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August 27, 2005


the burningman

The PFLP has been profoundly weakened since the disasters of Lebanon in the 1970s and 80s. For many years, under the leadership of their founder George Habash, they moved into a tight orbit around the Soviet Bloc, with particular attention from the East Germans.

They then took up as a junior partner to Arafat's secular, bourgeois-nationalist Fatah, the leading faction of the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

Before this, the PFLP strongly rejected recognition of Israel, and openly advocated social revolution among the broader Arab masses against local autocrats and puppets as the way to not just defeat Zionism, but to liberate the masses.

With the loss of their Soviet sponsors (and handlers), the PFLP stopped obstructing PLO negotions with Israel, from a position of weakness and vascilation.

When the second intifada got going, and the PFLP made a move to the militant left, Israel launched a level of targetted assassinations against the PFLP's leadership unlike anything other factions immediately faced. Many of their top organizational and political leaders were killed in a short period of time.

The radical, secular and anti-imperialist position they represent has the possibility to be a much deeper threat than the kind of Islamic fundamentalists that Israel prefers to fight... as reactionary Islamists ultimately pose no threat to the world order (and are totally unsympathetic to non-muslims).

Despite the prevarications of the PFLP, they are among a handful of secular and socialist-inclined parties in Palestine, and they continue to have a base of support (largely among Palestinian Christians) drawn to what is good about them, rather than what is questionable.


The PFLP was one of the parties that attempted to strike a "middle ground" when Mao Zedong exposed the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union. This middle ground evaporated, with those parties such as the Vietnamese CP and the PFLP quickly moving directly into the Soviet orbit.

That didn't work out so well... THey were left ideologically and politically unprepared for the betrayals of Fatah, and the rise of Hamas as the militant alternative to secular confusion. The people have sought the uncompromising militants, not the horizon-limiting of "realpolitik."

Food for thought:

When revisionism has taken hold of the communist movement, and internationalist revolution based on the people themselves taken off the table, demogogues and opportunists have filled the void. Without the confusions within the Palestinian communist movement, the rise of Hamas would not have been so devestating. If communists won't lead the fight, someone else will... they just won't win.

Random Name Generator

Is there an up to date link for these people? Is it safe to go to their site?


The PFLP's Arabic-language website is

They had an English-language site that I think was sabotaged; I don't know of a current English-language PFLP site.

Security Czech

I'd be real careful about casually visiting groups listed by the US State Dept. as "terrorists."

It is inconceivable that there are not 100% logs taken of everyone who visits such sites.

There is really no such thing as security on the internet. It draws neat lines from one place to the other... so take that as you will.

Just a friendly note.

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