Socialist Alliance statement: Israel out of Palestine and Lebanon!

The following statement was issued by the Socialist Alliance, of which the DSP is an affiliate, on July 18, 2006

Israel’s incessant and indiscriminate bombardment of Lebanon in response to Hezbollah’s capture of two Israeli soldiers on July 12 is an outright act of terrorism. It is a continuation of the Israeli state’s ongoing war against the Palestinian people, which has in the last few weeks turned the Gaza Strip into a massive prison. The collective punishment of the Lebanese people, with air strikes on civilian populations around the country and the deliberate destruction of public infrastructure, is a war crime.

Just in the last few weeks, hundreds of Lebanese and Palestinians have been killed, yet the United States administration, supported by the Coalition government and Labor “opposition” in Australia, has given Israel a carte blanche, proclaiming that it is the victim and Hezbollah and Hamas are the aggressors. Hezbollah has said that the captured Israeli soldiers will be returned in exchange for three Lebanese political prisoners who have been held in Israeli jails for decades.

Israel’s response is to ignore the families of the captured soldiers, who have demanded that their government negotiate with Hezbollah for a prisoner exchange, and instead announce that it intends to eradicate Hezbollah – effectively declaring war on the whole Shi’ite population in the Middle East. The bombing of Lebanon is the latest in a long list of crimes committed by the Israeli state in its decades-long campaign of terror against peoples of the Middle East who dare to stand up against imperialism and fight for their national sovereignty. Any form of Arab resistance against Israel is branded as “terrorism,” while the Israeli state’s constant defiance of United Nations resolutions and its bombing of neighbouring countries and terrorising of their populations is called “self-defence”.

The Australian and US governments’ refusal to unequivocally condemn Israel’s attacks on Lebanon, and its ongoing war in Gaza, is utter hypocrisy given their constant condemnation of terrorism. Howard is once again making it clear that the Australian government’s support for the “war on terror” has nothing to do with justice or security for the world’s peoples, and everything to do with its military and political alliance with the United States and its warmongering friends.

The Socialist Alliance joins with all those demanding that Israel cease its wars on Lebanon and Palestine immediately. We call on the Howard government and the Australian Labor Party to take a real stand against terrorism, and for peace and justice, by publicly condemning Israel’s actions and putting pressure on the Israeli government to immediately cease its attacks on Lebanon and Gaza and withdraw all military personnel from both Lebanon and the Occupied Territories of Palestine.