Socialist Worker

Sharon's 100 obstacles to peace

Issue No. 1847

Tony Blair tried to get backing for the war on Iraq by claiming that it would bring peace to the Middle East. But Bush and Blair's 'road map to peace' for Israel and Palestine is a con. It is overwhelmingly weighted in favour of Israel, the US's watchdog state in the Middle East.

The road map promises a Palestinian state by 2005. But this state will be even weaker than that promised in earlier peace negotiations. The Israeli government is building a 'security fence' around the West Bank, dividing the Palestinians from Israel and Jordan. Israel has already incorporated ten illegal settlements into its borders, requisitioning some of the best farmland and water resources.

There will be no right of return to their homes in Israel for any of the five million Palestinian refugees scattered across the world. Israel's leader Ariel Sharon is putting barrier after barrier in the way of justice for Palestine. Sharon already wants to put 100 amendments to the road map.

He wants to use the US's defeat of Iraq to push through his plans. Sharon says that Israel will abandon 'some' small settlements. One of Israel's conditions for taking part in negotiations is to demand Palestinians agree to repress any radical groups taking up arms against Israel.

Israel will call off talks if there are any suicide attacks against Israel, including ones not linked to the official Palestinian leadership. The US and Israel have already sidelined Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in place of the more moderate prime minister Abu Mazen. They want to humiliate and dominate the Palestinians and call it peace and democracy.

Is Israel deliberately targeting peace activists?

ISRAELI soldiers shot British peace activist Tom Hurndall through the face on Friday of last week. Tom was wearing bright clothing as he shielded Palestinian women and children in the town of Rafah in Gaza. He was trying to prevent two Palestinian girls being shot by Israeli troops at a roadblock.

Tom was in a critical condition as Socialist Worker went to press. Israeli soldiers also shot US activist Brian Avery in the face in Jenin in the West Bank last week. An Israeli army investigation into the killing of US activist Rachel Corrie, also in Rafah, was a whitewash. It concluded that its forces were not to blame and lambasted peace activists. Corrie was run down and killed by Israeli bulldozers as she tried to stop them from demolishing Palestinian homes.

'Rachel was kneeling 20 metres in front of the bulldozer on flat ground,' said Joe Smith, also from the US. 'The driver did not stop. Once she had fallen under the bulldozer, the driver stopped when she was under its middle section and reversed.'

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