to Israel's bombing of the Gaza offices of Palestinian Prime
Minister Ismail Haniya and
the P.A. Interior Ministry.
Israeli military analysts say that the moves were the first step in an
plan to induce the collapse of the Palestinian government. Among those
were eight members of Hamas' 23-member Cabinet and 20 of the 72 Hamas
of the 132-seat parliament. Sources close to the administration said
policymakers in the White House and the State Department, who in
advised Israel against toppling the government in the territories for
the collapse of the P.A. would bring about chaos, have now concluded
is no real value in keeping Hamas in power.
Minister of National Infrastructures, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, joins the inauguration ceremony of the oil
pipeline from the Caspian Sea to Turkey (Ceyhan). The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline goes via Azerbaijan
and Georgia. All these countries are allied to Israel. The oil pipeline will be extended in the Mediterranean,
by Syria and Lebanon to Eilat, Israel.” “In the Gunsight: Syria! or: A Nice Little War
The Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah seize two Israeli soldiers along Israel’s border with Lebanon.
These soldiers had been captured inside Lebanaon territory, but Israel maintains that Hezbollah had
entered Israeli territory:
“Israel simultaneously (to attacks on Gaza –Editor) began conducting covert incursions on to Lebanese
territory, provoking Hizbollah’s capture of two IDF soldiers. Credible sources confirm that the soldiers were
not abducted on Israeli territory, but inside Lebanon. . . . . some reports corroborate the sources. Israeli officials,
for instance, informed Forbes (12.7.06) that ‘Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers during clashes Wednesday
across the border in southern Lebanon, prompting a swift reaction from Israel.’
Shin Bet Vetoed Secret Israeli-Palestinian Peace Agreement
Israeli and Palestinian Sources Concur: Israel Made War Inevitable
Israel sends army into southern Lebanon, and starts the overt war.
Initial strategy is to use overwhelming air power to flatten and destroy civilian targets.
A large scale troop invasion is initially avoided. This fails to destroy Hezbollah strongholds,
but renders the civilian population homeless, terrified, hungry and dead.
The governments of USA, Canada vociferously supports Israel’s “right of self-defence”.
The line offered is if Israeli soldiers are returned the war will be stopped.
Hezbollah launches rockets at Northern Israel. Although these are largely not precision guided,
and of low hit rate, the Israeli population of Northern towns such as Haifa are under siege.
In Israel and in the imperialist countries, a general surprise is voiced at how it is that Hezbolah
is not both physically destroyed quickly, and how the Lebanese population support it despite the
evident suffering that Isreal unleashes on them.
July 19 2006
UK Prime Minister Blair lines up with the USA and rejects a cease-fire call:
“Tony Blair yesterday swung behind the US position that Israel need not end the bombing until Hizbullah
hands over captured prisoners and ends its rocket attacks. During a Commons statement, he resisted
backbench demands that he call for a ceasefire.”
The USA fends off international calls for a cease-fire, giving Israel time to “mop up”:
“The US is giving Israel a window of a
inflict maximum damage on Hizbullah before weighing in behind
calls for a ceasefire in Lebanon, according to British, European and
sources. The Bush administration, backed by Britain, has blocked
efforts for an
immediate halt to the fighting initiated at the UN security council,
summit in St Petersburg and the European foreign ministers' meeting in
Brussels.. . .
US strategy in allowing Israel this freedom for a limited period has several objectives, one of which is delivering a slap to Iran and Syria, who Washington claims are directing Hizbullah and Hamas militants from behind the scenes.
George Bush last night said that he suspected Syria was trying to reassert its influence in Lebanon. Speaking in Washington, he said: "It's in our interest for Syria to stay out of Lebanon and for this government in Lebanon to succeed and survive. The root cause of the problem is Hizbullah and that problem needs to be addressed."
Ewen MacAskill, Simon Tisdall and Patrick Wintour
Wednesday July 19, 2006; The Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,1823817,00.html
Israel condemned by Kofi Annan General Secretary UN for having “apparently deliberately targeted” a UN post killing 4 international observers:
“Israel came under mounting pressure last night to explain why its military ignored repeated warnings
and bombed a prominent UN post in southern Lebanon, killing four unarmed international observers.
