A Call to Conscience; An Inspiration to All

June 3, 2003

by Michael Thorburn

Once again, the U.S. government is trying to present itself as the "honest broker" seeking "peace" between Israeli zionism and the Palestinian people. But Bush's so-called "roadmap for peace" is a fraud from beginning to end.

The very starting point of this "roadmap" is that the Palestinians must renounce any and all resistance to U.S.-Israeli occupation.

And what do the Palestinians get in return?

They do not get an end to occupation. Rather the Israeli military continues to kill Palestinians and occupy their towns and villages.

The Palestinians do not get an end to the Israeli settlements. On the contrary, only hours after accepting the "roadmap" which calls for a freeze on settlements, the Israeli Housing Minister presented a project to build 12,000 new units in the West Bank and Gaza.

In fact, all along the line the Sharon government, with the backing of the Bush administration and Congress, has made it clear that it will never recognize the rights of the Palestinians. Some day in the distant future, the Palestinians may be allowed to use the word "state" but all the real power will remain in the hands of the U.S.-Israeli colonizers. The so-called Palestinian state envisioned by Bush and Sharon will not be allowed to have an army, its political and economic system as well as its foreign policy will be dictated by the U.S. and the Israeli aggressors will continue to encircle it militarily.

No, the empty promises of the U.S. government will not bring peace to Palestine.

In 1948, U.S. and British imperialism instigated zionism to found the state of Israel through force of arms. The Palestinians became a subject people within their own country and 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homeland, their houses and villages razed to the ground.

In 1967, Israeli zionism, instigated and backed by U.S. imperialism, waged another full-scale war and occupied the rest of Palestine (the West Bank and Gaza), again expropriating Palestinian land and forcing tens of thousands into exile.

For the last 55 years, the zionist aggressors -- financed, armed and commanded by U.S. imperialism -- have waged a war of genocide with the declared aim of colonizing all of Palestine. Today, Israel imposes military rule in the West Bank and Gaza, killing the people, expropriating more land, establishing new colonial settlements, etc.

Peace will only come to Palestine when the U.S. government is forced to withdraw all its support for Israeli zionism, when the aggressors withdraw completely from all the occupied territories, when all the Palestinian people are guaranteed the right to return to homes and when a genuinely sovereign and independent Palestinian state comes into being.

And it is precisely the resistance of the Palestinian people -- their struggle for national liberation -- which will bring about such a just peace.

It is this liberation struggle which is the target of Bush's "roadmap for peace."

Bush and the other representatives of U.S. imperialism hate and fear the Palestinian liberation struggle so much that they cannot even use the word "Palestinian" without, in the same breath, muttering "terrorist."

The image of Palestinian youth confronting the tanks of the Israeli occupiers and their made-in-the-U.S. Apache helicopters with only stones or their bare fists raised to the sky haunts Bush and this cohorts. This image haunts the imperialists because it is the living testament of a people who continue to declare "from generation to generation, until final liberation." Living under the thumb of the occupier and dispersed to the far corners of the globe, the Palestinian nation persists in resisting the armed force of the greatest military power in history, persists in its struggle for national salvation.

The Palestinian national liberation movement is one of the defining struggles of our times. It is a boundless inspiration to the peoples everywhere to carry through to the end the struggle against colonialism and imperialism.

Today, especially, the Palestinian liberation struggle is coming to the forefront because it stands as a roadblock to U.S. imperialism's drive to conquer and recolonize the entire Middle East.

U.S. imperialism has invaded Iraq and is setting up a colonial regime there. It is openly threatening Syria and Iran and declaring that the entire region must come under its thumb. To secure its colonial domination, U.S. imperialism seeks to outlaw, to crush, any resistance. But the Palestinian liberation struggle destabilizes the base of imperialism and remains an outpost of resistance and a clarion call to all the Arab peoples to rise in struggle against U.S. intervention and occupation.

So too, the Palestinian liberation struggle is a call to the conscience of all Americans, a demand that we rise in struggle to end U.S. imperialism's support for Israeli occupation and aggression and support the Palestinian people's inalienable right to a sovereign state in their historic homeland.