The Dynamics of Palestinian Elite Formation
Palestinian Authority

The signing of the Oslo Accord between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in September 1993 generated important questions regarding political inclusion and the dynamics of elite formation. With the Cairo Agreement of May 1994, Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and Jericho, and the establishment of the Palestinian Authority (PA), these questions have become even sharper. Who occupies what positions of authority in the emerging PA? To what extent will political elites be held accountable, whether through the democratic process (the Cairo Agreement's provisions for an elected Palestinian legislature) or through the mediation of other actors and institutions (a free press, the office of a Palestinian ombudsman, and a watchful and vibrant Palestinian civil society)? How are elite cleavages likely to affect the institutionalization, administrative development, and policy choices of the PA?

Rex Brynen is associate professor of political science at McGill University, Montreal. The author wishes to thank the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Fonds FCAR, McGill University, and the Inter-University Consortium for Arab Studies (Montreal) for support in the research and writing of this article, portions of which will appear in Louis Cantori, ed., The Politics of Inclusion and Exclusion (Boulder: Westview Press, forthcoming.

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The signing of the Oslo Accord between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in September 1993 generated important questions regarding political inclusion and the dynamics of elite formation. With the Cairo Agreement of May 1994, Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and Jericho, and the establishment of the Palestinian Authority (PA), these questions have become even sharper. Who occupies what positions of authority in the emerging PA? To what extent will political elites be held accountable, whether through the democratic process (the Cairo Agreement's provisions for an elected Palestinian legislature) or through the mediation of other actors and institutions (a free press, the office of a Palestinian ombudsman, and a watchful and vibrant Palestinian civil society)? How are elite cleavages likely to affect the institutionalization, administrative development, and policy choices of the PA?

Particular attention has been focused on the personal leadership style of Yasir Arafat, chairman of the PLO and now "President" of the PA. Arafat has been criticized for centralizing decision making, rampant cronyism in the staffing of the Palestinian administration, and allowing the institutions of the PLO and the PA to languish without effective capacity. The centerpiece of the PA-the twenty-four-member "cabinet"- remains incomplete, with several portfolios still unfilled. Uncertain as to how much power they might enjoy (and doubtful about the Oslo process itself), several prominent Palestinian personalities have refused to join. [1] Others, frustrated by their lack of influence over policy, have threatened to resign. [2] Local offices proliferate and compete with one another to claim "official" status and to establish links with external donors. The Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction (PECDAR)-initially established as the primary conduit for the $2.4 billion in development aid pledged by the international community-was first afflicted by tensions between technocrats and political appointees, and now appears increasingly marginalized by the emergence of regular PA ministries. Palestinian administrative confusion and paralysis has further slowed international assistance. Palestinian nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) fear for their autonomy in the face of potential administrative centralization and political co-option; a growing number of NGO activists have essentially given up in frustration. Critics of both Arafat's leadership style and his negotiating tactics have joined together in a loose "democracy movement" calling for fundamental political reform. Meanwhile, the date of promised elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip remains unclear amid stalled Palestinian-Israeli negotiations.

This article will not seek to address all the issues presented above but will explore how analysts of contemporary Palestinian politics might think about them. In particular, it will critically review the existing literature on Palestinian elite formation, and assess its utility for the study of the emerging dynamics of Palestinian self-government.

Conceptualizing Palestinian Elites

Different scholars have understood Palestinian elite types in very different ways. For the purposes of this analysis, however, those views can be grouped into three major categories: primordialist perspectives (emphasizing traditional social formations), social change perspectives (emphasizing the emergence of new social groups), and organizational perspectives (emphasizing the dynamics of Palestinian nationalist mobilization). A fourth category is provided by a statist perspective emphasizing the impact of state institutions.

Primordialist Perspectives

The primordialist perspective argues for continuity in Palestinian politics, suggesting that the underlying elite structure remains, despite the change in outward form, the hamula (clan) and leading notable families. [3] This is true, it has been suggested, not only in the West Bank and Gaza, but also among the exiled leadership of the PLO. [4] The analysis further suggests that regional, religious, and family rivalries remain the primary axes of cleavage within Palestinian politics.

