Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine: Resistance Until Victory


Written in February of 1969 during a Congress held by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Strategy for Liberation of Palestine sets out the program for the Palestinian struggle against colonialism, fascism, and Zionism. We publish these excerpts from the Strategy, which set out an instructive path for the revolutionary liberation of the Palestinian people.

The Aims and Significance of the Palestinian War of Liberation

That Israel constitutes an aggressive presence against our people from the outset is an indisputable fact. For our people, the rise of Israel has meant the expulsion of this people from its home and lands, the usurpation of all that our people had built through its labour and effort, the dispersal of our people throughout the Arab world and the world at large, and the concentration of the greater portion of it in the camps of misery and poverty scattered in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon without hope and without future.

That Israel constitutes a colonialist expansionist presence at the expense of Arab land and its owners is not a matter for discussion. For us it is the tangible experience before which all spurious claims and allegations fade away. The “National Home” for the Jews in Palestine became the “State of Israel” within the boundaries of the Partition resolutions adopted by the United Nations in 1947. It then expanded to include Israel with its pre June boundaries which are far more extensive than those established by the United Nations’ resolutions of 1947, and finally expanded once again to include the whole of Palestine as well as Sinai and the Golan Heights.

That Israel is an imperialist and colonialist base on our land and is being used to stem the tide of revolution, to ensure our continued subjection and to maintain the process of pillage and exploitation of our wealth and efforts, is a self-evident fact which does not need discussion. For us this is not merely. a theoretical conclusion but represents our actual experience during the Tripartite Aggression of 1956, during the June 1967 war and throughout the existence of Israel on our soil.

However the truth about our war of liberation has been distorted as a result of several factors. First of all there was the connection between the rise of the Zionist movement and the persecution of the Jews in Europe. Then there was the association made between the rise of Israel and the Nazis’ treatment of the Jews in the Second World War. In addition to these there was the dominating Imperialist and Zionist influence over large sections of world opinion, the existence in Israel of forces which claim to be progressive and socialist and the Soviet Union’s and some socialist countries’ support for the establishment of Israel. All these together with the error of certain Palestinian and Arab leaderships in the manner of their presentation of the struggle against Israel haye distorted the truth about our liberation war and still threaten to distort the proper view of the true nature of this war in the eyes of many people.

The Palestinian liberation movement is not a racial movement with aggressive intentions against the Jews. It is not directed against the Jews. Its object is to destroy the state of Israel as a military, political and economic establishment which rests on aggression, expansion and organic connection with imperialist interests in our homeland. It is against Zionism as an aggressive racial movement connected with imperialism which has exploited the sufferings of the Jews as a stepping stone for the promotion of its interests and the interests of imperialism in this part of the world which possesses rich resources and provides a bridgehead into the countries of Africa and Asia. The aim of the Palestinian liberation movement is to establish a democratic national state in Palestine in which both Arabs and Jews will live as citizens with equal rights and obligations and which will constitute an integral part of the progressive democratic Arab national presence living peacefully with all forces of progress in the world.

Israel has insisted on portraying our war against it as a racial war aiming at eliminating every Jewish citizen and throwing him into the sea. The purpose behind this is to mobilise all Jews for a life-or-death struggle. Consequently, a basic strategic line in our war with Israel must aim at unveiling this misrepresentation, addressing the exploited and misled Jewish masses and revealing the conflict between these masses’ interest in living peacefully and the interests of the Zionist movement and the forces controlling the state of Israel. It is this strategic line which will ensure for us the isolation of the fascist clique in Israel from all the forces of progress in the world. It will also ensure for us, with the growth of the armed struggle for liberation and clarification of its identity, the widening of the conflict existing objectively between Israel and the Zionist movement on the one hand and the millions of misled and exploited Jews on the other.

