Palestinians: The turning point that radicalized them and why they still remain the victims of the Middle East.
The year of 1948, is a benchmark for both Israelis and Palestinians. For the first, it was the year that the state of Israel took its place in the world map, for the second, it was a year of a huge refugee crisis, as Palestinians were forced to leave the regions they once used to live and which during 1948, came under Israel's control.
Palestinians were forced to become refugees and most of them moved to Jordan, and in small numbers they found refuge to Syria and Egypt.
The 6-day war that was launched from Israel against Egypt, Syria and Jordan in 1967, multipled 4 times the size of the country. Israel conquered Gaza strip, Golan heights, Sina peninsula, and Palestine that then used to be a part of Jordan, after they were forced to live their mainland, so that Israel could become a state, in 1948.
It was the second time, Palestinians would have to face eradication and almost 400.000 of them moved to Jordan, thus, causing a huge threat to Jordan's social cohesion and its regime.
Al-Fatah (which means victory in the arab language) was created by the end of the 1950's by Yasser Arafat, and was an organization that was fighting in order to protect the rights of Palestinians against Israelis.
After the 6-day war. Arafat established the centre of the administration of his movement at Karameh, which was a Palestinian settlement. Fedayin commandos were raiding Israeli military stations every day, until Israel decided to invade Jordan and destroy the refugee camp in Karameh. After the battle, the Fedayin commandos alleged that they were the ones responsible for destroying Israeli tanks, but Hussein of Jordan never accepted that as a fact, while he persisted it was due to "Skyhawk bomber aircrafts" they succeded in this.
And that was exactly a culminating point when Palestinians became a state in the state (Jordan) they were living. They felt they were only refugees who never chose to live there, but still considered as a threat to Jordan, failing to be considered as partners to this victory against Israel.
Hussein of Jordan who kept a friendly profile with the west, was frequently informing the U.S., about the internal problems of the country. Nixon promised financial and military support against Fedayin.
In September of 1970, (Black September) Jordan fought against Fedayin and Palestinians. A military law was imposed to the country of Jordan by king Hussein. During fights, Syria invaded Jordan in an attempt to help Palestinians. Hussein then asked help from the United States and Great Britain. The 2 western states gave order to Israel to help beat Syrian powers. Palestinians were brutally moved out of Jordan and found refugee in south Lebanon. Since that day, Palestinians call that place "Fatah Land".
Palestinians, were never given the right to be recognized as people living in a specific place. When they had to move out of the places they used to live, when Israel became a state in 1948, they moved to Jordan. But once they were beaten again after the 6-day war in 1967, they might had caused a headache to Jordan with their separatist intentions, but they somehow had to survive. Jordan would also like to hold good relations with the west, and Palestinians became a stricking point to this will.
But it was only after 1970, (Black September of 1970), when Palestinians were excluded out of Jordan and many of them killed, that they radicalized.
Being a radical with no reason is one thing. Being a radical after a culminating point you cannot anymore disregard, is a completely different story. You cannot claim responsibilities from Palestinians for being radical. It would also be pointless to allege they never were. Because they fought back brutally and tried to survive. And this fight can never be a win-win situation. It is also unfair to develop antisemite feelings, people are responsible for those they vote, because they never have the power to go opposite to the flow and change direction. And if this ever happens, you need years of right choices (political leaders), to see the results.
But there is an unbeatable argument here that lies beneath every different aspect and has the power to shine. Palestinians are the greatest victims in the Middle East. They were never supported by any western power, they were eradicated from everywhere they tried to establish, they radicalized only after September of 1970 and never before, and they still remain refugees, just because...
And we know noone will "bell the cat", and find a solution, as there are so many interactions between states that would threat balance in the region and ofcourse balance between the west and the Middle East. But there is also justice. And in the name of justice, noone should ever confuse antisemitism with defending a victim. Because it has nothing to do with it.
written by Themis Panagiotopoulou, PhD in Political Science