Ahmad Shukeiri

Ahmad Shukeiri

Ahmad Shukeiri (January 1 1908February 26 1980) (Arabic أحمد الشقيري, also transcribed "al-Shuqayri", "Shuqeiri", "Shukeiry" etc.), was the first Arab Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization from 1964–1967.

Shukeiri was born in Lebanon then Ottoman Empire to the Arab father Sheikh As'ad Shuqeiry (1860–1940, member of the Arab Higher Committee and of the Nashashibi party in Palestine, MP for Acre elected at the Ottoman Parliament in 1908 and 1912 [http://www.passia.org/palestine_facts/personalities/chrono01.htm] ), and a Turkish mother. Ahmad acquired the Turkish language from his mother. After studying law in Jerusalem, he became a member of the Syrian delegation to the United Nations from 1949 to 1951.

He then became assistant Secretary General for the Arab League from 1950–1956, Saudi ambassador to the United Nations from 1957 to 1962, and was appointed the first Chairman of the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) when that organization was created by a summit of Arab leaders in 1964 in Cairo . He was widely criticised in the Arab world for contributing to its defeat with his radical rhetoric against Israel before the Six-Day War. His enemies and opponents thus used him thankfully as a scapegoat.Moshe Shemesh, "Did Shuqayri Call For ‘Throwing the Jews into the Sea?’" Israel Studies, Summer 2003, p. 70] Lebanese daily Al-Yawm quoted him saying in reference to Jews in Palestine: "Whoever survives will stay in Palestine, but in my opinion, no-one will remain alive" in June 3, 1967Al-Yawm, Lebanon, June 3, 1967; quoted in Moshe Shemesh, “Did Shuqayri Call For ‘Throwing the Jews into the Sea?’” Israel Studies, Summer 2003, p. 72]

From 28 May to 2 June, 1964 Shukeiri and 388 nominated prepresentatives from Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the Gaza strip, Qatar, Kuwait and Iraq attended a Palestinian Conference (The First Palestinian National Council for the Liberation Organization) in East Jerusalem. Delegates wore badges carrying a map of Palestine and inscribed "We shall return". "The Times" reported that following an introductory address by King Hussein of Jordan, Shukeiri told delegates that "Palestinians had experienced 16 years' misery and it was time they relied on themselves and liberated Palestine from the Israelis". The conference announced that the PLO was to be the official representative of the Palestinian Arabs. Shukeiri and his colleagues also announced the formation of the Palestinian National Fund, and at the Second Arab Summit Conference in Alexandria on September 1964 of a military wing, the Palestine Liberation Army.

Shukeiri was succeeded as Chairman by Yahya Hammuda.

He died on 26 February 1980, aged 72 in the Hussein Medical Center in Amman.



*'Arab Move To Free Palestine: "16 Years Of Misery"', From Our Correspondent, "The Times", Saturday, 30 May, 1964; pg. 7; Issue 56025; col D.
*Connell, Dan (2001). "Rethinking Revolution: New Strategies for Democracy & Social Justice". The Red Sea Press. ISBN 1-56902-145-7
*'Mr Ahmed Shukeiri', Obituary, "The Times", Wednesday, 27 February, 1980; pg. 16; Issue 60561; col H.
*Arieh Avneri, "The Claim of Dispossession: Jewish Land-Settlement and the Arabs 1878-1948" (London: Transaction Books, 2002) p.233.

External links

* [http://www.ahmad-alshukairy.org/pro/proe.html Biography of Ahmad Al-Shukeiri]

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