ISRAEL’S armed forces commander, Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz, speaking to Israeli High School pupils last week, asked and answered a question rooted in the current Middle East crisis, where the imperialist powers are attempting to overthrow Syria’s regime, led by Bashar al Assad, and where Israel has already conducted one bombing raid on Syria.
He asked, taking for granted that there will be a new
Lebanese war, ‘Would it be better to be a citizen of the State of Israel in the next war or a Lebanese citizen in the next war? He answered ‘Better to be Israeli citizens.’ He was alluding to the destructive forces that the Israeli military is massing for when the war begins.
Another senior Israeli officer on the Lebanese front commented on Thursday that tensions in Syria ‘had the potential to spill over and trigger a confrontation’ with Hezbollah. We want to preserve the quiet, and we want the other side to know that if they take a step that necessitates we exact a price, they will pay dearly,’ the officer, who declined to be named, told the media while he was commanding a simulated, regiment-strength battle with Hezbollah, at a desert army base.
Meanwhile, Syrian counter-revolutionaries have been able to operate out of the demilitarised zone between Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, and even kidnap UN peacekeeping troops stationed there, without any comeback at all from either Israel or the US or the UK.
There is no doubt that if the Syrian army began operating inside the same de-militarised zone they would be immediately attacked by the Israeli armed forces, and that such an attack would have the political support of the US and the UK.
While it is sharpening the knife for use against the Syrian army and government and rehearsing a new onslaught on the Lebanon, Israel is displaying a remarkable tolerance towards the Islamist allies of imperialism.
Israel is, in fact, preparing an air assault on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Such an assault cannot take place without simultaneously intervening to overthrow Assad in Syria, and smash the Lebanese national liberation movement, Hezbollah.
The imperialist powers and Israel are preparing to change the map of the Middle East through a war across the region, to be ignited by an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Desert exercises to prepare a renewed war with the Lebanon are currently taking place, and the war will be aimed at not just smashing Hezbollah but at destroying the entire infrastructure of the country. This is what Gantz’s question and answer was all about. In 2006, Israel killed 1,400 people in Lebanon, mostly civilians, according to the United Nations. Hezbollah killed 200 Israeli soldiers within Lebanese territory.
Asked if the new war will be similar to 2006, the Israeli military says that they don’t expect the casualty ratio to be similar. ‘We want things to be as bad as possible for the other side and as good as possible for us,’ is the phrase being used.
Israel is assembling overwhelming military forces for its coming war with Hezbollah and will slaughter many thousands of Lebanese civilians as its seeks to destroy the Lebanon and Hezbollah.
In the struggle that is already under way, workers in the UK must support Syria, Iran and Hezbollah. They must embrace Lenin’s slogan that ‘The enemy is at home’ and contribute to the defeat of imperialism in the Middle East by bringing down the bankers’ and bosses’ government at home. This will be a huge leap forward for world socialism.