Friday, 5 November 2010
LEILA KHALED STATEMENT TO INTIFADA EVENT AT VENEZUELAN EMBASSY, LONDON, TOMORROW (SAT Nov 06)
THE OUTBREAK OF THE INTIFADA:
TURNING BACK THE EMPIRE
530pm, Sat Nov 06, 2010, Bolivar Hall, London
Interview with Leila Khaled
Sukant Chandan (SC): If you could please contextualise the
Palestinian Revolution in terms of its relationship with the world
Leila Khaled (LK): I think the Palestinian Revolution has attracted
revolutionaries from around the world, since the beginning of the
Revolution. Because our revolution is not a Palestinian one only. Our
cause is a Palestinian, Arab and international cause. That's why from
the beginning we have received revolutionaries from most countries. I
can also say that our vision, our cause, gave space for others who
wanted to support the Palestinian struggle, to come to the places
where the Palestinians are struggling.
After 1967, 1968 and until 1970, we saw revolutionaries come and were
trained in Palestinian training camps in Jordan. And then when the
Palestinians moved to Lebanon in 1970 more and more foreigners were
At the beginning of the First Intifada in 1987 we have seen a change
in the international opinion towards the Palestinian cause. Many
solidarity committees were established in Europe, in the Americas, in
Australia and in Asia, and many of them are still going. Many
delegations came to Palestine that we had not witnessed before.
And Rachel Corrie is a martyr, not only for the Palestinians but an
internationalist martyr. But before that, I have to remind you that
Patrick Arguello from Nicaragua was with me on that El-Al plane and
was shot dead there, which shows that Palestinians bring freedom
fighters from different countries simply because it’s out of support.
Now this vision is established and we will not go back from the
Palestinian cause being an international one.
SC: In your opinion what were the main factors behind the eruption of
the Second or Al-Aqsa Intifada?
LK: I think the Second Intifada was not like the First Intifada, it
was an armed one. And of course when the country is under occupation
with Israel having an arsenal of different kinds of weapons, the
explosion was heavy and the attacks were heavy, remember the Jenin
massacre, and destruction everywhere in the West Bank and Gaza with
the policy of assassination and killing, and the destruction that
happened. This all made the fighters think it over, and this was done
to stop from one side as a tactic, but also from the other side
Israel could, with the help of the West and the United States
administration, turn the Intifada into a terrorist act.
I think it gave us a route to face the world again, to say terrorism
is occupation and not the resistance - that is another factor. And of
course we had a resistance, we had to think about what we have gained
and what we have lost, the losses were huge in that Intifada and for
that reason, I think, it stopped.
SC: What was the impact of the assassination of the former Zionist
tourist minister Ze'evi in the Second Intifada?
LK: I think it was a good answer to the Israeli policy of
assassinating activists, freedom fighters and leaders.
That minister, Ze'evi, was one of the oldest advocates of the
transfer of Palestinians from their homes, properties, villages and
cities. He was one of the most fanatic Israeli leaders who called for
transfer of the Palestinians, and now its Lieberman who is calling
for the transfer of Palestinians from the 1948 area. At the same time
he is speaking about Palestinians from the West Bank also. The impact
was that the fighters were arrested and given high sentences of life.
The general secretary [Ahmed Sada'at] was given a high sentence of 30
years just because he was the general secretary of the PFLP (Popular
Front for the Liberation of Palestine).
This is the price we are paying all the time because there's
occupation in our country, that's why the price is very high for
freedom, and we were ready for it.
SC: If I can go back and know your opinion of what the factors that
led to the start of the Intifada?
LK: People thought that after the Oslo agreement was signed, and
after many issues around the negotiations, people realised that this
way to end to occupation is of no use, and this was proved.
The ignition of the Intifada started with the visit of Sharon to the
Al-Aqsa mosque - this was one of the main reasons. There were was an
accumulation of suffering and harsh measures taken by the Israelis
even though they were signing the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians.
