Archive for the West Bank Category

Obama at the UN: The arrogant voice of imperialism [World Socialist Web Site]

Posted in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bill Clinton, Capitalism crisis early 21st century, CIA, DPR Korea, Early 21st Century global capitalist financial crisis' US origins, Economic crisis & decline, Egypt, Genocide, George W. Bush, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Lenin, Libya, NATO, Obama, Palestine, Pentagon, Syria, Torture, Tunisia, UNSC, US foreign occupation, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, West Bank, Western nations' human rights distortions, Yemen on October 4, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Bill Van Auken
22 September 2011

* Excerpted *

President Obama delivered an empty and arrogant sermon to the United Nations Wednesday, laced with platitudes about “peace” that were designed to mask Washington’s predatory policies.

The American president received a tepid response from the assembled heads of state, foreign ministers and UN delegates. Not a single line in his speech evoked applause. The novelty of two years ago, when Obama made his first appearance before the body posing as the champion of multilateralism in contrast to Bush, has long since worn off. As the world quickly learned, changing the occupant of the White House did little to shift the direction of American foreign policy or curb the spread of American militarism.

The immediate purpose of Obama’s 47-minute address was to supplement a behind-the-scenes campaign of bullying and intimidation aimed at forcing the Palestinian Authority to drop its plan to seek a UN Security Council vote on recognition of Palestine as a sovereign member state…

…In his speech to the UN, Obama mentioned neither the 1967 borders nor any proposal to halt the expansion of settlements on the West Bank. Instead, he presented the basis for proposed negotiations as: “Israelis must know that any agreement provides assurances for their security. Palestinians deserve to know the territorial basis of their state.” As the rest of the US president’s remarks made clear, both those conditions are to be dictated by Israel.

While behind the scenes US officials are reportedly threatening the Palestinian Authority with cutting off all US aid if it goes ahead with the request for recognition, in his speech Obama described a turn to the UN as a “short cut” that would accomplish nothing.

Dismissing the role of the institution that he had rhetorically praised at the outset of his remarks, Obama said, “Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the UN — if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now.” Indeed, scores of UN resolutions on the plight of the Palestinians have been repudiated and ignored by both Israel and Washington. The US has used its veto in the Security Council to kill scores more.

Evidently responding to the right-wing criticism of Republican presidential hopefuls, who have denounced him for “throwing Israel under the bus” with his 1967 borders remark last May, Obama went out of his way to dismiss the historical grievances of the Palestinian people, while identifying unconditionally with Israel.

Of the Palestinians, he said only that they deserved a “sovereign state of their own” and they “have seen that vision delayed for too long.”

This was followed by a declaration that “America’s commitment to Israel’s security is unshakable, and our friendship with Israel is deep and enduring.” He continued by describing Israel as a country “surrounded by neighbors that have waged repeated wars against it,” whose “citizens have been killed by rockets fired at their houses and suicide bombs on their buses.” He referred to Israel as a “small country” in a world “where leaders of much larger nations threaten to wipe it off of the map.” And he wound up by invoking the Holocaust.

“These facts cannot be denied,” he said. One would never guess from this selection of “facts” that some 4 million Palestinians live under the oppression and constant violence of Israeli occupation, and that another 5 million are refugees, driven from their homeland.

Nor for that matter, would one have any inkling of the constant wars that “little Israel,” with its elastic borders, has waged against its neighbors. Among the more recent are the 2006 war against Lebanon, which left 1,200 civilians dead and much of the country’s infrastructure in ruins, and the 2008 “Operation Cast Lead,” against Gaza, which claimed the lives of nearly 1,500 Palestinians, compared to 13 Israelis.

With a tone of exasperation, Obama acknowledged that “for many in this hall” the Palestinian question was the issue that “stands as a test” for Washington’s claims to champion human rights and democracy.

In reality, however, the rest of the speech proved just as revealing in terms of the hypocrisy and imperialist interests that pervade Washington’s policies all over the world.

The pretense laid out at the beginning of Obama’s speech was that the US government is engaged in “the pursuit of peace in an imperfect world.” The address included a trite refrain, repeated three times: “peace is hard.”

