Bound by a Frame of Reference, Part II: U.S. Policy and the Palestinians, 1948-88

by Kathleen Christison

May 1, 1998
Following Israel's creation in 1948, the Palestinians disappeared from United States policy considerations and did not reemerge until the late 1960s, when they forced themselves on the world's consciousness with a series of terrorist actions and a determined assertion of national aims. With the exception of the Carter administration, the history of the two decades of American policy-making that followed is one of a concerted effort to suppress the Palestinian question as a political issue and to undermine the Palestinian Liberation Organization. This article, the second in a three-part series, examines the frame of reference that molded policymaker thinking on Palestinian-Israeli issues--one centered on the Israeli perspective and basically ignorant of the Palestinian viewpoint--from the Eisenhower administration through the Reagan years.
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