Our Say

After G8 and the London bombings - the way forward

London terror attacks condemned

After Live 8:
from pressure to action

The G8 summit and political power

Make the G8 leaders history

A sham election

10 good reasons to boycott May 5

Don't be blackmailed into voting

Reject ‘dependency’ politics

No votes for New Labour!

Parliament seals its own fate

A secret policeman's government

Vote for "none of the above"

How to remember the victims of the tsunami

A state of crisis

New Labour and the big lie

Yasser Arafat - a revolutionary life

After the US election

Blood on New Labour's hands

Butler and weapons of mass deception

With 'leaders' like these, who needs enemies?

How to meet the threat from the right

Barbarians at the gate

Torture, values and lies

The silence of the lambs

War crimes in Iraq

The slaughter in Madrid

The unfinished business of the miners’ strike 1984-85

L’état – c’est New Labour

The death of liberal democracy foretold

Hutton washes the state whiter than white

Top-up fees and the market economy

Our challenge for 2004

New Labour's march to a police state

Bush & Blair - partners in crime

London Region revolts against FBU leaders

Postal workers in the front line

No turning back

Where we go from here

Stop the War Coalition leaders and political fabrication

Regime change begins at home

Blood on New Labour's hands

There's more involved than just Blair

New Labour, lies and spies

Firefighters should reject deal and disown leaders

BECTU vote on New Labour link a step forward

Time runs out for FBU leaders

New Labour's one-party state

The blind alley of crude anti-Americanism

Occupation of Iraq - time to move beyond protest

War is a test for principles

Iraqi defiance shocks and awes

FBU leaders who backed capitulation should resign now

Down with New Labour's war - for regime change in Britain

FBU at war with New Labour

New Labour, not just Blair, is the target

50 years since the death of Stalin - an assessment

FBU finds itself in Precott's trap

War is Peace - Blair's fictitious 'push for peace'

15/2: Global marches put power on the agenda

Crisis of globalisation behind attack on Iraq

Tell it how it is

An injury to one is an injury to all

War plans expose fraudulent 'democracy'

A 'regime change' in Britain is the answer to war on Iraq

FBU needs a new strategy

Challenging New Labour

A moment of truth in the fight against New Labour

Gilchrist says it how it is

Time to defy the anti-union laws in support of the FBU

FBU must ask for solidarity strikes

FBU leaders must ask for support now

New Labour provokes confrontation

Italian police attack No-Global movement

New Labour declares war on FBU

Don't let the FBU fight alone

UN writes a blank cheque for war

Blood on Putin's hands

Unions must support firefighters with action not words

Support the firefighters - defeat New Labour

Bush-Blair war agenda revealed

Seeing through New Labour's weapons of mass deception

The US media and the new garrison state

The BEGINNING of Politics

How technology could
free humanity

'Terminator' engineering: A threat to humanity

The future is socialist

Asylum legislation fuels racist attacks

Road map to the future

E-mail to hear about site changes, placing 'update' in body of message



Yasser Arafat - a revolutionary life

The Movement for a Socialist Future mourns the death of Yasser Arafat, leader of the Palestinian people who for more than 40 years embodied their struggle for self-determination. Arafat selflessly dedicated his whole life to the Palestinian cause. With his comrades he founded the Palestine Liberation Organisation in 1964 to represent a people driven into refugee camps and exile when the state of Israel was set up in 1948.

Already as a schoolboy in Cairo, Arafat realised that Palestinians could not rely on others to regain their homeland. With Abu Jihad, one of his closest comrades, he began to campaign for a popular liberation war. In 1965 their Fatah guerrilla organisation carried out its first raid into the Zionist state. Three years later he became chairman of the PLO.

In 1970 Jordanian forces killed thousands of Palestinian fighters in an operation which became known as Black September. The PLO was forced to leave Jordan. Despite this setback, Arafat continued his struggle, basing himself in Lebanon. There he developed politically, turning away from the policy of individual terror and towards mass struggle. Arafat narrowly survived the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and the siege of Beirut.

Arafat and the PLO gradually won international recognition of their just cause. But UN resolutions against Israel's illegal occupation of the West Bank and Jordan have remained a dead letter to this day. Arab governments have stood and watched the suffering of the Palestinian people while the Syrian regime, amongst others, conspired against Arafat's leadership for many years. One by one, assassination squads sponsored by Israeli intelligence picked off Arafat's closest friends and allies, including Abu Jihad.

The Palestinian people themselves were compelled to launch an uprising, the Intifada, which began in 1987 and continues to this day. Many thousands, mainly young people, have died heroically fighting the might of the Israeli armed forces. Their sacrifice ultimately forced the Israelis in 1993 to recognise the aspirations of the Palestinian people for the first time. Arafat returned to Palestine in 1994 but right-wing Zionists in Israel sabotaged any chance of a comprehensive settlement. While attending a peace rally in November 1995, Yitzak Rabin, who had signed the accords with Arafat, was assassinated by a Jewish fanatic.

For the last few years, Arafat and the Palestinian leadership endured one hardship after another. The Israeli regime constructed hundreds of new settlements in the occupied territories, destroyed many Palestinian homes and farms, built roads that criss-cross the West Bank and compelled Arafat to stay in his compound in Ramallah. The Israelis destroyed Palestinian institutions and thwarted economic development. Such conditions undoubtedly contributed to Arafat's final illness and death. These actions provoked a wave of futile suicide bombings by frustrated Palestinians which targeted ordinary Israelis and only reinforced Sharon's brutal regime.

From Washington and Tel Aviv the message has been that Arafat was the "obstacle to peace". This relentless propaganda, repeated on the day of his death parrot-like by TV reporters, is a sickening example of an oppressed people being blamed for a predicament not of their own choosing. Arafat was an "obstacle" not to peace but to the desire to crush the Palestinians. He refused to sign away the legitimate rights of his people and bow down before the power of US and Israeli imperialism. His revolutionary self-sacrifice and courage will remain an inspiration to the oppressed and exploited all over the world.

Movement for a Socialist Future
11 November 2004