Ammar Rashdan, a member of the Follow-up Committee of the Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement (Masar Badil), said that efforts to organize the National Conference for Palestinian Students at the end of October 2022 were officially launched after the first meeting of the Alternative Student Path, which was attended by students, union members and activists from occupied Palestine, the United States, Canada, Europe, the Arab world and Brazil, last Sunday, January 30.

Rashdan considered that the first student meeting was aimed at “presenting an intensive, brief intervention on the struggle and historical role of the student movement in the milestones of the Palestinian national liberation struggle, and to say that we do not start our work from scratch, but rather rely on our people’s long and historical experience of struggle. We also aimed to present the vision of the Palestinian alternative student path about the current-day reality facing the student movement, working for the unity of our movement and overcoming the current challenges.”

Rashdan affirmed that “the goal of the Palestinian alternative student path in this effort is to carry out our national and organizational duty towards organizing the National Conference for Palestinian Students to ensure its success and achieve its goals, so that it becomes a comprehensive national conference that inspires our people and enrages our enemy. And to make it a meaningful occasion for our liberation struggle.” Rashdan said, “We will not impose on the participants our political and organizational program, neither before the conference nor in the conference or after it. At the same time, we extend our hands to all student organizations and initiatives from various Palestinian political trends and currents in order to unify our efforts and ensure that these efforts serve our people, protect their rights and principles, and confront the liquidation project targeting our cause.”.

Rashdan added, “As is well known, the last conference for Palestinian students was held in 1990 in Baghdad, 32 years ago. During the past three decades, the institution of the “General Union of Palestine Students” was dismantled and the students of Palestine, especially in the diaspora, were deprived of their popular organizations or any Palestinian student organizational body to unite them. Rashdan says, “Our goal is to awaken the Palestinian student movement.”

Rashdan pointed to the importance of communicating with our people throughout Palestine and the role and duty of the diaspora in “supporting the student movement in our occupied homeland, Palestine, and confronting the Zionist movement and its student entities everywhere, seeking unity of effort and program, with our understanding of the realities and uniqueness of each Palestinian community and its local priorities.” Rashdan says, “It is time for us to leave the policies of quotas and factionalism that our people abhor, whether in the Palestinian student and organizational work or at the broader general level, and to organize as one people with one cause, one goal and one destiny.”

Regarding the Palestinian alternative student path’s commitment to holding the conference in October 2022, and whether that was possible, Rashdan said, “Today we stand at a crossroads. Either we continue the moribund policy of delay and postponement under the slogan of rebuilding the Palestine Liberation Organization and the General Union of Palestine Students, or we launch our collective work and bear our responsibilities to awaken the Palestinian student movement as an integral part of the liberation movement of the Palestinian people and not separate from it. We are going to hold our conference in October and we will not wait for anyone.”

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