The sociopolitical foundations of Palestinian Resistance, 1948-1970
MetadataShow full item record
Much of the research on the Palestinian Resistance Movement focuses on the period of its most active international terrorism, roughly between the June 1967 Arab-Israeli war and October 1977. These studies focus largely on the violent acts of the movement’s operatives and the movement’s Marxist political theory during this time. Less has been written, however, about the movement’s development prior to 1967, or the relationship between traditional forms of anti-colonial resistance and tribal violence in Palestinian society and the forms of resistance that manifested within the Palestinian Resistance Movement. This thesis analyzes the development of political critiques and theories on the use of political violence within the organizations of Palestinian Resistance between the nakba in 1948 and the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, tracing them back to the traditional sociopolitical structures that regulated authority and tribal violence in Palestine prior to the twentieth century. Due to a variety of economic and political forces at work in the region, political authority among Arab Palestinians shifted from rural kinship-based networks to urban patronage-based networks between roughly 1858 and 1922. This resulted in a disconnection between those wielding political and economic influence and the population’s center of mass, which remained in the rural hinterlands. This dual structure, which ultimately contributed to the failure of nationalist Palestinian leaders to effectively harness peasant anticolonial resistance during the British Mandate to strategic ends, was a central element in the critique of mid-century Palestinian Resistance Movement thinkers, and informed the theories they generated during this time. As an illustration of Palestinian resistance thought during this period, I analyze the content and editorial perspective of Filasṭīn, a newspaper published by the Arab Nationalist Movement from 1964 to 1967. Through this newspaper, the ANM clearly articulated a position on Arab government and the use of violence for political ends which remained a major influence in the theories of the movement after 1967.