The Palestinian Movement in Transition : Historical Reversals and the Uprising
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.
Salim Tamari is professor of sociology at Birzeit University in the West Bank. A version of this article will appear in Rex Brynen, ed., Echoes of the Intifada, (Boulder: Westview Press, forthcoming).