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        Security Council
14 January 1976

Original: English

Letter dated 14 January 1976 from the representative of Israel

to the President of the Security Council

On instructions from my Government, I have the honour to refer to the current debate in the Security Council on "the Middle East problem including the Palestinian question" and to the participation at the meeting of the so-called PLO—an umbrella organization of several Palestinian terrorist groups, with equal rights in the deliberations of the Council. It is relevant to draw your attention to the PLO's ideological basis, as well as to recent statements by its leaders.

The Palestinian Covenant, the organization's political programme and the various statements made by its leaders clearly demonstrate that the principles and purposes of this organization, which has been seated at the table of the Security Council in flagrant contravention of the Charter of the United Nations, are incompatible with, and clearly contrary to, the principles and purposes of the Charter.

I. The Palestinian National Covenant, published in 1964 and amended in 1968, defines the PLO's ideology, "principles and objectives. The following are excerpts from the Covenant:

Article 9. Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine and is therefore a strategy and not a tactic. . .

Article 15. The liberation of Palestine, from an Arab viewpoint, is a national duty... to purge the Zionist presence from Palestine...

Article 19. The partitioning of Palestine in 1947 and the establishment of Israel is fundamentally null and void, whatever time has elapsed...

Article 20. The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate document, and what has been based upon them are considered null and void. The claim of a historical and spiritual tie between the Jews and Palestine does not tally with historical facts...

Article 21. The Arab Palestinian people, in expressing itself through the armed Palestinian revolution, rejects all solutions which are substitutes for a complete liberation of Palestine, and rejects all plans that aim at the liquidation of the Palestinian problem or its internationalization.

Article 22. .. .Israel is a constant source of threat to peace in the Middle East and the entire world. Since the liberation of Palestine will liquidate the Zionist and imperialist presence and bring about the stabilization of peace in the Middle East. ..

II. The Palestine National Council, meeting in Cairo in June 1974, adopted 10 resolutions to be included in the political programme of the PLO. Points 3, 4 and 7 read as follows:

"3. The PLO will struggle against any proposal to set up a 'Palestinian entity' at the price of recognition (of Israel), peace (with Israel) and secure boundaries..."

"4. The PLO will consider any step toward liberation which is accomplished, as a stage in the pursuit of its strategy for the establishment of a democratic Palestinian state, as laid down in the decision of previous National Council meetings."

"7. The Palestine National Authority will strive to call on the Arab States in confrontation [with Israel] to complete the liberation of the whole of the soil of Palestine as a step on the way to comprehensive Arab unity."

III. The leaders of the PLO have repeatedly reaffirmed, in interviews with the world press, the principles and objectives of the PLO as they appear in the Palestine National Covenant and the 10-point political programme. The following are but a few recent examples:

1. Yasser Arafat, the Chairman of the PLO, stated in an address to the General Convention of Palestinian Workers that:

"The Ramadan (October) War is but the beginning of the Arab nation's advance—an advance that will stop only in Tel-Aviv, when we establish our democratic Palestinian state."

(Voice of Palestine, Cairo, 10 June 1974)

Addressing a youth group in Syria, Yasser Arafat said:

"You are the generation that will reach the (Mediterranean) Sea and hoist the flag of Palestine over Tel-Aviv."

(Quoted by ANSA, Cairo, 25 July 1974)

2. Farouk Kaddoumi, Arafat's deputy, who is a member of the PLO Executive Committee and head of its political department, stated in a press conference at the United Nations on 5 November 1975 that the PLO considers Tel-Aviv to be "occupied territory". He further stated in another interview that:

"Israel is a Jewish Zionist state. This means there is no tolerance on our part for Israel. . . this Zionist ghetto of Israel must be destroyed."

(Newsweek, 5 January 1975)

3. Zuheir Mohsein, a member of the PLO Executive Committee who is in charge of its Military Department, when asked if he expects Israel to agree to what is in effect national suicide replied:

". . .They'll see this as the only solution when we force them to their knees—after we've smashed them to pieces militarily."

