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Israeli Wall Seals Palestinian Ghettos

All Israeli Troops, Settlers Out of Occupied Territories!
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Israeli Wall Seals Palestinian Ghettos

Defend the Palestinian People!

Reprinted from Workers Vanguard

FEBRUARY 3—Palestinian children in Qalqilya play in the shadow of a three-story-high concrete wall as Israeli soldiers train guns on them from guard towers. A despairing family at a checkpoint pleads with Zionist troops to be allowed to take a pregnant woman to a hospital, only to be turned back. Palestinian construction workers under Israeli military guard, sickened by the job they are forced to accept in order to feed their families, construct the wall segregating the Palestinian quarters of East Jerusalem from the rest of the city. Such are the images today of the West Bank under lockdown. The Palestinian population is being imprisoned behind a barrier of huge concrete walls, electrified fences, trenches and razor wire. It is a wall that divides families, separates farmers from their land and cuts off the population from jobs, hospitals, schools and even water.

The path of the wall, which is projected to be over 600 miles long, snakes deep into the West Bank to envelop Zionist settlements and steal Palestinian land. In the west, the wall already juts up to 13 kilometers beyond the “Green Line,? the border between Israel and the West Bank, securing Israeli control of much of the best Palestinian farmland. It also includes on the Israeli side the water wells of the Western Aquifer, the second-largest water resource in the region after the Jordan River. According to a 24 January article by Seumas Milne in the London Guardian, when complete, the wall will enclose about 57 percent of the West Bank. Movement between the two Palestinian ghettos being created by the wall will be nearly impossible.

As a result of the closures, the Palestinian economy is frozen as laborers cannot get to jobs, farmers can only sell crops locally and unhindered trade is impossible. Palestinian unemployment is a staggering two-thirds in some areas, and more than half the children suffer from malnutrition. Incomes have fallen by more than half to $900 a year—compared with an average of nearly $17,000 for Israelis.

Qalqilya, the first town to be hermetically sealed off by the wall, reveals what other communities will face as the wall tightens around the West Bank. Penned in on all four sides, Qalqilya is today accessible only through a checkpoint nearly a mile to its east. Fully 85 percent of Qalqilya’s land has been lost as the Israeli military, despite denials, prevents farmers from tending their fields. A third of Qalqilya’s shops have closed, and more than 4,000 residents have already given up and left for good. It’s not just Qalqilya’s residents who are walled in, but the Palestinian villagers from nearby towns and villages are now walled out of the metropolitan center they depended on for everything, from basic services to shops and medical care.

The wall is but the latest grotesque step in the long, bloody history of Zionist colonization and provocation, which are aimed at forcibly driving out the Palestinian population. “Ethnic cleansing? is the logic of all strands of Zionism, from the “Labor? Zionists who founded the state of Israel to the rightist fanatics who inhabit Sharon’s government. The Zionists encouraged emigration to Palestine on the racist premise that it was a “land without people for a people without land.? They forcibly drove out over 700,000 Palestinians in what they called the 1948 “War of Independence,? what the Palestinians call “The Catastrophe? (Al Naqba). And they forcibly drove out thousands more after their victory in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

It’s a measure of the degeneration and desperation of the situation that policies like the forcible transfer of the Palestinian population, which used to be openly advocated only by the right-wing Zionist fringe, are now common currency. Correspondingly, as the bourgeois-nationalist Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is proven to be politically bankrupt, increasing numbers of Palestinian youth and even women are turning to the reactionary Islamic fundamentalism of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Marxists oppose nationalist irredentism, which only offers the prospect of reversing the terms of oppression. The only solution to two peoples laying claim to the same sliver of land requires breaking out of the capitalist, nationalist framework. The only salvation for the Palestinians—and the Hebrew-speaking Jewish population—lies in proletarian revolution and a socialist federation of the Near East. We have no illusions that winning the Hebrew-speaking working class to this perspective will be easy or quick. Yet social and class fissures do exist in Israel and it is the duty of revolutionaries to exploit every contradiction in order to win the Israeli proletariat away from the Zionist rulers.

There is a restive working class in Israel today which has recently engaged in large strike actions. Last spring, the country was paralyzed by a general strike by public workers against finance minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s legislation imposing huge wage cuts and layoffs in order to finance the ultra-Zionist settlements in the Occupied Territories and the costs of military repression of the Palestinians. The cost of the Zionist garrison state is literally coming out of the hides of the country’s working poor, both Hebrew-speaking and the second-class citizens of the state of Israel, the “Israeli Arabs.? If the Israeli Jewish proletariat is to pursue its class interests against its own bourgeoisie, Marxists must win it to consciously champion the defense of the Palestinian people.

