Appeal to Arafat


At this important moment in the uprising – almost the end of its first year – in the spirit of sacrifice and steadfastness; in the face of hardship and challenges, death, destruction, home demolitions and uprooting of trees; at this juncture, there are questions that continue to nag at us incessantly.

Is there any reason for not supervising the spontaneity of the Intifada? Is there a reason that we are not working to organize, activate and secure its sustainability and not emphasizing its basic premise, which is the struggle against aggression and support for our right to self-determination? [The Intifada] is about achieving peace. The Intifada is about distinguishing the oppressor from the oppressed. This all requires organization. Who is responsible for maintaining the spontaneity of the Intifada?

We must work towards galvanizing the Intifada, highlighting its positive elements and playing down its negative aspects. This requires organized coordination between all forces working in the arena. This demands clarity and a minimum of mistakes in the specifying of responsibility and allocation of roles.

And Mr. President, do opportunities remain for still more visits to Arab and world capitals? I think that these visits are wasting a great deal of effort and money, of which we are in desperate need for organizing the affairs of the Intifada and maintaining our steadfastness. We do not need to beg for Arab support. From the start, a consensus existed that [resisting] Zionist aggression in Palestine is a national responsibility that must be confirmed and reiterated at every turn.

As for the foreign capitals, they must be reminded of their responsibilities, as stipulated in international conventions and charters, which emphasize the right of peoples to self-determination and the respect for human rights. What is important is not begging these world countries for their financial assistance, but reminding them of their claims that they support righteousness and human rights.

We also must work on reforming our internal affairs in a way that will present an honorable and positive Palestinian image, one that demonstrates discipline and defends righteousness.

And you, heads of factions, my brothers, is it not time to face off against the negative trends of factionalism and partisanship, instead focusing on coordination? Should we not decide on and delegate roles among our various forces? Why are we still boasting over factional and individual heroism and victories? It is now clear that we will never achieve victory unless we forfeit our factional and individual aspirations and adhere to a comprehensive organizational effort including all forces on the ground.

I say it is high time we held a session with the president. We need to formulate a clear vision on ways of confronting the crisis we are in, one in which our enemy intends on frustrating our efforts to achieve our national goals. I hope all parties among us have the will and determination to do this.

We have spoken extensively about the importance of establishing a national unity authority. My humble opinion is that realizing this concept is now an urgent necessity in order to effectively confront the challenges we now face.

Translated by Khader Khader from Al Hayat Al Jadida on September 3, 2001.