| Palestinians abroad |
The second meeting of the General Assembly of the Popular Conference for Palestinians Abroad was held on Friday, June 29, in Istanbul, in the presence of the members of the General Assembly of the Conference from around the world.
The Chairman of the General Assembly of the Conference, Sulaiman Abu Sitta, confirmed the completion of the quorum for holding the Second General Assembly Meeting. He pointed out that the number of those joining the Popular Conference has been increasing since its establishment in 2017. He stressed at the same time the keenness of the conference on the efficiency and quality of the members joining it of all the places where the Palestinian people live abroad.
Abu Sitta said: “Today we are at a critical juncture. We say this speech seventy years ago, but now it is more urgent. We are now 13 million Palestinians, compared to 700,000 Palestinians 100 years ago. Our number is doubled and those born after Oslo increased from 7 million to 13 million, of whom 75% of the young people and the irony is that these young people decide their fate at the hands of seniors who were not elected sufficiently and this is one of the biggest hurdles to uphold our national rights”.
He added: “You know very well our modern history, after the Nakba we were under the auspices of the rule of Jordan or Egypt or within the occupied territories, and the rest of the refugees are distributed across the countries, but the Palestinian people were able to collect their diaspora and its geographical cohesion. We proved to the world that we are a people with a land called Palestine. We Palestinians are not refugee camps; we are looking for bread and tent”.
He stressed that the largest and most important achievement in the history of the modern Palestinian people is the formation of the Palestinian National Council held in Al-Quds in 1964, which emerged from it the PLO and therefore the PLO is the result and emanation of the National Council, which is the basis through the armed resistance, we moved from refugees seeking food to nationalists who want to retrieve their homeland. President Yasser Arafat spoke of this in the United Nations for the first time, and this was the shift that brought the support of a large number of countries in the world.
He added: “I was a member of the National Council at its meeting in 1988 when only one proposal mentioned the Partition Plan of 47 and the decision to establish a Palestinian state on the liberated part of Palestine, the partition resolution was mentioned as a sign without acceptance, and I was one of those who voted against this decision. Then came the Madrid conference and many Arab countries abandoned us after the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat supported the occupation of Kuwait. Since then, the series has been going on until we reached hell and here I mean Oslo. Dr. Haider Abdul Shafi was negotiating in Washington on the basis of international legitimacy. Mahmoud Abbas and Ahmed Qurei were negotiating for the conquest of the occupier”.
Abu Sitta stressed that “Oslo is the biggest disaster since Balfour's unity. The West Bank under power has turned into a group of servants to the Israeli occupation. The economic life of the West Bank is enslaved to Israel. Even European aid comes to serve the Zionist economy”.
Abu Sitta noted that the damage to the Palestinian cause was greater and more important than being left aside. The estimated 10 million Palestinians could not be enslaved in favor of a small group in Ramallah.
He added: “We are here not criticizing the authority in Ramallah, but rather criticizing ourselves by allowing them to be so. The Palestinian nationalism that we know by sacrifice and loyalty to the homeland has become cooperation with the enemy and living under its shadow, to cooperation with the enemy and to living under it. So it is our first duty is to restore unity to the Palestinian people, and to re-formulate the people by a fully representative democratic and popular representation, and we are on the way to achieve this”.
He said that the disaster West Bank and besieged Gaza is the only part of Palestine that has been raising the flag of Palestine over the years. Today it is the symbol of Palestine and the resistance and its elimination is the elimination of the features of the Palestinian cause, and today there are many murderers and enemies. Noting that the slow genocide in Gaza prompts them to say that the bread is our demand, and our people in the 48 are going through a comprehensive renaissance because the new generations realized that the identity of the truth is Palestinian and cannot coexist at all with the occupation.
Abu Sitta stressed that the Palestinians abroad have a great historical and humanitarian duty. They are now 6 million abroad. Three quarters of them are young people who are educated in all fields and are engaged in national and social activities, stressing that these are the ones who must be attracted and be seated in the next conference.
