Palestine National Council
Interim Political Program of the Palestine Revolution
Cairo, 5 March 1971
Ever since, at the beginning of 1965, the vanguards of our struggling people sparked off the armed revolution against the Zionist political entity established in the land of Palestine by force of arms, these vanguards, along with and supported by the vast Arab masses and all free men in the world, have confirmed that armed struggle is the one and inevitable way to full liberation of the soil of Palestine.
Today the revolution is passing through an extremely critical and dangerous stage of its struggle, confronted as it is with a ferocious operation of liquidation comprising both what happened in Jordan in September and the operations of annihilation and maltreatment that are being carried out in the occupied homeland itself.
This ferocious conspiracy is this time directed against the Palestine revolution and the nationalist movement in Jordan; it is also aimed at the liquidation of the revolutionary spirit and the whole of the Palestinian national cause. The forces of world imperialism and world Zionism, side by side with the Zionist occupying state and the anti-revolutionary forces in the Arab homeland, have all agreed that the time has come to embark on this ferocious attack aimed at liquidation so as to guard against the danger of the Palestine revolution escalating and spreading to cover the whole of the Arab homeland, sweeping before it all the enemy's interests, which would inevitably also lead to the destruction of their common interests in this part of the world.
Furthermore, the explosion of the situation in Indochina and the continuous advance of the revolution in Laos and Cambodia, not to mention the increasing victories of the Vietnamese revolution, have led American circles to seek all possible means to calm down the area by consolidating the military victory won by the enemy in the fighting of 1967.
Thus the Palestine revolution is no longer confronted with oppression, misrepresentation and deception on the front with imperialism and Zionism only; the same challenges have started to confront it on the whole of the anti-revolutionary front in the Arab homeland: those forces which have taken it upon themselves to smash the Palestine revolution from within by exhausting its strength in nonessential and internal conflicts.
Faced with this new and dangerous situation, all sections and forces of the Palestine revolution have agreed to announce their political program for the present stage, with the intention that it shall provide clear answers to all the questions posed at the present stage and constitute a guide to action for the escalation of the revolution and the increasing of its organized forces, and for the polarization of more extensive sectors of the Palestinian and Arab masses through the victorious advance of their revolution. This political program is as follows:
At the Palestinian Level
1. The Palestine Liberation Organization is the sole representative of the masses of the Palestinian Arab people, in all their combat and political organizations and all their bodies, federations and societies, whatever their trends and ideas, on condition that they adhere fully to the principles of the Palestine National Charter, the decisions of the legislative and executive organs of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Organization's political and military program and internal regulations, and that they also commit themselves to struggle on behalf of the total liberation of the soil of Palestine and the return of the Palestinian people to their homeland.
It is absolutely impermissible to disqualify an individual or group for membership of the Organization except in cases of prejudice to the revolution or infringement of the principles of the National Charter, when the decision to disqualify shall be taken by the Central Committee of the Organization or by the National Council should it be in session.
2. While affirming that the fundamental and central aim of the Palestine revolution is the total liberation of the occupied Palestinian homeland, the aim at the present stage is to protect the revolution from its enemies, to escalate it and ensure that it advances along the road to the realization of its fundamental aim, by the revolutionary political, military and moral mobilization of the Palestinian masses, and by all of them taking part in the battle of liberation, by escalating the armed struggle against the enemy and unifying all the forces of the Palestinian masses both inside and outside the occupied homeland to this end.
The Nature of the Palestine Revolution
1. The Palestine revolution is a national liberation movement. It therefore conforms, in its strategy and tactics, with all national liberation movements, the socialist countries and the revolutionary and democratic forces in the world, inasmuch as these constitute the movement of all the masses that are struggling against foreign occupation, that believe in the inevitability of liberation, and are prepared to join the struggle to achieve it. This means that all classes and national groups of the Palestinian people, and all their organizations and associations whatever their ideas and principles, must unite in a single cohesive rank in their armed national revolution.
2. The Palestine revolution represents the movement of progress in Palestinian Arab society for the following reasons:
a. Because it is combating a racist settler occupation which is part of the forces of injustice in the world that oppose the course of history;
b. Because it is combating world imperialism led by the United States of America, the protector of Zionist occupation, which is destroying the rights and aspirations of our people;
c. Because it aims to build a Palestinian Arab society governed by the principles of democracy, peace, justice, freedom and equality in which all principles and religions are respected and all rights and freedoms protected, and in which feudal domination, backward social relations and racial or religious discrimination are utterly rejected.
Forms of Struggle
The armed struggle sparked off by the revolutionary vanguards of the Palestinian people at the beginning of 1965 (guerrilla warfare escalating into a comprehensive war of liberation) is the principal form of struggle for the liberation of Palestine, and the conjunction of regular forces side by side with commando forces in the armed struggle is the most powerful form of struggle for the achievement of the people’s victorious revolution. In addition, all other forms of struggle must run firmly and directly parallel with the line of armed struggle.
