THERE is not the slightest doubt about it – Hezbollah’s military action in the Shabaa Farms area of the disputed border with Israel, showed the Palestinian masses in the Gaza Strip that they were not alone, and took some of the murderous Israeli pressure off them, after Palestinian fighters took Corporal Shalit as a POW.
The Lebanese movement broke the conspiracy of silence which reigned throughout the leaderships of the Arab world. This was allowing the Israeli military to batter and kill the residents of the Gaza Strip as they wished.
While the masses of Gaza cheered the Hezbollah fighters from the rooftops, the rulers of the major Arab states, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt, condemned Hezbollah as ‘provocateurs’ for daring to disturb the Israelis during one of their massacres.
This scene which has been witnessed by the whole world proves that the division in the Arab world is not a religious divide between Shia and Sunni, but a political and class division.
It is between those who fight imperialism and Zionism, and those who are serving imperialism and its interests, and seeking to keep the masses quiet and subservient.
This is a vital message for every Arab country and struggle, especially in Iraq. Their reactionary and counter-revolutionary forces who returned to Iraq with the tanks of US imperialism, and now work with it, are busy trying to spread the plague of sectarianism so that American imperialism can remain in control over a divided and weakened nation, and its oil, for years to come.
The road to Jerusalem remains through ending the occupation of Iraq, by driving the US-UK forces out of the country, defeating the Israelis’ attempt to return to the Lebanon, thus weakening the threat to Syria, and driving the Israeli occupiers out of the territories occupied in 1967, the entire West Bank, The Gaza Strip and Jerusalem, as well as the Golan Heights.
Hezbollah, by refusing to be intimidated by the Zionists and by their allies, the kings, presidents and emirs of the Arab reaction, has struck a huge blow for the unity of the Arab masses.
They have also shown that they have the capacity, along with the Lebanese people, to defeat any Israeli attempt to reoccupy the Lebanon.
The Israelis for their part cannot conceal their vulnerablity in the Lebanon. An overnight cross border invasion will be the direct result of the failure of their bombing campaign, which did not even dent Hezbollah but killed hundreds of Lebanese men, women and children.
It will be a very big gamble, since Hezbollah knows that they are coming and is ready and willing to meet the challenge.
At the least, if outright military disaster is avoided, it will cost Israel the lives of scores of its young men, perhaps even more, and be a historic example of a regime that overstepped its capabilities and the capabilities of its more powerful allies, who have been weakened by coming a cropper in Iraq.
The best outcome that Israel can hope for is a bloody Phyrric victory, and a rapid withdrawal from the country which it was run out of in 2000, in order to negotiate a swap of prisoners for Israeli POWs held by Hezbollah and Hamas.
There is every indication that Hezbollah’s historic defiance of the Zionists and their imperialist backers marks a qualitative change in the struggle in the Middle East.
It is not the Arab bourgeoisie that will establish Palestine, they are too bound up with US capitalism, it is the masses of the people led by the working class that will do this job.
What is required to further the liberation struggle in the Middle East is the establishment of sections of the Fourth International to ally the struggle of the workers and poor of the Middle East with the struggle of the working class of the world to smash imperialism and go forward to socialism.