December 11, 2011 marks forty-four years of struggle since the day a group of revolutionaries, led by Comrade Dr. George Habash and his comrades, formed the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, to struggle for the liberation of our homeland and our people, insist on the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and lands from which they were forced in al-Nakba in 1948, and provide a revolutionary Arab alternative in the face of defeats of Arab regimes in the June 1967 war.
This anniversary has become a precious day for our party, our people, the liberation movement in the Arab world, and the forces of progress, freedom, socialism and peace around the world. The Popular Front continues to embody the goals of these movements, to build a revolutionary movement,to consolidate and unify the Palestinian national liberation movement and its leftist and democratic forces, to deepen the democratic and social content of our national struggle, to struggle with the other arm of our movement, the struggle of the Arab nation for unity and liberation; and to stand internationally against imperialism and Zionism on a path of freedom, anti-colonialism, freedom from exploitation, and liberation of the land and people of the world.
As we welcome a new year, we call upon our people – in the occupied lands of 1948 and 1967, in refugee camps, in diaspora and exile, to all of the prisoners in the prisons of the occupier, at their forefront our General Secretary, imprisoned Comrade Ahmad Sa’adat, and remember the martyrs of Palestine and our Front, including the founder, al-Hakim, Dr. George Habash, and Abu Ali Mustafa, and salute their steadfast families and comrades. We renew our promise to remain loyal and to show our deep respect to the sacrifices of the martyred, the wounded, and the prisoners, and the ongoing suffering of our people, to remain steadfast, to uphold the rights and the goals for which they have struggled – our people’s right to resistance, to defeat the occupation and the settlements, to free all of our prisoners, to secure our right to return, our self-determination and national liberation, and to struggle for a democratic Palestine from river to sea, in which all of its people are equal and free from racism, Zionism and oppression.
The struggle of our people is in a stage of national liberation, and our primary contradiction is with the occupation and its plans for the liquidation of our national cause, to confiscate our land and displace our people, and we pledge to continue our resistance in all forms, including popular struggle and in particular the armed struggle, in order to liberate our land and achieve the goals of our people.
As we mark this anniversary, we also mark the decades of struggle by the prisoners, heroes of the Palestinian people, in the dungeons of the occupation. Hundreds of our comrades – and hundreds more Palestinians – have been rounded up in mass raids and arrests in the weeks past to join their thousands of sisters and brothers continuing their struggle for freedom for their people and their homeland from behind bars. Comrade Ahmad Sa’adat, our General Secretary, remains in isolation after nearly three years. Our comrades, sisters and brothers in the prison have demanded unity, coordinated hunger strikes, and serve as the conscience, inspiration and steadfast backbone of our movement. They are our fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, husbands, wives, comrades and friends, and we will continue the struggle until they are all free, until each prisoner tears down the bars of the jails of occupation in a free Palestine.
44 years after the founding of the Front, and 64 years upon the occupation of Palestine, al-Nakba, the dispossession of our people and our land, Palestinians are around the world – in our occupied homeland, in refugee camps, and in exile around the world. The struggle to liberate Palestine is the struggle for the right of return, and Palestinian refugees everywhere are in the forefront of fighting to ensure that their fundamental rights can never be sold or negotiated away. On May 15 of this year, Palestinian refugees were martyred as they marched toward the borders of our occupied land to demand their return. We will continue our struggle until seven million Palestinian refugees will march along the road to return and liberation and secure their rights to return, to reclaim, decolonize, and liberate our land and bring to an end the settler-colonial occupation of Palestine.
The anniversary of the Front comes at a historic time for the Arab nation, a qualitatively new stage in which the Arab people have arisen and mobilised to struggle for democracy and social justice, but also to achieve real independence and national dignity through confrontation of corrupt, autocratic regimes who have long practiced normalization with Zionism and subordination to imperialism and the colonial powers. The Front salutes the Arab masses rising to achieve their dignity, freedom, justice and self-determination, and simultaneously rejects any form of external interference in Arab struggles, in particular the imperial powers of NATO and their Arab regime partners and allies, who seek to circumvent popular power. Instead, they seek to divide the people of the region, re-impose imperial and colonial dominance, liquidate the centrality of the Palestinian cause and seize the wealth and resources of the Arab people in order to paper over the deep and growing crisis in capitalism and the increasingly rejected neoliberal order of the unipolar world of US imperialism.
There are major national tasks before our people at the present moment, including the need to develop real national unity and a national resistance strategy to confront the occupier and mobilize the resistance forces of our people and all of our mass instiutions for the highest levels of participation and mobilization to lead this struggle. This process must be comprehensive and inclusive, and take place under the supervision and auspices of our people, in the refugee camps, protected by the weapons of the resistance. The mobilization of our people must take place wherever there are Palestinians, in our occupied homeland, in the camps throughout the Arab world, in diaspora and exile – we are one people, with one cause, the liberation of Palestine and the return of its refugees, and our people everywhere must be mobilized to the greatestt extent possible, with democratic, popular and participatory processes, to truly rebuild the Palestine Liberation Organization on a fully inclusive basis as a sole legitimate representative of our people everywhere and a leadership of the struggle of our people in confrontation of occupation, Zionism and imperialism.
This unity is necessary to uphold and prioritize the national interests of our people who have sacrificed so much to confront a brutal occupation that daily pursues its murderous policies of settlement, Judaization, siege and aggression, supported in every way by the U.S. administration and protected by international silence, hypocrisy and complicity and the ongoing normalization and submission of Arab regimes. The masses of the Palestinian people will no longer allow their cause to be tampered with and their sacrifices disrespected in the interests of narrow partisan goals, or to comply with demands by the occupation and its strategic partner, the United States. The charades of so-called “negotiations” with the U.S. as a reference and the betrayal of “security cooperation” serve only Netanyahu and the Zionist state and must be left behind once and for all. It is long past time to defend our people’s rights and put a final end to the era of Oslo and the disastrous “peace process” that has meant nothing but ongoing war against our people.
Glory for the martyrs of Palestine – Freedom for the prisoners of freedom
Onward to the victory of our people!
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
December 11, 2011