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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain


Israeli air attacks repulsed

by our Arab Affairs correspondent

SYRIAN AND RUSSIAN air defence crews went into action to fend off waves of drone attacks from Israel and the terrorist gangs based in the Turkish-occupied north of the country this week. Two Syrian soldiers were killed and a number wounded in the Israeli attacks. Syrian air defences downed a large number of Israeli missiles during raids on army camps in central and northern Syria, and joined Russian units in repelling a massive drone attack on Russia’s Hmeimim air base on the Mediterranean coastline.

Ever eager to do the bidding of their American masters, Israel seeks to boost the flagging morale of the terror gangs now holed up under Turkish protection in Idlib. At the same time, premier Benjamin Netanyahu wants to boost his own standing with the rabid Arab-hating Zionist settler community that is the bedrock of his own Likud bloc.

Netanyahu plans to annex parts of the occupied Jordan Valley next month. But a recent Israeli poll showed that 46 per cent of respondents were against annexation, as opposed to 34 per cent who were in favour.

against

Aida Touma-Sliman, a communist member of the progressive Joint List faction in the Israeli parliament, said: “Most Israeli citizens are against Netanyahu and Trump’s annexation. Annexation will deepen the occupation, expand the illegal settlement project, and intensify the oppression of Palestinians. It will narrow the path for peace and make apartheid the law of the land. We must do all we can to stop it here and around the world. If we take to the streets together – we can stop it.”

A lot depends on the US presidential election in November. A few months ago Netanyahu’s future seemed secure with the backing of the Trump administration whose “peace plan” had sanctioned further illegal Israeli annexations of Palestinian land on the West Bank. Donald Trump’s re-election seemed a certainty then. Now, following the George Floyd riots and the catastrophic effects of the coronavirus plague in America, Trump is eight points behind his Democrat rival in the opinion polls.

Trump’s “deal of the century” is finished if Joe Biden wins in November but Netanyahu clearly intends to carry on come what may.

After a year and a half of political intrigue and three inconclusive elections, Netanyahu managed to cobble together a grand coalition with his arch-rival General Gantz in April and stave off the corruption charges that his enemies hope will put him behind bars for a number of years to come.

election

Benny Gantz is set to become premier next year under the power-sharing agreement but few believe the coalition will last that long. Netanyahu will go for yet another election as soon as he thinks he can win a majority. And that may not be far off. Gantz’s own centre-right Blue and White bloc split over his decision to go into coalition with Netanyahu and Likud, and its allies now have a clear lead in the opinion polls.

But stoking up the flames of war has its own dangers as the leader of the major south Lebanon resistance movement made clear this week. Hassan Nasrullah, the leader of Hezbollah, warned Israel of the consequences of any new escalation.

“Today, we can not only hit the city of Tel Aviv but also, if God wills it and with His help, we can hit very precise targets within Tel Aviv and anywhere in occupied Palestine,” he said – a timely reminder from the partisans who drove Israel out of southern Lebanon in 2006.