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The National Cause at the Time of Regional Turmoil
By: Fahed Suleiman
April 28, 2017
 

1.- Where is the position of our cause in the Arab and regional turmoil time?

The Arab and regional situation is going through a period of political, security, economic and social turmoil, with all the implications of this stage of various repercussions that will have an impact on the entire geopolitical map in the region and on the various conflict files in it, and in the forefront is the Palestinian cause , which requires to highlight the position of this cause in the prevailing regional situation, to redraw the picture, to purge it of ambiguities and to regain control in favor of national policies that safeguard the interests of the Palestinian people, and its legitimate national rights, and deal with the daily, Arab and regional realities , with political coherent will, and clear strategic vision.

Targeting the national state and through it the political geography of the region:

The first signs of this turmoil are that the Arab national state has become a target in its being, and that the geopolitics of the region is threatened and even exposed to changes that will draw its borders and contents in more than one foreign capital. This brings us back to the end of the First World War, when the Ottoman Empire was collapsing and the European colonial capitals were demanding the division of the estate into their respective areas of influence, under a claimed civilized name which is the "mandate" with its impression that gives a prelude to the "right of self-determination" for the peoples of the region. The maps of this partition made British-French understandings (1916), known as the Sykes-Picot Agreement, which later included the Balfour Declaration when it was ratified at the San Remo Conference (1920).

Our region is experiencing an atmosphere similar to the one that prevailed on the eve of the end of the First World War. It is represented in the attack on Arab national state through projects of dismantling the national entities, as in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen by targeting its national army, its institutions and even its social structure, and sinking them in local wars, that drain their human and economic potentials , and open to several possibilities, that may lead to the re-division of some of these countries, or to re-formulate the social basis, by the adoption of doctrinal, regional or ethnic concepts and criteria, at the expense of the criteria of citizenship and equality among the sons of the one state, which deepen their political crises and establish long-lasting domestic civil wars that keep the Arab situation in general in a state of preoccupation and in a state of political impotence leading to a collapse in the official Arab system in favor of other weak formations , that keep their doors open to all forms of external interference, at the expense of the independence and progress of states and the national sovereignty of their peoples. There is no doubt that because of the weakness of the structure of the Arab national state and the failure of the ruling political elites to have the project of building a state of citizenship, equality in citizenship, state of constitution and law, a state of freedom and social justice - away from political, financial, and administrative corruption, and supporting sectarianism and regionalism over the principles of citizenship, social contract and political pluralism, and the adoption of economic policies that do not establish a national economy that takes into consideration the interests of the wider social sectors, and the absence of democratic electoral laws with exclusionary nature of prejudice to the rules of equitable representation - we have reached to this reality with its complex view.

However, the call for democratic and social reform is something, and the destruction of the national state is another. The first is the call to develop the structure of the state and to fortify the society. The second is the destruction of the entity, the fragmentation of society and the rupture of the region. So , for that , we call for the preservation of the national state, i.e. the maintenance of its unity, the unity of its armies, institutions ,peoples, and its sovereignty on its territory and its borders, and the cessation of wars in it and for it, in favor of a social political process based on integrated democratic foundations, guaranteeing the future of the peoples of the region and its prosperity and preservation of its resources against external and internal looting, and safeguarding its independence and sovereignty against internal repression and external interference policies.

Alliance of savagery:

What deepens the seriousness of the political, social and security situation in our Arab region, is what was resulted from the recent American elections which is the birth of an administration with aggressive tendencies, which considered the Israeli far right-wing government headed by Netanyahu, as a ready ally to engage with what we might call the "alliance of savagery”. The new American policy, it seemed clear that it has three characteristics:

The first is that it is an interventionist policy in the affairs of the region, which it regards as an area of its influence, and is trying to present an alternative strategy to the strategy of former President Obama. This is to increase its forces in Syria in the context of blatant interference in internal Syrian affairs or in Iraq, under the pretext of fighting «the organization of the Islamic State», or in Yemen under the pretext of chasing al-Qaeda members. In such a policy, we see a basis for other forms of intervention, such as imposing conditions on some Arab capitals, which brings us back to the interventionist policies of the G W Bush administration, which caused disasters in our region.

