1974 – George Habash Outlines PFLP Policy in a Press Conference
The Arab Summit Conference of Arab heads of states will be held tomorrow in Rabat this occasion, the PFLP wishes, through you and with your assistance, to present to the Palestinian and Arab masses as well as to all the progressive regimes and forces on the Arab and international levels, its position regarding the subjects that the Arab responsible will deal with in Rabat.
The PFLP aims to fulfill its obligations towards our Palestinian people's cause and that of our Arab masses as well as the cause of progress and peace in the world.
The recent withdrawal of the PFLP from the Executive Committee of the PLO is based on a scientific conviction that the path followed by the PLO leadership at this stage is full of big dangers regarding the future of the Palestinian and the Arab national liberation movement, and that this path does not represent the real nature of our people's interest and aim, and thereby, we take this opportunity to explain the correct political line - the path which we believe will realize the objectives of the masses.
We are passing a very delicate and decisive stage. Such a stage requires in the same manner determined ideological and political struggle between what is right and what is wrong, what is illusion and what is real, between the deviationist political line and the correct one; it also requires a refrain from abuses and nonjudgmental quarrels, out of the faithfulness to our martyrs and the aspirations of our future generations.
Allow me, to say that you, as journalist bear; a good part of responsibility in this respect, whether by putting before the masses all realities and points of view, or by the call for a responsible scientific dialogue, far from abuses.
The recent position of PFLP, (I mean its withdrawal from the Executive Committee of the PLO) has been subject to questions and remarks on your part and on the part of the forces that we care for. In spite of the fact that the PFLP has explained its view point, it still hopes that through your questions, this could further explain to our masses the reasons and considerations behind the position it adopted, knowing quite well all its implications, meanings and results.
PRESS STATEMENT BY COMRADE GEORGE HABASH, SECRETARY GENERAL OF PFLP (Friday - 25/10/1974).
More than a year has already elapsed since the cease-fire, last October. During this period, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have in the first place bore responsibility of sleering the Arab world on the path to regain the Arab occupied lands in the June war, and the realization of what they call, generally and without any definition, «The national rights of the Palestinian people». What has been the result?
The results have become clear to all: Israel has been given the necessary time to pick up its breath and to rebuild its military institution; to supply it with new weapons - On the level of its air, naval and land forces. The enemy of the peoples, the U.S., has been able to reimpose its moral domination over the area in preparation for its full control, politically and economically. Above all this, and rather, more dangerous than all this, all issues have been dealt with during the period with the promise of Israel existence being taken as a fait-accompli that bears no discussion, and that only alleviation of the consequences of the 1967 aggression has to be at the cost of a final Arab and international consolidation of the consequences of the 1948 aggression. Hence a full cancellation of one of the major objectives of the Palestinian and Arab revolution the liberation of all Palestinian national soil. Not that only, but it is natural that after all this, the results will be a disintegration of the revolutionary atmosphere that spread among the masses when the fighting was going on, as well as a split in the official Arab camp; a lack of readiness on the part of some anti-imperialist national regimes, to bear responsibility of these results under the banner of so-called «Arab solidarity» and a weakening of the organic links with the socialist countries. This last point alone forms a central point in the U.S. policy in the area, at this stage.
All this happened, while Israel is still in Sinai, the Golan and the entire Palestinian land. The equation presented became completely clear: The U.S. might put lenient • and smooth pressure on Israel to withdraw from «Arab territories occupied in the war. In return for this, the Arab side has today the price: Part of the price will go to U.S. imperialism, the enemy of the peoples, and the other part will go to Israelis security, legitimacy, and existence. The price list required for withdrawal is a very long one beginning with an end or a weakening of the relations with the socialist countries down to the price of oil and its quantity of production from our lands.
Is there• anything wrong with this analysis? Is there any exaggeration? Is there any wrong-doing? Are there any brinkmanship and sabotage attempts? Don't we have the right after all these results to categorically and decisively condemn this reactionary capitulationist and submissive policy, its protagonists and supervisors, and to call on the masses - All Arab masses - to confront it, fall it and crush it.
In the light of all of this, we view the main •task of the Rabat conference is to set a final and complete withdrawal out of this path - the path of imperialist and betraying political settlements and a definition of an alternative political line.
What is the alternative?
First: The serious and continuous preparation for a war of liberation and not a war that aims at pushing for a political settlement.
Second: That this process of preparation is not limited to the military aspects only.
From the military side there has to be a complete preparation as to the plan; armament, training, full mobilization and the provision of all that is needed for a long battle that might extend for years. The preparations must include the economic, social and political programs that •will create out of the Arab masses a solid and down deep base that provides the fight with the human and material needs until victory is achieved. The release of the masses potential by providing them with freedom and justice is the road to building up the power which Israel, aided with all the imperialist forces, cannot defeat.
