Monday, February 4, 2008

Discussion with, not Eulogy for, George Habash – Al  Hakim

By Dr. Adel Samara in occupied Ramallah

"Despite the “leadership” role you had played in your life, and continue to play, in leftist and patriotic circles of our nations, I have always felt uneasy calling you a “leader”.  This term has always carried connotations of class content and separation between leader and the masses.  So, respectfully, allow me to refer to you as “fighter”, “militant”, and “comrade”.

There is a huge divide between leader and fighter.  It is the same divide as between the renegade “leaders” who beg for a state from the murderers in the White House and those “fighters” who continue fighting until Palestine is liberated.  It is the same divide as between those “leaders” who negotiate to be donated a “state” and those “militants” who destroy the walls that imprison the Palestinians in Gaza.  It is the same divide as between those “leaders” who supported the imperialist invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq and those “militants” who are fighting to liberate Iraq and humanity.  And it is the same divide as between the corrupt fat-cats “leaders” who stand by while the Jennin refugee camp is overrun by the Zionist occupation forces and the fighters who gave their lives defending the camp and its inhabitants.  So again, forgive me for not referring to you as a “leader”, rather, a “fighter”, a “militant”, a “comrade”.

When a person passes away, you may praise that person for the good deeds and charitable work he/she has contributed to society.  But these deeds would have ended with that person passing away.  However, when a historical figure, such as you, passes away, it is of less importance to praise them for his past good deeds and charity.  A freedom fighter, as you, leaves behind living ideas, a revolutionary heritage and revolutionary projects that must be remembered, lived by, applied, re-applied, discussed, debated, questioned, and, yes, critiqued.

I would be unfaithful to your memory if I allow your ideas to die with you.  So, I will continue to remember your ideas.  I will continue to discuss them and debate them.  And, yes, critique them.

· I don’t recall you ever mentioning that our flag, the symbol of liberation, will be replaced by a candle, to protest the famine imposed on the Gaza strip by the Ashkenazi Zionists

· You never told me whether you really and deeply believed in the ‘Declaration of Palestinian Independence’ in Algiers 1988!

· I am still looking for an answer as to why, following the defeat of Arab bourgeois nationalist regimes in 1967, the leadership of Arab Nationalist Movement (a pan-Arab party), including you, decided to dissolve the movement. Why did you fail to distinguish between the defeat of bourgeois regimes and armies and the fact that nations cannot be defeated? I asked this question in my pamphlet Arab Socialist Manifesto many years ago, to no avail.

· During the epoch of military struggle in our nation, young Arab revolutionaries voluntarily joined leftist organizations.  Why is it that the left in the ‘PFLP’ failed to seize this opportunity to develop a pan-Arab communist or leftist movement?

· Why did the PFLP, as a Marxist-Leninist organization that was built with local, national, and international dimensions, neglect the pan-Arab national dimension, and left it entirely for the comprador regimes?
No one has ever offered an adequate explanation for this.

· I wonder why is it that most of those who mourn you now, remember you as a Palestinian patriot and an Arab nationalist, which you were, but shy away, even indirectly, from saying that you are a Marxist?

The Marxist or socialist discourse has disappeared from our struggle after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the attacks on national belonging and identity. Do you think that the collapse of the Soviet Union has necessarily pulled us to abandon our Marxism?  Or is that because those comrades in the Republic of Ramallah became liberal and those in Gaza formed an Islamic republic, while those in Arab countries, especially media satellite channels, fear the comprador regimes? Unfortunately, this is re-write of history and this is not a scientific authenticity.

· One more , but bitter question: tell me please, if I got a permit from the Ashkenazi Zionist Regime to go out of the West Bank large jail, but little canton, which I call it ‘Oslostan’, to visit Paris, what shall I tell Carlos ‘the Jackal’, who was betrayed by the comprador military Junta and Islamist regime of Sudan. None of us ignores that it was a moment of glory when he insisted to put his foot on the neck of the Minister of Oil.

 I have no doubt that your great heart stopped when you saw the Saudi royalty do the sword dance with George Bush, while his soldiers rape young Iraqi girls and torture Iraqi boys and men.  I hate to bother you while you rest, but I will continue to discuss and debate these and many other questions as well as many of your ideas in the hope of getting some answers."

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