Back to PLO Bulletin 1-15 July 1979


As part of the strategy for an imperialist Middle East settlement charted under the auspices of the United States at Camp David, Tel Aviv's troops have escalated their acts of aggression against South Lebanon during the past three months. In what one American newspaper has termed the "first post Camp-David war," Israeli artillery has shelled Lebanese towns and villages and Palestinian refugee camps on an almost daily basis. Israeli combat aircraft pound civilian concentrations in South Lebanon, while local militiamen, under the command of Israeli-sponsored separatist Major Saad Haddad, have attacked posts of the United Nations interim force (UNIFIL) in Lebanon.

One of the objectives the Camp David co-plotters wish to obtain from these acts of terrorism is, in the words of Israeli Premier Begin, "to smash the PLO by means of continuous attacks." The chief result of the persual of this naive dream has been large casualties among non-combatants, including women and children, whose houses are not built to withstand air and naval assaults. In the past three months, hundreds of Lebanese and Palestinian civilians have been killed or wounded. Over sixty were reported killed in April alone. An estimated 60,000 new refugees have fled the South for cover elsewhere in the country.

A comparison of figures for civilian suffering and the minimal casualties among the Palestinian armed forces clearly discredits Begin's claim of destroying the PLO. But Begin has other goals: in the background of these recent attacks lies the classical Zionist vision of expansion. Historically, both the Zionist movement and the state of Israel have coveted the resources of South Lebanon, particularly the Litani River. Observers agree that the Zionist strategy is to depopulate the South and to force the United Nations forces to withdraw, paving the way for an extension of Israeli control, north of the enclave of Major Haddad.

The lack of a clear political mandate and of weaponry for the United Nations Forces in South Lebanon, who are supposedly there to facilitate Israeli withdrawal, aids this strategy.

The other major objective of the Israeli aggression that aids the Camp David process is to draw in Syria, which as a member of the Arab Steadfastness Front has rejected the Israeli-Egyptian separate accords and their denial of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. The rationale is that if Syria is drawn into a war with Israel, which has been supplied with the latest U.S. arsenal, Syria could be pressured into signing an agreement with Israel on American terms.

Thus, on June 27, Israel used U.S.-supplied F-15 planes to attack older generation Mig-21s of the Syrian airforce over South Lebanon. The U.S. claims that these planes were delivered to Israel to use only for "defensive purposes." The same claim was made for the U.S.-supplied cluster bombs, used by the Israelis all over South Lebanon.

Clearly, the U.S., Egyptian and Israeli leaders have not grasped that American technology, Israeli terrorism and Sadat's complicity might destroy villages and murder civilians, but will never be able to break the will of a people. If that were the case in history, Hitler would have ruled the world.

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