Israel shows true colours
The State of Israel has declared that the Palestinian citizens of East Jerusalem, which under international law is described as annexed, cannot vote in next January's Palestinian elections.
More than this, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had already declared that if Hamas candidates stood in another territory illegally occupied by Israel, the West Bank, then voting there would be annulled also.
This brings into play a number of important issues which underlie the whole Israeli-Palestinian question.
To begin with, it is now crystal clear that the one against the creation of a Palestinian State living side by side with Israel in peace is Tel Aviv. If Israel is to stop Palestinian citizens in a territory described under international law as a territory illegally annexed from voting, then it cannot be said that Israel has a forward-looking, positive or serious attitude towards a long-term settlement of the issue.
Secondly, Israel once again opts to provoke and interfere in affairs which have nothing to do with Tel Aviv. Whether or not Hamas stands in the elections is a question for the Palestinian Authority, which does not decide which fascist elements are allowed to stand or not in Israeli elections.
Thirdly, suppressing Hamas is not a far-reaching policy to undertake. As was the case of the suppression of the Moslem Brotherhood in Egypt, holding down a movement growing in popularity only forces it underground and makes it stronger – the Moslem Brotherhood, although outlawed, has managed to take around a quarter of the Parliamentary seats under independent candidates in Egypt, making it the main opposition force to President Mubarak.
If Israel wants to adopt a serious policy of good neighbourly relations with an independent Palestinian State, it will have to understand that the international community is governed by the notion that the rule of law is sacrosanct, which means that Israel has to abide by international law and cease adopting a policy of accepting the parts of this law which it chooses to, always with Big Brother the USA standing behind it with the sword, stick, carrot or cheque book.
East Jerusalem does not belong to Israel and under international law, never did. Neither does the West Bank. Pulling out of Gaza is not the end of the tale, it is the beginning of what must be seen as a serious and definitive policy of co-existence. It is not a question of the Palestinian Authority accepting the State of Israel, because it already has and Moslems the world over have to accept Israel as de facto a state which exists and always will. Hence the irresponsibility of the recent declarations of President Ahmadinejad of Iran.
However the same goes for Israel. Tel Aviv, however must it hates the idea that it is a member of the international community on an equal footing and not superior to the other members, has to abide by international law.
This means pulling out of the illegally occupied territories and not interfering in the internal affairs of the Palestinian Authority by deciding who can vote and who stands for election.
Such behaviour is an act of such extreme arrogance that it resembles an act of war, which loses Tel Aviv whatever little support it had in the hearts and minds of the international community, even in the USA.
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