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Thursday, December 31, 2009

The 45th anniversary of...what?

Mahmoud Abbas will be giving what is billed as an important speech tonight, marking the 45th anniversary of the "start of the Palestinian revolution."

What momentous event happened 45 years ago?

Yasir Arafat co-founded Fatah in 1954 along with a number of other people, mostly Palestinian Arabs who were working in Gulf states and who went to college in Cairo. The PLO was founded in May,1964 and Fatah did not join it until 1967. There were other, mostly small, Palestinian Arab "liberation" groups that formed in the 1950s and 1960s.

So what, in Mahmoud Abbas' mind, was the seminal event that occurred 45 years ago?

Why, it's the anniversary of Yasir Arafat's first terror attack, an unsuccessful attempt to bomb Israel's national water carrier.

Out of all the events that Abbas could choose, it is notable that he chooses to commemorate the anniversary of a terror attack as the real beginning of the supposedly "national" movement.

Remember, in 1965, the PLO and Fatah's ambitions did not include the West Bank or Gaza at all. The original PLO Charter says:
Article 24: This Organization does not exercise any territorial sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on the Gaza Strip or in the Himmah Area [part of the mandate that Syria seized - EoZ.] Its activities will be on the national popular level in the liberational, organizational, political and financial fields.
In this sense, I agree with Abbas that it is worthwhile to look at the history of the Fatah and PLO organizations that he heads. The goals have not changed, even if the tactics have.