The New Worker
The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 3rd September 2004
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END THE BLOODSHED - end the Israeli occupation!
By our Arab Affairs correspondent
PALESTINIAN resistance fighters rocked Israel this week with
devastating suicide-bomb attacks in Beersheba on Tuesday that killed 14
Israelis and left a further 90 wounded.
The attacks were carried out by members of the Palestinian Muslim
Brotherhood Hamas, who boarded two buses in the centre of the largest
city in southern Israel strapped with explosives.
In a statement claiming responsibility for the attack, Hamas said it
was a “present” to Palestinian patriots currently on hunger-strike in
Israeli jails and vengeance for the murder of two top Brotherhood
leaders by Israel earlier in the year. Thousands of Palestinian
prisoners have been on an indefinite hunger strike since 15 August in
protest at their living conditions in Israeli jails.
Israeli premier General Sharon responded in his usual manner: more
arrests and curfews, the demolition of the homes of the two
Palestinians who carried out the action and a step-up of Israeli
attacks against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.
“We will fight this terror with all our might,” Sharon said in
Tel Aviv while around the world Zionist diplomats used the Beersheba
bombing to justify the extension of Israel’s illegal concrete wall
across the south of the Zionist entity.
Palestinian President Yasser Arafat condemned the Hamas bombings and
stressed his leadership’s opposition to attacks on civilians. Arafat
also repeated his call for an immediate Israeli ceasefire and the
resumption of peace talks.
“The Palestinian interest requires a halt to attacks that harm all
civilians so as not to give Israel the necessary pretext to continue
its aggression against our people,” Arafat declared.
Palestinian premier Ahmad Qurei, currently in Egypt for talks, equally
declared that “killing civilians, whether from the Palestinian side or
from the Israeli side, will achieve nothing except hatred and more
enmity and therefore we condemn that strongly”.
But Hamas was unrepentant. Gaza official Mushir al Masri denounced the
hypocrisy of the international community that condemned Palestinian
violence but said little or nothing about the ongoing slaughter of
Palestinians by the Israeli army.
“When we attack the Zionists in self-defence, the world rises up in
anger. But when the Zionist thugs murder our women and children in cold
blood and destroy our homes and farms the world resorts to a deafening
silence,” he said during an interview with Al Jazeera TV.
The killing of Israeli civilians was in retaliation for the killing of
Palestinian civilians he declared.
“We can’t accept a situation where Palestinian women and children
are slaughtered in cold blood while the lives of Jews are spared. Let
them stop targeting Palestinian civilians and we will stop targeting
The Hamas official dismissed Israeli promise of more assassinations to
come. “Israel has been waging a criminal and relentless war on us for
many years…their threats will not make us flinch from continuing our
struggle for freedom. We have no choice but to continue the resistance
against this satanic occupation”.
The Palestinians are outraged at the construction of Israel’s apartheid
wall that has virtually annexed more Arab land in the West Bank, land
that is under the heel of a brutal occupation that has continued for
over 34 years.
Endless Israeli raids have destroyed the authority and infrastructure
of the “autonomous” zones still nominally under the control of Yasser
Arafat’s Palestinian Authority and the American-sponsored “road track”
peace process was killed off long ago in Washington and Tel Aviv.
The Zionists have killed over 3,500 Palestinians since the
current Palestinian intifada (uprising) against the Israeli occupation
began four years ago. The resistance has killed about a 1,000 Israeli
troops and Zionist settlers over the same period.
THE IRAQ WAR, and why Britain went to war last year, simply
won’t go away no matter how much Tony Blair might wish it would. Former
BBC chief Greg Dyke has stuck his knife into his former friend in
serialised memoirs that defend Andrew Gilligan, the BBC journalist
whose report on the “dodgy dossier” exposed the Government’s lies over
Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction and ultimately led to the
mysterious death of Dr Kelly.
Dyke states that: “The charge against Blair is damning. He was either
incompetent and took Britain to war on a misunderstanding or he lied
when he told the House of Commons he didn’t know what the 45-minute
claim meant. We were duped. History will not be on Blair’s side. It
will show that the whole saga is a great political scandal”.
There has to be a full public inquiry into the question of the dodgy
dossier to answer, once and for all, the question of whether the Prime
Minister deliberately misled Parliament and the public in the run up to
the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq. There must be an inquest into the
death of Dr Kelly, the weapons expert at the heart of the row, to
establish if he really did take his own life, as the Hutton inquiry
assumed, or whether there was foul play.
Now George W Bush has told Tory leader Michael Howard that he
will not be welcome at the White House for having the temerity to
suggest that Blair should consider his position as prime minister if
the allegations over the dodgy dossier proved to be true. Howard can
look after himself but it is a sorry state indeed when an American
president thinks he can not only call the shots at Downing Street but
also dictate terms to the leader of the opposition.
Tony Blair’s craven support for the most venal and aggressive sections
of the British ruling class has drawn the country into a colonial
adventure, at the bidding of US imperialism, that is ending in
disaster. The heroic Iraqi resistance has brought the American puppet
regime to its knees over the past few weeks. The price of oil is
soaring on the world market.
The pro-European section of the ruling class is aghast at Britain’s
isolation with the powers that count in the European Union and the
collapse of British imperialism’s standing – now less than zero — in
the Arab world.
The crisis has plunged the country into a political crisis not seen
since the Corn Law and Free Trade divided the ruling class in the
nineteenth century. An anti-war movement, millions-strong, has
demonstrated the anger and disgust amongst the people at the criminal
war and occupation of Iraq.
Blair thinks he can do what he likes. It’s up to the labour movement to
prove him wrong.
Dyke calls it a great political scandal. What really would be
scandalous is if Blair is allowed to get away with it.
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