(Die Zeit, 12 December 1975)

IV. 1. In his address at the thirtieth General Assembly, on 30 September 1975,4 the Foreign Minister of Israel, Mr. Yigal Allon, stated:

"And for our part I solemnly reiterate that the Government of Israel is ready and willing to enter into peace negotiations... without prior conditions, as called for by Security Council resolution 338 (1973), at any place and at any time."

2. In its decision of 4 January 1976, the Government of Israel called for "progress in the peace efforts of the region and for the convening of the Geneva peace Conference in accordance with the letter of invitation of the Secretary-General of the United Nations on 18 December 1973 for the purpose of deliberating, in accordance with an agreed agenda, on all matters requiring solution so as to achieve a just and lasting peace between the Arab States and Israel".

I have the honour to request that this letter be circulated as an official document of the Security Council, together with the annex to this letter entitled "The Palestinian National Covenant (1968): An Israeli com­mentary by Y. Harkabi".

(Signed) Chaim HERZOG
Permanent Representative of Israel
to the United Nations


The Palestinian National Covenant (1968)

An Israeli commentary by Y. Harkabi*

The Palestinian National Covenant is perhaps the most important document of this stage of the Israel-Arab conflict, especially with regard to the Arab side. It represents a summation of the official position of the Palestinian organizations in the conflict.

The previous version of the Covenant was adopted by the First Palestinian Congress, which convened in Jerusalem in May, 1964 at the time of the establishment of the Palestine Liberation Organization. In the official English translation of the previous version it was called "Covenant" and not "Charter," in order to emphasize its national sanctity, and the "introductory words to the Covenant conclude with an oath to implement it. The Congress stipulated that a Palestinian National Council, the highest institution of the Palestinian organizations, would meet periodically, and that a two-thirds majority of the Council members would be required to amend the Covenant. As a result of the changes which came about in the Palestine Liberation Organization after the Six-Day War the Palestinian National Council convened in Cairo for its fourth session on July 10-17, 1968 and amended the Covenant. It should be noted that representatives of almost all the Palestinian organizations existing in Arab countries participated this session, including all the fedayeen organizations. Fatah the fedayeen organizations under its influence had thirty-representatives in the National Council of one hundred members and the Popular Front had ten. Fatah's style is ognizable in the new Covenant. This amended version was not formulated casually; it represents a position that seriously considered and weighed. The amended version presented. In order to highlight the changes we shall Spare this version with its predecessor.

The main principles which were set down in the Covenant the Palestinian State only Jews who lived in Palestine 1917 will be recognized as citizens (Article 6).

Only the Palestinian Arabs possess the right of self-determination, and the entire country belongs to them (Articles 3 and 21).

solution that does not involve total liberation of the country rejected. This aim cannot be achieved politically; i can only be accomplished militarily (Articles 9 and 21).

Warfare against Israel is legal, whereas Israel's self-defense (Article 18).

For the sake of completeness the Covenant is presented here entirety.

* Appeared in Mariv December 12, 1969.

The Palestinian National Covenant**

This Covenant will be called "The Palestinian National Covenant" (Al-Mith&q Al-Watanl Al-Filastini)a/

In the previous version of the Covenant of May, 1964 the adjective "national" was rendered by qawmi, the usual meaning of which in modern Arabic is pan-Arab and ethnic nationalism, whereas here they use the adjective watant, which signifies nationalism in its narrow, territorialistic sense as patriotism toward a specific country. This change intends to stress Palestin­ian patriotism.

Articles of the Covenant

Article 1. Palestine is the homeland of the Palestinian Arab people and an integral part of the Great Arab Homeland, and the people of Palestine is a part of the Arab nation.

In most Arab constitutions it is simply stipulated that the people of that country constitutes an integral part of the Arab nation. Here, because of the special problem of territory, it is also stressed that the land is an integral part of the general Arab homeland. The previous version in the Covenant of 1964 was more vague: "Palestine is an Arab homeland bound by strong Arab national ties to the rest of the Arab countries which together form the Great Arab Homeland." The combination "the Palestinian Arab people" recurs often in the Covenant and is also intended to stress the special status of the Palestinians, though as Arabs.

