XVI. Building the Combatant Party
The strategy of armed struggle must naturally affect the strategy of the party structure so that this structure is based on the interests and requirements of the struggle in a manner which affects the structure of the party and the relations within the organization, the nature of its leading formations, its educational material and its internal regulation.
The basic aim of the Palestinian national movement is the liberation of Palestine. This aim cannot be achieved except through armed struggle and a protracted popular liberation war. If we lose sight of this fact a great deviation will occur in our party and political action. There is no way of building a Palestinian national movement for the masses except through fighting and the masses’ awareness that the demand for organization, mobilization and political activity aims at escalation of the fighting – their only road to victory. Conversely, there will be no continued escalation of the fighting except through the mobilisation of the masses with the object of furnishing the requirements of the struggle, protecting it and supplying it with successive ranks of citizens to ensure its persistance, continuity and the escalation of its effectiveness. This dialectical relation of coalescence between the fighting and political action constitutes the right criterion for our work.
Putting into effect this concept of the Palestinian national movement in its two interrelated and fused aspects – fighting and political action – means on the organizational level confirmation of the following points:
(1). The military organization which does the fighting must have a mature political structure. Confining our interest to the building of the military structure in a mechanical manner bears many risks. The combatant who takes up arms must know why, against whom and for whom he has taken to arms. A sound political view of the relations with the masses protects the combatants from any errors which might lead to their isolation from the forces of revolution, imbues them with the capacity to stand firm. enables them to avoid short term policies, provides them with protection from any acts of political sabotage which may be launched by the enemy, defines their line of relations with any force carrying arms and mobilises them at stated intervals for political mass action which will be useful to them in the fight and will strengthen their position. The politicized combatant alone is capable of standing firm in a long, hard battle like the one which is being fought by our people today.
The acquisition by the fighting cadres of the revolutionary political view of things makes these cadres the vanguard of the Palestinian national movement and ensures the firmness, continuity and non-deviation of the fight.
(2). The political organisation must have a military structure. However we must keep in mind that this organisation is auxiliary to the fighting cadres. It constantly provides us with successive numbers joining the military cadres and going into the battle. The greatest deviation which could occur is the building of the political organization in a haphazard manner without such an objective being completely clear, with the result that we would find ourselves with an organization which wanted to take moral or political advantage of its formal connection with the struggle without this organization being an integral part of the fighting cadres. Such a deviation would create a great conflict between the fighting cadres and the political organization which would adversely affect the march of the revolution and make the political organization a bur den on the struggle instead of a support to it. The political organization whose aim is to link itself with the combat in order to obtain the identity of affiliation to commando action, the battledress and all other insignia without being truly prepared to join the fighting would constitute an obstacle in the way of revolutionary growth and would force the party to live under circumstances of constant conflict between the fighting cadres and the political organization.
The political organization must be built for continuous efflux to the battle and its task must be to provide military protection for the struggle (i.e. popular resistance). It must live the same conditions as the fighting cadres, and its constant daily task must be to exert continuous and exhausting efforts in the service of the struggle and the fighting cadres. In this way we can build the unified fighting party and avoid any serious conflict between fighting and political action. .
(3). The party’s leaderships must eventually be politico-military leadership possessing political consciousness on the one hand and the capacity to lead the fight on the other. From time to time the leading positions must be re shuffled to enable the political organization to become appreciably familiar with all the questions and conditions of the fighters and the struggle so that its judgements will be sound and to understand all working problems in the military sector. Conversely, the military organization must be made familiar with all working problems in the political field.
(4). The internal education of the party must aim at building the political and military structure at the same time. Military education in relation to the political organization must be as basic as political education. Similarly. political education in relation to the fighting cadres must have the same importance as military education. Leadership cadre training must at the same time be military and political training.
(5). The basic effort of the leadership must be directed towards the issues of the combat. the solution of its problems and the fulfilment of the requirements for its escalation, steadfastness and continued growth. All organizational, political, information and financial efforts must be linked with the interests of the combat and for the combat, and not at the expense of the combat, and all this is expected to be reflected in the distribution of the leadership and in all party programmes, budgets and patterns of action.
(6). The party’s internal regulation must be laid down on the basis of the fusion and unity of the fighting and political organization and on the basis of the existence of the fighters and the issues of the combat in the very life of the party and its basic leading group.
The organizational picture towards which we are looking is that of the single fighting party, some of whose members take actual part in the fighting, others prepare for the combat while a third group forms the popular resistance which protects and supports the fighting. A fourth group works among the masses, explaining to them the fighting issues and moving the masses towards serving the combat, and a fifth group performs the financial, administrative and information tasks which serve the fighting. All these groups – and branches are one and the same organization led by the same ranks of leadership which are at the same time responsible for fighting, organization and political action in a unified interlocked system.
The motto which says that “every combatant is a party member and every party member is a combatant” traces before us a basic strategic line for the building of the fighting party in conformity with our view of the Palestinian national movement and of the liberation struggle.