WW articles on Palestine
donaloc at peterquinn.com
Thu Apr 4 04:47:46 MST 2002
I think this article has a great deal of understanding in it and brings up
the point about the choice of full-scale war in preference to negotiation;
in particular, their reading of the situation in regard to the Powell
approach vs the Cheney approach. They have generalised the argument to an
analysis of the whole strategy the US ruling class is using to expand their
Via Workers World News Service
Reprinted from the April 11, 2002
issue of Workers World newspaper
WORLD PROTESTS DEMAND: "BUSH, ISRAEL--STOP YOUR
Millions March in Solidarity with Palestine
By Richard Becker
The strong support from Washington for Israel's massive
assault on the Palestinians may appear paradoxical to some.
Massive demonstrations have swept the Middle East, worrying
the pro-U.S. regimes in Egypt, Jordan and elsewhere, and
seemingly making it more difficult for the U.S. to move
ahead with its plans for a new war against Iraq.
Others see the Bush administration's stance as evidence that
it is being "held hostage" by the pro-Israel lobby; that is,
that the administration has assumed a position that runs
counter to its own interests in order to satisfy the needs
The reality is that the most extreme, adventuristic and
militarist elements, who tightened their grip on the reins
of government in the aftermath of Sept. 11, view the U.S.-
armed Israeli offensive as the opening of a new, wider war
of domination in the Middle East.
In order to carry out the war, and particularly a new attack
on Iraq, conventional wisdom says that the Palestinian-
Israeli struggle must first be calmed down. Even the most
pro-U.S. leaders in the Arab world, like Egyptian President
Hosni Mubarak, have repeatedly stated that an attack on Iraq
while the struggle was still raging in Palestine would
produce "an explosive situation" in the region.
Vice President Cheney's tour of 10 Middle East countries in
March dramatically illustrated the problem. While it was
intended to line up support or acquiescence for a new U.S.
war on Iraq, Cheney ran into the Palestine-Israel conflict
in every Arab capital he visited. The Palestinian struggle
had become an obstacle to the administration's war plans.
The argument in Washington has been how to remove that
obstacle in order to get on with the wider Middle East
agenda. One side, led by Secretary of State Powell, has
advocated a renewal of negotiations. Powell was clearly
behind the Saudi plan passed by the Arab League. The idea
was that the Palestinians would call a halt to the struggle
and talks would then resume, possibly leading to the
creation of a Palestinian mini-state on part of the
territory of the West Bank and Gaza. Powell's aim is to
liquidate the struggle by splitting the Palestinians and
making the Palestinian Authority beholden to the U.S.
But there is another view in Washington, as Sharon was well
aware, of how to achieve the same objective, the liquidation
of the Palestinian resistance movement.
Cheney, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and others see the
Palestinians as a whole as a force that must be crushed and
destroyed as part of subjecting the region as a whole. And
it is this view that is holding sway in the Bush
Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld have repeatedly promised a
prolonged and far-flung war. Phase I of the endless war was
Afghanistan. Phase II is Palestine.
If they succeed in these opening phases--and success is far
from assured--Iraq, Iran and Syria will be future targets,
as indicated in remarks by both Bush and Rumsfeld on April
The administration's aim is the recolonization of the entire
vital Middle East, home to two-thirds of the planet's known
To achieve their neocolonial objectives, the U.S. leaders
are seeking to crush all who would resist. The Palestinian
struggle is at the very heart of the liberation struggle in
the Middle East, as evidenced by the militant solidarity
protests that have swept the Arab world in recent days.
The unambiguous support of the Bush administration for the
Sharon offensive, and the fact that the Pentagon has
supplied the F-16 fighter-bombers and Apache helicopters
being used by the Israeli military, make it clear that this
must be called what it is: the U.S.-Israeli war against the
ANTI-WAR MOVEMENT MUST SUPPORT PALESTINIANS
The stakes in this struggle are very high, first and
foremost for the Palestinians, who are fighting for their
long-denied right to self-determination. But it is not only
the Palestinians who will be greatly affected by the
If the combined might of the U.S. and Israel--which are the
first and fourth-rated military powers in the world--were to
be successful in crushing the Palestinian Revolution, new
wars against Iraq and other countries in the region would
likely come sooner rather than later. U.S. global domination
would be greatly enhanced, to the detriment of the masses of
working people around the world and here at home as well.
The Palestinian struggle, in other words, is today the key
barricade in the world struggle against imperialism.
All who truly stand for justice and against war must rally
to the side of the Palestinians in their heroic and unequal
fight. This is especially true in the United States, the
heartland of Palestinian oppression, where the traditional
peace movement has too often in the past looked away from
the struggle in the Middle East.
Twenty years ago this June, in the midst of the U.S.-backed
Israeli invasion of Lebanon, an anti-nuclear war rally was
attended by a million people in New York City. The
organizers of that rally disgraced themselves and their
movement by refusing to address the carpet bombing of Beirut
taking place as they gathered. No anti-war or peace movement
is worthy of that name if it does not forthrightly defend
the Palestinian people today.
Solidarity with the Palestinian cause will be a central
focus of the April 20 marches called by the International
ANSWER coalition in Washington and San Francisco.
- END -
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I have also attached the bulk of another one of their articles...they are
really putting some good stuff together. It's not on their website; so I
trust people won't mind me sending it.