Article 2. Palestine with its boundaries that existed at the time of the British Mandate is an integral regional unit.

The same formulation as in the previous version. It is implied that Palestine should not be divided into a Jewish and an Arab state. Although it is an accepted tenet of Arab nationalism that existing boundaries should be abolished, since they were artificially delineated by the imperialist powers, here they are sanctified. The expression "that existed at the time of the British Mandate" is vague. The article is subject to two interpretations: 1. The Palestinian State includes also Jordan, and thus supersedes [sic] it; 2. The West Bank is detached from Jordan.

Article 3. The Palestinian Arab people possesses the legal right to its homeland, and when the liberation of its homeland is completed it will exercise self-determination solely according to its own will and choice.

The decision concerning the problem of the internal regime is deferred until after the liberation. The crux of this article is to postpone the decision concerning the relation to the Kingdom of Jordan and Hashemite rule. There is also the emphasis here that only the Palestinian Arabs possess a national legal right, excluding of course the Jews, to whom a special article is devoted below.

Article 4. The Palestinian personality is an innate, persistent characteristic that does not disappear, and it is transferred from fathers to sons. The Zionist occupation, and the dis­persal of the Palestinian Arab people as result of the disasters which came over it, do not deprive it of its Palestinian personality and affiliation and do not nullify them. The Palestinian, therefore, cannot cease being a Palestinian. Palestinianism is not citizenship but an eternal characteristic that comes from birth. The Jew is a Jew through the maternal line, and the Palestinian a Palestinian through the paternal line. The Palestinians, consequently, cannot be assimilated. This article implies that Palestinian citizenship follows from the Palestinian characteristic. This is the Palestinian counterpart to the Law of Return.

** The body of the document is translated from the Arabic original. Articles of the 1964 Covenant repeated here are rendered on the basis of the official English translation of that Covenant but with alterations of style and terminology. The same procedure is followed in translating quotations from the earlier Covenant cited hi the commentary (Y. H.)

a/ Text of the Covenant is printed in all upper case type. Commentary by Y. Harkabi appears in upper and lower case type.

Article 5. The Palestinians are the Arab citizens who were living permanently in Palestine until 1947, whether they were expelled from there or remained. Whoever is born to a Palestinian Arab father after this date, within Palestine or outside it, is a Palestinian.

A reinforcement of the previous article. This definition refers solely to the Arabs. With reference to the Jews the matter is different. This is because being Palestinian is basically equivalent to being Arab.

Article 6. Jews who were living permanently in Palestine until the beginning of the Zionist invasion will be considered Palestinians.

In the section on resolutions of the Congress, in the chapter entitled "The International Palestinian Struggle" (p. 51), it is stated: "Likewise, the National Council affirms that the aggres­sion against the Arab nation and its land began with the Zionist invasion of Palestine in 1917. Therefore, the meaning of "removal of the traces of the aggression" must be removal of the traces of the aggression which came into effect from the beginning of the Zionist invasion and not from the war of June, 1967. ..."

"The beginning of the Zionist invasion" is therefore at the time of the Balfour Declaration. This conception is current in Arab political literature. In the 1964 version the corresponding article was: "Jews of Palestinian origin will be considered Palestinians if they are willing to endeavor to live in loyalty and peace in Palestine." The expression "of Palestinian origin" is vague, for the article does not specify which Jews are to be considered of Palestinian origin. Since in the previous article (5 in the new version, 6 in the old) the date which determines being Palestinian is set at 1947, the implication could be that this applies also to the Jews. Since the aim is the return of the Arab Palestinians, it is necessary to make room for them. However, in the meantime, Jews have taken up residence in Arab dwelling-places, especially those Jews who immigrated after 1947; hence also from a practical aspect it is necessary to remove these Jews in particular.

The Jews who will not be recognized as Palestinians are therefore aliens who have no right of residence and must leave.

The National Covenant is a public document intended for general distribution. The Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization specified in its introduction to the official report of the proceedings of the Congress as follows: "In view of the importance of the resolutions of the Palestinian National Council in its session convened in Cairo from July 10 to 17, 1968, we published them in this booklet so that the Palestinians in every place may read them and find in them a policy and a program. ..." (pp. 17-18).