Third: That all the resources of the Arab nation - including the economic, oil and hence the financial - be mobilized with enough courage to the interest of the battle, without fear of U.S. imperialist threats.
Fourth : In the serious national liberation war there must be a consolidation of the closest relations with all the socialist countries on all levels - political, economic and military - .as well as the closest relations with the progressive regimes and forces of the world. This forms a •basic line of an alternative political progress.
Fifth: It must be very clear in our minds from the outset, that in such a war, we will not be facing Israel alone. We will certainly be facing U.S. imperialism with all its military, political, economic and sabotage weight. The claim of the Egyptian authorities that «they were forced to cease-fire in October because they found out that they were fighting the U.S.» is in the best interpretation, a naive statement which reflects the absence of a scientific definition of the enemy camp and that of the friends.
These are-major points in the alternative program which our masses demand the Summit conference to wage our battle upon.
Our masses are asking with bitterness and decisiveness; why don't we follow this path? If there are some who say that such a program embroils us in a tough fight with the mighty U.S. imperialist giant with all what it posses of means of war and destruction, our reply here is the Vietnam example and the struggle of the heroic Vietnamese people which has been able, through its determined long war of liberation, to force this giant's face into the mud and force it to withdraw from Vietnam, leaving its puppets in Saigon to face their fateful destiny.
If there is anybody who says that such a program will carry with it death to every Arab family and will force heavy sacrifices on our masses, we reply that this is the low of liberation until now.
Our people in Algeria suffered one million martyrs for their freedom; the great Soviet peoples also paid twenty million martyrs during the Second World War to maintain the revolution; the great Chinese fought over twenty years to attain their aims and objectives. The heroic Vietnamese people have paid, and are still paying daily, groups after groups of martyrs. Under the slogan «nothing is dearer than freedom». To those who claim that this program threatens world peace, we say that the entire Vietnamese war and the fundamental crisis it has created in the backbone of the American imperialist did not lend to a world war because of the nuclear power balance. We do not ask our friends to fight our national war; we only request from them the support they granted to all the nations fighting for their freedom. Finally, we refuse to let this slogan «international peace» be used as a sword over our heads and prevent us from liberating our land and resources.
Our conviction is firm and fundamental that this is the road to a just and durable peace in the area. One day truth will be clear to all, that there is no peace in the area with the existence of a fascist, racist state based on a reactionary doctrine and with the aim of serving the imperialist interest.
The slogan of a democratic society in Palestine raised by the Palestinian revolution is the only road to freedom and progress for the entire people of the area, including the Jews, and is the road to permanent and durable peace.
The «permanent and just peace» advocated by the messenger of imperialism Kissinger is a plan to maintain the «nucleus of instability» in the area.
This is what the PFLP has to say on the eve of the summit conference in Rabat.
Are we saying this because of a real possibility that some Arab regimes will reevaluate their past policies and will adopt our patriotic political line? Of course we wish this to be true from our depths, but the problem is not that of our own wishes. The interests of some of the Arab regimes totally contradict the policy of progressive national people’s war. The inhabitants of palaces who are directly linked with imperialism and who join with it in exploiting the wealth of peoples and the output of the proletariat, and these regimes and social forces who are living in an environment of abundance will not take this path ... the path of the revolutionary political line. They want to maintain the status quo in order to enjoy a life of corruption and abundance at the expense of millions. These regimes and the reactionary and capitulationist forces condemn our policy and down grade all who call for it. But this policy remains to be the only policy to serve the interests of millions from our Arab masses and the interest of the greatest majority.
Our wretched and deprived working class living in the «tin» towns surrounding Arab capitals and cities, as well as our poor peasants suffering of misery and unhappiness in the country side of Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon, and the Arabian Peninsula, are the ones who are facing daily the toughness of life. They are the ones who continuously feel the degree of class a11d national oppression they are subject to. They are the ones who want the change to come about. They are the ones who know that the gun and the people’s national oppression they are subject to. They are the ones who want the change to come about. They are the ones who know that the gun and the people’s national war is the essential means o solving their contradiction with their class and national enemy, represented in Israel, imperialism, and the reactionary and puppet forces.
The patriotic policy which the PFLP puts forward as an alternative to the capitulationist policy is the policy of the patriotic regimes and forces, the policy of the revolutionary classes of our nation.
Our Palestinian people, in particular has suffered bitterly of so-called «Arab solidarity» - the solidarity of the regimes on a number of occasions throughout its history of national struggle. In the name of «Arab solidarity» they aborted the great strike and our people's armed revolt of 1936. In the name of «Arab solidarity» the armies of the Arab states entered Palestine under the leadership of Prince Abdullah and Glubb Pasha to mislead the Palestinian and Arab masses and to enforce the plot of the creation of Israel.
