Statement by the Communist Party USA

The Communist Party USA strongly condemns the Israeli assault on Lebanon which has killed almost 300 mostly civilian Lebanese in its first eight days. Infrastructure has been smashed, thousands of people have been driven from their homes, tens of thousands more have fled the country and a cloud of fear hangs over the region.

With no regard for the possibility of igniting an even greater conflict in the region, the Israeli government threatens Syria and Iran over their alleged role in the crisis.

The escalating attack on Lebanon comes on the heels of Israel’s invasion and re-occupation of large parts of the Gaza Strip, resulting in the deaths of many Palestinians, again mostly civilians. The invasion, detentions including members of the Palestinian government, and destruction of government facilities has further devastated a Palestinian society and economy already strangled by a blockade that denies food, medicines and fuel.

Israel’s massive violent response to the reckless actions of Palestinian and Lebanese armed groups is pouring gasoline on a Middle East already in flames from the U.S. war in Iraq and threats against Iran. It is now clear that the vicious bombardment of Lebanon was premeditated with the aim of destabilizing that country. Israeli media reports indicate that the Sharon and Olmert governments had already hatched comprehensive plans to bomb Lebanon on the slightest provocation, unfortunately provided by the Hezbollah raid.

The Israeli government is accountable for actions imperiling the security of its own people as well as the people of Palestine and Lebanon. Israeli ruling circles and the Bush administration have not, but must accept the right of the Palestinian people to determine their own leadership and establish their own state. They must abandon the aim of establishing a puppet regime or inciting civil war.

But ultimate responsibility for the violence and instability lies with Washington, Israel’s main patron and purveyor of military aid for nearly 60 years. When President Bush responded to the attacks by blaming Syria and Iran, he further encouraged brutality and threw oil on the fires.

The American people should insist that the Bush administration support an immediate cease-fire on both sides. And, that Israel withdraw from all occupied lands in Syria and Lebanon, withdraw to its 1967 borders, dismantle all settlements and the illegal Security Wall, accept a viable, sovereign Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem and resolve the refugee issue consistent with the International Declaration of Human Rights and UN resolutions passed over decades.

• We condemn the Israeli government’s continued flagrant violation of international laws and UN resolutions. We condemn all terrorist acts and attacks on civilians by groups, individuals or states.

• We demand Congress and the Bush administration press Israel to end the assault on Lebanon and Gaza.

• We support regional, international and United Nations diplomatic efforts to negotiate an immediate cease-fire on all sides, a release of all political prisoners and an overall negotiated solution to the ongoing conflict.

• We support a two-state solution: a free and independent Palestine and an Israeli state, both necessary requisites for peace and security.

• We call for an end to the cruel war and occupation of Iraq.

• We call for the recognition of the right of all peoples of the region to live free from occupation and violence.

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