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About Palestine and the Arab situation
By: Fahed Sulaiman
December 22, 2016

1- The Arab Situation

The Arab region is always in the eye of the international interests, because of its strategic location and natural resources, and at the same time, it is one of the most important consuming market what could attract the capitalist companies to penetrate inside it. Another reason behind this West and American attraction, is the existence of the state of Israel in the heart of the region, and to guarantee its superiority over the Arab states and to deprive the Palestinians from their right to have their independent entity on their land. For that , the region has been exposed to a series of colonial and imperialist invasions since the beginning of the last century until now, including the Zionist invasion , to fulfill the west ambitions and to abort the Arab liberation movements, also to close the doors in front of any opportunity of development, democracy or knowledge for the people in the region, and to prevent the establishment of the democratic and civil state based on the equality of the citizenship and the social justice.

In this context, we can't ignore some successful experiences in the region such as the "Nasiriyah" which was a recognized mark in the history of the Arab people, beside the Algerian revolution, the southern Yemen's, and the Palestinian revolution with its legendary steadfastness, all these revolutions were chances to break through the ceiling of the imperialism and colonization. And aimed to create a new situation in the area.

We can't ignore also the Lebanese resistance which started in 1982, with all its trends and its successive stages against the Israeli occupation, and its brilliant victory in 2000 which was based on the steadfastness of Syria in the field and politically.

The Arab region will always be an open stage to the all major political developments. The history has not closed its gate yet and will not, it will keep it open to a new situation which we believe that it will draw another future to the region, which shouldn't be a stage to the international interventions and the regional conflicts.

If we took into consideration the experiences of other people in Europe and Asia, we will notice that they remained for a long time under the effects of the local wars and the international conflicts, but they finally, were able to pass them all, and to decide their own fate, and to confront the regional and global ambitions. What we have in our region, is Israel and the ongoing Arab Palestinian - Israeli conflict which is like a continuous bleeding for the Arab energies and at the same time, a cover to prevent any social, political or economic developments.

We believe that the existence of an Israeli entity inside the Arab region is what provided for - many of the Arab regimes- excuses to disrupt the march of the development and democracy, under certain slogans such as «No voice is louder than the voice of war», at a time where efforts were made to reach compromises and deals with Israel publicly or secretly.

We believe that the Israeli presence, with its multi-purposes danger, should form, in contrast to all this, a serious incentive for the construction of the Arab state with its coherent national economy, away from the manifestations of corruption, waste, and illegal privileges, in order to serve the popular and middle classes' interests and to promote the role of women and open the horizon in front of young generations. This what strengthens our Arab situations, and enhances our ability to get rid of the foreign dominance and to be free from the influence of the Zionist existence.

2- The Popular Explosions

The explosion of the situations in many Arab states since the end of 2010 , wasn't primarily a result of external plans to raise crises and wars in the region, but it was a consequence to the failure of the ruling political elites in building the national state, which is based on the principles of citizenship and equality, and we shouldn't ignore the political and social tyranny beside the corrupted systems and the sovereignty of the tribal relations, also the failure of the elites to solve the causes of the liberation period and after, all these elements led to explosions and formed more chances to more external interference in our Arab affairs.

The revolted Arab masses raised flags of freedom and the rights of citizenship and equality between all the components of the Arab peoples and what it requires of a social justice and a fair distribution of the national wealth and the available financial resources of the political systems in the light of the full equality of all citizens before the law.

It was possible to these popular uprisings to make their ways toward their aims, but the intervention of the ignorance and racism forces hindered them. Some of them, are the political Islam trends with a complete support from the imperialism and the backwardness local forces and turning them into destruction pickaxes in the construction process of a state to all citizens who are controlled by a political system based on freedom ,democracy and the right of equality of the citizenship beside all values related to the coexistence of different cultures and religions, and with what were confirmed by all the covenants and conventions adopted by the United Nations and the international bodies and institutions, including the reduction of the negative effects of affiliations of pre-modern state stage communities (ethnic, sectarian, tribal, and regional) and their destructive effects on the process of democratization and the political participation, and building a culture of co-existence based on the consecration of the foundations and principles of citizenship, the rule of law, and the social justice.

What we are witnessing now is no more than harbingers of what is coming on, the history movement although it sometimes enters in mazes but at the end, it should, in the light of the social, economic and cultural interactions, move forward and what we have now, is just a conflict for drawing the direction of the history, this conflict is between forces which are trying to freeze this movement and between the forces of development and modification.

