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Civil War Or Coup D’état In Palestine?

By Agustin Velloso

09 February, 2007

Interview with Professor Agustin Velloso in the “11th Week of the Popular School Jose Luis Garcia Rua: The outcomes of fundamentalism”, Gijon, Spain, from 2 to 10 February 2007.
Translated by the author and revised by James Hollander

Is there a civil war going on in Palestine?

No, but this question and an affirmative answer is what pro-Israeli media are spreading all over the world. Hence, the average news consumer knows nothing of the reality of this “civil war”.

But, aren’t we seeing that Palestinians are killing each other in the streets of Gaza?

What we are seeing is that since Hamas won the last legislative elections of January 2006, which were monitored by hundreds of foreign observers, Jimmy Carter amongst them, the Western powers have made all kinds of political and economic manoeuvres to oust the winner with the help of the losers, Abu Mazen and his Fatah party.

However, the situation is different than in Iraq. There are no Western armies in Gaza, isn’t just an internal Palestinian affair?

It is not an internal affair. Palestine is just another piece on the big Middle East chessboard, where the international community is moving pieces to further its own interests, namely: the control of oil and the support of its ally, Israel. The Western powers support Fatah because they say it represents the « moderate » Palestinians and are torpedoing the Hamas government because its programme runs counter to the agenda of Zionism and imperialism. Once Hamas obtained a majority of the seats in the Legislative Council, the powerful leaders, Bush, Rice, Blair, Olmert, Solana and others switched to plan B: oust Hamas from the government no matter the price. This price would be paid by ordinary Palestinians, in any case.

What role is the international community playing in the fighting?

This fighting is the last move in the chess game. Previously, the West –the supposed democratic guardians of international law- invaded countries, flattened entire cities, bombed families at weddings and on the beach, and forced Arab and Muslim prisoners onto secret flights around the globe to torture them at will and put them in cages like animals.

What moves are you talking about?

They have totally isolated the legitimate Palestinian government, while Israel has declared its members a “legitimate” target for its death squads, kidnapping several of them as well as many members of the Legislative Council.

In addition to this political coup d’état, which makes it almost impossible for the government to operate, they have used their favourite weapon, the one they have used in Iraq for so many years, leaving half a million dead Iraqi children in its wake: an economic blockade. Israel is stealing the Palestinian people’s money, which it collects through taxes and which is supposed to be handed over to the Palestinian government. Banks have been prevented, under heavy pressure, from handling money transfers from supporters of the Palestinian people. Finally, when members of the government have tried to transport themselves much-needed cash into the Occupied Territories, they have been prevented from doing so. All this in order to achieve the goals of the rogue state Israel, which in the words of one high official include to put Palestinians on a diet. This peculiar sense of humour in politics is reminiscent of Himmler, Menguele and other learned Westeners.

Still, what is the relationship between sanctions and shootings?

As in Iraq, the Palestinians did not overthrow their government. Clearly, they reject such “humanitarian” policies and they are suspicious of Western help and their local delegates. The Palestinian agent, Abu Mazen, has threatened to dissolve the government, the Legislative Council, has demanded a national unity government and early elections, all this when barely a few months, full of unremitting Israeli aggression, have passed since the 2006 elections.

Although Hamas is under no obligation to give up the government, as the expression of Palestinian political will, prime minister Hanniyeh made public his intention to resign, if necessary, in the national interest. This is unheard of, not only in the Arab world but in the West as well. The Western media, of course, piad no attention at all to this offer.

Since things were not proceeding according to the “democratic” plans of the Western powers, they have stepped up their pressure, this time provoking Hamas through street fighting and threats of violence.

Hamas’ response is what these same media outlets describe as civil war. Their work of destroying yet another Arab and Muslim country is almost complete. Another one on the list: Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Somalia. Almost, because the Palestinian people, and not only those affiliated with Hamas, will hopefully put an end to the violence and force the political parties to come to terms with the real enemy, the Israeli occupation, and punish the quislings for their crimes.

What is going to happen now?

There is ample reason for concern. We must recall what Western countries –and their main ally, Israel- have been doing for years in the Middle East: destroying countries, killing millions and inflicting immense suffering of many others.

The United States and Israel will keep on arming and funding the pro-cup party and its militias in order to sabotage the Palestinian national movement and foster instead the creative chaos they are so fond. For the Palestinians, this means no return of the refugees, the continuation of the occupation by close or remote control, the “judaization” of Jerusalem, the continuation of Israeli policies of ethnic cleansing and the subjugation of millions of Palestinians in their own land. In any case, nothing different of what has been taking place since 1948.

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