The Guardian May 8, 2002


US Congress backs Israel the war goes on

By the overwhelming vote of both Houses of the American Congress, US 
leaders have signalled their determined support for the Israeli aggression 
against the Palestinian people and for the war criminal, Ariel Sharon. The 
Israelis have carried and are continuing to carry out horrific destruction 
of the infrastructure of the Palestine Authority. The houses and facilities 
of ordinary Palestinian people are being crushed with unparalleled 
ferocity. The loss of life is mounting daily.

The only criticism that the US Administration has of the Israeli aggression 
is that it may interfere with Bush's war preparations against Iraq  a war 
that is being actively prepared. Beyond that lies more war against other 
Middle East countries.

The conclusion has to be drawn that the US Administration cannot be 
regarded as an "honest broker". Despite the words of George Bush and other 
US leaders suggesting support for a Palestinian state, the reality is 
different. Any Palestinian state, for which they might give support, will 
be a caricature of a free and independent Palestine. It would be criss-
crossed with Israeli "strategic roads" and Israeli strategic settlements.

Despite this reality, some leaders of Arab countries continue the illusion 
that the US could and should play a decisive role in the Middle East.

New manoeuvre

The latest US manoeuvre is to call a so-called "peace conference" of 
selected countries. Its outcome is entirely predictable. It will once again 
devise policies aiming to humiliate and impose the will of the western 
imperialist countries on the Middle East Arab states. There is no intention 
of implementing either the decisions of the UN or agreeing to the 
legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.

The UN Security Council has been pushed to one side. Israel systematically 
rejects its decisions and the US has done nothing to insist that Israeli 
comply with UN decisions.

The other major powers that are permanent members of the UN Security 
Council  France, Russia and China  seem powerless to stem the misuse of 
the United Nations and its steady destruction. Britain, the other permanent 
member of the UN Security Council supports the Israeli aggression and the 
US war policy. These permanent members of the Security Council have a 
special responsibility to enforce the UN decisions and the UN Charter.

UN impotent

The UN has become as impotent as its forerunner, the League of Nations in 
the 1930s  and for the same reason. The big powers did as they pleased 
and, at that time, prevented the League of Nations from making a stand 
against the rising fascist and Nazi powers. The end result was World War 
II.

The only difference today is that the Israeli war against the Palestinian 
people is helping to slowly unite the Arab people and the people of other 
countries who are outraged by the Israeli war crimes.

It is on this background that Yasser Arafat and the other leaders of the 
Palestine Authority have agreed to hand over to British and US custody, 
some leaders of the Palestinian resistance which the Israelis have demanded 
be imprisoned and handed over to them.

This includes Ahmad Saadat, the General Secretary of the Popular Front for 
the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)  one of the principal organisations 
which has organised the resistance of the Palestinian people. He is a 
leading figure in the Palestine Authority.

This act of the Palestine Authority and Yasser Arafat has been vehemently 
denounced by the PFLP. In a statement the PFLP says that the Palestine 
Authority "has committed a new offense that is fraught with dangerous 
meanings and implications.

"The conviction of those heroes by the Palestine Authority, putting them on 
trial, and describing their courageous act that was part of the heroic 
Palestinian resistance and intifada as something 'illegal' will lay the 
basis for putting the whole Palestinian national struggle on trial in 
accordance with the criteria of the rulers in Tel Aviv and their allies in 
Washington.

Warn of consequences

"This situation demands that we warn of the consequences of confusing 
terrorism with the legitimate resistance struggle of our heroic Palestinian 
people.

"This new concession on the part of the Palestine Authority will whet the 
appetite of our people's enemies in Washington and Tel Aviv to demand more 
and more Palestinian concessions.

"We affirm again our resolve to hold fast by the decision to resist the 
occupation by all possible means until our national rights are attained  
the right of return [of refugees], self-determination, and the 
establishment of an independent, sovereign Palestinian state with its 
capital in Jerusalem", concluded the PFLP statement.

Oil

Despite the overwhelming military power of the Israeli armies, the Arab 
countries have the power in their unity to bring an end to the Israeli 
aggression and their war crimes against the Palestinian people.

They have the economic power in the form of oil to force the US and the 
Israelis to end their joint war of aggression by imposing a trade boycott 
on these two countries until the decisions of the UN and the peace 
proposals put forward by Saudi Arabia have been implemented.

A meeting held May 3 of nineteen Arab countries agreed to reactivate a 
decades-old economic blockade of Israel. It was first agreed to in 1951 but 
remained largely inactive and ineffective. The Arab meeting, which was held 
in Damascus, decided to revive the boycott.

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