In the lead-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, we warned that Israel might use the cover of war to “transfer? all Palestinians out of the Occupied Territories. Instead, the wall and the intolerable economic hardships and repression are choking the life out of Palestinian areas. As one of Sharon’s cabinet ministers suggested last year, “Make their life so bitter that they will transfer themselves willingly.? The Zionists shoot to kill not only Palestinians who breach the wall’s checkpoints, but now Israeli youth as well who are moved to protest this atrocity.

Oslo “Peace? Accord Paved Way to Ghetto

The wall—Sharon calls it “unilateral disengagement?—is the ultimate expression of the “unilateral separation? that the Zionist “peace camp,? represented by the likes of Meretz spokesman Yossi Sarid, has long championed. It is also the fruit of the 1993 Oslo “peace? accords that created the Palestinian Authority. At the time we wrote, in an article headlined “Israel-PLO Deal for Palestinian Ghetto,? that this deal “does not offer even the most deformed expression of self-determination? and instead “would place the PLO’s seal on the national oppression of the long-suffering Palestinian Arab masses? (WV No. 583, 10 September 1993). An academic study by Harvard University research scholar Sara Roy, “Ending the Palestinian Economy? (Middle East Policy, 1 December 2002), described the formation of the Palestinian ghettos:

“The fragmentation of Palestinian land into geographically noncontiguous areas or cantons, with exit and entry tightly monitored and controlled by Israel, was a reality directly imposed on the Gaza Strip and the West Bank by the terms of the Oslo peace agreements. It is not well known that the division of the Palestinian territories was first carried out in the Gaza Strip in October 1993, just one month after the Declaration of Principles —the first Oslo document—was signed on the White House lawn....

“By December 1999, the Gaza Strip had been divided into three cantons and the West Bank into 227, the majority of which were no larger than two square kilometers in size. While Palestinians maintained control over many of the cantons and were promised authority over more if not most, Israel maintained jurisdiction over the land areas in between the cantons, which in effect gave Israel control over all the land and its disposition.... The logical and intended consequence of territorial cantonization was separation and isolation, greatly facilitated by closure policy. In fact, although closure was imposed prior to the implementation of the Oslo agreements, these agreements institutionalized and formalized closure as a policy measure.?

Following the 1967 war and the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, the problem for the Zionists was how to ensure control over the land and resources of these areas while avoiding integration into the Zionist state of the millions of Palestinians living there. The consensus among the Zionist political parties was that the Palestinians should be given some minimal voice in their own affairs while final control of the land, resources and economy remained in the hands of Israel. The first of a series of plans to realize this objective was put together by General Yigal Allon, the deputy prime minister for the Labor Party. Allon proposed to establish a string of settlements in the Jordan Valley, in the Judean desert and around East Jerusalem as a preliminary step leading to formal annexation by Israel. Altogether, the plan envisaged establishing some sort of Palestinian entity in about 50 percent of the West Bank while Israel annexed East Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley, the Hebron Hills in the south of the West Bank and the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

When Likud came to power in 1977, the Allon Plan was supplemented by the Sharon Plan, which called for a new belt of settlements to be built along the western side of the West Bank. The massive settlement expansion envisaged by Sharon was carried out starting in 1992 by a new Labor government under Yitzhak Rabin, which offered settlers large economic incentives. From the signing of the Oslo “peace? accords in September 1993 to the end of 2000, the number of settlers in the West Bank increased by 90 percent. Rabin, expanding on an idea originally proposed by Allon and Sharon, introduced the network of “bypass roads? that reinforced the isolation of West Bank cities. The 1995 Oslo II agreement outlawed Palestinian construction within 55 yards of either side of these roads, rendering hundreds of Palestinian houses vulnerable to demolition. The map of the wall being constructed in the West Bank corresponds, almost to the square mile, to earlier maps drawn up by Allon and Sharon.

Today, the entire West Bank is dotted with military outposts and fortified settlements, crisscrossed by “bypass roads? that are off-limits to Palestinians. The Zionists have implemented “collective guilt,? imposing restrictions, razing buildings and launching military assaults against entire communities in retaliation for attacks against Israeli civilians or soldiers. Zionist settlers, who number over 400,000 (including East Jerusalem), freely rampage throughout the Occupied Territories, stealing land and murdering Palestinians by the dozens. A Zionist settler in Gaza told the New York Times (15 January): “In Jerusalem, when you see an Arab you don’t know whether he’s with you or against you, but here if you see an Arab you know he’s dangerous and you shoot him.? Defense of the Palestinians must begin with the demand for the immediate removal of all anti-Arab fortifications in the Occupied Territories—the walls, the troops, the settlements and the apartheid highway network.

