Arafat And Plo Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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dignity and the most admirable revolutionary spirit, our Palestinian people had not lost its spirit in Israeli prisons and concentration camps or when faced with all forms of harassment and intimidation” (November 13, 1974). Thus, the Palestinians still remained committed to the “dissolution” of Israel, but they were also divided over how to ultimately achieve this outcome. Pressured by a Palestinian youth uprising known as the intifada, in the occupied territories in 1987, and by Jordan’s formal severing of its links to the West Bank in 1988, Arafat formally declared a Palestinian state in 1988, and conditionally accepted UN Resolution 242, which implicitly recognizes Israel. Arafat declared before the United Nations that the PLO renounced terrorism once and for all, and

supported the right of all parties to live in peace — Israel included. By the year’s end some 70 countries had recognized the PLO. In all respects it functions as a government, except that it has no territory to govern. However, this diplomatic victory was undermined when Arafat backed Iraq in the Persian Gulf War causing the PLO to lose support among Arab states. Finding itself increasingly isolated and short of funds in the face of Israel’s great military superiority, the PLO under Arafat agreed to negotiate with Israel in 1993. The result was an Israeli-Palestinian accord, signed in Washington on Sept. 13, 1993, which provided for the gradual withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip and West Bank. For the first time, Israel recognized the PLO and granted

self-rule to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and Jericho. Rabin and Arafat shared a Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 for their efforts in bringing peace. The Palestinian Authority (a Palestinian governing body in the occupied territories), an 88-seat Palestinian Council, was created under the 1993 peace agreement and held elections in 1996. Arafat captured 88% of the vote for the Palestinian presidency in the January 1996 Palestinian elections, in which his Fatah wing of the PLO won about 75% of the seats in the new Palestinian legislative council (CNN Interactive). The 1996 election, however, was officially boycotted by Hamas and other extremist groups, who rejected any accommodation with Israel. Arafat was put in the position of having to satisfy the Israeli demands to do all he can to

contain terrorist activities; while, at the same time, try to convince followers of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad that he could act as a leader of all segments of the Palestinian population (Bickerman 287). Arafat has been criticized by Israel and others for a lack of control over extremist Palestinians such as Hamas. He has vowed to crack down, and repeatedly has expressed sorrow over Hamas’ terrorist acts. Yet, as he continually tries to appear to have a balance his political stance, he still remains the champion of Palestinian rights in their quest for a homeland, and continues to make comments that incite violent overtones in his people, exemplified by the following: “We sacrifice our blood and ourselves for Palestine!”(A response chanted by the Palestinian crowd to

Arafat’s above call for war: Arutz-7 Radio, 23 October 1996). In conclusion, Yasser Arafat plays a dual role: to appeal to the divided Palestinian citizens and to attempt peace with Israel. But, his deep-rooted ideological pursuit for Palestinian nationalism will not be suppressed, and thus makes peace a very complex process. This quote expresses his sentiment, “When we stopped the Intifada we did not stop the Jihad to establish Palestine with Jerusalem as our capital…. We know only one word: Jihad, Jihad, Jihad…. We are at conflict with the Zionist movement….”(Arafat, in a speech at the Dehaishe refugee camp near Bethlehem, 22 October 1996 ) Bibliography Works Used Bickerton, Ian J. and Carla L. Klausner. Arab-Israeli Conflict. Prentice Hall, Inc.:1998. Shaul,

Mishal. PLO Under Arafat. Yale University Press: 1986. Karsh, Efraim. Between War and Peace: Dilemmas of Israeli Security. Frank Cass and Co. Ltd: 1996. CNN Interactive. 1998 Cable News Network, Inc. A Time Warner Company The Concise Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, Third Edition. Columbia University Press: 1994. “Palestinians: In their own Words” 323