Ahmad Al-Shukeiri: Clear Vision and Keen Insight

Prof. As’ad Abdul Rahman

The historic second Arab Summit meeting held in Cairo in September 1964 witnessed the birth of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The purpose of the PLO is to express the national will and aspirations of the Palestinian people and to carry out the task of reclaiming lost Palestinian national rights. The first Arab Summit in January 1964, asked Palestine representative at the time the patriot distinguished lawyer and diplomat Ahmad Al-Shukeiri to organize Palestinian efforts to produce a Palestinian national charter to guide the newly born PLO.

A Palestinian national convention was held in Jerusalem between March 28th and June 2nd of 1964 and became known as the National Palestinian Council of the PLO. The council later adopted the Palestinian National Charter that called upon the Palestinian people “to form” a national unity and organize full mobilization in preparation for liberation.” Al-Shukeiri was elected Chairman of the first “Executive Committee”.

It was Shukeiri’s clear vision and keen insight that made him place “national unity” and “national mobilization” ahead of ‘liberation’ with the aim of inducing an Arab national unity and  mobilization in support of liberating Palestine. Indeed, Palestinian national unity and mobilization towards pooling Palestinian assets and resources are absolutely essential to bring about Arab unity in support of the liberation. Now, years later and as history proved beyond doubt, failure to reach Arab unity and achieve such mobilization led to the loss of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967.

The establishment of the PLO was meant to maintain Palestinian national unity in particular, while also working for Arab unity around the cause of Palestine as a central and foremost issue in the Arab world. Now the failure of Palestinian national unity in the very midst of Arab disunity and utter chaos is helping Israeli plans for total Judaization of the West Bank including Jerusalem. Indeed, we are living the worst times witnessing the national fabrics of many Arab countries being torn into pieces and their geopolitical boundaries redrawn. The deadly destructive force leading to this chaos in the Arab world is a takfiri group falsely claiming Islam as their creed, and has been killing without mercy in the Name of The Most Merciful. If this is not a satanic madness, then what could it be? With such developments wreaking havoc in the Arab world, Israeli writer Reuvin Barko expressed deep concern saying that ” very destructive winds are raging in the Middle East along with a humongous tsunami of terror carrying the shattered remains of Arab countries heading toward the ship of the state of Israel which is stuck in place without fuel to drive its engine and without wind to fill its sails. Its captains are busy in their internal conflicts, deaf to the cries for help coming from their people in their slide toward self-destruction.”

However, and in the midst of the current darkness prevailing in the Arab world, a shining example holds a hope for Palestinians, with the BDS grassroots movement staunchly adhering to the true meaning of national unity and national mobilization to liberate the Palestinian territories from the colonial/ apartheid rule of the Zionist occupation. National unity means the unity of all the sectors of the civil society, many of its members now form the backbone of the Palestinian movement, seeking boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel regardless of their religion, gender or color. Palestinian civil rights are the rights of the Palestinian civil society and the Palestinian national identity is a civil identity not a religious one as the Zionist state is falsely trying to maintain. Yet, inner Palestinian conflicts are now taking place between the religious adopting an Islamic religious identity and the non-religious.

Not all Palestinian nationals are Muslims as not all Israelis are Jews. The sought for Jewish national identity makes non-Jews in Israel aliens and so the Islamic national identity will turn non-Muslims in Palestine into second class citizens. The so-called Islamic national identity has given the Zionist colonial/apartheid regime the justification to complete the Judaization of the West Bank, thus leaving the Gaza Strip to be the ‘future Islamic State of Palestine’!

The politicization of Islam which is truly anti-Islamic has generated the satanic virus of the takfiri doctrine which is now destroying the Islamic world. The only cure to this deadly virus  is to emulate the example of the Prophet of Islam who long time ago established the political Arab civil state and directly went to the “Ummah”, the Arab civil society to grant him the political authority to rule through al-Baya’, a certain principle  of free elections. This Arab civil political state was founded upon Islamic spiritual values which state that the rule of law should govern the nation and the leadership at the same time. Justice, equality, honesty and truthfulness should prevail in all actions of a government. Islam put the religious authority that judges the faith or blasphemy of an individual in the Hand of God,  and whoever claims the religious authority to blaspheme other human beings has put his mortal self as partner with God, the Most High who is the only Judge in this case, on the Day of Judgment.