Around the world, including Australia, people took to the streets to oppose and condemn the violent and bloody aggression by the Israeli Government of war criminal Ariel Sharon and the continued support by the George Bush administration. Up to 5000 marched in Sydney demanding "Free Palestine" in a protest outside the American and Israeli Consulates. Smaller demonstrations took place in Brisbane, Perth, and Melbourne. In Paris 20,000 took to the streets. In Rome 20,000; Berne Switzerland 9000; in New York 10,000 marched in preparation for a bigger rally on April 20. In Miami Beach Florida a 250-strong demonstration took place. Mahmoud Eltalla, a petrol station owner who was born in the Gaza Strip said "What the Nazis did to them [the Jewish people], they're doing to us right now". Thousands have marched in Jakarta and there have been massive demonstrations in other Arab and Muslim countries. Militant and even desperate actions have taken place in Israel itself where peace activists opposing Sharon's genocidal war have demanded "Withdraw the tanks", and called for "International Intervention Now!" "Stop the madness", "Fascism is in power", "A Government of War Criminals" and "Occupation is Terror, the Refuser is a Hero" were other demands of the Israeli peace activists. Israel is preventing ambulances from giving aid to the wounded, a blatant war crime. Israel is attempting to cover up its killings by preventing journalists from going into some areas. There are reports of a massacre in the Palestinian city of Jenin. Sharon's war immediately followed a meeting of the Arab League Summit that endorsed a peace plan put forward by Saudi Arabia. The plan demanded the withdrawal of all Israeli occupation forces from Arab lands captured in the 1967 war of aggression, the return of Palestinian refugees, the creation of an independent Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital. At the same time the plan offered the recognition of Israel by Arab countries. (At present only Jordan and Egypt recognise Israel.) The Arab Summit also saw an agreement on the part of Iraq to recognise the independence of Kuwait. Prince Saud of Saudi Arabia said, "If Israel refuses peace, we will return to violence. We will return to the threat of widening [the] conflict and to instabilities and God knows what [will] happen." Israel's response to the peace plan, as has happened so often before when peace plans have been accepted by the Palestinian side, was to launch new provocations and military aggression against the internationally recognised Palestinian Authority and the lands it administers — the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Ariel Sharon has no agenda for peace! "This latest assault is part of a clear pattern of behaviour on Sharon's part", said Richard Becker of the International Action Centre. "These attacks on civilian areas are being carried out with US weaponry — F16s, apache helicopters, armoured personnel carriers and much more. The US has supplied more high-tech weaponry to Israel than to any other country he said. The Israeli administration is opposed to peace and the implementation of the Saudi plan which is no more than the resolutions adopted by the United Nations following the 1967 Israeli war against its Arab neighbours. The UN Security Council also adopted a new resolution which called upon both sides to "move immediately to a meaningful cease-fire, immediate cessation of all acts of violence including all acts of terror, provocation, incitement, and destruction". The resolution called on Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories. However the UN still lacks the strength or the will to send an intervention force or to take any measure that would give teeth to its resolutions. At the meeting of the UN Security Council, Secretary Kofi Annan echoed the line of the US and blamed the Palestinians for the crisis confirming once again that he is little more than an American stooge. While the UN has sent so-called "peace-keeping" missions to Afghanistan, East Timor and many other countries, the US veto and lack of will on the part of other UN Security Council members has prevented any intervention to protect the Palestinians. While a number of countries have been pressuring Yasser Arafat to announce a cease-fire, the same sort of pressure is not being applied to the Israeli Government which is the clear aggressor. The Israeli aggression is no less an aggression than that carried out by Iraq against Kuwait but the Western Governments (including the Australian Government) are deathly silent when it comes to Israeli aggression. Israel is violating Article 1 of the United Nations Charter which calls for the "... the prevention and removal of threats to the peace ... suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace ... in conformity with the principles of justice and international law ..." The Charter also calls for "respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples ..." The growing fascist nature of the Israeli Government is indicated in a statement by Israel's Deputy Minister of Internal Security. He declared that Israel should set up detention camps for Palestinians caught with illegal or improper papers. Those people, he said, are potential terrorists. The US administration was forced to vote for a UN resolution on March 30, calling on Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories. This is no more than lip service. A few hours after the resolution had been adopted, Bush held a press conference in which he expressed his "understanding" of Israel's actions and put the responsibility on Yasser Arafat to stop the violence. He did not even mention the UN resolution. Colin Powell has significantly delayed a visit to the Middle East. During the period of this delay, the US hopes that the Israelis will have militarily crushed and destroyed the Palestinian Authority. Another reason for US manoeuvres is their hope that some Arab countries will stand aside while the US and Britain launch their long planned war against Iraq. In this new planned aggression, Britain's Tony Blair has come forward once again as a leading warmonger, cheer leader and strategist. He is knocking together documents which purport to prove that Iraq is developing weapons of mass destruction which are to be used to once again to try to justify their mad and criminal wars. The reality is that there will be no peace in the Middle East until there is real justice and self-determination for the Palestinians. That will only come about when the US is forced to stop its support for the war and the government of Ariel Sharon is replaced by an Israeli Government prepared to conclude a genuine peace with a Palestinian State.