Occupation continues and so must Solidarity


International Solidarity Delegation to Palestine successfully concluded

An International Solidarity Delegation headed by the Antiimperialist Camp was travelling through Palestine from August 14 to 28. Main purpose of the delegation named "Cracks in the Wall" was to convey a message of solidarity to the Palestinian peoples struggle and the resistance movement in its entirety thus opposing the accusations of terrorism. During the trip the delegation had the possibility to meet with representatives of almost every organisation of the Palestinian resistance. Among them were the General Secretary of the PFLP, Ahmed Saadat in Jericho prison, the leader of the political wing of Hamas in the West Bank, Scheikh Hassan Abu Yussuf, and also the leader of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Zacharia Zoubeideh. Beside them the participants of the delegation had the opportunity to speak to political figures on the social and municipal level, like the vice-mayor of Qualquilya – as the elected mayor is in prison under administrative detention-, the mayor of Betlehem close to PFLP, and the secretary of Fatah of the Betlehem area. The trip did also include Nazareth, which is located in the 1948 occupied territories, but still has a high percentage of Palestinians living there. There the delegation had a meeting with Abnaa al Balad, which is an antizionist Palestinian organisation working inside the state of Israel, representing the Palestinians with Israeli citizenship and Jews who strive for one secular democratic state. There the delegation had the possibility through visting destroyed arab villages to get a glimpse of what Palestinian reality is like in the state of Israel today.
After the programme of political meetings the members of the delegation worked on a field in the area of Beit Jala where olive trees were recently planted. The farmer, whose land is located on the opposite hill of the Har Homa settlement is constantly under threat of being expropriated by the Israeli authorities.

The delegations trip was taking place during the period of the pullout of Israeli forces and settlements from the Gaza strip. Against this background, the delegation was able to gain an instructive picture of the current transformation processes going on within the Palestinian political landscape. Denominating the Gaza pullout as the first step towards a viable Palestinian state, the Fatah-led PNA is visibly subordinating to Israeli and US strategies thus transforming itself into a puppet regime. In contrast, the Palestinian left, above all the PFLP, as well as the Islamic forces do not have any illusions in relation to the meaning of the Gaza pullout. While they consider it to be the result of the steadfastness of the resistance movement in Gaza, they are well aware that Israeli occupation will continue and that there are no signs for a Palestinian sovereign state what so ever. Although the left and Islamic forces signed a ceasefire earlier this year under heavy pressure by Egypt and the Abbas-government, they claim that a veritable solution of the conflict must take place within the political framework of the historic revindications of the Palestian national liberation movement, above all the right of return for the Palestinian refugees, Jerusalem as capital and the dismanteling of all settlements. As a matter of fact, none of these revindications have been included in the ceasefire agreement which, in practice, was signed unilaterally by Palestinian forces without any Israeli returns. While the leftist and Islamic forces agreed to the ceasefire exclusivley due to the exhaustion of Palestinian masses, PNA and Fatah claim this to be the beginning of a peace process.

However, Israeli occupation goes on, settlements are being expanded, namely in the Westbank, the Israeli project of e "Greater Jerusalem", cutting off East-Jerusalem from the Westbank, is being continued and so is the construction of the wall as well as the expropriation of Palestinian lands. A veritable Palestinian sovereign state seems to be further than ever. Against this background, Fatah talks of the beginning of a peace process reveal to be nothing else than a complete surrender to Israeli and US geostrategic plans for the Middle East.

Hence, it seems that the second Intifada is about to come to an end bearing the danger of a normalisation process aimed at denying the reality of military occupation and at depicting resistance as illegitimate terrorism. However, since occupation continues and the hardship of the Palestinian masses even grows, there is no basis for a real settlement of the conflict. To the contrary, since the cause of Palestinian resistance struggle – the illegitimate occupation and oppression through Israeli forces – will continue to exist, the outbreak of a third Intifada within few years is more than likely. This new Intifada, however, will necessarily be also a class Intifada, struggling against both the occupier as well as the Palestinian puppet regime.

The outbreak and development of a likely new Intifada will depend on various factors. First of all, the extent to which Fatah will give in to the pressure of Israel and the US, cut off its roots within the Palestinian masses and increasingly transform itself into an agent of the imperialism. Furthermore, the future development of the Islamic forces will play a decisive role, namely whether they will continue to spearhead popular resistance or whether they are willing to become part of institutional power within the framework of the current normalisation process. As well, the ability of the Palestinian left to develop an appropriate strategy to oppose the normalisation process and build up a united resistance front will be of importance. Finally, it seems obvious that a new Intifada will have to pose the Palestinian question again in terms of a regional vision of a liberation movement within the Arab countries. Thus, the development of the Iraqi resistance struggle as well as of the opposition movement in Egypt will assume decisive significance.

Against this background, the targets of the international solidarity movment are above all to oppose the current normalisation process by granting support to the opposition and resistance forces within the Palestinan national liberation movement. This implies to defend these forces, and more in general the resistance struggle as a whole, against accusations of being terrorist. The international solidarity movement has by all means to defend the legitimacy of the Palestinian resistance struggle against occupation, thus supporting the grounds for the development of a new Intifada in the framework of a general liberation movement in the Arab region.

Antiimperialist Camp,
August 31, 2005