The Palestinian liberation movement is a progressive national movement against the forces of aggression and imperialism. The fact that imperialist interests are linked with the existence of Israel will make of our struggle against Israel a struggle against imperialism, and the linking of the Palestinian liberation movement with the Arab liberation movement will make our struggle against Israel the struggle of one hundred million Arabs in their united national effort for liberation. The struggle for Palestine today, and all the objective circumstances attendant upon it, will make of this struggle an introduction for the realisation of all the aims of the Arab revolution which are linked together. It is a wide and vast historical-movement launched by one hundred million Arabs in a large area of the world against the forces of evil, aggression and exploitation represented by neo-colonialism and imperialism in this epoch of human history.

Finally, the struggle for Palestine will, as regards the Palestinian and Arab masses, be a gateway towards the culture of the age and a transition from a state of under-development to the requirements of modern life. Through the struggle we shall acquire political awareness of the facts of the age, throw away illusions and learn the value of facts. The habits of underdevelopment represented by submission, dependence, individualism, tribalism, laziness, anarchy and impulsiveness will change through the struggle into recognition of the value of time, order, accuracy, objective thought, collective action, planning, comprehensive mobilization, the pursuit of learning and the acquisition of all its weapons, the value of man, the emancipation of woman – which constitute half of our society – from the servitude of outworn customs and traditions, the fundamental importance of the national bond in facing danger and the supremacy of this bond over clan, tribal and regional bonds.

Importance of Political Thought

One of the basic conditions of success is a clear perspective of things: a clear perspective of the enemy and a clear perspective of the revolutionary forces. It is in this light that the strategy of the struggle is determined, and without this perspective, national action becomes an impetuous gamble which soon ends in failure.

Our people have waged a long fight against Zionist and colonialist plans. Since 1917 (the Balfour Declaration), the masses of our people have been fighting to keep their soil, to obtain freedom, to free their country from colonialists, to assert their right to self-determination and to exploit their country’s resources for their own benefit. Their struggle against Zionism and colonialism has taken every form and method. In 1936, our people took up arms in defence of their lands, homes, freedom and the right to build their future, offering thousands of martyrs and bearing all sorts of sacrifices.

Nevertheless, in spite of all the sacrifices, of the long line of martyrs whose number exceeded that of today’s martyrs in commando action, of the taking up of arms and of the masses’ enthusiasm, our people even until this day, have not triumphed. Most of them are still living in the wretched conditions of the camps and under the yoke of occupation.

It is incumbent upon us to face the facts with a frank, courageous and revolutionary scientific mentality. A clear perspective of things and of the real forces taking part in the struggle leads to success, while impetuosity and spontaneity lead to failure.

This shows clearly the importance of scientific political thought which guides the revolution and plans its strategy. Revolutionary political thought is not an abstract idea hanging in a vacuum, or a mental luxury, or an intellectual hobby for the educated, which we can, if we wish, lay aside as an unnecessary luxury. Scientific revolutionary thought is clear thought whereby the masses are able to understand their enemy, his points of weakness or strength and the forces which support and ally themselves to the enemy. Likewise the masses should understand their own forces, the forces of revolution, how to mobilise, how to overcome the enemy’s points of strength and take advantage of the weakness of the enemy, and through what organization, mobilisation and political and military programmes, they can escalate their forces until they can crush the enemy and achieve victory.

All of this should be put in clear language which the masses can understand. Through this understanding they get a clear perspective of the battle and its dimensions, forces and weapons. so that their thinking emerges as a force around which they are united with one perspective of the battle and one strategy.

To us, political thought means a clear vision of the battle before us, and this is why we stress the importance and seriousness of this matter. What does it mean to fight without political thought? It means to fight in a manner that lacks planning, to fall into errors without realising how serious they are or how to deal with them, to improvise political positions not based on a clear view.

To perform this revolutionary role, political thought must (1) be scientific; (2) be so clear as to be within the reach of the masses; and (3) go beyond generalities and penetrate as deeply as possible into the strategy and tactics of the battle to guide the combatants in facing their problems. When revolutionary thought fulfills these requirements it becomes the most effective weapon in the hands of the masses, enabling them to consolidate their forces and have a perfectly clear view of the battle with all the forces in action and of the position of each of these forces from the beginning of the revolution to its conclusive end.

