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On the Occasion of the August 12 Demonstrations in the US

Statement on the Israeli-US War of Aggression Against the Lebanese and Palestinian People

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee
International League of Peoples' Struggle
12 August 2006

We, the International League of Peoples' Struggle (ILPS), strongly condemn the ongoing barbaric attacks of the Israeli military on the people of Lebanon and Palestine. Under the pretext of rescuing Israeli soldiers captured by Hamas and Hezbollah, the Zionist Israeli government has unleashed wave upon wave of air, naval and ground attacks on the civilian populations of Lebanon and Palestine. These unbridled acts of international terrorism are emboldened and supported by US imperialism.

In accordance with international law, the three captured Israeli soldiers are prisoners of war (POWs). They are not victims of kidnapping or hostaging. The Israeli government is using them as pawns in its attempt to crush all popular resistance in Lebanon and Palestine. The Olmert government in Israel refuses to conduct any negotiations for the release of the captured soldiers or for the exchanges of POWs. (Israel is holding more than 9,000 Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners.) Instead, the Zionists are engaging in collective punishment by ordering attacks on Lebanese and Palestinian civilian populations. At the beginning of the war, Israeli's Army Chief of Staff Dan Halutz said, "Nothing is safe in [Lebanon], it's as simple as that."

Israel's war of aggression and further encroachment on the territories of Palestine and Lebanon have caused the death and wounding of thousands of civilians and the massive destruction of homes and whole villages, hospitals and schools, water and electrical facilities, public buildings and offices, industrial complexes, airports, roads and bridges.

As of August 4, the Israeli military has killed 900 civilians in Lebanon and wounded 3,000. One third of the casualties are children under the age of 12. One million people, 25% of the Lebanese population, have been displaced. In the city of Qana, Israeli bombs struck an apartment building, killing 67, including many children. Israeli jets have hit clearly marked Red Cross vehicles, aid convoys and UN observation posts with US -supplied laser-guided missiles. The Zionist army is using white phosphorous bombs and cluster bombs on densely populated areas. These are war crimes, clear violations of the Geneva Conventions and all other conventions of international law.

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinian refugee camps, government buildings, power plants and other essential civilian infrastructure are under daily bombardment by Israeli tanks from the north and east, by warships from the west, and by US-made F-15 jets and Apache helicopters from the air. Most of the Gaza Strip has been without electricity for weeks. During this Zionist offensive, 159 Palestinians have been killed since June 28. The overwhelming majority of them are civilians.

This most recent Israeli war of aggression is part and parcel of the drive of the US imperialists to eliminate all opposition from the peoples and countries of the Middle East to US domination of this oil-rich and strategic region. Israel's military campaign was planned two years ago, with US knowledge and support. While Bush expresses hypocritical concern about "avoiding harm to innocent civilians" in Lebanon, the US vetoed a resolution in the UN Security Council condemning Israel, and has opposed calls for an immediate ceasefire, trying to buy more time for the Israeli killing machine.

The US is further intensifying its interventionist role by rushing the delivery of precision-guided bombs to Israel, including 100 GBU-28s, 5,000-pound (2,268-kilogram) bombs capable of massive destruction. This is the latest installment on the $4 Billion annually that the US government spends to arm Israel.

Even as Israel and the US intensify this criminal war, they face courageous and determined resistance on all sides. The Zionists' highly touted paratroopers are taking significant casualties in southern Lebanon at the hands of Hezbollah fighters. Israel may be getting into a quagmire in Lebanon like its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, and similar to the US occupation of Iraq. Waves of popular outrage and demonstrations are sweeping the Arab countries, as well as many other parts of the world.

We, the International League of Peoples' Struggle, join all the forces and people in the world that respect the principle of national sovereignty and fight against imperialism and Israeli Zionism. We demand the immediate stop to the Israeli attacks on the Lebanese and Palestinian people and to US provocations against Syria and Iran. We demand the immediate withdrawal of Israeli troops from Lebanon, the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank.

Oppose US-Israeli imperialist aggression!
Support the heroic resistance of the people of Palestine and Lebanon!
Uphold the right to self-determination of the peoples of Lebanon, Iraq, and Palestine!
Down with US imperialism and Zionism!
Long live international solidarity!

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