It is difficult to sustain such a perspective in light of the dramatic changes in the economic and political situation of Palestinians during the past century. [5] As elsewhere in the developing world, growing integration into global markets disrupted established patterns of trade and production and generated new ones. In so doing, old social bonds and groups were weakened, while others grew more influential. In Palestine, this effect was compounded by political developments that prior to 1948 led to a decline in the power of rural shaykhs (the consequence of the reforms of the tanzimat period, as well as of growing urbanization); the entrenchment of a class of land-owning urban notables (reinforced by their "capture" of local government councils under the Ottomans, and their subsequent interaction with the British); and the growth in the coastal areas of a professional/entrepreneurial group (sustained by urbanization, trade, and the expansion of small-scale manufacturing). By the latter part of the mandate, urban notables-notably al-Hajj Amin al-Husayni-dominated the nationalist movement.

This elite structure was severely disrupted by the establishment of Israel: Urban notables found their power weakened both by loss of lands and by their political failures, and much of the entrepreneurial elite was exiled. In Gaza, administrative control rested in the hands of Egyptian military authorities, leaving only a narrow supporting role for local elites. In the West Bank, Jordanian rule focused on co-opting individual notables while at the same time fragmenting the notable class as a whole by emphasizing (and manipulating) local interests and rivalries. Although the expansion of education led to the growth of potential middle-class challengers (often supporting pan-Arabist political agendas), this challenge was suppressed by the Hashemite regime whenever necessary. In the refugee camps of Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, some of the pre-1948 elite structure was reproduced, and-to the extent that it provided an immediate social support network- even reinforced. [6] At the same time, however, these were undermined by new structures of economic survival (UNRWA, local labor force participation, migration), which gave ancien elites little material control over their former subordinates. In Lebanon in particular, the establishment of quasi-administrative functions by the PLO after 1969 created new structures, controlled by a new elite, for regulating social behavior and distributing resources. These simultaneously competed with and overlapped previous hierarchies of class and social control. [7] 

With the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza in June 1967, further fragmentary forces were unleashed. Israel sought to make continued use of Jordan's established structures and strategies of social control, often with tacit (and sometimes substantial) Jordanian cooperation. But Israel was less able than Jordan had been to control the changes sustained by shifting patterns of economic production. These included the proletarianization of marginalized peasants and refugee populations, often in the form of casual labor within Israel; continued expansion of education and an educated middle class, and longer-term labor migration outside Palestine (which in turn generated new sources of family income in the form of remittances). All of this further weakened the power of local notables and conservative municipal leaders. In addition to these socioeconomic forces, the rise of Palestinian national- ism and its bloody confrontation with the Jordanian regime in 1970-71 further weakened pro-Hashemite leaders. As the 1976 West Bank municipal elections demonstrated, Palestinian nationalism itself became one of the most important available political resources, allowing its proponents to mobilize mass constituencies and access external (PLO and Arab) support. This created new avenues of elite recruitment-namely, nationalist activism-not wholly dependent on traditional status or control over economic production. [8] Commitment to the nationalist struggle provided a counterweight to the fragmented localism among elites promoted under Jordanian (and, less successfully, under Israeli) rule. At the same time, ideological factionalism among nationalist elites created other important lines of cleavage.

In the 1980s other, largely political, changes further altered this situation. One was the weakening of the nationalist municipal leadership (marked by the fading of the National Guidance Committee [NGC] and by the deportation of Palestinian mayors). Partly because of this and partly because of the loss of much of its territorial base in Lebanon after 1982, Fateh directed increased attention to grass-roots organization in the territories. [9] As a consequence of this inflow of resources and spurred by factional competition, the level of popular organization grew dramatically in the form of student, trade union, and women's organizations. Such organization (and the diffuse local leaderships they spawned) proved far more resistant to Israeli countermeasures than the earlier reliance on a relatively small number of public nationalist figures. In terms of elite types, this form of organization also provided new mechanisms for participation and upward political mobility, both in urban centers and in rural areas and the camps, [10] and would provide much of the organizational underpinning for the intifada. [11] 