In the same context, Washington's efforts are aimed at curbing Russia's growing role in the region and seeking to reduce the Russian-Iranian strategic intersection. In parallel to this, there is an attempt to put an end to Iranian influence in the region by encouraging some Arab countries to open the gate of the normalization and the security and economic cooperation with Israel.

The second characteristic is that it is an aggressive policy, which has begun since the first moments of the entry of Trump to the White House to knock the drums of war against North Korea and against the Islamic Republic of Iran by imposing more economic sanctions on the latter and the incitement against the nuclear agreement with it , in an open harmony with the aggressive policy of the Netanyahu government, and the threat to cancel the agreement, in the return to the US-Israeli tensing policies, which would put the region in serious corridors, and put it on the brink of war that will be beneficial only for Israel and the US military industries . In this context, we note the early call by the American president to seize entire areas of the Syrian soil by the name of the "safe areas" and by the American and other military protection, this encouraged Turkey to demand to revive the same plan.

The third characteristic: it is more biased to Israel than any of the previous two administrations (Bush Jr. and Obama). This has been obvious in many stations, such as announcing the project to transfer the US Embassy to the occupied Jerusalem, with all that this step entails of recognizing the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation of the city and the legitimacy of its annexation as its capital, and all the resulted repercussions at the international level, which may lead capitals to take a similar step. The American blatant bias toward Israel is also in Washington's support for the Zionist settlement in Jerusalem and throughout the West Bank, and its condemnation to the UN Security Council Resolution 2334, and the call for a regional "peace deal" based on: the normalization of Arab-Israeli relations, ending the Arab-Israeli conflict, the marginalization of the national rights of Palestinian people, and perhaps the nine conditions /demands that were proposed by the special envoy of Trump, Jason Greenblatt to the Palestinian Authority during his tour to the region (14/3), to resume negotiations within the framework of a regional conference, is a shining example of the nature of US biased policy to the Israeli side.

As for the Israeli policy, in the framework of the "alliance of savagery" with the new US administration, it has made new moves towards more radicalization, and the exposure of Palestinian national rights to greater risks of marginalization and dissipation;

It is no longer a policy to expand settlement, but it seeks to the gradual annexation of settlements and other targeted areas. The debate on this subject between the various parties and blocs in the Knesset will not be in principle, but about the extent and timing of annexation. The "legalization of settlements" law that was approved by the Knesset to provide the Netanyahu government with "legal" pretexts for the formal annexation of settlements through the so-called "implementing the Israeli law" on them.

In the context of the above, the pressure for Palestinian recognition that the east "secure borders" of the state of Israel extend over the borders of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, this means annexing large areas to Israel in region C (62% of the occupied West Bank). The Netanyahu government is also building a strategic project to create more bypass roads, build bridges, dig tunnels, and extend railways across the West Bank to link the "united Jerusalem" with the settlement blocs and the "Israeli state", leading to more fragmentation of PA territories, and to turn them into population centers on the periphery of the Israeli economy and subjected to its security dominance. This means cutting the road before any Palestinian national solution and closing the horizon of economic, humanitarian and political development before the Palestinians and exposing them to further exclusion and marginalization in the material production and social exchange cycle, i.e. - in short - to undermine the foundations of their lives.

This policy also moved to further escalation to disrupt the political process, even within the framework of the Oslo agreements with its already low ceiling, and to impose new facts with impossible political demands. One of the steps of this escalation is Netanyahu's demand that the Palestinian Authority to resume negotiations, it should recognize Israel as a "national state of the Jewish people" with all its subsequent political implications, which threatens the political and civil rights of our people in the 48 regions who are struggling to recognize them as a national minority on the basis of national equality and for civil rights in the context of real equality of citizenship; and also threatens the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties , which is guaranteed by resolution 194.

This policy now is calling for negotiation within a regional and Arab frame, as an alternative to the futile Palestinian - Israeli negotiations, which are no longer important for the Israeli interest, which leads to the normalization of Arab-Israeli relations, the marginalization of the Palestinian project and national rights, and reshaping the Arab regional system, in favor of an alternative Middle Eastern system, in which Israel will be under the umbrella of Washington.

