Prospective Thesis Topic: The core of the conflict: The Palestinians and the Arab-Israeli conflict

Since the early phase of the broader Arab-Israeli conflict it has been the conflict between the Palestinians and the Zionists/the state of Israel that has been the core of the conflict. All the central conflict issues have been between them – dividing the land, the refugees, Jerusalem. Despite this the Palestinians were for long periods ignored as a legitimate partner for peace. For decades the US even refused to speak with the PLO. The explanation for this varies:  they were seen as better represented by the Arab states; they were seen as a humanitarian issue; they were seen as terrorists; or they were considered Soviet puppets.

How have external parties viewed the Palestinian issues/the Palestinians? What explains this? What implications has this had for the peace process or the lack of peace? How have the Palestinians worked to influence the perception of them? How have the Palestinians sought to gain political agency?
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