by our Arab Affairs correspondent
THE LEADERS of Syria and Iran pledged full support for the Palestinians at a summit in Damascus this week.
Syrian President Basharal Assad held high-level talks with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday covering strategic co-operation in the economic, scientific and political fields and delivering a slap in the face to the Americans who have been working at fever-pitch to drive a wedge between Syria and Iran and isolate the Islamic Republic in the Arab world.
At a joint news conference in the Syrian capital the Iranian leader said Syria and Iran were united in their support for the Palestinian resisting adding that "The Zionist occupiers are destructive microbes, because Zionism itself is occupation and aggression."
Iran and Syria would stand together to "resist foreign intervention and the major powers trying to impose their hegemony over the region" in a natural strategic alliance "built on shared principles and interests," Ahmadinejad declared
Syrian President Al Assad said his country backed Iran's right to peaceful nuclear energy and the West could not accuse Tehran of having an illegal programme without scrutinising Israel, widely rumoured to have atomic weapons arsenal amassed with Western help.
"Those who accuse Iran must tell us what they are going to do about Israel's decades-long nuclear military programme to have a modicum of credibility," he said.
Back in Washington President Obama met Israeli President Shimon Peres as US imperialism's diplomatic efforts go into top gear to build a reactionary Arab front against Iran to force the Islamic Republic to abandon its independent nuclear programme and to comply with what the Americans want in Iraq once us combat troops are withdraw.
But this front which will inevitably revolve around Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the other oil princes cannot openly link hands with us imperialism while America's major pawn, Israel, continues to openly oppress the Palestinian Arabs.
Former premier Tony Blair, the ineffectual representative of the equally irrelevant international "Quartet" that is supposedly mediating between Israel and the Palestinians, has been wheeled out to promote yet another "new strategy" .
He told the press in occupied Arab Jerusalem that a "plan" was being worked out at the highest levels of the Obama administration this week.. But when asked what it consisted of the admitted that he didn't know any details.
Barak Obama has returned to the Clinton line in favour the "two state" solution which was the basis of Israel's old "Barak plan" that was rejected by the late Yasser Arafat at Camp David in 2000 because it there was little or nothing in it for the Palestinian refugees.
The old Israeli government went along with a revised plan for a Palestinian West Bank and Gaza state, trading undeveloped Israeli territory alongside the Gaza Strip for the chunks of the West Bank they want to keep, like the swathe of urban sprawl they call "Greater Jerusalem"
Israel's new coalition would go along with this whatever the die-hard Zionist politicians say in Tel Aviv. But Tel Aviv's refusal to address the problem of the millions of refugees makes it unacceptable even for the Abbas administration in the West Bank, let alone Hamas in Gaza.
So the cycle of futile "plans" "processes" and "tracks" begins again. The Americans hope that the illusion of momentum on Palestine will be sufficient to provide their Arab clients with anew sop to justify their dependence on the United States on the Arab street.
But Arab patience is wearing thin and as events in Gaza and Iraq have shown, time is definitely not on America's side in the Middle East.