The Forces of the Revolution

Who are our friends — the forces of revolution? What are the forces of revolution on the Palestinian level?

It is essential to define the forces of revolution on the Palestinian level from a class angle. To say that the Palestinian people with all their classes are in the same revolutionary position with regard to Israel and that all classes of the Palestinian people have the same revolutionary capacity because they find themselves without a territory and live outside their country would be unrealistic and unscientific. Such a statement would be correct had the entire Palestinian people been experiencing the same material living conditions. As it is, the Palestinian people do not all live under these same conditions but rather under different living conditions, a fact which we cannot scientifically ignore. Therefore it is necessary to stop at these different conditions and the different positions to which they give rise.

The class structure in an underdeveloped community naturally differs from that of industrial communities. In an industrial community there is a strong capitalist class opposite a numerous working class, and the basic struggle in such communities is a sharp clash between these classes.

Such a picture does not apply to underdeveloped communities. This is true, but underdeveloped communities are also class communities in which there are exploiting upper classes represented by colonialism, feudalism and the bourgeoisie. On the other hand the exploited classes are represented by the workers and peasants. Each class has its own position with regard to the course of history and vis-a-vis the revolution. The upper classes are conservative, rejecting change and opposing the course of history, while the lower classes are revolutionary, seeking change and pushing history along its upward dialectical course. Consequently, discussion of the special nature of the underdeveloped communities is scientific to the extent that it stops scientifically before the special nature of the class situation in these communities and its differentiation from the class situation in the advanced communities. On the other hand, it becomes prejudiced and unscientific if it dismisses the class question in these communities or minimizes the importance in the difference in these classes’ position with regard to the revolution.

As for the contention that we are now passing through a stage of national liberation and not of socialist revolution, this relates to the subject of which classes are engaged in the struggle, which of them are with and which are against the revolution at each of its stages, but it does not eliminate the class question or the question of class struggle.

National liberation battles are also class battles. They are battles between colonialism and the feudal and capitalist class whose interests are linked with those of the colonialist on the one hand, and the other classes of the people representing the greater part of the nation on the other. If the saying that national liberation battles are national battles is intended to mean that they are battles waged by the overwhelming majority of the nation’s masses, then this saying is true, but if it is intended to mean that these battles are different from the class struggle between the exploiters and the exploited, then the saying is untrue.

It is also from this angle that we must consider the statement that the Zionist Israeli peril threatens the entire Palestinian and Arab existence, and that this struggle is one between the Zionist axis and the Arab axis If this statement is intended to mean that the Zionist peril threatens the overwhelming majority of the Palestinian and Arab masses, then it is true and certain, but if it is intended deny the meeting of interests between Israel and Arab reactionaries (in spite of their numerical inferiority to the masses of the people) or to deny the difference in the revolutionary roles of the other classes, considering the revolutionary role of the petit bourgeoisie living in urban areas to be on the same level as that of the rural or camp population, then this is untrue.

To sum up, our class view of the forces of the Palestinian revolution must take into account the special nature of the class situation in underdeveloped communities and the fact that our battle is one of national liberation, as well as the special nature of the Zionist peril. This, however, means that we must adopt a scientific definition of the revolutionary classes and their roles in the light of these special features, and should not at all lead to the dismissal of the class view in the definition of the forces of revolution.

Workers and peasants are the mainstay of the revolution, its basic class material and its leadership.

In the light of scientific socialist thinking, the experiences of world revolutions and the facts in evidence on the Palestinian field, we must clearly define and identify the revolutionary classes that are capable of shouldering the entire burden.

The revolutionary classes on the Palestinian field are the workers and peasants because it is these classes which are daily suffering the oppressive exploitation process exercised by world imperialism and its allies in our homeland.