Fissures Within the Zionist Fortress

The construction of the wall in the West Bank takes place as some in the Israeli establishment and Washington are starting to feel that the Sharon government’s unbridled repression against the Palestinians and refusal to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority may not be in the Zionist state’s best interests. When some prominent Israeli and Palestinian politicians negotiated an unofficial “peace plan? in Geneva in December, an implicit condemnation of Israeli government policy, the gesture was hailed by U.S. secretary of state Colin Powell, UN secretary-general Kofi Annan and even by U.S. deputy defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz, a Zionist hardliner. As Justice Minister Tommy Lapid, of the Shinui Party, Sharon’s main coalition partner, put it last month: “We could become the South Africa of today, and there is the danger that we could be subject to international boycotts? (London Independent, 6 January).

There is also growing unease in the armed forces and security apparatus, including among elite Zionist troops and top officers. In late September, 27 Air Force reserve pilots signed a letter saying they refused to carry out air strikes against civilian areas. The following month, the Israeli army chief of staff criticized the restrictions on Palestinians. On November 14, four former heads of the sinister domestic security agency, Shin Bet, from both the Labor Party and Sharon’s Likud, came out against the government’s policy in the Occupied Territories, with several explicitly criticizing the wall. On December 28, 13 reservists of the elite General Staff Reconnaissance Unit sent a letter to Sharon seconding the pilots’ refusal to serve in the Occupied Territories. Altogether, in the past three years, more than one thousand Israelis have refused to serve in the armed forces in the Occupied Territories. Last month, five of them were court-martialed, the first time this has happened in 20 years.

On February 2, Sharon announced a plan to remove nearly all Jewish settlements from the Gaza Strip because they are a “security burden? and a cause of “continuous friction.? When Sharon proposed last week to dismantle four isolated settlements in the northern West Bank—representing less than one-half of 1 percent of the total number of settlers—in exchange for an agreement to keep all the others, the deal was vetoed by leaders of the fascistic settler movement.

Part of what is behind the Zionists’ brutal imprisonment of the Palestinians in unlivable ghettos is what is referred to as the “demographics? problem, a euphemism meaning that the birth rate of Palestinians, including Israeli Arabs, far outstrips that of Israeli Jews. In explaining what might be behind Sharon’s proposal for the Gaza settlements, the New York Times (3 February) wrote, “Some members of Likud argue that Israel must draw borders in a way to part with as many Arabs—but as little land—as possible.? Seeking to exploit the “demographic? problem as a way to pressure the Zionists, Palestinian prime minister Ahmed Qurei warned last month that “Israel’s continued policy of building the wall means that talk about a Palestinian state makes no sense? and threatened that “if this Israeli policy continues, we are going to come back to the option of a single, bi-national democratic state? (Agence France-Presse, 9 January). Thomas Friedman, a staunch supporter of Israel, explained in the New York Times (14 September 2003) what that meant:

“Rather than create the outlines of a two-state solution, this wall will kill that idea for Palestinians, and drive them, over time, to demand instead a one-state solution—where they and the Jews would have equal rights in one state. And since by 2010 there will be more Palestinian Arabs than Jews living in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza combined, this transformation of the Palestinian cause will be very problematic for Israel. If American Jews think it’s hard to defend Israel today on college campuses, imagine what it will be like when their kids have to argue against the principle of one man, one vote.?

Under capitalism, Israel will never be transformed into a binational democracy in which Jews and Arabs live together on the basis of political equality, and both Friedman and Qurei know it. The Zionist state is a racist, exclusivist state, predicated on the expulsion, “transfer? or “displacement? of the Palestinian people. As we have warned in the past, the Zionist rulers are entirely capable of carrying out massacres of the Palestinians on a truly genocidal scale. It is vitally necessary for the working class, in the U.S. and internationally, to take up the call: Defend the Palestinian people!

Capitalist Divestment Is No Solution

The question of how to defend the Palestinians was debated at a January 24 workshop on “The Apartheid Wall and Its Effects on Palestinian Society? at the National Conference on Organized Resistance in Washington, D.C. The workshop was led by members of SUSTAIN, an organization whose full name expresses the campaign which is its primary activity: Stop U.S. Tax-Funded Aid to Israel Now. SUSTAIN also sponsors a campaign to get universities to divest their holdings in the Caterpillar Corporation in order to force it to stop selling Israel the bulldozers which are used to demolish Palestinian homes.

