Tue 30 May 2023 10:20 am - Jerusalem Time

On the anniversary of its founding.. Is it possible to rebuild the PLO, and how?

Since its founding by a decision of the Arab League, the PLO has gone through basic stages. After the June defeat, the armed factions were able to transform the PLO into a broad frontal coalition that embodies national unity and is based on pluralism within the framework of adopting the strategy of armed struggle. The battle of dignity was a turning point for the organization to become a main address for confronting the Israeli aggression and occupation, and by approving the interim program, the organization opened the door to the decision of the Rabat Summit to recognize it as the sole legitimate representative and its membership in regional and international organizations such as the Non-Aligned Countries and the African Summit, and then in the United Nations and other international organizations.

However, the most prominent of these achievements was the formation of the National Front in the occupied land from some factions of the organization and national personalities, on August 15, 1973. It adopted a realistic program based on international legitimacy resolutions to resolve the Palestinian and Arab-Israeli conflict. Palestinian women in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, i.e. in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, and the right of return for Palestinian refugees in accordance with Resolution 194, and running in the municipal elections in 1976 with personalities loyal to the organization to establish its public presence, but the occupation authorities removed its most prominent symbols, and exposed Others for assassination attempts.

Despite the attempts of a number of Arab regimes to regain control over the organization, and to support what was known as the Rejection Front and later the Salvation Front, leader Arafat's keenness to contain all its factions under the organization's banner formed a basic pillar for preserving the unity of the organization and national unity in general. With the growing role of the organization and its success in addressing and resolving the political differences between its main forces through the national dialogue that preceded the convening of the sessions of the National Council of the organization, this role has grown inside the occupied territory. Despite the 1982 war against the organization and the armed presence of the Palestinian revolutionary forces in Lebanon, and their forced out into the diaspora of remote capitals and deserts of the Arabs, the forces of the organization, which were rooted in organizational, mass and trade union networks, led the major uprising that broke out in December 1987, which was characterized by its deep popular and democratic character. It rebuilt the militant and popular incubator of the PLO, where the leadership of the unified uprising was formed from the main factions of the organization "Fatah, Democracy, the People's Party, and the Communist Party," so that the PLO returned again as a major player despite the stormy regional and international transformations in the early nineties.

Lessons learned

The lessons that can be drawn hastily from this track are that the PLO was able to preserve the national identity and became an expression of the political entity of the Palestinian people and its only legitimate representative, by firstly its unity and permanent insistence on confirming and embodying the unity of the Palestinian people in all places of its presence, and secondly its success in formulating a program The common denominator is the program of return, self-determination, and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, and the main contradiction with the occupation prevails over internal differences by consolidating political pluralism within the framework of its broad coalition as a national front, and adopting a national democratic dialogue in addressing its internal differences, and thirdly, and most importantly, its constant keenness to strengthen its popular support and base Social.

In the face of these achievements, the successive Israeli occupation governments sought to undermine and dismantle the status of the organization, as it reflects not only the unity of representation, but also the guarantee of the interdependence of the national rights of our people. It fanned the fire of internal differences, especially between the national and Islamic currents.

The failure of Oslo and the decline of the organization's status

The stage of the Oslo process and its outcomes seriously affected the status of the PLO, as it abandoned political pluralism, and drifted towards excluding the opposition from within and outside the organization from the national decision-making process, in addition to its failure to crystallize a political vision that controls the nature of the emerging stage and its entitlements to link between The tasks of national liberation that have not yet been completed, and the requirements of the democratic construction of the institutions of the emerging authority, and the role of the authority has been exaggerated at the expense of the status and role of the organization as a title for national liberation and national unity for our people in its various groups inside the homeland and in the diaspora. This has led, in recent years, not only to the marginalization of the organization and its reduction to the president, who, especially after the division, the dissolution of the Legislative Council and the refusal to organize general elections, acquires all powers without exception, and the Executive Committee has turned into a mere non-advisory body, where even its opinion is not taken into account and not only not. abide by its decisions.

The current reality of the organization is the product of adventure, without controls or alternative paths, with the organization’s balance and its achievements, in the path of settlement without any review, despite the catastrophic failure that befell it, and the dominant leadership is still insisting on continuing this path of failure without a bottom, just as this cannot be isolated The reality is about the state of division that has turned the political dispute into a destructive struggle for power and representation, and is now threatening the foundations of the geographic, political and representative national entity after the organization for many years constituted the most important expression of this entity. This is in addition to the abandonment by the parties of the national movement within the framework of the organization of its militant role against the occupation, and the acquisition of this role by Hamas as a means to control representation, which is revealed by Hamas' positions regarding the last three wars waged by the successive occupation governments against the Islamic Jihad movement in the Gaza Strip.

Despite all of this, the PLO still constitutes in the public consciousness the memory of national revival, armed struggle and successive uprisings in the face of the catastrophe of displacement and attempts to obliterate identity and liquidate rights, and that any serious search to address the internal crisis that afflicts the national cause cannot have chances of success without addressing it. The reality, role and position of the PLO, and that its reconstruction, despite the divergence of historical circumstances between its inception and what it is exposed to today in terms of emptying its content and coalition character, is still possible, provided that this process is controlled by the priorities of defeating the occupation on the basis of an integrated strategy of steadfastness and popular resistance. The Palestinian experience confirms that resorting to dialogue and democracy has always been a guarantee through which it is possible to move forward in rebuilding the National Coalition on the basis of adherence to national rights, and breaking with the concessions that Israel made for free through the Oslo process, which for the occupation was nothing more than a deferral to abort the Great Intifada and its consequences. And go back again to attack all of our national rights and our destiny in this country.

Introduction to rebuilding the organization

The real entrance to restoring the unity and role of the PLO requires, above all, the overthrow of the culture of division, exclusion, domination and possession, and a return to the option of unity and democracy, and the required transitional stage to repair the defect that the national movement suffers from. It seems that there is a compulsory transitional path to achieve this by forcing the division forces to agree on a transitional government of qualified people delegated in accordance with the Basic Law to ensure that everything is done that would stabilize the steadfastness of the people and return to the democratic path by preparing for holding general elections according to a sufficient and agreed timetable, to restore political life away from Hegemony, political persecution, and the abolition of all laws by decree that contradict freedom of expression and organization, and in parallel with that commitment to what was previously agreed upon in the preparatory meetings in Beirut "January 2017" in terms of the participation of the Hamas and Jihad movements in national decision-making, whose liberation from exclusivity and division has become a top priority. It cannot be skipped, as a prelude to a new national council that renews the election of a leadership that includes the various colors of the political and social spectrum in the various gatherings of the Palestinian people, including our people inside the Green Line.

Thus, it is possible to restore consideration for the PLO and its role and status, including reviewing its national program according to the nature of the conflict and the appropriate forms of struggle for this stage.

This path, which has no alternative, can only be paved by mobilizing and organizing the role of all social groups that are ready to engage in a broad popular coalition against occupation, division and corruption in all its forms, and in order to renew the structure of the national movement and ensure its restoration of a path that places national liberation as a high priority interconnected with the democratic path that restores The entire issue of the Palestinian people is the impenetrable fortress of this sacred cause.


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