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Israel Out Of Lebanon! Stop The Bombing Now! Socialist Workers call for protests

Statement was issued by Socialist Workers Party candidates James Harris, for U.S. president, and Laura Garza, for vice president, 17 April 1996.
The Militant, Vol.60/No.17, 29 April 1996

Working people around the world need to mobilize in action to demand an end to Israel's war on the people of Lebanon and the immediate withdrawal of Tel Aviv's troops from the land it occupies in that nation.

The Socialist Workers campaign will initiate and join actions to place the blame for the destruction and slaughter squarely where it belongs: on those who have been systematically unleashing terror on the toilers of the Middle East - the Zionist masters of the colonial-settler state of Israel and its backers in Washington and other imperialist capitals.

Picket lines, public speakouts, protest meetings, and other actions should be organized to stand up and say clearly: Israeli forces out of Lebanon now! End all aid to the Zionist regime!

Washington has joined Tel Aviv's campaign, claiming its indiscriminate brutality is justified by their need to fight the militants of Hezbollah. But isn't it the state terror of the occupiers of 440 square miles of Lebanese land against which the oppressed masses revolt? This terror is now depicted graphically on television every day. Some 400,000 people have been driven from their homes, Lebanon's infrastructure is being blown up once again, and dozens of its citizens are being murdered. What a price to pay for being a neighbor to the Zionist state!

No lie is too bald-faced for the U.S. or the Israeli rulers, with Tel Aviv insisting that even the direct hit by its helicopters on a clearly marked ambulance - filmed for the world to see - was within its divine right since, according to its unfounded claim, the driver was a supporter of Hezbollah.

The biggest lie of all is that Hezbollah bears the blame for the current fighting. The source of the conflict in Lebanon, as in the occupied Palestinian territories and within Israel itself, is the actions of the occupier state. Israel exists on the land of people its rulers displaced and now preside over with an iron fist. Successive Israeli governments have attacked, invaded, and taken territory from neighboring Arab nations as well, all under the guise of security for the imperialist-backed Zionist state. Tel Aviv denies Palestinians a nation, the right to land, the right to jobs, and the right to equal treatment within its borders.

This is the root of the conflict. Without a just settlement of the Palestinian struggle for self-determination there will be no peace in the Middle East.

Despite the repression, checkpoints, military occupation, and indignities meted out to the Arab population in the region, Israel's rulers cannot stamp out the resistance of the Arab people. Like the struggling Palestinians, the beleaguered masses fleeing the Israeli bombs in Lebanon are cheering the fighters in the south who refuse to bend their knees and accept the boot of the occupiers. We rejoice with them in that militant resistance.

Washington has a long, sordid history of direct military intervention and helping to impose reactionary governments on the people of Lebanon. The Clinton White House in particular is one the most openly pro-Zionist administrations. The peace agreement Washington is now promoting amounts to exacting help in a crackdown on those who resist occupation in exchange for a promise that Tel Aviv will consider withdrawing from the Lebanon sometime down the road.

The Israeli regime has also sought deals with governments in the region, from Egypt to Jordan, to give back land it stole in previous wars in exchange for more open help in limiting the capacity of the Arab masses to put up a fight for their rights.

Washington has aided this campaign by placing the label of terrorist on any government that refuses to bow down to the wishes of the masters of western imperialism. These moves are part of the drive toward war by a capitalist power driven more to rely on military force to shore up its declining profit rates. Washington's stepped-up probes against North Korea and China, its insistence that it must maintain a massive military presence in Asia, and its current occupation of parts of Yugoslavia point to the future the lords of Wall Street have in store for humanity - one of more interventions and wars.

All the deals Washington and Tel Aviv have patched together, however, have not succeeded in crushing the will to fight for an independent Palestinian nation and for the right to live as human beings with dignity.

We stand on the side of those who have continued to resist and who are battling Israel's military might today in Lebanon. We are using our campaign to get out the truth about the history of imperialist intervention in Lebanon, and the role of the Zionist state of Israel as a brake on the struggle to free humanity in the Middle East from the yoke of colonialism and unceasing imperialist assaults. We call on all our supporters to organize actions across the United States to demand:

Israeli forces out of Lebanon now!

End all U.S. support to Tel Aviv!