X. The Aims and Significance of the Palestinian War of Liberation
That Israel constitutes an aggressive presence against our people from the outset is an indisputable fact. For our people, the rise of Israel has meant the expulsion of this people from its home and lands, the usurpation of all that our people had built through its labour and effort, the dispersal of our people throughout the Arab world and the world at large, and the concentration of the greater portion of it in the camps of misery and poverty scattered in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon without hope and without future.
That Israel constitutes a colonialist expansionist presence at the expense of Arab land and its owners is not a matter for discussion. For us it is the tangible experience before which all spurious claims and allegations fade away. The “National Home” for the Jews in Palestine became the “State of Israel” within the boundaries of the Partition resolutions adopted by the United Nations in 1947. It then expanded to include Israel with its pre June boundaries which are far more extensive than those established by the United Nations’ resolutions of 1947, and finally expanded once again to include the whole of Palestine as well as Sinai and the Golan Heights.
That Israel is an imperialist and colonialist base on our land and is being used to stem the tide of revolution, to ensure our continued subjection and to maintain the process of pillage and exploitation of our wealth and efforts, is a self-evident fact which does not need discussion. For us this is not merely. a theoretical conclusion but represents our actual experience during the Tripartite Aggression of 1956, during the June 1967 war and throughout the existence of Israel on our soil.
However the truth about our war of liberation has been distorted as a result of several factors. First of all there was the connection between the rise of the Zionist movement and the persecution of the Jews in Europe. Then there was the association made between the rise of Israel and the Nazis’ treatment of the Jews in the Second World War. In addition to these there was the dominating Imperialist and Zionist influence over large sections of world opinion, the existence in Israel of forces which claim to be progressive and socialist and the Soviet Union’s and some socialist countries’ support for the establishment of Israel. All these together with the error of certain Palestinian and Arab leaderships in the manner of their presentation of the struggle against Israel haye distorted the truth about our liberation war and still threaten to distort the proper view of the true nature of this war in the eyes of many people.
The Palestinian liberation movement is not a racial movement with aggressive intentions against the Jews. It is not directed against the Jews. Its object is to destroy the state of Israel as a military, political and economic establishment which rests on aggression, expansion and organic connection with imperialist interests in our homeland. It is against Zionism as an aggressive racial movement connected with imperialism which has exploited the sufferings of the Jews as a stepping stone for the promotion of its interests and the interests of imperialism in this part of the world which possesses rich resources and provides a bridgehead into the countries of Africa and Asia. The aim of the Palestinian liberation movement is to establish a democratic national state in Palestine in which both Arabs and Jews will live as citizens with equal rights and obligations and which will constitute an integral part of the progressive democratic Arab national presence living peacefully with all forces of progress in the world.
Israel has insisted on portraying our war against it as a racial war aiming at eliminating every Jewish citizen and throwing him into the sea. The purpose behind this is to mobilise all Jews for a life-or-death struggle. Consequently, a basic strategic line in our war with Israel must aim at unveiling this misrepresentation, addressing the exploited and misled Jewish masses and revealing the conflict between these masses’ interest in living peacefully and the interests of the Zionist movement and the forces controlling the state of Israel. It is this strategic line which will ensure for us the isolation of the fascist clique in Israel from all the forces of progress in the world. It will also ensure for us, with the growth of the armed struggle for liberation and clarification of its identity, the widening of the conflict existing objectively between Israel and the Zionist movement on the one hand and the millions of misled and exploited Jews on the other.
The Palestinian liberation movement is a progressive national movement against the forces of aggression and imperialism. The fact that imperialist interests are linked with the existence of Israel will make of our struggle against Israel a struggle against imperialism, and the linking. of the Palestinian liberation movement with the Arab liberation movement will make our struggle against Israel the struggle of one hundred million Arabs in their united national effort for liberation. The struggle for Palestine today, and all the objective circumstances attendant upon it, will make of this struggle an introduction for the realisation of all the aims of the Arab revolution which are linked together. It is a wide and vast historical-movement launched by one hundred million Arabs in a large area of the world against the forces of evil, aggression and exploitation represented by neo-colonialism and imperialism in this epoch of human history.
Finally, the struggle for Palestine will, as regards the Palestinian and Arab masses, be a gateway towards the culture of the age and a transition from a state of underdevelopment to the requirements of modern life. Through the struggle we shall acquire political awareness of the facts of the age, throw away illusions and learn the value of facts. The habits of underdevelopment represented by submission, dependence, individualism, tribalism, laziness, anarchy and impulsiveness will change through the struggle into recognition of the value of time, order, accuracy, objective thought, collective action, planning, comprehensive mobilization, the pursuit of learning and the acquisition of all its weapons, the value of man, the emancipation of woman – which constitute half of our society – from the servitude of outworn customs and traditions, the fundamental importance of the national bond in facing danger and the supremacy of this bond over clan, tribal and regional bonds.
Our national, long-term liberation struggle will mean our fusion in a new way of life which will be our gateway towards progress and civilisation.