It is the workers and peasants who today fill the miserable camps in which most Palestinians live. When we refer to the camps, we in reality refer to a class situation representing the workers, peasants and the destitute sections of the petit bourgeoisie of the Palestinian people.

Here lie the forces of revolution... the forces of change. Here we find real preparation for long years of fighting. Here are the particular daily living conditions which drive people on to fight and die because the difference between death and life under such conditions is not much.

It is by starting from this objectivity that we are able to define the distinguishing mark between our people’s unsuccessful struggle during the past fifty years and this new stage of our struggle, to draw a line of demarcation between clarity and vagueness, and to determine the great difference between a revolutionary march ending in victory and a hesitant, unsteady march ending in failure.

When we have addressed ourselves to the workers and peasants – the inhabitants of camps, villages and poor urban districts-and armed them with political awareness, organisation and fighting means, we shall have created the firm material foundation for a historical liberation revolution. It is the rise of such a solid revolutionary backbone that will enable us to conclude class alliances to benefit the revolution without exposing it to vacillation, deviation or defeat.

Organization and Mobilisation of Palestinian Revolutionary Forces

What is the form of organization for the mobilisation of the forces of the revolution on the basis of this analysis? What is the form of the relations among these forces in the light of the existing Palestinian situation? What is our concept of Palestinian national unity in the light of all this?

Political organization armed with the theory of scientific socialism is the highest form for the organization and mobilization of the working class forces on the greatest scale. This is a fact which has been made perfectly clear by all revolutionary experiences in this century. The experiences of China, Vietnam and Cuba, as well as the experience of October Revolution, all point to and confirm this fact. By clarifying and scientifically explaining the state of misery suffered by the working class, by revealing the process of exploitation of this class by imperialism and capitalism, by indicating the nature of the major conflict in which the communities of the present age are living on intemational and local levels, by explaining the motion of history and its trend, by defining the role of the working class and the importance of this role and by indicating the weapons possessed by this class, scientific socialist theory renders the working class conscious of its existence, conditions and future, thus permitting the mobilisation of the forces of this class on the greatest scale.

Scientific socialist ideology and world revolutionary experiences have indicated clearly how revolutionary political organization armed with a revolutionary theory – the theory of the working class – is the way to self-organization by the working class, the concentration of its forces, the consolidation of its potentialities and the definition of its strategy in its battle. If the experiences of the Palestinian and Arab national movement have not hitherto achieved success in confronting and triumphing over imperialism, Zionism, Israel and the forces of reaction, it is because they have not adopted this organization theory. The failure of political organizations in the Palestinian and Arab field does not constitute a condemnation of the political organization of parties in general, but rather a condemnation of a line of political organizations which have not been set up from the ideological class and organizational viewpoints on the basis of this theory and these experiences. The revolutionary promotion of the Palestinian national movement cannot rest on the condemnation of the idea of revolutionary political organization as a principle, and the only way before it, is to adopt the political organization the nature of which has been defined in the light of scientific socialist theory and past experiences.

This organizational form is the organizational framework for the concentration of the basic revolutionary force: the working class. Moreover it is this form which is capable during the stages of national liberation, as the major revolutionary experiences have proved, of mobilising the peasant forces and of concentrating them on the greatest scale.

Consequently, by adopting this form, we would have created the framework for the organization and mobilisation of the basic revolutionary classes represented by the workers and peasants.

The wide national front proposed in the light of this picture is, in our opinion, the revolutionary realisation of Palestinian national unity. If Palestinian national unity is intended to mean the concentration of all revolutionary forces at the stage of democratic national liberation to stand in the face of the basic conflict with Israel, imperialism and reaction, then this is the form which serves this end.

  1. We regard Palestinian national unity as a basic factor for the mobilisation of all forces of the revolution to confront the enemy camp, and on this basis we must take an effective position to achieve it.
  2. The form of national unity is the rise of a front in which all classes of the revolution – workers, peasants and petit bourgeoisie – will be represented.
  3. We must take action to mobilise the workers and peasants in one single revolutionary political organization armed with scientific socialist theory. On this basis we must effectively endeavour to unite all Palestinian leftist organizations which through contact and experience can be persuaded to adopt this analysis.