Fleshing out this theme, Obama pointed to the partial troop withdrawals from the eight-and-a-half-year-old war and occupation in Iraq and the decade-old war in Afghanistan. He bragged that by the end of the year, only 90,000 US troops will be deployed in these wars.

Washington’s aim, he said, was to forge an “equal partnership” with Iraq “strengthened by our support for Iraq — for its government and its security forces,” and an “enduring partnership” with “the people of Afghanistan.” He claimed that these changes proved that “the tide of war is receding.”

The rhetoric about “partnership”, however, refers to the plans being pursued by the White House and the Pentagon to keep US troops, CIA operatives and American bases in both countries, long past the dates set for US withdrawal. US imperialism is determined to continue pursuing the goal that underlay the wars from the outset: hegemonic control over the strategic energy reserves of the Caspian Basin and the Persian Gulf.

Obama then proceeded to extol the “Arab Spring,” declaring: “One year ago, the hopes of the people of Tunisia were suppressed…One year ago, Egypt had known one president for nearly thirty years.”

Needless to say, the American president made no reference as to whose support had kept the dictators Ben Ali and Mubarak in power for so long, nor to the current attempts by Washington to salvage the regimes they headed and suppress the mass popular movements that forced their ouster.

From there, he proceeded to praise the NATO war in Libya, declaring that by authorizing this imperialist intervention, “the United Nations lived up to its charter.”

In reality, the war represented a fundamental violation of the tenets of this charter, which proclaims the “sovereign equality” of all member states, demanded that all disputes be settled peacefully and insisted that member states “refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.”

In the case of Libya, the US and its NATO allies, citing the threat of an imminent massacre in Benghazi, procured a resolution authorizing “all necessary measures” to protect civilians. It utilized this resolution as a cover for a war for regime-change. The NATO powers carried out thousands of air strikes and sent in special forces troops to organize, train and arm a “rebel” force for a war that has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of Libyans. The aim of this war, like those in Afghanistan and Iraq before it, is domination of strategic energy reserves, as well as inserting Western military power in the midst of a region facing revolutionary turmoil.

“This is how the international community is supposed to work,” Obama declared in relation to the Libyan operation, calling to mind Lenin’s description of the League of Nations, the UN’s predecessor, as a “thieves’ kitchen.”

Turning to uncompleted business and potential imperialist interventions yet to come, Obama condemned Iran for failing “to recognize the rights of its own people” and called for the UN impose new sanctions against Syria. “Will we stand with the Syrian people, or with their oppressors?” he demanded.

Given the bloody events in Yemen, where over 100 civilians have been massacred over the past three days, Obama could not completely ignore the upheavals against US-backed regimes in the region. In Yemen, however, there was no invocation to stand against oppressors, merely a call to “seek a path that allows for a peaceful transition.”

Even more tepid was his reference to Bahrain, the headquarters of the US 5th Fleet. “America is a close friend of Bahrain,” he declared. Here, where thousands have been killed, tortured, imprisoned, beaten and fired from their jobs for demanding democratic rights, he proposed merely a “meaningful dialogue,” while justifying the repression by suggesting that Bahrainis were confronting “sectarian forces that would tear them apart.”

The rest of the speech consisted of a hollow and unconvincing recitation of the usual platitudes. These included the elimination of nuclear weapons — with Washington, sitting on the greatest nuclear arsenal in the world and the only state ever to use such weapons, lecturing North Korea and Iran. He inveighed against poverty and disease and insisted on the need “not to put off action that “a changing climate demands.” Thrown in were calls for the rights of women as well as gays and lesbians.

On the decisive issue facing millions of working people in the US and across the globe, Obama acknowledged that economic “recovery is fragile,” that “too many people are out of work” and that “too many are struggling to get by.” Referring to the multi-trillion-dollar bailout of the banks, he boasted, “We acted together to avert a depression in 2009” and insisted that “We must take urgent and coordinated action once more.”

But as with all the other issues raised in the speech, the American president had no “coordinated action,” no program and no policy to propose. In the final analysis, Obama’s empty rhetoric is an expression of the profound crisis gripping American capitalism and its ruling financial elite as it confronts economic collapse and the threat of revolutionary upheaval.