One might expect that those hundred members of the National Council would have recoiled from adopting such an extreme position which could serve as a weapon against the Palestinians. The fact that they did not is itself of great significance and testifies to the severity of the Palestinian Arab position.

A year and a half has elapsed since the Covenant was amended, sufficient time to raise criticism against this manifestation of extremism. However, until now no Arab body, including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which is usually critical of the Palestine Liberation Organization and Fatah, has dissociated itself from the position presented in this article. To the best of my knowledge, no article has been published in an Arab newspaper that raises criticism against it. This silence is also highly significant.

The amended version of this article points to a radicalization of the Palestinian Arab position. It contains decisive evidence as to the nature of the slogan Arab leaders brandish concerning a "pluralistic, democratic state." Pluralism that is expressed in the elimination of two million four hundred thousand Israeli Jews is nothing but throwing dust in the eyes.

Arab spokesmen add that the aim is for the Palestinian state to be secular, as opposed to Israel, which they condemn as an anachronistic state founded upon a religious principle. It should be noted, however, that in all the constitutions of the Arab states (except Lebanon) Islam is explicitly established as the state religion. The Syrian constitution of 1964 stipulates that the president of the state must be a Muslim. In most of the constitutions it is also emphasized that the Shan'a (Islamic Law) is the source of the laws of the state. Fatah appealed to a congress held in al-Azhar University in September, 1968 to consider contributions to the fedayeen Zakat (a religious alms tax) and warfare against Israel, Jihad. Thus they wage a religious war in order to establish a secular state. The crown of democracy, with which Palestinian spokesmen adorn the 1 Palestinian state, also arouses scepticism in view of the Arabs' failure to set up democratic regimes.

Even if the Palestinians, realizing how this article damages their cause, amend it, such an amendment would be tactical and reactive, a response to foreign criticism, while the 1968 version reflects the more spontaneous mood.

Article 7. The Palestinian affiliation and the material, spiritual ' and historical tie with Palestine are permanent realities. The upbringing of the Palestinian individual in an Arab and revolutionary fashion, the undertaking of all means of forging consciousness and training the Palestinian, in order to acquaint him profoundly with his homeland, spiritually and materially, and preparing him for the conflict and the armed struggle, as well as for the sacrifice of his property and his life to restore his homeland, until the liberation—all this is a national duty.

The second part, the preparation for the struggle, is new and was formulated under the influence of the special place that is now given to fedayeenism.

Article 8. The phase in which the people of Palestine is living is that of the national (Watani) struggle for the liberation of Palestine. Therefore, the contradictions among the Palestinian national forces are of a secondary order which must be suspended in the interest of the fundamental contra­diction between Zionism and colonialism on the one side and the Palestinian Arab people on the other. On this basis, the Palestinian masses, whether in the homeland or in places of exile (Mahdjir), organizations and individuals, comprise one national front which acts to restore Palestine and liberate it through armed struggle.

It is necessary to postpone internal disputes and concentrate on warfare against Israel. The style of "secondary contradictions" and "fundamental contradictions" is influenced by the language of Fatah and the younger circles. In the previous corresponding article it is stated: "Doctrines, whether political, social or economic, shall not divert the people of Palestine from their primary duty of liberating their homeland. ..."

Article 9. Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine and is therefore a strategy and not tactics. The Palestinian Arab people affirms its absolute resolution and abiding de­termination to pursue the armed struggle and to march forward toward the armed popular revolution, to liberate its homeland and return to it, [to maintain] its right to a natural life in it, and to exercise its right of self-determination in it and sovereignty over it.

The expression "a strategy and not tactics" is from the lexicon of Fatah expressions (see Y. Harkabi, Fedayeen Action and Arab Strategy [Adelphi Papers, No. 53, The Institute for Strategic Studies, London, 1968], p. 8). They use it with reference to fedayeen activities: they are not a support weapon but the essence of the war. "The armed struggle" is a broader concept, but here too stress is placed on action of the fedayeen variety. "The armed popular revolution" signifies the participation of the entire people in the war against Israel. It is depicted as a stage that will be reached by means of broadening the activity of the fedayeen. They are merely the vanguard whose role is to produce a "detonation" of the revolution until it embraces all levels of the people.