Now, does our strategic thought about the Palestine liberation struggle stop at the frontiers of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian field?

If we remember the enemy camp and recall its size and nature, we will immediately realise that any strategic thinking about the Palestinian liberation struggle must cover the mobilisation of all forces of the revolution on the Arab and world levels, because it is only through such mobilisation and concentration that we can create the power capable of confronting Israel, Zionism, world imperialism and Arab reaction. The Palestinian revolution which is fused together with the Arab revolution and in alliance with world revolution is alone capable of achieving victory. To confine the Palestinian revolution within the limits of the Palestinian people would mean failure, if we remember the nature of the enemy alliance which we are facing.

Forces of the Revolution on the Arab and World Level

The strategy of the democratic national revolution in this age has become clear through the Vietnamese experience and before it the Cuban and Chinese experience.

The main lines of this strategy are: the mobilisation and concentration of the forces of the poor workers and peasants on the greatest scale, the leadership of the revolution by these classes through a political organization which adheres to and is guided by the ideology of scientific socialism in alliance with the forces of the petit bourgeoisie whose interests do not conflict with the nature of the democratic national revolution; and reliance on armed struggle to overcome the enemy’s technological superiority through a protracted war commencing with guerilla warfare and developing into a popular liberation war which the people are determined to win.

The First World War was a war among the imperialist capitalist powers themselves, and its object was to redistribute world markets among these powers. That war was an armed explosion of the conflicts among world capitalist blocs in their race for the exploitation and plunder of peoples’ wealth and for monopolising their markets. That war was not a revolutionary war waged by the working class in the progressive countries and by the enslaved peoples against the exploiting capitalists. The same applies to some degree to the Second World War. Consequently, conflicts among the colonialist capitalist powers were the principal manifestation on the world stage. The forces of revolution represented by the working class in the advanced countries and by the enslaved peoples, were not in a position to transform these wars into revolutionary wars which could place the basic conflict on the world level in its natural position between the exploiters and the exploited. However, the consequences of the Second World War and the events which followed in its wake, crystallized the world situation in a new form. The forces of colonialism concentrated and crystallised into one camp: the imperialist camp led by the United States in opposition to the camp of the socialist forces and persecuted peoples as the opposite pole in this struggle.

All this had the effect of crystallising the imperialist picture and its basic features:

  1. All colonialist capitalist forces gathered together in one camp, that of world imperialism, under the leadership of the United States.
  2. The immense size of U.S. capital, its wide field of activity and its interconnection with European capital is the concrete basis for the unity of this camp and the unity of its interests, as it is also the concrete basis for the United States’ leadership of this camp.
  3. Conflicts among the partners in this camp which have from time to time taken the form of a conflict between colonialism represented by Britain and France and neo-colonialism represented by the United States, have remained only partial in the face of the main conflict which all these colonialist forces have begun to confront in their struggle against the socialist camp and national liberation movements. Although this partial conflict between the United States on the one hand and Britain and France on the other has taken a prominent form – as was the case during the Tripartite Aggression (1956), or during the Algerian revolution, or in certain areas of Africa – yet it has generally continued to be governed by the more important and more serious conflict between imperialism and the forces of revolution.
  4. The attempts of de Gaulle’s France to break out of this U.S. imperialist ring have not until now made any radical change in this picture.
  5. The technical development and immense growth in the means of production and in the war industry have led to the strengthening of this camp’s positions as regards both its control of the world market and its ability to defend its own existence and interests.

  1. The U.S. today is endeavouring to maintain and defend its interests and to face the revolutionary camp with new techniques which differ from those used by colonialism in defending its interests by force and armies of occupation. This new technique is the basic feature of neo-colonialism.

