LATE last week, a leading Israeli minister said that the only people left in southern Lebanon were connected to Hezbollah, giving the Israeli military the green light to step up their attack on the Lebanese civilian population.
The minister was announcing a change in Israeli policy. It was giving up on the ground war in southern Lebanon after its elite Golani Brigade was battered by Hezbollah, and was stepping up the air war on the Lebanese and their children.
The first victims of this new policy were the children and women of Qana, which the Israelis bombed at 1am on Sunday morning.
On the Saturday, the Israeli air force had struck at Syria, when the Masnaa crossing between Syria and Lebanon was hit by Israeli bombs and missiles with the last building just before the border with Syria completely destroyed.
On the Saturday, while attempting to justify the Qana bombings, the Israeli ex-premier and Leader of the Likud Party, Binjamin Netanyahu, alleged that Syria was already resupplying Hezbollah with rockets, providing the rationale for the attack on the Syrian border and future attacks on Syria and then Iran.
What is becoming clearer is that the ‘peace’ that the US and Israel are seeking, is one where Hezbollah is restrained by Syria and Iran to put up with a European or NATO force along the border with Israel, and that after accepting this, the movement will disarm and become a purely parliamentary political movement.
This will allow Israel to proceed against Hamas in occupied Palestine in order to get the only kind of settlement that it is willing to accept. It wants to grab Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley and the majority of the settlements in the West Bank to establish a Greater Israel. The Palestinians are to be left with Gaza and a few towns in the West Bank.
If Hezbollah is allowed to make a fool of Israel from southern Lebanon they will never be able to do this.
If they cannot put the handcuffs on Hezbollah via the Syrian, Iranian and Lebanese bourgeoisie, because there is just too much support for Hezbollah in the Lebanon, and all over the Arab world, the only alternative policy is the expansion of the war.
A deal that would restrain Hezbollah, would give more time for the US to prepare its blows against Syria and Iran, and is preferable.
The bombing raid on the Syrian border was no accident. Syria is being put on notice that its hour of decision has struck.
There is no doubt that an attack on Syria is an attack on Iran, since Syria and Iran are by treaty bound to defend each other against aggression.
There is also no doubt that the US does not wish to fight another ground war in Asia, although it is determined to prevent Iran acquiring the technology that would allow it to produce a nuclear weapon if it wished to do so.
War with Syria and Iran would require the use of massive air power and the use of tactical nuclear weaponry as far as Iran is concerned.
This is the road to the ‘New’ Middle East – over millions of dead bodies.
The struggle over Palestine and the Lebanon is a vital one for the working people of the world.
It cannot be a matter for the working class to watch and wait, hoping for the best.
The trade unions in Britain must take action to smash up the US-UK imperialist alliance by bringing the Blair government down and going forward to a workers’ government.
This government will recognise Hamas as the government of Palestine, a country with Jerusalem as its capital, withdraw all British troops from the Middle East, the Gulf and Afghanistan, and establish friendly fraternal relations with Iran, the Lebanon, and Syria.