Socialist International reaffirms the need for an immediate ceasefire in the Middle East

1 August 2006

The Socialist International, deeply concerned at the continuing conflict in the Middle East, by the pain and tragedy which continues to afflict innocent civilians, women and children, once again strongly reiterates its call for an end to the hostilities in the region and for an urgent and immediate ceasefire.

The logic of peace, not war, should prevail in these testing times for the international community, as should the logic of law, not force, in the region, and no argument should be allowed to stand in the way of the clear, obvious and basic demand for a ceasefire being made by citizens in each of our democracies today.

The Israeli bombing in Qana, which the Socialist International condemns, underlines dramatically once again how mistaken the logic of war is which thus far has driven policy and events in that region. In these events, civilians in Israel are also suffering the consequences of indiscriminate aggression by Hezbollah which we condemn and which only serves to deepen this breach of international humanitarian law, transforming civilians into the central victims in this type of confrontation.

A new dynamic for peace needs to be initiated immediately in the Middle East, with a ceasefire supported by a United Nations Security Council Resolution ; with immediate access for UN humanitarian relief to the victims ; with the release of all those held captive ; with a strengthening of the authority and integrity of the state of Lebanon through the implementation without delay of UN Security Council Resolutions 1559 and 1680 ; with the deployment of a multinational peaceforce on the Israeli-Lebanese border, and with the resumption as soon as possible of peace negotiations between the authorities of Israel and Palestine.

The Socialist International, convinced that it is only through dialogue and negotiation and not through war that peace will be reached, believes that the time has come to work for the holding of a new Peace Conference to lay the foundations and a new framework upon which the countries and peoples of the Middle East, as well as the international community as a whole, can look forward to a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in that entire region.