[Marxism] Palestine elections

Paddy Apling e.c.apling at btinternet.com
Sat Jan 28 05:12:22 MST 2006

Yesterday's leading article from the Morning Star (UK):

A barrier to peace
(Friday 27 January 2006)
THE stunning victory won by Hamas in the Palestinian elections 
indicates, at the least, that the Palestinian Authority has 
demonstrated its ability to run a transparent and fair election.

This is in stark contrast to the US where a candidate backed by big 
business and the military industrial complex can steal an election 
through corruption, intimidation and media complicity.

And yet the US beneficiary of that electoral coup, George W Bush, 
feels that he has the right to criticise the Palestinian people for 
their choice.

He has echoed Israeli political leaders' statements that they will 
refuse to deal with Hamas unless it recognises Israel's right to 
exist as a state.

And international agencies have fallen in behind the White House 
line, suggesting that the Hamas poll victory represents a setback for 
the peace process.

They should do a quick reality check. There is no peace process in 
progress. There are no negotiations taking place.

And the blame for this barrier on the path to a negotiated settlement 
does not lie with Hamas or Fatah but with Israel and its backers in 
the US and the EU, which support Israel's colonisation of Palestinian land.

Israel was encouraged in its ploy of smearing the late Palestinian 
Yasser Arafat as a godfather of terrorism and announcing that there 
was no Palestinian partner with whom Tel Aviv could negotiate.

Despite initial warm words directed at Mr Arafat's successor Mahmoud 
Abbas, he too has been kept at arm's length.

Israel and its US sponsor have ordered Mr Abbas to disarm and 
dissolve what they call terrorist groups and what the Palestinian 
people see as legitimate resistance organisations to lift the yoke of 
bloody colonial occupation from their shoulders.

Mr Abbas and Fatah did not do this, simply because they could not do 
it. It would have resulted in a Palestinian civil war. Their refusal 
to ignite such a conflict is used to excuse the US-Israeli further 
sidelining of President Abbas.

In short, those who decry the election of Hamas must accept their 
responsibility for making the secular Fatah leadership appear 
irrelevant and impotent.

The Palestinian view that double standards are operated by the big 
powers and by international media is correct.

While Hamas military units have, generally speaking, observed a 
ceasefire for over a year, Israeli armed forces have continued their 
programme of assassinations, casual killings, house demolitions and 
eviction of Palestinians from their land by means of the apartheid 
wall. And yet, Hamas is described as the enemy of peace.

Whoever the Palestinians elect, the West Bank is still Palestinian 
land and it must be decolonised.

Imperialist demands that Palestinians should accept the bantustan 
crumbs from the Israeli table amount to complicity with the zionists' 
colonisation project.

Lessons must be learned from the struggle against apartheid South 
Africa, with more people-to-people contacts with the Palestinians and 
greater efforts made to isolate Israel until its leaders accept the 
Palestinian people's right to an independent state, not just in 
theory but in reality.

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