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Title: The Palestinian movement in transition: historical reversals and the uprising
Authors: Tamari, Salim 
Keywords: Palestinian resistance - History;Communication in politics - Palestine;Discourse analysis - Political aspects - Palestine;Political culture - Palestine
Issue Date: 1991
Publisher: Journal of Palestine Studies
Abstract: A persistent dynamic dominating Palestinian political discourse since the beginning of the occupation was the unspoken opposition between the liberationist strategy and the territorial search for statehood. During the 1960s and early 1970s, this dynamic was resolved overwhelmingly in favor of the liberationist strategy of the three main guerrilla contingents of the Palestinian movement-Fateh, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP). While a gradual shift away from this position was evident in the resolutions of the Palestine National Council (PNC) as of 1974, the mystique and rhetoric of armed struggle continued to dominate through the rest of the decade. During the 1980s, however, this dynamic shifted steadily towards territorialism (the search for sovereignty) as the movement began to anchor itself less in the diaspora and more in the occupied territories. This shift has had immense consequences for the manner in which the Palestinian movement has articulated its direction over the last decade. The further Palestinian politics has moved from its liberationist-guerrilla dimension, the more it has expressed a political program that reflects the senti- ments and needs of concrete social groups rather than a bureaucratic military apparatus. This dynamic has often been described by the popular press as a conflict between the "internal forces" and the "external forces," or, more crudely, between the traditional elites of the West Bank and Gaza and the historic leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). There is a kernel of truth to this, but one that must be redefined. In the diaspora, and certainly in the Arab diaspora, Palestinian politics expresses the continued struggle of a segment of society to accommodate its survival within the contingencies of Arab politics. In occupied Palestine, however, a social formation has remained intact despite Israeli attempts to fragment it. As a consequence, politics there expresses the battle between real social forces.
DOI: 10.2307/2537198
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