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Throughout, he reflects on his relationship with Arafat, his role and methodology and how this affected the Palestinian cause. Abu Sharif begins his account by exploring the rise of Arafat after the war when he decided to infiltrate the Occupied West Bank and recruit fighters.

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This early period saw huge sacrifices and struggles and Arafat and his colleagues faced various internal and external challenges from the Israeli government as well as the Jordanians. The situation worsened after the attempted El Al hijacking from Amsterdam failed and Arafat decided to relocate to Southern Lebanon. From here, guerrilla operations against Israel became much easier. Abu Sharif narrates key details of events and summits and in particular how Arafat was betrayed by two people.

The second betrayal came from President Reagan. Arafat understood the dynamics of international politics and the importance of convincing the United States. The fall of the Shah in Iran in was a blessing in disguise as far as Arafat was concerned due to the cooperation that resulted in training and resources and the severance of the Iran-Israel cordial relations that the Shah maintained.

Arafat and the Dream of Palestine: An Insider's Account

Arafat was the first leader to meet with Khomeini and the United States was aware of this. In , a year before the US presidential elections, the American Embassy hostage crisis presented a serious challenge to President Carter.


  • Arafat and the Dream of Palestine : An Insider's Account!
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Arafat kept his promise but Reagan failed to do so. Abu Sharif played a crucial role in representing Arafat at an international level. What is most interesting and revealing in this account is how the Oslo accord was reached and the role of Abu Sharif in the process. However, Arafat wanted Abu Sharif to publish the document under his name to test the waters. Opinions varied both within Palestinian and the Israeli leaders and commentators, and there was uncertainty whether Arafat had endorsed or agreed to the content. This instigated official diplomatic contact from many European countries including Germany, France and Britain.

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Arafat realised the impact of the document when he arrived at Belgrade Airport, welcomed by Yugoslav President Dobrica Cosic. There is no doubt that the Abu Sharif document opened doors which were previously closed.

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