Khalil Maqdesi, member of the Central Committee of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) expressed support, Jan. 27, “for the people of Egypt and their struggle for democracy and social justice, as centrally important for all Arab people.”
Khalil Maqdesi, said that the PFLP has a long history of comradeship and struggle alongside the national movement of the Egyptian people, and that Egypt has a long and proud history of leadership in the Arab nation. This relationship between the PFLP and the Egyptian movement, he noted, was particularly strong and abiding throughout the Nasser era. However, since the beginning of the attempted liquidation of the Nasserist project and the signing of the Camp David accords between Egypt and Israel, Egypt became subject to imperialist and capitalist plunder, and the people of Egypt were isolated from the rest of the Arab nation at the hands of the new regime. The PFLP has always had a clear position in strong opposition to Camp David and the regimes it bred, held in place not by popular support or legitimacy but instead at the financial and military hand of U.S. imperialism. Sadat was assassinated but his regime continued; three decades have passed and new generations have been born under the dictatorship of the U.S.-allied regime, according to Maqdesi.
Furthermore, said Maqdesi, it is because of the structure of Camp David and subservience to imperialism that the Egyptian regime has taken Zionist and U.S. dictates in its approach to Palestine, participating in the siege of Gaza, denying access to solidarity and Arab delegations seeking to support the people of Gaza and provide humanitarian aid and shutting down the tunnels that provide a lifeline to a people under siege. At the same time that the regime has taken these policies, the Egyptian people have retained their clear voice of solidarity and common struggle with their Arab sisters and brothers in Palestine.
Maqdesi said that if we look back upon the Iranian revolution that toppled the Shah in 1979, it came almost at the same time as the signing of the Camp David accords. Since that time, Egypt has not entered any war; however, Iran was subjected to eight years of unjust war. Yet, he said, if we look today at these two countries that have many similarities, we can clearly see the huge gap between the economic strength, influence and geostrategic position of the two countries. In Iran, popular classes benefit from the wealth of the nation and there are democratic processes, despite the flaws and problems that exist and Iran has become a center for the development of science and technology as well as an important regional and international power. On the other hand, accommodation with Zionism and imperialism have led Egypt into economic and social devastation, in which 60% of people are under the poverty line, unemployment and underemployment are rampant, and Egyptian industry, commerce, and science is controlled by a small clique and the great wealth of Egypt held in the hands of less than 1000 people.
In addition, said Maqdesi, if we look at the region today, we see three major powers: Turkey, Iran and Israel. Despite the vast differences between the three powers, what is missing entirely is a strong Arab power that demonstrates leadership and legitimacy. The people of Egypt, he said, are convinced that the historical and geographical position of Egypt will be restored only through a real and drastic change in Egypt. Maqdesi also pointed out that what happened in Tunisia has quickened the process in Egypt, but all the conditions in Egypt have provided a context that is ripe for social and political revolution.
Today, the people of Egypt have entered the streets to claim their country for their own, said Maqdesi. This, he noted, is a critically important struggle for the Egyptian people, the Palestinian people, and the entire Arab nation. The Egyptian people are in the streets, calling for democracy, for dignity, for justice, and for bread. They are marching, he said, against Camp David and all it stands for and means for Egypt and the Arab nation – subservience, submission, dictatorship and silence. He said that the PFLP is proud to stand beside the popular classes of Egypt, who are an inspiration to the Arab world who hold the potential of ending the era of Camp David, the era of defeat and submission, not only in Egypt, but throughout the Arab nation.