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21 April 1996

Massacre at Qana

Despite the handwringing over the carnage at the Qana refugee camp last week, the West and the United Nations still back Israel's offensive in the Lebanon, writes Eve Anderson.

Many Western leaders have condemned the artillery attack that took the lives of 101 Lebanese civilians taking refuge from the Israeli bombardment at the United Nations camp. But the West still supports Israel's objectives: to destroy Hizbollah, or to force president Assad of Syria to do it for them.

In Moscow, Bill Clinton refused to condemn Israel and put all the blame for the deaths on Hizbollah saying 'there is no way to contain the loss of innocent life once the rockets start firing and the retaliation begins'.

An editorial in the Daily Telegraph put a similar argument:

'Few in the outside world can have any principled objection to Israel's attempted destruction of Hizbollah.'

In fact anyone outside of the Middle East who has no vested interest in the West's domination should object to the war against Hizbollah. The conflict should not be mystified as an inexplicable 'cycle of violence' - it has real roots in the

In 1978 Israel invaded Lebanon in an attempt to destroy the Palestinian refugees based there. It has occupied southern Lebanon ever since. Hizbollah was formed in 1982 to oppose the occupation. There is nothing surprising in the fact that Hizbollah wants to destroy Israel - a state that has been waging war on them for 18 years.

Those Western leaders calling for an immediate ceasefire and for peace negotiations are crying crocodile tears. Among their number are the United Nations Secretary General Boutros-Boutros Ghali. His organisation's record in the middle East is shameful. United Nations Security Council resolution 425, passed in 1978, calling for Israeli withdrawal from the Lebanon has never been acted upon.

Yesterday the United Nations quashed a resolution yet again calling for Israel to withdraw to its borders.

Calling for peace without an Israeli withdrawal is nothing more than a call for an end to Hizbollah resistance to the Israeli occupation. The call for a ceasefire is in effect a call to agree Israel's domination of the region. It is a recipe for war, not peace.

There will be a live chat on latest developments in the Lebanon on Wednesday April 24 at 2200 BST in the Living Marxism chat rooms:

  • There will be a live chat on latest developments in the Lebanon on Wednesday April 24 at 2200 BST in the Living Marxism chat room.

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