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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

the ALP's silence on Lebanon « Previous | |Next »
August 10, 2006

I watched the debate the House of Representatives on the Howard Govvernment's decision to send more troops to Afghanistan yesteday. I wasn't suprised by Beazley's strong support for fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan or his argument that the Howard Government should not have withdrawn troops from Afghanistan in 2002, and as a consequence, it had allowed for the revival of al-Qaeda and the Taliban. This is all about the War on Terror and creating democracy in Afghanistan.

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David Brookes


I am suprised though by the way the ALP continue to remains silent about Israel's "creative destruction" in Lebanon and the 1000 civilian deaths and displacement of another 750,000 civilans from their homes. The Lebanese Government did not authorise or support Hezbollah's attacks on Israel. Canberra, like Washington, remains largely a bipartisan, criticism-free zone for Israel and the US providiong sipport and cover for the Israeli's destruction of democracy in Lebanon

The ALP's silence about Lebanon suprises me given its critcisms of the American neo-con quest for an impregnable defense and military supremacy. Does the ALP see the Israeli bombing of Lebanon as defensive war, a mere Israeli reaction to Hezbollah attacks? Does not the ALP's silence breach the fundamental principle of the right of people under occupation to resist? Does the ALP accept that it is right for Israel to drive out most of the population of south Lebanon? Is the ALP willing to legitimize the violent partition of the sovereign democratic state of Lebanon?

Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska gave a speech in which he was blunt in predicting the consequences of the Israeli military actions:

"Extended military action will tear apart Lebanon, destroy its economy and infrastructure, create a humanitarian disaster, further weaken Lebanon's fragile democratic government, strengthen popular Muslim and Arab support for Hezbollah, and deepen hatred of Israel across the Middle East. . . . The war against Hezbollah and Hamas will not be won the battlefield."

Cannot the ALP say that force is not the only effective solution to problems in Lebanon as Israel launches an grround invasion of southern Lebanon all the way up to the Litani river and beyond?

I presume the pro-American faction of the ALP (led by Bomber Beazley) is following the dominant Anglo-Israeli narrative that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization that threatens Israel, and that Israel has a right to defend itself. Yet Hezbollah, which is an anti-Israeli Lebanese Shia group, does not pose a direct threat to the security of Australia, nor that of the United States. Since when has Israeli security been an essential component of Australia security policy? The impression is that the ALP is condoning Israeli military action resulting in the death of hundreds of innocent Muslim civilians, and that it does not value the lives of innocent Muslims.

Israel is now seeking a major rearrangement of the Lebanese domestic scene that will crush resistance not in Lebanon. As Ahmad Samih Khalidi observes in the Guardian:

If Hizbullah, as many have argued, is indeed the people of south Lebanon and the voice of Shia Lebanese empowerment, then the Israelis seem to believe that the best means of defeating them is to disperse them, uproot the communities in which they thrive, and destroy the infrastructure that sustains them and provides them with their means of livelihood.

Is depopulation and the purposeful destruction of the social and economic structure of southern Lebanon what the ALP supports?

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:17 AM | | Comments (0)
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