Senza Censura N.4 - Marzo 2001

 

"STRATEGIES OF THE COUNTER-REVOLUTION" SECTION

 

Palestinian struggle and international  framework

 

From the begin of Intifada Al-Aqsa until today, the level of conflict has not ceased to be high, not only in Palestine, but also in the Arabic world.

What have changed, and that was unavoidable, are the ways of the struggle in progress.

This requires at least an effort to analyse this conflict in its inner constituents in order to understand the prospective of an anti-imperialistic struggle, not only in the Arabic world.

We think that the following interview with Adel Samara, Marxist Palestinian intellectual, once near to P.F.L.P., can be a useful tool.

To Adel Samara, director of the Al-Mashriq press and economist, we asked his opinion about the present situation.

 

An evaluation depends on your general strategy: if you believe in Oslo Agreement, if your strategy is what I define peace for capital, then you can think that the situation is complex or is damaged.

Or your strategy can be different and be based on the conviction that doesnt exist any chance of peace with the Askenazi-Zionist state because it is a regimen of colonial occupancy that follows the aim of a state entirely Jewish, that has chosen the to be the means of the imperialism in the region , that wants the entire Palestine, that is strongly against to the return of the Palestinian refugees and, moreover, wants the normalization with the Arabic countries.

If you have a clear vision that this state doesnt want peace, that the problem is not Barak or Sharon, because all in all this is a rightist society with good reasons not to desire peace because is strong enough to obtain that, then everything becomes clear and simple to understand.

So there are two approaches to the matter: who wants the peace for the capital has a reason for complaining because this hypothesis is facing problems, but who has a clear vision of the situation wont find anything strange in what is happening, from the victory of Sharon to the elections.  Sharon won because he represents the typical Jewish with his aspirations.

The tragedy for the Arabic countries, included P.A. and those Arabic intellectuals who sustained Oslo, was having hoped to obtain something free, and that is not possible.

 

You once said that after Oslo Agreement the Palestine issue is not central any more. Has this Intifada modified in some matter your opinion?

At the beginning this Intifada has been a real popular insurrection, but afterwards has been exploited by P.A.

The problem is that also the leftist is not saying the truth to the people, that means that this Intifada for some aspects has been provoked by the Israelis on purpose, not only through the visit of Sharon at Al-Aqsa, but also through the Barak administration and his wiliness to carry death and destruction between the Palestinians to make them  ready to accept the lowest level of Agreement, in the same way P.A. tried to exploit this Intifada to improve its position at the table of the negotiations and between people.

In the same way other organizations tried also to strengthen and use Intifada at their advantage.

After the first month Arafat, with its organization Tanzim, began his confrontation with the Israeli army.

From then on we cant speak of spontaneous popular insurrection, so that Intifada.

 

But not only the Tanzim are carrying on the armed struggle against Israelis.

It is true, but I知 referring to the areas under the control of P.A., to the fights with the Israeli army that take place at the border of these areas.

The Intifada, instead, has began as a social and popular clash against the occupation, to which Israelis answered with an enormous use of strength.

What Arafat is carrying on now feeds the belief that there are 2 states and the struggle is on the border. And this is not real, because Israelis occupy the entire Palestine.

Arafat asked his people to use weapons to give the impression to struggle on behalf of the masses, that is false because every gun of Arafat has been bought by Israelis, and consequently nothing of what is happening can really harm Israelis as it remains bound to the Oslo Agreements.

Summing up, a popular raising born against Oslo is now exploited to implement Oslo.

As for the military operations you were referring to, as those of Hamas, it is true that are something completely different, but have nothing in common with Intifada.

It is armed struggle against occupation, a fact that must be always present. Hamas or P.F.-G.C. operations are not part of Intifada but of the general strategy of armed struggle that is the normal relation with the occupation.

 

It is true, but in the last years you cant say that the armed struggle against occupation has had moments of deep intensity: for example Hamas since 96 has been doing only small operations, whereas now it seems he intensified them.

I dont think Hamas has intensified the military operations because of Intifada. The armed struggle strategy of the organizations has its development, its rhythms, its pauses due to different reasons. Having intensified the military actions because of Intifada would be a mistake for Hamas.

 

Therefor in your opinion there is a strict separation between Intifada and armed struggle?

What I mean is that Intifada can be present today and end tomorrow, the armed struggle must have a perspective.

The military actions can be intensified today and diminish tomorrow, but must always go on. They cant stop when Intifada stops.

And above all, unlike Intifada, they cant be controlled by Arafats regime.

This is the problem of the present Intifada, that at the end it has been controlled by P.A.s regime, that is the Oslos regime.

And, unfortunately, this is a catastrophic regime. Intifada should destroy this government, not offer new blood for it.

In the present Intifada an enormous number of people is killed every day. What has been the meaning of these deaths? It would have been better, much more productive indeed the military operations, than this hecatomb for a regime enslaved to imperialism. I could understand if it was a revolutionary government, but on the contrary we are facing a regime that is a tool of Israelis. But the problem is that other political organizations have been manipulated by P.A., and P.A. cant get out from the Oslo path and really move against it.