Edited by Zuo Shou

Article link: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2011-09/28/content_13805860.htm#

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Syria – What’s behind protests? [International Action Center]

Posted in Al Jazeera bias, distortion and lies, Bahrain, Egypt, Gaza, IMF - International Monetary Fund, International Action Center, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Marx, Palestine, Syria, Torture, Tunisia, US imperialism, USA, West Bank, Yemen, Zionism on May 26, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Joyce Chediac
May 11, 2011

People in the U.S. and around the world have broad sympathy for the popular demonstrations taking place in the Middle East. All the uprisings, however, are not necessarily the same.

Protests against Western client regimes, such as those in Egypt and Tunisia that have so severely squeezed the workers, have the potential to liberate the people from crushing poverty and repression. However, the situations in Libya and Syria are somewhat different.

These governments, though certainly flawed, have been targets of U.S. destabilization efforts for decades because they have taken positions independent from Washington. The Western powers, led by the U.S., are trying to take advantage of the wave of protests in the region to intervene in Libya and Syria in order to make these countries captives of Western colonialism and reduce the workers there to day laborers for imperialism.

Contrast this to Bahrain and Yemen, both ruled by U.S. client regimes long alienated from the workers who live and work there. These regimes have fired upon, arrested and tortured demonstrators. Yet neither country has been declared a no-fly zone, and neither government has been the object of sanctions. In Libya, however, the West’s “humanitarian intervention” to “protect civilians” has meant six weeks of bombing that has destroyed much of the country’s civilian infrastructure.

Now the same Western powers bombing Libya are threatening Syria, the sole remaining independent secular state in the Arab world. Both the U.S. and the Economic Union [sic] have imposed sanctions on Syrian government officials. Why?

For one thing, Washington is trying to break up the strategic progressive alliance between Syria and Iran. It is also trying to stop the crucial support Syria gives to Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas on the West Bank. To do this, U.S. finance capital seeks to destabilize Syria, destroy its sovereignty and bring it back into the imperialist orbit…

Full article here: http://www.iacenter.org/nafricamideast/syria051511/

Ignoring its imperial history licenses the west to repeat it [The 4th Media / Guardian]

Posted in Afghanistan, Africa, Cameron, France, Gaza, India, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Kenya, NATO, Pakistan, Palestine, Sarkozy, Somalia, Sudan, U.K., West Bank, Yemen on April 14, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Seumas Milne

April 6, 2011

The reporters who heard David Cameron tell Pakistani students this week that Britain was responsible for "many of the world’s problems … in the first place" seemed to think he was joking. But it’s a measure of how far Britain is from facing up to its own imperial legacy that his remarks were greeted with bewildered outrage among his supporters at home.

The prime minister should not "run down his own country", declared the Daily Telegraph, the authentic voice of Tory England, warmly endorsing instead the insistence of his Labour predecessor, Gordon Brown, that "the days of Britain having to apologise for its colonial history are over".  In reality, no such apology has ever been made.

Cameron was responding to a question about the Kashmir conflict – a product of Britain’s partition of India in 1947 – and was clearly anxious to avoid antagonising either Indian opinion or his Pakistani hosts. "I don’t want to try to insert Britain in some leading role", the prime minister explained, with a modesty that eluded him in the buildup to Nato’s intervention in Libya.

But his critics were having none of it. Cameron was being naive; he was playing to the gallery, they said; there was nothing to be guilty about – and, anyway, imperial history was all very complicated.  So the exposure of a 50-year British government cover-up of official documents detailing the systematic brutalisation, starvation, torture and castration of thousands of guerrilla suspects during the Mau Mau rebellion in colonial Kenya in the 1950s couldn’t be more timely.

This was a counter-insurgency war in which hundreds of thousands of Kikuyu were interned in concentration camps and tens of thousands killed.  Half a century later Cameron’s government is resolutely refusing to compensate survivors on the outrageous grounds that responsibility for any crimes by the colonial authorities passed to the new Kenyan government after independence.

