Statement of the Workers Party, U.S.A.

November 14, 2004

The death of Yasser Arafat marks the passing of another martyr for the cause of Palestine. For 40 years, Yasser Arafat was a central figure in the Palestinian struggle against zionism, imperialism and for national liberation. His name was synonymous with the struggle for an independent Palestinian state.

In 1948, when the Palestinians faced the Nakba -- their homeland usurped, their land taken, their families forced into exile, there was no one to speak for them. In fact, for many years they wandered, homes on their back, considered, by the "great powers" as no more than refugees, or perhaps a bargaining chip, but never as a people, a nation.

In the 1960's, it was Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) which played a decisive role in organizing the people so that they could take their destiny into their own hands.

Step by step the Palestinians resurrected their nation, building all their institutions -- their schools, their political organizations, their culture, their army, and declaring that the paramount task was to fight zionist and imperialist aggression and colonialism "from generation to generation until final liberation."

Over the years, through the many twists and turns of the struggle, more than once Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian people have found themselves in an ocean of loneliness. Savagely attacked by the zionists and imperialists, betrayed by so many false friends, including the Soviet imperialists and the reactionary Arab regimes.

It is an outrage today to hear some of these same "world leaders" praise Yasser Arafat, when in his life they killed his people, hunted him like an animal, denied his role as the President of Palestine. In fact, today behind the words of praise for Arafat spoken by the imperialists and their lackeys there are new calls for the Palestinians to renounce their struggle and to submit to occupation.

Perhaps abused by imperialism and reaction more than anyone of his generation, Yasser Arafat stood with dignity because he was associated with the cause of liberation and with his people.

The struggle of the Palestinian people remains one of the defining struggles of our era and a touchstone for everyone who holds the aspirations of humanity dear.

Today again, the attacks of the U.S. imperialists and Israeli zionists as well as all the false friends of Palestine have intensified and are greater than ever. The U.S. and Israeli governments have openly declared the aim of annexing nearly all of the West Bank and preventing the establishment of a genuinely viable, independent Palestinian state and liquidating the Palestinian nation altogether.

But, as they have done so many times in the past the Palestinian people will again turn their mountains of grief into limitless strength and carry through their struggle for national liberation -- for an independent Palestinian state in their historic homeland.

To mourn for Yasser Arafat is to take the vow that the Palestinian people and their friends have taken before: "from generation to generation until final liberation!"