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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 19, 1949

ACTIVITIES OF THE LEBANESE COMMUNIST PARTY

This document was made possible with support from the Youmna and Tony Asseily

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    List of publications, meetings, strikes, and other activities by the Communist Party of Lebanon in 1946.
    "Activities of the Lebanese Communist Party," November 19, 1949, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Emir Farid Chehab Collection, GB165-0384, Box 1, File 1/1, Middle East Centre Archive, St Antony’s College, Oxford. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119788
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1946

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1. The Communist Party has conducted a wide-range propaganda campaign in late January, in an attempt to rile the people against the government for dismantling the “Sawt Al-Sha’b” newspaper in Jan. 30, 1946 and allowing “Sadaa Al-Nahdha” newspaper, the publication for the Nationalist Party, to be published.

2. On Feb. 10, the communists distributed a publication decorated with designs about the Lebanese crisis to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Soviet Armenian independence.

3. Radio Moscow has started to broadcast in Arabic, which the communists have been promoting.

4. On Mar. 1, the communists published a book called, “Stalin’s Response to Churchill,” which is one of the publications of “Sawt Al-Sha’b” newspaper.

5. Communist proclamations were issued in Cairo under the title: “The Secret Egyptian Leadership” and on Mar. 15, 1946 the communists distributed publication number one in Beirut.

6. The communists are making a great effort to force students to attend the democratic conference to be held in Prague.

7. On Mar. 19, 1946, the communists published a book called, “Security Council Review of the Syria-Lebanon Affair.”  In this book are the Russian viewpoints on this matter.

8. On Mar. 20, the Union of Labor Syndicates held meetings wherein decisions were adopted relating to the ratification of labor laws, completion of payments allocated to the Labor Union fund in the amount of thirty thousand Lebanese Lira, granting unionizing freedoms to laborers and workers, stopping the import of ready-made goods from abroad, facilitating the import of raw materials to revitalize domestic industry, responding to the demands of laborers and workers who work for foreign companies and fair labor for tradesmen, stopping the meddling of security forces in the internal affairs of Labor Unions and fair labor for theatre workers by the authorities and guaranteeing sufficient relief to the masses.

9. On Apr. 15th, 1946, pillars of the Communist Party met at party headquarters to listen to the statement by Nicola Al-Shawi who returned on Sun, Apr. 14th, 1946.  Written on banners at his reception was “Free Country, Happy People,” “Welcome Al-Shawi, You Who Torched the Heart of the Imperialist,” which was the reason for communist propaganda 

[The section below is missing many dates and contains repeating numbers in lists]

In the country

1.[ ]nd, 1946, Solod met with Kamil Ayyad, the head of the International Association of Friends of the Soviet Union, at the Russian Legation Bureau in Damascus with Rouhi Al-Najjar, Rashad Issa, Khalid Bekras, Nicola Shawi and Farajalla.

1. [sic] [ ]th, 1946, The Communist Party took advantage of the death of Omar Al -Fakhouri and formed [illegible] big communist.

2. On Apr 1st, the Communist Party released a statement titled “Political Statement by the Communist Party of Syria – The state demands the complete and unconditional evacuation from Syria and Lebanon – postponement of the secretarial Council – economic matters of the state.”

2. [sic] On Monday, May 20th, 1946, workers went on strike by orders from the communists.  This strike was real in the districts and the factories.  Tram buses were attacked on the Nahar Street, which led to one injury.

The communists played a big part in this strike.

3. On May 22nd, 1946, “The National Defense Committee of the Ground Front” distributed a publication signed by the Communist Party referring to the crisis of immigrations to Soviet Armenia.

4. On the morning of Jun. 3rd, 1946, Nicola Al-Sahwi and Mustafa Al-Ariss Traveled to Moscow via Iran.

5. On Jun. 6th, 1946, the Communist Party is gearing up to set up a series of strikes and inciting the Workers committees.  They have succeeded in these activities that later become highly important.

6. On Feb. 7th, 1946, the newspaper, “Today’s Mail,” which replaced “Sawt Al-Sha’b.”

It’s common knowledge that the communists after their political action against the government has increased with the dismantling of their newspaper, they began to negotiate with some of smaller papers to replace “Sawt Al-Sha’b.”

