The mid-1960s saw the beginnings of the construction of a Palestinian political

field after it collapsed in 1948, when, with the British government’s support of the Zionist movement,

which succeeded in establishing the state of Israel, the Palestinian national movement

was crushed. This article focuses mainly on the Palestinian political field as it developed in

the 1960s and 1970s, the beginnings of its fragmentation in the 1990s, and its almost complete

collapse in the first decade of this century. It was developed on a structure characterized

by the dominance of a center where the political leadership functioned. The center, however,

was established outside historic Palestine. This paper examines the components and dynamics

of the relationship between the center and the peripheries, and the causes of the decline

of this center and its eventual disappearance, leaving the constituents of the Palestinian people

under local political leadership following the collapse of the national representation institutions,

that is, the political, organizational, military, cultural institutions and sectorial organizations

(women, workers, students, etc.) that made up the PLO and its frameworks. The paper

suggests that the decline of the political field as a national field does not mean the disintegration

of the cultural field. There are, in fact, indications that the cultural field has a new vitality

that deserves much more attention than it is currently assigned.

KEYWORDS: Palestinian political field, Israeli settler-colonialism, Palestinian Authority, PLO,

Palestinian cultural field, new middle class, intifada

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