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   Vol. 67/No. 23           July 7, 2003  
No Israeli concessions

It is my opinion that the article in the June 16 issue entitled “Tel Aviv makes concessions to Palestinians to bloc with Washington in targeting Iran,” should have more correctly been titled “Tel Aviv and Washington seek to pacify the Palestinian people’s struggle in order to target Iran.” As is, the article leaves you with an impression that is not borne out by the facts or even by the content.

Comrade Malapanis makes the point that the “peace” plan calls for the formation of a Palestinian state on the condition that the Palestinian Authority cracks down on the groups Washington considers as “terrorists.” Nothing new here! Where is the concession here? This does not even go as far as previous agreements and discussions that Washington was a part of, such as Oslo or Camp David II. A Palestinian state where? Somewhere in the territories occupied in 1967, the borders will be figured out later. The real content of the Road Map is part 2 which is the demand on the Palestinian Authority to crack down on the resistance to the Israeli occupation. Washington and Tel Aviv believe that the U.S. imperialist occupation of Iraq will so demoralize the Palestinian people that Washington’s unsavory proposals will be swallowed and an obstacle to imperialism’s domination will be removed.

In addition, Sharon, as Malapanis points out, rejects any negotiations on the fate of the 4 million refugees and has placed numerous other objections.

The fact of the matter is that the closures, i.e. the siege, of Palestinian population centers continue. The settlement activities continue unabated, the only settlements targeted by Sharon so far are a few empty trailers that even his government considers as illegal. The moves against the latter were more for international public consumption and have no effect on the ground.

Had Tel Aviv lifted the siege, had Tel Aviv agreed to dismantle real settlements, had Tel Aviv agreed to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state without ifs, ands, or buts, then we could have talked of concessions. Indications are that the Palestinian masses have not seen anything positive in the so-called concessions provided by Sharon’s government and are not about to put aside their struggle.

The fact is that the concessions are by a Palestinian Authority demoralized by Washington’s victory in Iraq and hoping that by placing Abu Mazen as prime minister, a man Washington was favorable to, a bone would be thrown to the Palestinians. It is another step in the disorientation of the bourgeoisified PLO leadership.

A point on the Lebanese organization Hezbollah: This is an organization that was part of a decades-long popular resistance to Israeli occupation in southern Lebanon and also resistance to attempts by Washington and Tel Aviv to foist a brazenly pro-imperialist regime in Beirut. They were part of a victory by the Arab masses against the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon and also against a U.S. military expeditionary force in 1982-83 that had been sent to shore up the Phalangist government in Beirut. They thus stand as a bad example that must be removed. Their close relations to the Tehran regime continues to be a source of much consternation in imperialist circles. For that reason too they must be eliminated as Washington escalates its hostility towards Iran. Hezbollah has not claimed to have carried out actions inside Israel or outside of Lebanon. They have also not targeted Israeli civilians for suicide bombings.

Of course, a victory by Washington against the Iranian people would also be a terrible blow against the Palestinians. The article by Malapanis states that concessions were given to the Palestinians in order to be able to target Iran. We must make sure that we do not leave the impression that the Palestinians may somehow gain something out of Washington’s hostility to the Iranian people.

Georges Mehrabian
Athens, Greece

Morgan or History Channel?

I read the article in the June 16, 2003 issue about Engels’s Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State. In Lewis Morgan’s Ancient Society there are mentioned the three ages of humankind: savagery, barbarism, and civilization, and how women were treated equally on account of the fact that there was no dominant patriarchy.

But I was watching a documentary on the History Channel which claimed there was archaeological evidence in Neanderthal burial sites that males were buried upright with pottery, food, and other artifacts for the afterlife, but that females were not buried this way. The conclusion was that, contrary to modern-day assertions that Neanderthal women were treated equally, such was not the case and they were treated poorly, on account of the fact that one could conclude that how a society buries its members also directly represents how that same society treats its living.

So, who is right? Lewis Morgan or the History Channel? Also, in the age of barbarism, Egyptian society was male-dominated, because the Pharaohs were all men.

Tom Lobello
Minneapolis, Minnesota

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