He added: “Our duty today is to attract the best group of these young people, we don’t want to repeat the old methods, we must learn from the mistakes of the past, so that we don’t repeat them, no attention should be given to the political background of each one of us now; our political, personal, tribal and geographical affiliation cannot be higher and more important than the service of our homeland”.
He pointed out that the intellectual level of the world in the presence of social communication has developed a lot and does not accept any information or reference unless it is based on facts, and to raise the awareness of the Palestinian people about its cause and the raising of youth and gatherings, all these things lead to keeping the national flame in the hearts of young people.
He stressed that the Palestinians in Europe have great capabilities that must be exploited in every field, pointing to the need to network with the movement of the international boycott of “Israel” and networking with all associations and organizations friendly to Palestine and defending the Palestinian cause.
He called for the lifting of cases against the occupation in international courts, warning of the reluctance of the Palestinian Authority in this area. And he said: “More than 55 projects have been issued at the United Nations since 1948 to our year. These projects all seek the sole purpose of expelling the people of Palestine. They work on wiping the history and geography of Palestine from memory. All projects failed because the Palestinian people stood against them. Now that we are in an era of Zionist rule, the difference today is that some joined this camp”.
Abu Sitta called on the conference to formulate a formal legal letter in English and to present it to all the countries and embassies of the world that we, the people of Palestine, refuse to be annihilated legally, effectively, and symbolically, and I call on all States to speak out.
At the end of his speech, Abu Sitta stressed that the Palestinian people need the success of the Popular Conference, hoping that the role of the conference in renewing the national movement for the successful liberation of Palestine.
For his part, Secretary-General of the General Secretariat of the Popular Conference Munir Shafiq, has presented greetings to the souls of the martyrs of the march of return, and expressed the wonderful national unity that brought together the entire Palestinian community in the Gaza Strip to start a popular Palestinian uprising in order to protect the armed resistance base under siege.
He said: “This peaceful march has confirmed that the demand for return is irreversible, which is the fundamental basis of the Palestinian cause and stressed the priority of confronting the Zionist occupation, whether in the siege of the strip or encircled in Al-Quds and the West Bank”.
Shafiq denounced the flawed security coordination that attacked demonstrators in Ramallah who protested the Gaza sanctions, thanking the Palestinian resistance factions that boycotted the meeting of the National Council under the occupation, especially the Popular Front.
He stressed that the Palestinian arena is facing a real dilemma with the authority of Ramallah and Abbas through the contradiction between positive and important policy in the boycott of America and condemning the deal of the century but on condition of no change, on the one hand, but on the other hand coupled with the policy of destructive security coordination and punish Gaza, noting that this contradiction must be removed through making the boycott of America a fixed condition, the lifting of sanctions on the Gaza Strip and build national unity with all Palestinian factions to drop the “Deal of the Century”. Noting that this is the way to rebuild the PLO, which was destroyed by the Oslo agreement.
Shafiq pointed out that the Popular Conference through the Presidency of the Commission and the Secretariat had fully contributed since its inception in supporting all struggles fought by our people, especially the march of return, and stand against the holding of the National Council under occupation, and that the Secretariat that emerged from the previous first session tried its best to be worthy of trust and responsibility, pointing out that the Secretariat contributed to maintaining the unity of the conference based on pluralism and harmony.
He concluded: “The aspirations of our conference in what it has to achieve are higher than our capabilities, and achieving some of the aspirations require the efforts and unity of the Palestinian people and support the strategy of total uprising (intifada) and support of the Palestinians from home and abroad and the world public opinion, and this is not far and easy to achieve, and may God helps us achieve it”.
It is worth mentioning that the agenda of the meetings of the General Assembly for this day in Istanbul consists of three sessions, including the presentation of the report of the Secretariat of 2017 and discussing it, in addition to the adoption of the membership of the new members of the Commission, and the presentation of the Strategic Plan as well as the discussion of the determinants of the Conference.