Definitions

steadfastness

Steadfastness and Confrontation Front

The Steadfastness and Confrontation Front (جبهة الصمود والتصدي) was a political initiative by a number of Arab governments in the 1970s, related to the Arab-Israeli Conflict.

Background

The Steadfastness and Confrontation Front was formed in 1977 by the governments of Libya, Algeria, Syria and South Yemen, as well as by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). It was inteded as a protest and a show of position, after President Anwar Sadat of Egypt had travelled to Tel-Aviv to meet Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and begin peace negotiations that would eventually lead to the Camp David Accords. This Egyptian initiative was widely seen in the Arab world as an abandonment of agreed-upon principles of non-recognition of Israel, and as breaking the Arab alliance against Israel. It was generally condemned as treachery.

Purpose of the Front

The front affirmed its rejection of UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, and reiterated the unwillingness to recognize Israel or negotiate with it for a Palestinian state. It also called for a boycott of Egypt, condemned every Arab government who did not take part of the Front, and emphasized the ties between Syria and the Palestinians. Still, interestingly, it did not explicitly call for Israel's destruction, but instead repeated the Ten Point Program of the PLO, calling for a Palestinian state on "any part of Palestinian land ... as an interim aim of the Palestinian Revolution". This had been interpreted, at least inside the PLO, as a step towards a two-state solution, and was highly controversial among Palestinians.

Rejectionist Front

The Steadfastness and Confrontation Front should not be confused with the Rejectionist Front, which was a gathering of radical Palestinian factions outside the framework of the PLO. They had left the PLO after Fatah pushed through the Ten Point Program in 1974. In fact, the Steadfastness and Confrontation Front and its conflict with Egypt - the most influential Arab state - helped bring together the fractured PLO, and temporarily heal the rift between the main organization under Yassir Arafat and the Rejectionists.

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