Britain Should Also End its Interference in
the Middle East
Foreign Office Minister Peter Hain said on the outcome of
the Camp David negotiations that the British government, having "followed
with intense hope the efforts by President Clinton to help Prime Minister Barak
and President Arafat to reach agreement", expressed "regret that,
although significant progress was made, the final decisions and compromises
necessary to reach an historic agreement have, at least for now, proved elusive
to both sides".
Britain has for long played a nefarious role on the side of
the Israeli Zionists and backing the strategy of US imperialism in the region.
It has backed the premise that underlying the "peace process" has
been the mutual acceptance of the "principle" of "land for
peace", which was laid out in the UN Security Council Resolution 242 after
the 1967 war. It was also signatory to the "Berlin Declaration" of
March 25, 1999, when the European Council reaffirmed its support for a
"negotiated settlement in the Middle East, to reflect the principle of
land for peace and ensure the security both collectively and
individually of the Israeli and Palestinian peoples". However, this
declaration also "reaffirms the continuing and unqualified Palestinian
right to self-determination including the option of a state", whereas this
right has been continually thwarted through the stance of the big powers.
In his speech on "Britains Policy in the Middle
East" on July 17, Peter Hain underlined that the "Middle East and
North Africa remain central to British Foreign Policy". He said, "The
region is our neighbour, our trading partner, and a strategic priority."
This is the crux of the matter. When the crunch is coming now to resolve the
question of sovereignty over Jerusalem, of refugees, settlements, security
arrangements and borders prior to the September 13 target date for
"Permanent Status Agreement", the British government, as is its wont,
does not support the right of the peoples of the region to sort out their own
affairs, but "stands ready to help the Americans and the parties in any
way" it can.
We have seen the application of the British policy of
so-called "universality" of "human rights" at work in
Yugoslavia and Iraq. The government is extremely selective in its application
of this "universality" in accordance with its own "enlightened
self-interest". It is the interference in the affairs of other states in
furtherance of Britains so-called "enlightened self-interest"
which must be ended. Peter Hains smooth words conceal the assumption that
the Palestinian and Israeli peoples need "practical UK assistance" to
achieving peace. This is very disturbing for the prospects of genuine and
lasting peace in the Middle East.