The U.S. has established a series of pacts and defence treaties to face the socialist camp and to encircle it and limit its expansion, and also to neutralise national liberation movements. Neo-colonialism is making full use of its intelligence and colonialist experience in its long and continuous effort to maintain its existence, influence and interests.

  1. Experience in Vietnam, Cuba and the Dominican Republic has shown that, in the event of failure of modern techniques in the colonisation of peoples, the U.S. will revert to armed force, invasion and the landing of armies to preserve its influence, markets and interests.

In its liberation march to recover its land and freedom, the Palestinian people today faces this unified imperialist camp with its technological superiority, its skill in fighting and neutralising revolutions, its ability to take over behind other forces, its readiness for direct confrontation whenever it feels that the forces behind which it takes cover are no longer capable of striking at peoples’ movements, and its endeavours to isolate national movements from the world revolutionary camp and neutralise the Soviet Union’s efforts through the threat of nuclear war.

The U.S. tried to contain the Arab liberation movement, to bargain with it and to keep it from organic fusion with the world revolutionary camp. It then tried to undermine and destroy this movement through Israel and its military power, and later tried again to contain it while it was in a state of weakness. Today it is still trying through Israel, by providing it with all requisites of power, to keep this movement at its mercy in order to contain or destroy it.

To face this situation, the Palestinian and Arab liberation movement must: (1) have clarity of perspective; (2) mobilise all its forces; (3) produce political, economic and military programmes to ensure such mobilisation; (4) adopt the course of popular liberation war to overcome the enemy’s technological superiority; and (5) enter into full alliance with all revolutionary forces on the world level.

It is this effective alliance which ensures the creation of the camp whereby we and all enslaved and anti- imperialist forces will be able to find the force which is capable of defeating imperialism in spite of its points of strength at this stage.

Our first friends are the enslaved peoples who are suffering from imperialism and imperialist exploitation of their efforts and wealth, or who are living in the same danger represented by the U.S. today in attempting to impose its influence on rising peoples. The peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America are daily suffering the life of wretchedness, poverty, ignorance and backwardness which is a result of colonialism and imperialism in their lives. The major conflict experienced by the world of today is the conflict between exploiting world imperialism on the one hand and these peoples and the socialist camp on the other. The alliance of the Palestinian and Arab national liberation movement with the liberation movement in Vietnam, the revolutionary situation in Cuba and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the national liberation movements in Asia, Africa and Latin America is only way to create the camp that is capable of facing and triumphing over the imperialist camp.

The Palestinian and Arab liberation movement in alliance with national liberation movements in all undeveloped and poor countries will, in facing world imperialism led by the U.S., find a strong ally to back its forces and augment its power of resistance. This ally is the People’s Republic of China which in reality is still facing the same U.S. peril that is attempting to encircle and isolate it and impede its growth.

Along with this series of basic revolutionary alliances we must also, through our fighting and political effort and through the clear nature of our struggle as one of national liberation, draw to our side all liberation forces in Europe, America and every part of the world.

With such strategy on the international level we can encircle Israel, Zionism and imperialism and mobilise revolutionary forces on the world level to stand with us the struggle.

This picture may seem imaginary in the light of the Palestinian and Arab liberation movement’s actual circumstances at the present stage, but persistent revolutionary action and the promotion of the liberation movement to the level of a true, steadfast and long-range revolution will ensure its crystallisation and actual materialisation. The translation of all these alliances will constitute not only sympathy but also the true, effective support from which we create the ability to stand firm and triumph.

Facing Imperialist Technological Superiority

How can weak peoples face imperialist technological superiority?

Our confrontation with the enemy camp represented by Israel, Zionism, imperialism and Arab reaction will be through a strategy aiming at the concentration of the forces of the Palestinian revolution on the Palestinian, Arab and world levels so as to face this enemy with a revolutionary camp that is superior to it in size and numbers, but this alone is not sufficient for victory. One of the enemy’s basic points of strength is its scientific and technological superiority, and this superiority is reflected strongly in its military capabilities which we will face in our revolutionary war. How can we face and overcome this superiority?

