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Fahd Suleiman: We want a National Council that rebuilds the collective, national, and coalition unity through the program of resistance, and the internationalization of the cause and rights
March 16, 2018

Fahd Suleiman, Deputy Secretary-General of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, called for the Palestinian National Council to be a station for the reconstruction of collective, national, and coalition unity, by the program of resistance, popular uprising and internationalizing the Palestinian national issue and rights.

Fahd Suleiman stressed the need to implement the decisions of the Palestinian Central Council in its two sessions (2015-2018) and not to adopt the maneuver of referring decisions to committees that also refer them to another and so on, to evade from the entitlements of implementation and the national strategy.

Fahd Suleiman called for the disengagement from Oslo Accords, Paris Protocol and their obligations, and the adoption of the program of resistance and uprising. He spoke at a festival organized by the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine in Damascus on March 11, 2018, on the 49th anniversary of its start. The festival was attended by Palestinian, Arab, international, public and political delegations.

Fahd Suleiman began his speech by paying tribute to our Palestinian martyrs in the battles of protracted struggle, in all fields, to the families of martyrs who made worthy sacrifices in favor of the Palestinian national cause, and to all the fighters of our people, inside Israeli entity, occupied Jerusalem, Palestinian Bank, Gaza Strip, refugee camps and diaspora, stressing the necessity of mobilizing more forces and fighting capabilities, and expanding the circles of popular participation in the fight against the serious dangers that threaten our cause and national rights, by Arab and regional projects.

Fahd Suleiman said that the forty-ninth anniversary of the start of DFLP as a democratic leftist party and faction which is armed with thought, awareness, mass organization and arms of struggle, is a great opportunity to pay tribute of brotherhood, solidarity and unity of determination for Arab liberation movement through its battles for the freedom of its people, national dignity, the right to a decent life, social justice and democracy, in particular; the Lebanese national resistance, through its various stages, in which we fought side by side to defend sovereignty, freedom, security and stability of Lebanon in the face of Israeli aggressive acts. He also stressed that DFLP, is still faithful to Lebanese people and its sacrifices for Palestine, Arabism of Lebanon, its independence and democratic development, in addition, DFLP is still standing by Lebanon in its struggle against the dangers of Israeli aggression.

In his speech, Fahd Suleiman praised the Syrian Arab Army and the army of Iraq through defending the homeland against terrorism and the projects of division, destruction, and looting of wealth.

The Regional situation - a new phase:

In the context of his speech, Fahd Suleiman highlighted the developments of the situation at Arab and regional levels, and said that we are facing further clarification of two main directions:

• The first: is the aggression which aims at undermining the status and position of the national state by putting it in a series of crises and impose it to adopt one of two options: either submission to Washington's policy, then to Israel, or let it to continue its attrition until its foundations to be undermined by imposing an internal division, or by Imposing a fait accompli which is accompanied with the position of more absurdity of a number of influential Arab countries, which on the pretext that they are facing the dangers of expanding Iranian influence in the region, they are on the way to meet the conditions of normalization, security cooperation and developing economic relations with Israel at the expense of the national rights of Palestinian people and the pan-Arab nationalist interest.

•The second: is to confront these aggressive policies, and the policies of complicit Arab countries. Here we have to declare that the first direction has begun to decline, after its failure to achieve its objectives, although it still insisting on the continuation of its aggressive actions. The terrorism in Syria has been defeated and the plans to divide the country and people and destroy the Syrian Arab army have been thwarted. Also, the terrorism with its plans to divide the country of Iraq and its people and destroy the Iraqi army, have also been defeated. We, as Palestinians consider these victories as a victory for our people, national movement and public resistance, as the more the American-Israeli regional project fails, the more the national project succeeds; this national project in which the national state protects the unity of people, land and home and ends up reviving the dark and reactionary ages.

As a Palestinian people: Where are we? ... And to where?

At the Palestinian level, Fahd Suleiman said that the Palestinian situation stands in the face of two strategies:

• The first: is the strategy of adhering to Oslo Accords and their political, security and economic obligations, in addition to the strategy of pushing the Palestinian situation by force to adopt the political option with its various forms, as a single option, and ignoring the rest of options. He said: The political option gives more importance to the negotiations on the rest of issues and discusses the internationalization of the national rights and issue, including; expanding the circle of recognition of the State of Palestine, and joining the international conventions, including; the active membership for the State of Palestine in the United Nations, referring Israeli war crimes to the International Criminal Court, and supporting the movement of (B.D.S) and others.

