"Horrific beyond belief"
The savagery and barbarity of Israeli forces during their occupation of Jenin and other Palestinian cities is now revealed in graphic pictures and in the harrowing stories of the survivors and relief agencies. Although the Israelis forcibly excluded aid workers, medical teams, investigators and the media for a time the truth is getting out and will continue to come out. The special UN envoy to the region, Terje Roed-Larsen declared what he saw in Jenin as "horrific beyond belief". The Israelis systematically destroyed homes, roads, electricity networks, sewerage systems, water supplies and medical facilities. Despite the bull-dozing of homes with people still inside and the gunfire of the Israeli tanks and planes, the Palestinian people have not been defeated or cowed. They remain determined to continue and even intensify their struggle for an independent State, the withdrawal of all Israeli forces from the cities and towns of the West Bank and for the removal of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land. Compared to the heroism of the Palestinian people, the response of many governments, even those which support the Palestinian cause, has been pathetically weak. The United Nations has passed a number of resolutions expressing widely held international demands but has failed totally to take any step to implement them. It has now agreed, after the destruction and the killings have taken place, to send a mission to Palestine, to look at what the Israeli killing machine has done and to view the destruction, that by their own inactivity, they failed to prevent. The Israeli murderers have not only ignored the United Nations but have also ignored the hypocritical and weak remarks of the President of the United States who thinks of himself as all powerful. Bush gave the green light to the Israelis to do as they please, declaring that "Sharon is a man of peace". Is the United Nations going the same way as the former League of Nations which collapsed because the big powers at the time failed to act to stop the aggression and war preparations of the fascist leaders, Hitler and Mussolini? Where is the responsible and clear leadership of the five permanent members of the Security Council — Britain, China, France, Russia and the US who have, by their status, taken on special responsibilities to maintain the peace of the world? By their virtual silence, except to adopt pious resolutions, they have not only failed to act to stop the Israeli carnage but are failing to warn the world of the emerging dangers of endless war which underlies the false claims that there is a "war against terrorism". In the pre-World War II situation, the Soviet Union alerted the world to the danger of fascism and helped to mobilise the people of all countries that fascism meant war. Today, a similar warning and leadership is needed — it is that the US "war against terrorism" in alliance with Zionism, also equals war. War is being prepared on a scale and barbarity that will surpass even that of the Nazis. It has nothing to do with opposition to terrorism, it is terrorism. The Israeli Government is attempting to justify its war against the Palestinian people by claiming that it is part of the fight against terrorism and that if it fails, the state of Israel will be destroyed. The Guardian and the CPA do not support acts directed solely against civilians while recognising that such acts by some Palestinians are a direct consequence of the systematic refusal of the Israelis over many years to withdraw from Palestinian lands and support the formation of an independent Palestinian State. If this were done, such acts of desperation would stop. Furthermore, the assertion that the survival of the State of Israel was at stake is a lie. There is no single State that neighbours Israel nor any combination of States capable of defeating the Israeli armed forces which have been financed and supplied with the most up-to-date weapons by the United States. Furthermore, Israel has nuclear weapons, a fact that has never been condemned by the US, by the UN or by the other major Western Governments. At the same time, abhorrence is expressed any time that Pakistan or India tests a nuclear weapon and other countries are systematically charged with preparing "weapons of mass destruction". Such is the hypocrisy and lying that has become a major feature of the statements of leading Western politicians. The fate of the world now lies in the hands of the millions of demonstrators who have taken to the streets across the world in solidarity with the Palestinian people and against the Israeli aggression and barbarous destruction of even the infrastructure of Palestinian society. Once again, demonstrations took place in Australian cities over the weekend. Large demonstrations took place in New York and other US cities last Saturday. Last week's Guardian listed demonstrations that had taken place in many other world cities. These actions need to be maintained and strengthened and made more united. Disunity at the present time will leave the warmongers in control of governments with disastrous consequences. Unless the war danger is opposed, just as fascism was opposed, observers in bthe future will declare the destruction of many other towns and cities as "horrific beyond belief", as they suffer the same fate and today's barbarians vent on the world the only "solution" that they know — war without end. The immediate steps necessary to stop the carnage are to establish an Independent state of Palestine, to force the withdrawal of all Israeli forces from the lands of the Palestinian state and to dismantle the Israeli settlements on Palestinian territory. The implementation of these measures will bring peace to the region and eliminate the causes which have led some Palestinians to use their bodies to convey their desperation.