The four UN soldiers, from China, Austria, Finland and Canada, were taking shelter in a bunker at the
white, three-storey building in Khiyam on Tuesday after at least six hours of Israeli bombing and shelling,
when it was destroyed by what UN sources say was a precision-guided aerial bomb. The UN contacted
Israeli forces up to 10 times about the strikes. The UN's deputy general secretary, Mark Malloch Brown,
made several calls to the Israelis to protest at the shelling and to call for it to stop, he told the security
council yesterday. In response, Israel reportedly promised to halt the firing. An Irish army officer warned
the Israelis six times. Although Israel expressed its "deep regret" yesterday and offered condolences to
the families of the dead men, the incident quickly triggered international condemnation. Kofi Annan,
the UN secretary general, condemned the "apparently deliberate targeting" of the UN post. …
questions remain about how the Israeli military could have hit such a high-profile, well-marked target
so many times.
Throughout Tuesday afternoon the UN observers reported 14 strikes near the post, mostly aerial bombs
and some artillery shells….Timur Goksel, a former Turkish military officer who spent more than 20 years
working with the UN mission in southern Lebanon, said it was hard to explain how a mistake had been
made. "It is a perfectly marked, white building close to Khiyam prison. Israel knows quite well where it is.
There is no excuse for it, nothing. The only thing I can think is lack of fire discipline, not giving a damn.
That's sometimes the case.". . . The Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, dismissed the charge
yesterday. "It's inconceivable for the UN to define an error as an apparently deliberate action,"
he said. The Israeli foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, said: "I think there is an understanding that unfortunately
during a war these things can happen."
Rory McCarthy, Suzanne Goldenberg, Oliver Burkeman; Israelis ignored repeated warnings before killing UN observers July 27, 2006; The Guardian
Given that the USA and Israel have been urging a “multi-lateral force” be brought in as a “peacekeeping agency”, rather than the UN – it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that this was a direct threat to the UN to say out. There is repetitive talk of a NATO force being brought in.
The brutality of the Israeli attack starts to divide the leaders of the Western capitalist nations:
“Jack Straw, now Leader of the Commons, said in a statement released after meeting Muslim residents of
his Blackburn constituency that while he grieved for the innocent Israelis killed, he also mourned the '10
times as many innocent Lebanese men, women and children killed by Israeli fire'. He said he agreed with
the Foreign Office Minister Kim Howells that it was 'very difficult to understand the kind of military tactics
used by Israel', adding: 'These are not surgical strikes but have instead caused death and misery amongst
innocent civilians.' Straw said he was worried that 'a continuation of such tactics by Israel could destabilise
the already fragile Lebanese nation'. The Observer can also reveal that at a cabinet meeting before Blair
left for last Friday's Washington summit with President George Bush, minister after minister pressed him
to break with the Americans and publicly criticise Israel over the scale of death and
Gaby Hinsliff, Ned Temko, Peter Beaumont; July 30, 2006 The Observer <http://www.observer.co.uk/
In a repeat of an incident ten years ago in the same village, Qana is decimated by the Israeli air force, killing more than 60 people – half children. As usual the Israelis claim a mistake, and that the Hezbollah are hidden amongst civilians. International outrage, is intense. In Beirut, all religious factions join together for a mass demonstration outside the UN HQ:
“By last night, more than 60 bodies had been pulled from the rubble, said Lebanese authorities, 34 of them children. There were eight known survivors. As yet another body was removed from the wreckage yesterday morning, Naim Raqa, the head of the civil defence team searching the ruins, hung his head in grief: "When they found them, they were all huddled together at the back of the room ... Poor things, they thought the walls would protect them." The bombing, the bloodiest incident in Israel's 18-day campaign against Hizbullah, drew condemnation from around the world. Late last night Israel announced a suspension of aerial activities in southern Lebanon for 48 hours and said it would coordinate with the UN to allow a 24-hour window for residents in southern Lebanon to leave the area if they wished. The bombing sparked furious protests outside the UN headquarters in Beirut. Lebanon's prime minister, Fouad Siniora, accused Israel of committing "war crimes" and called off a planned meeting with the US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice. Israel apologised for the loss of life but said it had been responding to rockets fired from the village.. . . Family photos - one showing two young children - were scattered in the debris. Mohsen Hachem stared at the images. "They had to have known there were children in that house," he said. "The drones are always overhead, and those children - there were more than 30 - would play outside all day.". . . . The strike that destroyed the building was a precision-guided bomb dropped from the air, the same kind of bomb that destroyed a UN position in Khiyam last week, killing four UN observers. Writing on an olive green fragment of the munition which appeared to have caused the explosion read: GUIDED BOMB BSU 37/B.