The enemy’s scientific, technological and military-strategic superiority is not a light matter nor is it of a secondary nature. On the military level, this superiority means quick mobilisation for the enemy, the volume of this mobilisation, the standard of training, the high quality of military leadership, surprises in arms and plans during the fighting, overall superiority in arms and modern warfare and the ability to control and use them with shock-speed.

Any thorough scientific study of the 1948, 1956 and 1967 wars would clearly bring out the role played by the enemy’s technological and military-strategic superiority and the reflection of this role in the military field in the enemy’s triumph and our loss of these battles. It would be foolish to give our military defeats in three major confrontations an arbitrary superficial explanation that would mislead us into the belief that we could have won these battles had it not been for certain coincidences or certain errors. Our failure in facing Zionism and Israel during the past fifty years cannot be explained except on the basis of our weak and meagre political, economic, social and military structure in the face of a movement and a society that are scientifically, technologically and strategically superior to us, and our erroneous view of the battle and the confrontation strategy adopted by us until now. Our confrontation with Israel and imperialism cannot lead positively to victory if it consists of a classical military confrontation taking the form of a conventional war between the enemy’s army and forces and our regular troops. Such a war would be won by Israel and imperialism because their superiority in arms and quality, their ability to use the modem war machine and move it with shock speed and flexibility, and their economic capabilities which sustain such a war, would enable them to triumph over us in such battles. Three experiences are a sufficient lesson for us. Conventional warfare which today takes an extremely speedy form is the manner In which the enemy exercises its overwhelming technological superiority, and is also the manner whereby all the points of weakness in an underdeveloped society are revealed.

It is not a matter of “modem arms and the procurement thereof”. The basic requirement is the human element capable of thoroughly understanding the power of controlling them and using them in the most efficient manner and of utilising the modem war machine. This in tum depends on the technological and scientific standard of the humans carrying such arms.

This is a factor which at present is not in our favour, with the result that we are not position to face Israel (and behind it the United States which would throw its own forces into the battle if the tide would turn in our favour) through a conventional military confrontation. The weapons of weak peoples in facing imperialist forces and their superiority have become well--known as a result of the experiences of peoples who have waged liberation wars in this age and achieved victory over imperialism. The technological and military superiority of imperialism is faced by weak peoples with guerrilla warfare and popular liberation wars. Through guerrilla warfare we avoid direct confrontation with the enemy and consequently prevent it from exercising its full technological superiority against our forces and from crushing them with lightning speed. Guerrilla warfare aiming at attacking the enemy’s weak points, quick withdrawal and avoidance of direct clashes can cause the enemy small losses which accumulate daily without allowing it to face our entire forces and crush them quickly with its extremely mobile and deadly war machine. In this way the enemy is made to feel that it has begun to lose its basic advantage, and the balance of power begins to shift — slowly at first but accelerating with time — in favour of the armed revolutionary forces. While the guerrilla war against the enemy is going on, our forces increase, gaining experience, strength and skill in the art of war, and attaining such numbers and quality as to render them capable of waging battles against units of the enemy forces. The cycle begins with a combination of guerrilla war and the beginnings of the popular liberation war. With the escalation of the revolution, the growing harassment of enemy forces and the enemy’s need to distribute its forces in every town and village and along the borders of all fronts, the image begins to shift towards large- scale and effective war.

We cannot completely eliminate the forces of the enemy or achieve full liberation through guerrilla war, but guerrilla war is the first stage in a protracted war. The revolutionary army will be able to triumph over the enemy’s superiority through the following conditions: be politically aware and coalesce with the organised masses that support it and supply it with its human and material requirements; ally itself with world revolutionary forces who will furnish it with support and reinforcements; gain experience and efficiency through its struggle and coalesce with the revolutionary party which provides it with a clear view and an organic connection with all revolutionary forces at all levels. And with heroic determination engendered in it by years of oppression, humiliation, wretchedness and exploitation exercised by Israel and imperialism. on our land; the revolutionary army will be able to triumph over the enemy’s superiority.

