The Second Basic Principle

The Syrian cause is an integral national cause completely distinct from any other cause.

This principle signifies that all the legal and political questions that relate to any portion of Syrian territory, or to any Syrian group, are part of one indivisible cause distinct from, and unmixed with, any other external matter which may nullify the conception of the unity of Syrian interests and of the Syrian will. This principle follows from and is complementary to the first principle. Since Syria is for the Syrians and the Syrians are a complete nation endowed with the right to sovereignty, it follows that this nation’s cause, that is its life and destiny, belongs to her alone and is independent from any other cause that involves interests other than those of the Syrian people.

This principle reserves to the Syrians alone the right to expound their own cause and to be their sole representatives, determine their own interests and shape their own destiny.

From the spiritual point of view, this principle entails that the will of the Syrian nation, which represents its highest interests, is a general will and that the lofty ideals that the Syrians seek to realize emanate from their own character, temperament and talents. The Syrian nation can not tolerate the disintegration of these ideals, or its dissociation from them or their mingling with other aims in which they may be forfeited. These ideals are Freedom, Duty, Discipline, and Strength, abounding with Truth, Good and Beauty in the most sublime form to which the Syrian spirit can rise and which the Syrians must attain through their own endeavors, since no one else but themselves can represent or realize those ideals for them.

In accordance with this principle, the Syrian Social Nationalist Party declares that it does not recognize the right of any non-Syrian person or organization to speak on behalf of Syria and its interests either in internal or international matters. The Party does not recognize the right of anybody to make the interests of Syria contingent on the interests of other nations. The Syrian Social Nationalist Party does not recognize the right of any non-Syrian person or organization to thrust its own ideals upon the Syrian nation in substitution for its own.

This principle details the national reference frame expounded in the first principle. While reasserting the national character of territorial sovereignty, it relates all essential elements of the life and destiny of the nation to a national decision framework. The cause for this principle is the long held attitude rampant among Syrians before the advent of the SSNP, that the destiny of Syria is inextricably linked to the destiny and will of the foreign colonial power in control. While under Ottoman rule, many Syrian thinkers thought of the destiny of Syria as part of the Ottoman empire and fought for Ottoman nationalism. Even the early resistance to Jewish settlements in southern Syria was formulated in the context of loyalty to the Ottoman state. Subsequently, the separatist Christian leaders in Lebanon sought to link the destiny of central western Syria (Lebanon) to France. More recently, the continuous conflict on Syrian land between Syrians and Zionists is interpreted as a manifestation of the struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union for Near Eastern supremacy. By proclaiming the integral and independent framework for the Syrian national cause, Saadeh was establishing the guiding principle for the struggle of the Party: the SSNP does not view the life and destiny of Syria as related to any non-Syrian issues and thus the pursuit of the interests of Syria by the Party is guided solely by those principles independent of extraneous causes or struggles.

This principle also establishes the Unitarian direction in tackling the issues of the life and destiny of the nation. Thus the occupation of southern Syria by Zionists is not a ‘Palestinian issue’ or a separate ‘Palestinian cause’, but part of the Syrian cause. By establishing the wider appurtenance of the Palestinian issue, Saadeh commits the entire Syrian nation to the struggle for the return of Palestine to full Syrian sovereignty. It is clear that abandonment of this principle has been largely responsible for the defeat of the efforts of Palestinians in keeping and recuperating southern Syria. It is only with a unified Syrian effort that southern Syria can be liberated.

An additional tangible consequence of this principle is the realization that Zionist colonialism is a threat to the entire of Syria as has become clearly obvious in the events of recent history. The national framework has allowed Saadeh to become cognizant of the ramifications of Zionist settlements very early in this century and to voice his warning starting in 1925 of the dangers of these settlements (10). The assumption by the entire Syrian nation of the responsibility for issues affecting some of its regions assures vigilance in all national matters. The exemplification of this principle lies in the thousands of SSNP members whose struggle, sacrifices and martyrdom has transcended regional affiliations.

The emphasis on the national framework for the Syrian cause and its integral character establishes a Unitarian streak in the struggle. It is a guardian against regionalism, sectarianism and individualism in attending to issues related to the life and destiny of the nation. This extends also to the issue of representation. This principle implies that regional representatives can not claim absolute right of representation for their regions in a manner to exclude the rights of the nation as a whole to any decisions pertaining to that region or its inhabitants. Thus the SSNP does not accept that regional representatives are the ‘sole legal representatives of the people’ as is common in the parlance of various regional political groups. According to this principle, the regions of Syria are so integrally related in one unity that no regional decision with major envergure can be made in isolation from the rest of the nation. Thus it is not the right of the representatives of regional groups to forfeit parts of the homeland, albeit the parts of that region. Any proclamation of the acceptance by Palestinian groups of the right of Israel to exist and the forfeiting of Palestine is considered by the SSNP as treason to the cause of the nation and the homeland (1). As it relates to non-Syrians interceding on behalf of Syria, the SSNP does not recognize the right of an Egyptian president to represent Syrian interests and to come to agreement in any forum with anybody over vital issues of Syrian appurtenance. Thus agreements relating to the West Bank by an Egyptian president and a US president in Camp David are considered void by the Party on principle.