Immediately following the ceasefire the government of Israel attempted to convince the Israeli population, and its friends abroad, that Israel had ‘won the war'. Now they are forced to beat a hasty retreat from such declarations, as no-one in Israel is stupid enough to swallow them.

The imperialists have been trying to force Lebanon to accept a diplomatic victory for Israel precisely because Israel cannot win this war by military means. The Israeli war cabinet on Wednesday gave approval in principle to the generals' plan for an expanded ground operation, but delayed its implementation in order to give a chance to the UN Security Council to draft a resolution that fits the rulers of Israel as a condition to end the crisis.

Lebanon has a long history, being one of the cradles of early civilisation, but it has been occupied by many different powers, the last being Isreal and Syria. Last time Israel occupied it it was eventually defeated and forced to leave because of the guerrilla war led by Hezbollah. It was Israel’s Vietnam. This is still a factor in understanding what is happening today.

The idea that Israel is a class divided society like any other is not often discussed within the left in the Arab world. Here the Moroccan Marxists have interviewed an Israeli Marxist on the situation in Israel and the Occupied Territories, who explains the need for a socialist perspective and the struggle for internationalism and working class unity across borders.

The air strikes against Lebanon continue, as do the rockets being fired on Israel. The responsibility for the bloodshed and suffering of this new conflict lies first and foremost with the Israeli ruling class, who had clearly been preparing for such a scenario for some time.

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