2.8.06

Why the U.S. supports Israel’s destruction of Lebanon

Why the U.S. supports Israel’s destruction of Lebanon:

U.S. politicians and the media excuse Israel’s wars on both the Palestinians and the Lebanese people by claiming that Israel has a “right to defend itself”--code words for the arbitrary redrawing of borders, military assaults on defenseless people, and the murder and imprisonment of anyone who resists.

The corollary is that Hezbollah and Hamas must be cut off from receiving aid and weapons from Syria or Iran, and Israel must continue to receive U.S.-made F-16 jets to rain bombs on Lebanon and Gaza and $3 billion in direct aid from Washington each year.

Despite this hypocrisy, some parts of the U.S. antiwar movement continue to view the much smaller armed operations of Hezbollah and Hamas as part of a “cycle of violence” with Israel’s vastly greater destructive power--or even hold Hezbollah responsible for the destruction of Lebanon because of its capture of the two soldiers.

But as the Israeli historian Ilan Pappe argues, “Retaliating to such a low-key operation with a total war and destruction indicates clearly that what matters is the grand design, not the pretext...the wider Israel’s military might expands, the easier it is to complete the unfinished business of the 1948 [founding of Israel]: the total de-Arabization of Palestine.

Israel’s drive to consolidate its control led to the Israeli invasions of Lebanon in 1978 and 1982 and the occupation of southern Lebanon from 1982 until 2000. The current Israeli war has similar aims as the previous ones: to eliminate any challenge to its dominance.

Nevertheless, the resistance to the imperialist and Zionist project continues among Palestinians, in Lebanon and elsewhere. Although dismissed as bands of terrorists by Israel and the U.S., Hezbollah and Hamas are mass organizations whose influence has grown precisely because of their resistance to Israel.

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