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Re: news from the Cairo conference

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  • thekoba@aztec.asu.edu
    ================= Begin forwarded message ================= Dear Kevin, This report appears to be true. Also the PFLP representative went to the Cairo meeting
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 24 11:20 AM
      ================= Begin forwarded message =================

      Dear Kevin,

      This report appears to be true. Also the PFLP
      representative went to the Cairo meeting because they
      believe in and have been calling for a pan-Palestinian
      dialogue for years but he said that if this is going
      to be about stopping the intifada and resistance then
      it will have failed before it started.

      Apparently, however, Arafat's latest notion is that if
      his people can get a committment to a one-year
      suspension of resistance (technically not a "halt")
      that that might help get the bearded, supposedly
      liberal. Labour Party candidate (mitznaa) elected next
      Zionist prime minister. Supposedly they will drop any
      cease fire if Sharon is re-elected.

      First of all, polls show Mitznaa trailing badly. So
      it's a waste of time, most likely. Secondly, and more
      importantly, "there's not a dime's worth of
      difference" between Labour and Likud. Mitznaa seems
      to be ready to pull back to where the Zionists were
      before spring of this year, and go on from there, but
      that is worthless.

      The way the issue is being presented is that they are
      working for a new version of the "April Agreement" --
      a reference to the agreement in Lebanon where
      HizbAllah, the Zionists and the US agreed that there
      would be no attacks on civilians.

      That, of course, worked well in Lebanon since the
      Zionists weren't colonizing there. So the Zionists
      couldn't attack Hizb Allah since Hizb Allah was
      basically intermingled with the Lebanese people, but
      Hizb Allah could attack the Zionists who were holed up
      in bunkers and behind security fences and in their
      camps. Of course the Zionists violated this
      frequently and also complained that HizbAllah had no
      right to "hide" amongst the people or launch attacks
      from populated areas (perhaps that was in the
      agreement, I don't know).

      But anyhow, the situation inside Palestine is
      different. Driving them out of Lebanon (where they
      supposedly were protecting "Israel's" security but
      actually were inflicting losses on themselves) was one
      thing. The occupied territories and even more out of
      the areas occupied in 1948 is even more unlikely.

      So far reports say that Hamas has said that any such
      suspension of attacks depends on the Zionists stopping
      all attacks on Palestinian civilians, all
      assassinations, and releasing all prisoners and
      detainees. Obviously the Zionists won't do that, so
      if Hamas sticks to that position, it won't go along
      with any halt in or suspension of hostilities.

      Also, the PFLP has different currents in it. Ahmad
      Saadat's militant current (though he's in prison) and
      then the liberal currents that echo Arafat and the
      DFLP with their "traditional" western leftist outlook
      on the Jews and "Israel" etc.

      If the PFLP, via its right wing were inclined to make
      compromises on this line, that might have been under
      cut by the fact that a few days ago the Zionists
      arrested Ahmad Saadat's wife, Ablah while she was on
      her way to Jordan en route to Brazil for a solidarity
      meeting.

      Yesterday she was sentenced to 5 months administrative
      detention. Under the Administrative Detention system
      (instituted by the British Mandate) you can be
      imprisoned without charge. The detention can be
      renewed indefinitely, as well. (Such is the way that
      the legal system works in the "only democracy in the
      Middle East"!). Some months ago Ahmad Saadat's
      brother was killed in a shoot out with Zionist
      commandos who came to "arrest" him. So they're
      obviously trying to silence the radical wing of the
      PFLP. But for this specific meeting in Cairo, Ablah
      Saadat's arrest probably won't incline the PFLP to
      compromises.

      So far I haven't seen the full text of the communique
      issued in Istanbul by the foreign ministers of Iran,
      Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. The
      quotes that I've seen from the communique suggest that
      the outrageous document I sent you the other day
      ("with friends like these . . .") was pretty much
      adopted.

      Right now the media are saying that the US has no
      support in the UN. But I doubt that. We heard
      exactly the same thing a week or so before they passed
      Resolution 1441. Then the next issue was: OK France,
      Russia, China don't like what the US is doing, but
      will they actually use a veto. The answer to that was
      "no" and then they ended up voting for the resolution!

      Admittedly, this is a little different since 1441 was
      marketed as being "against war" and Bush presumably
      would be marketing war this time.

      But he could also pull a "fast one". He could, for
      example, come up with some ultimatum -- Saddam Husayn
      must satisfy the inspectors by Feb. 15th or else we're
      authorized to disarm Iraq, or he could provoke an
      Shiite "uprising for human rights" and have to help
      out, etc. So I don't put any money on France, China
      and Russia stopping anything even if right now they
      seem uncooperative.

      Anyhow, we'll have to see. The anti-war movement here
      is doing better than it appears in our part of the
      country, but it's not in a position to change the
      course of the US yet -- or even to influence the
      coverage that Bush's war is likely to receive in the
      imperialist media. The Viet Nam anti-war movement WAS
      able to do that.

      Comradely,

      Eric
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