1980 – Comrade Habash Speaks on International Workers’ Day

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"Today we celebrate the International Workers' Day ... it is an occasion to evaluate the meaning of this day ... The working class has begun to be conscious of the system which exploits it and has determined to struggle daily ... until abolishing this tyranny.

The Unity of the international Working class against the Unity of international Capital

"At a certain historical stage of the development of human society, a certain system arose in some European countries, whereby a few capitalists possess all means of production, while the masses of workers toil and sell their labor power to the capitalist class in order to secure their livelihood…

"As a result of the accumulation of capital, a result of the surplus created by the workers, these capitalist countries developed. Their interests demanded that this capital flow to the countries of the world in order to plunder the resources and exploit the peoples of the world. Thus, the capitalist class became the enemy of the working class in their respective countries and the enemy of the oppressed peoples. Thus, the revolutionary slogan which we follow was raised: Workers of the World and Oppressed" 1asses. Unite! A relentless conflict began in the world. What was the result?

"The 1917 revolution was the first victory of the working class ... the first revolutionary authority of the workers and peasants. This victory provoked the capitalist forces to try to liquidate this revolution ... wars of intervention continued for more than 10 years. However, the working class in the Soviet Union was able to resist. Thus the first socialist system w as established ..

"In the 40' socialism was victorious in more than one European and Asian country ... Workers' authority was established in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, GDR, Mongolia, etc ... then the first socialist country challenging imperialism in Latin America was Cuba ..

"I say these things because imperialism is incessantly attempting to push our masses to a state of desperation and capitulation...

"Today the socialist system accounts for more than 1/3 of the world's industrial production. If we take into considerate ion that the countries where socialism was established were mainly backward agricultural countries, we realize the extent of the working class' progress and achievements in these countries...

"Look at what has happened in the world in the last five years ... Vietnam, Laos, Kampuchea, Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau, Ethiopia... then the Iranian Revolution, Afghanistan, Nicaragua and Zimbabwe ... These are the concrete victories achieved by the nation liberation movements. As a result, the capitalist system is undergoing a crisis at the same time imperialism is escalating its aggression - a sign of weakness and not of strength.

"Since imperialism feeds on the world market, any victory achieved by a people is a loss for it. Thus the imperialist crisis has deepened. This explains the current hysteria of the USA. As Carter •himself said to the Congress at the beginning of the year, he fears a dangerous situation. He named three reasons: first, the growth of the military power of the Soviet Union; second, the broad social, political, cultural and religious movement in various areas of the world; third, the dependence of US imperialism on oil imports for the continuation of its industry.

"Moreover, we can add that in some countries where reactionary puppets are still in power at this time, it is inevitable that the peoples will rise and take hold of their resources, thus placing imperialism in a deeper crisis. This is what explains the for• mation of the Quick Strike Force, the declarations about building a new Fifth Fleet, the increase of military bases in Oman, the Indian Ocean and the continuous visits of American military responsible to Kenya, Somalia and Sudan to establish American military bases. In crisis, imperialism attempts to turn back the wheel of history by striking at peoples who have achieved their victories

US Military Maneuvers - A Policy for Subduing the Peoples

"American imperialism is now preparing for a military maneuver at Guatanamo Bay in Cuba in an attempt to strike at the Cuban Revolution. Here we declare to the whole world that we stand in solidarity with the hero Castro, with the Cuban people and revolution against the imperialist enemy...

The US attempted directly to abort the Cuban Revolution some years ago, before it took firm roots. You all remember the American aggression -launched by the Kennedy administration in the beginning of the 60's ... At that time, Castro himself led a tank under the slogan of 'The Homeland or Death' and the masses rallied around him and defeated • the imperialist attack

"The same imperial conspiracy could be applied to the Iranian peoples' revolution. This revolution achieved victories not only for the Iranian peoples, but also for the Palestinian Revolution and for the Arab World. It is an anti-imperialist revolution, crushing the treacherous Shah regime and, the SA V AK. It is a revolution against Zionism and it shook the imperialist strategy in the area. Therefore, imperialism attempts to liquidate the Iranian Revolution ... these aggressive schemes started at Lout desert and they will not halt. We declare to the Iranian people, to the leaders of the revolution, to Imam Khomeini, that the position of the sincere Palestinian and Arab masses is to support the Iranian Revolution. We also declare that any Arab regime that weaves intrigues against this revolution violates the position of the Arab masses and betrays them.

