On 31 October 2020, the Popular Conference for Palestinians Abroad (PCPA) held the conference titled “Priorities of the Palestinian Cause in the Upcoming Phase and the Anticipated Role of Palestinians Abroad,” in Istanbul, Turkey. The event hosted a group of Palestinian figures and renowned personalities from inside and outside Palestine. Over three sessions, the current phase was discussed, in relation to working mechanisms as to define the phase’s priorities, and also build a vision of how to face the challenge it proposes. To this purpose, 18 research papers were presented that dealt with several topics, with a specific focus on priorities and the role assigned to the Palestinians abroad within the national project. The papers addressed opportunities and challenges in light of the national, regional and international circumstances, and outlined strategies to realize and activate the role of Palestinians abroad.
The participants discussed a potential national vision of the priorities of the Palestinian cause, given the crucial developments it is witnessing, and the Zionist escalation represented in its aggressive policies and its attack on Palestinian national rights with the direct participation and support of the U.S. administration, within a fragmented Arab and Islamic political environment that allowed for further steps towards normalization and building relations with the state of the Zionist occupation.
The participants emphasized that the Palestinians’ current reality, with its advantages and disadvantages, necessitates the unification of Palestinians’ efforts wherever they are, and the crystallization of a national vision that utilizes the entirety of the national effort, including its various mechanisms and capabilities, and that provides institutions capable of handling this effort and directing it in a manner that serves the inclusive national project. On top of these institutions is the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and its subsequent institutions, which are to be revitalized as to represent Palestinians wherever they reside.
Furthermore, the participants noted that at this critical stage the essential role of the Palestinian diaspora is once again taking center stage, with its importance in restoring balance to the Palestinian scene, and correcting the direction of the action compass towards a core issue of the conflict, which is the issue of Palestinian refugees and their right to return and self-determination.
The discussions held under the conference have thus led participants to stress the points below:
- The unity of the Palestinian land; the people; and the purpose, and the necessity to elect a leadership that guides the Palestinian people through a project of liberation that would ultimately free people from the occupier’s grasp;
- The importance of the role of Palestinians abroad in the Palestinian national project, and restoring their position in the Palestinian arena;
- The high priority of confronting the Zionist project and its attempts to liquidate the Palestinian cause, ordering the internal Palestinian affairs by rebuilding the PLO to represent all Palestinians at home and abroad, and calling for the election of a Palestinian National Council that would include Palestinians, at home and in the diaspora, and come up with a new leadership to lead the liberation project;
- The importance of investing in international changes that have given rise to new global powers that would play a role in favor of the Palestinian national project, since the former power relations no longer exist;
- Breaking away from the Oslo Accords and calling to annul them, supporting the Palestinian popular resistance against the occupation, and affirming the Palestinian people's right to resist the occupation in all manners;
- Restoring influence of the national, Islamic and humanitarian depth, which means summoning the aspects of strength within the Palestinian cause with respect to its overall form;
- Mobilizing all the energies of our people at home and abroad, with the capabilities they possess, and incorporating them into the national project;
- The strategic importance of the role of Palestinians abroad in the Palestinian cause and the need to position them within the leadership sphere, given their position in the societies where they live;
- The necessity to devise practical mechanisms and means that simulate technological tools to spread the Palestinian narrative in all languages to ensure it will be passed down to new generations, and the importance of supporting the initiatives carried out by Palestinians abroad that play a role in the field in question;
- Arranging the affairs of Palestinian communities and calling them to hold continental conferences and elections, where they choose leaders, within affiliations that maintain respect for the PLO as the legitimate representative of Palestinians;
- The possibility of holding National Council elections using technology in a democratic atmosphere and with the participation of all Palestinians;
- The need to set up a program to confront the Zionist project wherever it is, relaying on the available legal tools;
- The need to pay attention to the Palestinians residing in territories occupied in 1948 and to activate their role as one of the main components of the Palestinian people;
- Refusing all forms of Arab normalization with the occupation, and empowering the Arab and Islamic popular incubator and the free people of the world in support of the Palestinian cause, to confront the Zionist project outside Palestine.