The Palestine Liberation Organization: Tactics, Strategies and Options Towards the Geneva Conference
SINCE its inception in 1964 no greater threat and/or challenge has confronted the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) than the Geneva peace conference. The threat to the PLO lies in the fact that the existing framework of reference for Geneva is Security Council Resolution 242 (November 1967) and supplementary resolutions 338 and 339 (October 1974). Within the terms of reference suggested by Security Council Resolution 242 Palestinian representation is subsumed under the category of a "just settlement of the refugee question" -the so-called humanitarian formula. In effect the PLO as a political organization representing the needs and aspirations of Palestinian statehood has no right of membership of the Geneva peace conference; matters relating to the Palestinians therefore can only be discussed by the parties (i.e., the Arab states and Israel) most directly concerned with the "just settlement" of the problem.
Ronald R. Macintyre is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Science, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.