THE Viva Palestina convoy has found out that, when it comes to preventing aid reaching the much-battered and besieged Gaza Strip, the Mubarak regime that runs Egypt is as much an opponent as Zionist Israel.
In fact, the Egyptian regime, along with the US, is currently building a steel rampart 100 foot into the ground, to seal off the Strip by destroying the tunnels that have kept the people of Gaza alive.
As the harassment of the Viva Palestina aid convoy proves in practice, when it comes to the struggle to isolate and starve the people of Gaza the Mubarak regime stands alongside Obama, Brown, Netanyahu and Baraq.
In fact, the entire Arab bourgeoisie has this contradictory attitude to the struggle of the Palestinian people for their national liberation.
The President of Egypt and the King of Jordan support the national liberation struggle in words – but when it comes to deeds, they oppose it in practice and rush to either sign a peace treaty with Israel or reach accommodations with it.
The secret of their weakness is that the bourgeoisie in Egypt and Jordan is feeble, and fears that the establishment of Palestine by revolutionary means will encourage the working class and the poor of Egypt and Jordan to overthrow them.
So, while acknowledging the way that the Palestinian people were betrayed by the imperialist powers and then robbed of their land by the Zionists through the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, its class position as the exploiter of the Egyptian and Jordanian workers drives it into the arms of the imperialists.
In fact, the US ruling class pays billions of dollars over to Mubarak and the Egyptian ruling class annually. This maintains the Egyptian armed forces and the Egyptian capitalist state which we have seen taking vicious action against the working class in recent years, and this week against the Viva Palestina aid convoy.
In return, such Arab regimes assist the US in safeguarding imperialist interests in the Middle East, and either participate as they did as silent partners in the 1991 Gulf War, or give support to the 2003 assault on Iraq by the US and the UK and to the murder of Saddam Hussein.
Arab diplomats tell the Zionists that if they help to establish some kind of Palestinian entity, then they will be welcomed as a trading and equal partner in the Middle East.
The Zionists, however, have greater ambitions than this and in reality want the whole area of Palestine cleared of Palestinians, with millions more refugees sent scurrying into Jordan and the Lebanon.
The US, meanwhile, maintains its alliance with both the Zionists and the Arab bourgeoisie.
It uses the latter to try and keep the former in check while it understands that, since the Arab ruling classes can be swept away by the Arab revolution at any time, it needs Israel as its ‘mad dog’ that can be unleashed as and when required.
In the current struggle, the Egyptian bourgeoisie sees the greatest danger coming from a revolution in Gaza spreading into Egypt.
This is why the Egyptian bourgeoisie works to seal off the strip and smash its tunnels along with the US.
Yasser Arafat had the correct policy in relation to the Arab bourgeoisie.
If they were forced into conflict with the imperialists he would give it support, and urge it to give support to the Palestinians.
He, however, would not allow any section of the Arab bourgeoisie, either Egyptian, Jordanian or Syrian to take over the Palestinian movement, so that it could be used as part of its diplomacy.
Arafat resisted all the attempts by the Arab bourgeoisie to take the Palestinians over, to the point of armed conflict. He also refused to sell out the Palestinian cause to the USA.
Today, US generals train the Palestinian security forces.
The revolutionary independence of the Palestinians needs to be asserted through the declaration of the Third Intifada. This will spread throughout the Arab world and create the conditions for driving Zionism and imperialism out of the Middle East.