Thursday, November 1, 2007
Far from helping settle the Middle East conflict, the US and Europe are fuelling it with their contempt for democracy
Thursday November 1, 2007
"....The UN's senior official in Gaza, Karen Koning-Abu Zayd, yesterday branded Israel's intensification of the Gaza siege as a violation of international law: despite its withdrawal two years ago, Israel continues to control all access to the Gaza Strip and remains the occupying power both legally and practically. Not that the situation is much better in the occupied West Bank....
Already, Hamas and the other non-Fatah Palestinian parties are preparing to stage their own conference in Damascus to coincide with the Annapolis jamboree. Their aim is to challenge the right of Abbas, who has never had any of the legitimacy of Yasser Arafat, to represent the Palestinian people in negotiations over its future. While they were prepared to accept him as a negotiator for a national unity government, there will be no acceptance of deals made by a figure many Palestinians now regard as simply operating under US and Israeli licence....
Nor should there be any interest in such a setup for anyone who wants to see a lasting settlement of the conflict. As in previous periods when political progress has been blocked, there are clear signs that pressures for a return to wider resistance are building up on the Palestinian side. The head of Israel's Shin Bet security service, Yuval Diskin, said on Monday that he did not expect a new intifada if Annapolis failed because the Palestinian public was "exhausted and lacks leadership". It's true that any new upsurge in violence is likely to be different from in the past. But Palestinians are also well aware that it was the first intifada that led to the Oslo agreement, for all its weaknesses, and the second intifada that triggered Sharon's withdrawal from Gaza......"