THE leaders of the Palestine National Authority (PNA) government yesterday rejected the interference of British Prime Minister Tony Blair in Palestinian internal affairs.
Dr Mousa Abu Marzouk, the deputy chairman of the political bureau of Hamas, which leads the Palestinian government, called on all Arab, Islamic and friendly countries to condemn attempts by Israel, the United States and Britain to stoke up clashes between Palestinian movements.
While Blair was still in occupied Palestine, having talks with Israeli premier Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas, a Hamas spokesman said: ‘We affirm to the British premier that our policy is known to all. We will not accept the Quartet conditions and we will not recognise the Zionist entity.’
This was the response of the Palestinian government to Blair’s public endorsement of the call by Abbas for fresh Presidential and Parliamentary elections, less than a year after January’s general election.
Then, Hamas won an overwhelming majority (76 seats) ousting Fatah (43 seats), the movement that Abbas heads.
Olmert told Blair that he wanted ‘moderate (Palestinian) elements to be strengthened’ and that he was willing to release $700m in tax receipts to help the Palestinian President. Abbas said he wanted to meet Olmert. He told Blair: ‘We need each other. We have a joint cause.’
The call by Abbas for fresh elections is illegal. It is an attempt to stage a coup against the elected Palestinian government.
This is what Blair endorsed when he supported the call from Abbas for new elections.
Blair was acting as an advocate of the policy of US President George Bush in the Middle East.
He is also trying to get the European Union (EU) to fund those Palestinian security forces under the control of Abbas, like the 1,000-strong Presidential Guard that has received training from US military advisers.
This is an escalation of US, British and Israeli attempts since January to topple the Hamas government and provoke civil war in occupied Palestine.
Then, the US and EU immediately cut off funds to the PNA, and Israel refused to hand over taxes due to the Palestinian government, in order to starve the Palestinians into submission.
Yet the Palestinian resistance has grown, despite the Israeli army onslaught on Gaza and in the occupied West Bank, in which hundreds of civilians have been killed.
Blair’s visit to occupied Palestine is not a sign of the strength of the US and British imperialists and their Zionist entity of Israel. It is a sign of weakness.
Bush and Blair have been delivered huge blows by the resistance of the peoples of Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine, and are hated by millions of workers in the US and Britain. Blair is working out his notice, Bush lost control of Congress in November and Olmert led Israel to a humiliating defeat in Lebanon in the summer.
This attempt at provoking civil war in Palestine must be defeated.
The call for a national unity government in Palestine, advocated by Hamas, can maintain the unity of the Palestinian resistance confronting the brutal Israeli military occupation.
The Israeli Zionist occupiers must be driven out of Palestinian territories and an independent state of Palestine established, with its capital in Jerusalem.
In this situation, the British working class, organised in powerful trade unions, has a duty to take action to stop these conspiracies by Bush, Blair and Olmert against the Palestinian people.
Everyone knows that Blair is organising against workers’ rights to remove the right to strike, destroy the NHS and smash the Welfare State, so it should come as no surprise that he is also attacking the rights of the Palestinians.
The trade unions must take action to impose a boycott on transactions with Israel – financial, commercial, trade, and educational and cultural exchanges.
They must bring down the Blair regime by organising a general strike and replace it with a workers’ government that will carry out a socialist foreign policy.
This will include supporting the Palestinian, Afghan and Iraqi peoples in their fight to throw off imperialist occupation and live in their own independent states.