Palestinian Political Resolutions, Cairo, 17 July 1968

The Palestine Liberation Organization at its meeting in Cairo in July 1968 produced a revised version of the Palestinian National Charter, originally issued in 1964. At the same time the Palestinian National Assembly passed a series of Political Resolutions. These are less well-known than the Charter, and as far as I can determine are not available on the internet.

The following excerpts from the Political Resolutions have been taken from the collection Documents on Palestine, Volume II, pages 316-319, published by PASSIA (Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs) in 2007 and edited by Dr. Mahdi Abul Hadi. I have corrected a few errors in the transcription using the Google Books preview of The Israel-Palestine Conflict: a Documentary Record, by Yehuda Lukacs.


The Palestinian Cause at Palestinian level:

Inasmuch as a definition of the objectives of the Palestinian struggle, the methods it adopts and the instruments it employs, is essential for the unification of that struggle under one leadership, the Assembly, having debated the matter, endorses the following definitions:

First – Objectives:

1. The liberation of the entire territory of Palestine, over which the Palestinian Arab people shall exercise their sovereignty.

2. That the Palestinian Arab people have the right to establish the form of society they desire in their own land and to decide on their natural place in Arab unity.

3. The affirmation of the Palestinian Arab identity, and rejection of any attempt to establish tutelage over it.

Second – Methods:

1. The Palestinian Arab people have chosen the course of armed struggle in the fight to recover their usurped territories and rights. The current phase in their armed struggle started before the defeat of June,1967 and has endured and escalated ever since. Moreover, despite the fact that this struggle renders a service to the entire Arab nation at the present stage, insofar as it prevents the enemy from laying claim to a status-quo based on surrender, and insofar as it keeps the flame of resistance alive and maintains a climate of war, preoccupies the enemy and is an object of concern to the entire world community, that struggle is nevertheless a true and distinct expression of the aspirations of the Palestinian Arab people and is inspired by their objectives. In addition, we feel bound to declare quite frankly that this struggle goes beyond the scope of what it has become customary to call “the elimination of the consequences of the aggression”, and all other such slogans, for the objectives of this struggle are those of the Palestinian Arab people, as set out in the preceding paragraph. The fight will not cease; it will continue, escalate and expand until final victory is won, no matter how long it takes and regardless of the sacrifices involved.

2. The enemy has chosen Blitzkrieg as the form of combat most suitable to him, in view of the tactical mobility at his command which enabled him, at the moment of battle, to unleash forces superior to those deployed by the Arabs. The enemy chose this method in the belief that a lightning victory would lead to surrender, according to the pattern of 1948, and not to Arab armed resistance. In dealing with it, we must adopt a method derived from the elements of strength in ourselves and elements of weakness in the enemy.

3. The enemy consists of three interdependent forces: a) Israel, b) World Zionism. c) World imperialism, under the direction of the United States of America. Moreover, it is incontestable that world imperialism makes use of the forces of reaction linked with colonialism. If we are to achieve victory and gain our objectives, we shall have to strike at the enemy wherever he may be, and at the nerve centers of his power. This is to be achieved through the use of military, political and economic weapons and information media, as part of a unified and comprehensive plan designed to sap his strengths, scatter his forces, destroy the links between them and undermine their common objectives.

4. A long-drawn out battle has the advantage of allowing us to expose world Zionism, its activities, conspiracies, and its complicity with world imperialism and to point out the damage and complications it causes to the interests and the security of many comities, and the threat it constitutes to world peace. This will eventually unmask it, bringing to light the grotesque facts of its true nature, and will isolate it from the centers of power and establish safeguards against its ever reaching them…

5. An information campaign must be launched that will throw light on the following facts: a) The true nature of the Palestinian war is that of a battle between a small people, which is the Palestinian people, and Israel, which has the backing of world Zionism and world imperialism. b) This war will have its effect on the interests of any country that support Israel or world Zionism. c) The hallmark of the Palestinian Arab people is resistance, struggle and liberation, that of the enemy, aggression, usurpation and the disavowal of all values governing decent human relations.

6. A comprehensive plan must be drawn up to fuse the Arab struggle and Palestinian struggle into a single battle. This requires concentrated ideological, information and political effort that will make it clear to the Arab nation that it can never enjoy peace or security until the tide of Zionist invasion is stemmed, and that its territory will be occupied piecemeal unless it deploys its resources in the battle, not to mention the extent to which the Zionist presence constitutes a drain on its resources and an impediment to the development of its society. Palestinian action regards the Arab nation as a reserve fluid of political, financial and human resources on which it can draw and whose support and participation will make it possible to fight the successive stages in the battle.

7. The peoples and governments of the Arab nation must be made to understand that they are under an obligation to protect the Palestinian struggle so that it may be able to confront the enemy on firm ground and direct all its forces and capabilities to this confrontation, fully assured of its own safety and security. This obligation is not only a national duty; it is a necessity deriving from the fact that the Palestinian struggle is the vanguard in the defence of all Arab countries.

8. Any objective study of the enemy will reveal that his potential for endurance, except where a brief engagement is concerned, is limited. The drain on this potential that can be brought about by a long-drawn out engagement will inevitably provide the opportunity for a decisive confrontation in which the entire Arab nation can take part and emerge victories.It is the duty of Palestinians everywhere to devote themselves to making the Arab nation aware of these facts, and to propagating the will to struggle. It is also their duty to endure, sacrifice and take part in the struggle.

Practical Application in the Field of Armed Struggle:

1. The Palestine Liberation Organization is a grouping of Palestinian forces in one national front for the liberation of the territory of Palestine through armed revolution.

