Socialist Worker

Facts point to an unequal conflict in the Middle East

Issue No. 2011

Cartoon by Tim Sanders

Cartoon by Tim Sanders

  1. The US and Israel claim that Hizbollah is a “terrorist” group. In fact Hizbollah is a Shia Muslim resistance movement that grew out of the Israeli occupation of Lebanon in the early 1980s.

    The resistance spearheaded by Hizbollah forced the Israelis out of the country in 2000.

    Today it has 23 MPs and provides a rudimentary welfare network running schools and health centres.

    Hizbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah is admired across the Middle East because of his stand against Israel.

  2. US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice declared on Monday of this week that there could be no ceasefire until Hizbollah withdrew 12 miles from Israel’s border to the Litani River.

    Under a US-brokered ceasefire, Nato or UN troops would patrol a “buffer zone”, using force against Hizbollah as needed.

  3. The White House wants to delay a ceasefire to give Israel more time to launch attacks on Hizbollah.

    The British government has been supporting the US’s position.

  4. A constant cry from the Israeli government is “they started it”. Tony Blair echoes this, saying, “This began with an unprovoked attack by Hizbollah on Israel.”

    But in the first three weeks of June, before the assaults on Lebanon and Gaza began, Israel killed 24 Palestinians, including seven children and adults having a picnic on the beach in Gaza.

    When Palestinians took an Israeli soldier hostage, the Israelis responded with massive force against civilians in Gaza.

    The capture of two more Israeli soldiers came in solidarity with the people of Gaza.

    And behind these recent events lies a history of Israeli barbarism stretching back decades (see Israel: founded on ethnic cleansing, Ten reasons to oppose Zionism and The roots of Israel’s violence).

  5. Unlike Hizbollah, Israel is armed to the teeth with the latest in military technology.

    The US provides $3 billion of military aid each year - $500 for every Israeli citizen annually.

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