ISRAEL’S Prime Minister Ariel Sharon tried to cut a figure as the liberator of the Palestinian people of the Gaza Strip at the United Nations General Assembly last Thursday.
The Zionist leader’s imperialist backers, primarily the US and Britain, piled on their praises for Sharon in New York after Israel’s recent unilateral withdrawal from territories it has illegally occupied in Gaza since 1967.
However, Palestine National Authority Minister Ghassan Al-Khatib declared that Sharon’s speech was ‘deceptive’. It was ‘a public relations speech to exploit the withdrawal from Gaza and to realise diplomatic gains, no more. It has no credibility as he goes on with his policy to build the barrier and the settlements.’
Pakistan’s President General Pervez Musharraf, the long-time ‘Muslim’ ally of US President George Bush, responded immediately to Sharon’s diplomatic overtures and shook his hand.
Sharon is looking for every bit of support from both his backers in Washington, London and Paris, and their international agents, as he presses ahead with his risky plans for Palestinian ‘homelands’ in Gaza and the West Bank, while he annexes East Jerusalem and vast swathes of the West Bank.
Bush and Blair are all too happy to oblige the Zionist leader, because Israel is vital to them as their Middle East strategy is unravelling at breakneck speed.
The Taleban is reviving in Afghanistan.
The Iraqi national resistance is taking its toll on American and British troops and decimating the ranks of their puppet Iraqi forces.
And the governments of Syria and Iran are not responding appropriately to Bush’s militarist threats.
So Sharon and the armed thug of Israel are important to Washington in the strategic, oil-rich territories of the Middle East.
Leaders like Musharraf may have been willingly deceived by Sharon’s speech at the UN, but the Palestinians were not.
Sharon said: ‘Now it is the Palestinians’ turn to prove the desire for peace.’ He added that the Gaza pull-out ‘opens a window of opportunity for advancing towards peace in accordance with the roadmap. (The Palestinians) are also entitled to freedom and to a national sovereign existence in a state of their own.’
But Israel’s actions belie these words!
Al Khatib pointed out that Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza left the Zionists in charge of the borders and movement in and out ‘making Israel responsible as an occupation force’.
After Sharon’s speech, Israeli Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz unveiled a plan to create a 150m ‘security zone’ on Palestinian land in the north of the Gaza Strip to create a no-man’s land in which Palestinians will be shot.
This was followed by the Israeli Supreme Court ruling that the Zionists have every right to build the ‘Wall’ (so-called ‘security barrier’) on Palestinian land in the West Bank. This was in defiance of the Hague’s International Court of Justice decision that the Wall was entirely illegal!
Then, on Friday, Sharon declared that he would withhold Israeli cooperation for the Palestinian Legislative Council elections on January 25, 2006, if the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, stood candidates.
The Zionist settler regime is demonstrating that it is following its racist, South African-style ‘homelands’ policy, allowing Palestinians to do things of which it approves and banning things with which it disagrees.
The Palestinians and their supporters internationally, including those in the trade unions in Britain, know that there is only one answer to these dictates from Sharon and his imperialist backers, Bush and Blair.
It was the Intifada and armed resistance which made Gaza too hot to handle for Israel and so they got out, just like they fled southern Lebanon in 2000.
The only way to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine is through strengthening the Intifada and stepping up the resistance struggle, alongside the heroic Iraqi resistance, and with support of the whole Arab peoples, where the masses are ready to take up arms to liberate the Palestinians.
In this struggle to defeat Zionism and imperialism in the Middle East, the working class in the US and Europe must act against governments which sustain the Israeli occupation.
In Britain, workers in their trade unions must organise to bring down the Blair regime, one of the main pillars of support for Sharon and Israel.