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"How accurate is Source A when applied to the activities of the Palestine Liberation Organisation under Yasser Arafat since the 1960s ?"

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Introduction

SOME HINTS TO ANSWERING COURSEWORK TWO PART TWO "Use of Sources about the use of "Terrorism" in the Middle East situation" Official Question: "How accurate is Source A when applied to the activities of the Palestine Liberation Organisation under Yasser Arafat since the 1960s ?" Remember: you can use the Sources but must NOT cop out my suggestions. You CAN use this set of notes to form an outline of your answer. Yoru answer does NOT have to be very long as you are only asked to COMMENT on four small Pieces of Evidence. You must end up with a Conclusion in which YOU say whether what Source A says is "Accurate" or "Inaccurate", so you need to start of your answer by saying what "Accurate" means to an historian THIS COURSEWORK IS EASIER THAN IT LOOKS AT FIRST!! Source A: Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun [By Mao-Tse-Tung, Communist leader in the Civil War in China in the 1930s. He wrote this line in a book in 1938. In 1948 he took over all of China and became its leader. He was never elected] Source B: Since the 1980s, Yasser Araft has tried hard to change his image from that of "freedom fighter" to the idea of a sensible, moderate statesman. ...read more.

Middle

Under its leader Yasser Arafat the PLO avoided fighting the Israelis face-to-face [there have been 4 Arab-Israeli wars, and the Israelis won all 4] and began to use what they called "guerrilla" or "freedom" fighting ideas [such as ambushes, bombings, assassinations etc] but which the Israelis and their powerful American allies still call "terrorism" [Remember George Bush calls the fighting in Iraq part of his struggle against "the world of terrorism". The PLO claimed it was only using the same methods the Jews had used against the Romans 2000 years ago and also against the British army between 1945-1948, when some Jews killed British soldiers to try to get the British government to give the Jewish people their own homeland. So, said the Palestinians, if it was alright for you to use nasty ways of fighting to gain your freedom, then we can use the same ways ourselves. The problem is the use of the word "terrorism", which is a word always used by one side to claim the other side is not fighting "decently" and "fairly". A MODEL ANSWER [Do NOT copy this] Official Question: "How accurate is Source A when applied to the activities of the Palestine Liberation Organisation under Yasser Arafat since the 1960s ?" ...read more.

Conclusion

So the PLO switched to blowing up targets outside Israel, in countries friendly to Israel: this was to get the world to at least notice there was a problem [see Source C]. Then, having got the rest of the world [especially the USA] to take some interest, Arafat switched his plans and starting talking to the Israelis, just as if he had always been a normal leader. The Israelis wanted peace [they said] so a peace deal was signed [see Source B]. But some PLO members said that Arafat had sold them out by talking to the enemy Israel, and they continued with their ideas of "terrorism", even attacking their old friends in the PLO and, as we know now, committing acts of "terrorism" in other countries [see Source D]. Remember the connection between the Palestinian people's problems and the attacks in New York and Washington DC on 11/9/2001 by Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. So Source A was accurate once: "terrorism" used to work. But eventually both sides agree that it is better to sit down and talk, with both sides making a deal. [This is what is happening in Northern Ireland, where the IRA and the British are working with each other, while 20 years ago they were killing each other]. The problem in the Middle east is to convince people who have hated each other on-and-off for thousands of years that they can sit down, talk, and possibly even live side-by-side. 1 ...read more.

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