Comrade Omar Shehadeh, member of the Political Bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, spoke at the PFLP’s event in Tulkarem to commemorate the 44th anniversary of the Front’s founding.
“This is a day in which we renew our promises to the Palestinian people, to guard the cause and to guard our unity, and to give priority to the primary contradiction with the occupation, and defend our people’s democratic and social rights, confront all manifestations of corruption, abuse of our people’s freedom, and violations of our national values and struggle. This is a day to renew our commitment to the defense of life, human dignity, and the political and social rights of our people, workers, peasants, professionals, students and youth, women, and children and adults in the camps, cities, towns and villages within our homeland and in the countries of exile and diaspora,” said Shehadeh.
Shehadeh said that there is an urgent national task to set a unified national strategy to resist the occupation and create a clear and specific Palestinian political line that guards against tampering and outside interference as a foundation to struggle to achieve Palestinian rights in word and deed.
He emphasized that all Palestinian institutions, including popular committees and camp return committees must hold comprehensive elections based on proportional representation, and, centrally, there must be democratic and inclusive elections for a new Palestinian National Council inside and outside Palestine. Shehadeh noted that such elections must be democratic and a clear rejection of systems of quotas, saying that the rights of our people in exile and diaspora and within Palestine would not be forfeited. He said that such a new PNC is necessary to renew and rebuild legitimate Palestinian national institutions.
Such new elections on a democratic basis, said Shehadeh, would work to rebuild the PLO institutions on a democratic and inclusive basis in order to meet the needs of the Palestinian people to confront the occupation and its constant attacks and crimes, and safeguard the achievements of the Palestinian national struggle. Such elections for a rebuilt PLO re-establish its status as the sole legitimate representative and the highest reference point for our people, the leadership of the struggle, which is organically linked with the struggle of the Arab people for liberation, democracy, social justice and unity.
Shehadeh reiterated the Front’s absolute support for the freedom and dignity of our Arab people, condemning all forms of oppression and tyranny against them. He warned against the escalating threats of foreign intervention, particularly from NATO, which seek only to subvert and destroy the popular movements and their national and democratic aims.
Shehadeh concluded his speech by saluting all of the prisoners in the jails of the occupation, in particular those prisoners in isolation and the valiant hunger strikers whose action exposed the crimes of occupation before the world. He spoke of the PFLP’s imprisoned general secretary, Ahmad Sa’adat, a Palestinian symbol of steadfastness, and how prisons, arrests, and assassinations would never break or eliminate the Fron.
He congratulated the Palestinian people on the anniversary of the Palestinian revolution, Christmas and New Year’s Day, and pledged that the Front would remain on its path to liberate the land and people of Palestine, until return and liberation.
His talk was followed by representatives from Palestinian political parties and social organizations.
Comrade Shehadeh also delivered the main address at the commemoration of the Front’s anniversary in al-Khalil, focusing on the need for national unity and to cast aside the era of Oslo and the “peace process” in order to struggle for the return of Palestinian refugees and the liberation of Palestine.