"It is important -to note that we also realize the subjective gaps in the Iranian Revolution - the implications of leaning towards striking the progressive and leftist forces and the dangerous effects of this on the Iranian Revolution. We also realize the implications of not providing a democratic solution for the national minorities, based on the principle of the right to self-determination. Nonetheless, we recognize that this revolution during this period is anti-imperialist, anti-Zionist and anti-reaction…

"What really happened in Afghanistan, seen scientifically, removed from distortions • and the imperialist aggressive maneuvers?

"In April 1978, there was a revolution against he reactionary monarchic regime, as happened in Iran. The difference is that the Iranian Revolution w as led by a patriotic and progressive religious trend, while the Afghani one followed a political ideological line; it was an anti-imperialist revolution based on the power of the Afghani people. Imperialism and local reaction became rabid and wove conspiracies against the Afghani Revolution. In this situation, the Soviet Union took a political position! that it would not allow peoples to be attacked or the historical movement to be impeded ... This means that a people waging a bitter struggle against imperialism, Zionism and reaction will find a real ally and support in the Soviet Union, to the degree that the people concerned have themselves decided

Camp David reflects imperialism's international policy

"It is impossible to understand the Camp David policy and plan to confront i without relating what is occurring in our area to what is happening on 'the international level. Due to the crisis that American imperialism faces and its vital interests in this area, the imperialist-Zionist-Sadat alliance was formed and clearly declared its intent to forcefully safeguard imperialist interests and hegemony in the area..

"Before, the Arab World was primarily valued for its geographic location ... linking Europe, Asia and Africa... Now this area possesses a vital weapon that the treacherous rulers don't know how to utilize. But our heroic masses will one day know how to use it, once they hold power and drag imperialism to the ground...

"Now the US consumes 20 million barrels of Gil daily; it produces 9-10 million barrels a day, i.e. SO% of its consumption ion; the rest it imports, namely from the Arab area. This is the importance of the area to imperialism, but the issue is not confined to oil; it also involves imperialism's foreign trade, through which the USA gets in returns the greater part of the money it pays for oil

"Saunders says that Arab dollars in American banks amount to $140 billion. This was in 1978. This year's studies indicate that the surplus from the OPEC countries will approach $100 billion. However, the petro dollar does not support South Lebanon or the Arab and Palestinian struggle. Most of it supports 'the free system' as Ahmad Zaki Al Yamani, the Saudi Oil Minister, claims.

"According to Saunders' statistics, 1 O% of American trade enters our area ... When the US attacks us, it is because it wants to retain this $100 billion, the oil resources and the markets of the area. I say this so that we all know that in the coming years, we will face a relentless battle, through which imperialism will attempt stamp out our determination, to liquidate us and our revolution, and strike every nation liberation movement in the area in defense of its interest.

Let's Build the Revolutionary Alliance - the Alliance of Workers

"The imperialist, Zionist and Sadat alliance safeguards not only the imperialist interests, but the Zionist interests and the interests of the ruling reactionary bourgeois class in the area as well ... We must build the alliance of the workers and peasants, Palestinian, Lebanese, Syrian, Arab, Mideastern and internationally, that destroys the imperialist, Zionist and Sadat alliance. We are 100% capable of that, and the movement of history points in this direction..

