The Arab International Forum to Support the Resistance concluded in Beirut on January 17, 2010, followed by a proclamation of its final appeal in Maroun al-Ras in southern Lebanon, directed via loudspeakers toward the Palestinian people in occupied Palestine 48. In its closing statement, the forum called for resistance to occupation and aggression, stressing the right of people under international law and the UN Charter and the norms enshrined in people’s struggles against occupation and aggression around the world throughout history.
The statement stressed that the right of people to resist via all forms, particularly armed struggle, stems from a fundamental principle of self-defense and the right to liberty, dignity, sovereignty, and equality among the peoples of the world, and emphasized that resistance is in fact a necessary condition for the establishment of a just international order, to prevent aggression and occupation, and to end colonialism and racism.
The statement pointed out that resistance is the logical road for people to reach their goals, paying tribute to the heroic resistance in Lebanon and Palestine as outstanding models for resistance values and ethics in confronting the terrorism perpetrated by the Zionist enemy, as well as the role of resistance in Iraq in confronting U.S. occupation and hegemony.
The forum’s statement called upon all to work at all levels to track down and prosecute the perpetrators of war crimes an crimes against humanity, particularly to hold the Zionist leaders accountable for their crimes in Lebanon and Palestine, including the legal consequences of the report of Justice Richard Goldstone, chair of the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Israeli aggression in Gaza. It also called for the need to strengthen the emerging culture of resistance through education, curriculum development, literature, and arts, and the use of this culture in ending sectarian strife and internal division, resisting the occupation, and ending normalization and cultural alienation.
The statement further called upon Arab countries to adopt steadfastness and resistance as a strategic option in responding to Zionist and imperialist aggression, demanding an end to all relations with Israel and support for all forms of resistance. It called also for Arab governments and peoples to boycott Zionist products and to use their economic resources in confronting Zionism, calling for international isolation of the Zionist state as a racist, terrorist state, and its exclusion from the United Nations and all international and regional bodies.
The statement called for continuous action to end the Judaization of Jerusalem, to open the Rafah crossing and break the inhuman siege on Gaza, and to stop the apartheid wall. It paid tribute to the steadfastness of the members of the forum from occupied Jerusalem, confronting Zionist schemes to Judaize the city and its Muslim and Christian holy sites, as well as to the steadfastness of the Palestinian people in occupied Palestine 48, facing ethnic cleansing and displacement. It also called for January 18 and August 14 to be marked annually by festivals of resistance and victory to mark the achievements of the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance in the face of brutal Israeli aggression.
Furthermore, the statement emphasized, freedom of information and opinion is a sacred right, calling upon people, countries, and political forces to defend this right. It condemned the U.S. House of Representatives bill targeting Arab satellite channels committed to the fundamental issues of the Arab nation, particularly Palestine, emphasizing that all such attacks are a dangerous threat to the freedom of opinion and communication and violation of sovereignty. It called upon international media organizations and organizations for the protection of freedom of expression and information to expose the risks of this threat and prevent its adoption by the U.S. Senate.
The forum saluted prisoners and detainees in U.S. and Israeli jails, calling for their freedom and praising the sacrifices of the Palestinian and Arab prisoners in Zionist jails. The statement stressed that resistance and liberation of the land and restoration of it to its owners comes alongside the liberation of tens of thousands of prisoners and detainees, who are icons of steadfastness confronting the most basic violations of human rights and freedoms. It called upon all to struggle to free prisoners and detainees, as the responsibility of all forces in the Arab nation and the world, and all international and Arab institutions concerned with human rights, calling for the UN Human Rights Council to set up a commission of inquiry into prisoners’ situations, struggling for their freedom.
The conference was organized to build support for the resistance groups fighting occupation in Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The conference was attended by delegates from 42 Arab and international countries including the leader of Hezbollah, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, vice-president of Iran Mohammed Reza Mir Tajeddini, regional leader of Ba’ath Party Shahinaz Fakoush, former Lebanese prime minister Salim al-Hos, founder of International Action Center (IAC) former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, and former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney.
The Forum was organized by an initiative launched by the Arab Center for Communication and Solidarity, following up on several similar Forums which began with the Jerusalem Forum in Istanbul in 2007, followed by Right to Return Forum in Damascus in 2008, the Forum for Supporting Sudan in Khartoum in Spring 2009, and the Golan Forum in the liberated city of Qunaitira in Fall 2009.
One of the largest delegations came from Venezuela, consisting of 30 members including MPs. MP Victor Chirinos brought a message of support from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
This report was published by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine on its Web site; it is reproduced here for non-profit educational purposes.