Palestinian Democratic Union
PALESTINIAN DEMOCRATIC UNION
This Palestinian political party (Al-Ittihad al-Dimuqrati al-Filastini; its acronym backward, "fida," means "sacrifice") was born of a split in the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) in 1990–1991. It was founded in September 1991 and led by Yasir Abd Rabbo, former assistant secretary general of the DFLP and later minister of culture in the Palestinian Authority, and joined by others from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Palestine Communist Party (PCP) (soon to be the Palestinian People's Party [PPP]). At first representing itself as "the" DFLP, the group took the name Palestinian Democratic Union (PDU) in 1993. The PDU is a constituent member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and is represented on the PLO executive committee and in the Palestine National Council (PNC). It represents a reformist tendency within the PLO and has campaigned for the democratization of Palestinian political life. The PDU directs its activity toward the "independence of the Palestinian people and its right to return to its native land, while backing the democratic aspirations of the Palestinians." Fervent but critical in its advocacy of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process that began with the Madrid Conference of 1991, the PDU has supported the policies of Yasir Arafat, although it has criticized the internal functioning of the PLO. The headquarters of the PDU is in Ramallah. In 2004, its principal figures are Rabbo and Saleh Rafʾat (secretary general).