But of course Kenya is only one of multiple grim British imperial legacies, a string of which are at the heart of the most inflammatory confrontations of the modern world.  It’s not just Kashmir and the Pakistan-Indian standoff.  The Israel-Palestine conflict is the direct result of British colonial policy, as is the infamous Durand line that divides Pashtuns between Afghanistan and Pakistan and fuels the "Af-Pak" war.  Then there’s the toxic colonial carve-up of the Arab world and Africa along arbitrary state boundaries, and the colonial divide-and-rule of ethnic or religious groups that continues to haunt the post-colonial world.

So it’s scarcely a coincidence that many of the world’s most intractable conflicts are in former British colonies or protectorates: from the West Bank and Gaza, Iraq, Kurdistan, Yemen and Somalia to Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Cyprus and Sudan – with the reflex imperial resort to partition a recurrent theme. What Cameron said in Islamabad can’t seriously be disputed.

Of course, the colonial legacy is only one part of the story, and Britain’s is only one of the colonial empires whose baleful inheritance can be felt across the world.  But the failure in modern Britain to recognise the empire for what it was – an avowedly racist despotism, built on ethnic cleansing and ruthless exploitation, which undeveloped vast areas and oversaw famines that killed tens of millions – is a dangerous encouragement to ignore its lessons and repeat its crimes in a modern form.

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U.S. Veto on Israeli settlements: Speaking with Forked Tongue [Al-Jazeera / Globalresearch.ca]

Posted in Bahrain, Canada, Egypt, EU, European Union, France, Gaza, Genocide, Israel, Lebanon, Obama, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, U.K., US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, West Bank, Wikileaks, Yemen on February 21, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

February 20, 2011

US vetoes UN vote on settlements

It is common within early U.S. history to describe the communications from the white settlers to the indigenous population as being done with a “forked tongue,” as described clearly by Wikipedia:

The phrase "speaks with a forked tongue" means to say one thing and mean another or, to be hypocritical, or act in a duplicitous manner.  In the longstanding tradition of many Native American tribes, "speaking with a forked tongue" has meant lying, and a person was no longer considered worthy of trust, once he had been shown to "speak with a forked tongue".

The U.S. tradition of speaking with a forked tongue is long and dishonourable, as the actions taken by the U.S. for its imperial and foreign policies are as indicated hypocritical, duplicitous, and untrue. Today’s vote at the UN continued this manner of dialogue as Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the UN tries to explain why the U.S. vetoed the UN vote on settlements.  Her arguments and reasoning, while rhetorically sounding firm, are at best duplicitous and at worst lying by evasion.

Rice begins saying, “The United States strongly opposed continued Israeli settlement activity so our objection was not on that point.” Okay, so why then over the history of the ongoing settlements has the U.S. not done anything within its power to prevent the settlements. Words are fine, but as the Palestinians have learned on one side of the fence and the Israelis have learned on both sides of the fence, words simply allow more settlements to be built, more Palestinian land to be expropriated.  If the U.S. actually wanted to do something, they could have held back many or all of the billions in dollars of aid that it forwards each year, and could have held back much or most or all of the military equipment and technology it has transferred over each year.  Actions like those would speak much louder than words.

Rice continued, “The question for us was would this resolution and its adoption advance that goal of achieving an independent Palestinian state or cause one or both parties to dig in and make it even harder to resume the very necessary process of direct negotiation?”  Well, yes, it would as it would signal that perhaps the U.S. is finally reading world opinion more correctly and is at minimum willing to change some of its rhetoric if not its actions.  Two problems remain.  First, the Israelis are already dug in, literally, as they have built their settlements, have built their barriers, have built their bypass roads, have built their waterworks and gas lines.  They are literally dug into the Palestinian territories, as the Palestinians are slowly being ethnically cleansed from their own land.  Secondly, the “process of direct negotiations” has always been and always will be a failure, as one side with no power of any kind cannot “negotiate” with a side that has all the power, and further has all the complicit and tacit support of the world’s largest and most powerful military and economic empire.  That is sheer and utter hypocrisy – pretending to be good, moral, and ethical, while stealing what one wants – as the U.S. did in its imperial drive against the indigenous peoples of North America and as they continue to do so alongside Israel within the Palestinian territories.