“Today’s Mail” belongs to Sheik Hassan Hammud and Rachid Sannu.

 7. [ ]st, 1946, Mr. Alan Stone, the British Mandate received death threats.

It was announced that the communists are the ones who threatened him and sent him the death notes.

8. On Jun. 27th, 1946, the two Communist Parties of Lebanon and Syria held their meeting in Damascus at which they amended the national and social goals of their party on a larger scale for the purpose of strengthening the propaganda for this party and to expand its work.

9. After the return of Al-Ariss, and Al-Shawi from the Moscow conference, The Union of Labor  Syndicates held a meeting headed by Al-Ariss on Jul. 25th, 1946, in which it was decided to support the Moscow conference and to give thanks to Mr. Sagikof, the Russian Ambassador to Tehran, for his position in Azerbaijan.

1. [sic] The Democratic Women Committee, consisting of Yusur Al-Ariss, Vergine Al-Helou, Thuraya Idra, met with Solod to give him thanks from the committee for the success of the Moscow conference.

1. [sic] On Jul. 27th, 1946, the political bureau of the Communist Party held a meeting in which they agreed to the decisions of the French Communist Party, held in Paris on Jul. 10th, 1946.

2. The Cultural Council for Cooperation between Lebanon and The Soviet Union held a Maxim Gorky Fair.

3. Communists are making major efforts to sell large numbers of “Sawt Al-Sha’b” through party members bypassing the booksellers by surrounding stores and cafes themselves for this purpose.

4. Leaders of the Communist Party have started a series of lectures to promote themselves in the country.

They had been distributing numerous fliers to urge the people to attend these lectures in which they strongly attacked the allies, especially the British authorities.

And in the end, the government banned Farajalla Al-Helou from throwing the last two parties in Hamata and Bhamdoon on the 14th and 15th of Sep, 1946.

5. On Sep. 1st, 1946, the communists were starting military training, as well as teaching defense methods and how to form the Ansar Brigades.

Fuad Kazan was the one behind this idea and he was charged with its implementation.

They had taken over the stadiums as base for these exercises.

6. In September, the Russian activity extended to helping the communists financially through the company TASS.

Yes, the Russians had been assisting the communists financially before, but they had been paying them the money via the Jewish engineer, Boris Kaminski – however, this time, they made sure to find a new arrangement as they began bring gold bars in diplomatic suitcases under the guise of being made in Russia.

They put these gold bars on the market in Beirut for the first time by way of Iran on Oct. 10th, 1946, as they sold ten bars that day weighing 250 grams each.  This was their first move.

7. On Oct. 25th, 1946, delegations from Labor Syndicates met to elect members of the preparatory committee of the Lebanese workers conference in which 29 syndicates and organizations

In the following manner:

Mustafa Al-Ariss – Printers – Hussam Salim (cooks), Ilias Karam (Electricians), Adeeb Ibrahim [illegible], Hassib Michael (public storage company), Sarkis Albeka (pharmacy assistants) Michel Alazar (Printers), Tawfiq Niran (mechanics), Asa’d Al-Jibahi (carpenters), Asir Al-Samn (builders), Nabih Fakhouri (Oil), Hammud Rababa (butchers) Samad Al-Tawil (textile), Ilias Hadir (Alcohol), Gregor Nishajian (machinsts), Amin Al-Khouri [illegible], Amin [illegible] Tahir (factories), Hamza Al-Damirji (oil sellers) Dawood Siroor (North Area Syndicates) George Azar (Al-Biqa’ Syndicates).

8. On the first of November, Russian movies were playing at the Grand Teatre movie house and the 11th of the month a big movie about Russia was playing.  A day before that, “Sawt Al-Sha’b” newspaper issued a special edition about Russia to commemorate the Russian National anniversary.

10. On the evening of Friday, Nov. 15th, 1946, Mustafa Al-Banna delivered a lecture at the Cultural Cooperation Association on Dabbas Street, the title of which was “Building States and the Soviet Call.”

1. [sic] The communists celebrated the Democratic Students on Nov. 17th, 1946.

1. [sic] In late 1946, Russian support for the communists had increased especially in educated democratic circles.

It is possible that the communists will try to spread their principles at top high schools.

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