Social Change Perspectives

A far more satisfying perspective that accommodates many of the previous objections to a primordialist interpretation stresses not continuity but change. Particular emphasis is placed both on the impact of socioeconomic transformation on Palestinian society and on the particular effects associated with the experience of occupation and diaspora:

The mobilization of Palestinian society by a new elite was made possible by structural changes that had led to the peripheralization of the traditional elite. The three most important structural changes were the dramatic rise of wage labor after 1967, which transfigured a basically peasant society, extensive land confiscations, and the widespread availability of university education after 1972. Each of these developments helped to break traditional patron-client relations that had been the social base of the old elite and paved the way for the rise of a more extensive, better educated, more rural, and nonlanded elite which had gained cohesion in the Palestinian universities. In addition, these developments, and in particular the diminution of the Palestinian peasantry, meant that large segments of the population had, in effect, been cleaved from their social moorings and were, thus, more open for recruitment into new forms of social relations and organizations. [12] 

Politically, these social changes undercut Hashemite influence (tied to the conservative notables) and sustained the emergence of a new Palestinian nationalist leadership. [13] 

Theoretically, some differences exist between scholars who conceptualize this process in terms of modernization (with emphasis on urbanization, education, and political-cultural change), [14] those who underscore changes in economic production, socioeconomic class and class conflict, [15] and those who emphasize the changing political context. Still others have pointed to the importance of generational and elite change, and the emergence under occupation of a new cohort of Palestinian leadership in the territories. [16]

While the examination of Palestinian elite formation in the context of social change is fundamentally important, it still risks missing parts of the picture. Some scholars ("neoprimordialists," for want of a better title) have attacked the dichotomy between "traditional" and "modern" often presumed by the social change perspective on the grounds that it may underestimate the extent to which old social groups (families and clans) reassert their salience despite socioeconomic change through their participation in new patterns of production and organization. As one scholar of Palestinian society under the intifada suggests, "The clan has become a pressure group, proving afresh its ability to influence political and social life in the village," thus increasing the salience and polarization of village clans to new levels. [17] Similarly, regional and other "traditional" lines of cleavage may be accentuated, as elites in different areas compete for scarce resources. [18] 

Gender is another problematic area. The considerable attention paid to the status of women has usually been confined to explicitly feminist analysis. Those who emphasize class struggle tend to gloss over gender differences, while those who emphasize modernization tend to treat women's emancipation as intrinsic to the modernization process. Certainly, socioeconomic change and nationalist struggle seem to have brought new levels of activism by women, especially in the context of the intifada, but few women have been admitted to senior policy- making circles, and the durability of the gains made is uncertain. [19] Indeed, counter to the assumptions of modernization approaches, the experience of many liberation movements is that national emancipation often brings in its wake a redomestication of women. [20]

Finally, while the emergence of a "new middle class" [21] or "pragmatic, pro-PLO urban elite" [22] may be explicable in modernization or class terms, the cleavages within that elite cannot be fully reduced to socio- economic differences: survey data suggest that socioeconomic status is a weak predictor of ideological orientation among Palestinians. [23] As noted earlier, the growth of Palestinian nationalist organization created new paths to positions of social leadership, and upward mobility has been shaped not only by education, class origins, and family connections, but also by individual political strategies and organizational dynamics. In short, elite structure within Palestinian politics is also a product of variables intrinsic to nationalist organization.

Organizational Perspectives

Historically, organizational variables have been particularly important in shaping Palestinian elite formation, cohesion, and cleavage in the diaspora. In the 1970s and 1980s, the PLO and its constituent groups sustained a massive institutional structure, involving at its peak over 20,000 military and civilian personnel, diplomatic offices in almost one hundred countries, and an annual budget well over $200 million. [24] While the external structure of the PLO was weakened substantially by the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, and even more by the suspension of petrodollar funding after the 1990-91 Gulf War, this structure remained substantial: Prior to the signing of the Gaza- Jericho agreement, the PLO employed some 2,300 personnel in Tunis alone, in addition to military cadres in Yemen, Algeria, Libya, and Lebanon, and Palestine Liberation Army (PLA) forces in Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan. Of the some 9,000 Palestinian police and security forces called for by the agreement, up to 7,000 will be recruited from among existing (external) Fateh and PLA personnel. [25] Given the large influx of once- exiled PLO leaders, cadres, and military personnel into Gaza and the West Bank, a full understanding of Palestinian elite formation and interim self-government clearly requires attention to the historical and contemporary dynamics of Palestinian nationalist organization.

