I. Importance of Political Thought
One of the basic conditions of success is a clear perspective of things: a clear perspective of the enemy and a clear perspective of the revolutionary forces. It is in this light that the strategy of the struggle is determined, and without this perspective, national action becomes an impetuous gamble which soon ends in failure. Thus, after decades of fighting and sacrifice, it has become imperative for the Palestinian people to assure themselves that their armed struggle this time has the required conditions for success. Our people have waged a long fight against Zionist and colonialist plans. Since 1917 (the Balfour Declaration), the masses of our people have been fighting to keep their soil, to obtain freedom, to free their country from colonialists, to assert their right to self-determination and to exploit their country’s resources for their own benefit. Their struggle against Zionism and colonialism has taken every form and method. In 1936 our people took up arms in defence of their lands, homes. freedom and the right to build their future, offering thousands of martyrs and bearing all sorts of sacrifices. During that period of history the armed struggle of our people created a state of mass consciousness not less than that in which our masses are rallying around commando action today. Nevertheless, in spite of all the sacrifices, of the long line of martyrs whose number exceeded that of today’s martyrs in commando action, of the taking up of arms and of the masses’ enthusiasm, our people even until this day, have not triumphed. Most of them are still living in the wretched conditions of the camps and under the yoke of occupation. Consequently, to assure ourselves of the success of the struggle, it is not sufficient for us to take up arms. Some armed revolutions in history have ended in victory, but others have ended in failure. It is incumbent upon us to face the facts with a frank, courageous and revolutionary scientific mentality. A clear perspective of things and of the real forces taking part in the struggle leads to success, while impetuosity and spontaneity lead to failure.
This shows clearly the importance of scientific political thought which guides the revolution and plans its strategy. Revolutionary political thought is not an abstract idea hanging in a vacuum, or a mental luxury, or an intellectual hobby for the educated, which we can, if we wish, lay aside as an unnecessary luxury. Scientific revolutionary thought is clear thought whereby the masses are able to understand their enemy, his points of weakness or strength and the forces which support and ally themselves to the enemy. Likewise the masses should understand their own forces, the forces of revolution. how to mobilise, how to overcome the enemy’s points of strength and take advantage of the weakness of the enemy, and through what organization, mobilisation and political and military programmes, they can escalate their forces until they can crush the enemy and achieve victory.
It is this revolutionary political thought which explains to the masses of our people the reasons for their failure hitherto in their confrontation with the enemy: why their armed revolt of 1936 and their attempts before 1936 failed, what led to the 1967 defeat, the truth about the hostile alliance against which they are waging war, and with what counter-alliance they can face it, and by what method. All of this should be put in clear language which the masses can understand. Through this understanding they get a clear perspective of the battle and its dimensions, forces and weapons. so that their thinking emerges as a force around which they are united with one perspective of the battle and one strategy.
To us, political thought means a clear vision of the battle before us, and this is why we stress the importance and seriousness of this matter. What does it mean to fight without political thought? It means to fight in a manner that lacks planning, to fall into errors without realising how serious they are or how to deal with them, to improvise political positions not based on a clear view. When political positions are improvised there is usually a multiplicity of positions which means dispersed forces. with the result that the revolutionary forces of our people are dispersed along many paths instead of all converging on one path as one solid force.
We want to warn against the danger of taking this matter lightly. There is among our combatants and in our bases, a trend which confuses revolutionary political thought with political debauchery as represented by certain “political forces” and “political leaders “. This trend confuses revolutionary political thought with the outworn political methods used by the Palestinian national movement before the armed struggle strategy. Also. this trend confuses political thought and the complicated sophistry of certain intellectuals in discussing matters pertaining to the revolution. Thus the trend in question tries to disdain or make light of political thought, and it is therefore necessary for us here to perform a radical corrective operation. It is revolutionary political thought which exposes ” political debauchery “, strengthens our conviction in the armed struggle and unveils before the public the stupid sophistry which complicates the problems of the revolution instead of serving its cause.
To perform this revolutionary role. political thought must (1) be scientific. (2) be so clear as to be within the reach of the masses. and (3) go beyond generalities and penetrate as deeply as possible into the strategy and tactics of the battle to guide the combatants in facing their problems. When revolutionary thought fulfils these requirements it becomes the most effective weapon in the hands of the masses, enabling them to consolidate their forces and have a perfectly clear view of the battle with all the forces in action and of the position of each of these forces from the beginning of the revolution to its conclusive end.