 

Dont you  see the chance that this context could be destabilized by the increase of the coordination between the organizations and the movements that, at a regional level, go against the normalization of the relation with the Zionist state and the imperialist penetration?

There are two paths as to this problem: the one that tries to obtain a result in the short period and  another one that tries to develop something  more effective and long-lasting.

Unfortunately the Palestinian organizations are moving on the first path, that is, in the last analysis, the one that made possible Oslo.

I知 sorry to say that, but until now our society has been unable to create a revolutionary movement.

Why the general secretary of P.F.L.P. (Abu Mustafa  ndr) is here? To struggle against Oslo? It is completely false. He came here because he was allowed. How could that be an element of mobilization against Oslo. It is not believable.

As long as the present leftist is in good relation with the government, it will be like a break as to the possibility to create something alternative.

Actually P.F.L.P. doesnt exist. There are only offices, leaders talking, but in the streets there is nothing! For this reason the last Intifada gave Arafat the opportunity to show that the only organization is formed by Fatahs Tanzim, and the others follow.

This is the result of an approach that searches for a quick result. And with Sharon as First Minister that will be more evident, because Sharon, like all the Israelis, has no intention to get away with Oslo.

Why should he? Oslo, for Israelis, is like the manna from heaven. What Sharon is going to do is setting Oslo in its own dimension, treating P.A. for what it is: a puppet government under the Israelis control. When this Intifada begun, it was against Oslo and, at least indirectly, against P.A., but the leftist couldnt let come out and give stability to this position and gave Arafat the chance to take advantage of the situation.

As regards the other path, the one that can give important results, it is a long term war. There is no possibility of a short term solution.

So far the governments and the Arabic organizations moved on the track of the minor possible risk: if the Israelis seem calm it is because they are trying to obtain some granting. Thats shit that can only lead to a compromise legitimating the existence of Israel and its right to occupy Palestine.

For this reason it is essential understand that the only solution is a long war between us and the Zionist state and the imperialism.

So I think that the only path will be carrying on with the armed struggle, it be weak or strong .

An Intifada that has the target to show on television the Palestinians killed can not be the right direction. One doesnt understand the purpose. To obtain money from the Arabic countries that go directly in the P.A. s pockets?

The mass struggle strategy more efficient today is, in my opinion, that one that is catching in the Arabic countries, the strategy anti-normalization. The Arabic mass are creating, as from the little things, a new reality that is founded on the fact that us, Arabic people, are against every form of normalization with Israel. This new reality is very important!

Unfortunately the Palestinian organizations are not aware of that, while the Arabic governments understood it deeply. In fact  the Jordan government is killing people to oppose this push.

The Palestinian leftist, indeed, is so weak that cant even make an adequate analysis, let alone a guerrilla strategy.

As long as the Palestinian leftist will go on working with Arafat will be personally responsible of the repression of the opponents the normalization.

The only thing that could raise again the Arabic world, is the one that strengthen the anti-normalization movements, that are the popular answer to the pacification with the Askenazi-Zionist regimen and represent a long-term strategy, as a long-term conflict will be ours. There are not shortcuts!

There is nothing complex to understand. Who says that, is lying. Zionists are claiming: we are the strongest, when you are as strong as we are, come back and will talk again. Until you are weak well go on kicking you in the mouth.

 

What you said about P.F.L.P., in your opinion, can be extended to P.F.-G.C.. Hamas and Islamic Jihad?

P.F.-G.C. is almost absent in Palestine.

Apart from that, in the eighties there was a Marxist organization, now it has become an Islamic organization.

I dont mean it is not legitimate to change position, but the reasons for this choice are not clear to me. There were no leaflets or declarations explaining that.

 

But dont you think that a coordination between the Islamic organizations would be useful?

I知 not against this kind of coordination, but that doesnt mean changing your ideology.

The Islamic organizations that dont accept to be coordinated in a leftist group unless you change your ideology, cant represent a solution.

 

And Hezbollah?

Hezbollah has never made conditions when it coordinated with PCL.

 

Do you think it is possible that Hezbollah has a rule in the future also at a regional level, particularly in Palestine?

I would like that, but I知 not convinced that the Islamicist Palestinian organizations are ready to understand the way of thinking and the way of struggling of Hezbollah.

I hope that anyway, and for the time being I cant judge, even if I知 afraid that as they have not moved in that direction from the beginning, they wont be able to adapt themselves.

Anyhow I strongly believe in the importance of a coordination between Islamicist organizations with an open mind like Hezbollahs, Marxist organizations and radical nationalist organizations.

This is the kind of coalition we need, without interference in the different ideologies.

 

Going back to the imperialist penetration in the region, which are the strategies, in terms of safety, to preserve it? Somebody has been talking for a while of an enlargement of N.A.T.O. towards South. Do you think this will be one of the significant strategies?

Imperialism has been already protecting its interests in the region effectively. Whatever it does it is not starting from the beginning. The last significant development has been the military occupation of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region.

The Us military army  are still in the Gulf even if it is clear that after the assault of 91 Iraq is not able to express important military actions.

This really and truly military occupation is one of the instruments of imperialism.

