The period between the 1973 war
and the 1982 Israeli Invasion of Lebanon
was a tumultuous one in Palestinian history. Beginning on a high note, the 1973 war and the 1973–74 oil embargo inspired a sense of Arab confidence and unity. At the same time, the
In October 1973, Egyptian and Syrian forces launched a combined surprise attack against Israeli positions. Initial Arab military successes were reversed after the United States intervened to resupply Israel with arms, but many Arabs felt that the war had at least partially redeemed the humiliation of 1967. The oil-producing Arab states initiated an embargo against Israel’s supporters, with significant economic and political impact.
The PLO also made significant diplomatic gains. At the
The PLO paid a cost for its increased international acceptance, however. The
The extent of the Arab world’s internal conflicts became even more acute as the Egyptian president
In fact, the colonization of the West Bank and Gaza accelerated while negotiations with Egypt were under way. In April 1979, Jewish settlement in the
The Palestinian population inside Israel, though, became increasingly active in the 1970s. With the lifting of military rule in 1966 and renewed contacts with Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza after the 1967 war
, Palestinians inside Israel reasserted their political voice and resisted attempts to manipulate them through a coopted leadership. Palestinians in Israel formed new organizations (such as the
The period from 1973 to 1981 also saw the rise of political Islam in the Arab world, including Palestine. The perceived failure of Arab nationalism to achieve its goals (regionally, and particularly with regard to Palestine) had led to widespread disillusionment with secular Arab politics, and the repression of Islamic political movements had led to a rise of militant political Islam, particularly in Egypt and Syria. In 1979, the Islamic revolution in Iran inspired those who envisioned a revolutionary politics rooted in Islam. Inside Israel,
The significance of these developments would only become apparent in later decades. Yet even by the beginning of the 1980s, it was clear that the optimism sparked in 1973 had borne only partial fruit. The PLO had achieved unprecedented international recognition for the Palestinian people, but it was also beset by internal friction and mired in the bloody Lebanese Civil War . Palestinians within Israel were increasingly vocal in resisting marginalization and oppression, but the colonization of the West Bank and Gaza became ever more entrenched. Meanwhile, regional instability, at the roots of which laid the unresolved Palestine question, escalated and would continue to do so.
al-Dajani, Ahmad Sidqi. “The PLO and the Euro-Arab Dialogue.” Journal of Palestine Studies 9, no.3 (Spring 1980): 81–98.
Sayigh, Rosemary. Too Many Enemies: The Palestinian Experience in Lebanon. London: Zed Books, 1993.
Sayigh, Yezid. Armed Struggle and the Search for State: The Palestinian National Movement, 1949–1993. Washington, DC: Institute for Palestine Studies and Oxford University Press, 1997.
Taylor, Alan R. “The PLO in Inter-Arab Politics.” Journal of Palestine Studies 11, no.2 (Winter 1982): 70–81.
Zayyad, Tawfiq. “The Fate of the Arabs in Israel.” Journal of Palestine Studies 6, no.1 (Autumn 1976): 92–103.