ARAB WORLD ENGULFED IN PROTEST
By G. Dunkel
Since Israel's all-out invasion of the Palestinian
territories, millions of Arabs from Iraq to Morocco have
taken to the streets daily to support their sisters and
brothers under attack. Tens of thousands in Muslim countries
like Iran, Turkey, the Sudan and Bangladesh, but also in
Western Europe, southern Russia and Japan, also protested
Israeli violence and its patron, the United States
In Yemen and Libya, the demonstrations were massive and
militant. On March 26, hundreds of thousands of Yemenis took
to the streets of the capital Sanaa, according to the French
Press Agency, chanting "Freedom of Jerusalem is a must," "No
to capitulation" and "Let's resist in Iraq and Palestine."
The official SABAA news agency estimated that 1.5 million
people took part in the march. General Popular Congress
Secretary General Abdul Karim al-Iriyani led it and called
on the Arab League to support the Intifada.
On March 31 Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi led a
demonstration of more than 100,000 people in Tripoli and
declared Arab countries must "open their borders and let
through the Libyan volunteers to Jerusalem."
STREET FIGHTING IN EGYPT
Egyptian television covered the Israeli occupation of
Ramallah live. It was reported that a scene in which an
Egyptian driver, who was dying after the Israeli Defense
Forces had shot him, asked the person filming him to take
care of his son caused people to openly weep in the streets
and coffee shops where they were watching.
But they didn't just weep. They got out into the streets and
fought the cops. Over 50,000 Egyptians protested March 31
and April 1, most in Cairo but also in northern cities in
the Delta. In Cairo, the cops tried to control the
demonstrators with tear gas and water cannons. When they
were turned back from the Israeli Embassy, they attacked a
Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet. Nine police injured by thrown
stones and 16 demonstrators went to the hospital. Thirty
demonstrators were arrested.
The slogans of the protest challenged the collaboration and
collusion between Israel and the United States and called on
Egypt to break off the relations it had established with the
Zionist state in 1979.
Street protests in Egypt have been illegal and harshly
repressed ever since President Sadat's assassination in
1981. For Egyptian cops to attack Egyptian students to
protect the Israeli Embassy while the Israeli army was
attacking Palestinians in Ramallah adds to the political
crisis in Egypt. Egypt is the largest and most influential
Some 100,000 Iraqis marched in Baghdad on March 30
denouncing Israel's "savage attacks" against the
Palestinians. "Palestine is Arab, down with Zionism," "Don't
worry Arafat, with our blood we will redeem Palestine,"
"Beloved Saddam, hit Tel Aviv," the demonstrators chanted.
The protesters carried portraits of Iraqi President Saddam
Hussein and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
Some read poems over loudspeakers calling for "jihad (holy
war) for the liberation of Palestine."
In Jordan, the government had to allow the spontaneous
feelings of its citizens, a majority of whom are
Palestinian, to be expressed in the streets, even though the
Jordanian monarchy has warm diplomatic relations and a long
border with Israel.
Jordanian state television, as quoted by the BBC, even said,
"For the second consecutive day, Amman and a number of
cities and refugee camps witnessed marches that hailed the
steadfastness of the Palestinian people and condemned the
criminal Israeli acts against the Palestinian people and
their sacred issue and legitimate national authority."
According to the French press, about 20,000 people marched
in Amman. There were numerous militant protests in and
around refugee camps, where burning barricades were set up
and traffic was stopped. There were some skirmishes with the
cops, but none as serious as the ones in Egypt.
A general strike was called on April 1 in Jordan in
solidarity with the Palestinian people and to back up calls
for a boycott of U.S. goods and a holy war against Israel.
MARCHES IN REFUGEE CAMPS
Tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees demonstrated on
March 29 in refugee camps in Lebanon to denounce the assault
An estimated 30,000 refugees marched at the refugee camps of
Rashidiyeh, Bass, Burj Shamali and Ain al-Helweh in southern
"Death to Sharon, long live Arafat," they chanted at Ain al-
Helweh on the outskirts of the southern port city of Sidon.
Referring to Arafat's nom de guerre, they chanted, "We are
with you Abu Ammar, we are all martyrs to save Palestine."
More than 20,000 refugees demonstrated at the Shatila and
Burj Barajneh camps south of Beirut while 6,000 people
marched at the Beddawi camp in northern Lebanon. Shatila was
the site of an infamous massacre of Palestinians
orchestrated by Ariel Sharon in 1988.
On April 1, according to the German press agency Deutsche
Presse-Agentur, hundreds of Lebanese and Palestinians
demonstrated outside the heavily guarded U.S. Embassy.
"We want to bomb embassies and planes if Arafat is killed,"
demonstrators chanted. "We want to fight, we want to die."
"Stop the massacres against the Palestinians," read a
Demonstrators were led by four ambulances and doctors of the
Palestinian Red Crescent, whose volunteers had been stopped
from evacuating the wounded and the dead in the besieged
town of Ramallah.
The protesters were stopped by Lebanese antiriot police 100
feet away from the embassy, located in Awker, northeast of
Protests even occurred in statelets like Bahrain and Kuwait,
whose feudal rulers are totally dependent on the good wishes
of the United States. Leaders throughout the Arab world are
watching their streets as thousands protest what they see as
Israeli aggression and the "passivity" of their governments
in protecting the Palestinians. These protests, if they
grow, could shake their hold on power.
PROTESTS IN WESTERN EUROPE
A protest in Krasnodar in southern Russia, as reported by
the BBC on March 30, was mainly directed at U.S. special
forces being based in the neighboring country of Georgia.
But a contingent of Palestinian students also marched and
burned some Israeli flags while an "effigy of the American
president was burnt on the banks of the River Kuban."
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