The New Worker
The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 21th July 2006
The bombing of Lebanon continues
Welcome To Our Weekly Digest Edition
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by our Arab Affairs Correspondent
ISRAELI FORCES are pounding Lebanon from land, sea and air,
spreading death and destruction throughout the country. But the
Lebanese resistance movement, Hezbollah, has given the Israelis a taste
of their own medicine, scoring a direct hit on an Israeli warship off
the Lebanese coast and launching hundreds of rocket attacks on towns
across northern Israel.
The daily rocket attacks on northern Israel have paralysed the port of
Haifa, Israel’s third largest city, and forced thousands of Israelis to
flee to Tel Aviv and other parts believed to be out of range of
Hezbollah’s missiles. The deadly attack on an Israeli missile corvette
blockading Beirut, which killed four and set the ship ablaze, was a
dramatic demonstration of the Lebanese guerrilla movement’s
Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah, has said his fighters are fully
armed and more than ready to take on any Israeli ground invasion.
Speaking on Sunday, he said that the fight against Israel had only just
begun. The militant Lebanese Shia leader said that the Israeli attack
had inflicted no real harm on the Hezbollah movement, and that his
fighters had every right to resist. Hezbollah’s fight is not just for
itself or for Lebanon, but for the whole Arab world, he declared.
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has called for a ceasefire and the
deployment of an international force along the Lebanese frontier with
Israel and oil prices topped $78 a barrel on the open market on Monday
reflecting fears that the conflict could spread across the entire
Middle East. But US imperialism has blocked the UN Security Council
from censuring Tel Aviv for its attacks on Lebanon and Gaza and
Washington has not expressed the least concern over Beirut’s
announcements that the attacks are killing civilians and destroying its
Syria has said that it would respond forcefully to any Israeli attack
on its territory and Iran has also warned the Zionist entity of
“unimaginable losses” if it makes “the mistake of attacking Syria” and
vowed that it was “standing by the Syrian people”. All Syria’s
airports and crossing points have been put at the disposal of the
Lebanese people to promote their steadfastness to confront Israeli
hostilities and the Syrian Red Crescent is rushing medical and food aid
The crisis overshadowed the G8 summit in St Petersburg with
Anglo-American imperialism watering down calls for a ceasefire in the
face of French and Russian opposition. Bush and Blair backed Israel,
which claims its offensive and military blockade of Lebanon is designed
solely to obtain the release of two Israeli soldiers captured by the
Hezbollah militia during a raid last week.
But Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov on Wednesday said that peace
in the Middle East can’t be achieved unless a solution to the
Arab-Israeli conflict has been found. Ivanov added that “the only way
to solve the region’s conflict is through adopting political and
diplomatic means” and he expressed sorrow over the escalation of the
conflict in the region and destruction of infrastructure in Lebanon by
the continued Israeli aggression.
Hezbollah want to exchange their Israeli prisoners for the thousands of
Arabs held in Israeli camps. Though Israel has hinted that it will
eventually discuss a prisoner exchange premier Ehud Olmert has said
this will only happen after it has finished its military operations
against the Lebanese resistance.
Though the Israelis claim their motive is simply to save the lives of
their prisoners, they have now lost many more in the fighting that has
Their real objectives are first of all to restore the prestige of their
army whose generals have been embarrassed at the capture of three of
their men – one in Palestine and two in Lebanon – and secondly to force
the weak Lebanese government to disarm Hezbollah, whose base is amongst
the poor Shia Muslim community of the south.
But the Lebanese government is divided. Those weak, venal politicians
who supported the move to force the Syrian peace-keeping forces out
last year have been embarrassed at the failure of the United States to
do anything to help them and the apparently inability of France, their
other friend, to mobilise European pressure to help.
Others in the pro-Syrian camp point out that none of this could have
happened if the Syrian forces were still in Lebanon.
Olmert’s Kadima/Labour coalition remains solid in favour of the
aggression. But cracks are beginning to appear as the public realise
that war is not a one-way street and the peace movement mobilises to
counter the militarism of the Zionist administration.
Some 2,000 people marched through Tel Aviv on Sunday to demand prisoner
exchange negotiations with the Hamas and Hezbollah and an end to the
offensive against Lebanon. A women’s protest was also held on Sunday,
next to the central Haifa train depot where a Hezbollah rocket landed
earlier that day, killing eight people. The women said that in the
coming days, they would be assembling a new group of Arab and Jewish
women against the war.