The organizational variable most commonly pointed to by scholars of the Palestinian nationalist movement is ideological competition be- tween Palestinian groups. Several analysts have suggested that the PLO's policy process is fundamentally shaped by the interaction of organizational imperatives and centrifugal political pressures. [26] In particular, fears of organizational fragmentation have created incentives for political inclusion and consensual, lowest-common-denominator policy-making. [27] At the same time, efforts to avoid the constraints of consensus-building have spurred Fateh to construct its own mechanisms of control, including patronage and hegemony over the bureaucratic structure of the PLO. [28] 

The rise of the Islamist movement in the 1980s has involved new lines of organizational recruitment, elite selection, and ideological division. [29] In the case of Hamas, for example, many of the founding leaders were of middle-class origin; some were from the 'ulama'. Important avenues of recruitment include mosques and Gaza's Islamic University, and, for organizational resources, the waqf administrations. [30] 

Within the leadership of particular organizations, analysts have high- lighted the importance not only of policy differences, but of generational differences and clique formation. [31] Still others have pointed to tensions between the exile leadership of the PLO and the local nationalist leadership in the territories, particularly in the context of relations between the Palestine National Front, the NGC, and the Fateh/PLO leadership in the 1970s. [32]

With the intifada, differences between "inside" and "outside" received new scrutiny, [33] as did the differences between grass-roots activists, the "organizational leadership" of the various groups, and the intellectual "personalities" in the territories. [34] Much of this literature emphasized the extent to which the senior organizational leadership in the West Bank and Gaza had risen through grass-roots activism (and long periods of imprisonment) rather than social position. [35] 

Finally, the debate on democracy, accountability, corruption, and bureaucratization that began, both inside and outside the territories, in the early 1990s intensified with the transition to self-government. [36] Factionalism-both between organizations and within Fateh in particular- has been aggravated by debates over the peace process and by "turf battles," which have further divided the various nascent ministries within the PA. [37] In particular, there has been considerable rivalry between the various economic portfolios held by Ahmad Qurai' (Economy, and director-general of PECDAR), Nabil Shaath (Planning), Muhammad Zuhdi al-Nashashibi (Finance), and Faruq al-Qaddumi (deputy head of PECDAR). There have also been signs of a power struggle among some Palestinian security organs. [38] 

Statist Perspectives

A final set of potential insights is offered by a statist perspective emphasizing the impact of Israeli policy (in the territories) or Arab host government policies (in the diaspora) on Palestinian organization and hence the emergence of Palestinian elites. This area of scholarship has not been fully developed, but it is implicit in a number of studies. [39]

With the transition to self-government, statist analysis may prove of increasing importance, as the "rules of the game"-constitutional structures, legal rights and prohibitions, electoral systems, election procedures, and so forth-could all have an impact on who can effectively compete for positions of authority. Similarly, the formal allocation of discretionary powers within the PA structures has important implications for elite formation. At present, however, research in this area is limited by the ambiguous, personalized, and often centralized character of political institutions and authority within the PA.

Elite Formation Under Interim Self-Government

Palestinian elite formation has been understood in different ways and indeed must be understood in different ways. In other words, the impact of traditional patterns of social organization, occupation and socioeconomic change, and the organizational dynamics of the Palestinian nationalist movement operate simultaneously, generating differential paths of elite recruitment and multiple lines of elite cleavage. Moreover, the future emergence of formal state structures may complicate this picture still further.

