Remembering George Habash, Palestinian revolutionary intellectual and freedom fighter

Posted: February 8, 2014 by Admin in Democracy movements, Imperialism and anti-imperialism, Israel, Marxism, Middle East, Palestine, PFLP, Political prisoners, Revolutionary figures, Secularism, State repression, State terrorism, Uprisings/insurrections/rebellions

A series of events took place inside and outside Palestine commemorating the life and struggle of Dr George Habash, Al-Hakim, on the sixth anniversary of his passing.

deirbalah1The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza, held a rally attended by a large group of friends, members and supporters of the Front as well as representatives of national and Islamic forces, including speeches, presentations, and artistic and cultural performances.

Comrade Ayman Abu Atta spoke about the life of al-Hakim, the founding of the Front and his life in struggle, noting that when he retired voluntarily from his position of General Secretary in 2000 – setting an example – he did not leave political work, or his ideas and principles, committed to the Front and his people until the last moment of his life.

He addressed the US plan to pressure and blackmail Palestinians to accept the so-called “Kerry plan”, saying that the plan must be completely rejected and that it is urgent to unify Palestinian forces to build our collective will and resistance in all forms while ending these disastrous negotiations. He called for “strengthening the steadfastness of the masses of our people to confront the Zionist occupation and to respond to all Zionist/US liquidationist plans.”

deirbalah2He pledged that the Front would remain on Al-Hakim’s path until the achievement of return and liberation.

Mohammad Badwan spoke on behalf of the National and Islamic Forces, saying that Al-Hakim is a symbol to the entire Palestinian people, the Arab nation and all the free people of the world. He noted that despite the challenges facing the camp of revolution and the size and severity of the conspiracies against the Palestinian people, al-Hakim remained optimistic about the inevitability of victory, saying “Enemy planes could bomb our camps, kill our children and our elders, and destroy our homes, but they cannot kill the spirit of struggle.”

A cultural debkeh dance performance concluded the event, as well as a display of artwork. Following the event, a march took to the streets of Deir al-Balah denouncing Kerry’s plan and demanding that Palestinian officials end the dangerous negotiations and uphold Palestinian unity.

rafah1The PFLP in Rafah organized a political seminar entitled “Political developments and the threat of the current Kerry plan,” with cadres and members of the Front. Comrade Qasim Hassanein opened the event speaking of the life of al-Hakim; Comrade Eyad Awadallah, member of the Front’s Central Committee, spoke about the damage that had been done to the Palestinian cause by twenty years of negotiations, which has led to disastrous consequences, the growth of settlements, and internal division, while Palestinian officialdom continues to rely on this process. Awadallah warned against attempts to pass the Kerry plan, which fully adopts Zionist plans and attempts to liquidate the foremost constant of the Palestinian people, the right of return.

Furthermore, he noted that Kerry’s plan attempts to legitimize Zionist control over large swathes of the West Bank, including the annexation of the large settlement blocs, and control over the Jordan Valley, as well as transforming areas of the West Bank into cantons isolated from each other. Awadallah said that the Kerry plan would mean the resettlement of Palestinian refugees in several Western countries as a substitute for their homeland from which they were forced and the denial altogether of the right of return.

rafah2Comrade Mohammad Mekkawi, member of the PFLP Central Committee, said the right of return is the essence of the Palestinian national cause and is a red line that no one can cross. He condemned Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, who has violated Palestinian national constants repeatedly, particularly in reference to the right of return. Mekkawi noted that the right of return has no statute of limitations and will not fall no matter how many years pass. He noted that Palestinian refugees have the right to return and compensation, not compensation as a substitute to return, and it is not subject to negotiation, waiver, modification or treaty by any politicians even those who may claim to represent the Palestinian people. He warned Palestinian officials of falling into the trap of the Kerry scheme, which aims to liquidate the refugees’ rights forever.

Mekkawi called for an end to division and restoring national unity on the basis of resistance and Palestinian rights, and said that any Palestinian leadership or official is not authorized to waive the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and that any official that violates those rights may not represent our people.

nablus1The PFLP in Nablus organized an event on February 1, marking the sixth anniversary of the passing of Al-Hakim, the anniversary of the passing of the leader Abu Maher al-Yamani and in protest of the twelfth anniversary of the kidnapping of the Front’s general secretary, Comrade Ahmad Sa’adat.

Dr. Esmat Shakshir opened the event and introduced the speakers, Abla Sa’adat and Dr. Yousef Abdul Haq. Sa’adat spoke about the historical legacy of George Habash, and the revolutionary political vision that continues to inspire the struggle to liberate Palestine. As the leader of the national campaign to defend Comrade Ahmad Sa’adat, she reviewed his life and struggle, including his repeated imprisonment, his arrest by the Palestinian Authority and his imprisonment in Jericho, then the attack and siege on the prison and his prosecution at the hands of the occupation and his current imprisonment as a political prisoner.

nablus2Sa’adat said that the resistance must confront political detention in all forms and raise the issue of prisoners before everyone’s eyes as central to our people and our struggle.

