Joan Trevor looks at what some of the French left say about Lebanon
In an unusual collaboration, the Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire (LCR) issued a statement jointly with the French section of the Lebanese Communist Party (PCL) for the demonstration in Paris on 29 July. The march was organised with these slogans:
• Solidarity with the Palestinian and Lebanese people
• An immediate halt to the bombings
• International mediation for exchange of prisoners
• No to alignment of France with American policy
• Respect and implementation of the national rights of the Palestinian people
The joint LCR-PCL statement said:
Stop the Israeli aggression, support the resistance
“…The international community (notably the Security Council, the US and the EU) justify this barbarous aggression by virtue of the right of the “legitimate defence” of Israel. Even in Beirut, international delegations are queuing up to try to impose on the Lebanese government, as well as the freeing of the Israeli soldiers captured by the Lebanese resistance, the deployment of an international military force in the south of Lebanon and the application of the Security Council resolution 1559.
“So what does resolution 1559 recommend? It demands the disarming of all the “Lebanese militias” (which is it what it calls the Lebanese resistance movements), the disarming of all the Palestinian organisations in Lebanon and the deployment of the official Lebanese army in the south of the country. What this text, on the other hand, does not mention, are the Shebaa farms and the Kfar Shouba Hills which are still occupied by Israel, the Lebanese still detained in Israeli prisons (including Samir Quntar, imprisoned for 28 years), or the right of return of the Palestinian refugees (a right guaranteed by United Nations resolutions 194 and 242).
“By making application of resolution 1559 a condition of ceasefire, the Israeli leaders, the American administration and the major governments of the European Union reveal the true objective of the aggression going on against Lebanon. They want to impose a definitive end to any form of resistance against Israel, to force the Lebanese people to renounce the territories that Israel is still occupying, and make them abandon the detainees in Israeli prisons.
“It is in this framework that the project for deployment of an international military force, on a strip about 30 kilometres wide, only inside Lebanese territory must be seen! This force would in reality be an international “army” whose true objectives would not be to stop the Israeli offensive, but to eliminate the ability to respond of the Lebanese resistance to the Israeli aggressions by putting northern Israel beyond the reach of Hizbollah’s rockets, this last having to be disarmed once the international contingents were deployed on the ground.
“The Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire and the Lebanese Communist Party (French Section) demand an immediate halt to the Israeli ground invasion and a halt to the bombings of the Lebanese population. They demand an immediate halt to the bombings and the Israeli aggressions against the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank. They demand international mediation to allow an exchange of prisoners. They reaffirm that respecting the right of the peoples of the region to freely determine their destiny can be the only condition for a lasting peace in the region. Thus they declare themselves for the withdrawal of the Israeli army from all the territories occupied in 1967 and the dismantling of all the settlements established on Palestinian territory, the evacuation of Shebaa Farms and the Kfar Shouba Hills, negotiations including the sharing of Jerusalem, the freeing of all prisoners, the right to return of refugees. They reject any deployment of an international force, on the conditions already cited, and they affirm their rejection of the application of resolution 1559 by force.”
In its bulletin of 24 July the LCR left faction Débat Militant carried a piece titled “From Gaza to Beirut, one people against occupation!”, quoting a slogan in Arabic and Hebrew raised during the demonstation in Tel Aviv on 24 July.
“Condoleezza Rice clearly laid out her objectives during her visit to the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Jerusalem on Tuesday 25: “It is time to construct a new Middle East… The only lasting solution will be that which consolidates the forces of peace and democracy in the region.” But instead of the peace and demoracy that the imperialist leaders promised the world with the victory of their market economy, their policies sow war and misery throughout the world. They impose the interests of the ruling minority through their “permanent” war, their “preventive” war, that of the big powers against the workers and the peoples, to make them submit, to break their resistance… It is truly a redeployment of the imperialist order in the region that the leaders of the USA and Israel are aiming at, particuarly in Syria and Iran, whatever the cost, whatever the consquences, which they cannot control. And it is truly the violence of the ruling class, their state terrorism that makes any democratic outcome impossible, sows hatred and creates the terrain for religious fundamentalists and dictatorships.”
A statement by the Lutte Ouvrière minority on 4 August, signed Louis Guilbert, is titled “Disarm those responsible for terror in the Middle East” and says:
“The first responsibility …rests with the expansionist policy of the state of Israel. …
“It remains true that the policy of the state of Israel could not have led to the current situation unless the big imperialist powers, the United States in the first place, had not found some benefit since the beginning in supporting it, politically, financially, militarily. The power of its army, Israel owes above all to the American state…
“On their side, the governments of Iran and Syria through their aid to Hizbollah or Hamas are seeking to use them to raise the stakes... And neither the Palestinians nor the Lebanese have an interest in putting their fate in their hands.
“… it is not yet clear at this time whether the next stage in this conflict will be a new escalation in the war or a new settlement between the governments on the backs of the peoples of the region. But the only peace conforming to the interests of the latter can only come, not from the “deployment of an international force” – which would become a successor to the Israeli army once it had come to the end of its possibilities of destroying Hizbollah with the least expenditure – nor from any form of intervention by the big powers. Nor from the so-called solidarity from the “Muslim” states. It can only come from the desire, going beyond all nationalisms, to unite the struggle of the workers and the oppressed of the region, not only against the policy of the Zionist leaders, but also against capitalism and imperialism which force the peoples to kill each other against their own interests.”