For Qana, history has repeated itself. Ten years ago, more than a hundred civilians taking refuge in a UN compound there were killed by Israeli shelling….. Ten years ago, in remarkably similar circumstances, Israeli artillery shelled a UN compound there, killing more than 100 civilians . The bombardment was part of the Israeli operation codenamed Grapes of Wrath, aimed (then, as now) at punishing Hizbullah for cross-border attacks and dislodging it from the border. Israel apologised and said it had been an accident caused by old maps and poor calculations. Backed by the US, Israel blamed mainly Hizbullah for using civilians as human shields. But a UN report noted many inconsistencies in the Israeli account and said it was "unlikely" the deaths were the result of technical errors.”
'They found them huddled together'
Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, Jonathan Steele, Clancy Chassay, Rory McCarthy, Wendell Steavenson, Julian Borger. The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/frontpage/story/0,,1834026,00.html
Although Israel had stated a 48 hour truce, it does not honour this truce. A intense ground drive is wno sarted by the Israeli military command:
“Less than 24 hours after a two-day pause in the bombing was announced, the Israeli military and Hizbullah fighters attacked again. Tonight, the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, said there would be no ceasefire “in the coming days”. “We cannot allow the terrorist state that Hizbullah had built up across the border to continue to grow strong,” he said. “We cannot allow them to continue to amass weapons. We have decided to fight back and will continue until the threat has been removed.”
“UN delays peacekeeping action” July 31,
Guardian Unlimited; http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,1834224,00.html
The degree of international hostility to Israeli aggression, is such that elements within the UN are able to resist the Israeli-UN Plan to have a “multi-lateral force” as a “peacekeeping agency” in the area:
“In New York, a UN official said a meeting scheduled for this afternoon to discuss sending a multinational force to the region had been delayed "until there is more political clarity" on the path ahead. The delay will be a significant set back to Tony Blair and George Bush who, during their joint press conference in Washington on Friday, said the international stabilisation force should be quickly established in Lebanon and that a plan to halt hostilities was needed on an "urgent basis". Today, the US president repeated that demand while on a trip to Florida. "A multinational force must be dispatched quickly to speed up the humanitarian aid to the Lebanese people," Mr Bush said shortly before the postponement of the UN meeting emerged.” Guardian Unlimited; http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,1834224,00.html
Israel extends all its campaigns, in the air attacking Beirut, on the ground trying to make in-roads. Everywhere it is met by Hizbullah troops who refuse to concede ground, and whose morale remains high.
At the UN, French imperialism seeing a window in the USA and UN logger-head, is trying to endorse a special place for itself.
”Israel today threatened to reoccupy most of the strip of southern Lebanon it withdrew from in 2000, as Hizbullah recorded its most deadly day of attacks on Israel since the start of the 23-day conflict. At least 11 Israelis were killed in fighting today, including eight civilians killed in a barrage of 100 rockets that were fired into northern Israel in the space of half an hour and at least three soldiers who were killed by an anti-tank missile in southern Lebanon. The Hizbullah leader, Hassan Nasrallah, released a taped video message saying the group's fighters were inflicting "maximum casualties" on Israeli troops and fighting had become more widespread and violent. But there was no diminution in the Israeli military campaign across southern Lebanon. Israeli officials said they had occupied 20 villages in a five-mile wide strip north of the border, and the defence minister, Amir Peretz, told army officers tonight to prepare for a push to the Litani river, 18 miles inside the country, according to senior military officials. The Litani formed the northern limit of Israel's occupied zone in southern Lebanon prior to its military withdrawal in 2000. Israeli officers had hoped that occupation of the five-mile strip would prevent Hizbullah targeting the north of Israel, but officials said the severity of today's rocket attacks necessitated a broader invasion…. Hizbullah today ruled out a ceasefire as long as Israeli troops remained on Lebanese territory, a definition that would include the disputed Israeli-held Shebaa Farms, which the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, has said are not up for negotiation. "Declaring a ceasefire is not the concern of the people of Lebanon as long as there is one Israeli soldier on Lebanese soil - even one metre [inside Lebanon]," the Hizbullah spokesman Hussein Rahal told al-Jazeera…. Overnight, Israeli warplanes renewed air strikes against suspected Hizbullah targets in the battered suburbs of Beirut and around the southern port city of Tyre for the first time in nearly a week. Officials today said around 70 sites had been targeted and leaflets had been dropped on three Shia suburbs of the city warning of fresh air strikes. They also struck along Lebanon's northern border with Syria, and on roads in the eastern Bekaa Valley. Clashes between Hizbullah guerrillas and Israeli ground troops have raged in Taibe for several days.. . .
