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

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 Israeli civilians”.

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.


Unanswered questions

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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