Ahmad Sa'adat's statement to Ofer military court
Ahmad Saadat, imprisoned PFLP leader
January 14, 2007, during the trial at Ofer military base in occupied Palestine
The following is a complete text of his court statement:
This trial cannot be separated from the process of the historical struggle in Palestine that continues today between the Zionist Movement and the Palestinian people, a struggle that centers on Palestinian land, history, civilization, culture and identity. Therefore, any attempt to overlook this reality as we deal with the repercussions of the conflict would be an arbitrary attempt against facts and reason. An arbitrary judgment by the arrogant oppressors, those that try to subdue their Palestinian counterparts by using the systems of occupation that control the land in said conflict.
And if the function of any judicial apparatus is to obtain justice, then any honest, legal and ethical practice should allow arbitration by an independent authority and by laws that concur with international legality. And, international legality and its legislative organism [the United Nations], along with the whole of resolutions adopted by that body, did not legalize your occupation; it pressed to put an end to its status and to eliminate its consequences. Also, when it recognized Israel as a state, the introduction of the resolution of recognition established, as a condition, the return of the Palestinian refugees that were forced into exile. To this day, this condition has not been fulfilled; in addition, the conventions passed by the UN endorse the right of our people to resist the occupation, as a means to obtain national independence and to practice its right to self-determination.
As for your judicial apparatus, which is where this court comes from: it is one of the instruments of the occupation whose function is to give the cover of legal legitimacy to the crimes of the occupation, in addition to consecrating its systems and allowing the imposition of these systems on our people through force.
This judicial apparatus also supports the administration of this occupation – which is the worst form of state-organized terrorism – as if you were in a permanent state of self-defense. The legitimate resistance of our people is seen as if it were terrorism that must be combated and liquidated and judgment is placed upon those that practice or support it. And in the face of this contradiction between two logics, there would have to be a conviction.
I do not find myself obligated to submit to you the pages of international law nor those of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in order to describe the situation, since a witness already exists among you, one who is a leader of the Labor Party that founded your state and who has already served as witness many years ago. This leader described the exceptional international laws legislated by the British occupation in 1945 as “worse than Nazi laws” and added: “It is true that the Nazis have committed crimes; nonetheless, they did not come to legislate for these crimes.” Seeing as your court, like the list of accusations, is based on said laws and places the occupation and the particular accusers as the issuers of the conviction, perhaps indeed this is not a conviction?
Based on what has already been said, I consider your judgment against the combatants of our people as a crime and as a prolongation of the further crimes committed against the sons and daughters of our people, including the expropriation of their lands, the confiscation of their freedom and the assassinations of their children, women, elderly and political leadership.
Also crimes are the judgments against their fighters and leaders, like the assassinations of Abu Ali Mustafa, Sheikh Ahmad Yassin and Yasser Arafat; and the detentions of ministers and legislators democratically chosen in elections legitimized by the international community, which had praised their transparency, honesty and freedom and which were approved, at that time, by your government. The crimes referred to continue to be committed, and it is for that reason that we urge the sponsor of international legality to stop them, to place the occupation and its leaders in front of an international court of justice as ‘criminals of war.’
But most importantly, and which is even worse, the conduct of your successive governments continues to insist on practicing a failed logic in order to impose a solution, instead of looking for a political resolution, based on international legality, of a chronic conflict that has lasted for over a century. This way would open up a democratic, civilized, and humane path toward an end to the conflict. The Israeli leadership is based on the exploitation of the imbalance of international forces favorable to Israeli military interests, so that Israel continually resorts to the language of arrogance and pride as a way to try to eliminate a conflict that gains vitality at the base of objective historic realities.
And so, this leadership has tried to hijack any attempt or movement to resolve the conflict peacefully and through political means, demonstrating its predisposition to reject any initiative toward building a balanced political project that reflects international resolutions. In this way, the French-Spanish-Italian initiative to facilitate an international conference was rejected even before any attempts to delimit its functions. This policy may correspond to the interests of this or that North American leadership or administration, but it does not serve the slogans that the Israeli leadership tries to sell to the Jewish population of Palestine and to the peoples of the world, with reference to the theme of security and the fight against terrorism. Because security can never be obtained in an area where there is a conflict between the military machinery and brutality of an occupying force and the people whose land is occupied.
