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Israel and the United States at once announced that they were going to
punish the people of Palestine for voting the wrong way in a free election.
And the punishment has been severe.
--- Noam Chomsky.

Israel, Gaza, Lebanon.

Vancouver Sun July 17 2006

A little reported fact...
On June 24, Israel kidnapped two Gaza civilians, a doctor and his brother.

A much reported fact...
The following day Gaza militants captured an Israeli soldier, Corporal Gilad Shalit.

In solidarity with this action, Hesbollah activists captured two more Israeli soldiers in disputed territory, to be used as bargaining chips for release of some of the many political prisoners held in Israeli jails.

In reaction to these arrests, Israel's terrorist forces launched massive military actions against both Gaza and Lebanon that resulted in much death and destruction.

In response to the Israeli military action in Lebanon, Hesbollah answered in kind, by showering Israelís Northern cities with hundreds of rocket attacks.

And Israel is now using these provoked abductions and rocket attacks as an excuse to continue a ferocious and bloody murderous campaign against the civilian population of Lebanon.

As I write, the number of deaths is now in the several hundreds, with most of them suffered by Lebanese civilians, many of which are children. In addition, there are many more being seriously injured every day, not to mention the humanitarian crisis that continues to worsen with hundreds of thousands of people displaced from their homes. Of course, there has been innocent blood spilt in Israel too and no innocent life can seriously be considered more or less valuable than another, but the ratio of deaths is seriously skewed with about ten Lebanese or Palestinians killed for every Israeli citizen suffering the same fate.

Both Bush and his mini-me puppet in Canada, Stephen Harper, have clearly sided with Israel, declaring, "Israel has a right to defend itself", and Harper has gone as far as calling the Israeli sledgehammer approach a "measured response". But it should be remembered that Israel is an occupying force in Palestine, that continues to conduct a program of annexing the most valuable of Palestinian lands and most of the resources, including the water of the West Bank and cantonizing the rest and imprisoning it. So to declare that Israel has a right to defend itself is, in this case, not unlike saying that Nazi Germany had a right to defend itself against the resistance in Poland or France.

It is often claimed that Hezbollah is supported, armed and financed by both Syria and Iran, and it possibly is, but our western media only occasionally raises the question of where the tiny country of Israel (perhaps the fourth most heavily armed country in the world) gets its massive military might. It is no secret that its military is supplied from, and is sustained by the USA. So when death and destruction rain down on the helpless men, women and children of Lebanon and Palestine it is death and destruction with "MADE IN THE USA" on the serial number plate, delivered by USA helicopters and USA fighter aircraft and USA rockets and bullets. In fact it has often been stated that Israel receives more US federal aid than any other state of the Union.

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It is clear that Israel is just one more tool in the United States' "War of Terror" against any and all vulnerable nations that do not ask the USA "How high?" when asked to jump.

So what has all this to do with the theme of Well, I think that we must not forget that Israel is a two-tier state with fascist attitudes.

While it treat its ethnically Jewish citizens with privilege, it's indigenous Arab peoples, the Palestinians, are treated very differently, not only with regard to their human rights in the work place (Israeli workers in the occupied territories enjoy salary-related benefits as determined by Israeli law while Palestinian workers employed by Israelis in the occupied territories receive only what the Jordanian law mandated as it stood in 1967), but also in regard to almost every aspect of their daily life. It is an apartheid state in which its unwanted Arab citizens are free to leave, and are actively encouraged to do so, by having their life made as miserable as possible.

Instead of providing unquestioning support for the anti-egalitarian and anti-democratic policies of the USA and Israel, Canada might do well, to provide some balance, by giving some real recognition and support to the democratically elected government of the Palestinian people, and developing a truly independent foreign policy based on truth, justice and solidarity with the oppressed peoples of this sorry world. Of course this is unlikely to happen, given that capitalists often have a vested interest in war, but there is no reason in the world why our general population should support such murderous enterprises, other than being duped by the lies and propaganda of those who can make a profit with bloodied hands from the spoils of war.

Now check out this Chomsky video on the current conflict: and spread the word.

In Solidarity,
John Barker

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July 2006