How far do the policies of the PLO between the founding movement in 1964, and the signing of the Israeli PLO Accord in 1993

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The PLO was committed to the use of armed force and the complete destruction of Israel. However by the late 1980’s Arafat had moved away from the use of violence and excepted the existence of Israel. There are three areas in which the PLO policies changed terror, the UNO and the state of Israel. First the National Charter, 1964 ‘Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine’. This suggests that the Palestinians only believe in the use of terror in order to succeed in destroying Israeli power. Violence continued at the Olympic Games in 1972, a PLO group called Black September was responsible for the deaths of 11 Israeli athletes.

Hijacking of planes in 1976 saw a splinter group taking over a French plane, holding over 100 Jewish passengers as hostages. Consequently the Israeli armed forces flew 2000 miles to Entebbe and killed the Palestinians, therefore freeing the hostages. Hijackings became less common, but the use of violence against Israeli targets still continued. However in 1988 Arafat chose peace which was the total opposite to that stated in the National Charter, and that the signing of the PLO Accord in 1993 enforced this change of view. ‘… It is time to put an end to decades of confrontation and conflict,’

Arafat rejected the use of terrorism publicly and excepted the existence of Israel. This didn’t back up the actions of the Intifada who primarily used terror and were street fighters dominated by young Palestinians. Linking back to the question I know that there is a clear difference between the Charter and the PLO Accord, but there is still similarities since breakaway groups still continue showing lack of unity. Second is the total rejection of the UNO. In 1964/8 there was a rejection of the UNO partition, which showed the intentions of the Palestinians explaining their thinking and their actions.

However in 1974 Arafat addressed the UNO which contradicts their total rejection and shows how times are changing throughout the years. ‘Ok world. We’ll play the game by your rules. We’ll make you care! ‘ This shows that there is no justifying peace and that Arafat wants to go his own ways, which certainly links to terror. Again by 1988 Arafat was centred on whether to accept American demands mainly the idea behind the UN Resolution 242 which states that there could be an exchange of land in return for peace.

This shows that the PLO are ready to accept the UNO as a legitimate peacekeeping organisation and therefore accepted the existence of the Jewish State of Israel. The policies have changed greatly but there is evidence, which suggests that in practise they stay similar, the same situation for my argument on terror. Another example is the Gulf War and that USA organised a coalition army to throw the Iraqis out of Kuwait. Arafat backed Sadam Hussein against the UNO as he refused to condemn his actions as he often criticised Israel.

Again the is contradicting the PLO and their policy change and how on paper the National Charter has differed but in practise its still showing some resistance. Finally the views on the State of Israel changes too but events between each policy has an affect on the level of degree of this change. ‘Judaism is a religion, not an independent nationality. ‘ – 1964/8 ‘Strive to live in peaceful coexistence. ‘ – 1991 The two different points from each policy defiantly shows how change has occurred with Arafat recognising the State of Israel.

Another breakaway group Hamas was founded in 1988 and was a fundamentalist Islamic organisation that rejected the idea of any compromise with Israel. The PLO moved away from violence on paper, but here in practise the Hamas members remained ready to kill in the struggle with Israel. The Intifada links to the State of Israel in that there is supposed to be a ‘peaceful coexistence’ from the PLO, but after declaring peace to gain American support the PLO just become stronger and stronger.

The over simplicity to pin point the policy given the desperate nature still proves in my opinion to be difficult to establish. All in all I conclude that the National Charter in 1964/8 changed dramatically on paper as shown by the signing of the PLO Accord in 1993. However the extreme movement of groups such as the Intifada and Hamas and Arafat on the Gulf War, proved to be an important factor in showing how closely related the policies were and how far they changed.

This could be on paper or in practise and therefore I think Arafat has a different opinion on a lasting peace settlement in public than to appear as a traitor to the Palestinians. My final judgement is that there seems to be a clear change in theory but in practise there is this continuity of violence and terror which outlooks the PLO’s view of peace. This makes you wonder if there is a balance of reason or just a smokescreen towards the Palestinians aims and beliefs.

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