Erdogan urges Israel to end occupation while the UK celebrates Balfour Declaration!

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THE Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Israel must stop its occupation of the Palestinian territories, which he says undermines any two-state solution to the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Erdogan made the remarks during a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ankara on Monday. The Turkish president described the two-state solution as the ‘historical responsibility of the international community to the Palestinian people’.

He further expressed Ankara’s readiness to support the efforts aimed at reviving the ‘peace process’, stressing: ‘The key to success here is protecting the rights of the Palestinians.’

The last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks collapsed in 2014. More recently, Israel has added fuel to the fire by building settlements deeper into the occupied territories that the Palestinians say are the basis for their state.

Erdogan says Turkey believes that the path to permanent peace is the realisation of a sovereign Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.

In the opposite corner however, are not just Israel but also the UK ruling class headed by PM May. It is backing up Israeli Premier Netanyahu’s claims that ‘none of the settlements built in the occupied West Bank will be evacuated,’ and: ‘We are here to stay forever.’

As part of the campaign for their state, Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), urged the British minister of state for the Middle East and North Africa, Alistair Burt, that the UK must recognise the Palestinian state within the 1967 borders and reconsider its plans to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.

He told Burt: ‘Britain and the rest of the world have to obligate the Israeli government to accept the principle of two states based on the June 4th, 1967 borders, that is, an independent state of Palestine with East Jerusalem (al-Quds) as its capital, and a halt to all Israeli colonial activities.’

Britain refused to recognise the Palestinian state, and also insisted that the May government is proud of the Balfour Declaration and will celebrate its 100th anniversary next November, further, it has invited Netanyahu to attend these celebrations in person. The British government has publicly slapped the Palestinian masses in the face and continues to embrace their Zionist persecutors. May and co are the true heirs of the Balfour Declaration and are to the right of the Turkish dictator Erdogan.

Meanwhile a few days ago, a US delegation visited the occupied Palestinian lands, led by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. Nabil Shaath, Palestinian Commissioner for International Relations, has said that the US team asked for a three-to-four-months ‘grace period’ in order to prepare and present their peace plan, that will be supported by Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Arab states.

A decisive moment is approaching for the Palestinian masses who have just proved again their revolutionary capacity by forcing Israel to withdraw the security procedures that it had tried to impose at the Al Aqsa Mosque. The British working class are in the same trench as the Palestinian masses and must be ready to offer any and every support that the Palestinian masses require to resist an ‘imposed peace’ if this is what US-UK-Israel intend.

The TUC Congress is meeting in September. It must decide on a national mobilisation to support the Palestinian people which must include demonstrations and political strikes. It must demand that the UK government recognises the Palestinian state, or be driven from office. On November 12th the WRP and the YS will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution (see ad page 5), and we are very pleased that amongst the speakers will be the Palestinian ambassador.

In fact, we urge all workers and youth to attend this rally since the Russian Revolution was the first victory of the working class over capitalism, and inspired both the movement for national liberation and the world socialist revolution of which it is a part.