The Guardian April 10, 2002


Terrorist Israel

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.

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