The remarks pose a threat to the tentative steps being taken towards a ceasefire by the UN security council. The French foreign minister, Philippe Douste-Blazy, said he was working towards a ceasefire with US representatives at the UN, although "there is still work to do".
James Sturcke, David Fickling , ‘Israel extends Lebanon occupation plan’ Guardian Unlimited http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,1836509,00.html
Predictably, the Israeli investigation on Qana concludes that there is no Israeli culpability and blames Hezbollah. International Human Rights organizations disagree:
“An Israeli military investigation into the Qana bombing, which killed at least 28 people, yesterday found that the air force did not know there were civilians in the building and blamed Hizbullah for using "human shields."The air force would not have hit the building, which is close to the border in southern Lebanon, had it known there were civilians present, the military said. Human rights groups have criticised Israeli targeting in the air campaign. Amnesty International described the investigation as "clearly inadequate" and a "whitewash". In a report into Israeli air strikes on Lebanon, the New York-based Human Rights Watch said the Israelis had "systematically failed to distinguish between combatants and civilians".
Rory McCarthy ‘Israeli military accused of
The Guardian, http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,1837069,00.html
To date the casualty list shows the “disproportionate” slaughter of the Lebanese, conducted by Israeli and USA imperialism:
“As many as 900 Lebanese have been killed by Israel's three-week onslaught, and one million, a quarter of the population, have been forced to flee their homes, said prime minister Fouad Siniora yesterday; a third of the dead are children under 12. Three thousand people had been injured, he added, in a video message to a conference of Islamic countries in Malaysia, which called for an immediate ceasefire. As the full extent of Lebanon's catastrophe began to emerge yesterday, the US-based watchdog Human Rights Watch accused Israel of war crimes. "In some instances, Israeli forces appear to have deliberately targeted civilians ... the failures cannot be dismissed as mere accident and cannot be blamed on wrongful Hizbullah practices. In some cases, these attacks constitute war crimes," it stated when releasing a study of attacks in Lebanon. "Israeli forces have fired with war planes and artillery on dozens of civilian vehicles, many flying white flags," it said.
Israel Since outbreak:
Civilians killed 27; Military killed 40; Civilians wounded: 1,300
Lebanon Since outbreak:
Military killed 26; Hizbullah killed 80 (IDF claim more than 300);
Civilians killed 577; Wounded 3,000+
Figures from news agencies and governments. Actual numbers likely to be much higher.”
Jonathan Steele, Clancy Chassay. ‘23 days in firing line’; August 4, 2006; The Guardian; http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,1837057,00.html
Having had an unfettered 23 days of war, the USA and Israel have to concede some ground at least diplomatically. So at the UN they grudgingly agree to a case-fire, but one that will allow Israel to continue aggression.
“A ceasefire in the conflict between
Israel and Hizbollah
forces in Lebanon moved decisively closer last night . . . . A draft
Nations resolution hammered out in New York calls for a 'cessation of
hostilities' between Israel and Hizbollah, following what senior
sources said was a climbdown by Washington, which had been holding out
'suspension' of fire. Under the latter wording, Israel could more
resumed bombing at any time it felt threatened. Crucially, however, the
resolution does not demand an immediate halt to violence, which will be
pacifying Israel in turn. And hopes of an early peace were dashed last
Lebanon indicated unhappiness with the draft. . . The new resolution
ceasefire is dependent on 'in particular, the immediate cessation by
of all attacks' - seen by some as a victory for Israel - but also on
halting all military offensives. It will be monitored by the current UN
in Lebanon, rather than waiting for an international stabilisation
arrive and police it, as Israel and the US had originally insisted, and
prompt immediate work to begin on a detailed political settlement,
the demilitarisation of southern Lebanon.”….Lebanese foreign ministry
official Nouhad Mahmoud said
'no'; Mohammed Fneish, a
Hizbollah member of the
Lebanese cabinet, said his group would only stop fighting if Israeli
quit Lebanon. The Israeli government did not respond officially, but
minister Isaac Herzog
channel that it would not stop yet, adding: 'We still have the coming
many military missions, but we have to know that the timetable is
Gaby Hinsliff, Ned Temko and Paul Harris; Bush gives ground as UN pushes Israel peace deal ‘ August 6, 2006 The Observer; http://observer.guardian.co.uk/world/story/0,,1838348,00.html
At the time of writing, the war continues. Hizbullah garners much credit from all sections of Lebanese society, and from the Arab world.
