Palestinian Alternative Student Path
Palestinian Alternative Student Path – Introduction
The Palestinian student movements and organizations represent some of the most capable and organized youth organizations and unions for carrying out the popular struggle and democratic process. The movement has had a major role in all of the key moments of the Palestinian national liberation struggle. Indeed, the Palestinian student movement was not only a union movement with its own goals, but also a political movement and an institution of struggle concerned with all affairs of Palestinian society and the Palestinian cause.
Following the Nakba and the creation of the Zionist entity in 1948, Palestinian students in the diaspora assumed their responsibilities. They played an important and central role in the Palestinian and Arab arenas, contributing to the establishment of the first nuclei of the Arab revolutionary movements, such as the Arab Nationalist Movement, the Arab Redemption Brigades, the Heroes of Return, and others. Thus, the Palestinian students escalated their role in confronting the forces of colonialism, Zionism and reaction.
After several qualitative developments that occurred on the Arab arena, such as the Egyptian revolution in 1952 and the tripartite aggression against Egypt in 1956, the General Union of Palestine Students was established in 1958 in Cairo. This was a natural development for Palestinian student work on the one hand, and as a qualitative step to escalate the struggle on the other hand. The founding of GUPS placed the students of Palestine before a new revolutionary stage, in which their national role in both the liberation struggle and student union organizing escalated. The General Union of Palestine Students played a central role in promoting Palestinian national identity and the unity of our Palestinian people by unifying student ties and organizing the first cells of fedayee action at the beginning of the 1960s.
A few years later, the Union officially became the first Palestinian institution to contribute to supporting the Algerian revolution and the Arab liberation movement, while taking a prominent role in strengthening its relationships of joint struggle with liberation movements throughout the world.
With the launch of the new era of the Palestinian struggle in the late 1960s and the development of the modern Palestinian national movement, university graduates and cadres of the Palestinian student movement played a pivotal role in building and leading the Palestinian fedayeen, establishing Palestinian resistance factions, building institutions, and forming popular organizations and labor unions. They played a central role in all battles in defense of the Palestinian revolution and in leading and directing the great popular Intifada.
The Oslo Accords of 1993, and the process of liquidation and concessions that they represented, constituted a new Nakba for the Palestinian people. The Palestinian diaspora was completely isolated from the political process and Palestinian institutions and prevented from participating in political decision-making. The institutions of the Palestine Liberation Organization outside Palestine were systematically dismantled or left to rot away, especially after the establishment of the “self-rule” Palestinian Authority in 1994 and the transfer of official Palestinian politics to the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Nevertheless, Palestinian students in diaspora continued their work and struggle in multiple arenas and levels. They formed independent student committees, including advocacy organizations and cultural clubs, within the framework of Palestinian factions and political parties in the universities of Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. In North American universities and elsewhere, independent student organizations have played a major role in strengthening the boycott movement, defending the right to return, and advocating for the Palestinian cause.
In many cases, however, this student work has been individualized, partisan to one political party or another, or atomized in a specific locality. It often has not moved beyond local circumstances to address the entire Palestinian national movement in an organized fashion. In addition, there is often confusion or overlap between the types of activities that may be classified as “Palestinian organizing” and “solidarity organizing.”
In this context, the Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement decided to organize the National Conference for Palestinian Students in order to activate student work where it is dormant and develop it where it exists, and to awaken the Palestinian student national movement and its social, scientific, cultural and struggling role on the road to return and liberation.
Today, we appeal to the students of Palestine inside Palestine, in exile and diaspora and in migration, and we call upon you to cooperate with us in organizing joint campaigns, across borders and continents, and to start holding local student meetings at regional, university and country levels, that will culminate in organizing the National Conference for Palestinian Students in October 2022. This conference aims to unify visions and capabilities of the student movement and restore the central role of Palestinian students inside and outside Palestine in the liberation movement.
The Palestinian Alternative Student Path: Foundations of Struggle
The Palestinian Alternative Student Path was established by a decision issued by the first conference of the Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement at the end of October 2021, expressing the urgent desire of Palestinian students to assume their responsibilities, restore their leading national role, and revitalize and unite the student movement by building bridges of work and cooperation with the student movement in the whole of occupied Palestine. In this sense, our new student path constitutes a mass and organizing arm of the Alternative Revolutionary Path movement and is based on the following foundations and positions:
First: Palestine, with its historical borders, is a single territorial unit. No distinction is made between the part of Palestine which fell under Zionist occupation in 1948 or 1967. Palestine is an integral part of the great Arab homeland, and it is the natural home of the Palestinian people.
