Reformation of Palestine Liberation Organization Implication of Hierarchy and Program

Discussion Committee: 
Dr. Ra'ed Nairat
Abdullah Ahmed Mahmmud Barham
This study, “Reformation of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO): Implication of Hierarchy and Program”, is an attempt to analyze and understand the factors and interactions related to the experience of the PLO, in terms of evaluation of its course, and to dwell on reasons behind its retraction particularly after the signing of Oslo Accords and Palestinian National Authority(PNA)’s taking over of most of its responsibilities and powers. The study, then, moves to foresee the future of the PLO in the light of these developments. This study approach depends on analysis of a number of both internal and external subjective and objective factors which have contributed to the fragility of the PLO’s structure as a national unifying institution. This approach is also used to analyze several factors which will determine courses of reformation and development in the context of the involvement and presence of Islamic trends and Hamas movement in the Palestinian political system. In the treatment of the subject, the study depends on analysis and review of previous literature and related historical evidence, in addition to current developments, all in order to get to the needs necessary for reformation of PlO’s hierarchy and program, thus enabling it to continue its struggle against the Israeli military occupation and eventually get the right to self – determination and establishment of an independent Palestinian state. The study begins with a historical as well as a political analysis and then presents historical survey of the emergence and development of the PLO and its institutions and organs and the changes, which it has experienced through different historical stages. These stages have been embodied by the successive Palestinian National Councils’ resolutions and the historical turning point of Oslo Accords, which were accompanied by division and cracks in the structures of the PLO, and changes introduced into its objectives particularly the annulment of a significant portion of the Palestinian National Covenant. The study tries to find out the reasons behind the weaknesses and inability of the PLO to move forward to achieve its goal: ending of the occupation of the Palestinian lands. The study also tries to clarify the ground of the current debate on concept and mechanisms of reformation of the PLO in terms of hierarchy and program. To theses ends, the study sought to answer one major question: How far the Palestinian factions agree on activating and reforming the PLO in accordance with unity of political powers (forces) and unity of leadership, vision and methods? The study also tried to answer another question: What changes have been made in the PLO’s structure? The researcher, in this regard, believes that the overlap between the PLO and the Palestinian National Authority has been one of the reasons for the diminish of the former’s status and the transfer of the center of power from abroad to the homeland. The study provides an in depth analysis to answer the aforementioned questions. Chapter one was devoted to the discussion of the theoretical framework and concepts of reformations. Chapter two traced the development of the PLO, stages of its course and the changes and turning points which it has experienced. Chapter three dwelt on the circumstances which led to the emergence of the PNA and the implication of its relationship to the PLO. Chapter four provided levels of description of analysis of the structural reality of the PLO, positions of factions, political forces, national figures towards reformation and activation of the PLO and the mechanisms to achieve them. The chapter also provided an analysis of the factors which will contribute to the possibility of reforming the PLO. The chapter ended with a foresight of its future based on interviews the researcher has conducted with concerned parties, scholars and authorities on PLO history. The study concludes with a number of conclusions and recommendations in the light of the analyses of the questions. 1.The PLO needs reformation of both its structures and political programs, for it’s impossible to reform the structures without reformation of its program and vice versa. 2.There are several mechanisms and means which must be taken into account when dwelling on reformation of the PLO’s institutions democratically, beginning with the Palestinian National Council, the Central Council and concluding with all other organ and departments. 3.On the level of relationship with the PNA, there should be a separation between what is political and procedural in the relationship of the PLO and its institutions with the PNA and its institutions given the different nature of each one of them.
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