On the limitations of the UN Rice says, “The United Nations cannot create an independent state of Palestine.  It won’t happen.  It has to be negotiated between the two parties.”  This is an interesting statement as it is part of the Israeli narrative of their creation that – apart from biblical claims and following on the Balfour Declaration – the UN “legitimized” Israel when it proposed the UN partition plan.  The UN also created a series of mandates in the Middle East that the world did not seem to have too much trouble with, mainly because they carved the region up for the sake of mainly the British and French imperial interests of the time.  There is no reason, other than U.S. obstructionism, that the UN could not make a declaration that there is a state of Palestine in such and such an area.  Many countries of the world, more recently the South American countries, have given recognition to a Palestine using the ‘green line’ of the 1948 war as the border.  The green line is an amazing concession of territory on the part of the Palestinians, giving up eighty per cent of their territory for peace and a small remnant of their former territory.

I have already discussed the uselessness of negotiations.  In addition to my earlier comments, the recent exposure of the Palestine Papers by al-Jazeera should demonstrate that, yes, there were partners for peace, and even more, partners for capitulation.  The Palestinian Authority does not have legitimate authority to negotiate a settlement on behalf of any of the Palestinian people other than its own cronies and quislings attempting to preserve their elite and relatively more powerful and wealthy positions while being subservient to the Israelis. There is no legitimate authority at the moment to negotiate with – not because there are no “partners for peace” as the Israelis and U.S. have always claimed, but because the Palestinians have not been allowed to create a truly democratic and representative bargaining committee consisting of representatives of the common people of Palestine.

As for the UN declaration, Rice says, “We can have declaration after declaration but at the end of the day they don’t create facts on the ground.” Well, truthfully they do, Israeli facts on the ground, as the U.S. provides a smokescreen of useless rhetoric and the lie of neutrality.

Twice Rice phrases a time line during which the U.S. has been “clear” and “consistent” with its comments on the settlements.  That much the world knows, and – pardon the constant reiteration (it is what the U.S. is also very good at) – is what allows the settlements to continue unabated.  She says, “The United States has for six administrations been very clear we do not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity.  There’s no question about that.  We have been clear and unequivocal.”  Later she adds, “This is not the view of the Obama administration, this is the view of the United States.  We do not and have not for thirty years accepted the legitimacy of Israeli settlement activity.”

This can only be read as that the duplicity, lies, and dishonesty are consistent traits of all U.S. administrations.  And even though Obama campaigned on “hope” and “change”, and then made a sort of wonderfully conciliatory [sic] speech in Cairo (and the world knows what is happening their [sic] and elsewhere in the Arab world) he too has accepted as part of his worldview that speaking with a forked tongue works well in the world of U.S. diplomacy.

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China opposes Israel’s settlements construction in occupied Palestinian territory: envoy – as US vetoes UN resolution yet again [People’s Daily]

Posted in Israel, Palestine, UNSC, USA, West Bank on February 19, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

February 19, 2011

Chinese Ambassador to the UN Li Baodong addresses the Security Council meeting at the UN headquarters in New York, the United States, Feb. 18, 2011. China resolutely opposes the construction of settlements by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territory and supports the legitimate demands of the Palestinian people, Li Baodong said here Friday after voting on a UN draft resolution condemning Israeli settlement activities. (Xinhua/Shen Hong)

China resolutely opposes the construction of settlements by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territory and supports the legitimate demands of the Palestinian people, Chinese Ambassador to the UN Li Baodong said at the UN headquarters in New York, the United States, Friday.

In the explanatory remarks after a Security Council voting on a UN draft resolution condemning Israeli settlement activities, Li expressed regret that the draft resolution wasn’t adopted.

The United States, a permanent Security Council member, vetoed the draft resolution.  All the other 14 Council members voted in favor of the draft resolution, co-sponsored by more than 120 UN members.

Li said at present, Israel’s continuation of settlements construction has become a major obstacle to the mutual trust and resumption of the peace talks between the Palestinians and Israelis.

"China resolutely opposes the construction of settlements and the separation wall by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territory including West Bank and East Jerusalem.  We also resolutely support the legitimate demands of the Palestine people," Li said.

