Over the past century, the month of November has seen a slew of ground-breaking events in the annals of the Jewish state. There was the Balfour Declaration, the British Empire’s declaration of support for the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in the Land of Israel (November 1917); the UN resolution on the establishment of a Jewish state (November 1947); the visit by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to Jerusalem (November 1977); and the Annapolis Conference, which launched the important negotiations between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on a permanent status arrangement (November 2007).
In between, following the Palestine Liberation Organization’s declaration of an independent state and its recognition of the State of Israel, US President Ronald Reagan decided to launch an official dialogue with the organization on reaching a peace arrangement with Israel. He made his move in November 1988, after the presidential elections and before George H.W. Bush was sworn in as the 41st president of the United States. The outgoing president, who had completed two terms in office, was no longer under pressure from Jewish voters. The incoming president, who inherited the PLO, was no longer under pressure from Jewish lobbyists. Before the Reagan-Bush handover, the right-wing government of the "Greater Land of Israel" led by Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir was struck a crippling blow.