On or about Modern History class in High School, students back in the 1960’s learned how to construct a Molotov Cocktail. This was an important aspect of guerilla warfare, and there were untrained armies of protests growing up all over the world from Czechoslovakia to Laos. We studied their warfare in Social Studies class.
In order to build a Molotov Cocktail you need a glass coke bottle and an old rag. You dip the rag in gasoline, possibly siphoned from an enemy’s car. Then you stuff the rag into the soda bottle before lighting the end of the rag that still hangs out of the soda bottle. Next you hoist the flaming torch, hopefully before it explodes. This is exactly the way Palestinian guerillas led by Yasser Arafat waged war against Israeli forces after the 6 Day War.
In part I of “We can’t go back,” the history of Palestine began with the Canaanites in 3,000 B.C. and catapulted by the means of desperation and ego(s) to the 6 Day War in 1967. The decisive victory of the new nation of Israel in that war enabled them to occupy geographical areas not recognized as their sovereign statehood necessary buffers to be used and expected as protection of the young nation.
From the Arab point of view, refugees in many cases from Israel now became occupied communities despised by the government monitoring and managing them. By 1974, the Arab League which evidently at one point had some interest in the well being of the Arab people – unlike their oil politicians’ situation oftoday – recognized the PLO as the voice of the Palestinian people. The PLO was a group of guerilla fighters who by their very definition were only a small group of volunteer amateur soldiers fighting against the organized trained army of Israel. The history of the PLO culminated with the signing of the Oslo accords by Yasser Arafat and Israel Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 2003, and ended with the death of Yasser Arafat in 2004.
The Hamas whose leader recently met with Turkey President Gul, grew out of an Egyptian based organization called the Muslim Brotherhood. Their group was a social support group until 1988 when the published a charter proclaiming a move away from the ethos of non-violence. In 1993, a 19 year old Hamas volunteer carried out the first suicidal mission of car bombing against the nation of Israel. He killed 8 people and injured 44 others just one day before the commemoration of Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel.
The movement from Molotov Cocktails to car bombs details the frustration and hopelessness of the Palestinian refugees. Hamas leader Klaled Meshaal has told world leaders that they are ready to recognize the boundaries of Israel, but only in conjunction with the international recognition of a sovereign Palestinian State. Some Hamas leadership in the Israel occupied sector say that he does not speak for them.
In 2006 the Hamas won a majority in the Palestinian Parliament. Many of them are now imprisoned by Israel. The Hamas make claims to exemplifying Palestinian nationalism and Islamic Fundamentalism.