Statement by the Political Bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
To the masses of our Palestinian people in the homeland and scattered abroad:
The Political Bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine convened a meeting in the first half of February 2002 that dealt with the Arab, regional, and international developments surrounding our national cause. After saluting the steadfastness of our people as they confront the escalation of Zionist aggression supported by the American Administration, the Political Bureau noted the following:
1. The American war program under the signboard of fighting terrorism in order to strengthen the means for imposing imperialist hegemony is continuing. The Arab region occupies the chief place in this program, the aggression against Afghanistan being only one link in its chain. In accordance with this program, U.S. hegemony is not necessarily to be effected only by means of warfare but also by a series of economic, political, and intelligence measures.
The low level of global objection by peoples and governments to what took place in Afghanistan has encouraged the American Administration to go further and to direct its threats with rudeness and impudence at the states and forces that stand up against the policy of hegemony (such as Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Hizb Allah, and the organizations of the Palestinian resistance), indicating that the Middle East region faces new aggressive acts.
2. Within the framework of the links between Americas plans for this region and the regional role of the Zionist entity in these plans, the Zionist unity government has escalated its aggression against our people qualitatively tightening the total blockade; destroying houses in Rafah and Jerusalem; increasing the intensity of destructive bombing and shelling of Palestine Authority national security offices; launching incursions into Tulkarm, Bayt Hanoun, Tammoun, Sayda, and Halhoul; and stationing tanks just meters from the headquarters of President Arafat.
Probably the state of panic and fragmentation that afflicts official Arab circles, indeed their complicity at some stages, has helped reduce Americas caution about returning to a policy of total congruence with the policy of the Zionist entity government, providing political cover for its acts of aggression, and abandoning even the taste (a bribe) of vague support for the establishment of a Palestinian state that the U.S. expressed before the beginning of its campaign against Afghanistan.
3. In light of the above-mentioned international and Arab circumstances, it was absolutely necessary that the highest level of exactness be used in drawing up a Palestinian national strategy for struggle. But the Palestine Authority and its leadership resorted to a policy of counting down, calling for a cease-fire, declaring a State of Emergency, closing down offices, declaring the military wings of some Palestinian organizations to be illegal, labeling the resistance and resistance organizations as terrorist, going beyond partial political arrests to return to the practice of broad campaigns of sweeping arrests and the serious hunting down of militants and their weapons.
These measures, carried out under the slogan of depriving the Sharon government of its excuses, have only led to more Zionist aggression, more American pressures, and to European activity that timidly differs relatively from the American position by opposing the rude impression of American policy, or by urging that the Palestinian struggle against the Zionists not be treated exclusively as a security problem. The decline of official Palestinian policy has gone so far that a return to where things were before the Intifada broke out has become their dream, whereas it used to be an Israeli demand. This decline brought back serious signs of shaken faith and frustration to the Palestinian street. It has undermined the unity in the field that grew strong in the battles of the intifada and resistance, setting off warning bells of the worsening of internal contradictions that appeared recently in the outbursts of tribalist, groups, and factional feuds in which unfortunately the Authoritys security agencies played a role, where they should have been a part of the effort to prevent and treat such occurrences.
In view of this reality, the Political Bureau of the Popular Front affirms and calls for the following:
First. The nature of international circumstances after 11 September, and what they represent as seen in the content of the American imperialist war, do not contain anything that can push the cause of our people forward. The American war against what it calls terrorism involves, among other things, a war against our peoples resistance that is based on the resolutions of the United Nations and international law.
Therefore Palestinians cannot protect themselves and defend Palestinian goals by trying to get out of the path of the crazed American bullits rage is studied and intentional and not some emotional reaction. Rather it must be confronted by a policy of self-defense and defense of our rights, by focusing on defending the legitimacy of our peoples resistance.
International support for the resistance must be secured by waging the broadest possible informational and diplomatic campaign to demonstrate the fact that our people are the victims of the terrorism and the crimes committed by the occupation with such open American political cover that George Tenet, Director of the American Central Intelligence Agency, went so far as to list Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine as targets of American aggression.
Tenet ignored the fact that organizations of Palestinian national activity and resistance in general only emerged as a result of the occupation, and with legitimization by international documents and United Nations resolutions. These organizations will not disappear until the occupation ends and the national rights of our people to their return, to freedom, and to independence are attained.
Second. Waging a broad, popular, democratic struggle, strengthening national steadfastness and unity in the field, and demanding that the Palestine Authority stop complying with American-Israeli demandsthese are necessary conditions for bringing more factors of Palestinian strength to bear on the confrontation with the Zionist aggression that depends on American political cover and the fragmented and impotent state of official Arab regimes.
Third. The need to stand firm in order to stop the collapse of some class strata in Palestinian decision-making circles that have been opposed to the intifada and the renewal of the resistance struggle since the beginning. They applied pressure to gain acceptance of what was proposed at Camp David, and they are pushing now for acceptance of what is called the Abu AlaPeres Agreement and the open statement on the possibility of bargaining over and encroaching upon established national principles, first among them the return of Palestinian refugees to their homes in accordance with UN Resolution 194.
Fourth. The impotence of official Arab regimes does not diminish the importance of the initiative to activate the machinery of Arab national popular struggle, and to participate actively in initiatives on this level.
Fifth. Reasserting the importance of the popular democratic nature of the intifada is a matter of the utmost importance. The armed resistance is a reserve for this side, not a substitute for it. Activation of the mass organizations, popular federations, and peoples associations must not be limited to energizing their role in the battles being waged on the ground, but must extend to their participation in the effort to build bridges to similar organizations in the Arab world, in this region, and internationally in order to broaden the spheres of support and assistance for our national cause and the right of our people to resist the occupation.
To the masses of our people:
In concluding its political review, the Political Bureau examined the offense committed by the Palestine Authority of waging a campaign of political arrests that culminated in the arrest of the comrade General Secretary Ahmad Saadat. After expressing thanks and high esteem for all those who have participated in the political, informational, and mass campaign on the Palestinian and Arab levels to secure the release of the General Secretary and to condemn the arrest for the serious political implications that are inherent in it, and the real dangers it poses for national unity, the Political Bureau expressed its condemnation and astonishment at statements by the Palestine Authority and its leadership that link the arrest of our comrade the General Secretary to the effort to arrest the heroic comrades accused by Israel of liquidating that symbol of Zionist extremism, Zeevi.
Such statements go a long way to making internal Palestinian affairs subject to American-Zionist dictates, going so far as to entertain the illusion of demanding that the leadership of the Popular Front turn in those heroic comrades to the Palestine Authority.
This matter never was and never will be subject to discussion or deliberation. The Popular Front and its leadership have never been and never will be for political arrests of people for their opinions or for resisting the occupation. It does not share the illusion that leaders of the Palestine Authority entertain that more subservience to and compliance with Israeli dictates and demands is a way to break the blockade of our people or the President Yasir Arafat. The Israeli demands are endless. They are aimed at imposing conditions of surrender on our people.
Therefore the Political Bureau of the Popular Front, as it condemns the arrest of the comrade General Secretary and demands his immediate release together with all those detained by the Palestine Authority, it also rejects the pursuit of the heroic comrades accused of liquidating Zeevi. The Political Bureau reiterates that it rejects on principle any discussion of the subject of their arrest.
February 18, 2002