Today we declare with our loudest voice that an attempt to enforce a political settlement is being carried out under the banner of the Arab Summit conference and the «Arab solidarity». The capitulationist forces will present the Kissinger plan to end the state of war with Israel in return for promises - more promises - to withdraw from some Arab territories.
Our masses firmly declare that an end to the state of war with the Zionist usurper enemy is a clear betrayal of our struggle throughout history. It is the task of the national regimes to abort this conspiracy.
The Palestinian and Arab masses demand from the representatives of Iraq, Algeria, Democratic Yemen, and Libya to counter this capitulationist position and to struggle for an Arab solidarity on the basis of a peoples war of long duration not a tactical war and neither secret diplomatic maneuvers that aim .to make the national regimes an umbrella for capitulation and political settlement.
The U.S. policy aims, through a settlement for the «Arab-Israeli» conflict, to carry out an over all plan for the whole Arab region. This plan aims at strengthening the reactionary regimes; second, it will strike the Arab gun in Palestine, Oman, and Eritrea. Only after this, U.S. imperialism can be confident of the method to control Arab oil, production, prices .etc ... as well as the future of Arab capital so as to deny our masses from exploiting this important basic fortune to utilize it in its fight against poverty, diseases, misery, hunger, etc.
This is the overall American plan, which U.S. imperialism hopes to get through -what it calls the Arab-Israeli conflict. Thus all forces should bear clear responsibility before the masses at this destinal period of the Arab struggle.
This is on the Arab level. On the Palestinian level, the PFLP struggled since the October war to push the PLO leadership to condemn all policies of settlement, which lead to the present results. The PFLP also demanded that the PLO leadership present the alternative political line, that of continuing the fight, the line of peoples liberation war, depending on its heroes, fighters, and masses, the national and progressive regimes, the masses of our Arab people who long to fight and condemn all liquidationist policies. We wanted the PLO to be a vanguard in the true sense to the Arab masses movement, not from its size and traditional military capabilities, but through a revolutionary political line which will mobilize the millions of our masses, rallying around it all national and progressive forces on the Arab level. But the PLO leadership followed the same political line lead by Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
In light of the dangerous results that the capitulationist political line will lead to, the PFLP withdrew from the Executive Committee, because it can not shoulder the responsibility of a dangerous position, it does not believe in. We are not convinced of all the excuses that were given, but we remain within the PLO represented in the National Council, so that we will fight with the bases, cadres, and the revolutionary Palestinian forces to correct the line of the leadership in order to keep the Palestinian revolution, a revolutionary vanguard for the oppressed, deprived, wretched of our Arab nation.
The aim of our struggle on the Palestinian level is to stop the PLO leadership from deviating and entering the Geneva swamp -the swamp of capitulationist settlement.
We call on our comrade fighters, on all the militant bases of the revolution, and on the masses to stand in one line in face of the deviationist leadership to stop it from continuing that path.
We call on the comrade fighters, the militant bases and the masses to build a national unity - unity of bases and masses - which will pull the carpet from under the feet of the capitulationist leadership.
The PLO, for sometime now, has been waging a series of battles regarding its representation of the Palestinian people, presenting the problem to• the U.S. and others. These same issues and battles will probably be the same at the Rabat Summit. Waging these battles under a political line subservient to the Arab capitulationist policy, represented in Saudi Arabia and Egypt in the first place, raises some questions regarding the value of these battles.
The PFLP believes that the aim of these battles and their development in a certain way is a cover up to the historical political deviation reached now.
The PFLP has a strong conviction that the political line it represents, expresses the interest of the Palestinian and Arab masses. The PFLP will continue to struggle for the victory of this line with all its power and capabilities.
We will continue to struggle for the unity of the Palestinian revolution on the basis of a political line that rejects the betraying settlements and is determined on the continuation of the revolution.’
We will struggle to keep the Palestinian revolution a vanguard to the masses movement, not a puppet to the regimes.
We struggle to liberate the Palestinian land through the continued military and political struggle - not through the diplomacy of Kissinger and the Geneva conference.
We struggle to bring down the hireling regime in Jordan in the East bank, not stopping with forbidding Bank.
Let the Zionist enemy, who occupies our land; know that we do not forget for a minute that our struggle to strengthen the Palestinian revolution is to direct severe and strong blows to it until all its dreams of staying on our land are shattered.
Long live the Palestinian People struggle for the Liberation of the Entire National Soil.
Long Live our Arab Masses Struggle to Build the Unified Socialist Society
Long Live the Peoples Struggle against Imperialism, For Freedom, Peace and Progress.