The Peoples Must Keep the Initiative in Their Hands

(April 8, 2002)

Today, the barbarity of Israeli aggression demands a response from every person of conscience.

Israeli tanks and gunships (made in the U.S.A.) encircle Palestinian refugee camps, shooting at anything that moves. Within the last week alone, several hundred Palestinians have been killed or wounded as Israel extends its occupation to major Palestinian areas through the West Bank, including Bethlehem, Ramallah, Jenin, Nablus, etc. Whole towns are under siege, deprived of electricity, food, medical supplies and other necessities. While Israeli soldiers shoot Palestinian civilians and children, ambulances are prevented from reaching the wounded. The headquarters of the Palestinian Authority and President Arafat remain under siege. Thousands of Palestinians have been rounded up and detained through house-to-house searches.

The Sharon government has declared that it intends to stay in the Palestinian areas "for a long time;" its goal is to destroy any and every organization of the Palestinian people and again put them directly under the thumb of an occupying, Israeli army.

But the terror of the U.S.-Israeli aggressors cannot cower the Palestinian people or break their will.

On the contrary. The resistance of the Palestinians, armed with little more than their determination to be free, is inspiring peoples throughout the world. Across the Middle East, in Europe and the U.S., in Latin America, Asia and Africa, millions of people are coming out to support the Palestinian liberation struggle and demand an immediate end to U.S.-backed Israeli aggression.

It is precisely because of the strength of the Palestinian resistance and the growing worldwide support for this just struggle, that the Bush administration is again talking about "peace" and trying to cover over its responsibility for Israeli aggression.

But the facts remain. The facts are that the bullets killing the Palestinians are bought-and-paid-for by Bush and U.S. imperialism. The facts are that while dispatching Colin Powell to the region, Bush is giving Israel plenty of time to continue its military offensive. The facts are that Bush, turning truth on its head and blaming the victims, continues to attack the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority as "terrorist." The facts are that Bush continues to demand that the Palestinian and Arab peoples give up their resistance to aggression and occupation.

We must not be fooled, even for a second, by the pious double-talk of U.S. imperialism. Bush hopes that through phony "peace" talks and imperialist diplomacy he can slow down and divert the Palestinian resistance and accomplish at the negotiating table what Israeli tanks cannot win on the battlefield. Bush hopes to take the initiative out of the hands of the peoples and leave the fate of Palestine to the intrigues of U.S. and world imperialism.

But the Palestinian people will persist in their struggle, no matter what the cost, until Israeli occupation is ended and the people regain all their inalienable rights including their own independent state. Over 50 years ago, the Palestinians' homeland was stolen by the arms and intrigues of zionism and world imperialism. Since then, while Israel has kept expanding and annexing more Palestinian lands, the Palestinians have continuously unfolded their struggle for national liberation.

Today the Palestinian liberation struggle is at an important turning point. The barbaric crimes of the U.S.-Israeli aggressors show their extreme isolation and the injustice of their cause. The U.S.-Israeli aggressors are trying to block the sacred aspirations of humanity - the right of every people to national independence and liberation. The U.S.-Israeli aggressors will go down to defeat because their cause is the cause of occupation, colonialism and genocide.

The Palestinians, on the other hand, are winning and will win the support of all humanity because they are fighting for a just cause, for national salvation and liberation.

Now is the time that the peoples everywhere must take action and extend firm support to the Palestinian liberation struggle. We must come out in actions to demand:

1) the immediate end to Israeli occupation; and 2) the complete cutoff of all U.S. aid to Israel.