Based in San Francisco, the Free Palestine Alliance (FPA) is a pro-Hamas organization that supports the dissolution of the State of Israel and the “unconditional liberation” of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and in Israel proper. It is a member of the International ANSWER steering committee, and its contact information is identical to that of Ramsey Clark‘s International Action Center. Many individuals involved with the FPA are also members of the Marxist-Leninist Workers World Party. In addition, the FPA is closely affiliated with Al-Awda and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
Advocating “justice and liberation” for the Palestinian people, the FPA impugns the U.S. for its support of Israel, and thus “hold[s] the Bush Administration responsible for the carnage carried out against our steadfast [Palestinian] people in heroic Janin, Nablus, Bethlehem, Ramallah, Doura, Qalqilia, Tulkarem, Rafah, Jabalia, and every town and camp in our beloved land.”
The FPA affirms that “the Palestinian Arab people constitute an indivisible unit naturally bound to the land of Palestine despite the passage of time and the onset of colonial rules”; that “all constituent sectors of the Palestinian people — regardless of imposed demarcation borders inside Palestine and including all Palestinians in exile — constitute one inseparable collective national unit”; that “the struggle for Palestine is a joint responsibility of the Arab people as a whole”; and that there exists a “unique symbiotic relationship of the reciprocal political-economic-military interests between Western colonialism in general, the U.S. Empire, [and] the Zionist movement and its material manifestation — the racist Apartheid State of Israel.”
In addition, the FPA “fully recognizes the emerging Arab-American character of our community in the United States, and seeks to establish programs and projects to empower, safeguard, and develop our cultural, linguistic and political identity.”
Viewing America as a nation rife with bigotry and discrimination, the FPA “values its partnership role in the struggle within constitutional means for a just society in the United States in shaping political agenda and defending civil rights and liberties of all; and fully recognizes the struggle for justice of oppressed communities and movements.” In the FPA’s estimation, America’s allegedly inequitable society is in need of a radical transformation.
Free Palestine Alliance’s Political Program consists of the following tenets:
“The … establishment of a democratic secular state on all of historic Palestine that would end all forms of Apartheid, colonial power structures, racial & religious segregation, [is] a just, inevitable, and realistic imperative …” [“All of historic Palestine” is a reference to the area that curently constitutes the State of Israel.]
“Ending the occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip is a right due to the Palestinian people within the larger context of the struggle for a secular democratic state on all of historic Palestine.”
“… Palestinians have the national, historic, human, and absolute individual and collective inalienable right to return to their homeland, homes of origin, and property in Palestine; and … they have the absolute right to restitution for all property, reparation for damages, and retribution for their suffering, displacement, and dispossession for more than half a century.”
“[T]he Palestinian struggle for self-determination and return [is] universal, and … primarily rooted in the historic, cultural and political inextricable belonging of the people of Palestine to their homeland, also affirmed by international law.”
“The struggle against Zionist colonialism is the responsibility of all justice-seeking people, primarily the Arab people, equally as it is the responsibility of the Palestinian people.”
“The struggle for Palestine is inseparable from the struggle against underdevelopment, dictatorial rule, racism, imperial hegemony and globalized control.”
“The FPA is fully cognizant of the intertwined relationship between national, gender, class and racial inequities, and hence seeks to empower the most affected and dispossessed sectors of our people and community through social transformation and democratic and institutional empowerment.”
“Recognizing that the Palestinian struggle is also a struggle of narratives, the FPA seeks to support and establish programs that would directly serve this end through grassroots and community-oriented social, cultural, and political activities.”
“To achieve these goals, the FPA formulates immediate and long-term community and grassroots programs on various levels and in harmony with the requirements of any given historical period. The formulated programs are within the larger context of the struggle of Arab-American and marginalized communities, and in partnership with peace and justice movements across all sectors of society in the United States.”
“… [T]he implementation of a full divestment program in the United States coupled with effective corporate boycotts [is] a necessary material formulation of the overarching goal of ending all forms of governmental and private economic, political, and military support to the Apartheid State of Israel.”
On March 20, 2004, the FPA participated in a Global Day of Action (GDOA) aimed at raising public support for a movement to “Bring the Troops Home Now” and to “End Colonial Occupation from Iraq to Palestine to Haiti and Everywhere.” Initiated by the International ANSWER coalition, this GDOA was observed in more than 60 countries worldwide. In the United States, demonstrations took place in some 300 cities, including actions in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, which drew one hundred thousand, fifty thousand, and twenty thousand participants, respectively. FPA contingents attended the rallies in all three of those cities, where the featured speakers included Richard Becker of the ANSWER Coalition, actor Woody Harrelson, United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta, Gloria La Riva of the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five, and California Congresswoman Maxine Waters. The FPA helped coordinate the New York City GDOA, along with Al-Awda, ANSWER, the Arab Muslim American Federation, the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation, and the Muslim Students’ Association of the U.S. and Canada.
On November 11, 2004 — the day of Yasser Arafat‘s death — the FPA eulogized the Palestinian Authority President with a statement titled “In Memory of a Fallen Leader,” which exhorted “our people in Palestine and throughout exile” as well as “all peace and justice loving people in the United States” to observe “3 full days of national mourning, remembrance, and a steadfast of reciprocal solidarity and unity.” Added the FPA: “We call on all to display on their homes, institutions and property Palestinian flags, scarfs, or other symbols of the Palestinian national movement for liberation and justice. … The legacy of Yasser Arafat is inextricable from that of the entirety of not only the Palestinian people, but all those struggling for freedom.”
The FPA’s nominal leader is Elias Rashmawi, who also serves as the national coordinator for the National Council of Arab Americans. Other notable FPA officials include Hanna Hanania, Eyad Kishawi, and Michael Shehadeh.