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The PLO at Fifty: A Historical Perspective

Avraham Sela

Contemporary Review of the Middle East, 2014, vol. 1, issue 3, 269-333

Abstract: The article offers an overview of the political history of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) from its birth to the present. It analyzes the social and political origins of the PLO, the impact on its politics of decades of regional upheavals in the scope and nature of the Arab–Israeli conflict and its ability to function as a national framework of resistance and civilian organizations despite geographical and political obstacles. Given the PLO’s nature as a non-state regional actor, the article is particularly concerned with its political adjustment along with the decline of pan-Arab identity and the Arab states collective action for the Palestinian cause, the post-1973 peace process, and the shifting center of gravity of Palestinian national action from the Arab states neighboring Israel into the Occupied Territories. The article thus explains the PLO’s survival and repeated rises from the ashes following military debacles and internal crises and examines how the Oslo process and the advent of the self-governing Palestinian Authority have affected the PLO as an overall national leadership.

Keywords: PLO; PA; Fatah; Hamas; Yasser Arafat; Israeli–Palestinian conflict; Middle East peace (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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