Arafat: In the Eyes of the Beholder

Janet Wallach, Author, John Wallach, Author
Janet Wallach, Author, John Wallach, Author Lyle Stuart $21.95 (465p) ISBN 978-0-8184-0533-4
Reviewed on: 12/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1960
The author interviewed members of Arafat's family, childhood friends and leaders who have dealt with him as ally and adversary. (Among the latter: Jordan's King Hussein, Yitzhak Shamir and Shimon Peres of Israel, Secretary of State James Baker.) They also talked at length with Arafat himself at his Tunis headquarters. The resulting important biography of the Palestinian leader includes a more complete description of the PLO government structure (a state-in-waiting now recognized by 130 countries) than can be found elsewhere. The Wallachs ( Still Small Voices ) offer new information about Arafat's childhood, his student years and his career as an engineer, as well as details of the pivotal 1968 PLO victory over the Israelis at the battle of Karameh. The book reveals how Arafat has remained head of the Palestinian liberation movement for 20 years despite intense rivalries and feuds with King Hussein and Syria's President Assad. The authors also analyze Arafat's recent surprise shift to a more moderate position. Though Israel considers him as implacable a foe as ever, the Wallachs are convinced that he ``wants a peaceful solution, a reconciliation of territory for peace.'' Photos. (Oct.)
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