Stop this destructive war! Workers on all sides are paying the price!
A statement by the Workers Advice Center in Israel in relation to Israel's attack on Lebanon.
Since July 12, Israel has been carrying out a disproportionate and murderous war in Lebanon . It has killed hundreds of innocent civilians, including whole families. It has destroyed much of the infrastructure in the south, creating a humanitarian disaster. Those who suffer most are the workers and the poor. At the same time, the IDF continues to pummel Gaza , here too killing innocent civilians. The goal behind all this destruction is to restore the country's power of deterrence. It needs this power so that it can continue to behave unilaterally––without concessions to the Palestinians or the Syrians.
But Israel too, in the present war, has suffered civilian casualties, both dead and wounded, among the half million or more who live in the Jewish and Arab localities of the north.
The working classes on all sides in the conflict have nothing to gain from this war, no matter what its outcome.
Concerning the Palestinian and Lebanese militias, WAC, which represents the progressive Arab and Jewish workers in Israel , sees no justification for their military actions, which they undertook without consulting their peoples, and which gave Israel a much-desired pretext for showing off its might while exploiting divisions within the Arab camp.
We are concerned about the passive way in which the international community accepts the IDF's exaggerated use of force. We call on political parties and workers' organizations, including the trade unions of the world, to demand a cease fire and the withdrawal of Israeli forces back to the international border.
Israel justifies its massive destruction by claiming that it was attacked first. But if it were truly interested in peace, it could have reached a treaty years ago with Syria , with Lebanon , and, most importantly, with the Palestinian people. All it would have needed to do would have been to withdraw from the areas it conquered in 1967 and recognize the legitimate rights of those peoples.
Without such a comprehensive Israeli withdrawal, there will be neither peace nor stability.
It is time to stop the fighting and begin negotiations on the basis of principles that will guarantee the independence and development of all the peoples in the region.
The Annual General Meeting of WAC Maan, the Independent Trade Union Center that was scheduled for this day was held under the call “Workers against the War”. The significance of the Meeting was the attendance of representatives of different organizations and prominent speakers for workers rights in Israel who were all supporting WAC’s initiative to build an alternative trade union movement.
WAC had a very important meeting today July 29th in Tel Aviv.The message of the meeting was clear - workers in Israel today - Arabs and Jews alike stand against this war that serves the interests of others. All the speakers were united in the conviction that a new initiative to defend workers rights was a timely move and all expressed their support and respect to the special role that WAC plays in the Israeli labor relations being an independent voice for oppressed sectors of the working population including especially Arab workers.
The speakers included National Coordinator of WAC Assaf Adiv - that initiated the meeting, Adv. Orna Lin, Chairwoman of the National Council of the Israeli Bar and leading Lawyer on Labor issues. Dr. Yitzhak Saporta - Tel Aviv University - Speaker against neoliberal agenda in Israel. Adv. Lilach Luria - Kav Laoved the leading organization that defends Migrant workers in Israel, Shevy Korzen - Chairwoman of Hotline for Migrant Workers, Adv. Ittay Swirsky Tel Aviv U. Faculty of Law Clinics for public Justice and Asma Aghbarieh - Candidate of ODA Workers Party for Israeli election.
A significant fact of the meeting was the fact that many WAC members from the Galilee made the trip to Tel Aviv traveling in roads that were bombarded in the last days and leaving behind them their families in the situation of war that affects Arab and Jewish inhabitants of the Northern part of Israel. The attendance of these workers was a sign of strength of WAC and the commitment of its members to speak out for workers rights and to present a real internationalist alternative to the attempt of Israel to mobilize the Jewish population and workers to support its imperialist war on Lebanon. And the tendency of many Arab parties to drag Arab workers behind the narrow sectarian program of Hezbollah.