Using a very clear critical language, Fahd Suleiman said that the problem of this strategy, is that it has kept the Palestinian situation imprisoned behind the bars of Oslo Accords and their obligations, especially; the security coordination with the occupation and the full economic dependence on Israeli economy, besides a series of pledges that have been recently revealed, including; the pledge to not to go to the International Criminal Court, or the non-affiliation to 22 international agencies warned by the United States, or to ensure security coordination as "sacred", or not to move diplomatically to delegitimize the occupation and isolate the Zionist entity, including; the support of the movement of BDS against Israeli settlements' goods , in return to a US pledge to not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel (which has been violated recently).

Fahd Suleiman said in the same context that: the experiences of more than a quarter of a century have proved the failure of the strategy based on failed bets. This strategy has caused many national disasters to our people, including; expansion of settlement, spreading the policy of oppression, murder, mass arrests, imposing siege and the escalation of Israeli racist policies against our people in Jerusalem, Palestinian Bank, and the areas of 48th. These policies with their bad repercussions, have turned their back to the internal national unity (this unity, from the perspective of the Palestinian official leadership, imposes restrictions on its political position), exacerbated the state of division and weakened the national unity spirit. Therefore; the Palestinian leadership, in this context, has made obstacles in the way of the mass movement, in order to protect its policy of exclusiveness which affects negatively on the political management of the national cause.

He added that the political movement of those who are adopting this option in the field of internationalization of the national cause and rights, is nothing more than a tactical movement, aimed at improving the negotiating position of this option, without affecting the bases of the negotiations, their mechanisms, and reference, which have always been governed by Oslo Accords, Paris Economic Protocol, Israeli-American perspective regard them, what always serves the Zionist project, and what always violates our national project.

• The second strategy, which opposes the first and we are working hard to pave its way for the mass movement, is a strategy based on the priority of resistance with all its popular forms, on the way to turn it into a comprehensive national disobedience, which requires the provision of its bases and the most important of these bases, is giving priority to establish the national unity, without neglecting the task of internationalization of the cause and national rights.

Fahd Suleiman added that, even if the two strategies converge on the issue of internationalization through the titles, but there is a very big, fundamental, and strategic difference between them lies in priorities, in addition to that the political and struggling context, to deal with these titles, is quite different between HERE and THERE.

HERE: The overall popular resistance is the main strategy, national unity is the main factor of power, and strengthening the mass movement with its capabilities and struggling bases by mobilizing its ranks with more forces and community’s strata.

THERE: The obligations of Oslo Accords are the basis of this strategy, fragmenting the national position, weakening the national unity, destroying its coalition bases, encircling the popular movement, weakening the trust of it, and imposing the waiting policy on it.

This is a major conclusion that must not be lost in the midst of political speeches that try to legalize the Oslo option and its miserable strategy. The second conclusion, which is confirmed by the daily facts, is that there is no hope of the strategy, which is controlled by the priority of the negotiations under the ceiling of Oslo. This conclusion is under two ceilings which cannot be penetrated by the current policy:

• The first ceiling is the Israeli ceiling where the decisive forces in society, as in the political system, converge on the goal of ending the cause and the national rights, especially as we are facing a far-right government whose decisions are governed by a series of ministers, who have a tendency of settlement which is clarified by their calls for cancelling the right of return, dismantling UNRWA, the annexation of the Palestinian Bank, and considering the status of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as non-negotiable.

• The second ceiling is the American ceiling with the Trump administration (full biased role to Israel). This role always adopts Israeli position and works to impose this position as an irreplaceable and irreversible solution on the Palestinian side in any coming negotiating process. This is reflected through the “Deal of the Century”, the Trump administration's position on 6/12/2017 to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and transfer the American Embassy to it, cutting UNRWA funding, the call for the redefinition of the Palestinian refugee, and removing the legal status of the refugees by cancelling the political content of their cause, and depriving them of their right to return to their homes and properties.

On the way of restoring the elements of power:

Fahd Suleiman talked about the future of the Palestinian national situation in the face of historical challenges by saying that in order to make progress towards achieving Palestinian national rights, the national movement of our people has no choice but to adopt a strategy based on the priority of the resistance and its consequences on the other fields.

This approach aims to restore the elements of Palestinian power, which is represented in two main things:

• Politically: the disengagement from Oslo Accords and Paris Protocols by breaking their restrictions and liberating from their obligations.

This requires the taking of three parallel steps provided by the Central Council's decisions in 2015 and 2018:

1) Withdrawal of recognition of Israel.

2) Cessation of security coordination with the occupation.

3) Disengagement from economic dependency.