"Our enemy is afraid ... Peres, head of the Labor coalition, says, 'What are we going to do with the Palestinians? Why should we accept the autonomy now? The Palestinian population in the Galilee approaches 600 thousand, 700 thousand in the West Bank and 400 thousand in Gaza'…

"The Israelis themselves made a study that indicates that in the year 2000, the Palestinians will constitute 46% of the total population. Imagine, five years after that. the Palestinians will again become a majority in Palestine - a new Zimbabwe. We must not lose confidence in ourselves, although victory will not be easy ... This is not the PFLP's task alone, but the responsibly of every Palestinian organization and patriot. We have consistently proved that we are a people who deserve to live ... Our masses will not accept being without determination and action

"The tasks of the Palestinian Revolution, including Palestinian National Unity, will not be achieved, unless each one of you undertakes his/her responsibilities... If we can shoulder these responsibilities, our strength will be multiplied ... We will be able to move from the stage of steadfastness to the stage of liberation…

Palestinian National Unity

"Why isn't Palestinian National Unity achieved until now? Because there isn't continuous mass pressure capable of imposing it.

"Slogans are always raised in the Palestinian arena emphasizing the importance of holding the Palestinian National Council as soon as possible, so that we can achieve the tasks of the organizational program. This is not enough. We must understand national unity on the basis of the forces capable of implementing it and how it is to be achieved. "Since the convening of the last PNC, about one year and four months ago, Palestinian National Unity has not been achieved, despite the challenges of the stage! Is the mere convening of the next PNC enough to accomplish national unity?

"Palestinian National Unity can be achieved when each and every Palestinian patriot reads the political and organizational! Programs adopted in the last PNC and struggles for their implementation ...We do not understand national unity in a superficial manner; in the coming PNC, we will insist on a genuine implementation of these programs. We will not deceive ourselves or our masses.

"You all know about the recent conference of the Stead fastness and Confrontation Front. One of the resolutions relates to POLISARIO and the revolution of the Saharan people and recognition of the Saharan Republic. The PLO is a force in this Front and is supposed to safeguard and push this Front forward to be the force that pushes Algeria, Libya and Syria to carry their responsibilities. However, in Morocco, the representative of the PLO there declares that the PLO does not agree with this resolution. Immediately, Abou AI Adeeb visited Morocco and reversed this declaration. In Algeria, the PLO representative said we are with the resolution ... Do you want your revolution to be in such a shaky condition? How can we then demand that Libya, Algeria and Syria implement the resolutions, including those pertaining to the Palestinian Revolution?

"The political program of the PLO is clear. It does not allow Khaled AI Hassan to establish a confederation with Jordan. We participated in the adoption of the political program; we discussed for long hours and there was no mention of European-American-Soviet-Palestinian-Israeli negotiations!

On the contrary, the program reaffirms the Tripoli Pact and links the aim of this stage with the strategic aim very clearly. This was the basis of agreement. We accept tactical aims, but they must be in line with the process of total liberation. Moreover, the political program does no~ recognize 'Israel' or the possibility of negotiating with it…

"The organizational program specifies that all organizations are to be represented in all institutions of the PLO, including the Executive Committee. The program says that the position of the Palestinian Revolution is not decided by this or that person, but collectively; the decision is to be taken by the majority and the minority must submit to the majority. We were in the minority in our opposition to the negotiations with Jordan, yet we submitted to the majority. This is our understanding of national unity that serves the interests of the Palestinian Revolution.

European Initiative - the more dangerous

"The Israeli flag has been raised in Cairo; but in the land of Palestine, you cannot yet find another Khazindar daring to recognize the 'autonomy'. Thus, Camp David faces a deadlock; when this became clear, some European officials started to talk of Palestinian rights ... this Kreisky, Brandt, and d’Estaing, what is their aim? How come their conscience has been awakened now? Britain, the country which issued the Balfour Declaration? It is because they want to save Camp David, to divide the Palestinian ranks. There is a long chain of conspiracy ... the traitor Shawwa comes to Beiruto discuss the 'total autonomy' plan; another plan is 'self -rule' in Gaza first; Kreisky, Brandt and Schmidt sing yet another tune; then the Jordanian-Palestinian state and this is the most dangerous!