2.- The Palestinian official policy

In contrast to this Israeli-American scene, with its wide implications on the Palestinian national project, there is a need for an explicit stand on the policy that is practiced by the Palestinian official leadership not only in the extension of the above, but, particularly since the negotiation process has been suspended in April 2014 until now. This policy has also three main characteristics:

The first characteristic is that, it is a policy of waiting, which is constantly awaiting the US initiatives to resume the political process, and is reluctant to formulate its own policies outside the framework of American initiatives and descriptions of the political process. Even with the cessation of the political process, the Palestinian official leadership remains in a state of waiting, for the resumption of a new round of negotiations, at a time when the steps of the Israeli side are accelerating to impose the status quo on the ground through the expansion and annexation of the settlements and the launching of political initiatives and projects that serve its objectives.

At the same time, it is a unilateral policy, that adopts the bilateral negotiations with the Israeli side under the American patronage, as a sole political option, and even the diplomatic gains that were achieved nationally, such as the acceptance of Palestine as an observer member in the United Nations or issuing the Security Council resolution 2334 against settlement, or the reports that were issued by the Human Rights Council, and by the International Court of Justice on the "wall" ; all of that , remained outside the political using in the diplomatic confrontation with the Israeli side, including disabling the decisions of the Central Council at its last session [stopping the security coordination, boycotting the Israeli economy , resuming the popular resistance and developing it , internationalizing the Palestinian national issue and rights], and refraining from referring complaints to the International Criminal Court regarding the Israeli war crimes. Such a policy is always keen not to breach the US policy ceiling about the settlement, and to abide by the limits that it believes are necessary to remain within the US equation or Washington's vision of settlement in the region.

A third characteristic has recently deepened in the PA's policies, which have become more obsessed from the popular movement (and this applies to the PA in Gaza), and from the street movements even about the social demands, and from the commitment to the maintenance of national unity and the maintenance of the National Coalition. According to this policy, it began to become more and more hostile to the popular movements, as is the case with the movements of teachers, public servants and others. Perhaps the brutal repression to the recent movements of lawyers and the popular demonstration in protest against the trial of Martyr Bassel al-A'raj and his mates , is a very dangerous event that shows the extent of how the PA is using security repression to curb the movements of the Palestinian street, whether in reviving the national events [as was the case with a demonstration by the Democratic Front on its 47th anniversary] or in protesting against the aggressive policies of the Israeli occupation. There is no doubt that this shift reflects a sense of the PA about the wide gap between its sterile policy in the national public affair and the feelings of the people and their national aspirations.

Moreover, at the same time, the PA is concerned about the consequences of political participation in the framework of national institutions and relations, for example, its insistence on weakening the institutions of the PLO, primarily the role of the Executive Committee, and paralyzing others, such as the Central Council and disrupting its meetings.

As a summary of the state of the official Palestinian policy regarding the regional, Israeli and internal developments and national relations, it suffers from a lack of thinking, a lack of management, and a lack of political will, which keeps it tied to the Oslo agreement and its program, and to its factional interests the Palestinian bureaucracy interests, which are integrated with the comprador, and which runs the affairs of PA and holds the political decision-making at the head of the institution. "This situation provides conditions for adapting the official Palestinian position to return to the negotiating table with a low political ceiling, especially if the official decision-making center continues to ignore the national understandings and re-enter the maze of regional framework negotiations, negotiations that take place with the continuation of settlement and without political and legal reference, on a time that may be long, interspersed with transitional settlements".

According to this reality, it must be said that we are at the time of planting, and not at the time of harvest. Any opposite to this equation or outside it only reflects a state of political illusion. A quarter century of failed policy led to the dissolution of many of the gains made by the Palestinian national march under the Oslo Accords and it led the Palestinian situation to very low levels, and pushed the Palestinian cause to lose much of its prestige and interest in the eyes of Arab popular situation, and it chained the PLO with a series of restrictions and commitments. Therefore, any thought of returning to the negotiations under American-Israeli conditions in light of the current balance of power and the policy of savagery adopted by the American and Israeli administrations, is mere a failed adventure at the expense of the Palestinian national rights and exposing them to risks that are not welcomed. Therefore, we must reaffirm that we are in the time of planting, the time of cumulative struggle in the field, accompanied with the re-consideration of the national program, as the solution against the failed policies of alternatives, which were presented within a quarter of a century of political futility, which targeted to disrupt and cut the way off before the Palestinian national program, the national consensus program, the program of return, self-determination and independence.