Security cannot be achieved if not through peace based on an objective look at the realities of the conflict, and this peace then begins to put an end to the occupation and to recognize the national rights of an occupied people. It begins with respect for international law, and not through treating the occupation as if it were above the law, reverting to the logic of arrogance and pride, represented by the quote: That what Mussolini thinks, is truth,” which fosters the cycle of conflict. Your government will be responsible for the lives of the people that will waste away and for the loss of personal, social, and economic stability on both sides of the conflict. This reality should compel the Jews in Palestine and the peoples of the world that aspire to promote justice and peace, to understand the causes and impulses of this policy.
We understand, with certainty, that the reasons for the policy of occupation are not based on political ignorance, or on fear of the future, or to preserve the security of the Jews (like some suggest). What moves the policies of your government is the purpose decided for Israel by imperialism. This purpose converts the slogans raised by the Israeli leadership for the Jewish masses into deceitful slogans, and chooses as its logic, not just the justification for crimes of the occupation, but also the policy of racial discrimination practiced against the masses of our people in the parts of Palestine occupied in 1948. This discrimination is a characteristic that, given their distinct cultures, does not exclude the Oriental Jewish community or the Jewish immigrants originating from Africa and Ethiopia especially. The top of the political pyramid in Israel was always occupied by those in favor of the interests of a handful of local and international Zionist capitalists, allied with the imperialist monopoly companies of the world that today manage and guide the policies of the U.S. and Israel. The peace, security, democracy and welfare for the Jews in Palestine, besides being already exhausted slogans, are no more than ingredients for the imposition of the U.S. imperialist project in the ‘Greater’ or the ‘New’ Middle East, as Shimon Peres calls it. The members of the extremes of international imperialist globalization, with the U.S. as their head, now do not even deny this or try to cover it up.
Based on all that I have said, and in defense of the justice of our cause and in defense of the legitimate struggle of our people against the occupation, I refuse to recognize the legitimacy of your court or to legitimize your occupation or to stand before either of these. Because what you call a list of accusations and ‘security infractions’ are in reality my patriotic duties, “whether they were effective or not,” and would have to be framed within the context of the general duty of resistance against occupation.
At the same time, and as the General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, I would like to reaffirm my pride in belonging to the Palestinian Revolutionary Movement and to the extensions of this movement in the regional, national and international planes that form the components of the international movement against the imperialist system of globalization. This is the leading framework of the peoples of the world and their oppressed social classes that struggle for freedom, democracy, socialism, global progress, the just distribution of wealth, equality among peoples and peace – rejecting repression and the concept of imperialist freedom based on plunder, injustice and racial discrimination. This movement supports the construction of a global, humanist and progressive culture and civilization in order to return to man his humanity and to open up to him the path toward free development.
I am proud to be a combatant fighting to end the Israeli occupation, to achieve national independence, to guarantee the Return of our people and to build the necessary mechanisms that drive a democratic solution to the conflict in Palestine. A solution capable of obtaining a permanent peace for all the population of Palestine, be they Arab or non-Arab. A solution capable of achieving historical reconciliation, equality and impartiality, as much in duties as in rights, within the framework of one single democratic state sustained by a system that detests all forms of discrimination based on religion, nationalism, ethnicity, social class or sexual orientation.
To close, it may be that this court would not wish to listen to this position; it may consider this position as being outside the framework of its functions; to maintain a theory within a certain narrow perspective. However, my position is pressured with logic, the fundamentals of the conflict and its objective causes; as the simple solution is that which deals with the causes, rather than the results. And before this fundamental counter-position, I would like to end my statement by saying the following: This is your court and you possess the force to celebrate the trial and convict me on the basis of your lists of accusations, the public one and the secret one, and you can dictate a sentence prepared by the political and security apparatuses that are behind this trial. But I too possess a will obtained from the justice of our cause and the determination of our people to reject any decision from this ‘kangaroo court,’ and to preserve a logical and cohesive balance, and to continue my determination to resist your occupation alongside the sons and daughters of our people, in spite of the limited space that you impose on my already-limited movements as a ‘prisoner for freedom!’
PFLP Office of Information.