"In !981, there will be Israeli elections. There are indications that the Labour coalition might win and present a different form of 'autonomy', i.e. the return of 70-80% of the West Bank to Jordan and the establishment of a Jordanian-Palestinian state. In this case, we shall face an acute crisis, due to the patriotic facade that has been offered to the Jordanian regime by the PLO. The Jordanian regime will then say that 14 years have passed since the 1967 war and not one meter of Palestinian land has been regained ... give me a chance to regain 80% of the Palestinian land… The Jordanian regime will rely on the cover offered by the Baghdad Summit and its resolutions ... Thus, in• addition to Palestinian National Unity, we have the task of exposing all these political maneuvers.

Support to our masses in occupied Palestine

"It is not enough to talk of supporting our masses in the occupied homeland .... How do we really support our masses inside? with what political line? Which forces will offer the support? Is it through the Palestinian- Jordanian Joint Committee, the activity of which has resulted in consolidating representatives of the Jordanian regime, like Anwar Nusseibeh and Anwar AI Khatib?

"Genuine support to our masses inside is achieved through two main elements: First, a clearly defined political line. I daily ask myself what happens to our masses demonstrating against occupation in the homeland, when they hear of a confederation with Jordan or of the European Initiative. This is not an idle question. We sense from those who come from the occupied homeland that this political wavering affects negatively on their morale. Genuine support is achieved by supporting the patriotic forces through the Palestinian National Front. Events have shown that it is the vanguard of the struggle of our masses inside.

"Second is safeguarding the revolution in Lebanon and that is through the close alliance with the Lebanese Patriotic Movement and the Lebanese masses ... We must speak of the support to the LPM with sincere conviction in the Steadfastness and Confrontation Front, to the international progressive forces, before we speak of the Palestinian Revolution.... Regardless of the shortcomings in the Palestinian Resistance or the LPM, we must remember that despite all the conspiracies directed against us since April 13, 197 5 - the Phalangists, the Communists, the Cedar Guards, the Israeli invasion, Saad Haddad's mini-state - we are still steadfast in Lebanon. We must also realize the dangers of the situation in Lebanon if thing stay as they are…

The Lebanese Army

"There is a force in Lebanon that has not yet exercised its power and we shall confront it. This is the Lebanese authority. It is planned that the army be built up to 40,000 soldiers and the security forces to about 18,000. Johnny Abdo (head of the Second Bureau - the military intelligence) his budget and his men - this is the plan yet to be implemented and it is a dangerous force.

"How do you picture 'Israel 'liquidating us? It attempted in March '78, but failed despite all its planes, tanks and bombs. The results were limited, but here a question arises: What does it mean for 'Israel' to liquidate us? It means to follow us to Beirut and up to Nahr AI Bared camp in the north.

“It is true that 'Israel' was capable of pushing the revolution back 20 kilometers, but the Revolution did not end. For the Revolution to be liquidated, the patriotic Lebanese and the Palestine an armed presence must be crushed. 'Israel' cannot implement this task; it only paves the way; it strikes at civilians, uproots thousands from Saudi to Beirut; it creates a desperate, vindictive atmosphere among the masses. At that moment, the reactionary forces will point to the Palestinian Revolution as the cause of this situation and the Lebanese authority will say 'Security before bread'. Who will then confront these conspiracies? The Palestinian Revolution cannot alone, neither politically or tactically. Only the conscious Lebanese Patriotic Movement can achieve this task as it has in the past…