A Spartacist speaker at the workshop noted that just as the bourgeoisies of Europe and America closed their borders to the Jews in the 1930s, today they close their eyes to the plight of the Palestinians. This was particularly evident when shamefully even many leftists in the Iraq antiwar movement often dropped any mention of the Palestinians to tailor their protests to appeal to the Democrats. In contrast, Spartacist contingents in those marches consciously made prominent our demands: “Defend the Palestinians! Israel out of the Occupied Territories!?

Our speaker noted that we are opposed to the U.S. government funding the army of the Zionist state, but our starting point is seeking to mobilize workers against their “own? capitalist rulers. She recalled the 1991-92 Caterpillar strike, a critical class battle that was sold out by the UAW union bureaucracy in favor of a “consumer boycott? not very different from the “corporate campaign? today proposed by SUSTAIN. Divestment schemes and calls for capitalist boycotts foster illusions that union-busting corporations like Caterpillar, or even the blood-drenched U.S. imperialist government, could somehow become the agents for social justice through campaigns of moral suasion. In contrast, we fight to mobilize the labor movement in defense of the Palestinian people and against its class enemy at home, the rapacious U.S. ruling class.

In individual discussions after the workshop, SUSTAIN members insisted that it was necessary to drop defense of the Palestinians in the antiwar movement because “nothing should detract from the main struggle to defeat George Bush.? But the Democrats have historically been, if anything, closer allies of the Zionists than the Republicans. It was President John Kennedy who initiated the close alliance with Israel, breaking the longstanding U.S. embargo on supplying major weapons to Tel Aviv while turning a blind eye to Israel’s development of nuclear weapons. Following Israel’s victory in the 1967 war and conquest of the Occupied Territories, Democratic president Lyndon Johnson showered Israel with political, economic and military support, making the U.S. Israel’s major supplier of sophisticated weaponry (see Amos Elon, “A Very Special Relationship,? New York Review of Books, 15 January).

The main problem with strategies such as those put forward by SUSTAIN, which seek to pressure the U.S. bourgeoisie to pressure Israel, is that they are premised on the idea that U.S. imperialism, the main force for reaction in the world today, is in some way superior to the Zionists. Ironically, the organizations pushing for the U.S. to pressure Israel inadvertently mimic the outlook of the Zionist “neocons? who promote U.S. intervention around the globe in the interest of “democracy.? Tell that to the Iraqi people suffering under the boot of U.S. military occupation!

Proletarian Revolution Is the Only Solution

Sharon claims that the wall in the West Bank serves to stop “Palestinian terrorism.? The Sharon regime is using Palestinian suicide attacks, which have killed hundreds of innocent Israeli civilians, as a pretext for even bloodier attacks on the Palestinians by the Zionist war machine. The suicide bombings against Israeli civilians, which are entirely criminal from the viewpoint of the international proletariat, serve to further drive the Hebrew-speaking population into the arms of the Zionist rulers.

Last fall, in an article in the New York Review of Books (23 October 2003), New York University professor Tony Judt described the situation as he saw it:

“The two-state solution—the core of the Oslo process and the present ‘road map’ —is probably already doomed.... The true alternative facing the Middle East in coming years will be between an ethnically cleansed Greater Israel and a single, integrated, binational state of Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians. That is indeed how the hard-liners in Sharon’s cabinet see the choice; and that is why they anticipate the removal of the Arabs as the ineluctable condition for the survival of a Jewish state.?

When Judt suggested that the “desirable outcome? might be a binational Israeli state, he provoked an uproar, as prominent Zionist intellectuals accused him of hating Jews, “pandering to genocide? and being “party to preparations for a final solution.?

This clash between intellectuals in the realm of ideas reflects the material fact that there is no solution to the oppression of the Palestinian masses within the framework of capitalism, which is based on the nation-state and national aggrandizement. The Palestinians and the Hebrew-speaking people of Israel represent a case of interpenetrated peoples, two populations with competing claims to the same territory. Under capitalism, such conflicts can only be resolved through the suppression of one people by another through forced assimilation, forced population transfers (“ethnic cleansing?) or outright genocide.

