For too long, Palestinian resistance leaders allowed enemies of the Palestinian revolution to dictate the terms, slogans and modes of resistance. Hajj Amin Husseini first trusted the British (until they kicked him out of Palestine) and then trusted the Arab regimes who foiled the 1936-1939 rebellion and succeeded (together with the Zionists) in turning it into a Palestinian civil war (after 1937).
After Husseini, Ahmad Shuqayri trusted first the Saudi government before turning his loyalty to Egypt’s Nasser, who worried about the regional political consequences of an independent Palestinian revolution.
But the biggest damage that has been done to the Palestinian resistance movement has been inflicted by Yasser Arafat. This is a man who led the Palestinian national movement right after the defeat of the Arab armies in 1967, when Arab revolutionary aspirations were sky-high and when Arab youth, from the Maghreb to the Mashriq, were turning in droves to volunteer at military training camps in Jordan and Lebanon.
Arafat surrendered the cause to the Saudi government in return for large sums of money, which helped fund a vast PLO bureaucracy and helped co-opt other PLO and Lebanese organizations to undermine their revolutionary potential. Declassified US diplomatic cables show that King Faisal was funding Fatah in order to impose US terms on the Palestinian national movement and to control Arafat on behalf of the American-Zionist alliance.
Arafat became famous for allowing the US and other Western countries to dictate his own terminology and his own methods of operations. It is now an established fact that Arafat humiliatingly and embarrassingly read from a faxed US diplomatic statement in order to obtain a weak US political recognition for the PLO, which came at an exorbitant price for the whole Palestinian national movement.
Even Nasser, the most supportive leader of the Palestinian resistance of all time, was afraid of a real revolution there and its destabilizing effects. The only route to victory is to be found amongst the people themselves.