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Nayef Hawatmeh, DFLP Secretary-General, in a dialogue with the Cuban newspaper Trabajadores
By: Juan Dufflar Amel
April 16, 2019

Havana – Cuba

The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its creation. Do the principles and objectives that motivated the creation of this vanguard detachment of Palestinian Resistance continue to be valid?

"The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) celebrates its 50th anniversary (its Golden Jubilee), and in this period of glorious combatant struggles it has undergone very complex stages in the development of its cause, national rights and the Palestinian national movement. Stages of great sacrifices, with an outcome of thousands of martyrs, wounded casualties and physically incapacitated, and firstly among members of the Political Bureau, the Central Committee and the Military Command, and in every scenario of struggle: the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 (the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip), the camps of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Iraq, and in the locations of migration in Europe and Arab countries as well as in the Americas, and everywhere a community of our Palestinian people is to be found.

"From the very first moment, the DFLP combines politics (the national program) with armament (the armed struggle against occupation and Israeli expansionist colonization). This policy continues in force, being a strategic option not only for the Front, but it has also been successfully transformed into an integral Palestinian national option after millions of our people and their political forces understood that this option is the best scientific and practical path, and the successful way to attain independence, freedom, national dignity and sovereignty, and that all other alternatives have reached a blind alley and dramatically failed.

"We launched the Ten-Point Program in favor of establishing combatant Popular Power over every inch of ground that we liberate or that has been abandoned by the occupying force. With the years of struggle of our people and the evolution of events, we have gradually developed the Ten-Point Program until it reached its more detailed form: The Step-by-Step Program, that became the National Program of the whole Palestinian people, on the territories occupied in 1948 (inside the occupying State), in the struggle for “the full national and citizens’ rights” vis-à-vis the policy of racial discrimination, marginalization and exclusion. Furthermore, in the territories occupied during the aggression of June 1967 (the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian State with its capital in East Jerusalem, within the borders prior to June 5 1967), in the diaspora and in exile, the return of refugees to their homes, from which they were expelled in 1948.

"This continues to be the program adopted by our people. We have introduced into it important avant-garde changes after the establishment of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) by virtue of the Oslo Agreements. We have added a social program to guarantee the rights of our people (workers, peasants, small employees, low-income people, youth, women and revolutionary intellectuals) facing the neoliberal policies of the PNA that is under the pressure of donors and the conditions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

"Our program continues to develop and continues to be revolutionary. It responds still to the needs, demands and rights of our people. It continues to be the general guideline of the national struggle. It was again consecrated in the decisions of the Palestinian National Council (the Palestinian parliament conformed by representatives of our people in the territories occupied in 1967 and in the countries of banishment and the Central Council of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, PLO), Intermediate link of this parliament in the decisions that we have adopted by national consensus since 05/03/2015, and those we renewed during the months of January and April 2018. We are now struggling under the umbrella of the PLO, sole and legitimate representative of our people. Now, in March 2019, we built an encompassing framework: the Palestinian Democratic Concentration (the general framework for the widest Palestinian movement of the left wing and democratic forces) and the Popular Movement, to implement these decisions and put an end to the destructive division between Al-Fatah and Hamas. This allows the confrontation of the monopolization of unilateral political decision of Al-Fatah and Hamas in the Left Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, with a view to consolidate the national coalition on democratic bases and principles, because this unity is the weapon of our people to resist occupation and colonization.

"In this sense, the struggle against occupation and colonization continues to be the central and primary axis of our main struggle. We launched armed struggle under the name of the Revolutionary Armed Forces in the diaspora, in Lebanon and Syria; we created the Forces of the Interior – Red Star in the West Bank and Gaza; and then we created the Brigades of the Palestinian National Resistance, to protect the second intifada (2000). We are now struggling to stimulate popular resistance under all its forms, in every region, on the path towards a complete national disobedience, until the occupation takes its big stick and abandons the land of our sovereign State".

Which are the essential elements that you consider necessary to promote the cause of liberation, of the expulsion of the Israeli occupying force and the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian State on the borders prior to June 5 1967 with its capital, East Jerusalem?

"We have implemented an integral national program with the consensus of every formation of society in the fatherland and the diaspora, within PLO institutions (the National Council, the Central Council and the PLO Executive Committee). We have taken clear decisions to confront the policy of the United States administration (Trump’s “agreement of the century”) and the policies of Israeli occupation, putting an end to the Oslo Agreements and restoring the national program (the program of resistance and internationalization of the Palestinian cause and national rights in the United Nations). Nevertheless, what interrupts this program and prevents the course of the struggle are two elements that must be solved.

