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An Endless Circle


Mick Hall • 2 February 2006

There are real lessons to be learned from the outcome of the recent Palestinian elections, not least the United Kingdom's and the United State's outspoken support for the electoral process in other peoples countries needs to be taken with a large dollop of salt. For as soon as a political party which is not on their most favored list gains the electoral support of the masses, the USA's and UK's support for the democratic process wilters and they begin to erect roadblocks as to why it is not possible for the electorally successful but unfavored party to form a government.

Take the case of Hamas, who recently became the majority party within the Palestinian Parliament. The US administration and their British counterparts have used the fact that Hamas's military wing has engaged in suicide bombings in its war against the Israeli occupation to bar their way from holding office within the Palestinian Authority [PA]. Fatah's armed wing in the occupied territories, the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, have also been involved in the same, yet we never heard a word from the US or UK governments that this would prohibit the Fatah leader, Mahmoud Abbas, from being Palestinian President, nor members of his party from forming the P.A. Government.

What has become increasingly clear is that both the GFA and the Oslo Accords have been used as a stalling and blocking device, designed to prevent democratic accountability and good Governance within the north of Ireland and an independent Palestinian State on the West Bank and Gaza strip.

As soon as one problem is over-come, another takes its place to prevent the process moving forward to fruition. Without going into the fine details of this, as the list of obstructions to a just settlement emerging within either localities lengthens by the day, I will just point out a couple of the major obstacles which have been erected down the years.

First, according to the Israelis and their US paymaster, Arafat became the problem in Palestine. Now with his removal from the scene and fair and free elections having taken place, Hamas' success in these elections takes his place as the main obstacle to progress. Something similar happened in the north. We had the PRM involvement in criminality, next decommissioning re-emerged as a road block and when this was removed it was again replaced by criminality and PIRA intelligence gathering as highlighted in the recent IMC report; and so it goes on.

Of course the British government in the north of Ireland claims it is not they who are erecting these road blocks but the Unionists, who are merely following their electoral mandate. The USA does much the same in Palestine when they claim it is the Israelis who refuse to move due to the aforementioned problems. Both governments are being disingenuous for both Israel and the northern state-let exist on the good will and economic input of their benefactors from across the seas. To suggest the Ulster Unionists and the Israeli government is its own master on this matter is nonsensical.

If this was just a matter of the two governments erecting the roadblocks and SF and the PLO getting on with their business of building their political support and servicing their political base then whatever the two governments did would not weigh so heavily within the communities from whence the PRM and PLO came. However both the PLO and SF leaderships have chosen to counter every false claim and in the process have run themselves ragged selling to their own constituencies one compromise after another in their vain attempt to stay in the game. In the case of SF its leadership is forever trooping off to be briefed by the British government, only to return to its political base having to sell yet another compromise demanded of it by its British enemies, only further down the line to be recalled to Downing Street to be told some other trivial matter is blocking the way of progress and so the process repeats itself.

Not only must this exhaust and demoralize the SF leadership, and its core support base, but it does not allow this leadership a minute to reflect and ponder on the progress of events as they always on a tread-mill, the speed of which is controlled by their Unionist and British opponents. Thus they continuously find themselves rushing from one 'vital' appointment to another as if they were the Belfast Fire Brigade.

Compare this with what Hamas have achieved in the years since the Oslo accords came into being. True, their leadership has had to dodge Israeli assassination squads, often unsuccessfully. But whilst doing so they and their activists have worked away building a radical support base and infrastructure which these days Fatah and SF's leadership can only admire nostalgically. The irony of this is that the likes of Fatah and SF were the role models for Hamas and many radical groups of how to build a political machine. While SF leaders were shaking yet another President, Prime-Minster, leading churchman, journalist or celeb's hand and spending endless hours moving between one meeting to another, Hamas was doing what a radical political organization and its militants should be engaged in, plotting and working towards the downfall of all they oppose.

An old Yorkshireman once said to me when I had done something foolish, Think on. Perhaps it is time the SF leadership and its rank and file did so and considered if it might be advantageous for them to untangle themselves from a process which has brought them, and more importantly those they represent, few real benefits in the last couple of years, but a great deal of bad publicity and misinformation. The problem with the Good Friday and Oslo Agreements is when in recent years its governmental sponsors said jump, the radical parties it was designed to bring in from the cold have been reduced to replying, 'how high' and this cannot continue if a fair and just settlement is to be the end game.






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Index: Current Articles

5 February 2006

Other Articles From This Issue:

Murder in the Street
Anthony McIntyre

The Murder of Brian Stewart
Marie Duffy

Eamonn McCann

President Reinventing Our History
David Adams

End Coalition with US
Michael McKevitt

"Do Not Become Recruiting-Sergeant for PSNI", Reiss is Advised
Sean Mc Manus

An Endless Circle
Mick Hall

The American Dream – Camp Sister Spirit Mississippi
Sean Mc Aughey

Call Centres
Liam O Ruairc

Reaction to GEM Article
Pascal Stil

More Spies May be Lurking in Sinn Féin's Cupboard
Anthony McIntyre

30 January 2006

One Year On
Anthony McIntyre

SF's Support 'Lay With the People Involved in Robert's Murder'
K Quinn

Our Fenian Dead
Brendan Hughes

Murky Maghaberry
Anthony McIntyre

Rebutting a Defamatory Article
Declan Carroll

Getting the Facts Right
Statement from McKevitt & Sands Family

"Close Enough for Government Work"
Chris Fogarty

Boxing Shadows
Dr John Coulter

When is Enough, Enough?
Mick Hall

Serving the Agenda of Two Masters
Anthony McIntyre

St Pat's Day
Niall Corey

The Letters page has been updated.



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