3.- In the issues of division and restoration the internal unity

For nearly ten years, the Palestinian situation is suffering a dividing situation, both sides are Hamas and Fatah in an open struggle for power and its spoils, although both sides are sometimes trying to politicize this conflict, that justifies their positions of many agreements. Either in comprehensive, or bilateral dialogues, in order to end this destructive and absurd division and return to the internal unity.

The fundamental characteristic of institutional division leads to duplicity the power geographically:

In our assessment, the division, which went public on June 17/ 2007, when Hamas resolved the differences by resorting to the military action that eroded our national situation, it is a division that affects the internal unity of the institution, this puts us in front of two "governing" authorities, one in Ramallah, and other in the Gaza Strip. And even when the National Accord Government was formed (2014), in which Hamas participated with two ministries, the administrative division remained exist.

The official institutions in the Gaza Strip remained under the authority of Hamas and its influence, especially after the Islamic Movement was entered changes on all the ministries and institutions, and in its administrative stations. Consequently, the Ramallah government remained unable to manage the public affairs in the Gaza Strip.

The matter is deepened recently, when the newly elected Hamas leadership formed an "administrative committee" to supervise at the official institutions, thus forming the declared authority of the ministries of authority in the Gaza Strip and its institutions. Thus, the national or bilateral dialogues, turned to put the mechanisms of reunification the institutions and gathering them under one official administration and have not been involved in political matters.

In this context, we can mention that the prolonged discussions between President Mahmoud Abbas and Ismail Haniyeh, the first prime minister (tenth and eleventh) formed by Hamas, which lasted many months after the signing of the National Reconciliation Document on 26 June 2006, which is about the distribution of ministries and specifying the references, And it did not intervene in dealing with the general political issue, as Hamas has repeatedly emphasized, is not an obstacle to reaching an agreement between it and Fatah on the formation of government and distribution of ministries.

The other side of the scene confirms that the division did not affect the national unity of the Palestinian people, in its various spreading areas. Then, the people remained united behind the PLO, its sole and legitimate representative (despite everything that can be registries on the institutions of the organization, from absence and weakness.

The Palestinian people are still united behind its national program, the passing program from occupation and settlement, and still embracing the resistance in all its forms. After proving to it the bitter experiences, the failed of Oslo project to reach a settlement that guaranteed for it the minimum of its national rights. And the Palestinian people still have principle position against, institutional, political failed, and against all forms of fighting, whatever their pretexts.

If some factions tried in 2007 to promote bloody fighting among the people, with fabricated pretexts which proved invalid, and those calls quickly crashed because of the consciousness of the Palestinian people and its adherence to the national unity, even those who advanced in ranks and provoke the internal strife at that time, they found themselves under the pressure of the popular will, and they forced to adopt the slogans of national unity to end the division, and restore the internal reconciliation.

The position of the Democratic Front: the unity of rights and representation:

In this field, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine is proud, that always characterized by its adherence to the national and internal unity. The national unity, as the Front sees it, as affirmed by its programming documents and its daily political positions, is the unity of the people in all its places of existence, with its social categories and its various political orientations, as a need for a national basis, in the battle for salvation from the occupation and settlement, and achieve the national aims in return, self-determination, independence and sovereignty.

The unity of the people is mainly in the unity of their national rights. the unity of rights which limits the influence and effects of the Diaspora situation that experienced by the Palestinian people, and preserves their national identity and maintains their affiliation to their cause.

Therefore, the DFLP has always taken principle and uncompromising positions in refusing to give up any components of the Palestinian national program, or to renounce any of the national rights, and to adhere to it all as a single unit.

There is no doubt that the Palestinian people experience and its national powers with Oslo project, as an alternative to the Palestinian national project, as well as his experience with projects that came from the Oslo project, as a plan of «road map», and the «economic solution», and the ghosts of «one-state solution» (The State of Apartheid), that constitute a rich experience that affirms that the unity of the people is the unity of their national rights. And the national Palestinian program of a return, self-determination, independence and sovereignty is the only who preserve this unity, and redefined the identity and national personality of Palestinian people. after the dispersion and national and geographical disruption that caused by the national Nakba lead to catastrophes.

