The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine announced in a press conference on September 25, 2010 that it was suspending its participation in the PLO Executive Committee in response to Abu Mazen’s return to negotiations and the illegitimate “approval” of the EC for this dangerous action.
At a press conference held in Ramallah led by Deputy General Secretary Comrade Abdel-Rahim Mallouh and Political Bureau members Comrades Khalida Jarrar and Omar Shehadeh, the Front warned of the serious consequences and repercussions of the policy of concessions and appeasement to the U.S. and Israel.
The press conference issued a statement, as follows:
A Policy Statement Issued by the Central Committee of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
To the masses of our Palestinian people struggling in Palestine and the Diaspora. . .
To the masses of our glorious Arab Nation. . .
We make this statement today in light of our full national and historical responsibility and a high level of consciousness of the great risks to our people of current political developments on the Arab and Palestinian level. In light of the action of the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization to return to direct negotiations with the government of the Zionist entity under the auspices of U.S. imperialism, the Central Committee of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine convened an extraordinary meeting to discuss all of these developments, which determined the following:
First: The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine has firmly adhered to a categorical rejection of Oslo since 1993, and warned early of its dangerous approach and its disastrous consequences for the Palestinian cause, the PLO program and charter, and the Palestinian national struggle. The decision to return to direct negotiations is one that has failed for nearly two decades now. It is an affront to the blood of our people shed in the Al-Aqsa Intifada 2000 and represents the persistence of the PLO leadership to continue the devastating Oslo path, despite its devastating effect on our people. This development places the Palestinian cause in the hands of U.S. imperialism and Zionism, holding it accountable to their dictates, which aim at the liquidation of the inalienable historic and national rights of our people, particularly the right of return for refugees, the right of self-determination, and the right of citizenship and presence on the land of Palestinians in the 1948 occupied areas of Palestine. The direct negotiations also help to break the growing international isolation of the Zionist entity, to protect its leaders from accountability and consequences of their crimes and slaughter, and to circumvent the growing international solidarity with our people and their rights. They provide a cover for the occupation practices and policies of settlement building, land confiscation, displacement, siege, detention, imprisonment and killing; further erode our Palestinian national position and national constants; and contribute to the deepening of the disastrous internal Palestinian division.
Accordingly, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which has maintained and adhered to the PLO, and has been a part of every political turning point in the organization, and cherishes its history and potential as a great national movement baptized by the blood of martyrs, refuses to accept that the PLO shall be a cover for policies that destroy and undermine our national cause. Further, we reuse to accept that the PLO’s institutions shall be turned into institutions devoid of independence, militancy, democracy, transparency, or legality. Therefore:
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine will suspend its participation in the meetings of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization. We knock on the walls of the tank in front of the masses of our people and our nation, warning of the serious consequences and repercussions of the policy of concessions and the return to direct negotiations under the U.S.-Israeli conditions, including the absence of the United Nations and its references and the imposition of the American-sponsored negotiating table as a substitute. With U.S. support, the Zionist state attempts to impose the requirement to recognize “Israel” as the “State of the Jewish people” upon the negotiating agenda as a part of the negotiations. We take this step in light of the continued settlement building, blockade and siege; and in light of the persistent selfish and exclusionary practices and policies that disregard collective Palestinian action and decision-making, and in light of the overwhelming popular rejection of the illegitimate decision to return to negotiations taken with only one-third of the membership of the Executive Committee.
Second: The decision to return to the direct negotiations severely undermines the decisions of the Central Council. It is an abuse of the PLO and its representation of a national militant Palestinian identity and its place as a location for joint Palestinian work.
Rather than holding to a national resolution to direct to the world, particularly in order to strengthen the official Arab position in order to serve the national struggle and its objectives, the Executive Committee rendered a decision that was made before it was even submitted. This decision took place at a meeting of the Executive Committee — the PLO’s leading body — with a formal lack of quorum, and with the rejection of major forces.
Third: The decision of the Popular Front to suspend its participation in the meetings of the Executive Committee does not mean that we are engaging in any parallel or alternative frameworks to the PLO as a national framework to encompass all of the Palestinian people in the homeland and in diaspora. The Front is not only against the use of the PLO and its institutions as empty shell structures to justify concessions; it also rejects any denial of the fact that the PLO is a great national achievement of our people and factions of the contemporary Palestinian revolution, and the product of many painful sacrifices. Just as it has in the past, the Popular Front will not cease in the present and the future to struggle to reform and rebuild the PLO on a national and democratic basis, including elections on the basis of proportional representation in Palestine and wherever possible in the diaspora. We reiterate the commitment of the March 2005 Cairo Declaration and the June 2006 National Accord document (the Prisoners’ Document) to end the disastrous state of division, restore national unity, and strengthen the steadfastness of our people to confront the occupation and its practices on the ground. These are the central tasks of all Palestinians in the current national phase.
Fourth: The Popular Front, while affirming that the PLO is the sole legitimate representative of our people wherever it is present, calls on the masses of our people, factions, political forces, community leaders and independent personalities to form and support the broadest popular movement to stop the negotiations and end the disastrous path of the Oslo accords. We call for the convening of a fully empowered international conference under the auspices of the United Nations and with international resolutions and legitimacy as its reference in order to implement Palestinian rights and compel the Zionist entity to implement UN resolutions, most notably UN Resolution 194, assuring the return of refugees to their homes from which they were displaced, as well as the dismantling of settlements and the removal of settlers. We call for hard work to restore national unity and develop a strategy for political action to uphold our national principles and bring an end to reliance on negotiations that have been demonstrated through painful experience to be futile at best and devastatingly dangerous at worst.
Unity, steadfastness and resistance until victory!
Glory to the martyrs, health to the wounded, freedom for the prisoners, and victory for our people!
The General Central Committee
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
This statement was published by the PFLP on its Web site. In Arabic: <www.pflp.ps/arabic/news.php?action=statments&id=2097&cid=2>.