In March 1968 Palestinian guerrillas and Jordanian troops combined forces to respond to Israeli raids into Jordan, provoking visions of new unity and future military success. Yet by September 1970 mounting friction between the Palestinian guerrillas in Jordan and King Hussein’s regime came to a head with the hijackings at Dawson’s Field and the defeat by Jordan’s forces of the Palestinians. The savagery of the fighting and the bitter consequences for the Palestinian guerrillas gave this month the name Black September: a name that was to reappear ominously in months to come. Who are the Palestinians? Many people only became aware of their existence because of terrorism, particularly the Black September operation at the Munich Olympics. Yet the Palestinians are at the very heart of the Middle East problem, and this book, first published in 1973, tells their story. The core of the book describes the emergence of the various guerrilla groups, joined by Palestinians hopeful of regaining lost land and lost dignity, and the ideologies and differences of the groups. There are personal interviews with some of the main leaders, and other chapters examine the relationships and interaction between the Palestinian groups and the Soviet bloc, the Chinese, the Third World, the West, and most important, the Israelis themselves.
1. King Hussein’s Gamble 2. The People Without a Country 3. The Westernisation of Palestine 4. Palestinian Protest: Poetry and Prose 5. Frontiers in the Diaspora 6. The Guerrillas: Yasir Arafat, al-Fatah and the Emergence of Black September 7. The Guerrillas: George Habash and the Radicals 8. Communist and Other Friends 9. Israelis and Palestinians 10. Towards Peace in Palestine. Appendix 1. Palestine, Population and Land Ownership Appendix 2. Where the Palestinians Live