Second: The Nakba (catastrophe) experienced by the Palestinian people since 1947, including uprooting, displacement, ethnic cleansing, denial of the right to return, colonization and the dismantling of the social, economic and political structures of Palestinian society, represents a continuous and ongoing historical injustice practiced by the Zionist movement and its state entity, supported by global imperialism and reactionary local forces.
Third: There can be no end to the historical and ongoing injustice inflicted upon the Palestinian people except through the full implementation of the right to return of the Palestinian people to their original homes, not a partial or incomplete return, and obtaining compensation in addition to their return, for all of the crimes that have been committed against them.
Fourth: The Palestinian people, in their struggle for the liberation of their homeland, their return to that land and their self-determination upon it, were organized within the framework of the Palestine Liberation Organization. The Palestinian people defined their goals and means of struggle in the Palestinian National Charter approved at the fourth session of the Palestinian National Council (Cairo, July 17, 1968). Any amendment to this charter affecting the complete liberation of and full return to Palestine is considered null, void and rejected.
Fifth: All agreements, understandings and settlements concluded since the Madrid Conference of 1991 are considered null, void and rejected. No Palestinian project or entity has any legitimacy unless it adheres to the following principles: a) the land of Palestine is one single unit. B) the full right of return of refugees and displaced persons to their original homes, restoration of their properties and compensation for their damages and losses; c) the right of the Palestinian people, in full, wherever they are, to determine their own destiny on the land of Palestine.
Sixth: The relationship between the various components of the Palestinian people, inside Palestine and in shatat (diaspora), is an integrated and unitary relationship. No area of struggle is “unique” except for the contributions it may make and roles it may play to further the creative integration of collective struggle, leading to the achievement of total liberation of Palestine.
Seventh: The Palestinian people, who are struggling against a Zionist colonial project supported by all imperialist and reactionary forces, draw lessons from and inherit the achievements and legacies of global national liberation movements and are companions and comrades for all of these movements.
Eighth: Every attempt to block or suppress the progress of the Palestinian people’s struggle, in whatever form, constitutes complicity with and support for the crimes of Zionist colonialism that are committed daily against the Palestinian people.
Ninth: The Palestinian people, recognizing their role as an advance vanguard of the Arab liberation movement in the struggle against imperialism and Zionism, calls upon all of the democratic and progressive forces and popular movements of the world to provide all forms of support to the struggle to achieve their full rights and national liberation.
Tenth : The Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path and all its branches and committees depend mainly on self-financing and popular support, and categorically rejects conditional funding from any party or economic dependence on any international, Arab or Palestinian state or apparatus.
Goals of the Palestinian Alternative Student Path
We are aware of the specific circumstances of each Palestinian community and realize the existence of multiple Palestinian “communities” in their geographical locations that may not share the same local priorities. At the same time, we see in this reality an important space for organizing and a favorable opportunity to benefit our people in order to build a global force that supports the Palestinian national liberation struggle and the Palestinian resistance and participates in building the foundations of the project of return and liberation.
Accordingly, we believe it is necessary to open the door to participation and initiative for Palestinian student cadres in organizing and working according to their capabilities and priorities in order to cooperate and join hands to achieve the following:
First: the establishment of a Palestinian student network that defends the rights of our Palestinian people and gathers a revolutionary youth vanguard around the foundations of struggle of the Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement. This network will work to organize the widest segment of Palestinian students and youth to achieve our goals, inside and outside the campuses of universities and academic institutions.
Second: Strengthening the Palestinian student presence and its central role in the diaspora. Supporting Palestinian students in the refugee camps and marginalized areas, especially in the countries surrounding Palestine (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt), whether at the level of secondary schools or universities
Third: Building bridges of cooperation and joint action with the Palestinian student movements throughout occupied Palestine, and working to unite the student movement in the homeland and the diaspora.
Fourth: Strengthening relationships of joint struggle with the Arab and international student forces and groups that support the rights of our people and are consistent in their goals with our student organizing. As the Arab student movements constitute an indispensible strategic depth throughout our great Arab homeland, the progressive student movements outside the Arab world constitute the international incubator of our student struggle.