Another means is the Israel nation and the ability of Israel to military hit most part of the Arabic countries so to work on behalf of the imperialism. And this rule of Israel doesnt leave out the direct occupation by United States. It is like 2 arms of the same body.

Another mean of control is the alliance between sub-imperialisms in the region, such as Israel and Turkey that are creating a strong strategic alliance in order to tighten like in a princer the Arabic countries, mostly the Eastern ones.

As for the forces external to the Arabic world: the direct intervention of imperialism, mostly American, Israel and Turkey.

But there are also strengths internal to the region that are working on behalf of imperialism: the Arabic countries Armies, particularly those of Jordans, Egyptians, and  the other regimes from the Gulf area that are making combined manoeuvres every year, that means that the American leadership not only knows in detail the ability of these Armies, but has done a penetration action and use them directly.

Moreover we have to consider the action of restraint of the Arabic regimes.

A classical example is Iraq. One of the imperialist strategy articulations against Iraq is its restraint through the close approach with the Egyptian, Syrian and Jordan regimes.

How could you otherwise explain this sudden link when not Iraq, neither Egypt, Syria and Jordan have modified their respective positions?

Why Egypt, Syria and Jordan are displaying this unbelievable opening towards Iraq?

I知 afraid that these regimes, in strict coordination with the imperialism, especially with United States, are currently creating a kind of contamination of the Iraqi attitude. As they cant military attack, job that the Imperialism is making by itself, they are trying to infiltrate with other means in the Iraqi leadership mentality, suggesting in fact an exchange between economic opening on one side and availability to not seek a role beyond the boundaries of their country and also inside the country not to express a too evident trend substantially anti-imperialistic on the other side..

All the factors that I listed make useless, for the time being, thinking about an entry of N.A.T.O. in the Arabic countries, also because that would necessary create the reaction of the Arabic masses that consider N.A.T.O. as an hostile organism  in service of the Imperialistic capital.

We have had an experience of that in 1954-56, when the British tried to create a strategic alliance between Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Israel. I can remember well how the reaction of the masses avoided the forming of this alliance. It is clear that, from the 50s until today, the attitude of the masses towards Imperialism has not changed, in fact the aversion towards it has increased. For this reason I dont think it is easy for the Arabic regimens become part of N.A.T.O. because this would mean an adjustment of the structure of their  governments to the new reality and it should also involve a re-education of the masses in order to become the eastern part of a western military array. And this is not that easy.

Anyhow this doesnt mean that Imperialism is not trying to do, to develop, to change something in order to influence the regions populations. Most of the N.G.O. are working to influence the mentality and the culture of the people. And the entire propaganda on the benefits of the free market has no other aim. But its a process that requires a long time.

 

So you think that the so-called euro-mediterranean dialog has a prevalent economic penetration function?

I think that, first of all, we should make a distinction between Anglo-American Imperialism and European Imperialism. That because  they operate through different systems. Europe has been present in the Arabic world  (I知 not using the word Middle-East because it is a military  strategic idea, British-born, without any cultural nor social root) for a long period. As colonial and imperialist reality before, then ex-colonial and ex-imperialist and now as ex-colonial and ex-imperialist reality that try to renew its rule. Anyhow it is here, mostly as concerns the economic relations.

Import-export between Arabic countries and Europe is much more higher than the U.S.

Do you mean all the Arabic countries or only Magrebs?

No, all the Arabic countries. The exchange between Makhrek and Europe is superior to the one with U.S.

Moreover the fact that the hate at a social level towards Americans is much higher than against Europeans.

With Europeans there is a relation that crosses the coordination of the Arabic regimens in a  safety system.

Europeans are part of the American strategy as for the region, in the last analysis, but they are not completely satisfied with  this rule, and that creates contradictions, even if subordinate.

This doesnt mean not catching the European responsibilities, but analysing correctly a diversification.

 

European and American imperialism are able to keep, at least for the moment, with different means, the development of organizations and movements in this region but, through different ways, organizations and radical movements tend to widen their influence towards Europe and U.S. Is it conjecturable in the short or in the long time the opening of another front?

I知 not so sure that there are organizations from here able to establish basis in the imperialist centre in order to open a new front. I like it but I dont think that exist now some movement or organization having the forces to make it.

 

I mean mainly coordinations like Osama Bin Laden

Yes, but also the political Islam creates admissions with realities and communities of these countries based on affinities, so, also in the case of political Islam, what is exported towards the centre is the idea of coordination, not the cadres or the basis. This is much more possible than a drift of people that are really controlled from the beginning and can not move easily.

What these organizations are trying to create is a change of the Muslims or Arabics mentality in the West countries and here.

I could verify the born of a generation of young Muslims very aware during my trip in the United States where I held some conferences at University.

I met a lot of them, born there and whose families has been living there for 2 or 3 generations. They are very rigorous, intelligent and strictly observant. When I spoke of imperialist anti-normalization they immediately understood this concept even if it was a term they havent heard or used before.

 

P.A. =  Palestinian Authority

P.F.L.P. = Popoular Front for Liberation of Palestine

P.F.-G.C. = Popoular Front for Liberation of Palestine - General Command



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