Back to PLO Bulletin 1-15 July 1979



"All staunch patriots in the Middle East who offer valiant resistance to the conspiracies of imperialism, Zionism and reaction, and fight for lasting and just peace in the region and for national independence and social progress of their peoples may rest assured of the unshakable solidarity of the population of the German Democratic Republic," affirmed a GDR statement released on June 11 on the occasion of a national week of solidarity with the Arab peoples in their anti-imperialist struggle (11 to 18 June).

The statement notes that with the signing of the Israeli-Egyptian separate agreement, imperialism has sharpened the conflict in the Middle East, giving a fresh boost to the regional arms race and thus heightening the danger to world peace. The statement strongly condemns the separate deal between Sadat's regime and Israel which it says will perpetuate Israeli occupation of Arab territories and oppression of the Arab population there, and tramples upon the inalienable right to self-determination of the Arab people of Palestine. The unreserved solidarity and support of G.D.R. people is extended to the Palestinian people under the leadership of their sole authentic representative, the PLO, in their struggle for the implementation of their national rights.


A strong counter-demonstration to the "Salute to Israel" parade was held in New York on June 7. It denounced Carter's Mideast Treaty and pressed for the right of the Palestinian people to steer their own destiny on the land that was stolen from them.

Counter-demonstration to "Salute to Israel" parade, New York City, July 7
The pounding rain did not dissolve the determination of 400 people, more than half of whom were Arab.

The Palestine Action Coalition initiated the June 7th demonstration. The Coalition includes the Palestine Solidarity Committee, the Red Crescent Society, the General Union of Palestinian Women, the Palestine Information Project, the Committee for a Democratic Palestine, the Palestine Social Club, the Yemeni Club, Youth Against War & Fascism, the Jewish Socialist Committee and many others.

As the marchers assembled in front of the Exxon Building in Rockefeller Center, a 15-year-old Palestinian youth shinnied 30 feet up a rainslicked streetlamp and pulled out the flag of Palestine.

As police shouted to him that he was under arrest, he pulled off his belt and secured the flag at the very top and then slid down. The boy was roughly arrested by the police and the demonstration faced off a column of police chanting "Let him go, let him go" and "Long Live Palestine! " The youth was released and returned in time for the march.

The PLO representative to the UN, Hassan Abdul Rahman spoke at a rally before the march. He drew the connections between the struggle of the Palestinians to regain their homes and land and the struggle of the Nicaraguan people for liberation and the fight for freedom being waged in Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Namibia. He stressed that it is Zionism that is the enemy of the Palestinians - not the Jewish people.

The marchers wound through downtown Manhattan, stopped briefly in front of the South African Airways and the Nicaraguan Consulate, and stopped at the World Zionist Headquarters where the demonstration concluded with a message of solidarity from a Jewish anti-Zionist.


Arafat meets with American delegation
On the invitation of the Arab American University Graduates (AAUG) organisation in the U.S., an American delegation of representatives from progressive and peace-orientated organizations, as well as Black American organizations, visited the PLO from June 12 to 20, 1979. The delegation was headed by Jack O'Dell, an assistant of the late Martin Luther King and a member of the board of directors of PUSH, (People United to Save Humanity) a national Black American organization in the U.S. Beside other PUSH representatives, the delegation included a number of religious leaders from the Baptist Church as well as American writers and television producers. They visited Palestinian social and welfare institutions, including Dar as-Somoud (a school for children from Tal al-Zaatar), Palestine Red Crescent hospitals and clinics and SAMED workshops. They also visited South Lebanon, where they saw the destruction caused by Israeli air raids in Nabatiyeh and a number of other villages, as well as in the refugee camps near Tyre. They protested the use of U.S. weapons against the civilian population there.

The delegation had meetings with Chairman Arafat, Farouk Kaddoumi, Head of the PLO's Political Department, and Fateh Central Committee Member Abu iyad. They expressed their solidarity with the Palestinian people and condemned U.S. support for Israel, especially the massive supply of U.S. weapons that are now employed in the war of "scorched earth" Israel is waging against Lebanon and the Palestinians. They pledged that they would continue in the U. S. to rally support for the just struggle of the Palestinian people.


Members of the Ramallah Federation in the U.S. visit PLO
A delegation of the Ramallah Palestine Federation of the U.S., including the President of the Federation, Mr. George Khoury, visited the PLO in Lebanon at the end of June.

The Ramallah Federation has approximately 20 chapters and includes 10,000 members, mostly Palestinians living in the U.S. The delegation included members of the board of directors of the Federation. They visited various institutions of the PLO in Lebanon, including SAMED workshops, schools and hospitals of the Palestine Red Crescent Society. In South Lebanon, they visited Palestinian refugee camps and witnessed the barbaric Israeli air, sea and land attacks.

In meetings with Chairman Arafat and Farouk Kaddoumi they expressed solidarity with the struggle of the PLO and had extensive discussions on how to mobilize the Palestinian American community in the U.S. They received a special message from Chairman Arafat to greet the Ramallah Federation's annual convention to be held on July 5, 1979 in California.


A parliamentary guild from Japanese political parties was formed to promote Japanese-Palestinian friendship during a recent meeting in Tokyo which was attended by more than 100 Japanese deputies and 16 Arab ambassadors. The guild elected Mr. Tokoma Atastomya as President. He spoke at the meeting about the importance of the Palestinian cause and the necessity of restoring to the Arabs their legitimate rights as a prerequisite for a solution to the Middle East crisis. He stressed the need to give the Palestinian people their right of self-determination and the establishment of their own independent state on their own homeland for a permanent and durable peace in the area. He reiterated that no solution could be achieved without these conditions being met.

The President also suggested to the organizing council that invitations be sent to the Chairman of the PLO, Yasser Arafat, and to Farouk Kaddoumi to visit Japan. The council authorized the president to follow up the invitation process.


A group supporting the aims of the Palestine Liberation Organisation has been formed in Perth, Australia. Robert Birch one of the conveners of "Palestine Action," a campaign for human rights for the Palestinians, said on May 10 that members would lobby Members of Parliament, possibly organize demonstrations and try to give the public what he said was the "other side of the Middle East question." The Group said that the Federal Government of Australia should recognize Palestine and establish a Palestine Liberation Organization office in Australia. It also expressed concern at the attempts in the local media and worldwide, by Zionists and their sympathisers, to distort and suppress the truth about Palestine.

The group's aim is to reveal to the world public opinion the racist nature of Zionism, embodied in Israel's "Law of Return" under which no one who is not Jewish has the right to settle in Palestine, even if he was born there and his family had lived there for centuries, whereas anyone has the right to settle in Palestine, irrespective of anything else, provided only that he is Jewish. The group made it clear that Israeli expansionism was the real obstacle to peace in the Middle East.

In a declaration, "Palestin Action" exposed the falseness of the U.S.-Begin-Sadat "peace" treaty. This "peace", it said, allowed for the continued violation of all human rights in the occupied territories by Israel, the torture of thousands of Palestinian political prisoners despite world-wide outcry, the expansion of Israeli settlements, the denial of any meaningful self-determination for the Palestinian people, and Israel's continued support for fascist forces in Lebanon. This "peace" could never hold, since it excluded the Palestinian people and their sole representative, the PLO, and it was basically an attempt on the part of the U.S. to divide the Arab world and impose its economic and political will on the entire region.

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