Today, July 30th, another massacre was committed in Lebanon: More than sixty civilians, among them 37 children, were killed by Israeli bombs while they were sleeping in shelters in the village of Qana. They died not very far away from the mass grave holding the bodies of 106 civilians burned by a previous Israeli attack in April 1996 inside a shelter provided by a UN battalion Reacting to this terrible news, the only sane decision that needs to be made immediately is that of a ceasefire. A ceasefire would allow for humanitarian relief to reach the innocent victims, for the bodies to be buried instead of being eaten by the dogs, and for all the underlying problems to be negotiated and eventually solved. More victims can only produce more hatred.
In the last few days, Lebanon has been promised by the EU, the UK and the US help in rebuilding its infrastructure and humanitarian aid to assist the eight hundred thousand internally displaced persons and "humanitarian corridors", but they stopped short of demanding a ceasefire, which encouraged Israel to continue with its "mission" of unilaterally enforcing the resolution to disarm Hezbollah. With that same logic, Hezbollah could argue it has a mission to enforce the many UN Security Council resolutions demanding Israel to withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories and to implement the right of return of the Palestinian refugees.
On July 27, Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon said that Israel had given civilians ample time to leave southern Lebanon. "All those now in south Lebanon are terrorists who are related in some way to Hezbollah," he said, according to the BBC. The same strategy is in these days deployed in the Gaza Strip where the populations of neighborhoods and refugee camps are asked to leave their homes. This comes down to blatant collective punishment of entire populations.
The escalating violence in Lebanon can not be solved unilaterally with self-proclaimed righteousness by any party. Peace is negotiated between enemies, not with friends. And the first step to any negotiation is a ceasefire. Or is it that every child has to die so that they do not grow into "terrorists"? A year ago, the UK Prime Minister championed the cause of including in the UN mandate the "responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity".
Yet the UN, the European Union, The United States and the United Kingdom have failed in their responsibility to protect the Lebanese and Palestinian children. Or even to clearly condemn the latest Israeli criminal acts.
The international civil society and social movements are raising their voice and mobilizing throughout the world not only to express their indefectible solidarity with the Lebanese people, but also to build a huge international barrier against the global war of re-colonization of the world. We are demanding
• An immediate and unconditional cease-fire, in Lebanon as well as in the Palestinian Occupied Territories!
• The implementation of full sovereignty to Lebanon and the national rights of the Palestinian people!
• No NATO forces on the Lebanese territory! We support the call of the international solidarity delegation in Lebanon for an international day of protest and solidarity on August