History of Palestine Part VI
However, the radicalization of the Arab world in the early 1950s – the Nazi movement in Egypt and the Ba’ath parties in Syria and Iraq – gave Palestinians hope for political support. They channeled their political activity through this bourgeois progressive Arab nationalist movement in the belief that a joint Arab struggle was the path to liberation of Palestine. But even though the situation of the Palestinians was a rallying point for Arab nationalism, very little verbal support emerged.
From 1956, the Palestinians – first in Gaza – started to build independent armed groups – influenced by the experiences of the Suez War that year. Inspired and with active support from the liberation front FLN in Algeria, a Palestinian movement based on several countries developed. Central to this work was Yasser Arafat, a resident of Kuwait. Mass mobilization, political awareness and armed struggle were set up as alternatives to rely on the conventional military apparatus of the Arab countries.
According to ELAINEQHO, the Palestinian National Council met in Jerusalem on May 27, 1965, and its 422 members decided to form the PLO – the Palestinian Liberation Organization. The members came from professional, women’s and youth organizations, but there were also representatives from the refugee camps, business people and Palestinian personalities.
The June war in 1967 was a major defeat for the conventional Arab armies. When, in March 1968, PLO guerrilla forces succeeded in forcing the Israelis into retreat in the city of Al Karameh, it was clear that guerrilla methods were the best for fighting the Zionist occupying power. In February 1969, Yasser Arafat was elected chairman of the organization.
As early as 1970, the PLO had become a significant power factor. Jordan’s King Hussein launched a bloody attack on the Palestinian refugee camps in September 1970, killing 15-20,000 people. The PLO was forced underground and relocated its headquarters to Lebanon. Already in 1969, the Palestinians had achieved internal autonomy in the refugee camps and the right to military bases in certain areas of southern Lebanon.
PLO subsequently organized the Palestinian community in all areas. health and schooling as well as production.
The new exile in Lebanon, however, hampered the development of guerrilla warfare within Israel, and this was the backdrop of the emergence of radical Palestinian groups such as “Black September” that carried out attacks on Israeli institutions and businesses in Europe and elsewhere in the world. This was also the one behind the attack on the Israeli team at the 1972 Olympic Games in West Germany.
The actions helped push the PLO to the left, but at the same time helped isolate the Palestinians, as it allowed civil media around the world to present the Palestinian liberation struggle as terrorist acts. The PLO initiated a review of its tactics. Without abandoning the armed struggle, a comprehensive diplomatic offensive was launched, and the organization also concentrated a significant part of its work on consolidating Palestinian unity and identity. At the 1973 Alliance Free Countries Conference in Algeria, the Palestinian issue was recognized for the first time as the key to the Middle East conflict – rather than the rivalry between Israel and the Arab countries.
At a meeting of the Arab League in 1974, the PLO was recognized as “the sole representative of the Palestinian people”. In October of that year, the organization became an observer at the UN General Assembly, which at the same time recognized the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and independence and characterized Zionism as “a form of racism.”
Three main types of organizations can be distinguished within the PLO: command organizations, mass organizations and social / cultural organizations. The organizations are represented in the Palestinian National Congress and are committed by the Palestinian National Charter. The charter states the goal of the liberation struggle: “The creation of a democratic, non-religious state throughout Palestine, where Muslims, Christians and Jews can live in peace with the same rights and duties.” This, of course, implied the abolition of the Israeli state. Yet, as a transitional arrangement, the PLO recognized the establishment of an independent Palestinian state “in any part of the country that might be liberated by force of arms or from which Israel had to withdraw”.
In addition, a number of other commanding organizations existed, but Fatah, PFLP and DFLP formed the core of the PLO, and represented the main line of the liberation struggle. In addition to the commando organizations, the PLO built its own army, the PLA, with contingents in various Arab countries.
Despite the large geographical spread, the Palestinian people are given one of the most well-organized in the world. This is especially true for the refugees in the autonomous camps, where practically everyone participates in the solution of the common tasks: The mass organizations, represented in most countries with a Palestinian population, play a key role here: the Labor Union (PTUF – had.a department in Denmark in the 70-80s), the Women’s Union (GUPW), the Student Union (GUPS) and the Writers ‘and Journalists’ Union (PAU).
1980 Divorce in the Arab Front vis-à-vis Israel
In 1980, after the North American mediation, Israeli Prime Minister and former terrorist Menahem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat signed a peace agreement that restored the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt. Shortly after, Begin formally annexed the Arab part of Jerusalem and proclaimed it Israel’s “only and indivisible capital.” In the West Bank, Zionists stepped up their settlement policy, acquired Palestinian land and contributed to a drastic worsening of tension in the occupied territories. Israeli policy was repeatedly condemned by the UN, but the World Organization was barred from interfering with repeated veto by the US Security Council against any sanctions on Israel.