Besides the unity of rights, as a basis to ensure the unity of the people, stands the need to preserve the unity of representation, which without it, is difficult to achieve «the right of self-determination». In the light of the geographical dispersion situation that the Palestinian people live, it appears the need for unity of representation as a political and moral equivalent cannot be underestimated, especially in the light of the Palestinian issue complexity as a national issue in the context of the comprehensive Arab-Israeli conflict. From here the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the people of Palestine, plays a very central role in preserving the unity of this people and their right of self-determination.

This explains the true background for the nature of the battles that waged by the Democratic Front throughout its history, to devote the representative place of the organization, and to preserve this place, and the struggle for the restoration the unity of the organization when it has divided in the mid-eighties of the last century.

This, for example, explains the front call to all Palestinian parties to join the PLO, and emphasizing at the same for the need to reform the Organization and rebuild it on democratic foundations, to be a framework for a more solid national unity based on the principle of the National Coalition , And national partnership, as an alternative to the policy of exclusivity and decision-making.

4.- Unfruitful Political initiatives and the importance of unity in the field

A few days after the military decision in the Gaza Strip and the devoting of internal division, the Democratic Front was the first who initiated to put forward a national initiative to end the division and restore internal unity. It is no exaggeration to say that the initiative of the Front formed the basis for a series of initiatives in the very same national line, and formed the basis for the national consensus that reached by the national dialogue rounds in Cairo for the same purpose.

Despite the exerted efforts by Palestinians and Arabs, on more than one level and in dozens of rounds, the division continues to deepen, which is deepening day after day, to devote a political and institutional situation on both sides of the division line, whose interests are inconsistent with the return to reconciliation and the restoration of internal unity.

It must be recognized that the political pressures, either at the level of the national action factions, or at the popular level, that are practicing on both sides of the division, are still too weak to bring them back to the ranks of the internal unity, in all what this division means of distortion to the Palestinian national struggle and the interests of the people of Palestine , Especially ,the residents of the Gaza Strip, who live in a deadly siege, and in difficult and environmental economic and social services.

Everyone consider that there is no solution to the crises of the Gaza Strip, including lifting the siege, except ending the division and restoration the internal unity, which puts all the Palestinian parties in front of their national duty towards their people, and the continuation of efforts and pressures, especially the popular one to put a limit for this anomalous situation that the Palestinian Authority is living, and put an end to the situation of conflict between Fatah and Hamas movements.

However, this stubborn to end the division must not be an obstacle, at the same time, to reach temporary solutions that could constitute a cumulative prelude to remove the major obstacles that prevent the complete end of division. In this context, we see from the experiences of our people and our rich national movement in the struggle against occupation and settlement and in our social battles that the unity of action in the field, whether it is local or public, about social or national issue, it should to be an entry for temporary or transitional situation and should bring the various parties closer together and remove some obstacles, and provide additional opportunities for further, deeper and more influential steps.

The Palestinian issue, with its known complexities, is filled with files that form the basis of an effective field unity, starting with the adoption of a defensive strategy for the Gaza Strip, which strengthens its ability to withstand and reinforce it in the face of Israeli threats and acts of aggression. To solve the urgent necessity daily issue political and administrative differences, that exceed the limits of political and administrative conflicts, by agreement to hold local and municipal elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, because of the role of these institutions in the organization of the society ranks and promote the elements of building a cohesive society, or consensus on election boards for university students, trade unions, under the proportional representation which coincided by Palestinian factions in Cairo dialogues system .

Such steps and others, would promote democratic awareness in the national rank and among the people, and to enhance its ability to organize its ranks, and to confronting daily problems, raise the efficiency of struggle against the occupation and the settlements, and strengthen its capacity, in the same context, the pressure on both sides division, to respond to the imperatives of reconciliation and restoration of internal unity.

5.- Palestine Liberation Organization and the protecting its unity

We do not need much effort to stress on the importance of national unity and its struggling necessity in a very complex experience, such as the Palestinian experience. The situation of dispersion, which is experienced by the people of Palestine and the borders with their towering walls (materially, legally, politically), the walls that isolate the Palestinian gatherings, that situation of division is the same situation that political parties, institutions and popular organizations are going through. As well as the differences in political circumstances that have a positive or negative impact on the Palestinian cause, in addition to other factors, play a central role in the need to preserve the national unity of the people, to fill gaps, to shorten distances, to go beyond borders, with unified struggling mechanisms, and with the aim of preserving the unity of the people and the unity of its political powers, interests and national rights. There is no doubt, that the PLO as an institution and as a political entity, plays a very central role in preserving the unity of this people and safeguarding its rights and interests.

