In the Occupied Territories a kind of neo-colonial power structure has been forged around people who have abandoned the struggle for national liberation in order to carve out niche, privileged positions for themselves as underlings of the oppressing power, in this case Israel.
The Palestinian Authority, head by Mahmoud Abbas, has steadily shed all pretences to stand for the liberation of the Palestinian people and the creation of a democratic, secular, progressive Palestine on the soil of what is now Israel and the occupied territories.
Indeed, the PA now acts as a kind of cat’s paw of the Israeli state, in particular through the mechanism of ‘security’ co-operation and co-ordination. At the same time, Abbas and the PA continue to abandon key principles of the Palestinian movement, such as the right of return. And they target sections of the Palestinian movement which continue to hold true to the original liberating principles of the resistance to Israeli oppression.
Abbas and the PA have repeatedly shown how they are more hostile to the forces of resistance than they are to the Israeli state which dispossessed the Palestinian people and continues to oppress them not only within the borders of the artificial Zionist state itself but in the West Bank as well. A particular target of Abbas and the PA has been the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Most recently, Abbas took the autocratic step of cutting off the Palestine Liberation Organization’s regular and mandated allocations to the PFLP. As a PFLP report on April 13 noted,
“These funds are part of the Palestinian National Fund and support the families of the martyrs and prisoners of the Front; they are not individual funds nor does Abbas have the right to allocate or remove those funds, which belong to the Palestinian people and all Palestinian parties and not Mahmoud Abbas.”
One of the first responses of the PFLP was to hold a mass rally in Gaza on April 12. PFLP central committee member Hussein Mansour told the rally that this was a miserable act of revenge on the PFLP, which has consistently criticised Abbas’ capitulations to Israel. He added, “We say loudly and clearly that the blood of the martyr Omar Nayef Zayed is not up for bargaining. The revolutionary positions of the Popular Front are not for sale. We will continue to confront the occupation and all of those who engage in security coordination and concede the rights of the Palestinian people.”
Meanwhile, Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Democratic Front but not Fateh, signed on to a statement of the National and Islamic Forces in the besieged territory denouncing the stripping of funds to the Front, declaring it a “clear violation of the statutes of the Palestine Liberation Organization, inconsistent with Palestinian traditions… that deepens the crisis of the national institutions of the Palestinian people.”
Leila Khaled’s latest European visit a resounding success
While Palestinian revolutionary icon Leila Khaled, a longtime leader of the Popular front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) has been banned by the Dublin government, she frequently speaks in other countries from the Philippines to South Africa to Sweden.
Following a February visit to the European Parliament, Leila went on to tour Germany, Austria and Sweden. As well as addressing public meetings, she has been meeting with left political movements in those countries and also organisations which are involved in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.
In Germany there was a rigorous attempt by Zionists to prevent her visit and a big Palestinian Land Day event which she was to address in the city of Wuppertal. Although the Zionists managed to get the original venue for the event to cancel the booking, they failed to pressure the German government to stop her visit. In Wuppertal a new venue was found and hundreds of people turned up for the Land Day event to hear Leila speak, along with writer Abdul Bari-Atwan and enjoy a performance by folk group Al-Karmel.
In her talks, Leila emphasised the crucial importance of the right of return and strongly attacked the retreat on this issue by the Palestinian Authority. She also denounced the ‘security’ collaboration of the PA with the Israeli state.