First Published: The Forge, Vol. 4, No. 22, June 8, 1979
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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In a letter sent to THE FORGE, the Canadian Arab Friendship Association denounced the revisionist group In Struggle for attacking the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in its newspaper.
The letter shows clearly how In Struggle echoes the worst Zionist and imperialist propaganda at a time when the Palestinian people need the support of all the world’s peoples.
The CAFA also shows that these attacks result from a line which, despite its ’leftist’ verbiage, totally denies the revolutionary role of national liberation struggles.
The Canadian Arab Friendship Association in Vancouver is made up of Arabs and Canadians who are building support for the Palestinian revolution. In its newspaper, ARAB STRUGGLE, the Association has come.out in support of other liberation struggles, especially in Eritrea and Central Africa.
The following are excerpts from the Association’s letter. The subtitles are ours.
* * *
The “In Struggle” newspaper published in its May 1/79 issue, an article entitled “Who are the true friends of the Palestinian revolution?,” which claims to examine the “orientation of the Palestinian people’s struggle.” The article itself, and the people behind it, need to be examined more closely, especially to determine whose interest this article is serving.
The main objective of the article was to discredit the Palestinian people’s struggle and its leadership, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), on both the political and military fronts. On the military front, the article mentions a few of the operations of the PLO and concludes as follows:
It is difficult to understand how these actions are compatible with the political objectives of the Palestinian revolution which are to create a secular State of Palestine where Moslems, Jews and Christians will live together in equality. These terrorist actions can only spread fear and distrust among the Jewish masses, thus furnishing arms for the Zionist Anti-Palestine propaganda. The struggle of the Palestinian people has nothing to gain from this kind of military operation.
So this is what In Struggle theoreticians think of the Palestinian armed struggle – “terrorists’ action.” In reaching this conclusion, they displayed either a gross ignorance of the Palestinian struggle or a calculated campaign of distortion, similar to the Zionist and imperialist propaganda.
The great majority of the PLO’s military operations inside the homeland are against exclusively military and economic targets; a limited number are directed against Zionist settlers, although not in a random fashion, for each of these has a specific political significance. However, “In Struggle” selectively picked for its analysis only a few operations that seemed to be aimed at “civilians” while omitting even any mention of all the others...
In Struggle’s article tries to show the Palestinian military operations as isolated acts of “terrorism” that do not have a mass base of support, and as if they are not part of the strategy of the Palestinian Liberation Movement to mobilize the Palestinian people inside and outside Palestine. With this analysis, In Struggle trails in the footsteps of Sadat, who after the signing of the sell-out treaty, commenting on the Palestinian operation, declared that a bomb here and a bomb there will not liberate Palestine.
The Palestinian people realize one fact, and that is without the armed struggle, there cannot be a revolution. They also consider the political mass struggle that accompanies this strategy to be complementary to it, not its alternative.
... In Struggle’s Third Congress adopted an incorrect theoretical basis for not supporting most liberation movements, including the Palestinian Liberation Movement, because they are not led by a “proletarian leadership... as this is the only guarantee for real victory, for true liberation from imperialism..” (In Struggle, Apr. 24/79). We don’t want to enter into the details of their excuses for not supporting liberation movements, but we quote Lenin and advise them to read from his writings, “On The National Liberation Movement.” He says: “National wars against the imperialist powers are not only possible and probable, they are inevitable, they are progressive and revolutionary.”
We in CAFA advise “In Struggle” that if they want to lead any struggle – which they are not doing at this stage – to be more objective, scientific and humble, to learn from and to support other people’s struggles, not by discrediting them but by helping them against their enemies. “In Struggle” could help the Palestinian people’s struggle in many ways – it could help to solve the “Jewish question” and encourage its members to take a clear anti-Zionist position in action, not just in words, that is if the leadership of “In Struggle” is sincere.
Because we in CAFA consider their new position as an antagonistic one against the Palestinian people and we will no longer deal with In Struggle as a friendly organization on any level.
Also, the Canadian Arab Federation, the national organization of Arab Communities in Canada, passed the following resolution in its last annual convention held in Ottawa, May 19-20, 1979:
... Be it furthermore resolved to condemn those organizations who claim to be progressive and at the same time attack the armed struggle of the Palestine Liberation Movement.
We in CAFA, as an affiliate association of the Canadian Arab Federation, abide by this resolution and condemn the “Marxist Leninist Organization of Canada In Struggle” for their present position.
And we say to them, that after In Struggle’s Third Congress, we know who are the hidden enemies of the Palestinian Revolution and all other liberation movements.
Canadian Arab Friendship Association