No to Lebanon War III (+ Syria War) – 20/9/2007

The Israeli Communist Forum strongly condemns the recent acts of aggression committed by the Israeli Army within Syrian territory. The purpose of these acts is to cause a new war in our region, with the aim of "repairing" the enormous damage caused by the Second Lebanon War. Further, such a war would be initiated with the aim of improving the position of the United States and its allies in our region, a position also damaged by the war in Lebanon and even more by their ever-deepening fiasco in Iraq, with no end in sight.

We must sound the warning against new warlike adventures aimed at Iran as well as at Syria and the resistance forces in Lebanon. Syria has again and again extended its hand in peace, only to be rebuffed. Instead of irresponsible attempts at military adventure, negotiations should be opened with Syria on the basis of withdrawal from all Syrian territories occupied since June 1967. We also call for negotiations with the leadership of the Palestinian People, aimed at achieving a just peace, in which Hamas should take part. We regard the summit conference presently planned by the US and Israel as a media gimmick which would not promote the peace process in the region and which is aimed as a cover for the new plans of aggression.

Simultaneously with the aggravation of the situation on the Syrian border, the Government of Israel further aggravates and exacerbates the siege and strangulation of the Palestinian people, especially in the area of the Gaza Strip . The "targeted killings" continue, in whose course a large number of civilians were recently killed-including children. The creation of settlements and the so-called "outposts" goes on – some of them "legal" and others "illegal" – while the existing settlements are ceaselessly extended. Despite countless promises, there is no easing whatsoever of the checkpoints and roadblocks, which cause untold suffering to the inhabitants of the Occupied Territories. The economic blockade of the Gaza strip, including limitations on the supply of electricity and water, intensifies an already severe hardship, to the very edge of a humanitarian crisis.

The political and economic siege over and strangulation of the Gaza Strip, intensified especially since the Hamas victory in the Palestinian parliamentary elections, were among the main factors escalating the internecine conflicts inside the Palestinian Authority. A situation of siege and severe economic hardships, along with the absence of any hope for a political change due to the policies of the US and Israel, have eventually led also to an intensification and escalation of the internal Palestinian conflicts an outcome which the US and Israel had long desired. The Hamas takeover of the entire Gaza Strip has caused a situation where the Strip is cut off from the West Bank, causing damage to the Palestinian national cause and pushing it further away from the possibility of advancing towards the achievement of legitimate national rights.

We call upon both parties to the internal Palestinian conflict to give up any attempt to "bring the others to their knees" by military means or through reliance on outside agencies. We call upon them to resolve their differences through dialogue. The basis for such a dialogue must be the formulation of a realistic policy promoting the aim of the Arab Palestinian People's just struggle to end the occupation and create its independent state side by side with Israel, in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

The aggressive external policy of war and occupation is integrated with an intensification of the discrimination against the Arab population inside Israel. Again and again we hear proposals aimed at "reducing the demographic danger", including in the framework of so – called "exchanges of territory" which are supposed to form the conditions for a future agreement. In this context, the basic idea is to exclude from Israel areas which are defined as "having a dense Arab population", especially in the areas of the North and the Triangle

We condemn this racist concept, which defines the Arab Population as a "demographic problem" which must be opposed and fought against. We condemn the continuing discrimination of the Arab Population in all spheres, and in particular the intensification of the demolitions of Arab homes in the Negev and mixed towns as well as in other parts of Israel. We condemn the continuing incitement against the political leadership of the Arab population in Israel and the attempts to exclude it from the circle of political decision-making. We also regard the proposal to raise the minimal electoral threshold required for entry into the Knesset as a measure intended, first and foremost, to damage the representation of the Arab population in the Knesset. The right way to respond to this nefarious plan would be a unification of forces in common struggle, both among the Arab population and in strengthened Jewish-Arab cooperation, involving all consistent peace seekers. Such a cooperation is needed also in face of other aspects of government policy, such as the continuation and intensification of the gap between rich and poor, of which the Arab population suffers, comparatively, more than anyone else. Cooperation is also needed in face of the general offensive against democratic rights, expressed among other things by a whole row of racist and anti-democratic Knesset bills, and in the so-called planned "reforms" in the judicial system.