68 years of the Palestinian catastrophe and the displacement of the Palestinian people, known as the Nakba, are marked today by the Palestinian people. Zionist militias, with the support and armament of colonial powers, particularly Britain and France at that time, carried out massacres and all types of terror in order to force out the indigenous population of the land from their homes, villages and towns. Over two-thirds of the Palestinian people were made refugees, displaced in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and the camps of the Arab states.
The crime of the Nakba of 1948 cannot be separated from its historical precedents, in particular the division of the Arab world by the victorious colonial powers of World War I in their 1916 agreement known as the Sykes-Picot agreement, and the 1917 issuance of the Balfour Declaration, in wich the British state supported a “national homeland” for Jews in Palestine. This was not the limit of the support that the colonialist Zionist movement and the state that it created and imposed on the ruins of Palestinian villages received from the colonial and imperial power. To the contrary, these states provided all forms of logistical, political, economic, financial, technological and military support for its wars of aggression on the Palestinian people and the Arab nation, including the war of aggression of June 1967 that enabled the Zionist state to occupy the remainder of historical Palestine and other Arab lands.
68 years of Nakba have passed, and still the Zionist enemy imposes daily new facts upon the Palestinian land and against the Palestinian people, reasserting and confirming the aggressive and colonial settler nature of the Zionist project. This begins from the refusal to recognize the historical crime against our people and the denial of Palestinian rights in our homeland and the right of Palestinian refugees to return. It extends from there to the practice of all forms of racism and discrimination against the Palestinians remaining in occupied Palestine 1948; the continuation of settlement and invasion throughout the West Bank, including Jerusalem, subject to constant confiscation and annexation; the construction of the wall of annexation and apartheid; the imposition of hundreds of military and security checkpoints imprisoning the Palestinian people; home demolitions, mass arrests, and killings and murders of Palestinians. The ongoing Nakba does not end at theborder of the Gaza Strip, which is subject to continued siege and blockade and has suffered three wars of aggression in just the past eight years that have claimed the lives of thousands and left tens of thousands wounded, with destroyed homes.
Despite this ongoing, aggressive, colonial Zionist policy, our people remain present in all areas inside and outside Palestine, adhering firmly to their rights in Palestine, and centrally to the right of Palestinians to return. From the first colonial schemes on Palestinian land, the Palestinian people have risen up with tireless national struggle and great sacrifices to defend their land, people, and rights.
The devastating and ongoing consequences of the crime of the Nakba require us to provide all that is necessary to continue the flames of the struggle against the colonizer and invader, an existential struggle that forces us to raise our level of intensity and seriousness. This means raising the level of all Palestinian forces, with national responsibility, especially in light of the current reality for Palestinians and Arabs.
We in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine urge the following:
First, to maintain the clear memory of the Palestinian people and their collective consciousness, against all attempts to falsify, delete, or subdue their memory, and to keep the continuity of Palestinian generations, for one Palestine from the river to the sea, from the south to the north, which remains not only in the memory but as the goal of liberation, generation after generation.
Second, to uphold the unity of the Palestinian people wherever they are located, inside and outside Palestine, and to reject all schemes that undermine the right to return to Palestine or that attempt to force them once more into displacement and dispossession, or to separate one part of Palestine from another. In order for there to be a unified Palestinian political force, this requires a unified vision and strategy for all of the efforts of the Palestinian people confronting the enemy with all of its political, military, financial and technical strength. This raises again the need to end division and turn the page on this part of our history, and build national unity.
Third, the monopolistic Palestinian Authority and PLO leadership must retreat from its policy of settlement and negotiation which has damaged the cause of our people, their rights and their struggle. The failure of this approach and the negotiations and agreements that are part of it, especially the Oslo accords must be recognized and this path rejected, including all political, economic and security commitments with the occupier arising from these agreements.
This requires an end to the approach of reliance on negotiations and the policy of subservience and begging practiced by the PA, following behind any initiative that arises, including the French initiative. This requires a clear position of rejecting the French initiative and all initiatives that do not recognize the rights of the Palestinian people to return, self-determination, and full sovereignty and independence. It has been proven that the approach of negotiations and settlement has led the Palestinian movement to very serious problems. In order to undo the causes that allow this to continue, the exclusivity and domination in Palestinian institutions must be uprooted, first and foremost in the PLO, which desperately needs to regain its role and function, through its rebuilding and restructuring on a correct, inclusive, national basis, in order to ensure the participation of all.
Fourth, we emphasize that the Palestinian people and the Palestinian national liberation movement are an integral part of the Arab nation and its national movement, confronting all tendencies and impositions of division and the high rates of sectarian conflict throughout the Arab world. We confirm that the Palestinian struggle is the spearhead of the core issue, the Arab-Zionist/imperialist conflict. In this context we emphasize our strongest condemnation of all parties that stoke sectarian conflict in our region and provide support to reactionary and violent forces aimed at undermining and tearing apart the structure of Arab societies, dismantling the Arab nation. The priorities of reactionary states in the region are reflected in the classification of resistance forces like Hezbollah in Lebanon as “terrorist,” while strengthening and deepening cooperation with the Zionist entity.
Fifth, there is growing public and institutional support in many countries around the world for the Palestinian people’s struggle for their rights, which is being expressed through economic, academic and cultural boycott of the Zionist state, building a popular movement to press for the implementation of the rights of the Palestinian people. This international movement rejects and condemns the occupation and its terror against our people, our land and our rights, and must be escalated.
Glory to the martyrs, freedom to the prisoners, and victory for our people!
PFLP Central Information Department