We believe that this chronology confirms that the war has been pre-planned, and that is serves the interests of the USA ruling classes. The links between this war, and the aims of the USA imperialists in Iraq and latterly, in Iran – are impossible to avoid. Nor is the plan to ensure Israel is not only remains a military bastion of the imperialists, but becomes a future key player in oil trading.
The military assessment of bourgeois observers, is that as Israel joins the ground war, it will become a classic guerilla war:
“STRATFOR: The Ground Offensive: “Special Report 08.01.2006’
By George Friedman
“Hezbollah is not going to be engaged in maneuver. It will fight where it stands. . . .
Hezbollah fighters are defending in depth from interlocking strong points. They have
constructed these strong points in order to survive artillery and airstrikes. They are
forcing the Israelis to close with the strong points and take them in close combat. . . .
Hezbollah's … deployment has enormous value if its forces are prepared to fight to
the end, imposing time penalties and casualties on Israel. If its strong points can hold
out for extended periods of time, some of them firing missiles at Israel, then the Israelis
have no option but to close and engage in intense sequential firefights that will take time
and cost lives. If it can fight a battle of annihilation yet delay and hurt the Israel Defense Forces
(IDF), Hezbollah might well force a political settlement. If not, it can still gain a political victory by
being the first Arab force to force Israel into high attrition combat.
Therefore, Israel's strategy must be twofold. First, it must end the war with the catastrophic
destruction of Hezbollah's military capability. It could survive as a political force, but its military
strength, and therefore its coercive presence in Lebanon, must be ended. Second, Israel
must do this in a time frame and at a cost in casualties that does not allow Hezbollah to claim
victory regardless of the consequences to its own forces. Third, it must carry out this operation
before U.S. political interests in the region (pressure from allies in Iraq, the Saudis and so
forth) force the United States to compel Israel to agree to a genuine cease-fire, as opposed
to the pseudo cease-fire engineered by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that
actually bought Israel more time.
In other words, Hezbollah's strategy is to force Israel to fight a war that takes as long as possible,
using Israeli time urgency to force Israel to move rapidly against strong points incurring
maximum casualties. Israel's strategy is to use its greater mobility and firepower to break
Hezbollah as quickly as possible with minimum casualties. The issue is how well-prepared
Hezbollah's defenses actually are and how well-motivated its troops are after a three-week
bombing campaign. How long can Hezbollah maintain its tempo of operations on a tactical level?
. . Israel's strategy is clear. Move in fast, deal a catastrophic blow to Hezbollah, withdraw leaving
the Lebanese army or a European peacekeeping force in its place. Hezbollah has drawn
Israel in. It expects a catastrophic blow but its intention is to impose tremendous costs on
Israel and then create a situation in which peacekeeping forces will not deploy, forcing
Israel into a counter-insurgency.
So, the questions now are whether Israel moves north of the Litani, how long Hezbollah will resist
and what the cost will be to Israel. Gen. Dan Halutz, chief of staff of the IDF and architect of that
air campaign, was hospitalized for the second time July 31, complaining of stomach pains.
Should Halutz go out of commission, his deputy, Moshe Kaplinsky, will take command. Kaplinsky is
drawn from army, having commanded the Golani Brigade, with long experience in Lebanon.
This brings expertise on ground warfare to the top spot in the IDF, particularly in combined
infantry-armored operations in Lebanon. Israel has focused down on the main battle now.
Hezbollah has been focused for a while. As the cliche goes, the outcome is in doubt, in large part
because like all wars, the end of this one is political -- and the intersection of the political with the military
complicates the war enormously.”
If Stratfor cannot say, we can:
In the end the ‘political’ will of an oppressed people all over the Middle East cannot fail, in the long run, to overcome Israeli Zionism.
The only long term solution – that of a single secular (Arab and non-Arab, Jewish and non-Jewish) state will arise. The problems of the workers and peasants of the area, can only be solved by an eveolution to a communist state, which requires a secular understanding of the Middle East. In the absence of any Marxist-Leninist party in either the Arab or Palestinian countries on the one hand, or in the Israeli state on the other – makes will be a more difficult process.
For Marxist-Leninists, full support to the Hizbullah and Hamas Resistance is necessary.
National Rights for the Palestinian and Lebanese People!
and Imperialists out of Lebanon!
Imperialists out of the Middle East!
What do the forces of Hizbullah represent? We examine this in this issue.
Also: See the Statement of the revisionist Lebanese Communist Party on the United Nations pro-Israeli resolutions at: http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/lcp120806.html