3- Fake Dualities

From another side , we can see a creation of new dualities instead of the Israel- Arab one, and we assure that this duality hides behind it , regional conflict projects that are fed by the United States specifically, throughout policies which aim to keep the region under a political tension, and an internal drain without access to the mass explosion; so the peoples of the region will be preoccupied with internal and national issues and their energies will be sapped by unprincipled conflicts which produce chaos only, and sometimes a search for political crosses with it , as the position of some Arab countries from Iran, or to talk about the cooperation with the terrorism, or even in the framework of the Arab-Arab conflicts, as the case with the situation in Syria and Yemen, for example.

After all, this is not only a paradox, but it is a serious political slope, should be treated through finding political solutions to the internal conflicts that are existed in these countries, to turn the way off before the foreign interventions, and to rebuild the national state which exercises its sovereignty over its entire territory, the state that moves seriously to establish various unitary relations in between the Arab countries and between their peoples , and restores the compass to its right direction, i.e. to consider that Israel is our national enemy, and that the Palestinian issue is the first pan-Arab issue, and that Israel is the source of real danger to the interests of the Arabs, and the interests of the other countries in the region, which could form new relations outside the new concept of regional conflicts that only serve Israel and the West and the interests of the United States specifically .

4- Attempts to Smear the Resistance

What the takfir forces commit of terrorist actions, damage the interests of the Islamic and Arab countries, and serve the Zionist aims to defame this countries with all their official associations, popular movements and citizens, and to destruct the efforts of the national independency by these countries on their own lands.

The general scene of the terrorist actions which adopted by the takfir forces are used by the Israeli enemy in defacing the image and the core of the conflict with it, and in defacing the justice of the Palestinian issue, as it an issue of a struggling people, and a national liberation movement that seeks to endorse the right of self-determination for the Palestinian people on its national territory and the return of the Palestinian refugees to their homes and properties from which they were displaced since 1948.

In this context, the Israeli occupation always tries to depict our people's resistance to it as terrorist acts, and to depict itself to the world public opinion as a part of the global front against terrorism, to cover on its daily violations to the international legitimacy resolutions relevant to our national cause, and its permanent violations to the charters , norms and laws; and to cover , as well, on the war crimes committed against our people, in the West Bank or in the Gaza Strip; noting that the Palestinian factions, without exception, have agreed in condemning all forms of global terrorism, and within that the organized terrorism posed by the Zionist occupation and the settlement on our land.

In this context and in order to improve the image of struggle of our people, including its armed resistance and its defense for its people against the Israeli aggression , the Democratic Front has taken the initiative early, and still, through its military arm, the Palestinian National Resistance Brigades, and it called for the formation of a joint operations room for the resistance factions, with a unified political reference, which has the decision of the fighting and the truce with the occupation, and that draws forms of the armed resistance, and its areas of operation, and provides them with political and media necessary coverage, to safeguard the right of our people in all forms of legitimate resistance, as approved by the international law and the Universal Declaration of the human rights, and to present us to the public opinion as a movement of national liberation, that struggles to get rid of the Zionist colonialism, and for the right of our people in freedom, return and independence.

5- The Oslo Closed Road

Oslo Accords still prevail on the Palestinian case, with their unfair conditions to the Palestinian people and its legitimate national rights. The Palestinian Authority still commits to the Oslo Accords and all the signed agreements with the Israeli occupation.

This what was disclosed by President Mahmoud Abbas in his speech before the United Nations in New York 21/9/2016 , although the Central Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization in 5/3/2015 , unanimously decided to begin serious disengagement from these agreements, through stopping the security coordination with the occupation authorities, and attempting to boycott the Israeli economy, and the internationalization of the conflict issues, as the settlement , the prisoners and the crimes of the occupation before the international forums, as the ICC, and asking the United Nations to provide the international protection for our people and our land against the occupation and the settlements, and calling for an international conference in accordance with the international legitimacy resolutions related to the Palestinian issue, that guarantee to our people its inalienable legitimate national rights in independence , sovereignty , return and self-determination.

Oslo project has come to its end, but there are attempts by the Palestinian Authority, and some European countries, such as France, and by the United States, to revive it and extend its effectiveness.

The conflict within the Palestinian case is going on now between three directions; the first direction adheres to the Oslo Accords and its sterile mechanisms, represented by the Palestinian Authority; the second direction sticks to the internal division, represented by Fatah and Hamas; the third direction calls to return to the Palestinian national program ; the struggle and resistance program, as its headlines were approved by the Central Council in 5/3/2015, the national reconciliation in 26/6/2006, and most of the national consensus decisions which were taken by the successive Palestinian national councils and the rounds of national dialogue in Cairo.

We in the Democratic Front, are still in the opposition site of the Oslo, and in the struggle position to override this agreement through the liberation from its chains, also we are in the struggle position for the reconsideration of the Palestinian unified national program, which ends the split, and opens the way before the popular uprising, through the comprehensive national disobedience to defeat the occupation and to get rid of the settlement, and to establish the independent Palestinian state with full sovereignty and Jerusalem as its capital, and the return of refugees .

