On the 33rd anniversary of the great Palestinian popular intifada:
The destructive effects of the Madrid liquidation conference on the unity and development of the people’s uprising
The Madrid liquidation conference of 1991 constituted a major catastrophic station on the road of the Palestinian national cause in general and on the development of the great Palestinian popular uprising inside occupied Palestine in particular. Its first negative repercussions were felt upon the unity of the struggle and political position inside occupied Palestine, as well as the success of the enemy camp, led by the United States, in creating a qualitative historical breakthrough in diminishing the official Palestinian and Arab position, as well as the decline of the international position, in both its official and popular components.
The Madrid liquidation conference triggered what could be described as a deep political rift in the position of the Unified National Leadership of the Uprising, and left behind a serious negative impact on Palestinian popular unity in the fields of popular struggle and collective struggles of the Palestinian popular unions. This liquidation conference spread confusion and disillusionment in the PLO institutions outside Palestine in terms of their role and performance, just as it hindered and held back the growing role of the popular committees operating in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and throughout occupied Palestine.
Not one month had passed since the convening of the disastrous Madrid conference before the General Assembly of the United Nations cancelled its historic Resolution 3379, which stipulated that Zionism is a form of racism. This resolution had been adopted by the international body on 10 November 1975, and it was cancelled by Resolution 86/46. We began to witness an accelerated Palestinian and Arab retreat in the face of an advancing liquidation program, led by the United States and the Zionist entity, with the aim of bringing the Intifada to an abrupt and early end and confiscating its achievements. It is within this context that the Palestinian people were confronted with the treacherous Oslo Agreement in September 1993.
The defeatist and damaging positions and policies taken up by the monopolistic leadership of the PLO under the slogan, “hastening to reap the fruits of the intifada,” were nothing more than wastage and destruction of the achievements of our people, shaped by the hands of the youth of the Palestinian popular intifada and the sacrifices of our Palestinian people inside and outside Palestine. These positions were a despicable attempt by a particular political strata to reap the benefits and privileges for themselves, through overt complicity with the reactionary Arab regimes, U.S. imperialism and Zionist colonialism.
We reiterate our statement of November 1:
The “Madrid Peace Conference” conducted at the end of October 1991 was a natural outcome of the development of the official Palestinian and Arab policies and positions, beginning in 1974, yet marked a dangerous turning point in the path of the Palestinian cause and was a milestone of a great decline and retreat in the Palestinian, Arab and international arenas. Our people remember how the official Arab delegates attended and sat at the same table with envoys of the Zionist entity, for the first time in the history of the Arab-Zionist struggle, in front of the eyes of the world. This marked the official and comprehensive break with what was once known as the “three no’s” of Khartoum: No negotiation, no reconciliation, no recognition.
Loyalty to the martyrs, to the wounded, and to the prisoners of the great popular intifada in occupied Palestine, and loyalty to the sacrifices of our Palestinian people over decades of struggle in confronting Zionist colonialism, requires a comprehensive historical review of the past phase and the creation of a new Palestinian path that restores rightful place of the voice of our Palestinian people and their popular unity, honors the sacrifices of our people and restores the Palestinian liberation movement to the path of the national liberation struggle, the path of liberation and return, and the Palestinian people’s exercise of their right to self-determination throughout their entire homeland.
Glory to the intifada! Victory will come for our struggling Palestinian people!
Poster art: Mohammed al-Rakouie