China has always maintained that on the basis of the relevant UN resolutions, the principle of "land for peace," the Arab Peace Initiative and the Road Map for the Middle East peace, Palestine and Israel should conduct dialogue and negotiations to settle differences so as to eventually establish an independent state of Palestine with two countries living side by side in peace, Li said.

China supports the Security Council playing its due role in the Middle East peace process.  "We also hope that the Quartet meeting to be held on the Middle East question will achieve a positive outcome and will help to break the current stalemate in the peace process," Li said.

Source:Xinhua

Article link here

Israel staggered by Egypt protests, social tensions at home [World Socialist Web Site]

Posted in Egypt, Gaza, Iran, Israel, Labor, Labor strike, Palestine, West Bank on February 15, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手
By Jean Shaoul
11 February 2011

[Article pre-dates Mubarak’s resignation – Zuo Shou 左手】

The right-wing Israeli government of Minister Benyamin Netanyahu has been staggered by the massive demonstrations and strike wave engulfing Egypt, its critical Arab ally in the region, and the simultaneous emergence of social opposition in Israel itself.

In recent weeks, there have been several demonstrations in Israel’s predominantly Arab towns in support of the Egypt protests, including a small one in Tel Aviv of Palestinian and Jewish Israelis.  In addition, Israel’s newspapers have noted in passing expressions of public sympathy for the mass protests in Egypt calling for an end to the Mubarak regime.

Not so the Israeli government.  In speech after speech, Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu has warned that should the Mubarak dictatorship fall, chaos will prevail.  Though the Muslim Brotherhood do not have majority support and have made very clear their intention not to lead protests against Mubarak, Netanyahu constantly raises the spectre of the Islamic revolution in Iran:  the Islamists, meaning the Muslim Brotherhood, will take control in Egypt, abrogate the 1978-9 peace deal at Camp David, and march on Israel.  By implication, Netanyahu is suggesting that the fall of the Mubarak dictatorship is an event Israel might oppose by force.

The Israeli ruling class’s fear over the events in Egypt is two-fold.  In the first place, Egypt—with its large economy, population of nearly 80 million, and control of the Suez Canal—is Israel’s key ally in the region. It has played the crucial role in strangling resistance to the dispossession of the Palestinians.

Equally as important, the conditions that led to the revolution in Egypt also prevail in Israel:  youth unemployment and underemployment; spiraling prices; growing social polarization; and a corrupt and anti-democratic ruling elite personified by Netanyahu himself.  Israel is a social powder keg, characterized by enormous social inequality and poverty, governed by a corrupt and reactionary kleptocracy.

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Reflections of Fidel: The Revolutionary Rebellion in Egypt [Granma Internacional]

Posted in Cameron, Cuba, Egypt, Fidel Castro, France, Gaza, Gaza convoy / Gaza blockade, Hillary Clinton, Israel, Jordan, NATO, Obama, Palestine, Tunisia, Turkey, U.K., USA, USSR, West Bank, Western nations' human rights distortions on February 15, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Havana.  February 14, 2011

(Taken from CubaDebate)

I said several days ago that the die was cast for Mubarak and that not even Obama could save him.

The world knows what is taking place in the Middle East.  The news is circulating at incredible speed.  Politicians barely have time to read the cables coming in by the hour.  Everyone is aware of the importance of what is occurring there.

After 18 days of harsh battling, the Egyptian people attained an important objective:  to defeat the United States’ principal ally in the heart of the Arab countries.  Mubarak was oppressing and plundering his own people, he was an enemy of the Palestinians and an accomplice of Israel, the sixth nuclear power on the planet, associated with the military NATO group.

The Egyptian Armed Forces, under the command of Gamal Abdel Nasser, had overthrown a submissive king and created the Republic which, with support from the USSR, defended the homeland from the Franco-British and Israeli invasion in 1956 and retained possession of the Suez Canal and the independence of this millennial nation.

Thus Egypt enjoyed a high level of prestige in the Third World.  Nasser was known as one of the most outstanding leaders of the Non-Aligned Movement, which he participated in creating, together with other eminent leaders of Asia, Africa and Oceania who were fighting for national liberation and political and economic independence from the former colonies.