We believe that there are steps must be done to achieve the liberation from the Oslo restrictions. At the forefront , is working to rebuild the PLO institutions, on a new basis, in the heart of them , is the Palestinian National Council by the calling for restructuring it through the overall elections by using the proportional representation system, and through the calling for its convention outside the occupied territories to allow all the Palestinian factions and parties to be involved in it, and by remaking its political formula on the basis of the critical review of the Oslo failed process, and the adoption of a struggle program that combines all forms of resistance, and the political and diplomatic work, including the internationalization of the issue in the UN Security Council and General Assembly and in the international Court of Justice .

The time has come to try the Israeli entity on its war crimes and crimes against humanity committed against our people, by the settlement, mass arrests, murdering in cold blood, and the siege of the Gaza Strip. It is also the time to demand the international protection for our land and our people against the settlements and the occupation, and to work to gain the full membership for the State of Palestine in the United Nations and thus achieving the wanted political shift, which provides for the new Executive Committee, elected by the National Council , the leadership of our people in its struggling process, and reformulates its Palestinian authority in response to the new alternative program of struggle, on the basis of the programmatic ,organizational and institutional unity, our motto in that is «partners in the blood .. partners in the decision and responsibility».

All this would close the way of the maneuvers before the Israeli side, and would open the horizons for an interim national settlement to our struggle against it, and open the horizons towards the effective solution to the Palestinian issue, and the liberation of the whole national territory, in a democratic state.

We believe that the Arabs and Muslims should take the strong rational national attitude, from the tragic fact that Oslo Accords have made in the West Bank and Gaza, and the need to liberate our people from the restrictions of this unjust agreement. And thus alignment to the popular will, the will of the Palestinian majority, in favor of the Palestinian national program, which is the basis of the coalition formula represented by the PLO as a sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

6- The Arab League

The Arab League is an institution, with limited mechanisms as some of its member states agreed. Although it is based on aspects of institutionalization in some of its sides, but it suffers a deficiency in the role, because of the lack of the role of its members.

The Arab League is essentially reflects the nature of the official Arab situation. The more advanced relations between the member states at the Arab League, the role of the league itself develops. In case of a split between the Arabs into axes, the Arab League itself will be divided, and will experience difficulty in performing its role, and vice versa; therefore, we can't judge the Arab League as an institution without judging the Arab policies and the role of the member states.

It is true that the Secretary General of the Arab League with his assistants are responsible for submitting ideas and suggestions for the development of the league's performance. It is also true that the value of these proposals, is by adopting them by the member states, especially that the custom stipulates that the league's decisions are non-binding on the member states; and therefore, any party can disavow from any obligation towards the decisions of the league by claiming that it is exercising its sovereign rights.

We do not deny the role which is played by the Arab League on the diplomatic level, whether in the United Nations, or in the relations with the rest of the world, through its diplomatic missions, and we can't deny its embracing for a number of Palestinian national events, but in the end we believe that the development of the role of the Arab League is related to the Arab consensuses, especially regarding the Palestinian issue and the conflict with the Israeli entity.

We believe that the achievement of the Palestinian required political shift, through the liberation from Oslo restrictions, and the return to the Palestinian national program, the program of return, self-determination and independence, according to the new struggling mechanisms, would put the Arab League before political entitlements, whether as an institution, or on the national level for each state, that can't be ignored politically, or morally.

7-The Palestinian - Arab Relations

From our national responsibility position towards the Palestinian and the nationalist cause, and toward the interests of the Arab peoples, we in the Democratic Front practice a policy that ensures the establishment of a relationship with most of the Arab sides, whether on popular level, or on the official level, and that does not mean that we interfere in the Arab internal affairs.

Our concern about these relations stems from the site of our commitment to provide the support for our national cause, based on our conviction that all Arabs are for Palestine, and Palestine is for all Arabs. In this context, we are keen to not throw ourselves in any of the internal Arab disputes, or in any of the conflicts in this Arab country or that, without meaning that we do not have a vision of the nature of the conflicts in the region, on the general level, or in each country separately, and without meaning that we do not have a perspective of the necessary solutions for each of the raised issues.

We do not hesitate to convey our point of view, clearly, and quite frankly, to all conflict parties, and we declare it in our political statements. What leads us to that, is our commitment to the contribution in extinguishing the fire in the region, and in providing political solutions to the Arab crises, according to the basis of the unity of the Arab countries and their peoples. These countries can get rid of their incurable crises through the comprehensive dialogue, and through the balanced political solutions that meet the interests of the people, outside of any external interference, and to ensure the building of the national Arab state on the basis of citizenship and the equal citizenship in a framework of democracy, freedom, national dignity and social justice.

Notes: *Fahed Sulaiman is a deputy of the secretary general of the DFLP

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