The status of the PLO and the risk of shaking its legitimacy:

When we talk about the PLO as the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, we point to its widely recognized political and legal status, which is the result of unification then the merging of its legal status with its representation of the people and its national movement as two dimensions (status and role) of the same subject, i.e. the national entity that embodies and holds on its shoulders the demand for "the right of self-determination" for the people of Palestine.

Therefore; we have always been assiduous to defend the status of the PLO, even if its components shred, its institutions are weak and its internal relations fade but with retaining of our right to claim and struggle for the democratic coalition of PLO with its comprehensive national program through democratic reform of their structures and the political rectification for its performance.

Based on this, we are not satisfied with those loose formulas that shake the status of the PLO when it is merely defined as "a national framework for the Palestinian people at home and abroad that must be preserved ..." and if it is complemented by a right demand, we adopt it without hesitation''. With the need to work on developing and rebuilding it on democratic foundations, that ensure the participation of all the components and forces of the Palestinian people, and in a manner that preserves the national rights (para. 27 of the Hamas political document, as publicly circulated in April 2017(.

A definition like this undermines the legal and representative political status of the PLO and does not serve the national action and does not help the Organization to overcome its problems, nor does it contribute to resolve the problem of the Hamas movement and the entire national movement because of the mutual statements between the two poles of division in the Palestinian arena. Only a "historic settlement" is based on Hamas' willingness to give up its unilateral control over the Gaza Strip, in return for Fatah's actual renunciation of its monopoly to the Palestinian political system (PA and PLO). Hamas' quest for official and practical recognition of its status in the Palestinian situation is completely legitimate, and - as a result - it will receive this status no matter how the conflict with Fatah is being complicated. Thus, the entire interest lies in avoiding formulating definitions, that reflect positions that Hamas will have to reconsider, once it occupies its normal position in the PLO.

The status of PLO is constant despite its weak institutions. Subsequently, the depth and cohesion of PLO depends on the role played by the institutions of it in strengthening and deepening the unity of the people through their political and social programs, diplomatic activities and other. The Organization always derives its legitimacy from the recognition of the people of Palestine and the components of its national movement as the legitimate and sole representative of this people. Therefore, what must be emphasized, here is that the preservation of this recognition is essentially a process of struggle, within the framework of drawing up programs, plans and implementation mechanisms that ensure the preservation of this recognition.

One of the mechanisms to preserve and deepen this recognition is to safeguard the legal aspect of this representation, to confirm its legitimacy. We mean by legal aspect that the institutions of the Organization should be based on democratic, fair and transparent elections, according to proportional representation system, starting with the Palestinian National Council, the supreme legislative body of the Organization, to the relevant committees of the Council, including the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors of the Palestinian National Fund. What is applied to the National council is supposed to be applied to the popular unions and trade union institutions, which in practice ensures that every Palestinian is a member of the PLO through his political, unionist or other affiliation.

To the extent that this democratic process is maintained in accordance with periodic electoral mechanisms at all levels, the representative position of the PLO and its institutions is deepened, and this representation takes its legal and unquestionable dimension. On the other hand, the more these mechanisms are disrupted, the more we open the door for the calls to question the credibility of this representation and its effectiveness. This leads to questioning the organization as a comprehensive framework, especially when the official policy get out of the way of consensus, national coalition and national partnership that are necessary for the social and struggling conditions of the Palestinian people in light of its geographical and political dispersion, as well as the joint national program.

A rich pluralist experience, where there is no place to what so called “one-party”:

Palestinian National Liberation Movement is distinguished by party pluralism principle and the equivalence in internal relations; it has never known and never tried what so called "one-party experience" or "leading party". As Palestinian experience is quite different from South African one, where the Congress Party is the leading party of South African National Movement; it also differs from Algeria, where the Algerian National Liberation Front was the leading party of the whole Algerian National Movement and the whole Algerian public. The same could be said regarding the two experiences of North and South Vietnam in struggling against French and American occupations and overthrowing the regimes of corruption and dependence.