The radicalism in the aim of annihilation of the State of Israel and the "liberation" of all its territory eliminates the possibility of a political solution, which is by nature a compromise settlement. Such is the reasoning in this article and in Article 21. There remains only the way of violence.

Article 10. Fedayeen action forms the nucleus of the popular Palestinian war of liberation. This demands its promotion, extension and protection, and the mobilization of all the mass and scientific capacities of the Palestinians, their organization and involvement in the armed Palestinian revolution, and cohesion in the national (Watarii) struggle among the various groups of the people of Palestine, and between them and the Arab masses, to guarantee the con­tinuation of the revolution, its advancement and victory.

This article is new. It describes the "alchemy" of fedayeenism, how its activity broadens and eventually sweeps the entire people. The masses in Arab countries are described in the language of Fatah as constituting "the supportive Arab front," the role of which is not only to offer aid but to assure that the Arab states will not deviate, on account of local interests and pressures, from their obligation to support the Palestinian revolution. Article 11. The Palestinians will have three mottoes: National (Wataruyya) Unity, National (Qawmiyya) Mobilization and Liberation.

Here there is no change. These mottoes are inscribed above the publications of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Article 12. The Palestinian Arab people believes in Arab unity. In order to fulfill its role in realizing this, it must preserve, in this phase of its national (Watani) struggle, its Palestinian personality and the constituents thereof, increase consciousness of its existence and resist any plan that tends to disintegrate or weaken it.

The idea of Arab unity requires giving priority to the pan-Arab character over the local character. From the aspect of a consistent doctrine of unity, stressing local character or distinctiveness is divisive because it strengthens difference, whereas unity rests on what is common and uniform. The issue of the relation between local distinctiveness and pan-Arab unity has much preoccupied the ideologues of Arab nationalism. The conservative circles tend to stress the need for preserving local character even after unity has been achieved. By this means Arab unity will be enriched through variegation. The revolutionary circles, on the other hand, stress unity and homogeneity. This is based either on a practical consideration, that internal consolidation will be reinforced in proportion to the reduction of distinctive factors, or on the view that the local character is part of the heritage they wish to change. The controversy between distinctiveness and unity is also reflected in the conception of the structure of unity. Those who seek to preserve distinctiveness deem it necessary to conserve the existing political frameworks in a loosely confederated unified structure. Those who stress unity tend to try and obliterate the existing political frameworks, along With their boundaries, which were merely the adjunct of a colonial system, with the object of achieving a more consolidated political structure. This controversy may be represented as an antinomy in which Arab nationalism is caught: Unity which tries to suppress the distinctive character of its parts Will arouse local opposition; unity which conserves the local distinctive character may abett [sic] divisive tendencies.

This article intends to answer the charge that stressing Palestinian distinctiveness is an objective that conflicts with Arab unity (in the language of Arab nationalism, the sin of bnuabiyya or Iqlimiyya). This charge was heard, for example, nom within circles of the Qawmiyyfln al-Arab movement, who were dedicated to the idea of Arab unity. Previous to the Six Day War this charge also had a practical aspect, namely, the assessment that excessive stress on the Palestinianism of we struggle against Israel diminished the role of the Arab res as direct participants in this confrontation. The response this charge is, therefore, that preservation of Palestinian distnctiveness is merely a temporary necessity, to be transcended in favor of Arab unity. There is, however, a contradiction between this contention and the previous assertion of the eternity of the Palestinian personality.

Article 13. Arab unity and the liberation of Palestine are two of complementary aims. Each one paves the way for realization of the other. Arab unity leads to the liberation of Palestine, and the liberation of Palestine leads to Arab unity. Working for both goes hand in hand.