Examination of the unfolding structure of Palestinian political elites provides empirical confirmation of this point (see table 1). [40] At the apex of Palestinian self-government is Yasir Arafat. Although a member of a junior branch of the al-Husayni family, Arafat's position of leader- ship is largely a function of his position as co-founder and leader of Fateh. The members of the PA appointed (or apparently appointed) are hardly reflective of the broad scope of Palestinian society in a statistical sense: there is only one woman, few members from rural or refugee backgrounds, disproportionate representation of middle-class professionals and traditional elites, and no members of the opposition. (Most of these characteristics are, of course, true of cabinets around the world.) At the same time, the cabinet's composition clearly reflects some effort at balanced representation of different constituencies, and certainly demonstrates a variety of paths to inclusion within the political elite.


table 1.png

Organizationally, the bulk of the members are either formal Fateh cadres or pro-Fateh independents (it should be remembered that repeated polls have given Fateh a majority or large plurality in the territories). There are two representatives from the Palestine Democratic Union (FIDA) and one from the Popular Struggle Front (PSF). [41] Five members of the PA are on the PLO Executive Committee, and many of the remainder are members of the PLO Central Council or Palestine National Council. [42] Several others head or have headed important professional organizations in the West Bank or Gaza. [43] Geographically, the cabinet is fairly evenly split between long-term exiles and local leaders (or recent deportees) from the territories. Gaza and the southern and central parts of the West Bank (including Jerusalem) are represented. Socioeconomically, the cabinet consists of a mix of individuals from well-established notable families (e.g., al-Nashashibi, Frayj, al-Masri, al- Husayni, Erakat) and those from the "new middle class." Many of those from notable families, however, also have long histories of nationalist activism. [44] 

Similar variation is evident among the senior police and security officials appointed by Arafat, who comprise a mix of previously-deported Fateh organizers and senior officers from Fateh's (external) military wing, Fateh/PLO covert security and intelligence organs, and regular PLA career officers. [45] PECDAR-supposedly the primary conduit for aid for the territories-is staffed by a combination of internal and external political appointees and technocrats.

Counterelites-represented by groups excluded from the current PA (the PFLP, DFLP, Communists, Hamas, and the remnants of Jordan's traditional supporters)-are also drawn from diverse social and political backgrounds. If the proposed elections for a Palestinian legislature proceed as planned, these individuals may be drawn into more formalized political roles in the emerging Palestinian political system.

Conclusion: The Challenges of Political Management

The composition of the emerging Palestinian political elite is still in a state of flux. However, examination of this elite suggests a multiplicity of recruitment paths and social backgrounds. While not all social groups are represented, the elite is far broader than the usual categorizations of traditional/modern or social class, and organizational factors are shown to play a key role in shaping the emergence of political leadership. This underscores the extent to which elite formation in contemporary Palestine cannot be understood monocausally but must be approached in a holistic and nuanced manner.

Taken together, the various factors sustain a fairly heterogeneous elite structure, characterized by a multiplicity of sources, overlapping "elite-types," and multiple potential lines of elite cleavage. This in turn raises the question of how, in the context of so much potential elite fragmentation, a sufficient level of cohesion can be maintained to allow effective Palestinian governance.

One obvious answer has been Palestinian nationalism, which provides unifying goals and a common code of discourse for much of the elite. But nationalist discourse has been under increasing challenge from Islamist forces, which privilege a rather different frame of reference. Moreover, nationalist discourse itself contains wide variations, ranging from militant rejectionism to pragmatic accommodationism, which have only been aggravated by the current peace process. Finally, Palestinian nationalist "unity" has often been defined in opposition to an occupying Israeli "other." The history of national liberation movements around the world suggests that anticolonial unity fades and fragmentation increases as movements pass from tasks of resistance to those of governance. The same holds true of Palestinian self-government as it confronts not Israel but questions of accountability, development priorities, and practical performance.

Strong, charismatic leadership represents a second possible mechanism for managing the dangers of political fragmentation. Arafat's "charismatic autocracy" has played a key role in maintaining the cohesion of the mainstream Palestinian nationalist movement in the past, but today it is clear that whatever reserves he may still have in the Palestinian polity are rapidly being depleted.

Yet another possible response to these dilemmas is political democracy insofar as it helps legitimize both the structures of governance and those who occupy them. Democratic political institutions already exist at the level of civil society, and democratic mechanisms have been built into the Oslo and Cairo agreements in the form of legislative elections. Given the state of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations at the time of writing, however, these presently seem a rather distant promise, and the experience of other decolonized societies also suggests the difficulties that new democracies can face.

