As a Palestinian who grew up in Lebanon, I lived through the Lebanese civil war and the multiple Israeli attacks on the country. Most of the attacks were targeting Palestinian and Lebanese resistance, not only by attacking obvious anti-aircraft sites and ammunition storage areas, but also by attacking highly populated civilian areas. Israeli strategy, ever since the war of 1947 has been to attack civilians, and even publicize its atrocities in megaphones as was the case of Deir Yassin, in order to achieve two objectives:
1) Either to depopulate the region so that it could conquer the land, or
2) To alienate the guerillas from their civilian support base.
Israel even has a euphemistic name for this illegal aggression, and is an accepted norm in military practice. The label is: Rational Prospect. If Israel’s battle is with the indigenous people, and not necessarily with the local bankrupt regimes that were setup by colonial rulers, then later on supported by the United States government, then it targets the people who produce the guerillas. In an interview during the 1982 invasion of Lebanon, the Israeli chief of staff was asked why target children as young as eight years old. He answered that some of these children are attacking Israeli tanks with magnetic explosives, and although it is a tiny minority participating in the resistance, there is a high probability that these children would grow up to become guerillas. The subtext: Kill them before the grow.
In short, no photographs or footage could capture the degree of devastation that Israel is capable of inflicting on a neighborhood. It has and continues to attack residential towers, with weapons such as vacuum and phosphorous bombs that facilitate the collapse of high rises to the ground, while scorching every piece of flesh within reach. Israel continues to use illegal nerve gas and cluster bombs, without the so-called international community flinching. It is now time to admit that although Israel is a violator of tens of UN resolutions, including 194, 242, 338 and 495, the UN is even less of an international body in a unipolar world. Even Kofi Anan attends the G8, where the real decisions are made. The United Nations, in its Security Council and powerless general assembly has become an occupation force for the Haitian people and a sick playground for the criminal John Bolton, who vetoed resolutions condemning the Zionist state for its actions. Mr. Bolton proudly proclaims that he engineered overturning Zionism is Racism.
I speak as a Palestinian and say that what is happening to the Lebanese people in intensity and scale is much more horrific than the brutality endured by the people of the West Bank and Gaza. It is devastation beyond the scope of human imagination, because it is unnatural for us to think that people ought to, or could be killed in this manner. Israel drops leaflets for people to leave their areas, and then bombs them on the roads. When we escaped Lebanon, the Israeli proxy militias, the Phalangists who helped Israel commit the massacres of Sabra and Chatilla, stopped us and tried to convince us that our convoy would be bombed and coerced us to join another. We quickly escaped from the new convoy and joined an international caravan and soon found out that our assigned car caravan was destroyed by Israel’s fighter jets.
In short, this is Israel and this is how it behaves and it is exactly for these reasons that George Bush and previous presidents have supported it with your tax dollars. A country that is built on settle-ethnic purity, left unchecked, has finally reached its natural outcome, a genocidal exclusionary state.
If we don’t rise up and mobilize during this all-out massacre, then we are complicit, for silence is an act of participation. We must intensify our actions and escalate in a manner that is compatible with the demands of the era. Iraq is occupied. Palestine is experiencing a systematic campaign of sociocide, displacement, and collective imprisonment coupled with starvation. The Lebanese people are being slaughtered in front of our own eyes, and yet there are Zionist apologists who feel that there is a place for them to participate in the discourse and come out to the streets waving these flags representing supremacy and devastation.
Shame on the Israel Action Committee, the new manifestation of the Ku Klux Klan. Shame on the JCRC for calling for an action in support of these atrocities, as if the words of the Holocaust survivors of “Never Again” simply ring hollow in their ears and empty conscience. It is time to protest, time to escalate and intensify our actions. It is time to stop the attacks on the Lebanese people. Moreover, we ask the Jewish community to rise up with us and break away from the criminal representative of their identity, the State of Israel and the local bankrupt institutions that support it. Let us all take to the streets and think Vietnam.