Warplanes, tanks and heavy artillery against defenseless civilian targets. This is the true picture of the zionist attacks against the Gaza Strip and Lebanon. Ehud Olmert and the other zionist leaders of Israel are trying to portray themselves as the injured party, who allegedly are merely acting to save the life of an Israeli soldier captured by Hamas commandos in Gaza, and of 2 others captured by Hezbollah guerrillas along the Lebanese border. But in fact, their so-called "rescue operations" in the Gaza Strip are in pursuit of premeditated plans to decapitate the elected Palestinian government and keep Palestine under zionist occupation.

As regards the aggression against Lebanon, even Israeli media reports indicate that the Sharon and Olmert regimes have prepared comprehensive plans to bomb Lebanon on the slightest provocation, which was conveniently provided by the Hezbollah raid. There is no doubt that the plan to attack Lebanon was coordinated with the Bush regime, which just a few months ago was able to manipulate a situation in Lebanon which forced the withdrawal of Syrian forces (which have served as the stabilizing factor in Lebanon since the end of the Lebanese civil war). The aim of the present war on Lebanon is apparently to reoccupy southern Lebanon (which Israel occupied for 18 years up to 2000), to ignite a new civil war in Lebanon, to install puppet regimes in Southern Lebanon and also in Beirut, and even to provoke a war against Syria and Iran which could involve "pre-emptive" US air strikes.

Similar to a nazi blitzkrieg, the zionist offensive is targeting civilian centers and civil infrastructures. Hundreds of Palestinian and Lebanese civilians have been massacred, thousands more were injured and left homeless, and hundreds of thousands were forced to flee to escape the genocidal zionist aggression. In just a few days, the offensive destroyed airports, shipping centers, transport and communication hubs, bridges, power stations, fuel depots and even grain silos. The zionists plan to humiliate and debase the Palestinian, Lebanese and other neighboring Arab peoples with unremitting savagery that neither the Palestinian nor the Lebanese governments alone can stop.

This aggression again shows that zionism enjoys the support of world imperialism — the G-8 meeting in Saint Petersburg expressed its "understanding" of the zionist offensive, in cynical disregard of international law. The terrorist Bush regime is quickly resupplying Israel with bombs and missiles. The United Nations remains powerless to act according to its Charter (by intervening to forge a ceasefire, or at least to protect civilians), and is slow in extending humanitarian assistance. Worse, many Arab regimes remain passive observers of the slaughter of the Palestinian and Lebanese people, because of their collaboration with the imperialists.

While blaming Hamas and Hezbollah for the present war, the Olmert regime conveniently sidetracks the long-standing issue of the apartheid wall that his regime continues to build, which turns Palestinian lands into fragmented stalags and ghettoes on the periphery of zionist settlements. The zionists also skirt the issue of their indiscriminate bombings (dubbed as "targeted assassinations") in the occupied territories even before the Hamas capture of an Israeli soldier, their kidnapping and detention of Palestinian government officials, and their systematic destruction of Palestinian government facilities to further devastate the Palestinian society and economy which is already strangled by a blockade that denies food, medicines and fuel.

Tel Aviv blames the Palestinian militias for armed resistance which it calls "terrorism", but says nothing about the root cause of the crisis in Palestine — the millions of Palestinian Arab refugees and their descendants who were terrorized and driven out of Palestine by the zionists in the first Arab-Israeli war which ended in 1949, and the continued denial of Palestinian rights even in the territories seized by Israel after the Third Arab-Israeli war of 1967.

Successive Israeli regimes spurned the concept of a comprehensive and lasting peace with the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world, and instead pursued the elusive dream of "total victory" — a dream of a "Greater Israel" with the Arabs either removed or subdued. Israeli state terrorism, armed to the teeth by imperialism, has dealt savage blows against the Arabs. Tens of thousands of Arabs — jost of them civilians — have died in the wars and confrontations that have wracked the Middle East since the state of Israel was established in1948.

But zionist state terrorism cannot remain unchallenged. The Palestinians in Palestine, and those in diaspora throughout the region (particularly those in Lebanon), as well as the other Arab peoples oppressed by zionism, are struggling heroically to free themselves from the colonial yoke imposed by the zionists and imperialists.  

For the sake of peace and life, the United Nations must immediately intervene to protect civilians and to end the zionist aggression. An immediate and comprehensive ceasefire must be forged, and closely supervised by a strong UN Peacekeeping Mission. The zionist plans to disregard the duly-elected Palestinian government, to continue building the apartheid wall and further carve up Palestine, to reoccupy southern Lebanon, to ignite another civil war and install puppet regimes in Lebanon, must be foiled. The plans of US imperialism (whose continued support for Israel is ultimately responsible for the violence and instability in the region) to extend the war to Syria and Iran must also be foiled. Israel’s nuclear weapons and facilities must be defused and decommissioned.

Ultimately, there can only be one solution to the nagging Middle East problem — through respect for the UN resolutions on this issue. Past UN resolutions have called on Israel to withdraw from all the occupied territories seized in 1967. The UN has upheld the right of the Palestinians to establish their own independent state on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and recognised the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes or receive appropriate compensation, if they so wish, from the Israeli authorities. The Israeli ruling circles and the Bush administration must accept the right of the Palestinian people to establish their own state and elect their own leadership.

Israel must withdraw from all occupied lands in Syria and Lebanon, withdraw to its 1967 borders, dismantle all settlements and its apartheid wall, accept a viable, sovereign Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem, and resolve the refugee issue consistent with the International Declaration of Human Rights and the UN resolutions passed over decades.

Lasting peace and stability can be assured only with 2 free and independent states — Palestine and Israel — existing side by side with secure borders, and respecting the right of all peoples of the region to live free from occupation and violence. Peace-loving peoples throughout the world can only wish that both states would be secular, multi-racial and non-aligned.

There are around 30,000 Filipino workers in Lebanon, and a number of them have fled the bloodshed caused by the zionist bombing, shelling and invasion of southern Lebanon. Thousands of Filipino workers are also employed in Israel, and some of them are located in the northern areas which are exposed to retaliatory Hezbollah rocket attacks. Every effort should be done by the Philippine government to evacuate those affected Filipino workers who would like to immediately return to the Philippines. Their right to life and security should always be above any other consideration. The international community should also exert every effort to extend humanitarian assistance to all those who are affected by this latest series of zionist state terrorism, as human life is precious irrespective of nationality or religion.

This present plight of Filipino workers in Lebanon and Israel only proves once more that an economy dependent upon the export of manpower will always be unstable. The present Arroyo regime crows that foreign currency remittances of overseas Filipino workers keep our economy alive. This regime should instead be ashamed that its policies of deregulation, import-liberalization and privatization have led to our country’s de-industrialization and the widespread loss of local jobs. Instead of producing and exporting goods, we export workers. Due to low wages and the high rate of local unemployment, even trained professionals are forced to take on menial jobs abroad. Teachers end up as nannies and domestic helpers in foreign homes ; doctors end up as nurses in western hospitals. Foreign employment entails risks, particularly in the Middle East and other volatile areas. Some classes of foreign employment are also risky everywhere, particularly those related to entertainment services. The social costs to a growing number of families of overseas workers (marital separations, behavioral problems due to lack of guidance over offsprings, etc.) are also becoming high.

It is time for the Philippine government to junk the imperialist-prescribed policies which have led to our country’s de-industrialization. Only then can more local job opportunities be created to keep our workers gainfully employed in our own country. Only thus can we stem the tide of our labor export.  

(Philippine Communist Party)
22 July 2006