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
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
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
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
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
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"
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
Comment: PLO subversion in Jordan and Lebanon
wrought chaos, and in the case of Lebanon helped bring on its national
Article 28: The Palestinian Arab people
insists upon the originality and independence of its national
revolution, and rejects every manner of interference, trusteeship and
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.