Fifth: Engaging in student and public action at its various cultural, political and social levels, strengthening the student role in the boycott movement, confronting normalization with the Zionist entity in its various political and cultural forms, and confronting Zionist, fascist and right-wing student movements inside and outside universities.
Sixth: Exposing the crimes of the Zionist occupation and the Israeli policies targeting educational institutions and students in Palestinian universities before the eyes of the world, and organizing campaigns for support and solidarity with Palestinian students, especially the student prisoners and detainees in Zionist prisons.
Towards Return and Liberation: Unity and Revitalization of the Palestinian Student Movement
Towards holding the National Conference for Palestine Students – October 2022
We will shortly begin preparations to convene the National Conference for Palestine Students in October 2022 and to organize a series of meetings and activities as well as workshops, political seminars and cultural events throughout the year. This program comes in the interests of unity and revitalization of the Palestinian student movement and the development of its role in the struggle of the student movement in occupied Palestine and in exile and diaspora.
Accordingly, we call upon Palestinian students everywhere to join us and participate in these efforts to achieve this collective goal, on the road of return and liberation and for the Palestinian people to exercise their right of self-determination over the entire land of Palestine, from the river to the sea.
These Palestinian, Arab and international student efforts are being organized to implement the decision of the Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement (Masar Badil) that was launched on 1 November 2021 at its founding conferences in Beirut, Madrid and Sao Paulo. These conferences decided to organize the National Conference for Palestinian Students in order to restore the leading role of the Palestinian student movement in the national liberation struggle.
It comes to rectify the gaps left by the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) committed the crime of signing the Oslo liquidation agreement in Washington in 1993, and by the collapse of the General Union of Palestine Students and dissolution of the PLO institutions as a result of the disastrous policies of exclusivity and monopolization pursued by this same leadership. This was exacerbated by the establishment of the so-called “Palestinian Authority” or self-rule regime subordinate to Zionist colonialism, and the marginalization and confiscation of the voice of our Palestinian people in exile and diaspora.
The Palestinian student movement has a decisive revolutionary role, and an advanced position for this movement is critical at various political, cultural, social, scientific and struggle levels. We consider this pivotal role for the Palestinian people and their liberation struggle to be a student responsibility and a Palestinian responsibility that cannot be overlooked or ignored and an urgent mission of struggle that can no longer accept delay or procrastination. The students of Palestine represent great energy and a revolutionary potential as well as deep engagement with the march of Palestinian liberation in the struggle to defend Palestinian identity and obtain the national and human rights of the Palestinian people everywhere.
Accordingly, the “Student Masar” (Student Path) calls on all Palestinian students in the diaspora to communicate, discuss and build bridges of struggle and organization to serve the cause of our people and the rights of students, on the basis of mutual action and interdependence, and to strengthen our common front against the organizations of the Zionist movement and its student branches around the world. We also urge you to re-establish our Palestinian student organizations according to new foundations of unity and struggle, away from factionalism, regionalism, quotas and exclusivity.
As we hold the National Conference for Palestinian Students, we aim to renew the energy of the Palestinian student movement transnationally, organize its ranks and make it more capable of upholding the cause and voice of our people. We will bring the struggles of our students under occupation and imprisoned in the colonizer’s jails to various institutions, universities, academic and scientific arenas and work to expand the Arab and international boycott, including the academic boycott, of the Zionist project and the Israeli regime, and to strengthen the international and Arab depth of support for the just cause of the Palestinian people, their national rights and their resistance toward victory and liberation.
The Palestinian Student Masar announces today the launch of an open national workshop to organize the National Conference for Palestinian Students in October 2022. As we do so, we renew our commitment to the martyrs, wounded and prisoners of the Palestinian student movement and emphasize our continued confrontation of colonialism, Zionism and reactionary forces and their agents. We call on Palestinian students, Arab students and the international student movements supportive of our cause to join widely and participate in the political meeting on 30 January 2022 under the title:
Why are we calling for the National Conference for Palestinian Students?
Link to participate in the event:
Sunday, 30 January
10 am Pacific – 1 pm Eastern – 7 pm central Europe – 8 pm Palestine
To contact the Palestinian Student Path
For more information on how to participate in organizing the conference
Note: The statement is available in the following languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Swedish and others
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