The Only Solution to the Palestine Problem
The only solution to the Palestine problem is the total liberation of the soil of Palestine by armed struggle. Therefore the liquidation solution or any other solution liable to prejudice the natural and historical rights of the Palestinian people to the whole of their homeland, is essentially an imposed solution. The Palestine revolution therefore declares its strict adherence, as a matter of principle, to the following:
a. Struggle without quarter against all attempts, efforts, conspiracies and forces aimed at halting the advance of the revolution, impeding it or diverting it from its course, as also against all projects for liquidation under whatever form they may be advanced. This makes it essential to develop the Palestine revolution and increase its effectiveness in all fields;
b. Resolute opposition to those who advocate the establishment of a Palestinian statelet in part of the territory of Palestine, inasmuch as efforts to establish such a state lie within the framework of the liquidation of the Palestine problem;
c. The taking of all resolute measures necessary to protect the advance of the Palestine revolution and Palestinian national existence, in the closest cooperation with the Jordanian nationalist movement and the Arab nationalist movement.
The Democratic Palestinian State
Palestinian armed struggle is not a racist or sectarian struggle against the Jews. Therefore the state of the future in a Palestine liberated from Zionist imperialism is the democratic Palestinian state, in which all who wish to do so can live in peace with the same rights and obligations and within the framework of the aspirations of the Arab nation to national liberation and full unity [with] emphasis on the unity of the people of both Banks of Jordan.
Action at the Level of Jordan
Jordan is linked to Palestine by a national relationship and a national unity forged by history and culture from the earliest times. The creation of one political entity in Transjordan and another in Palestine would have no basis either in legality or as to the elements universally accepted as fundamental to a political entity. It would be a continuation of the operation of fragmentation by which colonialism shattered the unity of our Arab nation and the unity of our Arab homeland after the First World War.
But this fragmentation has not prevented the masses, either west or east of the River Jordan, from feeling that they are one people, or from remaining united against the conspiracy of imperialism and Zionism.
In raising the slogan of the liberation of Palestine and presenting the problem of the Palestine revolution, it was not the intention of the Palestine revolution to separate the East of the River from the West, nor did it believe that the struggle of the Palestinian people can be separated from the struggle of the masses in Jordan. It acted in conformity with the exigencies of a specific historical stage, with the object of concentrating on the direction of all forces towards Palestine so as to give prominence to our cause at Palestinian, Arab and international levels.
Our concern for the unity of the Palestinian-Jordanian masses, and our knowledge of the role that they can play in escalating the battle of liberation, confirms our belief in the following :
a. That the unity of Palestine and the East Bank of the Jordan is a national duty which it is our duty to protect and strengthen; it is also our duty to combat all attempts to weaken and disrupt it.
b. This regional unity must be embodied in unity of struggle, taking the form of a Jordanian national front, one of whose basic tasks will be to establish a nationalist regime in Jordan which will participate in the liberation of Palestine and support the Palestinian fighting forces with all its resources. This, in turn, is part of the struggle of the Arab nation for its liberation and unity.
At the Level of the Arab Nation
Palestine is an integral part of the Arab homeland, and the Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arab nation.
The Palestine revolution is part of the Arab revolutionary movement; it is its revolutionary vanguard at this historical stage.
Therefore one of the fundamental tasks of the Arab revolutionary movement is to ensure that the masses play their part in fighting and protecting the revolution. Consequently, out of respect for national duty, the masses should work indefatigably to make the Palestine revolution a tangible everyday fact by adopting the following attitudes and taking the following measures. They must:
a. Make every effort to frustrate all projects involving liquidation and surrender;
b. Protect the Palestine revolution from the conspiracies of hostile forces, and from all their attempts to restrict or provoke the revolution;
c. Provide all that is necessary for the struggle, specifically material and moral as well as political support;
d. Play an effective part in the Palestine revolution;
e. Make every effort to build a strong Arab front to support the Palestine revolution and the joint Arab struggle against imperialism, Zionism and the counter-revolutionary forces in the Arab homeland.
It must be clear that our relations with the Arab masses are of fundamental importance even if this means breaking with the regimes and fighting nonessential battles with them.
At World Level
World imperialism, world Zionism and Zionist colonialism are among the real enemies of our people and, inasmuch as they are spreading like an octopus in many areas of the world and making use of many and varied forces against us, we must expand the field of our alliances and our action to cover the whole world.
This requires that we establish the closest possible relations with all forces struggling against imperialism, colonialism, oppression, racism and exploitation, and mobilize on our side all forces of justice, liberation and peace in the world.
Source: International Documents on Palestine, 1971. Beirut: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1974, p. 396-399.