Commentary on the
Palestine National Charter


The Covenant was never legally amended and the clauses that were supposed to be deleted have not been replaced; nevertheless, President Clinton and Prime Minister (at the time the Covenant was to be annulled) Benjamin Netanyahu said the Covenant was changed to their satisfaction. Though the Covenant is still sometimes used today to indicate the Palestinians' true intentions, few Israelis refer to it anymore and it is considered politically irrelevant. The focus now is more on the Palestinians' deeds than their words.


Article 2: Palestine with its boundaries that existed at the line of the British Mandate is an indivisible territorial unit.

Comment: This suggests that there is no room for a Jewish state in Palestine.

Article 3: The Palestinian Arab people possesses the legal right to its home land, and, when the liberation of its home land is completed, it will exercise self­determination solely according to its own will and choice.

Comment: The article claims that only the Palestinian Arabs possess a legal right to self­determination, not the Jews.

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

Comment: This is a crucial article. Arab literature marks the "Zionist invasion" as the year of the Balfour Declaration­1917. It therefore is doubtful that Jews born in Israel after 1917 would be allowed to remain. Jews who arrived in Israel after 1917, including the survivors of Hitler's tortures, and those who fled persecution in Arab lands, would almost certainly have to go-one way or another.

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 work for an 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 self­determination in it and sovereignty over it.

Comment: This precludes any negotiated peace or compromise with Israel. There is only one way to "liberate" Palestine-armed struggle to eliminate Israel.

Article 12: The Palestinian people believe in Arab unity. In order to contribute their share toward the attainment of that belief, however, they must, at the present stage of their struggle, safeguard their Palestinian identity and develop their consciousness of that identity, and oppose any plan that may dissolve or impair it.

Comment: Article 12 cryptically warns against any absorption of Palestinian Arab refugees by their Arab brethren.

Article 15: The liberation of Palestine, from an Arab viewpoint, is a national duty to repulse the Zionist, imperialist invasion from the great Arab homelands and to eliminate the Zionist presence front Palestine. Its full responsibilities fall upon the Arab nation, peoples and governments, with the Palestinian Arab people at their head.

For this purpose, the Arab nation must mobilize all its military, human, material and spiritual capacities 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.

Comment: According to this article, all Arabs and their rulers must unite against Israel. They must do all they can to support violence aimed at the destruction of the Jewish State.

Article 16: The liberation of Palestine, from a spiritual viewpoint, will provide an atmosphere of tranquility 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.

Comment: This sets forth the goal of a "democratic Palestinian state" with freedom for all religions. The Sixth Congress of the Palestine National Council, meeting in Cairo in 1965, adopted this slogan for propaganda purposes only because it "met with remarkable world response." The council dropped the slogan of "throwing the Jews into the sea," which has done "grave damage to the Arab position in the past" (minutes from the Congress).

Article 17: The liberation of Palestine, from a human view­point, will restore to the Palestinian 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.

Comment: The PLO's legacy of murder and destruction against Lebanese Christians belie the implication that a PLO state would treat its citizens with dignity and respect.

Article 18: The liberation of Palestine, from an international point of view, is a defensive action necessitated by the demands of self­defense. Accordingly, the Palestinian people, desirous as they are of the friendship of all people, looks to freedom­loving, justice­loving and peace­loving states for support in order to restore their legitimate rights in Palestine, to reestablish peace and security in the country, and to enable its people to exercise national sovereignty and freedom.

Comment: All efforts aimed at Israel's destruction are by definition "defensive" in nature.

Article 19: The partitioning of Palestine in 1947 and the establishment of Israel are fundamentally null and void, whatever time has elapsed, because they were contrary to the wish of the people of Palestine and its natural right to its homeland, and contradict the principles embodied in the Charter of the United Nations, the first of which is the right of self­determination.

Comment: This reiterates rejection of Jewish self­ determination.

Article 20: The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate Document, and everything based upon them are deemed null and void. The claim of historical or religious ties 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, is not a nationality with an independent existence. Likewise, the Jews are not one people with an independent identity. They are rather citizens of the states to which they belong.

Comment: Palestinian Arab chauvinism denies the very right of self­determination to Jews. The PLO claims that Jews are not a people, but only members of a religion.

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.

Comment: The PLO, through intimidation and murder, has largely silenced moderate Palestinian Arabs who might negotiate a peaceful resolution of the conflict.Here it seeks to foreclose any settlement based on compromise.

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 fascist movement in its formation; aggressive, expansionist and colonialist in its aims, and fascist and Nazi in its methods. Israel is the tool of the Zionist movement and a human and geographical base for world imperialism. It is a concentration and jumping­off point for imperialism in the heart of the Arab homeland, to strike at the hopes of the Arab nation for liberation, unity and progress.

Israel is a constant threat to peace in the Middle East and the entire world. Since the liberation of Palestine will destroy the Zionist and imperialist presence and bring about the stabilization of peace in the Middle East, the people of 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.

Comment: Zionism here is castigated as an enemy of the world, not just of the Arabs or the Palestinians. In the ultimate slander, the Jewish peoples national liberation movement is likened to Nazism.

Article 23: The demands of security and peace and the requirements 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.

Comment: This calls on Third World nations to support the Palestinian battle against the "illegitimate" Israel.

Article 24: The Palestinian Arab people believes in the principles of justice, freedom, sovereignty, self­determination, human dignity and the right of peoples to exercise them.

Comment: Yet, the PLO would deny these rights to the Jews in Israel. By its primary reliance on terror, it has long denied them to many Arabs.

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 self­determination 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.

Comment: The PLO assumes leadership as the umbrella organization for all Palestinian terrorist groups engaged In the struggle against Israel.

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, requirements of the battle of liberation, and will not interfere in the internal affairs of any Arab state.

Comment: PLO subversion in Jordan and Lebanon wrought chaos, and in the case of Lebanon helped bring on its national disintegration.

Article 28: The Palestinian Arab people insists upon the originality and independence of its national revolution, and rejects every manner of interference, trusteeship and subordination.

Comment: The Palestinian Arab liberation movement claims that lt does not serve as a tool for Arab governments, but the PLO was called into being by Arab governments, and has long been manipulated by these regimes to suit their ends. The PLO's close collaboration with Saddam Hussein is just the latest example of how Arab governments manipulate the PLO.

Article 29: The Palestinian Arab people possesses the fundamental and genuine 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.

Comment: This legitimizes Palestinian terror attacks on countries friendly to Israel. Surrendering to this blatant threat, European governments have freed virtually all Arab terrorists caught in their countries.