The Communist Party of Israel is demanding an immediate ceasefire and
the withdrawal of all Israeli troops from Gaza and Lebanon. Calling the
policies of the Kadima/Labour coalition “violent lunacy”, the Israeli
communists are demanding an immediate ceasefire on all fronts, an
end to the seizure of Gaza and the opening of the commercial crossings
to allow uninterrupted supply of food, medicines and fuel to the
Palestinian population of the Gaza strip, threatened with a
“The violent lunacy headed by the generals of the Israeli Army, and the
“no negotiation” policy of Prime Minister Olmert and Defence Minster
Peretz, has boomeranged back to hurt the citizens of Israel”, the Party
declared.“We call upon all peace seekers, Jews and Arabs, to increase
their struggle for the political solution, based on a complete
dismantling of the settlements, the withdrawal of the Israeli army from
all the territories occupied in 1967, the establishment of a
Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem, alongside Israel,
and the solution of the refugees question according to UN resolutions.”
The sewer rat clings on
“I have made it clear all the
way I carry on doing the job. So I do look forward to next year’s G8,
of course. But in the end the most important thing is doing the job,”
Tony Blair told BBC reporters last weekend at the G8 summit.
This was a slap in the face to all those Labour Party members who
are desperate for him to go as soon as possible before he does anymore
damage to the party and thought they had him pinned down to going some
time next April – “to give Gordon Brown time to settle into the job
before the next general election”.
Blair should have gone three years ago. Any prime minister who
led Britain into an illegal war and invasion in the basis of a lie
about alleged weapons of mass destruction should have died of shame and
guilt by now.
But Blair is not simply the Prime Minister, he is also George W
Bush’s most loyal ally and Bush needs all the help he can get. If Blair
resigns, Bush will be in even deeper trouble than he already is.
So every time Blair meets Bush, all the pressure from within the
British electorate and the labour movement from Blair to go is undone
by pressure from Bush for him to stay, come what may. As for being
worried about damaging Labour’s chances at the polls, Blair’s mission
since he joined the party seems to have been to destroy it and turn it
into a Thatcherite Tory party. This is what he means when he speaks of
the importance of “doing the job” and carrying it through to the end.
The only reason he appeared, after the disastrous local elections
in May, to agree to go early next year was to give his opponents the
idea they had won at last so they would relax and take the pressure
off. The real labour and trade union movement must never take the
pressure off, they must stop being so naïve and falling for his
Currently the ruling class in Britain and the world is deeply
divided. On one hand are the most extreme right-wing American neo-cons
who are behind Bush. They are seeking to control the whole world by
capturing and controlling all of the planet’s oil and fuel supplies.
On the other hand is the rest of the world. The European Union,
Russia and even Japan are coming together with China and most Third
World countries in finding common cause in mutual self defence against
the neo-cons. Even the more moderate American capitalists are with them.
The pro-Europeans are a powerful lobby in this country and have
been in intense struggle with Bush and Blair and the neo-cons since
2003. But they see Gordon Brown as the way forward. He is barely
different to Blair in his policies but he has not burnt so many bridges
with Europe yet or earned such contempt on the world stage. And their
only alternative, a Tory government, whether led by Cameron or anyone
else could not lead Britain further into Europe.
This is why this section of the ruling class, although a powerful
force against Blair; do not follow through, do not use all the power
they have to force him out. They want a smooth, unopposed transition to
a Brown government. They are not concerned with working class issues
like fighting for wages and jobs and halting the privatisation of our
public services. For the working class, they are weak and unreliable
allies in the fight against the neo-cons’ agenda.
The working class must take the lead. John McDonnell MP last week
pledged to stand against Brown whenever Blair does step down, to ensure
a debate on Labour’s policies. This is a vital stand. It is the best
chance the working class has of getting rid of not just Blair but also
his policies and effecting some real change.
The Labour Party and trade union movement – all those people who
have been betrayed and treated with contempt by Blair – must put their
boots on and make sure Blair goes; they must seize control of their own
party and save it.
Blair and his mates are up to their ears in sleaze but they seem,
like rats, to thrive while swimming in sewage. Don’t let him get away
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