How useful are sources C to H as evidence about peoples attitudes towards the use of terrorism in the Arab- Israeli Conflict?
Source C is written by a Palestinian leader; therefore I expect to find that I will only find his attitudes and the attitudes of the Palestinians about the use of terrorism towards the Arab – Israeli Conflict represented in this source. I will not expect to find the views of the Israeli’s or the rest of the World. Source H on the other hand has no apparent author but is said to be ‘a typical point of view in the 1970’s’ I therefore expect to find this source will only contain an Israeli point of view on the attitudes towards the Arab Israeli Conflict.
Simply from examining the title I can tell that neither source is particularly useful at discovering people’s attitudes towards the use of terrorism in the Arab – Israeli Conflict, apart from their own. Looking at source C it says; ‘Hijack a plane it has more effect than if we killed 100 Israeli’s in battle’, this tells me that the Palestinians believed terrorism was more effective than military combat… but a more effective way of what? It goes on to say, For centuries world public opinion has been neither for nor against the Palestinians… at least is the world talking about us now’ This tells me that the Palestinians believe Terrorism is a more effective way of getting the worlds attention. They’re using terrorism, despite what the reactions and opinions of the world may be to it as before ‘it simply ignored us’. However from my background knowledge I know that not all members of the PLO believed in terrorism only the extremist factions.
So the views of the Palestinian leader in this Source only reflect, and support the attitudes of Palestinian extremists, or Palestinians who supported the use of terrorism. These views therefore are not representative of all Palestinian attitudes. As I expected source C only reflects the views shown about the use of terrorism in the Arab – Israeli Conflict by Palestinians, And not even all Palestinian point of view is reflected at that, only the extremist point of view and those who support it.
Looking at Source H it says; ‘The PLO is a murderous group of terrorists with more sophisticated weapons than most armies’. The Israeli stance on terrorism is clear they think that terrorism constitutes murder- they are against it. They also believe that the Palestinians have very sophisticated weaponry. They are so much against terrorism that the source goes onto says ‘Israel has no choice but to destroy the PLO’s military capability… Israel is fighting a just war!
They feel that they have no choice but to fight the Palestinian’s because they believe it has such huge weaponry capacity- therefore it poses a threat and they use this reasoning to back up their claim ‘Israel is fighting a just war! ‘ I would like to say that I was right in thinking that this source only reflects the attitudes of the typical Israeli point of view. However the source’s writer is not named and the content ‘destroy the PLO’s military capability… Israeli is fighting a just war! ‘ puts into question the motives of the author writing the source. But without knowing the writer of the source we cannot know.
To me the source does not seem to only reflect the typical Israeli attitude, but in-fact propaganda, trying to sway world wide opinion in the Israeli’s favour and in-fact persuade them to join in the fight against the Palestinians. The Source presents the Palestinians as a huge military power and therefore threat not only to the Israeli’s but the rest of the world. As from my background knowledge I know that the Palestinians did not have as large a weaponry threat as the Israeli’s make out, due to the fact that many Palestinians were impoverished refugees who were very poor as a nation.
The idea Source H is not simply a typical point of view whereas Source C is, is supported by the fact that the Palestinian’s do not care about World wide opinion when in concerns their use of terrorism, they’re simply more interested in the attention they are getting because of it. Whereas the Israeli’s using the statement ‘Israeli is fighting a just war’ is trying to persuade the World to support them. However Source C is written by a Palestinian leader who is biased and therefore has a vested interest to persuade others of his point of view.
Which puts into question the reliability of the source. His purpose in righting the source could therefore be a means of justifying the use of terrorism to the world wide media or his own people as in the source he is trying to give reasons for Palestinian Arabs use of terrorism. If it is being used to persuade the Palestinians about the use of terrorism then the writer is trying to persuade them that it is the only means of action that is effective. Considering how typical the views of this Palestinian are depends on the audience he is writing for.
If it is for a world wide audience then the views are likely to be supported by a large majority of Palestinian people who support him. If it is intended for the Palestinian people then these views could be simply a reflection of only his own views about the Arab – Israeli conflict. This would mean the source is only useful in discovering his personal views about the use of terrorism in the Arab Israeli conflict. Source H on the other hand does not have a writers name stated meaning the author has could have a many number of motives and vested interests.
One of these could be to persuade the rest of the world that the Palestinians are a threat and that their fighting them is a justifiable course of action. However instead of a writers name the words ‘This was a typical Israeli point of view in the 1970’s’. This sentence suggests that this source in-fact came from a factual source such as a History book. And in this case that means the source will certainly reflect a typical Israeli point of view as the matter will have been researched, and it means it is a very reliable source when trying to discover the attitudes of the Israelis towards the Arab- Israeli conflict.
In conclusion this makes Source H the most useful source in answering the title question as it is the most reliable, if that is we rely on the evidence for the source being an extract from a historical book. Source C on the other hand is not useful as the author- a Palestinian leader, could have had countless motives for righting the source and therefore it may not in-fact be a typical point of view at all, most likely it is his own personal point of view.