"We in the Palestinian Revolution must deal with the LPM frankly and fearlessly. Experience has taught us that if Lebanon becomes a patriotic state, it will become the Hanoi of the Palestinian Revolution ... However; the process of liberation will not begin until there is an Arab revolutionary upsurge all around Palestine. Political positions must be taken to expose the reaction, many forces and pave the way for the growth of the Arab mass movement. Here is the painful mistake committed by the Palestinian Revolution. The word has the effect of the bullet - Why doesn't the Palestinian Revolution expose the conspiring and the incapacity of Arab reaction? Saudi Arabia alone could pressure the US administration. If Saudi Arabia stopped the oil flow or even decreased its production, it would shake the world. However, Saudi Arabia, that claims to oppose the Camp David agreements, increased its oil production from 8.5 to 9.5 million barrels daily. Iraq also increased its production. Imperialism increases its conspiracies - and Saudi Arabia offers it a bonus' these are the facts they attempt to keep from the masses. If the Revolution speaks of these facts daily, the Saudi masses will one day definitely arise against these policies and establish a patriotic regime that knows how to support the Palestinian Revolution and how to frighten US imperialism, at least to halt its aid to the Zionist entity.

"Our role in the Arab arena is immense: we must support the Arab mass movement, the LPM, the masses in Egypt, POLISARIO, PFLO, the National Democratic Front in North Yemen, etc. Moreover, we have the task of confronting the impotence of the Arab regimes. This way we will at least be serious with ourselves concerning principle and strategic issues.

"Why doesn't the Revolution play this role and confront every deviationist policy and expose every in capability?

"Here, it must not be understood that we want to wage new battles. Concerning the disagreement between us and the Iraqi regime, we want to draw attention to the fact that our relation with the Arab Liberation Front and the Lebanese Baathistis a relation based on the struggle and on our part, we will protect it, because we stand in the same trench. We do not create battles for no reason. The disagreement with Iraq is that during the Shah's rule, the Iraqi regime did not utter as much as half a word concerning the islands or the Shah's reactionary regime. However, when the Khomeini authority came to power, Iraq fabricated battles with the new regime to the extent of proclaiming it as a national enemy. This is not the only thing. The Iraq regime summoned Makkawi, who collaborated with the British in Ye men in the time of colonialism, to Baghdad. He has an office in Cairo, but now the Iraqi regime wants to keep him under its wing in order to antagonize the progressive regime in PDR Yemen.

The 'National Charter' Eradicates Palest

Suddenly, we face a new 'National Charter' based on facing dangers caused by the Soviet Union! I read this 'National Charter' three times. The first time, I did not believe my eyes! The word Palestine is eradicated, as is any word of Camp David and imperialism! I wondered, those who wrote this charter, what were they thinking of?

"Naturally, this is a cover for their impotence, because they are incapable of doing anything for Palestine. As a matter of fact, it was not us who severed relations with the Iraqi regime, but we do have standards when it comes to matters of principle. When they sent us an invitation to the 'People's National Conference' held in Baghdad, for the purpose of ratifying this charter, we refused. They replied that the PFLP would pay a high price for this refusal.

"I regret that the Iraqi regime has come to such a state ... In 1978, they called for unity and we were the first to applaud such a position. If Iraq genuinely will defy the enemy again, we will also applaud again. On the other hand, we will maintain a clear position concerning any force that tries to direct our battle away from its real aims.

"On the international level, our position must be clearly within the revolutionary camp, with the socialist community and against imperialism, Zionism and reaction.

"Finally, the most important thing I feel compelled to say on this occasion is that the role of the working class and its ideology must be expanded in the Palestinian Revolution, because the working class does not allow for such deviation. I will give one example that concerns you all. The PLO Executive Committee agreed to a 5 million £ project in the camps, related to very essential problems such as water, shelters and bread. I will not go into the way in which this decision was taken and the struggle to get it approved, but now 4-5 months have passed and the decision has not yet been implemented. Letters are being written from the camps drawing attention to the fact that implementation has not begun.

"Let us struggle to increase the role of the working class and the real proletarian leadership, not the vanguard that, once in leadership, tails the bourgeoisie and forgets its masses. We want the leadership that remains among the workers and the peasants and lives as they live and raises their voices, carrying their pains!