Arafat: War will continue till judgement day

On October 27, 2001, Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat gave a speech at the Palestine General Confederation of Trade Unions in Gaza. Following are excerpts from that speech.

"The Palestinian convoy has turned towards the place that Muslims first faced in prayer, and the third holiest city after Mecca and Medina, the place where the Prophet Muhammad held his night journey and the cradle of our Lord Jesus - holy Jerusalem, the capital of the Palestinian state, the capital of Palestine, and whoever doesn't like this can drink from the sea off Gaza.

"Our masses turn their faces in pride and determination toward this goal despite continuing attempts by those who believe that with their tanks, planes, missiles and artillery they will succeed in subduing the Palestinian people. We tell them: The wind will not succeed in moving the mountain! No one will succeed in moving our people! "No community within my nation has ceased to preserve the faith and defeat their enemies. Nobody who tries to harm them will damage them. With God's help, they will be victorious. They asked the Prophet: Who are these people and where are they? He answered: In and around Jerusalem. They are in a defensive holy war until Judgment Day and every fallen of theirs is worth 70 fallen." [From the Hadith.]

"This is the graciousness that God has granted us. We are in a holy defensive war until Judgment Day and, therefore, everyone must know that 104 years after the Zionist Congress met in Basel and referred to 'a land without a people and a people without a homeland,' we are still on our land and whoever doesn't like it can go drink from the sea off Gaza. Despite these remarks about 'a land without a people for a people without a homeland,' we are still on this land and we are still fighting and struggling with strength and determination in order to prove that this people will win! Will win! They are in a defensive holy war until Judgment Day!

Dear brothers! You represent the base and the strong roots of this people that is fighting and struggling and I pin especially great hopes on you and your heroes because we are convinced that we have a strong and mighty base. Dear brothers! We are standing before an important stage in light of what they are preparing in their 'Oranim' plan, a hellish plan, which they expect our people to be afraid of. However, these massacres only strengthen the resolve and faith of our people. We will continue, God willing, on this path until a Palestinian child is able to unfurl the Palestinian flag atop the walls of Jerusalem, its mosques and its churches, the Jerusalem that will be, God willing, the capital of the State of Palestine. Dear brothers! This is our aspiration. This is the will of our people and the aspiration of the Arab nation and free people all over the world. They look to you in the hope that you will determinedly realize this dream for them.

I make these remarks when all of us know that you have suffered for a long time, especially when we have 150,000 unemployed workers. If this had happened to another people, they would have certainly broken by now. But despite this, we have borne the burden and this shows our strong determination and faith. I make these remarks so that all of them may hear, from Sharon and Netanyahu and to America, Japan, Indonesia, South Africa, Russia, in the north and in the south. The Palestinian people will be victorious whether you like it or not and will establish its state. 'They see it from afar but we see it from close and we speak the truth. They will enter the mosque as they did at first. God will not break his promise! God will not break his promise! [From the Hadith.]

Dear brothers! Together, shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand, step by step, out of faith and determination, we will, God willing, merit that a Palestinian boy or girl will plant our flag atop the walls of Jerusalem, atop its mosques, and this flag will be seen atop the churches of Jerusalem. I know that we are on a difficult journey however they are subject to a defensive holy war until Judgment Day. This is the graciousness which God has bestowed on us. Those who are hostile to them will not defend them when they are subject to a defensive holy war until Judgment Day.

I make these remarks and hope that the sighs which we hear from our children will win merit for the nation. These are the children who bodily stand in front of the tanks of the Israeli occupation. Is there anyone capable of moving that same child who is facing a tank, a cannon, a plane or a missile? There is no one capable of doing this! They are subject to a defensive holy war until Judgment Day in which children, women, men and the elderly are all taking part. We swear to God! We swear to the homeland and the holy places of Christianity and Islam that we are guarding, that we will complete this journey! We will complete this journey!

Note: The State of Israel wishes to clarify the following: The speech is inflammatory and inciteful despite the fact that Arafat has repeatedly committed himself to restoring calm and quiet. In the third paragraph, Arafat challenges the very existence of Israel and the Zionist idea that the Jewish people will find a solution in the Land of Israel, and refers to the "war which will continue until Judgment Day." In the fourth paragraph, Arafat refers to an Israeli plan - the "Oranim" plan - which he calls "hellish". The Government of Israel wishes to emphasize that no such plan exists. Arafat places Jerusalem at the center of the struggle. In the penultimate paragraph, Arafat calls on women, children and the elderly to fight. (Communicated by Israeli Minister Tzipi Livni's Office, October 27, 2001)

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