Palestinian National Liberation Movement is a pluralist one, since there are multi factions participate in Palestinian national work with multi programs, according to the situation of the geographical dispersion of Palestinian case. Through the long experience, that pluralism has used certain mechanisms of managing its mutual relations, also its relationship with Palestinians from political and social points of view, and the effects of geopolitics on both political and living circumstances.

That experience was based upon equivalence principle in the internal relations in the environment of national coalition. For that, in which Palestinian Liberation Organization with its supporting formed the container. It became normal that those establishments could represent all national work factions, vocational and popular unions, specialized establishments, and also the independent national characters; to establish a certain case to insure the protection of that pluralism, and the equivalence principle in representation on a basis that respects, at the same time, the political and social influence variation is according to extent, role and activity. That experience that has dominated for long time the quota mechanisms, that was before the mechanism of democratic elections, which has not yet completely controlled in the practical field in spite of the increase of those who convinced with its merits and its necessity.

Regardless of which of the two mechanisms will produce will (although we do prefer the democratic elections with relative representation system), confirming the dependence of front leading formulas based upon multiplicity and equivalence, shall insure the national representation containment in the variable bodies and establishments, upon which the legality of PLO built, in addition to enhancing to its the soul of national participation and the base of political coalition, which depends on respecting the decisions and programs of the national unanimity.

Protecting the PLO Referential Position:

One of the main positions that indicate discussing the PLO reference, is what happened lately at Istanbul conference by Hamas Movement on 25th and 26th of Feb. 2017. That activity entitled "the Public Conference of Palestinians in Diaspora", raising the slogan: "Our National Project is Our Way Back Home", attracting huge number of Palestinian qualified of no less than five thousands from all over the world, and from different political trends, among them some of who are obedient to PLO groups and historical characters that participated in establishing the PLO.

That conference, established a protest and a shout to those who still could hear, along the excess of the formal political leadership together with P.L.O. and its establishments, in ignoring the Palestinian abroad, which is mostly no more than embassies and diplomatic missions of Palestine State and the official political relations network.

In its current situation, PLO does not present to Palestinian abroad a work plan to invest its abilities in an actual participation in the great national battle aroused against occupation with all its aspects; including settlement, wall, captives, continuous violation to Geneva Fourth Agreement, the wide aggressions against the Gaza strip, the blood repression in the West Bank, economic colony, and the method of facing the settlement by the economic, political and diplomatic boycott, etc.

Regarding all that, the formal PLO resorts to activities that are based on initiatives of faction, the most active of them in PLO are organizations of Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, that are heavily existed in most of the countries of emigration, and the organizations of Hamas Movement from outside PLO, which are highly active in spite of not having a tactile work axis program derived from the main titles of facing the occupation program, whereas it focused on an religious and cultural work.

The Diaspora shout is not only limited to the above mentioned, it also dashes from the fact that the formal leadership of PLO ignores the struggle essentiality within the huge movement of refugees for the right of return; it is well known that there is a great retreat in that field from the liberating national work program in the table of priorities of formal leadership through Oslo processing and the type of political formal Palestinian performance in that field.

Up to his last moment, the late president Yaser Arafat remained protecting that policy through his varied known declarations, and if his historical character had played a role in keeping the connection between the organization and the diaspora, the formal policy after his departure demonstrated clearly that it is ready to make a deal about return to home and properties. That policy reflected complete ignoring to the Palestinian public case in Diaspora, There is no role to PLO, especially the Refugees Affairs Department; there is also a deliberate negligence to the role of popular and vocational unions and the unions of ingathering under a blatant inclination of some Palestinian embassies to dominate them and impose its guardianship to remain them under a prefabricated political roof doesn't exceed that their political attitudes, which are imposed by the formal leadership in Ramallah.

Istanbul conference was not only to be held or to issue a statement, but it issued a title for institutional work axis activity, taken from the national program. While being seriously engaged with the derived missions, its target shall be identified. Also, that conference shall make difference with any other conference activity that its role ends by issuing a final statement, or in the best cases, its execution is devoted by positioning its role in the extension and under the umbrella of the party that initiated it or logistically prepared it, especially if that party had an "ambition" to play the role of any of Palestinian Movement references in diaspora in parallel with the supposed role of PLO institutions.

