Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Top photo, taken June, 1970 in Amman, Jordan shows from right to left Nayef Hawatmeh, Yasser Arafat and Kamal Nasser holding a press conference. Photo from Al Ahram Weekly, posted on Wikipedia;

Second photo, taken March 21, 1978, shows Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, front, arriving in U.S. at Maryland Air Force base with Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan behind him. Photo taken by U.S. Air Force, posted on Wiki;

Third and fourth photos, also found on Wiki but property of German Federal Archive, show Jerusalem's Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Hussein with Bosnian SS volunteers in Nov. of 1943, and al-Hussein with Adolf Hitler in Dec. 1941. Photo of Jerusalem's Grand Mufti with Hitler was taken by Heinrich Hoffmann.

These notes from the end of notebook point to patterns, more than anything else. We have not seen a great shift in the Palestinian ideological structure, in my opinion, since these earlier days with Arafat. 

Lurene's email in 2014:
Syrians have the same problems with dictatorship as do other peoples in the region, but the country must be studied distinctly; Syrians do not consider themselves the same, historically or ideologically, as the surrounding populations and governments. It would not be possible, after study, to liken the interests of Syria with the interests of Iraq or Jordan or Saudi Arabia.

I personally think we make too much of the Islamic world's complaints about Israel. If Israel were to move elsewhere next week, Cairo would still be Cairo, Damascus would still be Damascus, etc. I think we in the West need to let them resolve their own problems with one another.

We need to let the Palestinians examine themselves closely, their finances, encourage them to quit leaning on others.

The United States and other Mideast states are not helping Palestine by pretending sympathy all the time, throwing more cash at them each year. They would benefit from a slow, well-regulated stoppage of cash aid from the U.S. (The exchange of funds between the PLO, Hamas and various donors lack transparency. So, in 2010, we lack accurate information about Palestinian accounting.) I initially wanted to say the same about Israel, but changed my position. Israel's financial records are relatively open for study, easier to negotiate. Aid to Israel goes more toward the cost of defense against Islamic states in the region, not the local peace process, if my understanding is correct.

Whatever the numbers, we're retarding Palestinian economic progress, their negotiations with Israelis. I don't think there is a peace process in 2010 between Israel and Palestine. We need to quit calling it a peace process immediately.

Even if we had all paid civil respect to Islam, I think these areas of the East will continue to meet tragedy until they adopt a new philosophy. A philosophy more respectful of economic realities, commercial variety, and a philosophy less welcoming to dictatorship in general.

A new style of government for the Islamic world does not have to copy the lifestyle or history of Europe, the United States or Israel. Such government only needs to maintain non-violent, open economic relations with the liberal-democratic states. Freedom of speech would engineer the Islamic world's disputatious path to this end.

Having said that, no country has an easy ride to long-term wealth or stability, including the United States. The Palestinians must see this fact.

JUNE 1990

JUNE 4, 1990

Latin American Terrorism – Large organizations

The corrupt regime of Bautista collapsed. Big impact.


Product of the Israeli occupation. Started out as “Terrorism as a practice”.

Grand Mufti of Jerusalem – Haj Amin al-Hussein. 1920s. Responsible for the beginnings of Anti-Zionist terror.

Sheik Iz a dim al Kassen – Muslim preacher, graduated from a Cairo University. In anti-French revolt in Syria. Hated Jews and British in Palestine. Began preaching around Haifa – organized THE BLACK HAND. 1929 – 1935. Went underground in 1935 and began to strike again. After Battle with British, Sheik was killed and thousands and thousands came to funeral. Fedaiim (sp) associated with this.

1936-1939 – The Great Arab Revolt. Strengthened the Jewish community.

Nashashibis – as patriotic as the Husseinis, but moderate. Conflict. So more Arabs died of terror than Jews.

JUNE 4, 1990

1) What happened to the ba’ath party from 1963 to 1966?

Struggle over the future of Syria divided the party. Many executed, so divided the party. Many executed, so Assad’s rivals were thinned out. 3 Syrian main groups:

A) People who advocated progressive independence. Nasserism without Nasser.
B) Nasserites
C) Ba’athists

Ba’athists believed the economy, Israel affair needed change. Economy was developed under the state.

Beginning of two trends: Left-wing Ba’athists toward Marxism, U.S.S.R. Anti-American, nationalization. Ideologically independent from other Arab countries. Idea of a “popular struggle”.

Al-Fatah (PLO) originated in Syria in line with these ideas above. Later, they joined with the PLO.

Other trend: more moderate, less dogmatic, Aflaq, Bitar. They were prepared to compromise. Emphasized less dependence on U.S.S.R., low profile.

NATIONAL COMMAND: Aflaq, Bitar, Christians. “Moderates”
REGIONAL COMMAND: Alawites, Sunnis. Aminal-Hafiz, Jadid. “Radical”

Also a “far left”. Late ’64, regional command took over Syria. A lot of infighting. Alawites came to power. Coup in 1966, separated the 2 commands. One Iraq, one Syria.

Each had its own national and regional command.

June 18, 1990 -- presentation.

Resemblance between Arab nationalism and Socialism; when did it start and why?

Alawite officers: after Syrian separation from Union, Alawites now identified with independent Syria idea. Legitimate idea now, and traditional minority stand.

Between Army ranks, not much economic diversity.

JUNE 7, 1990


Tremendous gap in perception of POWER and real power with Palestinians. Two stages, before British withdraw and after. Before, no organization. Elite of society left. They were sure Israel would be invaded after British withdraw. Only the poor stayed.

Pact of Palestinian terror was based on desire for respect. Jordan offered them citizenship, wanted to annex their East Bank. Abdullah’s action, though not recognized by other nations, except de-facto. They were “Arab refugees” to most nations. Arabs wanted to instill guilt. Also convenient for Israel, since they were “refugees” and not a national entity, in eyes of world.

Infiltrators of 1950s; destructive to the Arabs, the low intensity violence.

Israel had to rethink its military conception. Moshe Dayan created Paratroop unit under Ariel Sharon. Attack or retaliate against Egypt and Jordan. 1956 Sinai campaign reduced level of conflict. But this also began the rise of modern PLO terrorism.

This period saw the reconstruction of the Palestinian identity. 1959 the year the PLO created by Shukeiri, Achmed. He worked for other Arab govts, Syria ambassador to United Nations. Young Palestinians saw the Arab states as manipulators. First Palestinian charter.

Nasser was the most admired person in the Arab world in the 1950s. Drove British out of the Suez Canal, major effort in ’56 left Nasser IN power. Symbolized the brave Arab. Palestinians desired to make use of such bravery.

Fatah of Yasser Arafat. Symbolized the reconstruction of the Palestinian identity. General Union of Palestinian Students – GUPS. Success of Algerian revolution big impression on them. Some studied in Algeria – influence of Frantz Fanon (“violence liberates”)

PFLP – Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – George Habash. Very radical in his ideology. Didn’t only speak of the Palestinians, but imperialism, etc. Considered dangerous by established Arab governments. V. Hadad – specialized in skyjacking. 1968, major shift in Habash organization.


Hawatme – one group, leftist.
PF and P. General Command – Achmad Gibril

N. Hawatme was a Trotskey follower. Wanted to trigger a major revolution in the middle east.

Gibril, to the right of Habash. Didn’t care about ideology. Pro-Syria. Syria believed Palestine should be part of Syria. Gibril a skillful terrorist. Extracted much from Israel.


Abu Nidal – Fatah Revolutionary Command. Terrorist. Not ideological. Just wants to kill, works for Qaddafi. Saddam Hussein. Syria. A mercenary.

Black September – early ‘70s. Terror wing of Fatah. Named after King Hussein’s campaign against Palestinians in Jordan. Killed the Israelis athletes in 1972 Munich games (11 Israelis killed)

Abu Abbas Organization – small organization considered a part of the PLO, but fairly independent. Killed Klinghoffer, tried the 1990 May Tel Aviv failed beach attack.

Ideology and strategy – Palestinian Charter the major constitution of the organization. Amended in 1968 under Yasser Arafat. Younger generation took over. PLO is a loose federation. Palestinian National Council meets to decide strategies, etc.

1) Palestine belongs to the Palestinians. No validity in international law regarding Palestine.
2) De-legitimization of Zionism. Expulsion of Zionists.
3) Israel should be replaced by an independent, democratic, secular state.
4) Military struggle is a strategy, not a tactic. Main road to the reconstruction of Palestine. Fedayeen action.

Originally a terrorist document. Combination of de-legitimization of Israel and latter point above. When they said “Armed Struggle” they did not just mean Jews. It was a desire to “do it on their own.”

Interpretations of the text have emerged through the years.

Dentonation Strategy – force Arab nations to face Israel in War. It worked: ’67 War.

 laundry detergent, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, choco, creamer, coffee, library for books on Syria, internationalism…maybe in terrorism, pg. 93 – Venice declaration in handbook.


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