Why do Palestinian negotiators speak of 1993 exchange of recognition between the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), but forget about the PLO’s declarations in 1988?
(1) Yasser Arafat read out, at meeting of the PLO’s Palestine National Council (PNC) in Algiers in November 1988 [almost one year into the first Palestinian Intifada], the PALESTINIAN DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, which says that the 1947 UNGA partition Resolution 181 (endorsing Jewish + Arab states) still provides the legal basis for the right of Palestinian Arab people to national sovereignty and independence — despite historical injustice.
By this, the PLO accepted the State of Israel, and recognized it as a Jewish State. Now, in 2010, the Palestinians are being squeezed to do the same thing again — but they are reacting with shock and horror, and adamantly refusing.
One main question now is: if the Palestinians were to repeat, graciously, their earlier decision, would the reaction be a display of Jewish morality — or would it be, instead, Jewish triumphalism and victor’s justice?
(2) In the same meeting of the PLO’s PNC in Algiers in November 1988, a POLITICAL DECLARATION was adopted stating that Israel should withdraw from all the Palestinian + Arab territories occupied in 1967 (including Arab Jerusalem).
By claiming the territory occupied in 1967, the PLO and the Palestinian leadership effectively gave up title to the land between the lines of the 1947 partition resolution and the 1949-1950 Armistice Lines agreed between Israel and its neighbors in UN-sponsored negotiations (more or less the same thing as the 1967 Green Line which Israel crossed in the Six Day War).