The only road to national and social liberation in the Near East is the mobilization of the proletariat on the basis of revolutionary internationalism to sweep away all the oppressive capitalist regimes in the region in the fight for a socialist federation of the Near East. To break the Hebrew proletariat from Zionist chauvinism will likely require an enormous shake-up in the region, such as the victory of socialist revolution in one of the other Near Eastern states. However, if the Zionist madmen are not to ultimately unleash their nuclear arsenal and engulf the whole of the region in a holocaust, the Hebrew proletariat must join with Arab workers in sweeping away the entire rotting edifice of capitalist class rule in the Near East. Only then can the right of national self-determination for both the Hebrew and Palestinian people be assured. What is required above all is the construction of internationalist workers parties, sections of a reforged Fourth International, in opposition to Zionism, Arab nationalism and all variants of religious fundamentalism. Defend the Palestinian people! For a socialist federation of the Near East!


Forwarded from Liberation News
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Comments

Propaganda, more propaganda, and hate-mongoring

This long, long, anti-Israel diatribe is loaded with emotional images and questionable "facts".

For instance:
"the long, bloody history of Zionist colonization and provocation, which are aimed at forcibly driving out the Palestinian population. "

BECKY: If the Israelis who are militarily superior to the Palestinians were actually forcibly driving out the Palestinians, then why has the Palestinian population on the West Bank TRIPLED since 1967? Also, never mind that Israel was set up by a VOTE OF THE UNITED NATIONS rather than by conquering an Arab country. Yet the author calls this "Zionist colonialism."

And now for some historical revisionism: "They forcibly drove out over 700,000 Palestinians in what they called the 1948 “War of Independence,?

BECKY: First, it was 650,000 rather than 700,000. Second, the brand new Israeli govt. begged the Arabs of Palestine to stay and build the new state. Many Arabs did stay and they were not harmed. They are now Israelis citizens with full rights and benefits. Most of the Palestinian Arabs who left fled on the advice of their own Arab leaders. The war was not a war of independence but an attack by 5 ARAB nations on tiny Israel in an attempt to annihilate the Jews.
Somehow the author has made the Israelis the agressor here and the Palestinian Arabs as the victim. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The barrier's path currently will encompass less than 10% of the West Bank. This article claims 57%.

The author writes: "the Hebrew-speaking Jewish population" since he can't stand to say Israelis.
This is another example of the refusal of this author to recognize Israel as a Jewish State.
This shows anti-semitism on the part of the author.

The author reports "we warned that Israel might use the cover of (the Iraqi) war to “transfer? all Palestinians out of the Occupied Territories.

BECKY: Another false charge by this author. Israel is not about to "transfer" any population against its will.

The author writes: "the Zionist rulers are entirely capable of carrying out massacres of the Palestinians on a truly genocidal scale."

BECKY: What is the author basing this on? In the intifada (launched by Arafat) 4,200 people have died in the past 4 years. About 1000 of these were Israelis. This is not genocide. Genocide is when a group is trying to murder an entire people. Israel has not done this, and will not do this. This is just hate-mongoring speech.

Another example of hate speech: "the Zionists’ brutal imprisonment of the Palestinians in unlivable ghettos." The author fails to tell his readers that under Israel jurisdiction from 1967 to 1993 built 166 medical clinics for the Palestinian.They provided universal health insurance to the Palestinians. They built 7 universities and 20 community colleges to educate Palestinians. They built up the infrastructure of water, power, and sewers. They built a sports stadium for the Palestinians. The PA GNP increased 13% annually under Israeli rule. Per capita income grew tenfold during Israeli control. Unemployment dropped from 40% to 5%.

Then came Oslo and self-rule under Arafat. Everything went to hell in a handbasket. How can the author blame Israel for this. The facts suggest that the Palestinians would have a much better standard of living if Israel remained in control.

All of this is irrefutable proof that the Israelis promote a better life for the Palestinians than the author's contention that the purpose of Israeli politics is to confine the Palestinians in "unlivable ghettos". Even the PA voted last month to not allow Palestinians living in the camps the right to vote so they could use this as more "evidence" of Palestinian suffering caused by Israel.

In truth, the barrier DOES adversely affect the Palestinian economy. Most of the best jobs for Palestinians were in Israel proper. With the barrier and the checkpoints, working in Israel has become all but impossible. Since the Palestinians have not developed their own infrastructure for their own economy (having squandered billions in aid on funding terrorism instead--and for Arafat's lush villas) their poverty has increased dramatically. But they should blame their own leaders and the terrorist groups they support for their misery.

The author writes: "Sharon claims that the wall in the West Bank serves to stop “Palestinian terrorism.? The Sharon regime is using Palestinian suicide attacks, which have killed hundreds of innocent Israeli civilians, as a pretext for even bloodier attacks on the Palestinians by the Zionist war machine."

