Why did the PLO suddenly decide, in 1988, that Israel had a right to exist?
US policy, first formulated by Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in 1975, was to refuse to deal with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) until it accepted certain conditions. These conditions for US contact with the PLO were set by Kissinger in a 1975 US-Israel memorandum of agreement. Kissinger promised that the United States: … will not recognize or negotiate with the PLO as long as the PLO does not recognize Israel’s right to exist and does not accept Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338. This memorandum–and later the Camp David accords–conditioned any party’s participation at a peace conference on “the agreement of all the initial participants.” Thus, Israel could veto PLO presence. In later years, US Presidents frequently reiterated these commitments. In 1985 Congress passed, and President Reagan signed a law codifying them and adding that the PLO had to renounce the use of terrorism before the United States would “recognize or negotiate with [it].” These conditio