Anyway, we wish that the success of Istanbul conference shall be an incentive for the official leadership of PLO in order to deal with Palestinian abroad from political, institutional and program wing points of view, with national wide horizon that holds all abilities. In the same context, it is useful to mention that the national reference is not a lasting property those who carry the title deed, but to those who work in the field.

6.- Crossroads

Palestinian situation is passing historic, political and decisive moments; as Oslo Project has actually come to its end after the fail of Camp David Negotiations (July 2000), therefore, what is happening today is an outcome of a quarter of century of futile absurd negotiations, that have entrenched the occupation as an alleged "partner" in a peace process that has no horizon, and does not serve neither the interests nor the national rights of Palestinian people. Those negotiations have made a cover to the settlement processes, that have raided vast areas of the occupied Palestinian territories and have succeeded in Judaizing several neighborhoods of Jerusalem. The waivers were continued by the Palestinian negotiator, including the abandonment of the self-strength and objectivity elements, loosing several chances, along with following an economic and social policy, that led to destroy the remaining of Palestinian national economy and to deepen the subordination of occupied areas to Israeli economy; also that policy tied those areas by unjust commitments under Israeli security system, that adopts violence, torture, cold blooded killing, imposing group punishments, random arresting, and throwing children, women and men in jails.

Under the shadow of Oslo project descending policy, the situation that the Palestinian case has reached to, look like the aphorism: "an occupation with no cost, an authority with no power and presidency with no competence", it is a Surreal scene. This situation also devoted the occupation as a matter of fact, which led to the emergence of a Palestinian social group, which is characterized by a certain degree of fixity, stability and self-awareness; that group can see their interests’ achievement by keeping the current structure. That interprets why it insists on continuing the negotiations, that changed into a life-regulating principle, as a sole choice to reach to a settlement with the occupying authority; as it comprehends that the substitute, which is represented by public struggle and executing the decisions of the central council in its last session, including the stoppage of security coordination, starting the graduated boycott of the Israeli economy, and internationalizing the Palestinian issue and national rights, would affect its interests, weaken its leading role, and open the door to a new leading formula with different mechanisms that would create a new framework for the relationship with the occupation on the one hand, and with the Palestinian popular situation on the other.

The policy which is adopted today will weaken the unity of the Palestinian people and weaken the coalition framework of its political powers. There is no alternative to this policy except to return to the Palestinian national program, which was agreed upon by the PLO factions and it was unanimously reaffirmed by all Palestinian forces, including the civil society actors, and independent personalities, in the National Reconciliation Document on 26/6/2002. As well as some of its titles and plans elaborated the decisions of the Central Council in March 2015 session.

It is the national program, that safeguards the national rights of the Palestinian people, and guarantees the unity of the Palestinian people and the unity of its rights. Because the unity of the people derives from the unity of its rights and the preservation of the unity of the people depends on the preservation of the unity of its right.

The true national unity is the unity that opens the way to defeat the occupation, and to establish the independent Palestinian state with full sovereignty and Jerusalem as its capital on the June 4, 1967 borders. Also, the National Program is the way to guarantee the right of return for the Palestinian refugees to their homes that they have been displaced form since 1948.

The comprehensive national program is the program that adopts various methods of struggle against the Zionist project in the field, and in all political, media, diplomatic, cultural, economic, moral fields and other; the program that drains the Zionist project by the ongoing rounds of struggle until the victory of the Palestinian national cause in the end. Last but not least, this national program is the program which redefines the class alliances in the Palestinian situation, so as to enhance the role of the «historic bloc», which includes the powers of the working people, including the remnants of the national bourgeoisie, these forces of definite interest in national liberation and the building of the national state, the state of citizens based on equality, freedom and social justice. So, strengthening the role of this bloc will lead to limit the influence of the upper bureaucratic groups that are integrated with comprador - i.e. those narrow selfish groups that tend to dominate the national cause destiny and its future- which will lead to the return of the national decision to its right way.

 
Notes: Fahed Suleiman is a Deputy Secretary-General of the Democratic Front for the liberation of Palestine
 

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