BECKY: Is there any doubt that the barrier was built to stop the suicide bombings and terrorist attacks on Israeli citizens? The barrier is non-violent, takes no lives, and allows the IDF to dismantle many checkpoints allowing freer movement on the West Bank.
 

Tear down the wall!

All in all Becky is just another brick in the wall.

Becky, it is unfortunate that you do not see Palestinians as human beings. Your diatribes of hatred are offensive. The blood of Palestinian children flows out of their small bodies into the dirt because of the massive assistance of U.S. tax dollars and the blessing of the ignorant such as yourself. Mothers weep for their dead children as a result of official Zionist policy while you would like to blame the entire Palestinian population for the acts of Hamas. Becky, please reconsider your racism.

Tear down the wall!

Becky, most of your "facts" are wrong once again, but as much as I'd love to waste the rest of this beautiful day sitting inside on my computer, there really is not enough time in the day to answer all of your misinformation.

Yet I must respond to: "Is there any doubt that the barrier was built to stop the suicide bombings and terrorist attacks on Israeli citizens?"

I think the article establishes very clearly how the wall is meant to deprive Palestinians of their livelyhood and cause ethnic cleansing so I will not repeat those arguments.

I do want to establish, however, that the Israeli government has encouraged and propagated the suicide attacks against the civilian population.

In 1994 Hamas began its indiscriminate attacks on Hebrew speaking people through suicide bombings. Those suicide bombings had been stepped up by Hamas in the beginnings of the Intifada 2 uprising in September 2000, but then ended due to an agreement between Arafat’s Palestinian Authority and Hamas. While this agreement was in effect world attention became focused on the gunning down of Palestinian children by Israeli sharp shooters on the West Bank. For the Zionist government this was becoming a public relations disaster.

Israeli Prime Minister Sharon needed a new provocation he could use as propaganda to escalate the war against the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority (P.A.). To create this provocation he took action to end the truce between the P.A. and Hamas on ending the suicide bombings of civilians. On November 23rd Israeli security forces assassinated Hamas leader Mahmud Abu Hunud. On November 25th, 2001 right-wing Israeli journalist Alex Fishman accurately observed in the “Yediot Achronot?: “Whoever gave the green light to this act of liquidation knew full well that he is thereby shattering in one blow the gentleman’s agreement between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority; under that agreement, Hamas was to avoid in the near future suicide bombings inside the Green Line.?

Of course no one but Sharon could have given the green light for such an important operation. Sharon’s provocation against the Hamas anti-Semites had its intended affect. Within days Hamas resumed attacks against Israeli civilians. That March a Hamas bomber killed 25 civilians in the Passover attack that was then used by Sharon as his excuse to attack the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority.

The Israeli wall for Palestinian ghettos will not stop those willing to do suicide missions against civilians, attacks that are futile attempts to combat the genocide Palestinians face. The wall does the opposite in deepening the conditions that created suicide bombers in the first place. The anger created is by escalated Israeli murder coupled by economic terror is actually more likely to increase the number of tragic attacks on Hebrew speaking civilians. In fact, the murderous Israeli repression and wall really aren't meant to stop attacks on Hebrew civilians because these bombings by Hamas actually play right into the Zionist government’s aims and objectives in pushing for a final solution against the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority who the Israeli government consistently blame for the attacks by Hamas.

Hamas is an anti-Semitic fundamentalist religious organization that killed 150 Israeli civilians through suicide bombings between 1994 and 1998 alone. From its beginnings as the Mujama in the 1970s to this day Hamas does not face the same kind of repression as any other Palestinian group. In addition Hamas reportedly receives $28 million dollars a year from another key U.S. ally in the region, Saudi Arabia.

The U.S. and the Saudi Arabian monarchy work together closely to systematically loot Saudi Arabia’s oil resources for the profits of U.S. oil monopolies while the vast majority of the Saudi people live in poverty. In addition the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and Hamas worked together closely in the U.S. war drive to destroy the left progressive PDPA government that held power in Afghanistan from 1978 to 1992. This was a war where the U.S. government and Saudi Arabia gave billions of dollars of military aid to Osama Bin Laden and the Islamic fundamentalists of the Mujahedin who were waging a holy war against the advances in women’s rights, including women’s literacy, that were occurring under the PDPA government. Tactics of the Mujahedin included throwing acid in the faces of women liberated from the veil and murdering women for teaching little girls how to read and write. Fearing a Mujahedin government right on its border and defending the PDPA government from U.S. aggression the Soviet Union sent troops into Afghanistan in 1979. Although these Soviet troops were invited by the Afghan PDPA U.S. propaganda called this a Soviet invasion.

