Unite and sacrifice everything

Ahmad Hussein, Tuesday 16 May 2023

A dispatch from Syria by Ahmad Hussein, leader of Misr al-Fattah party in Al-Ahram, January 2, 1948

Ahmed Hussein
Ahmed Hussein


From Al-Ahram Weekly archives: Fifty years of dispossession 1948-1998

Issue: 15 January 1998


As I have been here (Damascus) for some time, closely observing the preparations to combat the Jewish gangs, and as my stay in Syria afforded me the opportunity of direct contact with those who will be leading the battle of liberation in Palestine, at least on the northern front, I must report that Syria is the one major Arab country to have shouldered the responsibility of preparing for the organisation of the battle.


This, to a great extent, is natural: the French and British have evacuated Syria, removing any obstacles to its defence of Palestine. The Zionist menace, too, is primarily directed against Syria. Many people are probably unaware that a number of Jewish colonies are inside the Syrian borders, concentrated around Lake Tiberius and close to the province of Hawlah.


While on a fact-finding mission on the Syrian border, with Salah Harb Pasha, we witnessed how the Zionist arteries extended into Syrian territory. Syrian concerns with the Palestinian question, in this context, is only to be expected. Yet despite monumental efforts on the part of the Syrian government it continues to lag behind the Syrian people, who insist on participating in the battle with all they have, be it money or man power. Syria is the most advanced front line for the defence of Palestine, and it is, therefore, my duty, to place before the people of Egypt and the rest of the Arabs, some observations that must be taken into account if we are to win the battle of Palestine.


First -- we exaggerate in belittling the power of our opponents. I hate to say that this belittling is not only habitual among the man in the street, but is indulged by many of our rulers. Many now say that we can crush Zionism in the blink of an eye, while others insist that one Arab can stand up to a thousand Jews, and the battle will last only a few months, if not a matter of weeks. Without casting any aspersions on the bravery of the Arabs, to make so light of our enemy is ridiculous.


We are facing a resolute and strong foe, an enemy whose overriding will can be measured in the efforts they are exerting around the world in rallying support to their cause. More importantly, it is necessary that we understand that our foes will spare no effort or weapon, whether honourable or not, in their attempts to defeat us. We face a cruel opponent, without mercy, resolved to fight to the very end, and we have to be prepared for a very fierce battle.


My second remark concerns the way news about what is taking place in Palestine is being broadcast. Newspapers and reporters persistently speak about Arab victories and the defeat of various colonies of Zionists. Whoever reads these reports is led to believe that the Zionists have been finally defeated in Palestine. The danger of such reporting is that it depicts the Arabs of Palestine as being capable of winning the battle alone, persuading other to relax, contenting them with offering words of support. In my opinion the news of each and every clash in Palestine must be depicted accurately, so that the Arab people are not lulled into a false assurance of victory.


My third remark concerns the differences and problems regarding the way we perceive the future of Palestine. Let us first remember that our main concern now is to rescue Palestine. Once this is achieved and Palestine is free from Zionism, we can begin discussions of its future and address any differences in opinion if such differences are inevitable.


I am writing these lines and in front of me are all those young people of Misr al-Fattah who have volunteered to fight in defence of Palestine. They are government employees who have left their jobs, officers, workers and lawyers. They have families and they left everything behind for the sake of the liberation of Palestine.


Let my appeal be one from the bottom of my heart to the Egyptian people and the Arab leaders: unite, unite, and forget everything except the rescue and liberation of Palestine. Sacrifice everything, even personal pride, for the sake of the pride of us all, and of the homeland.


This article was first published in Al-Ahram Weekly’s special pages commemorating 50 years of Al-Nakba, the Palestinian catastrophe when Israel was created on 15 May 1948. These pages, published in 1998, were part of a year-long series of articles documenting the history and nature of the Arab-Israeli struggle, as well as that of Palestinian dispossession and exile.

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