Aug 7, 2006
Israel conducted an air strike on July 30 on the village of Qana in southern Lebanon. It hit a three-story building where people were taking cover in the basement, killing more than 50 civilians, including 34 children.
The Israeli government claims to be fighting terrorism in Lebanon. It justified the attack by blaming Hezbollah for firing missiles from the village. Israeli Foreign Minister Gideon Meir said, “One must understand the Hezbollah is using their own civilian population as human shields. The Israeli defense forces dropped leaflets and warned the civilian population to leave the place because the Hezbollah turned it into a war zone.” Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon said it more bluntly, “All those now in south Lebanon are terrorists who are related in some way to Hezbollah.” In other words, Israel intends to carry out a scorched earth policy and destroy anyone and anything that gets in its way.
Israel’s Prime Minister vowed to continue its attacks saying, “We will not blink in front of Hezbollah and we will not stop the offensive despite the difficult circumstances. It is the right thing to do.”
On August 4, Israeli aircraft killed 33 farm workers loading fruit and vegetables in a warehouse near the Lebanon-Syria border. Israel claimed it suspected the warehouse contained a truck carrying weapons from Syria.
It is Israel that is carrying out terrorism today – the terrorism of a state armed with the most sophisticated weaponry in the world. It drops leaflets on the population of an area, warning them they have 48 hours to leave. It knows many people will not have the means to do it. Anyone who is too sick or injured to leave or who can’t afford to pay the $1,000 it takes to get a taxi ride out is considered a terrorist. Many who have tried to leave have been killed by Israeli bombings of the escape routes.
Israel is not “defending itself.” It is clearing out a large section of Lebanon, and attempting to terrorize the population into submission.
The U.S., which finances Israel in arming itself to the teeth, cynically claims to be working for a “lasting peace.” A United Nations resolution drafted by the U.S. and France shows what the U.S. really means by this. The resolution makes no demands of Israel. To the contrary, it allows Israel to stay in Lebanon, and even to continue military operations, until an international force – and not the Lebanese army – takes over. In other words, it puts a seal of approval on what Israel has been doing in Lebanon.
The only peace Israel and the U.S. want is the peace of the graveyard.