Comrade Leila Khaled spoke via telephone from Amman, Jordan, speaking about the revolutionary legacy of Dr George Habash and his qualitative impact on the march of the Palestinian revolution and the revolutionary approach he has left behind. She addressed also the life in struggle of Comrade Abu Maher al-Yamani, a historic leader who was an icon of sacrifice, humility and commitment. She noted that there is a real crisis of the Palestinian cause and the leadership of the Authority has pushed an approach that rejects this legacy of struggle in favour of negotiations. She said that resistance is the only guarantor of achieving the freedom of our people and saluted Comrade Ahmad Sa’adat, saying that he is both an excellent and sophisticated political leader but also a symbol of steadfastness and sacrifice.

Dr. Yousef Abdul Haq, a former lecturer at An Najah University, saluted Sa’adat, Habash and Yamani for their steadfast commitment to revolutionary struggle ad the liberation of Palestine. Dr. Abdul Haq emphasized the importance of rejecting the Kerry plan and said that the only solution is struggle to defend Palestinian rights and people. The event closed with a documentary film on the life of al-Hakim, produced by the Progressive Student Action Front at An-Najah University.

tulkaremA seminar was held in Tulkarem marking the sixth anniversary of the death of Dr. George Habash. Mohammad Jawabra introduced the event, discussing the creative link in al-Hakim’s work between the Palestinian dimension and the Arab national struggle, interdependent and organically linked to challenge the Zionist colonial project.

Jamal Barham spoke about the political tradition of George Habash, and the need to live up to that political legacy by confronting the imminent national danger of the American-Israeli schemes being carried out through the Kerry plan. If the Kerry plan passes, he note, it will be a massive achievement for the Zionist project, and as such it requires a response proportionate to the danger posed by this plan. The first step, he said, must be to reject the disastrous and destructive path of negotiations, which has brought the Palestinian people nothing but scourges and disasters.

He urged the need for a comprehensive Palestinian political review and a new strategy for a unified program for the Palestinian people wherever they are, all political and popular forces, based on the national and historical rights of the Palestinian people.

Samir Nayfeh, Sayel Khalil, Sohail Salman, and Mohammed Alloush from Palestinian poliical forces and factions spoke about the value of al-Hakim to the Palestinian revolution as a whole and the need to re-claim that legacy of resistance.

tyre1The PFLP in Sour area in Lebanon organized a cultural and political rally commemorating the lives of the founding leaders of the revolution, Dr. George Habash and Abu Maher al-Yamani.

Representatives of Lebanese and Palestinian political forces and associations as well as veterans of the Arab Nationalist Movement and the PFLP joined in the event.

Joseph Khadra of the Solidarity Association introduced the event, speaking of Abu Maher al-Yamani and George Habash’s commitment to the unity of the Arab struggle as a basic requirement for the liberation of Palestine, and their personal credibility as committed strugglers for liberation, including the sacrifices of Abu Maher al-Yamani and al-Hakim’s role in establishing the Lebanese National Resistance Front.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYasser Naameh of al-Safir newspaper spoke about Habash’s role as a fighter for Palestine, a son of al-Lydd who struggled to free it from the Zionist movement as it was backed by the major world powers. He also spoke about Abu Maher al-Yamani, a son of Suhmata, a Palestinian worker who always combined political thought with implementation and action.

Comrade Dr. Maher al-Taher, member of the Political Bureau of the PFLP, delivered the keynote address, reviewing the history of al-Hakim, and the Front – its victories and achievements, challenges and lessons.

On the sixth anniversary of the passing of Dr. George Habash, a delegation from the Wihda Party (the Jordanian Democratic Popular Unity Party) visited his grave site, laying garlands of flowers. Hilda Habash, al-Hakim’s wife, spoke, sharing her memories and the thoughts of her daughter, Lama Habash, remembering her father’s personal and political legacy.

ammanComrade Dr. Fayez Rashid delivered a speech on behalf of the PFLP, emphasizing the political positions of al-Hakim and his history of struggle and pledging to stay true to his path to which he dedicated his life, until the entire land of Palestine is liberated. Comrade Abdul Majeed Dandis of the Wihda party spoke saluting the path of Al-Hakim as the road to achieving Palestinian and Arab national goals, ending occupation, and establishing a Palestinian democratic state from the river to the sea.

On January 26, the PFLP in Western Gaza organized a march in Shati refugee camp commemorating the life of al-Hakim and affirming the constants for which he struggled all his life, first and foremost the right of return. Participants raised images of the leaders of the Front – Dr. George Habash, Abu Ali Mustafa, Wadie Haddad, and imprisoned General Secretary Ahmad Sa’adat – and banners with slogans emphasizing national unity, the right of return and resistance.

gaza2Comrade Hussein Mansour, a member of the Central Committee of the PFLP, spoke on behalf of the Front, noting that al-Hakim dedicated his life until the last day to resistance in all forms – military, political, economic, and intellectual – in the battle with the racist Zionist occupation as an outpost of global imperialism and capitalism in the region, as a fundamental battle for existence.

Mansour noted that it is impossible to coexist with the occupation state and that unity in the national struggle to liberate Palestine is organically linked to the Arab struggle for liberation, democracy, justice and unity, and with the global popular struggle against injustice and exploitation and for freedom and peace.

This article first appeared on the PFLP site here; see also: NZ solidarity activist interviews Leila Khaled and check out our Palestine section for a load more articles about the liberation struggle.

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