1974 – Interview with Comrade George Habash

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The following are textual excerpts from an interview with comrade Georges Habash, Secretary General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which was published by the PFLP's weekly organ AI- Hadaf on August 3,1974:

Price of Disengagement. « ... Parts of the Arab land, on the Egyptian and Syrian fronts, have been regained, but at what price? ... U.S. imperialism restored its influence to the region, and this influence is continuously expanding, politically, economically and morally... And the return of the imperialist influence to the region reflected on the close relations between the Soviet Union and the Arab people. On the Arab level, in return for disengagement on the Egyptian and Syrian fronts, the Arab regimes sacrificed their weapon of military confrontation... and lifted the oil embargo on the imperialist countries…

Israeli Peace. « The capitulationist rulers will have no choice but to submit to the conditions set by U.S. imperialism. This will take place with the approval of the Zionist state which raises the slogan that « in return for every piece of land we should get a piece of peace. » The peace referred to here is the Zionist peace. It begins with the implicit recongition of Israel and ends with the Israelis shopping in the streets of Cairo. - U.S. economic projects have found their way now to the Egyptian economy, and a new legislation was promulgated to serve the interests of imperialists and Arab capitalism. All these moves are aimed at making Syria and Egypt an integral part of the U.S. imperialist market.

Egyptian-Jordanian Communiqué. « ... The gravity of the Egyptian-Jordanian communiqué should make the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) basically revise its policy. The Egyptian-Jordanian communiqué was a result of the PLO's subservient policy in its relations with the capitulationist regime, particularly with Egypt... The stand taken by the PLO should be on a par with the gravity of the communiqué. It should go beyond condemnation, as the PLO is now required to condemn its own policy. The 'leadership of the PLO should have true revolutionary courage and criticize its former policy of cooperating with the Arab capitulationist regimes, dissociate itself from them and rely on the Arab revolutionary masses and the Arab regimes that reject the political settlement.

PFLP will Dissociate Itself. « The basic question is will the PLO remain subservient to the official, bourgeois capitulationist policy, or will it constitute the revolutionary alternative to the Arab and Palestinian masses and start a new revolutionary current... If the resistance practices courageous self-criticism and strengthens its relations with the Arab masses and their nationalist forces and the non-capitulationist regimes, we will consider this a significant turning-point. But if their real aim is to start another mediation and have another meeting with Sadat's regime, then the PFLP announces very clearly that we cannot shoulder the responsibility of this policy followed by the Executive Committee of the PLO. We would consider this a continuation of the deterioration of the policy of the resistance movement, a line which the PLO has followed and is still following since the October war.

The PLO Visit to the USSR. « ... The PFLP did not participate in the delegation (the PLO delegation that visited USSR), but this is not a stand taken against the Soviet Union which, despite many contradictions, we still consider as a power supporting the Arab and Palestinian struggle. This is a stand taken against the leadership of the PLO which wanted the delegation to be « harmonious ». In our view, harmony in this we had to make concessions means that the delegation should represent one political stand, which is that favoring a political settlement ; although there are two contradictory stands in the Palestinian forum, one in favor the PLO becoming party in the settlement, and the other considering this a serious and treasonous national deviation. Another reason for not participating in the delegation is that it departed without the Executive Committee debating the tasks to be discussed with the Soviet comrades. Our stand is the expression of our rejection of the PLO leadership's improvised policies and its actions in isolation from the others.

Rejection Forces. «The rejection forces believe that the Palestinian revolution will be liquidated if it takes part in the proposed political settlement and that the continuity of the revolution depends on fighting the settlement. These forces work now as if they were one front, but the front has not been established yet. It is the duty of these forces to organize one front with unified political and organizational programs. This front should now operate within the framework of the PLO in order to prevent an irreversible deviation, and so that the PLO may not become party to the settlement. But if the PLO goes to Geneva, then the front of steadfastness will be the sole representative of the continuity of the revolution.

PLO's Provisional Program. « ... All claims that I am the author of the 10-point program (PLO's provisional program adopted in the 12th Palestine National Council) are lies. It is regrettable that such attempts are made to distort the stand of the PFLP. I did make some points which would have served as the basis of a political program, but these points firmly place the Palestinian resistance movement outside the framework of the settlement and oppose the settlement clearly and unambiguously. These points include the clear and categorical rejection of resolution 242 and the Geneva conference.

« As to the 1 0-points approved by the National Council, they were a compromise formula aimed at preventing an explosion in the Palestinian forum. And there are other attempts being made to conceal the contradictions in the Palestinian forum. But on this occasion loudly declare that there are two contradictory political stands within the PLO and that we should struggle against any attempt to conceal these contradictions. The 1 0-points cannot serve as the basis of a real and durable national unity, for national unity can only be based on one political stand, which is the clear and categorical rejection of all forms and formulas of the political settlement.

« In this connection, I declare in .the name of the PFLP that we intend to remain within the PLO as long as the PLO remains outside the Geneva conference. We consider participation in the Geneva conference a serious and treasonous national deviation that we will fight with all our strength.

Lebanon. «We should expect blows aimed at the resistance movement, particularly in Lebanon. This is a scientific conclusion. Why ? Because the plans for a political settlement aim at the containment of the Palestinian resistance movement. This is an unambiguous fact. And it is natural for the resistance movement to hesitate before the humiliating formula proposed by U.S. imperialism for the containment of the revolution. At the same time, there will be plans to direct political and military blows at the Palestinian resistance movement to ultimately force it to become party in the settlement in a position of weakness ... We should keep this in mind because the resistance in Lebanon still constitutes a revolutionary phenomenon and the Palestinian rifles are still raised ... »