"The first is to conclude with the policy of disabling PLO decisions, in which the PNA leadership exercises individual policies, due to the fact that they continue to place their bets on the remnants of the Oslo Agreements and for a return to negotiations under the Oslo umbrella. We are exerting pressures through the mass movement to put a stop to this policy and to implement the decisions of the previously-mentioned National and Central Councils: To put an end to the Oslo Agreements, to withdraw the recognition of the State of Israel until the latter recognizes the State of Palestine, on its borders prior to June 5 1967 with its capital, East Jerusalem. At the same time, to cease all security coordination with the authorities of occupation, to render independent from Israeli economy the Palestinian economy, and to approach the United Nations with three draft resolutions:

"1) Request of active membership of the State of Palestine in the United Nations, recognizing it as a State under occupation;
2) Request of international protection for our people and our land facing occupation and colonization;
3) To convene an international conference under the auspices of the United Nations and the five permanent members of the Security Council, instead of the unilateral leading role of the United States, and to pursue negotiations in conformity with the resolutions of international law, with a fixed deadline, and leading to the adoption of binding resolutions that would guarantee for our people the right to liberate itself from occupation and colonization, the establishment of an independent Palestinian State and the return of refugees to their homes.

"The second is to put an end to the division between the two authorities: that of Al-Fatah (in the West Bank) and that of Hamas (in Gaza) with the formation of a government of national unity for a transitional period in which general elections are to be held, for the presidency of the Palestinian National Authority, the Legislative Council (the legislature in territories occupied in 1967, under the jurisdiction of the PNA), the Palestinian National Council and the reunification of national institutions on democratic bases, through elections on the basis of a full proportional representation, which is the way of maintaining the national coalition and association, thus putting an end to unilateralism and exclusivism.

"The Palestinian people and national revolution finds itself in the stage of national liberation, on the path towards self-determination, Independence and the return of refugees; and this demands the full participation and incorporation of all the forces and political as well as intellectual currents to the ranks of the people in order to put in motion the tasks of the stage of national liberation. We are a small people facing a strong State and a ferocious enemy. We are a dispersed people that can only overcome if it rallies politically around its political program, and rallies from an organizational viewpoint in the framework of the PLO and of the institutions of its coalition".

What is your assessment of international solidarity with the Palestinian cause, particularly the solidarity extended by Cuba, a country that firmly supports the inalienable national rights of the brother Arab people?

"We are a part of the liberation movement in the world against all forms of occupation, colonialism, imperialist exploitation and racial discrimination, particularly the colonialist expansionist United States – Israel coalition. Strong bonds link us to national liberation movements, as well as to left-wing, democratic and peace-loving forces, for a world without wars, without destruction, without exploitation, a world in which law, social justice and the right of every people to freely decide their destiny would prevail, without the interference of any foreign party.

"With Cuba, with its party, leadership and government, in our capacity as Palestinian people and as Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, we entertain distinguished historical relations, which we have baptized together in the trenches of the struggle against the common enemy, the enemy of humanity: United States imperialism and its ally, Israel.

"Very recently, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the victory of the Cuban revolution, I wrote an article in the daily paper of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, in which I spoke about the outstanding role of the Cuban Revolution, led by comrade Fidel, friend and great comrade, as well as Raul and their comrades and their people, in favor of the peoples that struggle for their freedom and independence, among them the Palestinian people.

"Our firm election is an objective election, because it is a response to the enemies of the peoples. From here we decide that we, as friendly people, are at the frontline of the ranks, and in the first lines of the combat fronts: in Cuba, against the United States blockade and sabotage while the Cuban people struggle to construct their independent State, their socialist economy and their prosperous future, in confrontation with one of the most aggressive imperialisms. It overcame every aggression, under the leadership of the dear great internationalist combatant friend Fidel Castro, with whom I met many times, to discuss together the strategies of the common struggle against the common enemy. And also with the great Cuban leader, Army General, First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba and beloved comrade Raul, with whom I also met many times through the years, when we continued our conversations and exchanges that we had initiated with the deceased friend Fidel. We have continued on our alliance with Cuba and our mutual support by way of President Miguel Díaz Canel, who took up his post almost a year ago.

"Through your paper, Trabajadores, I address a greeting to Cuba, to its mass revolutionary Party, to its enterprising leadership, to its struggling people and to its wise government, emphatically highlighting the bonds that unite our two peoples, our two parties, the Communist Party of Cuba and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine".


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