The following is an abridged translation of the statement issued by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine on the 42nd anniversary of the killing of PFLP leader, Palestinian writer and revolutionary intellectual Ghassan Kanafani by a car bomb planted in Beirut by the Zionist intelligence service, the Mossad. He was martyred on July 8, 1972, yet his words, his work, and his commitment to a truly liberated Palestine remains thriving today:
On the 42nd anniversary of the martyrdom of Comrade Ghassan Kanafani, a message to the Palestinian people, the Arab nation, and the progressive forces of the world:
On the eighth day of July each year, we mark the anniversary of the death of the writer, thinker, and revolutionary Ghassan Kanafani, member of the Political Bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, who was murdered at the hands of the Zionist enemy by a car bomb planted in the middle of Beirut.
Ghassan Kanafani was committed deeply to the cause of his people in all areas of work, through literature, intellectual writings, political work, art and drawings and his constant human values. At every moment he was a Palestinian in struggle, before his martyrdom and beyond, epitomizing the meaning of the revolutionary intellectual – cultural, political and literary – who remains a guiding light, an inspiration and a catalyst for revolutionaries to this day.
Forty-two years after his martyrdom, the flame of the revolution heralded and incited by Ghassan has not been extinguished. Our people continue to struggle in the Galilee, in the Triangle, Jerusalem, al-Khalil, Jenin and Gaza, struggling with a revolutionary fire to confront the Zionist occupation and constant settler and military terror, which did not end with the burning of the child martyr Mohammed Abu Khdeir. The practices of the Zionist enemy reproduce the ugly and repulsive practices of Naziism and scream in the conscience of the world and humanity as a whole. This occupation practices a systematic and orderly terrorism – state terrorism – against the Palestinian peopl. It must come to an end, and stop the killing machine attacking our people, their land and their right to freedom and self-determination.
Forty-two years on, we still adhere to the lessons of the martyr Ghassan, who lived and died faithful to the idea and the reality that Palestine, all of Palestine, belongs to the Palestinian people, rejecting the settlement projects and partial so-called “solutions” decisively. He produced substantive historical accounts and understanding of the nature of the conflict with the Zionist movement, its structure, and its goals and ambitions in the framework of its alliance with U.S. imperialism. This is what must be recognized by the leadership of the PLO, which instead continues its adherence to the absurd and dangerous path of negotiations and relies on the possibility of achieving a political settlement, continuing to bow to the U.S./Israeli dictates and requirements. The Zionist enemy seeks to impose surrender and acceptance of the legitimacy of its founding and occupation, not to achieve any kind of just or comprehensive peace.
On the forty-second anniversary of the martyrdom of Comrade Ghassan Kanafani, we confirm the importance of revolutionary consciousness and the centrality of the dialectical relationship between culture and national consciousness on the one hand and the revolutionary intellectual on the other….This is much-needed these days, cherishing the role and status of Palestinian national culture as part of our national liberation project, in the face of continuing Zionist attempts to counterfeit and appropriate Palestinian history and culture. We must restore the role and status of Palestinian national culture. It is the role and responsibility of academics, intellectuals, and revolutionary Palestinians, in order to do their part in building an advanced revolutionary national consciousness.
Forty-two years, and the displacement of Ghassan and his people from his city of Akka continues. After sixty-six years have passed from the Palestinian “Nakba,” over six million Palestinians remain in refugee camps and in exile and diaspora, still carry the banner of the struggle to return to their homes, their land and their towns and villages from which they were expelled. This is the uprooting and ethnic cleansing of an entire people by the Zionist entity, which still refuse to recognize this crime as it refuses to recognize the rights of the Palestinian people in their homeland. The adherence of our people to their right of return to their native land is not subject at any time or in any way to compromise or negotiation. The leaderships of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority must end their engagement with any so-called solutions that detract from or undermine this right and adhere firmly to the rights of our people..
The commemoration of the martyrdom of Ghassan Kanafani this year comes in light of a rising mass movement in Palestine in response and resistance to the crimes and aggression of the Israeli occupation forces and settlers against our people in the West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem and Occupied Palestine ’48, with a very real potential to be transformed into a comprehensive popular Intifada, which requires support and organization from the factions of the national liberation movement, and also protection from any limitation on its visions and goals.
The commemoration of the martyrdom of Comrade Ghassan Kanafani is an occasion to renew our commitment to adhere to the historical national rights of the Palestinian people in the face of all attempts to undermine them, and to promote and mobilize for the revolutionary principles and values which he exemplified, emphasizing the rights of our people to confront the occupation and the settlers through all means and forms of resistance and struggle, including armed resistance. It is also a time for renewing our commitment with all of the martyrs of our people, the Arab nation and the free world, that we continue to walk on the path of the martyr Ghassan and will remain on that path committed to the principles and goals for which he lived and for which he was killed.