Steadfastness and Confrontation Front

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To be distinguished from the Rejectionist Front.

The Steadfastness and Confrontation Front (Arabic: جبهة الصمود والتصدي‎) was a 1970s political initiative relating to the Arab-Israeli conflict. It was supported by a number of Arab governments.

Background[edit]

Right to left: Syrian president Assad, Algerian president Boumedienne and Libyan leader Gaddafi at the Front summit in Tripoli, December 1977

The Steadfastness and Confrontation Front was formed in 1977 by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)and the governments of Libya, Algeria, Syria and South Yemen. It was intended 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 the 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 the previously-agreed principle of withholding recognition of Israel and as breaking the Arab alliance against Israel.

Purpose[edit]

The Front affirmed its rejection of United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 and 338 and reiterated the unwillingness to recognize Israel or negotiate with it as regards a Palestinian state. It also condemned every Arab government who did not join it; called for a boycott of Egypt; emphasized the ties between Syria and the Palestinians; and recognized the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic as sovereign over Western Sahara.

The Front did not explicitly call for Israel's destruction, but repeated the PLO's Ten Point Program 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[edit]

The Steadfastness and Confrontation Front should not be confused with the Rejectionist Front, a gathering of radical Palestinian factions outside the framework of the PLO. These factions had left the PLO after Fatah pushed through the Ten Point Program in 1974. The Steadfastness and Confrontation Front and its conflict with Egypt assisted in healing the rift between the PLO leadership and those supporting the Rejectionist Front.

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