Background on U.S. Support for Israeli Aggression
July 31, 2006
The responsibility for Israel's aggressive wars against Lebanon and Palestine lies completely with the U.S. government.
To begin with, the planes, the bombs, the missiles, and bullets which are killing the Palestinian and Lebanese people are made in the U.S. and largely paid for by the U.S. government which has provided Israel with over $100 billion in military aid over the years.
During Israel's ongoing invasion of Gaza, it began to run low on JP-8 jet fuel for its warplanes. The Pentagon immediately sent Israel $210 million worth of this fuel. Similarly, after carrying out thousands of sorties and dropping hundreds of tons of bombs on Lebanon, Israel began to run out of munitions. The U.S. again responded by rushing Israel a special delivery of precision-guided bombs.
The U.S. government has done everything in its power to thwart any international action (even mild verbal resolutions) which could impede Israel's aggression. On July 13, it vetoed a UN resolution condemning the invasion of the Gaza. After the Rome Conference on July 26, in which the U.S. again undercut international calls for a ceasefire, Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon boasted that "we received yesterday, at the Rome Conference, permission from the world to continue this operation, this war, until Hezbollah won't be located in Lebanon and until it is disarmed." (quoted in NYT 7/27/06).
The fact is that the aims of the wars are the aims of U.S. imperialism.
On July 20, for example, John Bolton, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., said that the war in Lebanon must continue because "we can seize the opportunity to once and forever dismantle Hezbollah."
Secretary of State Rice further said that the war should continue in order to "deal with the underlying problem in the Middle East . . . To isolate the extremists and put in place moderate democratic states."
In addition, the U.S. government has repeatedly linked the war with its demand for changes in the Syrian and Iranian governments.
In sum, the Israeli wars against Palestine and Lebanon are vital fronts in U.S. imperialism's "war on terrorism." The immediate objectives of these wars are to: 1) occupy more of Gaza and the West Bank as well as Lebanon; 2) install puppet U.S.-Israeli governments in Lebanon and Palestine; 3) crush the Palestinian and Lebanese resistance movements; and 4) increase the pressure against Syria and Iran.
A brief look at recent U.S. political history since the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2001 further reveals how U.S. imperialism uses Israeli zionism in its struggle to conquer the Middle East.
- After invading Afghanistan, the second front in the "war on terror" was opened by Bush and Sharon when Israel was given the green light to launch an all-out invasion of the West Bank and occupy every Palestinian city and town in late 2001 and early 2002.
At the height the West Bank invasion, when the whole world was condemning Israel's atrocities, the U.S. Congress, in a nearly unanimous vote, declared, on May 2, 2002, that "the U.S. and Israel are now engaged in a common struggle against terrorism" and the U.S. "stands in solidarity with Israel's actions." In a similar resolution passed on June 5, 2003 by a vote of 399 to 5, Congress again explicitly endorsed Israel's ongoing occupation and war in the West Bank and thanked Israel for its "fight against terrorism as part of the global war against terrorism."
- On April 14, 2004 Bush announced the U.S. government's support for Israel's plan to permanently annex large sections of the West Bank and thus effectively prevent the establishment of any viable, independent Palestinian state.
In a White House statement and a letter to Ariel Sharon, Bush gave official U.S.. sanction to the Israeli program of establishing illegal settlements on Palestinian territory and expanding Israel's borders. Bush said: "in light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli population centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949."
- This winter, shortly after the Palestinian people elected a new government, the U.S. Congress, with the full support of Bush, passed (by a vote of 361-37), the "Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act" which condemned the new government of the Palestinian Authority (PA), cut off all U.S. contact and aid to the PA and "urged members of the international community to avoid contact with and refrain from financially supporting the terrorist organization Hamas or a Hamas-controlled Palestinian Authority."
- On July 20, 2006, immediately after the invasion of Lebanon, the U.S. Congress passed a resolution (by a vote of 410-8) endorsing both the wars in Gaza and Lebanon. After condemning Hamas and Hezbollah as "terrorist," the resolution "supports Israel's right to take appropriate action to defend itself, including to conduct operations both in Israel and in the territory of nations which pose a threat to it." The resolution commends "the President of the United States for fully supporting Israel." While the whole world is condemning Israel's wanton murder of civilians, the U.S. Congress goes so far as to commend "Israel's longstanding commitment to minimizing civilian loss and welcomes Israel's continued effort to prevent civilian casualties." The resolution further urges Bush to "bring the full force of political, diplomatic and economic sanctions available to the Government of the United States against the governments of Syria and Lebanon."