First Published: In Struggle! No. 162, June 12, 1979
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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“Zionist” and “pro-imperialist”. Those are the CCL(M-L)’s latest accusations against IN STRUGGLE!. In the June 8 issue of The Forge, the League published excerpts from a letter written by the Vancouver section of the Canadian-Arab Friendship Association (CAFA). In this letter, CAFA rejects the criticisms which IN STRUGGLE! made of the leadership given by the PLO to the struggle of the Palestinian people. The League gives this letter blanket endorsement. And so we can read in The Forge:
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 peoples. The CAFA also show that these attacks result from a line which, despite its ’leftist’ verbiage, totally denies the revolutionary role of national liberation struggles.
The League thus adopts the CAFA’s arguments as its own.
But by openly supporting the contents of this letter, the League has indeed put its foot in its mouth. Once again, the facts show that, for years, IN STRUGGLE! has organized public meetings, participated in demonstrations and called for financial support for the struggle of the Palestinian people. IN STRUGGLE! has firmly denounced the manoeuvres of U.S. imperialism and Zionism.It has denounced Canadian imperialism’s support for Israel and the USSR’s support for UN resolution 242, which considers the Palestinians as ordinary “refugees”. It condemned the Camp David agreement, Sadat’s betrayal, and the silent complicity of the new Chinese leaders who, applying their revisionist three worlds theory, call for the unity of the peoples with their reactionary Arab leaders and are currently supplying Egypt with military planes during its negotiations with Begin.
It’s fine and dandy for the revisionist League to talk about Zionist and imperialist propaganda, but it is the League that goes about voluntarily camouflaging the ultra-reactionary activities of these enemies of the Palestinian people. As well, the excerpts from the letter of the Vancouver section of CAFA, which the League chose to publish in The Forge, reveal the full extent of its opportunism. Why, for example, did the League choose to cut the passage in the letter which deals with the “strategic alliances (of the PLO) with socialist countries“? Could it be because it knows full well that these “socialist countries” include the USSR, according to the PLO? In its effort to win friends and influence people, the League is even ready to go so far as to consider that the USSR (which normally the League considers as “the greatest enemy of the peoples”) might be an ally of the Palestinian revolution.
IN STRUGGLE!’s position on the struggle of the Palestinian people and its criticisms addressed to the PLO are clear. First, the PLO’s line has, since the beginning, been a line of seeking support from the reactionary Arab regimes, which are fundamentally pro-imperialist, and from Soviet social-imperialism. Neither the Arab peoples in the region nor the Palestinian people have any interest in looking for support from reactionary forces, something which has been dearly shown by the history of the Palestinian revolution itself.
Second, the Palestinian revolution has nothing to gain from terrorist activities aimed at the people living in occupied Palestine. This does not mean, however, that IN STRUGGLE! in any way questions the necessity of the armed struggle of the Palestinian people against imperialism, Zionism and all reactionary forces – a struggle which IN STRUGGLE! has supported for many years.
Finally, the Palestinian revolution, with its thousands of dead and countless sacrifices, deserves our full support. And it is precisely because we heartily wish to see this revolution triumph that we cannot keep silent about the enemies that it must confront which include Zionism and all forms of imperialism.
We will deal further with this question in a future issue.