Battling to Control the P.L.O.

Despite Arafat's troubles, few are willing to write him off

The Palestine Liberation Organization has always been an anomaly, deriving its strength from a position of inherent weakness. From 1976 to 1982 it was the single strongest influence on the Arab world, a threat not only to Israel, its declared enemy, but to every Arab government that did not offer it support. Not since Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser has a Middle Eastern leader embodied Arab nationalist aspirations as did P.L.O. Chairman Yasser Arafat. He had no country of his own to run, but in the eyes of many Palestinians he enjoyed...

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