Yet all the while they had checkpoints, closures, confiscating land,
building the apartheid wall - all these things people found that
there is no use except to revolt, and they revolted by the Second
SC: What impact do you think the Intifada had on the regional Middle
Eastern politics and international politics?
LK: I think it's not controversial anymore that resistance is a right
for people under occupation. Resistance has its impact in different
countries: in Lebanon, in Iraq and in Afghanistan, it's because the
Palestinian [resistance] is going on, every time in a new stage.
First, it was armed struggle, outside and inside Palestinian in 1967.
But the First and Second Intifada had a deep impact not on only in
our region but other parts of the world. When strikes are going on
anywhere in any country, we see they are using stones - it's because
of the Palestinian Intifada.
I am really proud being a Palestinian who witnessed the Intifada in
the occupied territories.
SC: Final question is, many of us consider to the Palestinian
liberation struggle to be the leading anti-imperialist struggle in
the world. Would you agree with this, and if so, why?
LK: Of course I agree with it! Because we are not facing an
occupation by an army like the classical colonisation. We are in the
front of facing Zionism and Israel supported by the West in general
and especially the United States.
Yet, Israel is facing a crisis because by facing the Israeli arsenal
in different ways, whether it's in a violent or peaceful way, like we
are seeing in different villages where people are demonstrating with
foreigners and even with Israelis against the Apartheid Wall.
The Palestinians are written into history that they are in the main
front facing imperialism in all its faces, whether its Zionism or the
Zionist movement, or Israel or US Imperialism - because US
Imperialism supports Israel by all means by economic and especially
supporting Israel by arms. This means where there is direct contact
with this trench of enemies it means we are facing imperialism in our
region and of course other regions of the world.
SC: Thank you Leila. Its been a really wonderful interview,
fascinating and insightful as usual. This event is taking place at
the Venezuelan Embassy, Bolivar Hall in central London, so are there
are other final comments you would like to make?
LK: I would like to say that Venezuela represents a main factor and
country which has turned the American vision upside down by having
the cause in their hands and by supporting peoples struggle against
imperialism and also for establishing socialism. This event has a
special meaning to have it in the Venezuelan embassy in Britain, many
thanks to Venezuela.
10 YEARS SINCE THE INTIFADA series- Part II
The Outbreak of the Intifada: Turning Back the Empire
Saturday, November 6 · 5:30pm - 9:00pm
Bolivar Hall/Venezuelan Embassy - 54 Grafton Way,
W1T 5DL (tube: Warren St / Euston Square)
London, United Kingdom
"How the Intifada contributed to the end of a unipolar world"
This is the second event in a series of events which commemorates 10 years since the eruption of the defining struggle of our generation - the Al-Aqsa / Second Intifada against the zionist-apartheid state. It is also a salute to that struggle.
The first event entitled: "INTERNATIONALISM & SOLIDARITY WITH PALESTINE: We are not liberating Palestine, Palestine is liberating us" on Sat 02 Oct was a huge success with 300 people in attendance for an evening of film, music and some of the most challenging debates heard at a political event.
This event however will explore why the Second Intifada broke out; the impact of the Intifada on regional and international relations; how the Intifada fits in with the resistance in Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan; and finally the Intifada's and the Palestinian Revolution's relationship with the rising Third World.
1730: Doors open
- LEILA KHALED (20min video talk exclusive and specific to this event)
- Statement of support from Venezuelan Ambassador - Samuel Moncada
- George Galloway
- Dr Azzam Tamimi
- Massoud Shedrajeh (Islamic Human Rights Commission)
chair - Sukant Chandan
**NOTE: The organisers reserve the right to eject anyone causing distress or disruption to the event. There will be friendly but firm security at the event.
** No persons or organisations are allowed to distribute material at this event without prior permission from the event organisers.
* Please note that the whole event is being filmed and will be put on youtube
The '10 years since the eruption of the Intifada' is an initiative of Sons of Malcolm, although people are more than welcome to get involved by getting in touch with event organiser: