Rex Brynen, Sanctuary and Survival: The PLO in Lebanon (Boulder: Westview Press, 1990).



The Palestinians and Lebanon



Palestinians in Exile and Diaspora, 1948-67

On 14 May 1948 the formation of the state of Israel was declared. The following day, the armies of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Transjordan and Egypt intervened, ostensibly in support of the resistance of Palestinian Arabs and to prevent Israel's creation. They failed. In the conflict which followed, some 770,000 of the 900,000 Palestinians resident within the nascent Jewish state were uprooted from their towns and villages to seek an uncertain future in Arab lands not their own. Of these, about 500,000 sought refuge on the Jordanian-controlled West Bank or Egyptian-controlled Gaza Strip. The remainder fled to Lebanon (100,000 or more), Syria (over 75,000), Jordan's East Bank (over 70,000), Iraq (about 5,000) or even further afield.1

One could recount a progression of major events marking the evolution of the contemporary Palestinian-Israeli conflict: the Basle Congress of 1897, at which modern political Zionism was born; the Balfour Declaration of 2 November 1917, in which the British government pledged its support to the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine; the San Remo Conference of April 1920, in which mandatory control of formerly Ottoman Palestine was granted to Britain. One might point to the growth of Palestinian nationalist resistance to Zionist settlement and British rule during the inter-war years, especially the Palestine Revolt of 1936-39. And developments of fundamental importance could be observed in the historic 29 November 1947 decision of the United Nations to partition Palestine into "Jewish" and "Arab" states, and the objections to that proposal raised by Palestine's indigenous Arab majority.

Yet of all these-representing a history far too long, complex and disputatious to adequately recount here-a single event looms largest: al-nakba ("the catastrophe") of 1948.2


The Refugee Experience

The material conditions experienced by the refugees in the aftermath of 1948 were for the most part squalid and repressive. Certainly some Palestinians-those with money, or family or other connections abroad-were often able to settle themselves elsewhere and recreate some semblance of their earlier lives. Most, however, were workers, petite bourgeoisie and above all peasants who had lost everything, including their jobs, land, or other means of livelihood. Destitute, housed in "temporary" refugee camps, they were forced to rely on the relief efforts of Arab governments and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) while seeking what little work they could find in the economic margins of their new societies. For the overwhelming majority this meant casual or day labor at very low wages. In 1951, the average annual earnings of these refugees ranged from a low of $37 in Jordan to $60 in Lebanon and $75 in Syria. Overall, Palestinian per capita incomes were reduced to about one-fifth of their level before 1948.3 Education-the only truly portable asset of a refugee existence-became a highly prized objective.

While some of the traditional authority structure of rural Palestinian life remained intact or was recreated by Palestinians in the camps, strong overall Palestinian political direction was noticeable only by its absence in the first decade or so following al-nakba. The leadership of al-Hajj Amin al-Husayni and the Arab Higher Committee, which had dominated the Palestinian political scene since the 1920s, was devastated by the disaster of 1948 and discredited by its failure to prevent it. The socio-economic base underlying the political power of traditional Palestinian notables was severely disrupted. The growing proletarianization of the Palestinian ghurba (diaspora) undermined it still further. At the same time the Palestinians, leaderless and forced into a daily struggle for survival, were initially in little shape to build new political organizations or actively continue the nationalist struggle.

Nor were they encouraged to do so. In the beginning at least, UNRWA was committed to resettling the refugees and integrating them into their new societies. Although Palestinian objections soon forced it to suspend this portion of its mandate, its very nature as a relief agency forced it to deal with the needs of Palestinians as "refugees" rather than as a dispossessed society. Meanwhile, Arab governments were anxious not to allow the Palestinian issue to slip beyond their control.


Palestine as an Arab Issue

The Arab regimes' interest in controlling the Palestinians and the Palestine question reflected the issue's broader significance in the Arab world. Palestine had long held a special geographic, historical, and religious position within the Arab consciousness. During the inter-war years, the struggle of its Arab population against British rule and the efforts of the Zionist movement to create a Jewish National Home there had become among the premier anti-colonialist issues of the day for a generation of Arab nationalists, encapsulating as it did all the perceived injustices of European imperialism. The loss of such an important part of the cultural heritage of the Arab world before the forces of an essentially Western ideology (Zionism) and its Western supporters raised difficult questions about the Arab reassertion which had been underway since the nineteenth century. Arab disunity and the corrupt and conservative nature of the existing Arab order were identified by many as the root causes of failure. In the political turmoil which followed, the ancien regimes in Egypt (1952), in Syria, and in Iraq (1958) were swept away.

In their place new governments came to power, emphasizing the primacy of radical Arab nationalist objectives. For these new regimes, and for their conservative rivals, vocal support for the Palestinian cause became a central element of both domestic legitimacy and regional foreign policy. This was particularly true of the largest and most powerful Arab confrontation state, Egypt, led by President Gamal 'Abd al-Nasir. With his prestige bolstered by success in the Suez Crisis of 1956, Nasir's call for Arab unity struck a responsive chord in the Arab world. The formation by Egypt and Syria of the United Arab Republic in 1958 seemed to signal to many-Palestinians included-that the road to Palestine really did lay through Arab unity, and that liberation could be achieved through the united strength of combined Arab regular armies.


Palestinian Political Reorganization

Through the 1950s and 1960s, pan-Arabism represented the dominant ideological orientation among most Palestinian communities. One effect of this was to submerge Palestinian political activity into broader Arab nationalist frameworks. Yet, at the same time other factors were at work, spurring the formation (or re-formation) of explicitly Palestinian organizations.

One immediate spur to this was the need to establish institutions which could not only press demands for the fulfillment of Palestinian rights, but also respond to the pressing social and psychological needs of Palestinian communities in the diaspora. Shared feelings of Palestinian identity provided the essential base for this. The Palestinians' plight and the repression experienced in some host countries further stimulated a gradual resurgence of Palestinian sociopolitical identity, especially in the refugee camps. The maintenance of kinship ties and networks provided a reinforcing element in this process, but one overwritten by the common experience of a dispersed and dispossessed people. Religious differences-already in decline in pre-1948 Palestine-became almost inconsequential as the common experience of an uprooted and dispossessed people provided a transcendent bond of shared Palestinianism.4

It was in this social, economic, and political environment that the modern Palestinian movement began to take root. By the mid-1950s, much of the traditional Palestinian political leadership had receded into the distance. A new generation (the jiyl al-nakba, or "generation of the disaster") matured and began to become politically active, notably within Palestinian student unions in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere. This played a major role in Palestinian political reorganization on a nation-wide basis, a process marked by the formation of the General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS) in 1959. Later, associations of Palestinian workers, women and other groups were established, often on the foundations of organizations that had existed before 1948. Egypt, which granted critical early sponsorship to their activities, became an early center of post-1948 Palestinian political activity. So too did Kuwait and the Gulf, where political controls on individual Palestinian activists were often less rigid than those elsewhere in the Arab world.

In 1964 Palestinian political reorganization entered a new stage with the formation of the Palestine Liberation Organization. In January of that year, Arab leaders meeting to discuss Israeli plans to divert the headwaters of the Jordan River called for the formation of a Palestinian "entity." This task was delegated to Ahmad Shuqayri, the Palestinian representative to the Arab League. Under his leadership a Palestinian congress was convened in East Jerusalem in May, and a charter and constitution adopted.

The formation of the PLO was, in part, a tacit recognition by Arab regimes of growing political assertiveness on the part of the Palestinians. Yet in other respects, the new organization was also intended to maintain Arab (and particular Egyptian) domination of the Palestinian issue, and to contain potential nationalist pressures among Palestinians within manageable proportions. The new PLO was, by virtue of its Charter, denied any administrative role on the Jordanian-annexed West Bank or Egyptian-administered Gaza Strip (Article 24). It was forbidden to interfere in the internal affairs of Arab states (Article 26). Its military wing-the Palestine Liberation Army (PLA)-consisted not of guerrillas, but of regular forces attached to (and controlled by) the armies of Syria, Iraq, and Egypt. The PLO did play an active role in promoting Palestinian popular organization, and opened offices in most Arab capitals. But no Arab state had envisaged it as an independent actor (much less an exclusive Palestinian representative) in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Instead, it was to act as an adjunct of the pan-Arab liberation of Palestine-even if, much to the chagrin of some Arab states, it often seemed in practice to act as a adjunct of Egyptian policy in issues of inter-Arab dispute.

For these reasons, many Palestinian activists had serious misgivings about the likely effectiveness of the new PLO. For some, the experience of 1948, the collapse of the UAR in 1961, and the continued divisions which afflicted the Arab world cast doubt upon the wisdom of excessive reliance upon Arab governments. For others, the national liberation struggles being waged around the world, notably the victory of the FLN against the French in Algeria (1958-62) and the eruption of resistance to the British in South Yemen (1963-), underscored the value of armed struggle both as a means of national liberation and as a statement of national existence. As one 1950s Palestinian activist later remarked:

[The Palestinian question] was dealt with under UNRWA reports, under the "Middle East problem", not as the Palestinian cause Every representative in the United Nations was speaking about how to sympathize with the Palestinian "refugees", how to give them aid-tents, medicine, and so on. It was treated as a matter of refugees, a matter of borders, a matter of clashes. This was the Palestinian problem. A Palestinian cause? No. A cause as a people, a national cause? No. Therefore we began to search for a way to tell the world "we are still alive as a Palestinian people...." 5

Five years earlier the clandestine and irregular publication in Beirut of the magazine Filastinnuna had signaled in 1959 the first public activity of one such group, the Palestine National Liberation Movement (Harakat al-tahrir al-watani al-filastini) or Fateh (al-Fath). The organizational nucleus of Fateh had been formed in the mid-1950s in Cairo and Kuwait by Yasir 'Arafat, Salah Khalaf, and Khalil al-Wazir. Ideologically, the group espoused a simple Palestinian nationalism largely devoid of socio-economic content. While it accepted the Arab dimension of the Palestinian question, the Arab nature of the Palestinian people, and called for cooperation with friendly Arab forces, Fateh's advocacy of Palestinian liberation of Palestine through Palestinian armed struggle nevertheless represented a position in contradiction to pan-Arab formulations of the time. Shortly after Algeria won its independence in 1962 Fateh opened its first office, the Bureau de la Palestine in Algiers. A few years later came the historic announcement of the first operation by its military wing, al-'Asifa ("The Storm") on 1 January 1965. The objectives were three-fold: to revitalize the Palestinian self-identity; to remind Israel and the world of the Palestinians' existence; and to stoke the intensity of Arab-Israeli confrontation as part of a long-term war of liberation embracing both the Arab states and the Palestinian people. Over the next 29 months Fateh would claim responsibility for 175 military operations inside Israel.6

A second manifestation of rising militancy was the Arab Nationalists' Movement (Harakat al-qawmiyyin al-'arab). The founding core of the ANM was comprised of a number of Arab and especially Palestinian students (notably George Habash and Wadi' Haddad) active in the nationalist al-Urwa al-wuthaq ("the Firm Tie") literary society at the American University of Beirut after 1948. By the early 1950s the ANM had developed into a formal organization with underground cells in a number of Arab countries and a clandestine leadership headed by Habash. Although the movement initially espoused a reactive and rather conservative Arab nationalism, it later swung to the left in the 1960s under the influence of Nasirism and its own radical wing (Nayif Hawatima, Muhsin Ibrahim, Muhammad Kishli). It also came to accept the principle of Palestinian armed struggle against Israel (albeit to hasten liberation within a pan-Arab framework). In 1964 the National Front for the Liberation of Palestine was established from among the ANM's Palestinian cadres. In November of that same year the NFLP's military wing ("The Youth of Vengeance") suffered its first casualty during a reconnaissance mission across the Lebanese-Israeli border.7

A third response was typified by various small, underground Palestinian military organizations which pursued armed struggle with scant regard to larger issues of ideology. Typical of these was the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF), founded in 1961 by Ahmad Jibril, a former Palestinian officer in the Syrian army. Under Syrian urging it briefly coordinated its activities with Fateh in 1965.

All of these groups viewed the PLO with varying degrees of suspicion. Fateh initially sought cooperation, and several of its members took part in the PLO's 1964 founding congress. It soon gave up when it became apparent that the organization had limited objectives and autonomy. The ANM too criticized the unrevolutionary nature of Shuqayri's organization, despite its support for Nasir and pan-Arabism. Even some within the PLO itself grew impatient with its quietist attitude, and began organizing guerrilla groups of their own.8

Palestinian participation in the various fida'iyyin groups was extremely limited at this stage. According to Fateh sources al-'Asifa consisted of only 26 persons when it launched its first operations in 1964, growing to 200 the following year and perhaps 500 on the eve of the 1967 war.9 Still, the growth of Palestinian militancy in the 1960s elicited concern in most Arab capitals. Fida'iyyin actions against Israel were seen as uncontrolled and adventurist at the least, and as dangerous invitations to Israeli reprisals at worst. Emphasizing the point, the escalation of fida'iyyin activity in the period between 1965 and 1967 was accompanied by a growing number of Israeli punishment strikes against neighboring Arab countries.10 Furthermore, the ideological positions of the various groups were challenging in their own right: thus Fateh's Palestinian orientation challenged widely accepted pan-Arabist views; the ANM's growing Nasirism was unwelcomed by conservative regimes and by the rival Ba'th party in Syria. In the case of the Hashemite regime in Jordan, which had annexed the Palestinian West Bank in the aftermath of the 1948 war, virtually any expression of Palestinian militancy or nationalism was a serious political threat.

Such factors motivated Arab attempts to either gain control of, or suppress, the fida'iyyin. Egypt, which had established fida'iyyin units of its own in the Gaza Strip before 1956, offered financial support to the ANM and later dominated Shuqayri's PLO. Syria, in part motivated by a desire to offset the PLO's Cairo connection, provided some support and facilities to Fateh. When rebuffed in its attempts to gain control, Damascus turned its attentions to the PLF. Throughout the Middle East, Arab security forces routinely arrested Palestinian militants. Both Habash and 'Arafat were imprisoned at one time or another. Fateh lost its first casualty, Ahmad Musa, not to an Israeli but a Jordanian military patrol in 1965. Many Arab countries (including Lebanon) initially suppressed news of fida'iyyin activities. Indeed, in 1965 the Arab League and the Unified Arab Command went so far as to formally call for the suppression of al-'Asifa activity. In Lebanon, the army command asked the Lebanese Press Union to embargo all news of guerrilla activity.11


The Lebanese Sanctuary

By this time over 180,000 Palestinians were to be found in Lebanon, representing the second largest community of the diaspora. By 1969 a combination of further immigration, the 1967 war, and natural increases in the population had raised the number of Palestinians resident in Lebanon to approximately 235,000. This figure would grow still further to 300,000 in 1976 and some 375,000 or more on the eve of the Israeli invasion in 1982.

Although some of those who sought refuge in Lebanon in 1948 were middle or upper class Palestinians who arrived with a significant portion of their savings intact, the vast bulk were workers, fishermen, and especially peasants who had fled or been driven from their homes in the Galilee and Haifa-Acre coastal strip. Initially sheltered in temporary transit camps in southern Lebanon, these refugees had later been moved to a dozen or so UNRWA-operated camps near Tyre, Sidon and Nabatiyya in the south, Beirut, Ba'lbak in the Biqa' Valley, and Tripoli in the north. The tents that initially sheltered them gradually gave way to single-story concrete houses with corrugated metal roofs, and perhaps (after 1969, when Lebanese law ceased to restrict local construction) to more substantial structures. Over time, a majority of Palestinians moved into the surrounding districts, as Beirut and other urban areas expanded to envelop camps that had often originally stood on waste ground. By the late 1960s perhaps a third of Palestinians in Lebanon remained in the camps. Still, the camps themselves always remained the geographic and social core of the Palestinian community in Lebanon (see Map 2.1 and Table 2.1).

Map 2.1: Palestinian Refugee Camps in Lebanon

Of the initial wave of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, only a small fraction ever obtained full Lebanese citizenship. Most of the rest were given the status of temporary residents. As such, they enjoyed few legal rights and were subject to wide discretionary powers exercised by the Lebanese Interior Ministry's Directorate of Palestinian Refugee Affairs. Later refugees, from 1967 or 1970, were even less fortunate. Unregistered with either UNRWA or the Lebanese Ministry of the Interior, they became both stateless and statusless persons in the eyes of the authorities.12

Camp Location 1968 Population 1982 Population Notes
Mar Ilyas West Beirut 889 522  
Shatila West Beirut 4,892 5,865  
Burj al-Barajina West Beirut 7,189 10,451  
Tall al-Za'tar East Beirut 7,403 -- (1)
Jisr al-Basha East Beirut 1,236 -- (1)
Dubaya East Beirut 2,448 -- (1)
Nahr al-Barid Tripoli 10,076 16,041  
Baddawi Tripoli 5,445 8,637  
'Ayn al-Hilwa Sidon 17,029 25,804  
al-Miya wa Miya Sidon 1,871 2,490  
al-Bass Tyre 3,911 5,415  
Burj al-Shimali Tyre 7,159 11,256  
Rashadiyya Tyre 13,165 15,356  
Nabatiyya Nabatiyya 3,937 -- (2)
Wavell Ba'lbak 3,937 4,686  
(1) Destroyed by Lebanese Forces in 1976.
(2) Largely abandoned due to Israeli attacks after 1977.

Table 2.1: Palestinian Refugee Camps in Lebanon13

Moreover, of all the major Arab countries of refuge for Palestinian refugees in 1948, the Lebanese state was perhaps the least supportive. In contrast to Jordan (where most Palestinians gained citizenship), or Syria and Egypt (where in many sectors Palestinians were granted legal equivalency), Palestinians in Lebanon were systematically denied access to state education or to Lebanon's underdeveloped social welfare system. Despite the deductions made from their wages, Palestinian workers in regular employment had no right to social security. They were also routinely denied the documentation necessary for legal employment in the country. In 1969, only 3,362 of the tens of thousands of Palestinian workers in Lebanon had legal work permits. Similarly, many Palestinian professionals were prohibited from working, or were forced to do so under restrictive circumstances. Palestinian teachers, for example, required an annual license from the Lebanese Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs if they wished to work in the private sector; private schools were limited to a maximum of two "foreign" (including Palestinian) teachers. Under regulations issued by the Lebanese Ministry of Education, many Palestinian teachers were also prohibited from teaching in the social sciences or other politically sensitive subjects. Political activity was expressly prohibited, and teachers hired by UNRWA required advance clearance from the Deuxième Bureau (Lebanese military intelligence).14

Such legal status reflected and reinforced the adverse economic status of the Palestinian community in Lebanon. Because of the relative prosperity of Beirut, the earnings of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon were often higher than those of refugees in Jordan or Syria during the early years. But whereas in these countries Palestinians found increasing employment opportunities amid economic expansion and a shortage of skilled and educated workers, similar conditions did not exist in Lebanon. Instead, a sufficient supply of qualified Lebanese professionals and skilled Lebanese labor was already present. As a result, many Palestinians continued to work as casual agricultural or unskilled laborers, or in menial positions in Lebanon's large service sector. One 1971 Lebanese government survey found that most camp workers were employed in services (35.8%), followed by industry (25.4%, of which more than half worked in building and construction) and agriculture (21.1%). Over half (58.4%) of camp workers were day-labourers; fewer than one-third enjoyed either long-term employment (14.2%) or were self-employed (18.8%). Lacking work permits and generally employed in small enterprises, most Palestinians thus labored for low wages under poor working conditions with no fringe benefits, devoid of protection under Lebanese law. Such economic circumstances, coupled with the lack of support offered by the Lebanese state and the meager resources of UNRWA, combined to create poor living and health conditions in the camps. In 1971 more than 88% of camp homes had 80 square meters or less of living space, with an average of 3.5 persons per room and 6.7 per house. Less than 12% of homes had toilets; 60% had no running water. Most camps lacked either garbage collection or adequate sewer systems.15

Conditions were clearly better for those wealthier Palestinians outside the camps, and especially for those (predominately Christian) Palestinians who through family ties or connections had managed to acquire Lebanese citizenship. Some Palestinians were able to construct (or reconstruct) sizable business networks in Lebanon, often extending elsewhere in the Arab world and even further abroad. Yet the very success of members of the Palestinian bourgeoisie could lead to resentment on the part of their Lebanese counterparts. Evidence of this came in 1966, when the Lebanese economic elite apparently engineered the collapse of the largely Palestinian Intra Bank.16

The legal and economic marginality of the Palestinian community was matched by the tight political control exercised by the Lebanese Interior Ministry and the Lebanese Army Deuxième Bureau. Security posts of the former's para-military Forces de Securité Intérieure existed in and around Palestinian camps. Palestinians were routinely questioned at army checkpoints around the refugee camps and on major roads; during some periods of political tension in the 1950s and 1960s Palestinians required permission for travel within Lebanon itself.

This, combined with the Palestinian community's political shock and pan-Arab orientation in the 1950s and early 1960s, restricted the emergence of new Palestinian organizations. To the extent that Palestinian political activity did take place, it tended to be on an individual rather than community basis, with activists joining organizations like the ANM or the Ba'th. Indeed, despite the activities of Palestinians at Beirut universities (especially by those holding non-Lebanese passports) and efforts by the ANM to increase its recruitment in the refugee camps, most political activity by the Palestinians in Lebanon was forcefully suppressed. At the American University of Beirut, for example, many key Palestinian leaders of the ANM were expelled in 1954­55.

In the mid-1960s this situation began to change with the emergence of an armed Palestinian resistance movement. But until 1967 the Lebanese authorities were in firm control of the camps and determined to remain so-a determination evidenced by the death of one early Fateh guerrilla, Jalal Ka'ush, under Lebanese military interrogation in January 1966.17

Such sensitivity to any signs of radical Palestinianism stemmed from a variety of factors, chief among them the precarious nature of Lebanon's own sociopolitical order. Lebanese President Fu'ad Shihab's reported 1960 response to an ANM delegation protesting Deuxième Bureau excesses in the camps is instructive in this regard:

Let's speak frankly. Lebanon is a country of sects; and we treat everyone according to this reality. If we treat you [Palestinians] as a sect, you will dominate the others because of your large numbers, your concentration in the same places, and your passion for politics. The Lebanese state is unable to deal with these problems and thus we have to replace social measures with security measures. In other words, the Palestinian problem is bigger than Lebanon. For Lebanon will either repress the Palestinians or be repressed by them-and no third solution exists.18


Sect, Class and Identity:
A Brief Political Economy of the Lebanese System

As Shihab suggested, Lebanon is indeed a state characterized by the presence of a number of religious communities: Maronite, Greek Orthodox, Greek Catholic, and Armenian (Orthodox and Catholic) Christians; Sunni, Shi'i, and Druze Muslims; and others. Upon independence political and economic power was apportioned between the leadership of the various communities on the basis of elite accommodation, a consociational democracy wherein "small elites of different communities interact moderately, responsibly with one another to preserve mutual advantages and promote mass tranquility while they maintain the tightest possible control over their own 'flocks'."19 These elites have traditionally taken the form of zu'ama'-leaders from wealthy, notable families whose political power rests on a strong network of patron-client relationships.

The evolution of this socio-economic and political structure is a complex historical event, detailed examination of which is beyond the scope of this study.20 In essence, however, it emerged in the 19th century from the effect of two interrelated social forces on Mount Lebanon's precapitalist social order: the expansion of European political influence in the region as the Ottoman Empire declined; and the concomitant expansion of local capitalist production. As a result of these forces (and its own internal contradictions) the hitherto dominant aspect of Lebanese society, feudalist agriculture, began to collapse. At the same time a new bourgeoisie arose in the rapidly expanding urban centers, a class which owed much of its position to money-lending to weakened agriculturalists, or to involvement in the coastal region's expanding European and entrepôt trade.

It was in this context that sectarianization began to assume a particular importance. Up to the early 19th century communal identities had existed but had not dominated society. Traditional patron-client relationships rooted in feudalism, rather than sectarianism, had provided the essential bonding of the social order.21 Three major factors, however, served to transform this situation.

The first of these was the decline of feudal agriculture itself. As the expansion of capitalist production and changes in the structure of the Ottoman tax system weakened the financial and social position of the feudal class, competition between feudal families and the economic exploitation of the peasantry increased. The results were violent clashes and widespread discontent amongst Druze and Maronite peasants alike. In 1820 this growing discontent exploded into a commoners' uprising. In the 1840s, a successful struggle against Egyptian occupation (1831-40) was followed by fighting amongst feudal families and sporadic rebellions by predominately Christian peasants as the former sought to re-establish their feudal privileges. In an attempt to limit the extent of the rural rebellions, the Druze nobles promoted anti-Christian sentiments to solidify their base of Druze support. As a consequence, sectarian fighting-and hence the sectarian nature of conflict in the Mountain-intensified.22 This, combined with a successful rebellion by Maronite peasants against their Maronite feudal overlords in Kisrawan set in course a train of events which ultimately led to the massacre of more than ten thousand Christians by Druze lords and their Druze followers in 1860.

Throughout this period, a parallel role was being played (for very different reasons) by the Maronite Church. Strengthened by a demographic shift in favor of the Christians in Mount Lebanon and rendered more assertive by internal reform, the Church sought to extend its political and economic influence and interests at the expense of the feudal system. It did so by challenging the old patterns of feudal loyalty, promoting in their stead a communal Maronite identity.23 The Church thus supported both the growing anti-feudal assertiveness of Christian commoners and the sectarianization of the political system.

Finally sectarianism invited, and was promoted by, European powers anxious to extend their influence into the Ottoman Empire's erstwhile possessions. Thus France supported the Maronites and other Catholics of Mount Lebanon; Russia, the Orthodox; Britain, the Druze. Later, the 1860 massacre of Christians led to the landing of French troops and direct European political intervention. Constantinople was forced to grant autonomy to Mount Lebanon under a Christian governor (mutasarrif). Under the mutasarrifiyya system sectarianism was further consecrated and institutionalized through explicit recognition of religious community as the basis for representation within the political system.

Thus by the end of the nineteenth century Lebanon's socio-economic and political system had undergone a major transformation. This change was amplified in the aftermath of World War One, when the Ottoman Empire was vanquished and France gained a League of Nations mandate over Syria and Lebanon. Portions of the Biqa' Valley and the coastal plain were combined with the Mountain to form a Greater Lebanon, adding a substantial number of urban Sunni Muslims and Sunni and Shi'i agriculturalists to the hitherto largely Christian and Druze population. This population historically looked to Syria and the broader Arab world for economic and political intercourse, in contrast to the predominately Levantist and European orientation of the Christians of Mount Lebanon. The political arrangements established by France (notably the 1926 Lebanese constitution) tended to further entrench the confessional principle. Finally, French control accelerated the decline of the agricultural sector and the growth of Lebanon's capitalist service and trade sector in urban areas.

All of this had important implications for the structures of political leadership in the country. In some areas of the country (among the Druze and Shi'a in the south, the Shi'a of the Biqa', and the Sunnis of 'Akkar) the social system still bore strong evidence of its feudal roots, and power still derived from historic families, landownership, and retainers. Elsewhere, however, it had undergone substantial adaptation to post-feudal circumstances. The weakening of feudal ties of loyalty forced zu'ama' to adopt more overtly ideological means for mobilizing their supporters. Among the small-holding farmers and Christian middle class of Mount Lebanon, modern patron-client networks and the popular appeal of a "political Maronitism" strengthened political loyalties by emphasizing the plight of Lebanese Christians as an isolated minority in a non-Christian Middle East. For urban-based Sunni leaders, historically oriented towards Syria and the wider Arab world, a different political mix found favor: appeals to pan-Arabism, coupled with patronage and the local control of the Muslim "street" provided by neighborhood strongmen (qabadayat).24 Yet to the extent that all such leaders shared a common interest in maintaining a sectarianized political base, the Lebanese elite had a strong shared interest in negotiating a modus vivendi which would reinforce their mutual positions. Sectarianization (and even some degree of communal tension) strengthened them; unrestrained communal conflict would threaten dysfunctional disorder, particularly in view of a service economy's need for a minimum degree of security and stability.25

The result was the National Pact (al-mithaq al-watani) of 1943, an unwritten agreement between Maronite President Bishara al-Khuri and Sunni leader Riyad al-Sulh that was to provide the institutional framework for the Lebanese system for more than four decades after independence. Under its terms Lebanon's most powerful political position-that of the President of the Republic-was reserved for a Maronite, while the Prime Minister and the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies were to be a Sunni and Shi'i respectively. Representation within the Lebanese parliament and senior bureaucracy was similarly allocated on a sectarian basis of a 6:5 ratio of Christians to Muslims, the alleged demographic balance at the time of Lebanon's last census in 1932. The National Pact resolved conflicting views over Lebanon's identity between (predominately Maronite) "Lebanese" nationalists and pan-Arabists through a compromise formula which confirmed both Lebanon's independence and its Arab "face" In return, leaders of the two sides were expected to renounce European (i.e., French) protection and the inclusion of Lebanon into a larger Arab union respectively.


Internal Contradictions

In a little over three decades after independence in 1946 Lebanon would twice explode into civil war: first in 1958, and again after 1975. In the later conflagration, the Palestinian armed presence in Lebanon played a major role. That it did not in the first, however, is strong evidence of the degree to which the internal contradictions of the Lebanese system constituted a primary cause for its own demise.

A major source of grievance within the Lebanese system was rooted in its socio-economic structure and the disparities it generated. While the urban bourgeoisie reaped enormous profits from Lebanon's growing service sector, the continuing decline of agriculture forced thousands of villagers to migrate to Beirut and other urban centers in search of work. Here they congregated in what became known as the capital's "misery belt," alongside the already miserable quarters of the Palestinian refugees. A vast gap existed between a small rich minority and the poor majority. In 1959 one study estimated that whereas 4% of Lebanon's population could be classed as "rich" and enjoyed an annual income in excess of L£15,OOO or more, 49% were either "poor" (L£1,200-2,500) or "destitute" (less than L£1,200). While the former received some 32% of Lebanon's GNP, the latter half of the population received less than 18%.26 Moreover, a general aura of laissez faire capitalism both intensified the economic exploitation of workers and inhibited government spending on health, welfare, or social services which might mitigate its impact.

All of this stimulated rising levels of social discontent. Yet for the most part this discontent failed to develop along class lines. Instead, confessional identification inhibited the formation of inter-communal class consciousness. Socio-economic grievances were translated into tensions over confessional inequality, with working-class Muslims most militant in their demands for a redistribution of political and economic power among the sects.27 This in turn was fueled by a changing demographic balance in the country.

According to Lebanon's 1932 census, a majority of Lebanon's population was Christian. As the years progressed, however, a higher Muslim (and especially Shi'i) birthrate and Christian emigration cast doubts on whether this balance had been maintained. The refusal of the government to undertake a new census only seemed to confirm the view of many that the Muslim community had become Lebanon's new majority.28

Despite this, it continued to be the Christian community (and especially the Christian elite) which was the major beneficiary of the Lebanese system. Economically, a disproportionate level of benefits appeared to flow to the Christian community, while the Muslim community appeared disproportionately poor. Certainly the difference was often one of degrees of relative poverty: according to one study 82% of Shi'i, 79% of Sunni, and 61% of Christian families had incomes below L£6,000 in 1971.29 Nevertheless, the underdevelopment of many Muslim areas compared with the Christian heartland of Mount Lebanon remained a source of discontent. This was exacerbated by continued Christian political dominance over the government and bureaucracy as provided for under the National Pact.

To some extent, this discontent was contained by the Sunni zu'ama', who were able to exploit it to strengthen their own position and to back calls for a larger Muslim share of wealth and power. But when coupled with the discontent produced by economic inequities, not all could be channeled within sectarian boundaries. It instead found expression outside the traditional framework, in the form of several small but growing radical organizations. Faced with their challenge, the traditional Muslim leadership was increasingly forced to escalate its demands in order to maintain the loyalty of its constituency.

A third area of tension-that of Lebanon's national and political identity-increasingly provided the avenue for this. The Sunni bourgeoisie had long found pan-Arabism a useful mobilizing tool; with the acceleration of Arab nationalism in the 1950s and 1960s, its importance grew still further. Indeed, given the popularity of Egypt's 'Abd al-Nasir among the mass of the Muslim population it would have been virtually impossible for the traditional Sunni leadership to resist the Arab nationalist tide without seriously undermining their own political status. Many conservative Muslim leaders thus underwent a "road to Cairo" conversion of sorts, embracing Nasirism (and, if possible, Nasir himself for photographic record) despite their distaste for its progressivist flavor.

The issue of identity was intimately connected to other tensions within Lebanese society. Most Lebanese, both Christian (especially Greek Orthodox) and Muslim, embraced an Arab identity and hence responded to the appeal of Arab nationalism. Most (Maronite) Christian leaders, however, drew their political support from the portrayal of Lebanon as a Christian enclave in a hostile Muslim sea, and hence proved hostile to a non-sectarian "Arab" nationalism which threatened to erode such distinctions. It was this attitude, and their espousal of a Levantist or "Lebanese" nationalism, that earned them the epithet "isolationist" (in'izali) from their political opponents. The question of Lebanon's identity also had class implications, insofar as the dominant strains of Arab nationalist thought adopted an increasingly more socialist content in the aftermath of the 1952 Egyptian revolution.

A final weakness of the Lebanese system was produced by the personalized nature of the political process. Both political and economic life were dominated directly by a small number of persons from a few leading families. Because of this, personal disagreements and slightly divergent economic interests were reflected in sometimes intense conflict within the Lebanese government and ruling class. By the late 1960s, such intra-elite conflict had reached the point that "not one of the ten to twelve leading oligarchs was on speaking terms with all the others."30 This in turn had severe negative implications for the state's ability to protect the stability and smooth operation of the Lebanese political and economic system as a whole.

All of these aspects-socio-economic exploitation, confessional conflict, tensions of international orientation, and the absence of relative state autonomy-were evident as contributing factors to the 1958 Lebanese civil war. As Nasirism grew in popularity, many (born-again Nasirite) Muslim leaders pushed for the adoption by Lebanon of a more pan-Arab foreign policy. Lebanese President Camille Chamoun (1952-58) responded to such pressure by moving closer to the West. In 1956 he refused to break relations with Britain and France during the Suez Crisis; the following year he endorsed the US Eisenhower Doctrine. He also embarked on an attempt to weaken the power of the traditional pan-Arab Muslim elite, manipulating the 1957 parliamentary elections to unseat many of them. In doing so, however, the President was seen as challenging the position of the Muslim communities, thus further fanning the flames of growing sectarian discontent. This, combined with Chamoun's attempts to amend the Lebanese constitution so as to permit his re-election to a second presidential term, led to the outbreak of a rebellion against the government in May 1958. The strength of the rebellion in both underdeveloped and Muslim areas of the country was indicative of its twin socio-economic and communal character.31

The Maronite army commander, Fu'ad Shihab, refused to use the armed forces in support of the President. Amid the added pressure of the July 1958 revolution in Iraq, US troops intervened to safeguard Lebanese "independence". Still, it soon became impossible for Chamoun to remain in power. Thus at the end of July early elections were held. Shihab emerged the victor. The civil war was over.

The short duration of the 1958 civil war and the slogan of "no victor, no vanquished" under which it was settled underscored the common interest of the Lebanese elite in containing the conflict before it overwhelmed the Lebanese system. It was as much for this reason as for personal dislike of Chamoun that many Christian leaders (including the Maronite Patriarch) had supported the insurgents against the President's attempts to change the essential rules of the system; it was for this reason too that most Muslim leaders were only too willing to mute their Nasirite rhetoric for continued participation in that system. And it was in defense of the system that General Shihab had refused to support the government during the crisis, thus emerging as Lebanon's apparent savior and new President (1958-64).

Yet the contradictions of the Lebanese system remained, and Shihab and his parliamentary supporters embarked on a series of reforms designed to mitigate them. To weaken Muslim and working class discontent a series of public works projects were launched in underdeveloped areas. Externally, rapprochement was sought with Nasir. In order to strengthen the relative autonomy of the state and its ability to intervene to maintain system stability, Shihab set about expanding the state role, bypassing the traditional zu'ama'. The greatly-enlarged Deuxième Bureau became the primary political weapon of the new regime, active throughout Lebanese politics and society.

These reforms were soon opposed by a broad coalition of traditional leaders who, having fought to keep their power in 1958, now found it threatened still further. Their opposition, coupled with the corruption and patronage so widespread in the Lebanese administrative machinery, slowed the pace of reform under Shihab. Under his successor, Charles Hilu (1964-1970), it was slower still.

The limits of reform, coupled with the continued dominance of the traditional elite had a radicalizing influence on many of Lebanon's younger generation for whose aspirations and ideals the Lebanese system seemed to hold no room.32 The radicalization of Arab nationalism in the 1960s reinforced this, as did the emergence of the Palestinian resistance movement. And, with the Arab defeat of 1967, many in Lebanon (as elsewhere in the Arab world) sharpened their critique of the present system, now calling for its social and political transformation.


Lebanese Parties, Factions and Forces

By the late 1960s these interrelated tensions and contradictions in Lebanese society had combined to form a complex array of political groupings.33 In defense of the socio-economic and political status quo stood a number of conservative, largely Maronite, parties and groupings. Some, such as the Franjiyya clan of Zgharta, were little more than a local family-centered network of zu'ama'. In other cases, however, zu'ama' networks had assumed a more modern political exterior. The Liberal Nationalists' Party (Hizb al-wataniyyin al-ahrar) of Camille Chamoun was one of these, formed in 1959 on a free-enterprise, anti-Shihabist conservative program. Another was the National Bloc (al-Qutla al-wataniyya), dating to before independence and now led by Raymond Eddé on an anti-Shihabist platform.

The largest conservative group, however, was the Lebanese Phalange Party (al-Kata'ib). This right-wing populist organization, led by Pierre al-Jumayyil, was the only conservative group to establish an institutionalized party organization. Originally modeled after the European fascist parties of the 1930s, the Phalange saw itself (in the words of one analyst) as "builder, surrogate, and defender of the state."34 It was in this role that the Phalange had been among the major supporters of the government in 1958. Although it was willing to see some modest changes in the Lebanese system (and had supported Shihab to this end), it was militant in defense of Lebanon's "Lebanese" identity and the capitalist social order. It thus gradually broke with Shihabism over what it saw as its pan-Arabist orientation and excessively reformist inclinations.

All of these various groups were engaged in competition for political support, particularly from the Christian population. Despite this, they often managed to coordinate their resistance to fundamental political change. This was manifest in the formation of the Tripartite Alliance (al-Hilf al-thulathi) by the LNP, National Bloc, and Phalange on the eve of the 1968 parliamentary elections. The Hilf was also supported by the Maronite Patriarch who had traditionally performed a moderate political role. Later, this role would be surpassed by the more militant Maronite Monastic Orders.

In opposition to the status quo stood an even more heterogeneous collection of forces. The largest of these was the Progressive Socialist Party (al-Hizb al-taqaddumi al-ishtiraki) led by Druze za'im Kamal Junblat. Junblat had been among Chamoun's major opponents in 1958, and had subsequently supported Shihabism through the 1960s. The PSP espoused a secular reformist ideology, and was strongly supportive of Arab nationalism. Although it drew its support from all communities, its core membership was composed of Junblat's Druze followers.

Another significant source of radical opposition was posed by the various urban-based Nasirite groups. The largest of these was the Beirut-based Independent Nasirites Movement led by Ibrahim Qulaylat, later better known under the name of its military wing, al-Murabitun. All of these groups, which promoted Nasir's own blend of secular pan-Arab socialism, drew the bulk of their support from the Sunni community, within which they posed the major alternative to the traditional leadership. Their ability to challenge the Sunni zu'ama' was constrained by their perennial internal divisions, however, and by the fact that many represented little more than armed, organized, and slightly politicized local street gangs.

The Shi'a, Lebanon's largest communal group by this time, lagged further behind in political mobilization against the status quo-reflecting the community's widespread poverty and lack of education. Nevertheless one such attempt was undertaken by a rising Shi'i cleric, Imam Musa al-Sadr. In 1969 Sadr was elected head of the Shi'i Higher Council, established two years earlier to replace Shi'i representation in the Sunni-dominated Islamic Higher Council. In 1974 he launched the Movement of the Deprived (Harakat al-mahrumin). The Movement, better known by the name of its militia Amal ("Hope") was to gain greater political prominence in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Other opposition groups were less dependent on a communal core of support. Lebanon's various Marxist-Leninist parties, for example, drew members from all communities, and were among the few organizations to meet any success in mobilizing the poor, largely Shi'i, workers of Beirut's "misery belt". The largest of these parties was the Lebanese Communist Party. As a traditional Moscow-line party the LCP had long opposed Arab nationalism, only revising its position in 1968-69. The Organization of Communist Action in Lebanon was a direct descendent of the "leftist" splinter within the Arab Nationalists' Movement. The OCA was formed in 1971 through the merger of two smaller groups, and led by Muhsin Ibrahim. The Arab Socialist Action Party represented another Lebanese descendant of the ANM.

The secular pan-Arabism of the Ba'th was represented in Lebanon by two parties, the Organization of the Ba'th Party, and the Arab Socialist Ba'th Party, reflecting the split of the parent party into pro-Syrian and pro-Iraqi wings respectively. The Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party (al-Hizb al-suri al-qawmi al-ijtima'i) comprised a final significant member of the radical forces. Often known under its French title of the Parti Populaire Syrien, the SSNP had originally been founded as a secretive proto-fascist Syrian nationalist group in 1932. Indeed, in 1958 its conservatism and hostility to pan-Arabism had led it to be amongst the government's most militant supporters. By the early 1970s, however, its original ideology had been replaced by a functional reformism and accommodation with Arab nationalism, placing it in the anti-status quo camp.

Eventually the reformist and revolutionary forces also began coordinating their demands for change, with the formation of the umbrella Front of National and Progressive Parties and Forces (Jabhat al-'ahzab wa al-quwa al-taqaddumiyya wa al-wataniyya) after the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Led by Kamal Junblat, the Front-better known as the Lebanese National Movement (LNM)-was to play a major role in Lebanese politics throughout the 1970s.

Amid this the traditional Muslim zu'ama' found themselves uncomfortably poised between the status quo and anti-status quo forces. Whilst many supported the idea of a horizontal (inter-communal) redistribution of wealth in Lebanon, none supported vertical redistribution amongst classes, and few were willing to compromise their own privileged positions within the system to achieve reform. Yet they were forced to find some populist platform around which to shore up their political support. As a consequence they were often led to support reformist programs rhetorically, while taking actions that seemed more supportive of the status quo.

To some extent their quandary was shared by the Sunni Mufti and other Muslim religious personages, and by conservative Muslim organizations. These too supported greater power for the Muslim community. But they opposed the call of the National Movement for secularism or deconfessionalization, a program which would have struck at the very root of their ideological foundations and influence.

It was into this complex social and political milieu that a revitalized Palestinian nationalist movement would be injected after June 1967. As we have already seen, by the mid-1960s a number of rudimentary Palestinian nationalist groupings had thus risen from the social and political wreckage of 1948. It was not until the Arab defeat of June 1967, however, that these groups were catapulted to the forefront of the Palestine question.


The Emergence of the Palestinian Movement, 1967-

The impact of the 1967 war was fundamental. In physical terms, Israel now occupied both the West Bank and Gaza Strip. With this, a further 300,000 Palestinians had fled their homes in these areas to join the Palestinian diaspora. Thus, by the end of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war all of historic Palestine lay under Israeli occupation; over one-half of its population had become involuntary exiles from their homeland (Table 2.2).35

In political terms, the inability of Egypt, Syria and Jordan to triumph on the battlefield raised more critical questions about the ability of the pan-Arab orthodoxy to deliver Palestinian liberation. Shuqayri, whose shrill rhetoric had remained unmatched by action, was similarly discredited by implication. He eventually resigned as PLO chairman in December 1967.36

   1952  1967  1982  1987
 Israel (pre-1967)  179,000 326,000 550,000 645,000
 West Bank  742,000 666,000 830,000 937,000
 Gaza Strip  300,000 346,000 455,000 558,000
 Palestine 1,221,000 1,338,000 1,835,000 2,140,000
 Jordan (East Bank)  150,000  731,000 1,080,000 1,252,000
 Lebanon 114,000 225,000 375,000 338,000
 Syria  83,000 143,000 245,000 284,000
 Other  32,000 263,000 965,000 1,125,000
 Diaspora  379,000 1,362,000 2,665,000 2,999,000
 TOTAL 1.6 million 2.7 million 4.5 million 5.1 million
Table 2.2: Distribution of Palestinian Population


For Fateh, the lesson (if not its scope) was not unexpected. Indeed, the events of June 1967 seemed to confirm Fateh's prescriptions regarding the need to liberate Palestine through Palestinian armed struggle. For the ANM (and the Arab new left in general) the lesson was somewhat different. The June defeat was the result of the Arab regimes' "inability to effect the political, military, economic and ideological mobilization capable of resisting and triumphing over imperialism and its alliances and plans in our homeland."37 What was needed was the revolutionary mobilization of the Palestinian people (and the broader Arab world) in support of popular armed struggle against Israel. The progressive Arab regimes (Nasir's Egypt, Syria, Iraq) could contribute to this process, although their contribution was limited by their incomplete social transformations. The reactionary Arab regimes (notably Jordan and Saudi Arabia), linked to imperialism, could make no such contribution and were bound to clash with the Palestinian revolution. In December 1967 the adoption of this revised analysis was signified by the formation of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), uniting the Palestine Regional Command of the ANM, Jibril's PLF, and a small group known as the "Heroes of the Return".

The Arab defeat of 1967 thus served to stimulate the growth of the fida'iyyin, who were seen as a viable alternative to the failed option of regular military confrontation. In January 1968 a "Permanent Bureau" of fida'iyyin groups was formed upon Fateh's initiative to coordinate their activities, although the newly-formed PFLP refused to participate. Further impetus was received on 21 March 1968 when Israeli troops struck at fida'iyyin concentrations near the Jordanian town of Karama. The majority of guerrillas did not withdraw but rather (supported by Jordanian forces) confronted the Israeli troops, inflicting unusually heavy casualties. The Battle of Karama did much to bolster Palestinian and Arab morale which had been so badly shattered by the debacle of the Six-Day War less than a year before. Thousands now flocked to join the fida'iyyin.

It was in this context of rising guerrilla organization and activity that the Palestine Liberation Organization convened the fourth session of the Palestine National Council (PNC) in July 1968. Reflecting their new-found strength, 48 of the 100 delegates (38 from the Fateh-dominated Permanent Bureau, 10 from the PFLP) came from guerrilla organizations. A new PLO chairman, Yahya Hammuda, was elected. More significantly, a revised Palestinian National Charter was adopted which declared that "armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine" (Article 9). The revised Charter also dropped the previous version's prohibition of PLO activities on the West Bank and Gaza, altered the clause concerning relations with Arab states (Article 27), and added a new Article (28) declaring rejection of "all kinds of intervention, trusteeship and subordination" of the Palestinian revolution.38 Seven months later, at the fifth session of the National Council (February 1969) the guerrillas won 63 of 105 seats. With 33 PNC seats, Fateh capitalized on its growing strength and a temporarily favorable balance of power within the Council (both the PFLP and PLA boycotted the session in protest over representation), and succeeded in having four of its members elected to the PLO Executive Committee. These included Yasir 'Arafat, who replaced Hammuda as chairman of the PLO.

With this, the PLO completed its transformation into a genuinely independent, Palestinian, liberation organization. As such it would eventually gain substantial international recognition as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people," first from the Arab League in 1974 and later from others within the international community.

Far more important still, the post-1967 PLO would achieve remarkable legitimacy in the eyes of virtually all segments of the Palestinian population. More than simply a political representative or an umbrella organization for the various fida'iyyin groups, the PLO would come to be seen by Palestinians as the organizational expression and symbolic repository of Palestinian nationalism as a whole, and hence as "the forum-far broader in scope than is usually believed-in which virtually all Palestinian political activity takes place."39


PLO Institutions and Infrastructure

In tandem with its rising political status, the institutional structure of the PLO would undergo an equally remarkable expansion over the years. Much of this expansion would take place in Lebanon, where on the eve of the 1982 war the PLO had assembled a massive and complex organizational structure to support both the social needs and political aspirations of the Palestinian people (Figure 2.1).

At its apex the Palestine National Council has remained the highest decision-making body of the PLO. Its delegates include representatives not only of the various Palestinian guerrilla organizations and of Palestinian mass organizations, but also independents chosen so as to be representative of the geographic dispersion of the Palestinian population at large. It is the PNC that sets the broad outlines of PLO policy. The PNC also elects the members of the Central Council (a smaller body established in 1973 to set and review policy when the PNC is not in session), and the PLO Executive Committee.

Figure 2.1: Organizational Structure of the PLO


The Executive Committee is the PLO's "cabinet," consisting up of to 15 persons including representatives of the major guerrilla groups. It is responsible for the implementation of PLO policy through its various departments, with each Executive Committee member holding specific policy portfolios.

In the military field this includes the 6-10,000 strong regular Palestinian military forces of the Palestine Liberation Army. Each of the PLA's three brigades was originally raised and overseen by a different Arab state: the 'Ayn Jalut Brigade by Egypt, the Hittin Brigade by Syria, and the Qadisiyya Brigade by Iraq. A fourth unit-the Badr forces-was later raised by Jordan and sent to support the PLO in Lebanon. The PLA has also featured a guerrilla wing, the Popular Liberation Forces, created in February 1968 in response to the rising popularity of the fida'iyyin. Unlike the main resistance groups, however, the Liberation Forces never generated a real political following; after reaching a peak of 1-2,000 fighters in 1969-70, they lapsed to a strength of a few hundred and political obscurity a few years later. Finally, Palestinian military forces are also comprised of the fighters of individual guerrilla groups, and (in Lebanon) local self-defense militias.

Nominally, the PLA and its Chief-of-Staff are responsible to the PLO Military Department, and ultimately to the PLO Chairman in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief. In practice, however, military coordination has long proven a serious problem, with the behavior and allegiance of PLA units heavily influenced by their respective Arab sponsor, particularly in the case of the Hittin Brigade and those portions of the al-Qadisiyya Brigade stationed in Syria under Syrian control after the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. Similarly, the fighters of individual fida'iyyin groups have rarely been subject to central PLO command and control. In an effort to improve cooperation, the Palestine Armed Struggle Command (qiyadat al-kifah al-musallah) was formed by the fida'iyyin and the PLA in the spring of 1969. In practice, however, PASC failed to act as the intended military central command, evolving instead into a PLO military police force.

In non-military areas the PLO is divided into a number of functional departments which coordinate and oversee the PLO's external and internal operations. Among these, the Political Department maintains the PLO's network of offices abroad, almost ninety in number by the early 1980s. The Department of Information and Guidance and PLO Unified Information are responsible for a network of Palestinian radio stations (Voice of Palestine), a press agency (WAFA), and the publication of the PLO central organ Filastin al-thawra. The Palestine Red Crescent Society, initially founded as the medical services branch of Fateh in 1968, provides medical facilities, under the authority of the PLO Health Department. The Palestine National Fund is responsible both for the vocational and employment activities of the Palestine Martyrs' Work Society (SAMED), and for overseeing PLO finances. The Department of Popular Organizations is responsible for the Palestinian women's, students', professional, and trade unions associated with the PLO, and for the Ashbal (Lion Cubs) and Zahrat (Flowers) children's organizations.

Within the overall framework of a single Palestinian nationalist movement represented by the PLO, individual Palestinian guerrilla organizations (tanzimat) have retained considerable autonomy. Indeed, they have acted in effect as the political parties of the Palestinian political system. The dynamics of competition and cooperation between them, reflecting the ideological and political cross-currents of their Palestinian constituents and the broader Arab world, have played a fundamental role in shaping both the process and content of PLO policy-formation.

Fateh. Of the various tanzimat, by far the most important has been Fateh. Bolstered by its success at Karama, Fateh's strength had grown from just over 700 cadres on the eve of the battle, to some 3,000 or so in its aftermath, to perhaps 10,000 (including militia) in September 1970.40 In 1982 it would field a similar number of fighters in Lebanon on the eve of Israel's 1982 invasion. Fateh has dominated the administrative structure of the PLO in the post-1967 era. It has long controlled two important Executive Committee portfolios: the Political Department (Khalid al-Hasan, 1969-73; Muhammad Yusif al-Najjar 1973; Faruq Qaddumi 1973- ), and that of Executive Committee Chairman/PLO Commander-in-Chief (Yasir 'Arafat). Most PLO representatives abroad and senior PLO military officers are Fateh members, as are the leaders of many Palestinian mass organizations. Most "independent" members of the PNC have tended to support Fateh too.

A number of factors have contributed to Fateh's continued strength. Paramount among these has been Fateh's preeminent popular support both in the occupied territories and in the diaspora. Because of its espousal of a simple pragmatic philosophy of Palestinian nationalism and its eschewal of more complex and divisive social doctrines, Fateh has long succeeded in attracting followers from a broad social spectrum. Such popular support, coupled with policy pragmatism and commitment to non-interference in the internal affairs of Arab regimes, also provides it considerable maneuverability in the shoals of inter-Arab politics.

Finally, Fateh has benefited from a remarkably stable core leadership. Despite formal subordination to Fateh's General Congress and the intermediary Revolutionary Council, the Fateh Central Council represents the leadership body of the movement. And, twenty years after al-'Asifa's first operation, much of this group would still be composed of the surviving founding figures of the movement, notably Khalil al-Wazir (Abu Jihad), Salah Khalaf (Abu Iyad), Faruq Qaddumi (Abu Lutf), Khalid al-Hasan (Abu Sa'id), and Fateh leader Yasir 'Arafat (Abu 'Ammar).

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The PFLP (al-Jabha al-sha'biyya li-tahrir filastin) has also consolidated its position as an important force in the Palestinian movement. George Habash has served as PFLP Secretary-General since its formation.

Reflecting the ANM's leftward drift in the 1960s and the radicalizing experience of the 1967 War, the PFLP gradually synthesized its Arab nationalism with Marxist-Leninist ideology. The transition was signaled by the advocacy of a "revolutionary scientific ideology" in the Front's August 1968 Political Report, and a belief that the achievement of Palestinian liberation was necessarily part of a broader revolutionary transformation of the Arab world. The PFLP's consequent identification of "Zionism, imperialism and Arab reaction" as the chief foes of the Palestinian struggle has resulted in constant antipathy to both the United States and conservative Arab regimes. (The PFLP's militancy also led it to introduce hijacking into the repertoire of Palestinian armed struggle, with its first action of this kind in July 1968. Eventually, however, the political costs involved led the Front to suspend "external operations" in the mid-1970s.) Within the PLO the PFLP has been the leading radical critic of mainstream Fateh/PLO policy, a process manifest in the formation of the Palestine Rejection Front in 1974; in the PFLP's participation in the Palestine National Salvation Front from 1985; and in PFLP boycotts of the PLO Executive Committee in 1974-81, and 1983-87.

The PFLP's militant attitude to liberation has won it a substantial degree of Palestinian mass support, both inside the occupied territories and in the diaspora (especially among refugee camp residents in Lebanon). By 1970 the Popular Front's armed strength would stand at over 2,000; in Lebanon it would field a similar number of fighters in 1982.

(Popular) Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (al-Jabha al-dimuqratiyya li-tahrir filastin) also traces its roots to the ANM, and specifically to the "leftist" faction which emerged in the 1960s. This division continued with the establishment of the PFLP, and escalated into open fighting in the winter of 1968-69. Fateh intervened, and as a result Nayif Hawatima and others established the PDFLP (later DFLP) in February 1969. By 1970, the DFLP armed strength would stand at about 1,000 fighters, and perhaps twice that number in Lebanon on the eve of the 1982 war.

Like the PFLP, the Democratic Front evolved as a mass-based Marxist-Leninist organization hostile to Western imperialism and conservative Arab regimes. It also claims allegiance to the PFLP's August 1968 Political Report. At its Second National Congress (May 1981) the DFLP's Political Program called for an intensification of the liberation struggle within and outside Palestine, including the opening of all Arab borders to the resistance; support for the national democratic struggle against the Hashemite regime in Jordan; confrontation of the Camp David Accords; and closer relations with socialist and progressive forces. It also stressed the historic role of the Palestinian proletariat.

Whereas the PFLP has tended to act as a self-appointed ideological watchdog over PLO policy, the DFLP would play a major role in promoting a revision of Palestinian goals and objectives. It was the DFLP that would support adoption of the slogan of a democratic non-sectarian state in all of Palestine (1969- ), and later that of establishing an independent Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza Strip (1974­). The DFLP would also pioneer contacts between the Palestinian movement and the Israeli left.

Palestine Communist Party. The PCP first emerged as an entity autonomous from the Jordanian Communist Party in 1975, and was formally established as an independent group in 1982. Like Fateh, the PFLP, and DFLP, the Communist Party can also claim a significant popular following. The strength of the PCP, however, has never lain in the diaspora, or in its contribution to armed struggle (the existence in the early 1970s of a communist guerilla group, al-Ansar, notwithstanding). Instead, its activities and influence have been evident in a long history of popular organization in the occupied territories. For these reasons (and despite the membership of some leading communists in the PNC) the PCP was outside the formal structure of the PLO for many years, gaining formal representation in the PNC and later in the PLO Executive Committee only after the 1982 Lebanese War. Similarly, it has had no impact on either PLO policy in Lebanon or Palestinian-Lebanese relations. The same is true of the "Palestine Communist Organization in Lebanon," an offshoot established in 1980 that opposed the party's move to independence from the JCP.

Other fida'iyyin organizations. Over the following years, a host of other Palestinian guerrilla groups would make an appearance, their impressive revolutionary titles obscuring their true status as small factions, minor personality cults or covert guises for Arab or foreign intelligence agencies. Most would disappear equally quickly.41 A few, however, would endure into the 1980s, maintained by the skill of their central organizers or more often by the funds of an interested Arab party.

Among these was the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command, established in 1969 when Ahmad Jibril split with the PFLP over what he saw as its excessively ideological character. (The title of Jibril's original group-the Palestine Liberation Front-would later be taken by a breakaway faction of the General Command after 1976.) A small and highly militant group with several hundred cadres, the PFLP-GC advocates the liberation of all Palestine through armed struggle to the virtual exclusion of more sophisticated ideological doctrine. Much of its material support has come from Syria and revolutionary Libya. Its relations with the mainstream PLO, however, have been rather more conflictual, to the point of its exclusion from the PLO after 1983.

The Palestinian Popular Struggle Front was established by Bahjat Abu Gharbiyya before the 1967 War. The PSF would briefly merge with Fateh in 1971, only to reemerge as an independent entity (with never more than a few hundred members) led by Samir Ghusha after 1973.

Finally, as the status and influence of the fida'iyyin grew, a number of Arab countries intervened directly to establish their own Palestinian guerrilla groups. The "Vanguards of the Popular Liberation War"-better known by the name of its military wing, al-Sa'iqa-was thus established after a 1966 decision by the (pro-Syrian) National Command of the Ba'th Party to create a Palestinian Branch. This in turn gave birth to Sa'iqa in 1968. During the struggle for power in Syria between Salah Jadid and Hafiz al-Asad in the late 1960s, al-Sa'iqa was expanded by the former as a counterweight to the latter's military power. With Asad's eventual victory in 1970, al-Sa'iqa was restructured under a new leader, Zuhayr Muhsin. In turn, leadership passed to 'Isam al-Qadi with Muhsin's assassination in 1979. Sa'iqa's strength-often bolstered in time of need by Syrian "volunteers"-runs to several thousand armed personnel. Its position and influence within the PLO has always been directly correlated with the state of PLO-Syrian relations. In Lebanon, where Syria's position was strong, Sa'iqa could often exert significant influence. After 1982, and even more so amidst PLO-Syrian conflict after 1983, its influence sharply declined.

The smaller Arab Liberation Front (ALF) has enjoyed a parallel relationship with the Iraqi Ba'th, which created the Front in 1969 in direct response to the formation of Sa'iqa and the hostility between the Iraqi and Syrian wings of the Ba'th party. Led by 'Abd al-Wahhab Kayyali and later by 'Abd al-Rahim Ahmad, the ALF would command an armed strength of perhaps one thousand members in the 1970s and early 1980s.


PLO Decision-making

The autonomy retained by individual guerrilla organizations within the overall framework of the PLO has had an important impact on the dynamics of PLO decision-making. Lacking sovereignty and a territorial base, and hence limited in its ability to exert control over constituent organizations, the PLO leadership has generally sought to attain inter-group agreement on major policy issues. Decisions taken by the PLO Executive Committee are almost always taken by consensus, and broad agreement if not unanimity is the preferred method for dealing with issues within the Central Council or PNC. In these forums, each representative tends to defend the position and interests of his or her organization; resolution of conflict generally rests on compromise or even issue-avoidance. As a result, policy statements are often broad in scope (to allow a variety of interpretations), and changes incremental in nature.

One effect of this has been to grant disproportionate decision-making influence to the smaller groups within the PLO, each of which may be in a position to veto policy initiatives supported by a majority of the movement. Counter-balancing this, however, has been the individual strength of the Fateh organization, which commands more fighters, finances and (most important of all) popular support than all other Palestinian groups combined. Fateh has been able to claim most of the PLO's senior leadership positions and functions for itself. This control has been further protected and promoted through an extensive system of patronage, which assures that more often than not the boundaries of Fateh and the PLO are blurred, with patronage networks and loyalties to Fateh (and particular Fateh leaders) supplanting the "paper", formal chain of PLO command.

Consequently the Fateh Central Committee, when united behind a given course of action, usually determines the general direction of PLO policy-if not its speed, mode of travel, or exact route. When and where necessary, Fateh can carry out a course of action unilaterally, presenting others with a fait accompli. And on issues it feels particularly important, it can impose its position by threat of force if need be. To a very considerable extent, then, Yasir 'Arafat is right in claiming that "Fateh is the PLO".42

Still, constraints remain. Attempts by Fateh to exert the full weight of its power are met with strident protests by other Palestinian organizations. This, of course, does not prevent Fateh from acting unilaterally; Fateh can and does go it alone. But even when it does so, it still must choose between three unpalatable options: to accept dysfunctional opposition and continue regardless; to retreat from its initial action, possibly disavowing the initiative entirely; or to compel other tanzimat to accept policies that Fateh favors.

This third option is one that, except in times of extreme urgency and importance, Yasir 'Arafat would prove unwilling to pursue. The cost of enforced unity, of what within the Palestinian movement is sometimes termed the "Algerian solution" (after the FLN's strong suppression of rival groups during the Algerian liberation war) is seen by the PLO Chairman as an excessive price to pay. It would mean destruction of the PLO's democratic structure and of the free debate that is a point of pride (if sometimes inefficiency) for Palestinians since the late 1960s. It evokes bitter memories of the internal Palestinian feuding that accompanied, and hastened, the collapse of the Palestinian revolt against British colonial rule in 1936-39. And, given that most dissident groups enjoy the support of one or more Arab regimes, to confront them would be to invite confrontation with their Arab sponsor.

Thus Fateh sets the tone of PLO policy, but must do so on the basis of consultation and consensus if it is not to risk the splintering of the movement and external confrontation with Arab regimes. As a result, extended inter-group bargaining and competition, policy immobilism and unilateral actions (by Fateh or others) have been common. Such problems of Palestinian authority and decision-making would become amply evident in the context of PLO policy in Lebanon.


The PLO in Lebanon

With the emergence of the Palestinian movement, Lebanon became an increasingly important focus of Palestinian nationalist activity. Lebanon's position on the borders of Palestine was a primary reason for this, with the terrain and small size of Palestine, coupled with the proficiency of Israeli counter-insurgency, forcing the fida'iyyin to adopt cross-border infiltration as a major military tactic. Although Jordan was the primary theater for such action, the Lebanese-Israeli border was also useful. The mountainous 'Arqub region in southeast Lebanon, close to guerrilla supply bases in Syria, soon became a major fida'iyyin supply and infiltration route. Within Israel, the number of incidents reported near the Lebanese border grew from two in 1967, to twenty-nine (1968) to one hundred and fifty (1969).43 Ideologically, the Palestinian movement held that the Arab regimes' past failures obliged them to permit such military activity. In the words of Khalil al-Wazir of Fateh (later Deputy Commander of PLO forces), Lebanon's importance lay not simply in the fact that it bordered on Palestine, but also reflected Arab political responsibility for the Palestinian cause:

We believe-and this is a very important point-that every Arab regime around our occupied territories is responsible for our tragedy, and they have a duty to let us have our chance to liberate our country because they are responsible. They must pay the price of their crime against our people and their share in creating our tragedy by giving us permission to be there, to work to organize ourselves and to prepare ourselves for returning to our homeland. For that we consider that every Palestinian border country must be a base for our people.44

Lebanon's development as a sanctuary for the Palestinian resistance movement was also spurred by widespread popular support. Lebanon's Palestinian population lent sympathy and recruits to the burgeoning liberation movement. In the aftermath of the 1967 defeat so too did the overwhelming majority of Lebanese. One survey of popular opinion conducted in September 1968 by the Lebanese newspaper al-Nahar found that 79% of the population unreservedly supported the fida'iyyin. Among some segments of the population (notably students, leftists, Arab nationalists, and Muslims) such support was especially strong.45 The nascent Lebanese National Movement, already ideologically predisposed to the Palestinian movement, soon saw in it a potent political ally and powerful domestic issue.

Further evidence of the mass popularity of the Palestinian resistance came in April 1968 with the funeral of the first Lebanese al-Fateh volunteer to die in action, Khalil al-Jamal. Between one hundred and fifty thousand and a quarter of a million people took part in the procession which accompanied the body from the Syrian border to Beirut, including Prime Minister 'Abdullah Yafi, Sunni Mufti Hasan Khalid, and representatives from all major Lebanese political parties. For the fida'iyyin, such public funerals were a deliberate tool of public relations, a means of mobilizing mass Palestinian and Arab support after the 1967 Arab defeat: "martyrs touched the hearts of the people-it was the way we opened the gate."46 For Lebanese politicians participation was a political necessity. "Guerrilla freedom of action" (hurriyat al-'amal al-fida'i) became a major rallying cry in the progressive, Arab nationalist, and Muslim sectors alike.

For Lebanese decision-makers, however, the presence of an armed and organized Palestinian resistance movement on Lebanese territory involved a number of costs. A major source of these was Israel, which responded to increasing guerrilla activity with retaliatory and punishment attacks. These were aimed not just at the Palestinians but even more so at the Lebanese, in an attempt to pressure the Beirut authorities to put an end to guerrilla incursions. Israeli cross-border shelling had become commonplace by 1968, later followed by air raids, ground incursions and helicopter-borne commando raids. During the most dramatic of these on 28 December 1968, Israeli raiders retaliated to a PFLP attack on an El Al airliner in Athens the previous day with an attack on Beirut International Airport that destroyed thirteen Lebanese civilian airliners. During this period tens of thousands of largely Shi'i peasants fled Israeli destruction in the south to the relative safety of Beirut.

An even more important consideration, however, was the ideological and political threat posed by the fida'iyyin. The obvious domestic popularity of the Palestinian movement, and Lebanon's particular vulnerability to the currents of Arab politics, constrained the response of all Lebanese political figures. At the same time, such popularity-combined with the revolutionary message of many fida'iyyin groups-accentuated the alarm felt by much of the Lebanese elite.

The ideological impact of the guerrillas worried Lebanon's urban bourgeoisie. In Beirut student protests in support of the Palestinian movement were also directed at prevailing economic, social, and political conditions in Lebanon itself. Often such protests seemed devoid of confessional content as Christian and Muslim students protested side-by-side-a dangerous development for the ruling class in a country where the privileges of the elite rested on the pillars of a sectarian status quo.47 Urban Sunni zu'ama' necessarily muted the alarm they felt. But Maronite leaders, ever mindful of their vulnerable hegemonic position within Lebanon, were more vocal in their concern as to the growth and organization of a predominately Sunni Muslim Palestinian population.

The rural zu'ama' of the underdeveloped south also found their traditional authority undermined by the presence of a revolutionary guerrilla movement. Many of the impoverished, predominately Shi'i peasants of the area felt greater affinity with the Palestinian movement than with either their exploitative landlords or the politically (if not geographically) distant central government. This affinity was reinforced by the fact that the Shi'ia of the south had historically stronger ties to northern Palestine than they did to Mount Lebanon. After 1967-68 hundreds of southerners flocked to join the resistance.

It was with this in mind that tight surveillance and control over the camps had been exercised by the Deuxième Bureau and Lebanese police. Following the post-1967 emergence of the fida'iyyin such controls led to escalating conflict between the guerrillas and the central Lebanese authorities. Lebanese President Charles Hilu declared that Lebanon faced a "Palestinian movement which is a flagrant contradiction of the state itself." In a similar vein, Pierre Jumayyil likened Palestinian organizations like the PFLP to a "Trojan horse of the international communist movement" which threatened to destroy Lebanon's capitalist system.48 It was in this context too that Maronite leaders had come together to form the Hilf, with the explicit aim of bringing about stricter restrictions on the Palestinian resistance movement. But the obvious concern of the Lebanese establishment over the rise of the guerrillas only increased the enthusiasm of Lebanese progressive parties for the Palestinian resistance: any force as apparently unsettling to the status quo as the fida'iyyin appeared a natural ally in efforts to advance the agenda of social and economic reform. Within a year of the battle of Karama, and four years after Fateh's first armed operation from Lebanese soil, the Palestinian armed presence in Lebanon had become a major Lebanese political issue.


The Cairo Agreement

The immediate effect of Israel's attack on Beirut airport in December 1968 was to precipitate a major political crisis in Lebanon. Students at each of the country's four largest universities launched strikes to protest the government's inability or unwillingness to confront Israeli aggression, and to signify their solidarity with the Palestinian resistance movement. Further strikes occurred in Sidon and Tyre. Kamal Junblat and other progressive spokesmen echoed their demands and condemned the government's arrests of Palestinian fighters and activists.

The response of other political forces was more complex, constrained as they were by obvious political sympathy for the fida'iyyin from virtually all sectors of Lebanese society. The Center Bloc led by (Sunni, Shi'i, and Maronite) zu'ama' Sa'ib Salam, Kamal As'ad, and Sulayman Franjiyya issued a memorandum which called for the legalization of the guerrillas, but also used the incident as grounds for an attack upon the Shihabist security establishment. The Hilf attacked the Deuxième Bureau too, but amid statements of support for the Palestinian cause that indirectly suggested that guerrilla activities were endangering Lebanon.49

Because of the protests Lebanese Prime Minister Abdullah Yafi resigned on January 8, to be replaced shortly thereafter by Rashid Karami. Karami later announced that relations between the government and the guerrillas would be based on the principle of tansiq or coordination between the two parties.

Despite this, the Lebanese army and security forces intensified their efforts to contain the fida'iyyin. In the south, the tension gave way to open clashes. In mid-April the army arrested a group of guerrillas near Bint Jubayl, killing one. When news of the incident reached the camps, spontaneous demonstrations of support erupted. Palestinian organizations and the Lebanese National Movement issued a joint call for a larger demonstration in Beirut on April 23. This, together with other protests in Sidon and elsewhere were suppressed by the Lebanese Internal Security Forces and army at a cost of more than a hundred dead and wounded. The cabinet declared a state of emergency, and military curfews were imposed on Beirut, Sidon, Tyre, Ba'lbak, Nabatiyya, and Tripoli.

The killings incensed the National Movement, which issued a call for punishment of those responsible, military preparations to enable Lebanon to resist Israel, and freedom of action for the fida'iyyin. These calls, in more muted form, were also made by the Sunni establishment, including Salam, Yafi, and the Sunni Mufti. Pointing to the alleged participation of Sa'iqa in the initial clashes in the south, the Phalange placed the blame for the incidents on radical agitation and Syrian infiltrators. In a special session of the Chamber of Deputies called to discuss the events, Karami argued that the government was being placed in an impossible position between those who unconditionally supported the guerrillas on the one hand, and those who saw in guerrilla actions a threat to Lebanon on the other. He concluded by tendering his resignation as Prime Minister.50

In fact Rashid Karami remained Prime Minister throughout the six month cabinet crisis which followed. In May the guerrillas reportedly agreed to temporarily freeze their raids and henceforth cooperate with the Lebanese army. They did so on condition that the situation in the camps be normalized, those arrested released, and compensation paid to the families of those killed. In any event, the agreement soon fell through amid mutual recriminations. PLO spokespersons asserted that the "presence of commandos on Palestinian borders in any part of the Arab homeland is not a subject of bargaining," a position subsequently affirmed by the Palestine National Council in September.51 Junblat and the National Movement continued to support the Palestinian position, with the former accusing the government of "conspiracy" to suppress the guerrillas.

The government rejected Junblat's accusations and the Palestinians' demands. Karami maintained that political support, transit facilities, and tansiq were the best Lebanon could offer. Hilu took a still harder line in a May 31 speech to the country, chilling relations between him and his Prime Minister. For its part the Phalange categorically rejected the idea of Palestinian bases in Lebanon, and continued to place much of the blame for the situation on Syrian and international communist interference in Lebanon's internal affairs, declaring that "the issue under question is not that of the commandos but of those hiding under their name, exploiting their noble work, to introduce foreign ideologies to the country." Pierre Jumayyil added that guerrilla operations and the instability they implied had led to the flight of foreign capital and damaged the tourist industry, thus threatening the very basis of Lebanon's service economy.52

A lull in the crisis followed until late August, when a clash between police and refugees at the Nahr al-Barid camp near Tripoli led to its being surrounded by units of the Lebanese army. The tension soon spread to Burj al-Shimali, Rashidiyya, and other camps in the south, which were similarly surrounded. In October more fighting broke out in towns and villages in the south and along the Syrian-Lebanese border. In Tripoli armed Lebanese guerrilla sympathizers briefly seized the city's citadel. Throughout the country de facto authority within the Palestinian refugee camps passed from the Lebanese police to the fida'iyyin.

As the clashes intensified, so too did Arab diplomatic involvement. Syria stepped up logistical support for the guerrillas, infiltrated Sa'iqa units into Lebanon, and closed the two countries' common border. Iraq, Algeria, South Yemen, the Sudan, and Libya all condemned the Lebanese government's actions. The most important role, however, was played by Egypt. On October 27 both PLO chairman 'Arafat and Lebanese Prime Minister Karami announced their acceptance of Egyptian President Nasir's offer to mediate the conflict. A Palestinian delegation led by 'Arafat and consisting of PLO Executive Committee members Bilal al-Hasan and Yasir 'Amru, PLA Commander 'Abd al-Razzaq al-Yahya, and PLA Chief of Staff Colonel Uthman Ja'far Haddad arrived in Cairo a few days later. There they met with a Lebanese delegation headed by General Emile Bustani. Egyptian Foreign Minister Mahmud Riyad and the Egyptian Minister of War were also in attendance. Initially the Lebanese delegation rejected the idea of any formal agreement providing for an armed fida'iyyin presence on Lebanese soil. In the face of the pressures confronting it, however, this "last ditch attempt" soon crumbled.53 On 3 November 1969 the parties announced they had reached agreement on an accord to regulate their mutual relations.

The "Cairo Agreement" was to prove of central importance to PLO-Lebanese relations over the next thirteen years (see Appendix). Under its terms the PLO recognized the requirements of Lebanese "sovereignty and security," and undertook to coordinate its activities with the Lebanese army through the PLO's central military authority, the Palestine Armed Struggle Command. Some territorial restrictions were placed on the guerrillas, but these were general in nature, to be finalized through later consultation. In exchange the PLO gained recognition of the legitimacy of a Palestinian armed presence in Lebanon, freedom of movement in the 'Arqub, and the establishment of autonomous institutions in the camps. Detained personnel and confiscated arms were to be released.

In Lebanon the Cairo Agreement was immediately welcomed by Junblat, the National Movement, and by the bulk of the Muslim establishment. The reception it received from Maronite leaders was, however, mixed. President Hilu hailed the accord as "consolidating Lebanon's sovereignty and independence" while "dedicating Lebanon's existence to the support of the Palestinian problem." The Phalangist newspaper al-'Amal at first noted the agreement with "satisfaction," although the party later grew more critical. Chamoun followed a similar pattern, and soon LNP members of the Chamber of Deputies were demanding a full debate on the subject. Raymond Eddé was against the agreement from the outset on the grounds that it compromised Lebanese sovereignty. He called instead for the stationing of a UN force along the Israeli-Lebanese border. Members from all three Hilf parties called for public release of the agreement's secret text, and for an end to Palestinian control of the various refugee camps.54 Nevertheless, such differences did not prevent Rashid Karami from forming a new cabinet on November 25, one including both Jumayyil and Junblat among its members.

Within the Palestinian movement, the agreement was also welcomed by all but a few. The newly-formed PFLP-GC was critical, largely in an effort to discredit 'Arafat. The PFLP, which had declined to join the Armed Struggle Command and therefore was not party to the negotiations, announced that it would adhere to the accord despite reservations. Certainly, the PLO had not gained all that it had wanted; initially it had called for no geographic restrictions on guerrilla bases; complete military freedom of action in the south; punishment of those responsible for the killings of April 23; the release of all guerrillas and Lebanese supporters who had been imprisoned; and an end to harassment of the latter by the Deuxième Bureau and police. It had, however, achieved most of this. Moreover, the agreement they had obtained was a "flexible" one, lacking in detail and requiring further qualification. Its real importance lay not in its specific provisions, but in its symbolic value. For the PLO it was the "first official recognition of the Palestinian revolution in Lebanon," a "kind of passport, document by which we could deal directly, officially, with the Lebanese authorities."55

Yet for the Palestinian movement the Cairo Agreement brought new responsibilities as well as opportunities. Heretofore the activities of Palestinian groups in Lebanon had reflected the relatively recent explosion of the fida'iyyin on the regional scene: fida'i action had been uncoordinated in the political and military arenas and fragmented in execution. Each organization had sought to build its support and pursue its aims through independent action, whether it be recruitment in the camps, confrontation with the authorities, or armed struggle in the south.

Such unilateral and often competing activity provided few grounds for a coherent Palestinian policy towards the Lebanese authorities. This was clearly evident in the events of autumn 1969. The uprising which took place in the Palestinian camps had been a spontaneous rather than organized affair, stemming not from PLO policy but from the revolutionary enthusiasm of camp populations. It was only after the Cairo Agreement that formal PLO institutions-the Palestine Armed Struggle Command, the popular committees (lijan al-sha'biyya) which ran the camps, PLO services and guerrilla offices-were consolidated.56 Indicative of the primacy of spontaneity in the camps' "revolution" (thawra) of 1969 was the experience of Dr. Fathi 'Arafat of the Palestine Red Crescent Society, who in the wake of the Cairo Agreement was asked to travel to Lebanon and establish medical facilities. He was given only 48 hours to do so by the PLO Chairman. Yet when he arrived from Jordan at Tall al-Za'tar camp in East Beirut:

I was astonished. I was going just to visit, to see where we could have a clinic or something like that. Then I find a clinic! It said "Palestine Red Crescent Society." I went and knocked on the door, and an eighteen or nineteen year old nurse opened it. "Hello! You are Dr. Fathi, we know you! You are welcome!" I said, "This is good, but who are you?" "I am Nidal, a Palestinian nurse. We heard the news that we had established a Red Crescent Society, so we did not wait. We took this room and we put in it this small bed, instruments, wash basin, and put up a big white blanket on which one of the camp artists drew a crescent and wrote on it 'Palestine Red Crescent Society'".57

It was such initiatives, combined with popular Lebanese support and Egyptian and Syrian pressure which had led to the Cairo Agreement. Yet if the Palestinian position in Lebanon was to endure it had to be put on a firm, organized base. Yasir 'Arafat warned

Commando action in Lebanon is an established fact, as evidenced by our presence in the streets, in the camps and in the border villages. However, we cannot base our action in Lebanon on the fait accompli alone. The commando movement needs to deepen itself from the human, ideological and struggle point of view. This cannot be achieved, either in Lebanon or anywhere else, except through the commando movement tying itself to the masses. To depend on the fait accompli itself alone means depending on force alone. Force evokes force, which means a clash between us and the Lebanese army. Even if we win in this clash, we must also ask ourselves: what next? Lebanese territory is not what we want. What we want is Palestinian territory. The Lebanese army is not our enemy, but our enemy is Israel. We were forced to fight in Lebanon despite ourselves, and in order to stop what we thought were attempts to liquidate the Palestinian revolution there. We had to fight to stop these attempts, and to draw the attention of the Arab nation to what was happening.58

In many ways his remarks were to prove prophetic.




1. Demographic data here and elsewhere in this study are drawn from: Janet Abu-Lughod, "The Demographic Transformation of Palestine," in Ibrahim Abu Lughod, ed., The Transformation of Palestine, 2nd ed., (Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press, 1987), pp. 153-163; Edward Said et al., A Profile of the Palestinian People (Chicago: Palestine Human Rights Campaign, 1983); "The Palestinian Journey 1952-87," Middle East Report 146 (May-June 1987): 11. On Lebanon's involvement in the 1948 war, see Frederic Hof, Galilee Divided: The Israel-Lebanon Frontier, 1916-1984 (Boulder: Westview Press, 1985); Hassan Hallaq, Mawqif lubnan min al-qadiyya al-filastiniyya [Lebanon's Attitude Towards the Palestinian Cause, 1918-1952], (Beirut: Palestine Research Center, 1982).

2. The Palestinians' flight from Palestine and their early refugee experience is examined in Nafez Nazzal, The Palestinian Exodus from the Galilee, 1948 (Beirut: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1978); Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987); Simha Flapan, "The Palestinian Exodus of 1948," Journal of Palestine Studies 16, 4 (Summer 1987): 3-26; Erskine B. Childers, "The Wordless Wish: From Citizens to Refugees," in Abu-Lughod (ed.), The Transformation of Palestine, pp. 165-202; and Rosemary Sayigh, Palestinians: From Peasants to Revolutionaries (London: Zed Press, 1979).

3. Rosemary Sayigh, "The Struggle for Survival: The Economic Conditions of Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon," Journal of Palestine Studies 7, 2 (Winter 1978): 107, and Palestinians, p. 115.

4. About 10% of the Palestinian population is Christian. On the socio-political dynamics of Palestinian popular organization, see Rosemary Sayigh, "The Palestinian Identity Among Camp Residents," Journal of Palestine Studies 6, 3 (Spring 1977): 3-22, and "Sources of Palestinian Nationalism: A Study of a Palestinian Camp in Lebanon," Journal of Palestine Studies 6, 4 (Summer 1977): 17-40; and especially Laurie Brand's superb study, Palestinians in the Arab World: Institution-Building and the Search for State (New York: Columbia University Press, 1988).

5. Interview with Khalil al-Wazir (Abu Jihad), Baghdad, 30 December 1986.

6. Fuad Jabber, "The Palestinian Resistance and Inter-Arab Politics," in William B. Quandt et al., The Politics of Palestinian Nationalism, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973), p. 172. On the early evolution of Fateh, see: Abu Iyad (with Eric Rouleau), My Home, My Land: A Narrative of the Palestinian Struggle (New York: Times Books, 1981); Helena Cobban, The Palestinian Liberation Organization: People, Power and Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984), pp. 21-35; Hart, Arafat, pp. 1-263. On the purposes of Palestinian guerilla activity, see Yezid Sayigh, "Palestinian Armed Struggle: Means and Ends," Journal of Palestine Studies 16, 1 (Autumn 1986): 95-112.

7. On the Arab Nationalists' Movement see Walid Kazziha, Revolutionary Transformation in the Arab World: Habash and his Comrades from Nationalism to Marxism (London: Charles Knight, 1975).

8. Most notable of these was the "Heroes of the Return," to which some reports linked Shafiq al-Hut (PLO representative to Lebanon from 1964) and then PLA Chief of Staff Wajih al-Madani.

9. John W. Amos II, Palestinian Resistance (New York: Pergamon Press, 1980), p. 57.

10. Jabber, "The Palestinian Resistance and Inter-Arab Politics," in Quandt et al., The Politics of Palestinian Nationalism, pp. 168-173. Barry Blechman, "The Impact of Israeli Reprisals on Behavior of Bordering Arab Nations Directed at Israel," Journal of Conflict Resolution 16, 2 (June 1972): Table A4, lists eight Israeli raids (six against Jordan, one each against Lebanon and Syria) prompted by al-'Asifa activities between January 1965 and June 1967.

11. Riad El-Rayyes and Dunia Nahas, Guerillas for Palestine (London: Croom Helm, 1976), p. 30; Jabber, "The Palestinian Resistance in Inter-Arab Politics," pp. 163-174.; APD 1965, p. 467. In response Fateh sent a formal memorandum to Arab leaders at the Third Arab Summit meeting complaining of such restrictions; text in APD 1965, pp. 482-483.

12. About 15,000 of the 1948 refugees obtained Lebanese citizenship. By 1982 it was estimated that 50,000 Palestinians in Lebanon were Lebanese citizens. Since a further 238,000 were registered with UNRWA at this time, this suggests that 100,000 or more had no legal standing. Howard Adelman, "Palestinian Refugees and the Peace Process," in Paul Marantz and Janice Gross Stein, eds., Peace-making in the Middle East: Problems and Prospects (Totowa, N.J.: Barnes & Noble, 1985), pp. 110, 118.

13. In June 1982, a further 115,225 UNRWA-registered Palestinian refugees were to be found outside the camps, in the Beirut area (56,503); Sidon area (23,346); Tyre area (27,311); Tripoli area (5,883); and Biqa' (5,098). These figures and those provided in Table 2.1 exclude Palestinians not registered with UNRWA. The Table also excludes some camps-Sabra (Beirut); Karama (Damur); Wasta, Jamjim, Abu al-Aswad, Adlun (Zahrani); Jal al-Bahr, Shabriha, Burghaliyya, Qasmiyya (Tyre)-that were established as emergency facilities to deal with refugees after fighting in 1976, 1982, and 1985-87, or which do not fall under UNRWA auspices.

14. Hani Mundas, al-'Amal wa-al-'ummal fi al-mukhayyam al-filastini: bahth maydani 'an mukhayyam Tall al-Za'tar [Work and Workers in a Palestinian Camp: Research on the Camp of Tall al-Za'tar], (Beirut: PLO Research Center, 1974), p. 196; Cheryl Rubenburg, The Palestine Liberation Organization: Its Institutional Infrastructure, (Belmont, Mass.: Institute for Arab Studies, 1983), p. 48.

15. Sayigh, "The Struggle for Survival," p. 115; Sirhan, "Palestinian Refugee Camp Life in Lebanon," pp. 91-93, 101; Sayigh, Palestinians, pp. 111-129; Mundas, al-'Amal wa-al-'ummal fi al-mukhayam al-filastini; Mu'in Ahmad Mahmud, al-Filastiniyun fi lubnan: al-waqa'i' al-'ijtima'i [The Palestinians in Lebanon: The Social Realities], (Beirut: Dar Ibn Khaldun, 1973).

16. Kamil Salibi, Crossroads to Civil War (New York: Caravan Books, 1976), pp. 69-70; Pamela Ann Smith, "The Palestinian Diaspora, 1948-1985," Journal of Palestine Studies 15, 3 (Spring 1986): 102-103, and "The Exile Bourgeoisie of Palestine," Middle East Report 142 (September-October 1986): 23-27.

17. For accounts of the official harassment and political oppression of Palestinians in Lebanon see Sayigh, Palestinians, pp. 130-136; Fawaz Turki, The Disinherited: The Journal of a Palestinian Exile (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1972), pp. 52-78.

18. Munah al-Sulh, al-Maruniyya al-siyasiyya: sira dhatiyya [Political Maronitism: A Personal Account] (Beirut: Dar al-Safir, c1976), quoted in Tony Khater, "Lebanese Politics and the Palestinian Resistance Movement, 1967-1976," (Ph.D. thesis, State University New York at Buffalo, 1982), p. 95.

19. Michael C. Hudson, "The Lebanese Crisis and the Limits of Consociational Democracy," Journal of Palestine Studies 5, 3-4 (Spring/Summer 1976): 111. See also R. Hrair Dekmejian, Patterns of Political Leadership: Egypt, Israel, Lebanon (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1975), pp. 11-18; Arnold Hottinger, "Zu'ama' in Historical Perspective," in Leonard Binder, ed., Politics in Lebanon (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1966), pp. 85-106.

20. On the socio-economic and political transformation of Lebanon during this period see: Ilya F. Harik, Politics and Change in a Traditional Society: Lebanon 1711-1845 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1968); Roger Owen, ed., Essays on the Crisis in Lebanon (London: Ithaca Press, 1976).

21. Philip K. Hitti, A Short History of Lebanon (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1965), p. 191. The term "feudalism" is somewhat problematic, evoking as it does images of a rather different European model. Still, it will suffice for the purposes of brief description.

22. Paul Saba, "The Creation of the Lebanese Economy: Economic Growth in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries," in Owen, ed., Essays on the Crisis in Lebanon, p. 12.

