Denouncing Rush to War, Hadash Calls for Peace Talks in Syria

Yesterday, Saturday, April 14, the United States together with the United Kingdom and France, launched strikes on a number of targets in Syria in response to the alleged chemical attack in the Damascus suburb of Douma which they blamed on the Syrian government. Damascus has rejected all the allegations, noting that all of its chemical stockpiles have been destroyed, for which confirmation has been provided by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

A call for an emergency protest in San Francisco that is to be held today against the US military intervention in Syria

A call for an emergency protest in San Francisco that is to be held today against the US military intervention in Syria (Photo: Answer Coalition)

In response to Saturday’s attack by the three Western powers, Hadash —  The Democratic Front for Peace and Equality —  has released a statement saying: “The US military intervention in Syria’s appalling multi-sided war risks escalating an already devastating conflict. The far-right Israeli government appears to be waiting for instructions from President Donald Trump on how to proceed.” Hadash also called for an independent investigation into the horrific chemical weapons attack of April 7, which was used by the US and its allies as the provocation for their attack, so that those responsible can be held to account.

The statement by Hadash went on to say: “Rather than further military action, what is urgently needed is a coordinated international drive to achieve a ceasefire and a negotiated settlement under UN auspices. The humanitarian priority must be to halt the killing on all sides. The need to restart genuine negotiations for peace and an inclusive political settlement of the Syrian conflict, including the withdrawal of all foreign forces, could not be more urgent. We must do everything we can, no matter how challenging, to bring that about.”

Saturday evening, April 14, a demonstration was held at 8:00 pm by Hadash and Communist Party of Israel activists in front of the US Consulate at Ben-Gurion Ave. in Haifa.

In the United States, not all lawmakers welcomed the strike on Syria ordered by President Trump. “This military action against Syria is a strike against a foreign government. Such an act requires a Congressional authorization to use force, and we have not provided one,” Rep. John Garamendi (D-California) said on Twitter. “By illegally bombing Syria, President Trump has once again denied the American people any oversight or accountability in this endless war. Congress, not the president, has the power to authorize military action,” Rep. Barbara Lee (D-California) tweeted after Trump ordered the strike. Senator Tim Kaine (D-Virginia), who noted that Trump does not have any legal authority to wage war against nation states, also called the strike “illegal.. He wondered if Iran and North Korea will also witness the wrath of the US soon.

Demonstrations were held across the United States over the weekend. According to the Answer Coalition: “For the third time in 15 years, the United States government has started a criminal war of aggression against a country and the peoples of the Middle East. Each imperial war is conducted under the pretext of a noble cause. The destruction of Iraq and Libya were conducted based on false, lying propaganda. The illegal aggression against Syria likewise borrows from the George W. Bush playbook by insisting that this is all about chemical weapons. Just as George W. Bush raced to go to war in Iraq in March 2003 to prevent weapons inspectors from verifying that Iraq did not possess weapons of mass destruction, Trump and the Pentagon have raced to bomb Damascus before independent investigators could assess the facts about the alleged chemical attack. Just yesterday, Secretary of Defense Mattis said the United States has ‘no evidence’ regarding the alleged chemical weapons attack.”

“As cruise missiles and bombs crashed into the Syrian capital of Damascus under the order of US Commander in Chief Donald Trump, his critics in Congress and the corporate-owned media have become his supporters. The great brotherhood of imperialism overcame domestic squabbles. Trump appears ‘presidential’ once again. We, the people of the United States, reject the notion of endless war, imperialism and militarism. We condemn Donald Trump and his rubber-stamp congress (including both parties) for conducting a criminal assault against the people of Syria,” concluded the Answer Coalition statement.