The Irish Republican Socialist Party wishes to take this opportunity to respond to calls by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine for solidarity in relation to the continued illegal imprisonment of its General Secretary, Ahmad Sa’adat. The IRSP has followed closely the case of Comrade Sa’adat and on this occasion, which sees his continued isolation from his fellow political prisoners come before an illegal court once again, we send our sincere solidarity to him, the PFLP and the thousands of other Palestinian prisoners who remain incarcerated in illegal jails, sent there by illegal courts of occupation. We salute the steadfastness and resilience of Ahmad Sa’adat, who at every turn has refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the disgraceful process which brought about his imprisonment.
Irish republican socialists have a long history of solidarity with the Palestinian resistance movement. Both Ireland and Palestine have long-suffered the brutal reality of imperialist occupation and as socialists dedicated to national liberation and the ending of capitalist exploitation, we in the IRSP not only have a special affinity with the PFLP, but also view it as our duty to support the international struggles of working class resistance movements. It is true to say that a threat to liberty anywhere is a threat to liberty everywhere. Therefore, it is imperative that socialist movements work in cohesion to ensure the baneful influences of imperialism and capitalism in global politics are challenged as effectively as possible. The IRSP shares the aspiration of the PFLP for a totally free and independent historic Palestine, based on the principles of democracy, sovereignty, tolerance, social justice and working class unity.
The plight of political prisoners is one our movement knows only too well. The administrations on both sides of the border in Ireland have consistently utilised extremely repressive and draconian means to attempt to break the spirit of resistance in Ireland. Our members have endured internment without trial, isolation, torture and murder at the hands of the occupation and of those complicit in that occupation South of the border. Three members of our movement, Irish National Liberation Army volunteers Patsy O’Hara, Kevin Lynch and Mickey Devine, were murdered by the British occupation of Ireland when in 1981 they were forced to undertake a hunger strike. Unfortunately this is a reality Palestinians, and indeed Comrade Sa’adat, have also had to face.
A striking example of the similarities of both our struggles was seen during Ahmad Sa’adat and his comrades’ detainment at Jericho Prison, having been transferred there at the behest of the United States and Britain. While being a detainment centre in the hands of the Palestinian Authority, it was subject to the influence of American and British forces. The head of the British and U.S. ‘supervision’ of the political prisoners at Jericho Prison formerly ran ‘the Maze Prison’ in the North of Ireland, where many republican socialists were imprisoned in similar circumstances, for resisting imperialism and exercising their democratic right to organise politically.
The IRSP utterly condemns the actions of the Palestinian Authority in the abduction and imprisonment of Ahmad Sa’adat and many other prisoners, in an attempt to appease the Zionist regime. The actions of the PA, in rejecting the ruling of the Palestinian High Court of Justice, openly exposed itself as a body that is complicit in the Israeli crimes against Palestine and its people. The actions of the PA only serve to divide Palestinians, pander to imperialism and ultimately impede the cause of national liberation. Needless to say, Israel’s refusal to acknowledge legitimate Palestinian calls for territorial integrity, its flagrant disregard for international law and Palestinian rights, its systematic assassination, murder and imprisonment of those who wish to organise politically, must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.
The IRSP calls for the immediate release of Ahmad Sa’adat and all Palestinian political prisoners. We urge all progressive movements worldwide to work tirelessly and offer their support to the Palestinian cause and the goals of the PFLP. Together we must endeavour to build a world free from persecution, discrimination and bigotry, racism, capitalist exploitation and imperialist occupation.
Victory to the working class, for national liberation and socialism!