Workers are paying the price
A socialist in Beirut sent the following eyewitness report:
"The Israeli assault is now spreading to all regions including the mountains and the north. The damage is enormous and the death toll is rising – only half an hour ago one bomb in Ekkar (north) killed 20 people. This only indicates the scale of the attacks and the advanced weaponry the Israelis are using.
"Looking at the infrastucture ruins you can see how powerful they are. We are under seige from all directions – air, sea and land. It is impossible to move about right now and all regions are isolated from each other while the whole country is isolated from the rest of the world.
"The Israelis have been given the green light [by the US] to go ahead with their plan and will not stop until most of the country is underground."
Yasha, a member of Ma’avak Sotzialisti (CWI in Israel) whose family lives in Haifa, said: "The Israeli government is out to restore the prestige of the army which was humiliated twice – once in Gaza when the soldier was captured and the other time when two soldiers were captured by Hezbollah. So now Olmert [Israel’s PM] has to do something to restore their pride and show the whole of the Middle East who is the master, who has the strongest army.
"Hezbollah are trying to demonstrate to the Lebanese that they have the courage and strength to hurt Israel and thereby to make political gains.
"Therefore, this current conflict is about who will gain the most in terms of prestige and political kudos. The people who will lose out in all this will be the working class on both sides."