Vietnam and Palestine: a History of Revolutionary Solidarity

By: Luna Nguyen

Palestinian propaganda poster recognizing the liberation fighters of Vietnam as comrades in revolutionary struggle.

Vietnam and Palestine share a long history of struggle and solidarity in the face of colonialism, imperialism, and occupation which stretches back to the Vietnam War, when Ho Chi Minh initiated official relations with the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1968 – the fiercest year of fighting against the imperialist USA. This made Vietnam one of the first nations to establish diplomatic ties with Palestine.

In 1969, President Ho Chi Minh spoke at the International Conference for the Support of Arab Peoples, proclaiming:

“The Vietnamese people fully support the Palestinian people’s liberation movement and the struggle of the Arab peoples for the liberation of territories occupied by Israeli forces.”

Palestinian freedom fighters created propaganda supporting Vietnam’s revolutionary struggle throughout the rest of the wartime era. After Vietnam defeated the USA and gained independence, Palestine was one of the first nations to normalize relations with the newly reunified country, and PLO members received military training in Vietnam in the 1970s. The PLO also translated a number of General Vo Nguyen Giap’s writings into Arabic at this time.

Yasser Arafat and General Vo Nguyen Giap meet in Algiers in 1987.

In 1976, PLO officially set up diplomatic headquarters in Vietnam which became the Embassy of Palestine in 1982. The great Vietnamese general Vo Nguyen Giap was close to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and they met many times throughout their lives. When Palestine declared their independence, Vietnam immediately offered official recognition without any hesitation. Arafat visited Vietnam ten times during his time in office, and Vietnam has consistently supported the PLO’s proposed “two states” solution to the Palestine-Israel situation.

On August 6th, 2023, the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organization held an official visit to Palestine and assured that the two countries will continue to expand our relationship as well as cooperation in the future.

Photo of the Vietnamese delegation to Palestine meeting with Palestinian leaders in August of this year.

Below is an excerpt from the journey report of Mrs. Nguyen Phuong Nga, delegation leader of Vietnam to Palestine:

“Our journey to Ramallah, the city of Block A (an administrative zone which is controlled by Palestine), and also the capital of Palestine’s government, was not easy. We had to drive from Amman, through the Jordan bridge, to the West Coast. At the border gate, Israeli forces controlled entry and exit very strictly and we had to go through full immigration procedures… We visited many places, including large cities like Jenin, Nablus, Hebron, and Betlehem. There were many Israeli guards stationed on the streets.”

“The trip to Jenin Refugee Camp left us the most memories. There were bullet holes all over the streets. The roads were totally destroyed by Israeli tanks. There were so many new graves in the graveyards… We met Palestinian students who had just gotten out of school. They innocently told us that after Israeli troops withdrew, they immediately went back to school to continue studying…”

Arafat and Vo were life-long comrades.

“We met many Palestinian leaders as well as normal Palestinians on the street. They all showed a special love for Vietnam. They all mentioned our Chairman Ho Chi Minh and the Great General Vo Nguyen Giap. They considered Vietnam to be an example and an inspiration for Palestinian people in their fight for their nation’s rights, including the right to self-determination, and the right to have a Palestinian government on their own soil…”

“We have been closely watching the situation in Palestine, and, through this visit, we have seen with our own eyes the reality of Palestine, and we truly believe that the only solution to the Palestine-Israel conflict is to have an independent Palestinian Government.”

Today, as Israel prepares to cut off food, electricity, and medical supplies to nearly 1,000,000 Palestinian children in Gaza, I would like to send my revolutionary greetings to the oppressed people of Palestine from here in Vietnam.

May the people of Vietnam and Palestine maintain our friendship and solidarity forever.

Free Palestine!

Luna Nguyen is a Vietnamese communist who works as a writer, video producer, and translator covering socialist and anti-imperialist issues. You can support her work by subscribing to her YouTube channel or getting a copy of her translation of the Vietnamese curriculum of Marxism-Leninism at our publishing label: Banyan House.

One Response to “Vietnam and Palestine: a History of Revolutionary Solidarity

  • Solidarity to Palestine as they continue to fight for their freedom!!! from the river to the sea, free Palestine! 🇵🇸🇵🇸

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