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Established in 1964 with the goal of "liberating Palestine in its entirety," the Palestinian Liberation Organization has for years been led by one of its most outspoken and notorious members, Yasser Arafat. He has undergone a radical transformation from a fugitive terrorist leader to a passionate and respected advocate for the creation of a Palestinian homeland. But then why did he reject a plan for Palestinian statehood in 2000, after crusading for this long-standing ideal for close to forty years? Was it a bargaining ploy or a reflection of a deeper reluctance on the part of the Palestinian leadership to genuinely commit itself to peace with Israel? Historian Efraim Karsh argues that Arafat is less interested in the liberation of the West Bank and Gaza, or even with the establishment of a Palestinian state, than in the PLO's historic goal of Israel's destruction. Karsh details Arafat's efforts since the historic Oslo peace accords, resulting in a level of violence unmatched in scope and intensity since 1948. Arafat has irrevocably altered the Middle East's political landscape, and while his place in history has yet to be written, the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict will always be Arafat's war.