This again is an antinomy. Victory over Israel requires concentration of all Arab forces upon the struggle, a concentration made possible only by the establishment of a supra-state authority to control all these forces, that is, a common government. Nasser repeatedly warned that unity is a pre­condition for initiating war against Israel. But attaining unity is a long-range affair. Consequently, war against Israel is deferred until a remote time, because undertaking a war without unity would only lead to defeat. On the other hand, unity can be attained only by the detonation of a spectacular event, like victory over Israel. The ideologues of Fatah were much preoccupied with this issue (see Fedayeen Action and Arab Strategy, p. 9). Their response is contained in their slogan: "The liberation of Palestine is the road to unity, and this is the right substitute for the slogan, 'unity is the road to the liberation of Palestine.'" Actually, this article offers a verbal solution, circumventing the problem of priority by characterizing both events as contemporary, just as in the previous version of the Covenant.

Article 14. The destiny of the Arab nation, indeed the very Arab existence, depends upon the destiny of the Palestine issue. The endeavor and effort of the Arab nation to liberate Palestine follows from this connection. The people of Palestine assumes its vanguard role in realizing this sacred national (Qawirii) aim.

This is a common notion in the Arab position. It is often Stated in Arab political literature that the Palestine issue is fateful for the very Arab existence. It is maintained that the existence of Israel prevents the Arabs from achieving their national goal. Furthermore, the existence of Israel necessarily leads to its expansion and the liquidation of the Arabness of additional Arab lands. The Palestinians have an interest in stressing the fatefulness of the struggle against Israel and its centrality for the whole Arab world. They thus spur on the others to take an active role in the struggle against Israel. It may be that there is also hidden here the intention to lend symmetry to the conflict. Thus, both sides threaten each other with extinction, and the Arabs are not alone in this. A formula for division of labor is also presented here. The Palestinians will be the vanguard marching before the Arab camp.

Article 15. The liberation of Palestine, from an Arab view­point, is a national (Qawrrii) duty to repulse the Zionist, imperialist invasion from the Great Arab Homeland and to purge the Zionist presence from Palestine. Its full responsibilities fall upon the Arab nation, peoples and governments, with the Palestinian Arab people at their head.

The goal is, therefore, twofold: defense of the rest of the Arab countries and removal of Zionism from Palestine.

For this purpose, the Arab nation must mobilize all its military, human, material and spiritual capabilities to participate actively with the people of Palestine in the liberation of Palestine. They must, especially in the present stage of armed Palestinian revolution, grant and offer the people of Palestine all possible help and every material and human support, and afford it every sure means and opportunity enabling it to continue to assume its vanguard role in pursuing its armed revolution until the liberation of its homeland.

There is the implied concern lest, without the support of the Arab states, the drive of "the Palestinian revolution" will dissipate. The distinction of this version as compared with its predecessor, is mainly in the accentuation of "the active participation" of the Arab states and the issue of "the armed Palestinian revolution," which is certainly to be attributed to Fatah's ideological influence upon the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Article 16. The liberation of Palestine, from a spiritual view­point, will prepare an atmosphere of tranquillity and peace for the Holy Land, in the shade of which all the Holy Places will be safeguarded, and freedom of worship and visitation to all will be guaranteed, without distinction or discrimination of race, color, language or religion. For this reason, the people of Palestine looks to the support of all the spiritual forces in the world.

Article 17. The liberation of Palestine, from a human view­point, will restore to the Palestinian man his dignity, glory and freedom. For this, the Palestinian Arab people looks to the support of those in the world who believe in the dignity and freedom of man.

The very existence of Israel and the lack of a Palestinian homeland create alienation in the Palestinian, for these deprive him of his dignity and bring him to a state of subservience. As long as Israel exists the Palestinian's personality is flawed. This is an addition in the spirit of Fatah which was not in the previous version, and it is probably influenced by recent revolutionary literature, such as the teaching of Franz Fanon.

Article 18. The liberation of Palestine, from an international viewpoint, is a defensive act necessitated by the requirements of self-defense. For this reason, the people of Palestine, desiring to befriend all peoples, looks to the support of the states which love freedom, justice and peace in restoring the legal situation to Palestine, establishing security and peace in its territory, and enabling its people to exercise national (Wataniyya) sovereignty and national (Qawmiyyd) freedom.

