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History Of Arafat And The Plo. Argues That Arafat Doesn't Represent The Best Interests Of The Palestinian People.

3097 words - 12 pages

"Arafat and the PLO"Although having a large following, I don't believe that the Yasser Arafat, as the leader of the PLO, represents the best interests of the Palestinian people. Arafat talks of peace but his actions show his true intentions. David Pryce-Jones said he best when he observed in The Closed Circle: An Interpretation of the Arabs," wherever they live, they observe for themselves that the PLO is a means to enrichment and aggrandizement for the unscrupulous few, but death and destruction for everyone else." I feel that history shows Arafat's true colors time and time again. But first, to fully understand the PLO and Arafat's rise to power, we must look back at its beginnings.In 1964, during in Arab summit in Cario, the President of Egypt, Gamel Abdel Nasser, with the consensus of those present, made the decision to form the PLO. This was done in an effort to unite the various Palestinian groups and to offer an alternative to Yasser Arafat's extremist Al Fatah organization that formed in the 1950s. This establishment would also allow for Nasser to channel Palestinian support for himself and his leadership role in the Arab world. (CQ, 34)The PLO soon had an army of about 10,000 that began training mostly in the Gaza Strip, where they were fully under Egyptian control. Jordan was unable to resist the PLO influx in its territory because of the Palestinian support of the populace. After the Arab defeat in the Six-Day War, the PLO was in disarray, its army totally destroyed and its members melting back into the Gaza population from whence they came. (Pryce-Jones, Defeat 52) This left the door wide open for new leadership to emerge.During this time, despite Nasser's efforts to control the Palestinian movement, other independent resistance groups developed throughout the 1960s and were not influenced by the Arab League. Some of these groups sought and received admission into the PLO in 1969. With the PLO in dire need of strong leadership, Arafat, as the leader of the largest group, Al Fatah, became the chairman of the PLO. (CQ, 45) Thus would begin a roller-coaster journey for the Palestinians, the PLO, and its chairman.The PLO was unable to maintain bases in Israel due to strict security measures and the harsh reprisals undertaken by Israel against terrorist suspects. The PLO operated from its bases located in refugee camps and villages in southern Lebanon and east of the Jordan River. Israel launched retaliatory attacks into Lebanon and Jordan in response to assaults originating from those camps and villages. This caused a great rift in the relations between the Palestinians, the Lebanese and the Jordanians. An agreement eventually reached between the PLO and the Lebanese government greatly reduced the PLO activity in Lebanon. The counter to this was a dramatic increase in PLO activities in Jordan. This resulted in clashes between the PLO and King Hussein's troops. (Goldschmidt, 294)King Hussein of Jordan no longer wanted the PLO to be working...

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