1. The Portuguese Communist Party, following its previously disclosed viewpoints, finds it necessary (…), to reaffirm its stand of a strong condemnation of the Israeli attacks which represent true war crimes, disregard the jost elementary human rights and international conventions and reveal the terrorist nature of the policy of the present Israeli government.

2. (…) We are receiving witness accounts and accusations of the use of non-conventional weapons like white phosphorous and laser arms and of indiscriminate attacks on civilians, including refugee columns, which, if confirmed, cannot go unpunished.

3. As a result of this escalade of Israeli violence — which has the connivance and support of the USA and the European Union — the situation in the already explosive Middle East is today one of the jost tense and dangerous of the last decades and the spreading of the conflict is an increasing danger (…).

4. The Israeli propaganda, supported by the official statements of the great Western powers, tries to conceal that which is increasingly clear: the capture of the Israeli soldiers in Lebanon and in Palestine (…) was merely an excuse to open two fronts of attacks by the Israeli army in Gaza and in Lebanon. We are witnessing the launching of a smokescreen of misinformation in the Western media (…). It is concealed that the capture of the Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip was preceded by two months of Israeli bombardments. It is concealed that the Israeli army regularly carries out "incursions" in Lebanon, since its withdrawal in 2000, and that it continues to occupy parts of Lebanese territory. It is concealed that there is a history of Israeli occupations and massacres of Lebanese people and of the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. It is concealed that Israel has 9000 Palestinian and Lebanese political prisoners confined in its prisons; that during the last 6 years it arrested 4500 Palestinians, to whom it recently added 8 ministers and 25 Palestinian deputies and that refused several offers to exchange prisoners.

5. We are facing an action of deliberate, calculated and prepared aggression, an attempt to destroy the Palestinian Authority on one hand and of Lebanon as an independent state on the other. And so, the present crisis cannot be separated from the whole history of the central Palestinian issue, in which the Israeli behaviour is marked by a policy of annexation of territories, of threats, interference and violence against its neighbours and the control of natural resources like water – which is one of the reasons of the ongoing invasion of Lebanon and of the objective of creating a so called "interposition" area, controlled by military forces at the service of Israeli interests. The present offensive can also not be separated from the construction of the "Zionist wall", from the Israeli unilateral declaration of the definition of borders with the annexation of Palestinian territories and finally, from the deliberate deterioration of the living conditions of the Palestinian people, throwing them into a situation of humanitarian catastrophe.

6. Israel, by far the strongest military and nuclear power in the Middle East, invokes its right to defence, but the truth is that the current offensive is part of a wider process led by the US (…). This plan aims the annihilation of several countries as sovereign states (…). A plan, that also aims to annihilate and silence any popular movements of resistance against these goals and to deny the right of the peoples in defence of their independence and sovereignty.

7. Israel, possibly the country that has disregarded more UN resolutions, a country whose history is marked by aggression against other peoples and by a policy of state terrorism carried out by successive governments, now invokes United Nations resolutions to justify the aggression. But here also the misinformation is widespread: the United Nations Security Council resolution 1559 is isolated from countless resolutions on the so-called Israeli-Palestinian conflict — in whose light Israel is an outlaw state — and its content is distorted, namely by concealing that its substance calls for the resolution of the problem of the military militias in a framework of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Lebanon.

8. The Israeli offensive in Lebanon also reveals two new factors in the analysis of the situation in the Middle East: the first is that it configures a more active participation by Israel in the North American plans of domination of the Middle East (…). The second is the already declared wish of the European Union to intervene directly in the region (…).

9. The so-called "solutions" that will be under discussion in the Rome meeting will not be more than the prosecution of the essential objectives of this operation: to solidify the idea of Lebanon as a failed state; to create the conditions for a regime change closer to the Israeli and North American interests, that can lead Lebanon to the condition of a protectorate; to carry out the reoccupation of part of the Lebanese territory, either by direct Israeli occupation or by positioning a NATO or European Union military force and finally to reaffirm the hegemony of the Israeli/US bloc in the Middle East. At the same time, Israel manages to divert the attention of the so-called "international community" from the crimes it continues to commit in the Palestinian territories (…)

10. What is happening in the so-called Middle East and Central Asia is the direct consequence of an increasingly fierce imperialist policy of war, occupation, interference and blackmail in the Middle East, led by the US, Israel and Western European powers. The plunder of the natural resources, the control over the flow of the energy raw materials and the consolidation of the geo-strategic positions in the region are at the root of the ongoing wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon (…). It is time to stop, to weigh the consequences that the prosecution of these policies will have on all Mankind. It is time to give room for peace, to political resolution of the conflicts and the real wishes of the peoples.

11. The solution of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East must compulsorily imply the right of all the peoples of the Middle East to their sovereignty and independence, free from foreign interferences, the withdrawal of the Israeli army from all Lebanese territories and occupied territories of Palestine and the withdrawal of the armies that continue to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan.

12. The Palestinian issue assumes particular importance in this framework. Only the withdrawal of the Israeli army to positions previous to the 1967 occupations and the destruction of the Zionist wall; only the dismantling of all types of Israeli settlements that make the life of these peoples unbearable; only with the end of the siege of Gaza; only the recognition, expressed in several UN resolutions, of the right of the Palestinian people to the construction of their State, free, independent and viable, with their capital in East Jerusalem, side by side with Israel and the solution of the issue of the Palestinian refugees, in accordance UN resolutions. Only after these conditions can we talk of a real just and lasting peace in the region.

13. The immediate withdrawal of the Israeli forces from Lebanon and the exchange of prisoners, as factors for building trust, are two measures that can immediately put an end to the massacres. No other measures which imply in practice the reoccupation of Lebanon will solve the issue or contribute to the dismantling of the Lebanese militias, in a context in which the PCP reaffirms the right of the Lebanese peoples, and all peoples around the world, to resist military occupation.

14. These are the basic reasons why the PCP opposes the deployment of an international military force in Lebanese territory and will frontally oppose the participation of Portugal in this occupation force.

15. The PCP criticizes the action of the Portuguese government (…), all the more when faced with the fact that national citizens were drawn into the condition of war refugees, (…), it only appealed for "contention", aligning with the official standpoint of the White House, while at the same time, rising on its toes to join a reoccupation force in Lebanon. This action is contrary to the principles set in the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic (…). That is why the PCP demands from the Portuguese government a reversal from its policy of total alignment with imperialist interests and a strong condemnation of the Israeli atrocities and of solidarity with the peoples subject to aggression and occupation.

16. The PCP, joining with more than 60 communist and progressive parties around the world who, in a joint communiqué express their solidarity with the peoples and progressive organizations that in Israel, Palestine, Lebanon and all over the Middle East pursue a struggle for a just and lasting peace in the region, appeals to the workers and the Portuguese people, through all means at their disposal, to make their solidary voice heard (…) and to participate in all the demonstrations called for tomorrow in Lisbon and in Oporto, by dozens of Portuguese organizations, including the PCP.

The peace in the Middle East is possible; it is up to the Portuguese people and the peoples of the whole world to fight for it.

Lisbon, 25th July 2006