As in the previous version, the existence of Israel is illegal; therefore war against it is legal. In Palestinian literature there is a frequent claim that the fedayeen assaults against Israel are legal, while the self-defense and reactions of Israel are illegal, for their aim is to perpetuate the state which embodies aggression in its very establishment and existence. To the foreign observer this distinction between the legality of attacking Israel and the illegality of the response may appear as sham innocence that is indeed even ludicrous. Nevertheless, it may be assumed that there are Arabs for whom this is not only a matter of formal argument but a belief.

Ibrahim al-'Abid, in an article entitled 'The Reasons for the Latest Israeli Aggression" (The Six Day War), writes: "Fedayeen action is a right of the people of Palestine because the right of national liberation is an extension of the right of peoples to self-defense, and it is the right which the United Nations Charter affirmed as an original natural right" (Anis Sayegh, ed., Filastiniya, PLO Center for Research, Beirut, 1968, p. 107).

Article 19. The partitioning of Palestine in 1947 and the establishment of Israel is fundamentally null and void, whatever time has elapsed, because it was contrary to the wish of the people of Palestine and its natural right to its homeland, and contradicts the principles embodied in the Charter of the United Nations, the first of which is the right of self-determination.

It is often found in Arab literature that the Mandate and the Partition Resolution, though accepted by the League of Nations and the United Nations Organization, have no legal force. They represent an aberration and not a norm of international law. The reason for this is that they contradicted the fundamental principle of the right of self-determination. This article is copied from the previous version.

Article 20. The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate document, and what has been based upon them are considered null and void. The claim of a historical or spiritual tie between Jews and Palestine does not tally with historical realities nor with the constituents of statehood in their true sense. Judaism, in its character as a religion of revelation, is not a nationality with an independent existence. Likewise, the Jews are not one People with an independent personality. They are rather citizens of the states to which they belong.

Again an identical formulation. This article incorporates the principal claims concerning historical right: The Jews lived in Palestine for only a brief time; their sovereignty over it was not exclusive; the Arabs did not conquer it from them and need not restore it to them; and the Arabs remained in the country longer than the Jews. Moreover, a state embodies a national, not a religious, principle. The Jews, as having merely religious distinctiveness, do not need a state at all, and a Jewish state that makes of Judaism a nationalism is a historical and political aberration. Therefore, Zionism, as a manifestation of Jewish nationalism, distorts Judaism.

Since the State of Israel is not based on a true nationalism, it is very often described in Arabic as "an artificial entity." This is also brought as proof that Israel can be destroyed. This conception is also at the basis of fedayeen theory: since the Jews have no real nationalism, terror will cause their disintegra­tion to the point that they will consent to relinquish Jewish statehood.

The conception that the Jews do not constitute a national entity is a vital principle for the Arab position. For if the Israelis are a nation, then they have the right of self-determination, and the claim that only the Palestinian Arabs have the right of self-determination, and that only they must decide the national character of the country, is not valid. Moreover, the Arab claim for exclusive national self-determination appears in all its starkness as chauvinism that demands rights for itself while denying the same rights to the other.

Article 21. The Palestinian Arab people, in expressing itself through the armed Palestinian revolution, rejects every solution that is a substitute for a complete liberation of Palestine, and rejects all plans that aim at the settlement of the Palestine issue or its internationalization.

This rejection of any compromise settlement is an addition to the previous version. In the resolutions of the fourth session i of the Palestinian National Council a long and detailed section is devoted to the rejection of the Security Council Resolution] of November 22, 1967 and any peaceful solution, with insistence upon the intention to undermine any attempt in this direction.

Article 22. Zionism is a political Movement organically related to world imperialism and hostile to all Movements of liberation and progress in the world. It is a racist and fanatical Movement in its formation; aggressive, expansionist and colonialist in its aims; and Fascist and Nazi in its means. Israel is the tool of the Zionist Movement and a human and geographical base for world imperialism. It is a concen­tration and jumping-off point for imperialism in the heart of the Arab homeland, to strike at the hopes of the Arab nation for liberation, unity and progress.

