‘Solidarity with Lebanon and Palestine’ with Tariq Ali among the signatories, August 3, 2006
The US-backed Israeli assault on Lebanon has left the country numb, smoldering and angry. The massacre in Qana and the loss of life is not simply “disproportionate.” It is, according to existing international laws, a war crime.
The deliberate and systematic destruction of Lebanon’s social infrastructure by the Israeli air force was also a war crime, designed to reduce that country to the status of an Israeli-US protectorate.
The attempt has backfired, as people all over the world watch aghast. In Lebanon itself, 87 percent of the population now support Hezbollah’s resistance, including 80 percent of Christian and Druze and 89 percent of Sunni Muslims, while 8 percent believe the US supports Lebanon.
But these actions will not be tried by any court set up by the “international community” since the United States and its allies that commit or are complicit in these appalling crimes will not permit it.
It has now become clear that the assault on Lebanon to wipe out Hezbollah had been prepared long before. Israel’s crimes had been given a green light by the United States and its ever-loyal British ally, despite the overwhelming opposition to Blair in his own country.
The short peace that Lebanon enjoyed has come to an end, and a paralyzed country is forced to remember a past it had hoped to forget. The state terror inflicted on Lebanon is being repeated in the Gaza ghetto, while the “international community” stands by and watches in silence. Meanwhile the rest of Palestine is annexed and dismantled with the direct participation of the United States and the tacit approval of its allies.
We offer our solidarity and support to the victims of this brutality and to those who mount a resistance against it. For our part, we will use all the means at our disposal to expose the complicity of our governments in these crimes. There will be no peace in the Middle East while the occupations of Palestine and Iraq and the temporarily “paused” bombings of Lebanon continue.
Tariq Ali, Noam Chomsky, Eduardo Galeano, Howard Zinn, Ken Loach, John Berger, Arundhati Roy