From the Eastern Daily Press, Saturday, October 14, 2000
The continuing Palestinian tragedy is one for which successive British governments have an inescapable responsibility. In the first instance, and certainly until 1948, for encouraging the activities of Zionists to whom this country had provided sanctuary and thereafter for supporting the pro-Israel aspirations of a Zionist-orchestrated US foreign policy.
As a direct consequence of these factors, a Jewish settler community was able to conduct a programme of ethnic cleansing that in more subtle form continues to this day. The Palestinian Arabs that remain within the artificially-created boundaries of Israel are confined to an apartheid-based Bantustan type of existence from which all hope for a future has been extinguished.
The periodic negotiations for "peace" have served the interests of Israel alone and have been forced upon the Arab world by a United States, so closely tied with its Jewish protégé that the outcome is entirely predictable. They have quite simply resulted in ever more concessions by the Palestinians and more procrastination by Israel.
Palestinian frustration is now at such a level that a contest as between stones on the one hand, and heavy automatic weapons, attack helicopters, rocket-launched grenades and tanks on the other seems worth the effort. This, then, is the "balance" that our mealy- mouthed, gutless government espouses when challenged about support for the oppressed victims of this unequal conflict.
Where are the sanctions against the aggressor? When is the Government going to insist on Israel complying with existing UN resolutions that would immediately end this oppression and provide for the return and restitution to the expelled Palestinians?
Where are the war crime indictments against the Jewish criminals responsible for countless, but well-documented, atrocities in Palestine and the Lebanon?
Mr Cook's ethical foreign policy in practice is both cynical and obscene. The hypocrisy of pursuing Saddam Hussein and Slobodan Milosevic, while ignoring Ariel Sharon and his colleagues because the US wouldn't like it, exposes the real character of those that claim to represent us. It is a policy born of arrogance and moral bankruptcy, but which will directly contribute to the loss of hundreds, if not hundreds of thousands of Palestinian lives.