In his book People’s War, People’s Army General Giap says:

“The balance of forces decidedly showed up our weaknesses against the enemy’s power. The Vietnamese people’s war of liberation had, therefore, to be a hard and long-lasting war in order to succeed in creating conditions for victory. All the conceptions born of impatience and aimed at obtaining speedy victory could only be gross errors. It was necessary to firmly grasp the strategy of a long-term resistance, and to exalt the will to be self-supporting in order to maintain and gradually augment our forces, while nibbling at and progressively destroying those of the enemy; it was necessary to accumulate thousands of small victories to turn them into great success, thus gradually altering the balance of forces, in transforming our weakness into power and carrying off final victory.”

In other passages of the same book, General Giap says:

”The Vietnamese People’s War of Liberation proved that an insufficiently equipped people’s army, but an army fighting for a just cause, can, with appropriate strategy and tactics, combine the conditions needed to conquer a modem army of aggressive imperialism.”

“The War of Liberation of the Vietnamese people proves that, in the face of an enemy as powerful as he is cruel, victory is possible only by uniting the whole people within the bosom of a firm and wide national united front based on the worker-peasant alliance.”

We have cited these passages because they indicate the basic features of the political thought which today directs all the democratic national liberation revolutions that have stood or can stand firmly in the face of world imperialism.

Our national, long-term liberation struggle will mean our fusion in a new way of life which will be our gateway towards progress and advancement.

General Remarks

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine adopts this strategy as a general guide of action.

Thought directs revolutionary action which in turn produces results, situations and reactions which influence the theoretical view of things.

On this basis, to the extent we stress these strategic lines as a guide to our action, we at the same time assert that we will not understand them in fixed static forms. The experience itself will deepen and crystallise this view, enrich it and complete it in some of its aspects. It will also develop this view and may modify some of its aspects. Such a view of this strategy is the scientific dialectical view which rejects immobility and rigidity, undertakes criticism and self- criticism from time to time, benefits from experience and establishes between thought and revolutionary action an organic and reactive link which enlarges and deepens thought so that it will come to guide action in a more proper and more correct manner. Any other view is, in point of fact, idealistic and rigid, leading to failure.

Looking at it from another angle, this strategy represents a general view of the battle and its main trends and consequently does not stop at many of the details, inter-links and sinuosities which will fill every phase of the battle and accompany each of its lines. For instance, in our definition of the main line of conflict, we have not stopped at the lines of conflict which will exist and react among the enemy forces themselves, or within the ranks of the revolutionary forces. Thus our definition of Israel as one of the enemy forces is not intended to convey a static picture of this force. Israel does not represent a homogeneous unity within which there is no room for conflict. There will be within Israel more than one politico-social force and there will be conflict among these forces. The intensity of these conflicts may at times rise or fall according the progress and phase of the battle. Although the conflict now existing within Israel between the so-called “hawks” and “doves” does not leave any appreciable effect on the image of the battle, yet the more radical conflicts within Israel. which are now dormant, may come out and gain in intensity during coming periods. Similarly, when we say that there is an organic connection between Israel and imperialism we do not mean that there are no latent partial conflicts between them.

The main line of conflict defined by this strategy is not a straight geometric line with two conflicting forces standing on either side. It is in reality a crooked dialectical line on each side of which stands a group of allied forces co-existing under the shadow of this alliance. At times this alliance grows stronger and at other times the conflicts among them grow more pronounced so that the picture becomes sometimes a mixed and interwoven image moving along the two sides of the main line of conflict. Inasmuch as it is important and fundamental to see at every stage of the struggle the accurate and detailed picture which will enable us to determine our tactical step in a scientific manner, it is equally important and fundamental that our detailed tactical view at each stage be guided by our long term strategic view. It is this strategic view which will enable us to lead and direct the struggle and to avoid falling into the error of experimentation, impulsiveness, drifting behind events or reacting to events instead of acting to direct them.

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