An estimated 100,000 of the Islamic fundamentalists who fought in Afghanistan were recruited by the CIA outside of Afghanistan. Hamas participated in this activity. As John Cooley from ABC news pointed out on March 13th, 1996 in the International Herald Tribune: “A key Hamas organizer was Abdallah Azzam. He was a tough, brilliant and charismatic Palestinian from Jordan. He supervised training for the CIA’s Afghan guerrillas in Peshawar, Pakistan, where a car bomb killed him in 1989. In the earlier 1980s he toured the United States, recruiting Arab-Americans for the anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan.?

Just as the United States used Hamas against the Afghani people and the leftist PDPA government, Israel has used the religious fundamentalists of Hamas as a club against the socialist and secular nationalist movements in Palestine that Hamas has violently opposed. It is those secular and socialist movements that Israel has seen as more of a threat in terms of winning the masses of people, including Hebrew speakers, over to positions of sympathy and solidarity with the Palestinians. Hamas’s suicide bombers against civilians instead serve Zionist interests in driving a larger wedge between Palestinians and Hebrew speakers, people who will need to unite against their common oppressor and killer, the Israeli Zionist government.

Early Israeli support for Hamas included in 1978 the granting of Mujama charitable status in Gaza while other organizations, especially political organizations as Mujama was, could not get such status. In 1979 Israeli collusion with the Mujama movement set up the Islamic University of Gaza whose anti-PLO and anti-socialist slogan was: “How can uncovered women and men with Beatle haircuts liberate our holy places?? Students who did not tow the Islamic line were disciplined through brutal beatings and sometimes had acid thrown in their faces. In addition Mujama mobs were allowed to violently attack and burn down PLO controlled institutions at a time when other street demonstrations were not allowed or tightly controlled by the Israeli authorities.

In 1979 the Mujama movement burned the Palestinian Red Crescent Society’s (PRC) building to the ground. In response the PRC issued the following statement, “The tacit approval of the authorities, if not their actual connivance in what happened, was displayed in their attitude of non-interference. While they usually display great alertness to combating even peaceful demonstrations of young students within schools, here they stood indifferently watching a violently destructive demonstration march to its objectives.?

In 1988 Hamas was formed out of Mujama. While PLO supporters were organizing mass demonstrations in the streets Hamas was instead focusing on shooting Israeli soldiers. Despite this fact Hamas had top-level meetings with the Israeli government while that same government would not even meet with the PLO. Milton Edwards in “Islamic Politics In Palestine? noted the relationship: “The relationship between Hamas and the Israeli authorities was, however, at the strongest during the second year of the Intifada. The Israelis had been quick to extend legitimacy status to Hamas in an attempt to marginalize the PLO. Leaders of Hamas were regularly filmed at meetings with top-level Israeli officials and the message the Israelis were sending out was that they regarded Hamas as the type of people with whom they could work.

The U.S. government’s massive military support to the Zionist State and, to a lesser extent to the repressive Saudi Arabian monarchy is responsible for the bloodshed in Palestine. The racist state of Israel currently receives 300,000 dollars per hour in U.S. military and economic aid. The F-16 bombers, Apache and Cobra helicopters used in the latest attacks are just some of the weapons used to kill Palestinians that are made in the United States.

Socialists stand for an end to U.S. military aid to Israel and all of the crowned princes, sheiks, emirs, and Islamic fanatics of the Middle East. We understand that these U.S. policies are the policies of both the Democrat and Republican Parties. Imperialist policy isn’t the result of some misunderstanding by these parties of the wealthy. Instead the repressive and genocidal policies of U.S. imperialism flow inevitably from the drive for profits by the rapacious U.S. capitalists that rule America and much of the world. From this understanding socialists know that the only way we will get a just foreign policy, fair treatment of workers and the poor, and sound ecological policies is through a socialist revolution in the United States.
 

Re: Israeli Wall Seals Palestinian Ghettos

http://radio.indymedia.org/uploads/ckutrafah.mp3
Listen to an interview with Mohamed Omar, an independent Palestinian journalist from Rafah refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. Mohamed is the creator of the independent news website Rafah Today, which documents life and death in the Gaza Strip. Mohamed, who's home was recently demolished by the Israeli military, speaks about the importance of an independent media movement in Palestine to document and uncover the often hidden realities of the Israeli occupation.

