Yasser Arafat In The Move Toward a Palestinian State Essay

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Yasser Arafat In The Move Toward a Palestinian State

Yasser Arafat was born into a Palestinian family in Egypt in 1929. Even in his early life he began fighting from age eighteen onwards, first the British, then the Israelis. At the age of thirty he founded a magazine in 1959 which aimed to create and identity for the Palestinians living in camps. This was a good way of giving the people publicity and also shows that his original motives when he was young were good.

As time went on, Arafat's actions began to contradict his early good intentions as he set up Al-Fatah, a guerrilla movement that set up guerrilla cells to launch attacks into Israel. This already made him look like more of a
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He gained respect for the Palestinian cause.

Apparently realising his tactics were ineffective; in 1974 he opted for a new strategy. He was allowed to access the UN claiming "I have come bearing an olive branch and a freedom-fighter's gun. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand." This quote sums up Arafat's ambivalence. He claims he wants peace but if that requires terror, he seems prepared for anything. However the fact that he mentioned the olive branch, a symbol for peace, gave good publicity for the cause and this was also the first time a Palestinian had managed to speak to the UN so this was an important step in the fight for a Palestinian state because there would be a chance for discussion.

In 1982 Israel attacked the Lebanon and Arafat fled. His leadership was weak but the upshot of the attacks was support gained from various parties. In 1987 Arafat seemed to change his tactics once more, making him look all the more fickle and unstable. He announced Intifada and at last respected the right for Israel to exist and renounced terror. At the time this showed that Arafat wanted to gain international respect and again would allow discussion, the possibility of peace and a move towards a Palestinian state.

When the Gulf war began in 1990, Arafat made the massive mistake of siding with Saddam