Then it becomes necessary to implement these decisions and not to refer them to specialized committees for research and study the mechanisms of their application. We know that this referral to the so-called specialized committees, is an attempt to remove the decisions from the agenda, disrupt the implementation of them, or replace them with fake "peace initiatives" that do not have the potential for success, in addition that is a restoration of the idea of failed conferences such as the Annapolis conferences (2007) and Paris (2017), which did not achieve meaningful negotiations, and made an additional vacuum in the political process. Therefore, we emphasize the need to stop: manipulating the decisions of the Central Council, the policy of circumventing them, and the policy of referring them to more committees to study them through a game that has become exposed by its goals and objectives. Therefore, we also say that the act of making delusions to reach a result that serves the interests of our people through a negotiating process with its foundations, mechanisms, and references, has failed and provided the Israeli side with the cover to achieve actual results on the ground, including; settlement, judaization, building settlements in the occupied Palestinian Bank and Jerusalem and bring thousands of settlers, dividing them by bypass roads and bridges, and looting their groundwater, while our people is suffering from all forms of oppression, persecution, injustice and tyranny by the occupation authorities, including; arrests and executions, and obstruction of daily life by spreading terror.

• The second matter that Fahd Suleiman considered to provide our people and its national movement with the elements of power, is the rebuilding of the national unity by adhering firmly to the results achieved in late 2017 by Fatah-Hamas Memorandum of Understanding (12/10/2017) and Cairo Declaration (22/11/2017) of factions' meeting, which signed the agreement of May 2011, on national reconciliation in Cairo.

Fahd Suleiman stressed that the national interest imposes on Fatah and Hamas to exercise the highest degree of responsibility, in order to not missing the available opportunity, provided to our people to restore the internal unity.

In this context, Fahd Suleiman stressed the need to strive to restore the comprehensive representation of PLO’s institutions by providing the participation of all components of Palestinian National Movement in these institutions, especially in the National Council, Central Council, and the Executive Committee of Palestine Liberation Organization.

He said: the call of the National Council to hold a meeting on 30/4, should be well prepared to achieve its objectives. We are not concerned with convening a national council whose function is to address the crisis of this movement or that and this faction or that , and we are not concerned with holding a national council, to arrange the internal affairs of this organization or that, but we are concerned with convening a national council, whose function is to rebuild our national and coalition unity on a democratic and participatory basis, which can accommodate all without exception by depending on the unified national program, the program of resistance, uprising, and internationalization of the cause and national rights.

Therefore, to achieve the success of Council’s work, it immediately requires the call for the Preparatory Committee which held a meeting in Beirut on (1/2017), headed by chairman of the National Council, Salim Al-Zanoun, to resume its work, complete what it had started, and call on the Committee for the Activation and Development of the PLO’s Institutions, which includes secretaries general, members and Chairman of the Executive Committee, the Chairman of the National Council, and independent figures, to agree upon the national program and strategy based on the documents of national consensus, including; (Gaza 2006) and Cairo (2005, 2011, 2013 and 2017).

Fahd Suleiman reiterated that the act of correcting the common policy is through the disengagement from Oslo Accords and Paris Protocols and working hard on the internal unity as a national priority, and consider them as two strategic steps to restore the elements of Palestinian power and provide the conditions of rebuilding PLO’s institutions, on democratic, coalition, collective and participatory foundations to mobilize the energies of Palestinian people in all places of its presence. He also demanded to re-determine the tasks and functions of the Palestinian Authority's institutions, politically, socially, security, culturally, and economically, to serve the option of Intifada.

In this context, Fahd Suleiman said: we stress the great importance of the commitment to implement the decisions of the Central Council, the highest legislative and decision-making body of PLO, in light of the discontinuation of the sessions of National Council for more than two decades.

He criticized the bad implementation of these decisions, as was the case with the decisions of the Central Council in the 2015 session when an agreement with the US administration was achieved to freeze three binding decisions for the Executive Committee, including:

1) To stop security coordination with the occupation.

2) To prosecute Israel for war crimes through the International Criminal Court.

3) The request to join 22 international agencies which the United States warned the Palestinian Authority not to deal with them.

All these are in exchange for Washington's pledge to not to transfer its embassy to Jerusalem, in addition to freeze building settlements outside the settlement blocs, on the pretext that the future of these blocs is the annexation to Israel, and therefore, no harm to keep building.

He added: We are all witnessing this miserable bargain that has not prevent the transfer of US embassy to Jerusalem, the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the remarkable expansion of settlement, the legalization of the outposts that the United States itself has declared that they are "illegal", or the continuation of Judaization of Jerusalem to expel its inhabitants.

Fahd Suleiman concluded his speech at the 49th anniversary of the start of DFLP by paying tribute to our people, its political forces, martyrs and their families and our imprisoned heroes in the Israeli jails, stressing the determination of DFLP to keep going on the path of struggle which has been drawn by itself whatever the sacrifices are.


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