2. This Organization has its Charter which defines its objectives, directs its course and organizes its activities. The Organization also has a National Assembly and an Executive Command chosen by the National Assembly, which Command forms the supreme executive authority of the Organization, as defined by its constitution.

The Executive Committee shall draw up a unified general plan for Palestinian action at all levels and in all fields. This plan is to be implemented through the instruments of the revolution gathered in this Council, each of which must abide by the role assigned to it by this plan and by the decisions of the Command.

Proposals for the Creation of a Spurious Palestinian Entity:

The Zionist movement along with imperialism and its tool, Israel, is seeking to consolidate Zionist aggression against Palestine and the military victories won by Israel in 1948 and 1967, by establishing a Palestinian entity in the territories occupied during the June, 1967 aggression. This entity would owe its existence to the legitimization and perpetuation of the State of Israel, which is absolutely incompatible with the Palestinian Arab people’s right to the whole of Palestine, their homeland.

Such a spurious entity would in fact be an Israeli colony and would lead to the liquidation of the Palestinian cause once and for all to the benefit of Israel. The creation of such an entity would, moreover, constitute an interim stage during which Zionism could evacuate the territory of Palestine occupied during the June 5 war of its Arab inhabitants, as a preliminary step to incorporating it in the Israeli entity. In addition, this would lead to the creation of a subservient Palestinian Arab administration in the territories occupied during the June 5 war on which Israel could rely in combating the Palestinian revolution. Also to be considered in this context are imperialist and Zionist schemes to place the Palestinian territories occupied since June 5 under international administration and protection. For these reason, the National Assembly hereby declares its categorical rejection of the idea of establishing a spurious Palestinian entity in the territory of Palestine occupied since June 5, and of any form of international protection. The Assembly hereby declares, moreover, that any individual or party, Palestinian Arab or non-Palestinian, who advocates or support the creation of such a subservient entity is the enemy of the Palestinian Arab people and the Arab nation.

Palestinian Struggle in the International Field:

The Security Council Resolution and the Peaceful Solution:

1. The Security Council resolution of November 22, 1967 is hereby rejected for the following reasons:

a) The resolution calls for the cessation of the state of hostility between the Arab nations and Israel. This entails the cessation of the state of hostility, free passage for Israeli shipping through Arab waterways, and an Arab commitment to put an end to the boycott of Israel, including the abrogation of all Arab legislation regulating that boycott. The cessation of the state of hostility also entails the relaxation of economic pressure on Israel, so that the door would be opened to an invasion of all Arab markets by Israeli goods, inasmuch as such goods could circulate, be traded in and flood the market regardless of whether or not economic agreements were concluded.

b) The resolution calls for the establishment of secure frontiers to be agreed upon with Israel. Apart from the fact that secure and mutually agreed frontiers involves the de facto recognition of Israel, and an encroachment on the unconditional right of the Palestinian Arab people to the whole of Palestine, which is totally unacceptable to the Arab countries. If the Arab countries agreed to secure frontiers for Israel, they would be committed to Israel’s security, after having first suppressed commando action, put an end to the Palestinian revolution and prevented the Palestinian Arab people and the Arab masses from discharging their sacred national duty to liberate and recover Palestine and to terminate the Zionist and imperialist presence there.

c) The resolution calls for the establishment of permanent peace between the Arab nations and Israel. This would have the following injurious consequences:

1. It would provide Israel with security and stability at domestic, Arab and international levels. This would throw the doors wide open to the Zionist movement, allowing it to entice large sections of Jewish communities in Western Europe and America into immigrating and settling in Israel. These communities have held back from doing so for the past twenty years because of misgiving about the security, future and continued existence of Israel.

2. It would eliminate the reasons, including Arab influence, for which friendly nations have so far not allowed their Jewish citizens to immigrate to Israel, notably in the case of the millions of Jews in the Soviet Union.

3. It would eliminate all reasons for which many countries friendly to the Arab have refrained from recognizing Israel or from dealing with Israel at all levels.

4. It would strengthen the human and geographical barrier that separates the Arab homeland into east and west. This would be extremely injurious, as it would prevent the achievement of even partial, not to mention total, Arab unity.

5. It would be a severe blow to the Palestinian armed struggle and to the Arab liberation movement whose objectives are liberation, social progress and unity. The consequence of this would be increased imperialist influence in the Arab homeland, accompanied by increased Zionism influence, in view of the organic political, economic, and other ties linking Zionism to imperialism. Arab policy would, as a result, be forced away from the line of neutrality and non-alignment.

6. The resolution ignores the Palestine problem, which it does not even mention by name, and ignores the rights of the Arabs of Palestine to their territories and their homeland, referring, to both as if the problem was merely a problem of refugees. This presages the final liquidation of the issue of Palestine as an issue of a land and of a homeland.

7. It was not only territory that the Arab nation lost in June, 1967. Arab dignity and self-confidence were also involved. A peaceful solution might restore some, or even all of those territories to the Arabs, but it would not restore their dignity and self-confidence.

8. The Arab nation must come to realize that it is under an inescapable obligation to defend its homeland, and not to rely on others for its protection or for the recovery of its territories and its rights. If the Arab countries accept a peaceful solution they will be renouncing the Arab will and agreeing that their destiny should be under the control of the Great Powers.

9. A peaceful solution might lead the Arab countries to imagine themselves to be secure. Israel would certainly exploit this illusion to strike again, after creating a political situation more to her liking, and thus realize her expansionist designs on the territories of the Arab comities.

About David Gerald Fincham

Retired academic scientist.
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