MIDDLE EAST

Signs of Peace (But Not Victory)

Signs of Peace (But Not Victory)

6 Days War - History GCSE RevisionThe embargo didn’t lead the Arabs on to victory, but it did mean they were listened to more at the negotiating table. In January 1974 Israel agreed to pull back from the west bank of the Suez Canal, and in February undertook further negotiations with Arab representatives.

The Palestinian Liberation Organisation

Arafat - History GCSE RevisionThe PLO began to change from 1974. Having been mainly a paramilitary group since its founding, it started to become more involved in international diplomacy and politics. In 1974 it declared itself to be the ‘sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people’ and became a member of the Arab League. Its chairman, Yasser Arafat, addressed the United Nations in 1974 to inform it that, although the PLO sought to achieve a Palestinian state and would be willing to use force to do so, he was also prepared to enter into negotiations through the UN. He informed the Assembly that

“Today I have come bearing an olive branch and a freedom fighter’s gun. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand. I repeat: do not let the olive branch fall from my hand.”

The next year, the PLO was granted the status of permanent observer at the UN, giving the Palestinian cause a much stronger representation in the international diplomatic community.

After the Six Day War

Terrorist actions

The Israeli victory in the Six Day War led to changes over the next few years regarding how the campaign against Israel was fought. In particular, various pro-Palestinian groups in the early 1970s turned to the use of terrorism.

Dawson's Field Hijackings - History GCSE Revision* Dawson’s Field Hijackings of September 1970 – A group called the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (which was part of the PLO) attempted to hijack five different planes that were headed for New York. Passengers were taken hostage on the planes where the hijackings succeeded, but were later released.

Munich Olympics Massacre - History GCSE Revision* The Munich Olympics Massacre of 1972 – a group called Black September kidnapped and murdered eleven Israeli athletes. The event led to the Israeli government empowering the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, to start tracking down and assassinating Palestinian terrorists.

Both of these attacks caught the world’s attention. But frankly, they achieved little that helped the pro-Palestinian cause. In fact, if anything they simply created negative publicity for the Palestinian cause.