Egypt always enjoyed the support and respect of the abovementioned international organization which brings together more than 100 countries. That sister nation currently presides over the Movement for the three-year period established; and the support of many of its members for the struggle which its people are now waging will not be slow in coming.

What did the Camp David Accords signify, and why are the heroic Palestinian people so passionately defending their most vital rights?

At Camp David – with the mediation of the then U.S. President Jimmy Carter – the Egyptian leader Anwar al-Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin signed the famous accords between Egypt and Israel.

It is said that they held secret talks during 12 days and, on September 17, 1979, signed two important accords: one referring to peace between Egypt and Israel, and another related to the creation of an autonomous territory in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, which Al-Sadat thought – and Israel knew and shared the idea – would be the headquarters of the Palestinian state, whose existence, as well as that of the state of Israel, the United Nations Organization agreed on November 29, 1947, during the British Mandate of Palestine.

After difficult and complex talks, Israel agreed to withdraw its troops from the Egyptian territory of Sinai, although it categorically rejected the participation of Palestinian representatives in the peace negotiations.

As a result of the first agreement, Israel returned to Egypt the Sinai territory occupied in one of the Arab-Israeli wars.

In virtue of the second, both parties committed themselves to negotiate the creation of the autonomous regime in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.  The former comprised a territory of 5,640 square kilometers and 2.1 million inhabitants; and the latter, 360 square kilometers and 1.5 million inhabitants.

The Arab countries were angry with that agreement in which, in their judgment, Egypt did not energetically and firmly defend a Palestinian state whose right to exist had been at the center of the struggles waged for decades by the Arab states.

Their reaction reached such extreme indignation that many of them broke off relations with Egypt.  In that way, the UN Resolution of November 1947 was erased from the map.  The autonomous entity was never created and thus the Palestinians were deprived of the right to exist as an independent state, leading to the interminable tragedy endured there and which should have been resolved more than three decades ago.

The Arab population of Palestine is the victim of acts of genocide; their lands are being snatched from them and are deprived of water in those semi-desert areas, and their housing is destroyed with sledge hammers . In the Gaza Strip, one and a half million people are systematically attacked with explosive missiles, live phosphorus and the well-known stun grenades.  The territory of the Strip is blockaded by land and sea.  Why is there so much talk about the Camp David Accords and no mention of Palestine?

The United States supplies Israel with the most modern and sophisticated armament, worth billions of dollars every year.  Egypt, an Arab country, was converted into the second [greatest] recipient of U.S. weapons.  To fight against whom?  Against another Arab country?  Against the Egyptian people themselves?

When the population was demanding respect for their most elemental rights and the resignation of a president whose policies consisted of exploiting and plundering his people, the repressive forces trained by the United States did not hesitate to fire on them, killing hundreds and wounding thousands.

When the Egyptian people were awaiting explanations from the government of their own country, the replies came from senior officers from U.S. intelligence agencies or the U.S. government, without any respect whatsoever for Egyptian officials.

Do the leaders of the United States and their intelligence services, by any chance, know nothing of the Mubarak government’s colossal theft?

Faced with the people’s mass protests in Tahrir Square, neither government officials nor intelligence agents said one single word about privileges and the bold-faced robbery of billions of dollars.

It would be an error to imagine that the revolutionary popular movement in Egypt simply constitutes a reaction against the violation of their most fundamental rights.  Peoples do not risk repression or death, nor do they stand fast the whole night protesting energetically about purely formal issues. They do so when their legal and material rights are pitilessly sacrificed to the insatiable demands of corrupt politicians and to the national and international forces sacking the country.

The rate of poverty already affected the vast majority of a combative, young and patriotic people, whose dignity, culture and beliefs have all been attacked.

How could they reconcile themselves to the continuing increase in the price of food with the tens of billions of dollars attributed to President Mubarak and the privileged sectors of his government and society?

At this point, it is not enough to know how high that figure is; it must be demanded that the funds be returned to the nation.

Obama is affected by the events in Egypt; he acts or appears to act as if he were the owner of the planet.  What is happening in Egypt seems to be his own issue.  He has not stopped talking over the telephone with leaders of other countries.

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