The interview outlines the current situation in Rafah, focusing on the constant Israeli Occupation Forces incursions into Rafah refugee camp, while also exploring the aftermath of the massive Israeli military incursion dubbed "Operation Rainbow" in late May 2004. The Israeli incursion made international headlines, bringing condemnation from the United Nations and the majority of nations throughout the world. During the late May incursion many Palestinians were killed, while hundreds of homes were destroyed, leaving thousands homeless until today.

radio.indymedia.org/news/2004/08/2244.php
 

The Palestinians are responsible for the suicide bombings. Duh!

The Israeli govt. has encouraged suicide attacks? Are you nuts?

The IDF has uncovered over 90 tunnels since 2000 under the Egyptian border in Rafah. These tunnels smuggle rockets, bombs, weapons, and terrorists. Israel has a duty to find and destroy the tunnels.

If Israel doesn't, Israeli citizens will die.

Is this a factor on your radar screen?

Do you think that if Israel just stopped it military actions, that there would be peace?
Dream on! Israel doesn't have the power to end the conflict. Only its Arab enemies can do this. When they stop waging war on the Jews, there will be peace.

As for the "lull" in suicide bombings---I dont remember it. With 20,000 attempted attacks on Israel in the past 4 years, any lull would have been minor and insignificant. Oh, and they ALWAYS say that they were on the verge of peace until ISRAEL screwed it up. Its not true. Hamas is still out to destroy Israel. The PA still incites school children to throw rocks at the IDF, and names roads and schools after suicide bombers.

Gaza has a pretty secure barrier around it. In the past four years, only two suicide bombing have come from Gaza. In the same time period, 107 suicide bombing came from the West Bank. This means a security barrier can and does save lives.
Are you against saving lives???

I want an end to the conflict. I want peace for Israel and the Palestinians. But blaming Israel for the conflict makes as much sense as blaming homeless people for sleeping at night.
 

Re: Israeli Wall Seals Palestinian Ghettos

Becky says, "The Israeli govt. has encouraged suicide attacks? Are you nuts?" Yes they have, and no I'm not nuts. Sharon gains from the attacks just as Bush gained from September 11.

Becky says, "As for the "lull" in suicide bombings---I dont (sic) remember it." There were no suicide attacks on Hebrew speaking civilians during the time of the agreement between Arafat and Hamas, an agreement where Arafat convinced Hamas to stop. The fact that you do not remember this is not relevant to the facts.

Becky, you ask if I'm against saving lives, yet the Zionist military is gunning Palestinian children down in the streets with your blessing.

As for the homeless, it is the Palestinians who loose their homes to Israeli bulldozers in the name of collective punishment.
 

Tell me more about this "lull" in attacks on Israel

Steve: What were the dates of this "lull"? Are you saying there were NO ATTACKS in this time period?

Steve: can you give me a single example of the IDF "gunning Palestinian children down in the streets?" Give me a date, time, place, and circumstances and I will research it and get back to you.

The IDF does not indiscriminately gun down Palestinian civilians--children, women, or men.
It is strictly against their policy. It is true that many Palestinians make that claim. But it is also true that THEY LIE!!!

Remember the "massacre" in Jenin in 2002?
That didn't happen either, did it?

The 500 to 1000 dead turned out to be 56 dead! 47 of the dead were armed gunmen. And 32 IDF died there too!!

Look, I don't like the security barrier either. I would much rather that the parties involved find a peaceful solution diplomatically rather than a physical barrier of separation that DOES impact the Palestinian economy in a bad way.

But Israel has put forth the olive branch so many times only to be rebuffed by a people who choose war and death every time. I want the violence to stop. The barrier does appear neccessary. And it IS working to stop attacks on Israeli citizens.

Steve--how many homes did the Israelis BUILD for the Palestinians between 1967 and the Oslo Accords in 1993?

Can you get back to me on that?
 

Re: Israeli Wall Seals Palestinian Ghettos

"The 500 to 1000 dead turned out to be 56 dead! 47 of the dead were armed gunmen. And 32 IDF died there too!!"

13 good men were blown up by a 10 year old palestinian boy, who had been strapped with bombs by his parents...the soldiers were trying to be kind to the boy and get hm out of the fire zone.
 

More on Jenin...

Resource Center for Nonviolence mideast coordinater, Scott Kennedy said that the damage in Jenin was three football fields large. The arial photographs confirm it was one football field large with the vast majority of Jenin untouched.

Kennedy also said he estimated the number killed to be "somewhere between 50 and 500".

No RCNV report at the time mentioned that any of the destruction to buildings was caused by boobie trap bombs planted by Palestinians in the path of the IDF.
 

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