Joe Higgins addressing the 2,000 participants said:
On Saturday, July 28th, 2000 people marched in Dublin in opposition to the criminal assault by the Israeli Defence Force on Lebanon. The demonstration was organised by the Irish Anti War Movement and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. The Socialist Party and Socialist Youth participated in the protest and Socialist Party Member of the Dail(Irish Parliament), Joe Higgins TD, addressed the rally that followed and was one of the best received speakers.
Socialist MP condemns brutal IDF bombardment of Lebanon
‘The Socialist Party is proud to stand with the thousands here today in Dublin in solidarity with the suffering people of Lebanon, the suffering people of Gaza and the suffering people of Iraq.
Ordinary people all over the world are outraged at the barbaric destruction of Lebanon and the callous slaughter of hundreds of innocent women, men and children and the horrible maiming of thousands more.
Unfortunately this criminality is nothing new for the people of the Middle East. The brutality of the Israeli regime has for generations inflicted unspeakable suffering on the Palestinian people. For centuries imperial powers have created havoc for the people of the Middle East in general, to serve their own interests.
Just look at the rivers of blood rising on a daily basis to swamp the Iraqi people as the result of the criminal invasion of that country by the United States and Britain. First thousands were killed by their guns and bombs and now there is daily slaughter as a result of the sectarian nightmare which they have unleashed.
The cowardly EU leaders and the Irish Government are not without blame in the assault on Lebanon. Let no one be fooled by some criticisms of Israel. When many of them kept silent on the invasion of Iraq and when the Irish Government facilitated that invasion through allowing the US army use of Shannon Airport, they were creating the conditions whereby Israel could launch its attacks – since they could not carry out these outrages without the support of the United States government. And in its drive to reshape the Middle East in a way that suits its own imperial interests, the United States has been facilitated by this complicity in Europe including by the Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Bertie Ahern and his government.
Once and for all the utter hypocrisy of the so-called war on terrorism is exposed in Lebanon. What is dropping bombs from the sky to slaughter innocent people but the most criminal State terror?
We demand that the bombing is stopped immediately. We demand that the IDF gets out of southern Lebanon. We demand that the thousands of Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners are freed.
I believe Hezbollah has the right to resist the IDF encroachment into Lebanon. But Hezbollah should immediately stop sending rocket s into civilian areas. It is always wrong to indiscriminately target civilians. Attacks on civilians also drive the Israeli working class into the arms of the reactionary Israeli ruling class and government when what is needed is a policy to break the working class from regimes who have led them to disaster on countless occasions.
There is needed a movement of the Arab working class, the Arab peasants and poor to sweep away the corrupt Arab regimes many of whom in reality are the clients of the imperial powers in the region. There is needed a movement of the Israeli working class to sweep away the militaristic, right wing reactionary Zionist regime in Israel.
While we demand the immediate ending of the attacks on Lebanon and Gaza, much more is needed. For in two, three or ten years we can have new outrages inflicting further suffering on the peoples of the Middle East. The economic and social issues need to be addressed. How obscene, for example, that the Middle East produces two thirds of the oil for the entire world but 67% of the Palestinian people live on less than two dollars a day! The oil and the other resources of the region must be taken into the democratic control of the people of the Middle East rather than swell the profits of the oil companies and other multinationals.
On the basis of democracy and socialism, the Arab working class, the Israeli working class and their communities can live in peace with justice and tolerance for all ethnic and religious groups. With imperialism out of the region the different ethnic and religious groups whether Shia, Sunni or Christian can live in tolerance and harmony.
We need an end to occupation. We need the immediate establishment of a free and democratic Palestinian state. And on a global basis we need an end to the obscenity where countless billions of dollars and Euros are spent each year on armaments, in creating weapons which can kill even more people over greater distances. If the thousands of scientists and tens of thousands of other workers engaged each day in the creating of this horrific weaponry had their talents instead directed to the resolution of the problems of humanity, it would make a huge difference in bringing about a world where children die no more from hunger, where clean water can be a reality for every human being and where all of humanity can live in peace.