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memri
October 1, 2003 No.
581

Yasser Arafat On the 33rd Anniversary of the Death of Egyptian President Abd Al-Nasser: 'The Warrior-President... is With Us in Self-Sacrifice'

On September 28, 2003, Wafa, the Palestinian press agency, published a speech made by Yasser Arafat [1] marking the 33rd anniversary of the death of Egyptian president Gamal Abd Al-Nasser. The following are excerpts from the speech:

Confrontation Against Colonialism

"The deceased Warrior-President Gamal Abd Al-Nasser, as an Egyptian, pan-Arab, and international commander, leader, and pioneer – it is not easy for me to write about the Warrior-President Gamal Abd Al-Nasser on the anniversary of his death, because he is not a memory but the soul of the Arab nation, which does not and will never die, and because he is the soul of the Palestinian resistance, about which he said, 'The Palestinian resistance came into being in order to live and to triumph.'

"The Warrior-President Gamal Abd Al-Nasser, through his spirit and courage and creative thought, and through the dream of the greater Arab homeland, is not a memory, nor is he yesterday's cause. He is the present, today's cause, the cause of the shining Arab tomorrow, to which the Warrior-President Gamal Abd Al-Nasser devoted his whole life and died a martyr, as a pan-Arab nationalist and Egyptian patriot and as a Palestinian resistance fighter on the soil of struggle and confrontation against colonialism, both old and new; against the usurpation of Palestine and its colonization; and against division and fragmentation.

"He is glory and dignity. The cause of the Warrior-President Gamal Abd-Al Nasser and his message and struggle is the cause of each and every Arab from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf, whether he be a ruler or an ordinary citizen, because the principles of Abd Al-Nasser are the principles on whose basis our Arab nation is rising up and taking its place in the sun."

No Place for Colonialists, Occupiers, and Invaders... This Land is Arab

"The Warrior-President Gamal Abd Al-Nasser devoted his life to the glory of the Arab nation and its unity and dignity, and to expelling the forces of colonialism from all regions of the Arab homeland. It is for the sake of wounded Palestine that this young Egyptian officer rose up from besiegement in Faluja [2] in Palestine to besiege and drive out the forces of colonialism from the land of Egypt, the throbbing heart of the Arab homeland. [It is Abd Al-Nasser who proclaimed], 'Colonialism should now pick up its walking staff and leave,' 'from now on, there is no place for colonialists, occupiers, and invaders,' and 'this land is Arab, and no flag but that of the Arab nation shall ever fly above it.'

"The Warrior-President Gamal Abd Al-Nasser is alive in his nation and in Arab minds, and in the Arab hands that carry his message about Arab liberation, unity and progress. They will never abandon his principles and never lay down the banner that president Abd Al-Nasser raised – a banner that is a lighthouse shedding a bright light for the whole [Arab] nation.

"As for Palestine, Gamal Abd Al-Nasser, as both warrior and president, is its great martyr. He is the soldier, the self-sacrificing fighter, and the resistance fighter [who was] besieged in Faluja, who refused to surrender and showed steadfastness and resistance and carried Palestine in his heart and conscience and thought for all his life. He refused to accept [the idea of] the disappearance and nonexistence of Palestine. He deserves credit for reviving the Palestinian national entity after the catastrophe of 1948, when he decided to establish the Palestinian Legislative Council in the Gaza Strip so it would be the seed for the future Palestine, for which Gamal Abd Al-Nasser was making preparations in Egypt."

Inspiration for The Refugees' Right of Return

"The Palestinian people have not forgotten and shall never forget that the Warrior-President Gamal Abd Al-Nasser is the martyr of Palestine who ensured the establishment of the PLO to lead the Palestinian people in its war of liberation and reclaiming of the occupied Palestinian territory, and to establish the independent state of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital, and for the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland and territory.

"And now the Palestinian people stand proudly in its war of national liberation from occupation and from colonization by settlement. I say to you with confidence that the Warrior-President Gamal Abd Al-Nasser is with us in the trenches, with us under siege, with us in self-sacrifice [in battle]. [He is with us] with his thought and his manliness, creative spirit, and stature that neither bow nor retreat, no matter how difficult the struggle and how great the sacrifices."

The Arab Nation… Defeating the Forces of Hegemony and Colonialism

"If we can persevere and sacrifice as the Warrior-President Gamal Abd Al-Nasser persevered and sacrificed – for life has no value without homeland, without liberty, and without national dignity. From the heart of this brutal war against your people in Palestine, I call on all of you to raise your ambitions and spirit under the banner of the principles and values and struggle of the Warrior-President Gamal Abd Al-Nasser, because the Arab nation has no path – in its history, culture, and holy places – other than that of dignity, liberation, unity, and defeating the forces of hegemony and colonialism, for the Arab nation is strong and glorious and fully deserving of a free, honorable life. "We therefore have no path other than that of steadfastness and sacrifice for the sake of the homeland, the [Arab] nation, and the future. We salute the Warrior-President Gamal Abd Al-Nasser, the lantern shining before the nation and its [future] generations. The warrior Gamal Abd Al-Nasser – the president, the commander, the leader, the pioneer – is alive in our midst and in our [future] generations. He has not died and shall never die. Peace and God's mercy and blessings be upon you."


[1] Wafa (PA), September 28, 2003.

[2] Located in southern Israel, about 50 km southeast of Tel Aviv.