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Discuss the influence of the Palestinian diaspora on the trajectory of the Arab-Israeli conflict, 1948-1996.

The Palestinian diaspora significantly influenced the Arab-Israeli conflict from 1948-1996, shaping its political, social, and military dimensions.

The Palestinian diaspora, which began with the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, played a crucial role in shaping the trajectory of the conflict. The displacement of approximately 700,000 Palestinians, who became refugees in neighbouring Arab countries, created a persistent source of tension and conflict. The diaspora's influence was felt in several ways, including the political, social, and military dimensions of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Politically, the Palestinian diaspora played a significant role in the formation and activities of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO). Established in 1964, the PLO sought to represent the political interests of Palestinians both within and outside of the Palestinian territories. The diaspora provided a base of support for the PLO, and its existence helped to keep the Palestinian cause on the international agenda. The PLO's activities, including its use of armed struggle, significantly influenced the course of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Socially, the Palestinian diaspora contributed to the spread of Palestinian nationalism and identity. The experience of displacement and the struggle for a homeland became central to Palestinian identity, and this was reflected in the literature, art, and culture of the diaspora. This sense of national identity fuelled resistance to Israeli policies and contributed to the persistence of the conflict.

Militarily, the Palestinian diaspora was a source of recruits for various Palestinian armed groups. These groups, including Fatah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), carried out attacks against Israel from bases in neighbouring Arab countries. These attacks escalated the conflict and led to Israeli reprisals, further fuelling the cycle of violence.

The influence of the Palestinian diaspora on the Arab-Israeli conflict was not limited to these areas. The diaspora also played a role in shaping the attitudes of Arab countries towards Israel. The presence of large numbers of Palestinian refugees in countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria contributed to these countries' hostility towards Israel. This in turn influenced their policies and actions in the conflict.

In conclusion, the Palestinian diaspora had a significant influence on the trajectory of the Arab-Israeli conflict from 1948-1996. Through its political, social, and military activities, the diaspora helped to shape the course of the conflict and to keep the Palestinian cause on the international agenda.

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