A Reply on Palestine

Domhnall donaloc at peterquinn.com
Wed Apr 3 08:24:20 MST 2002

A few Comments:

1. I do think what is happening in Palestine could be usefully termed as
genocide at present.

2. Some of the criticisms of my last post seemed to misinterpret my defence
of Arafat/PLO at this moment for a blank card in regard to his/their
policies. I don't suggest giving that to anybody. All I say is that
attacking Arafat right now in the face of Israeli terror tactics is stupid.
Defence of Arafat now is tightly aligned to defence of the Palestinian
people - he is symbolic of their struggle around the world - he is well
recognised and considered a great man of peace. The Israeli's focus upon him
is backfiring, but not sufficiently. True he's powerless but he is a
figurehead, therein lies his importance.

3. A focus on Al-Aqsa is required:



As for the Tanzim militia's latest involvements and the current state of
play in Bethlehem:



In as far as the latest information I have goes (it's not confirmed anywhere
on the net yet), there are a couple of hundred militants 'holed up' in a
Christian church in Bethlehem. The Israelis are seiging them with tanks -
many are wounded. Arafat's brother has called for urgent intervention. The
IDF prevented some hundreds of clergymen from entering; clearly, they want
to eliminate those inside.

This whole operation is about the Israeli's creating a Palestinian people
without any self-defence structures; that is the outcome which is being
sought by Sharon and backed by the US at this stage.
Eliminating/disempowering Arafat, Fatah, Al-Aqsa, Tanzim, etc is a central
part of that strategy. To sloganise about what the Palestinian people want
or will not accept whilst disregarding who is out on the streets doing the
dying is pitiful. Old statistics about levels of support aren't particularly
important just now since Arafat is almost a martyr across the whole of
Arabia and to the Palestinians he is very symbolic of themselves. It is
precisely this reason why the Israeli's won't kill him. I think that they
would prefer to make him absolutely powerless without any military

What we have discovered through the recent Israeli response to the Saudi/US
deal is that they won't even accept any accommodation. In effect, they won't
allow Fatah to compromise with them. Netanyahu was on yesterday and I think
it's clear that they want to destroy anything which remotely challenges
their agenda - they will only deal with a puppet structure and despite any
reservations/slogans you may have read, Fatah could never meet their demands
in this regard.

At this juncture, they have actually simplified our tasks - old arguments
which would have separated those in favour and against Oslo are no longer
appropriate. The immediate tasks are the same for all of us. That's why we
don't need to start slagging any section of the Palestinian struggle right
now, left or right, secular or Islamic. The tasks have conformed. I'm sure
that those fighters languishing in that church don't care too much about
who's for or against Oslo. The thing has gone way beyond these dated
arguments. Name calling about corruption or slogans about the need for an
Arab rising are superfluous just now as they are not issues of concern. Of
concern, is supporting the Palestinian people and their elected
representatives against what Ed rightfully noted was Nazionism.

In Solidarity,

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