In this new version there is an accentuation of Israel's relation to world imperialism and intensification of its denunciation. This is in the spirit of the Leftist sentiments that prevail among the up-and-coming Arab generation. The claim that the hostility of Zionism is directed, not only against the Arabs, but against all that is good in the world, is also an addition. Thus, warfare against Israel is elevated from an Arab interest to a universal humanistic mission.

Israel is a constant threat to peace in the Middle East and the entire world. Since the liberation of Palestine will liquidate the Zionist and imperialist presence and bring about the stabilization of peace in the Middle East, the people ofl Palestine looks to the support of all liberal men of the world and all the forces of good, progress and peace; and implores all of them, regardless of their different leanings and orientations, to offer all help and support to the people of Palestine in its just and legal struggle to liberate its homeland.

Article 23. The demands of security and peace and the require1 ments of truth and justice oblige all states that preserve friendly relations among peoples and maintain the loyalty of citizens to their homelands to consider Zionism an illegitimate Movement and to prohibit its existence and activity.

The attachment of Jews to Israel expressed in Zionism creates, dual-nationality and political chaos. Arabs apparently do not: sense the contradiction in this claim. Despite the prevalence, of supranational tendencies among circles in the progressive; world, with which the Palestinians claim to have an affinity, a narrow, formal nationalistic approach is stressed here, which maintains that a man cannot cherish a loyal attachment to any factor apart from his own state.

Article 24. The Palestinian Arab people believes in the principles of Justice, Freedom, Sovereignty, Self-determination, human dignity and the right of peoples to exercise them.

Article 25. To realize the aims of this Covenant and its principles the Palestine Liberation Organization will undertake its full role in liberating Palestine.

This article (with the omission of the conclusion, "in accord­ance with the fundamental law of this organization") is identical to the previous version. In this and the next article the Palestine Liberation Organization is presented as the umbrella organization bearing the general responsibility for the struggle of all the Palestinians against Israel.

Article 26. The Palestine Liberation Organization, which represents the forces of the Palestinian revolution, is responsible for the Movement of the Palestinian Arab people in its struggle to restore its homeland, liberate it, return to it and exercise the right of self-determination in it. This responsibility extends to all military, political and financial matters, and all else that the Palestine issue requires in the Arab and international spheres.

The addition here, as compared with the previous version, is that the organization assumes also the role of bringing into effect the regime it prefers after the victory.

Article 27. The Palestine Liberation Organization will co­operate with all Arab states, each according to its capacities, and will maintain neutrality in their mutual relations in the light of, and on the basis of, the requirements of the battle of liberation, and will not interfere in the internal affairs of any Arab state.

The obligation of neutrality, therefore, is not absolute but is qualified by the requirements of the battle of liberation.

Article 28. The Palestinian Arab people insists upon the originality and independence of its national (Wataniyya) revolution and rejects every manner of interference, guardianship and subordination.

The Palestinian movement is not the tool for any Arab State and does not accept orders from any outside authority.

Article 29. The Palestinian Arab people possesses the prior and original right in liberating and restoring its homeland and will define its position with reference to all states and powers on the basis of their positions with reference to the issue [of Palestine] and the extent of their support for [the Palestinian Arab people] in its revolution to realize its aims.

This is a new article, which includes a threat that the friend­ship of any state toward Israel will entail the enmity of the organization. A similar principle was established in the First Arab Summit Conference.

Article 30. The fighters and bearers of arms in the battle of liberation are the nucleus of the Popular Army, which will be the protecting arm of the Palestinian Arab people.

In other words, there is a future in the fedayeen or military career.

Article 31. This organization shall have a flag, oath and anthem, all of which will be determined in accordance with a special system.

Article 32. To this Covenant is attached a law known as the Fundamental Law of the Palestine Liberation Organization, in which is determined the manner of the Organization's formation, its committees, institutions, the special functions of every one of them and all the requisite duties associated with them in accordance with this Covenant.

Article 33. This Covenant cannot be amended except by a two thirds majority of all the members of the National Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization in a special session called for this purpose.


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