(Leaflet by the Seattle Anti-Imperialist Committee, July 22, 2006)
. On July 13, a major military attack was launched against Lebanon by the Zionist state of Israel. Zionist planes and artillery, most of which originated in the United States, rained death upon civilian population centers as well as Hezbollah positions in the south of Lebanon. So far, more than 300 Lebanese civilians have been slaughtered in this latest Zionist outrage. Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers have invaded the south of Lebanon on a "seek and destroy" mission against Hezbollah.
. In the U.S., the Bush Administration has given its full support to this brutal aggression, with spokespersons chanting the usual mantra about Israel having the "right to defend itself". (By bombing Beirut?! By bombing people on the highways trying to escape?!) The Democrats, for their part, have largely been echoing this line with many leading politicians apparently trying to out-war-monger Bush & Co.
. "We will stand with Israel because Israel is standing for American values as well as Israeli
ones," noted Hillary Clinton. In fact, this is a very honest admission as these brutal Zionist
methods and aims have much in common with U. S. imperialist methods and aims in Iraq and
Afghanistan. Clinton went on to declare, "We will support [Israel's] efforts to send a message to
Hamas, Hezbollah, to the Syrians, to the Iranians. " (New York Times, July 17, 2006)
Brutal Zionist hypocrisy
. The Israeli attacks are ostensibly in response to the July 12 Hezbollah attack resulting in eight dead and two captured Zionist soldiers. Hezbollah hoped to use these prisoners in order to bargain for the release of some of the many thousands of Lebanese and Palestinian men women and children currently rotting in Zionist jails. Israel, showing just how much it values the lives of its own cannon fodder, refused to negotiate. Instead, it used their capture as pretext for another war to change the balance of forces in the Middle East.
. The exact circumstances of the July 12 attack, particularly which side of the Lebanese-Israeli border it took place on, remain unclear. Almost all of the capitalist press, with a few exceptions, has reported the incident as a cross-border raid. But the question of "who attacked first" is somewhat beside the point because by its nature Israel has always been an aggressor state, with a long history of military incursions into Lebanon, including occupations.
. The Zionist state of Israel was imposed upon the Palestinian people by the imperialist "international community" (via the United Nations) directly against the wishes of the vast majority of Palestine's inhabitants, whose views on the partition-of their own country-were not even consulted. Since its inception, Zionist Israel has, with great brutality, served the interests of imperialism in the oil-rich region, principally U. S. imperialism, as well as the expansionist interests of its own monopoly capitalist bourgeoisie. It was founded upon massacres of the Arab population, and driving 700,000 of them into exile in 1948 (UN figure).
. In order to artificially preserve Israel's "demographic character" (read: ethnic "purity"), the Zionists have sought to attract Jews from abroad to serve as settlers and soldiers. Any Jewish person who comes to Israel can claim citizenship while Palestinian refugees are denied the right to return to homes that the Zionists drove them out of. What is this, if not racism and ethnic cleansing?
. Meanwhile, Israel continues to encroach upon the remaining Palestinian lands, dividing them into smaller and smaller pockets, which are easier to control. The construction of illegal settlements continues and, in fact, many of the former Gaza settlers have actually just been re-located to West Bank settlements.
. This denial of the right of the Arab Palestinians to national self-determination is the root cause
of all the violence and it is also what makes the anti-Zionist struggle a just one. It is why, when
Israel is attacked, it doesn't matter "who attacked first"--because history didn't begin last week.
It's also why the masses of people in Lebanon and the entire region have always sympathized
with and supported the Palestinian national movement.
Meanwhile, Zionist attacks on Gaza continue
. On June 25, militants from Hamas and two other groups infiltrated an Israeli army post, capturing a Zionist soldier in the process. According to the Hamas unit in question, he is being "treated well" in accordance with his status as a prisoner of war. As a member of the Israeli army, there can be no doubt as to his status as an armed combatant in the Zionist occupation of Palestine, a completely valid military target according to the laws of war.
. Apparently he was taken prisoner as part of an operation to pressure the Zionist occupation authorities into releasing some of the thousands of Palestinian prisoners currently held by Israel. Shortly after his capture was announced, Hamas made overtures towards the Zionist government asking for a negotiated settlement and a prisoner exchange.
. Israel responded by capturing 64 Palestinian officials, including the Vice-Prime Minister, many other parliamentarians and--as with Hezbollah about a week later--Israel refused to negotiate.
. Instead, on June 28 it militarily attacked Gaza, targeting the tiny infrastructure that the masses
depend on to survive, and re-invaded. To date, more than 110 Palestinians have been murdered in
this onslaught, the majority being civilians. The rest live under a regime of Nazi-style "collective
punishment" by Israeli air and ground forces.
The solution: a secular and democratic Palestinian state
. The establishment of a secular and democratic state has long been a prominent goal of the Palestinian national liberation movement. This is why the Palestinian national struggle has been one of the most democratizing and liberating influences in the Middle East, and it is precisely why this struggle is so feared by the reactionary Arab elite. But the Palestinian national movement has also gone through many twists and turns, with bourgeois leaders coming to the fore who vainly sought to compromise with the Zionists in order to preside over a miserable mini-state, or who sought to establish an Islamic state that would oppress the Jewish minority.
. The first solution has proven to be unworkable: the only Palestinian state the Zionists will accept is a Palestinian police force that crushes all resistance to Israeli encroachments or dictates. The second would be an injustice that could only result in more strife. Supporting the struggle to build up a class-conscious trend in the Palestinian resistance is therefore necessary.
. Meanwhile, the Jewish workers in Israel are being exploited by "their own" capitalists, but Zionist ideas divide them from making common cause with the Arab and "guest" workers against their common exploiters. Moreover, they're used as cannon fodder in wars to oppress others--wars that only give them more insecurity. But there has always been opposition inside Israel to the wars and brutality of the Israeli government against the Palestinians and Lebanese. In the course of further building this movement it's in the interests of the Jewish working people to target the entire Zionist project as the cause of these outrages.
. The situation of Israeli Jewish workers has parallels to the situation of workers in this country.
We gain nothing but infamy, impoverishment, and dead sons and daughters from the imperialist
wars to dominate Afghanistan and oil-rich Iraq. And we gain nothing from the bi-partisan
support the U.S. government gives the Israeli state as part of its strategy to dominate the oil
resources of the Middle East. Thus, in solidarity with the bleeding yet resisting masses of
Lebanese and Palestinian people, our interests lie in building the movement to oppose and
overthrow U.S. imperialism.
Israeli Zionism out of Palestine and Lebanon!
U.S. imperialism out of Iraq and Afghanistan!
Workers of all countries, unite!
Seattle Anti-Imperialist Committee, July 21, 2006
July 25, 2006.