[BLANK_AUDIO] Jordan had to be prevented, by the Palestinian organizations, from joining this US initiative. And it is therefore the decision of the Palestinians at this time the summer of 1970, to challenge the Jordanian regime and to prevent it from entering a peace process that would exclude and marginalize the Palestinians. Jordan however, by September, 1970, enjoyed unquestionable military superiority. So the question is, why did the Palestinians go for the challenge, even though the Jordanians by then had unquestionable military superiority? They underestimated the Jordanians, and they over-estimated the popular support for themselves, including, within the ranks of the Jordanian army. They also expected Arab support. There were Iraqi forces stationed in Jordan at the time and they expected them to help the Palestinian struggle. They also expected help from Syria. And when the clash between the Jordanian forces and the Palestinian forces of what became known as Black September, this crushing defeat of the Palestinians at the hands of the Jordanian army in September, 1970. It was indeed the Syrians who did invade Jordanian territory in order to help the Palestinians in their struggle against the Jordanians. And here the Jordanians faced by the internal struggle with the Palestinians and the external support coming from Syria, the Jordanians turned to the United States for assistance. The Jordanians turning to the United States for assistance in these circumstances really meant in a Jordanian indirect approach to Israel. And Israel did indeed take actions to assist the Jordanians in defeating the Syrians at first and then the Palestinians in September, 1970. The Israelis mobilized large quantities of Israeli soldiers very publicly. Israeli aircraft overflew the Syrian forces that had invaded Jordanian territory, and the Syrians therefore refrained from using any of their air power in the struggle against Jordan. The end result was, as we have mentioned, a crushing defeat for the Palestinian forces in Jordan. So what was the meaning of this Black September, as the Palestinians called it, and their defeat in Jordan? For Jordan it meant the securing of the state and the regime. Jordan was now stable, secure and there was no Palestinian state within a state in Jordan anymore. But for the PLO this was a defeat of historical proportions. As Yezid Sayigh has written it represented the defeat of the strategy of people's war, and posed a fundamental challenge to the Palestinians' professed aims, political programs and organizational structure. The loss of the Jordanian base of operations to fight the struggle against Israel meant that the arms struggle as the sole means for the liberation of Palestine as the PLO believed was not an attainable objective. The PLO was now severely restricted in its room for maneuver. And as they were expelled from Jordan, they expanded their base in Lebanon which was just a second best alternative. It was nowhere near as good as the Jordanian base for the waging of the struggle against Israel. And for the main reason, that is Lebanon was not the area of decision of the Palestinian question. Jordan and the West Bank are the area of decision of the Palestinian question for the simple reason that, that is where the great majority of the Palestinians are located. Lebanon is home to a very small minority of the Palestinian people. Lebanon has no direct contact with the West Bank. Lebanon therefore, was a second best alternative. But it was second best but the last there was. And by mid-1973, the PLO had established within Lebanon a new state within a state which they could use for their operations against Israel. As the PLO concentrated its forces in Lebanon in 1973, this was also a period of change in the Middle East in the sense that Israel and the Arabs went to war again in October of that year. And it was after the October war of 1973, which we will deal with in greater detail later, that the PLO had to take the defeating to Jordan and the changing region into account in the determination of its overall strategy vis-a-vis Israel. The October war led to a resumption of the Middle East peace process on the basis of Resolution 242. The PLO now faced the serious danger that there would be a peace process between Israel and its neighbors on the basis of Resolution 242 that would exclude the PLO and the Palestinians from this negotiating process. Now after the defeat in Jordan, fully recognizing that Israel could not be defeated by the Palestinian independent war of liberation, required of the Palestinians to adopt a new strategy. And in the summer of 1974, the PLO developed what was called The Strategy of Phases. So what did The Strategy of Phases say? The Strategy of Phases spoke of the PLO willing to use all means in order to struggle against Israel. All means meant not only military means, but diplomatic means as well. It also meant that the PLO was not about to liberate all of Palestine in one fell swoop, that they realized was not possible. So they spoke of liberation in phases, that they would establish a Palestinian authority in any territory that Israel withdrew from. The intention was to legitimize the PLO as a negotiating partner in the peace process that would enable the PLO to retrieve any territories that Israel would withdraw from, that is, to prevent the Jordanians from doing so. This however, would require a very significant change in the balance of power. After all, Israel would not willingly agree to its dismantling in phases. The Strategy of Phases gave rise to a very active debate within the PLO between the radicals and the more moderate factions. The fear of the radicals was that if the balance of power would not change sufficiently, the Strategy of Phases would eventually lock the PLO willy nilly in an agreement with Israel that they would not be able to bring about the complete liberation of Palestine. And in the end, as the historical evolution proved, the radicals proved to be right. The balance of power did not change sufficiently for the implementation of the Strategy of Phases. And indeed in later years, the PLO was forced to come to terms with Israel as we will see later. But having accepted the Strategy of Phases, and having agreed in principle to use diplomatic means in the struggle with Israel as well, the PLO was finally recognized by the Arab League in October, 1974 as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. And as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, the PLO had succeeded at least in theory, disqualifying Jordan as a negotiator on the Palestinians' behalf.