23. Ilya Harik, "The Maronite Church and Political Change in Lebanon," in Binder, ed., Politics in Lebanon, pp. 31-56.

24. Albert Hourani, "Ideologies of the Mountain and the City," and Tewfik Khalaf, "The Phalange and the Maronite Community: From Lebanonism to Maronitism," in Owen, ed, Essays on the Crisis in Lebanon, pp. 35, 43-49; Marie-Christine Aulas, "The Socio-Ideological Development of the Maronite Community: The Emergence of the Phalanges and Lebanese Forces," Arab Studies Quarterly 7, 4 (Fall 1985): 1-27; Michael Johnson, Class and Client in Beirut: The Sunni Muslim Community and the Lebanese State, 1840-1985 (London: Ithaca Press, 1986).

25. "At one level the compromise which the Pact enshrined involved the final integration of the Sunni bourgeoisie [into an independent Lebanon]. For their part of the bargain Christian leaders accepted that the newly independent state belonged to the Middle East and thus paved the way for easy access to the commercial and financial possibilities of the region. But above and beyond these considerations, the National Pact also represented an agreement to maintain the economic and political system from which the leaders themselves derived a double advantage. An extra advantage stemmed from the fact that the maintenance of confessionalism provided them with an easy way of re-directing economic discontent against their own leadership towards the members of another religious group." Roger Owen, "The Political Economy of Grand Liban, 1920-70," in Owen ed., Essays on the Crisis in Lebanon, pp. 26-27.

26. Institut de Recherche et de Formation en vue de Développement (IRFED), Besoins et possibilites de développement du Liban, 2 volumes (Beirut: Ministry of Planning, 1960-61). The agricultural sector, which accounted for about half of Lebanon's workforce, shrunk from over 20% of GDP at independence to less than 10% by the late 1960s. In contrast, the service sector grew to more than 20%. As a result of the internal migration generated by this, Lebanon's urban population grew 146% between 1943 and 1963, with no less than 40% of the total population living in Beirut. See: B. J. Odeh, Lebanon: The Dynamics of Conflict (London: Zed Press, 1985), p. 84; Owen, "The Political Economy of Grand Liban, 1920-70," pp. 27-28; Michael C. Hudson, The Precarious Republic: Political Modernization in Lebanon (New York: Random House, 1968), pp. 61-70.

27. One survey of Sunni attitudes conducted in the late 1970s found a strong correlation between social class and opposition to the status quo, with lower-class Sunni virtually unanimous in their call for a new set of political arrangements in the country. Lower class Sunnis were also more active in street demonstrations and militias, and more sympathetic to the Palestinians. On the other hand over one-fifth of prosperous Sunnis voiced support for pre-civil war (i.e. National Pact) arrangements in the country. See Hilal Khashan and Monte Palmer, "The Economic Basis of the Civil Conflict in Lebanon: A Survey Analysis of Sunnite Muslims," in Tewfic A. Farah, ed., Political Behavior in the Arab States (Boulder: Westview Press, 1983), pp. 79-81.

28. The 1932 census reported that 51% of the population was Christian (29% Maronite, 10% Greek Orthodox, 6% Greek Catholic, 7% other), and 49% Muslim (22% Sunni, 20% Shi'i, 7% Druze). In order to increase the proportion of Christians to 59%, a quarter of a million predominately Christian expatriates were added to the totals. By 1975 most estimates reversed this ratio, putting the Christian population at perhaps 40% (23% Maronite). The Shi'a had become the largest community in Lebanon at approximately 27% of the total, followed by the Sunnis (26%). Walid Khalidi, Conflict and Violence in Lebanon (Harvard: Center for International Affairs, 1979), p. 161; Elizabeth Picard, "Liban: guerre civile, conflit regional," Maghreb-Machrek 73 (July-September 1976): 69.

29. Picard, "Liban: guerre civile, conflit regional," p. 79.

30. Khalidi, Conflict and Violence in Lebanon, p. 96. Wade R. Goria, Sovereignty and Leadership in Lebanon 1943-1976 (London: Ithaca Press, 1985) makes a similar argument.

31. Hudson, The Precarious Republic, pp. 112-114.

32. In a study of attitudes at three Lebanese universities, Halim Barakat found that between one-quarter and one-half of students rejected the basic foundations of their political system. Barakat, "Social Factors Influencing Attitudes of University Students in Lebanon Towards the Palestinian Resistance Movement," Journal of Palestine Studies 1, 1 (Autumn 1971): 109.

33. The following discussion of Lebanese political groupings derives from a number of sources, most notably: Marius Deeb, The Lebanese Civil War (New York: Praeger, 1980); John P. Entelis, Pluralism and Party Transformation: al-Kata'ib 1936-1970 (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1974); Augustus Richard Norton, Amal and the Shi'a: Struggle for the Soul of Lebanon (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1987); Tabitha Petran, The Struggle Over Lebanon (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1987); Itamar Rabinovitch, The War for Lebanon 1970-85, rev. ed., (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1985).

34. Frank Stoakes, "The Supervigilantes: the Lebanese Kataeb Party as Builder, Surrogate, and Defender of the State," Middle Eastern Studies 11, 3 (October 1975): 215­236.

35. Population data from "The Palestinian Journey 1952-87," p. 11. Post-war figures are shown for 1967 and 1982.

36. Shuqayri's demagoguery was to taint international perceptions of the Palestinian movement for years to come, further discrediting him. His story is told in his autobiography Min al-quma ila al-hazima: ma'a al-muluk wa-al-ru'asa [From the Summit to the Defeat with Kings and Presidents], (Beirut: Dar al-Awden, 1971).

37. Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, A Strategy for the Liberation of Palestine (Amman: PFLP Information Department, 1969), p. 57.

38. The text(s) of the Palestine National Charter can be found in Leila Kadi, ed., Basic Political Documents of the Armed Palestinian Resistance Movement, (Beirut: PLO Research Center, 1969).

39. Rashid Khalidi, "The Palestinian Dilemma: PLO Policy After Lebanon," Journal of Palestine Studies 15, 1 (Autumn 1985): 88. One 1986 survey of Palestinians in the occupied territories found that 93.5% regarded the PLO as their sole legitimate representative; see: "al-Fajr Public Opinion Survey," Journal of Palestine Studies 16, 2 (Winter 1987): 200. On the importance of the PLO as an organizational expression of Palestinian identity, see Maha Ahmed Dajani, "The Institutionalization of Palestinian Identity in Egypt," Cairo Papers in Social Science 9, 3 (Fall 1986); Rubenburg, The Palestine Liberation Organization; Brand, Palestinians in the Arab World.

40. 'Ali Hasan Salama of Fateh, cited in Arab World, 3 December 1969, p. 12. (Henceforth AW). The brief survey of Palestinian guerilla organizations that follows is drawn from a variety of sources, including: Amos, Palestinian Resistance, pp. 325-334; Cobban, The Palestinian Liberation Organization; Jureidini and Hazen, The Palestinian Movement in Politics, pp. 25-29; O'Neill, Armed Struggle in Palestine, p. 253; As'ad Abu Khalil, "Internal Contradictions in the PFLP: Decision Making and Policy Orientation," Middle East Journal 41, 3 (Summer 1987); DFLP, The Political Program (May 1981) (n.p.: Committee for Central Information and International Relations, c1981).

41. For example, the Action Organization for the Liberation of Palestine (1969-71), Ansar al-Thawra (1968-72), the Popular Organization for the Liberation of Palestine (1970), the Popular Revolutionary Front for the Liberation of Palestine (1972), the Palestine Arab Organization (1969-71), and the Kata'ib al-Nasr (Victory Battalions, 1968-70). The latter is now believed to have served as an agent provocateur for Jordanian intelligence, providing pretexts for the 1970 suppression of the PLO in Jordan.

42. Interview with Yasir 'Arafat ("Abu 'Ammar"), Baghdad, 29 December 1986.

43. O'Neill, Armed Struggle in Palestine, p. 242. Palestinian sources report much higher totals, but the trend is similar.

44. Interview with Khalil al-Wazir, 30 December 1986.

45. A similar poll in May put guerilla support somewhat lower, with 41% fully supporting the guerillas, and 42% supporting them with reservations. AW, 5 May 1969, p. 4. A study of Lebanese student attitudes to the Palestinian resistance movement found that 94% of Muslim and 55% of Christian students "strongly supported" or "supported" the Palestinian resistance movement, with support strongest among Shi'ites, followed by Sunnis, Druze, Orthodox, Maronites, and Catholics. Guerilla sympathizers were most likely to describe themselves as politically active, Arab or Syrian nationalist, leftist, and secularist. Barakat, "Social Factors," p. 112.

46. Interview with Khalil al-Wazir, 30 December 1986; AW, 29 April 1968, pp. 6-7. al-Wazir added that such was their success that "by 1968-70 an identification card from a fida'i organization alone was enough to cross the Jordanian, Syrian and Lebanese borders."

47. AW, 12 November 1968, pp. 11-12. The "revolutionary" character of the Palestinian movement might be questioned on the grounds of nationalist basis of Fateh and its rejection of doctrines of class or social revolution, i.e. S. Franjieh, "How Revolutionary is the Palestinian Resistance? A Marxist Interpretation," Journal of Palestine Studies 1, 2 (Winter 1972): 52-60. As argued in Chapter 1, however, a revolutionary challenge is a function of context. In Lebanon the very presence of a generally progressive, non-sectarian, populist liberation movement was dangerous to the defenders of the Lebanese system both as an example, and as a catalyst to the growth of the Lebanese left. Moreover, whatever questions might be raised about the revolutionary content of Fateh's message clearly would not apply to the explicitly revolutionary ideology of the PFLP and DFLP. Mahdi 'Amil, Madkhul ila naqd al-fikr al-ta'ifi: al-qadiyya al-filastiniyya fi idyulujiyya al-brujuwaziyya al-lubnaniyya [An Introduction to the Refutation of Sectarian Thought: The Palestinian Cause in Lebanese Progressive Ideology], (Beirut: Dar al-Farabi, 1985).

48. Hilu in AW, 24 June 1969, p. 5; Pierre al-Jumayyil in Le Monde (Paris), 22 April 1970, p. 2.

49. (Prime Minister) 'Abdullah al-Yafi, Muharrir (Beirut), 31 December 1968, and Charles Hilu, al-Jarida (Beirut), 1 January 1969, both in APD 1968, pp. 977, 980. John P. Entelis, "Palestinian Revolutionism in Lebanese Politics: the Christian Response," Muslim World 62, 4 (October 1972): 335-351 discusses Hilf attitudes towards the Palestinian movement.

50. For the text of Karami's speech as broadcast on Beirut Radio see Jebran Chamieh, ed., Record of the Arab World, April 1969, (Beirut: The Research and Publishing House), pp. 1539-1543. (Henceforth RAW).

51. AW, 9 June 1969, p. 2; Voice of al-'Asifa (Cairo), 21 June 1969, in AW, 23 June 1969, p. 9.

52. Text of Junblat's remarks in Daily Star (Beirut), 4 June 1969, official translation of Hilu's speech, and Karami's response on Beirut Radio, 3 June 1969 in RAW, June-September 1969, pp. 2470-2474; text of Jumayyil statement in al-'Amal (Beirut), 6 June 1969, in RAW, June-September 1969, pp. 2475-2476.

53.The characterization is that of Ibrahim Bakr, former Executive Committee member and one of the PLO delegation at the Cairo negotiations (interview, Amman, 20 August 1989). See also Mahmoud Riad, The Struggle for Peace in the Middle East (London: Quartet Books, 1981), pp. 158-159.

54. Hilu's remarks in al-Anwar (Beirut), 5 November 1969, in Daniel Dishon, ed., Middle East Record 1969-1970 (Jerusalem: Israel Universities Press, 1977), p. 919 (hereafter MERecord). The Phalange position in al-'Amal, 5 November 1969, and Eddé's statement in al-Jarida, 5 November 1969, in AW, 5 November 1969, p. 4.

55. Interview with Salah Khalaf ("Abu Iyad"), Tunis, 27 January 1987. The guerillas' original position was detailed by Radio Damascus, 27, 28 October 1969; MERecord 1969-1970, p. 919. Still, the PLO was "pleased and surprised" by all that it had been able to achieve in the agreement; interview with Ibrahim Bakr, 20 July 1989.

56. For a detailed look at this process see Sayigh, Palestinians, pp. 156-171.

57. Interview with Dr. Fathi 'Arafat, Cairo, 2-3 February 1987. On the initial establishment of Palestinian social services, see Sayigh, Palestinians, pp. 171-175; Ghazi Khurshid, "The Palestinian Resistance and Social Work," Shu'un Filastiniyya 6 (January 1972): 104-122 [in Arabic].

58. al-Ahram (Cairo), 7 November 1969, in Arab World Weekly, 8 November 1969, p. 18. (Henceforth AWW).