In this context of high degrees of elite differentiation, political uncertainty, and the limits of ideology and charisma, control over material resources-the ability to co-opt through patronage, financial rewards, and contingent political inclusion-may prove an attractive alternative. Analytically, the contours and dynamics of such a neopatrimonial strategy of political management will be explored in a forthcoming article in these pages. Practically, many of the accoutrements of neopatrimonial politics-personalism, cronyism, rent-seeking, corruption, and weak political institutionalization-are already evident in aspects of the cur- rent transition to interim Palestinian self-government.


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Rex Brynen is associate professor of political science at McGill University, Montreal. The author wishes to thank the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Fonds FCAR, McGill University, and the Inter-University Consortium for Arab Studies (Montreal) for support in the research and writing of this article, portions of which will appear in Louis Cantori, ed., The Politics of Inclusion and Exclusion (Boulder: Westview Press, forthcoming.

1. Perhaps the most notable person to decline a "ministerial" appointment is Hanan Ashrawi, who instead has devoted her attentions to the "Independent Committee for Citizens" created as a Palestinian ombudsman to oversee self-government. Others turning down offers of appointment reportedly include Haydar 'Abd al-Shafi (former head of the Palestinian team to the bilateral negotiations, and a critic of the current peace process), Mahmud Darwish (poet and former independent member of the PLO Executive Committee), and senior Fateh leaders Faruq al-Qaddumi (the PLO's "foreign minister") and Mahmud 'Abbas (a member of the PLO Executive Committee and an architect of the Oslo Accord). Associated Press, 11 May 1994; United Press International, 11 May 1994.

2. Noteworthy among these is Ahmad Qurai' (Abu Ala'), who tendered and then withdrew a rather ambiguous resignation in protest over a lack of political backing from Arafat and turf battles with other PA ministers. Two ministers associated with the Palestinian Democratic Union (FIDA) have also been under pressure from their party to resign their positions, on the grounds that they have been unable to influence PA policy in desired ways,

3. See, for example, Aryeh Yodfat and Yuval Arnon Ohanna, PLO Strategy and Tactics (London: Croom Helm, 1981), pp. 68-72.

4. Donna Robinson Divine, "The Dialectics of Palestinian Politics," in Joel Migdal et al., Palestinian Society and Politics (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1980), pp. 227-28. Divine does not attribute this to some unchanging characteristic of Palestinian political culture, however, but rather to the particular conditions of dependency engendered by exile and occupation.

5. For an overview, see Migdal et al., Palestinian Society and Politics, Part I; and Baruch Kimmerling and Joel Migdal, Palestinians: The Making of a People (New York: The Free Press, 1993).

6. Shafeeq Ghabra, "Palestinians in Kuwait: The Family and the Politics of Survival," JPS 17, no. 2 (Winter 1988), pp. 62-83.

7. On this process, see Rosemary Sayigh, Palestinians: From Peasants to Revolutionaries (London: Zed Books, 1979), pp. 118-24, 164-71, 177-81; Julie Peteet, "Socio-Political Integration and Conflict Resolution in Palestinian Camps in Lebanon," JPS 16, no. 2 (Winter 1987), pp. 29-44; Rex Brynen, "The Politics of Exile: The Palestinians in Lebanon," Journal of Refugee Studies 3, no. 3 (Fall 1990).

8. Having said this, higher socioeconomic class clearly enabled higher degrees of education and provided readier access to influential social networks-both contributing factors to effective political leadership. Consequently, (upper-) middleclass activists rather than peasants or casual workers were often the beneficiaries.

9. Previously, the Communists had been the most active organizers at this level, later joined by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP).

10. This is evident from studies of the backgrounds of both administrative detainees and deportees during the intifada. Jad Isaac found that, among his fellow detainees at the Ansar III camp, 71 percent came from refugee camps or rural areas; 48 percent had average monthly incomes of 100 JDs or less; and 29 percent were unskilled laborers. Jad Isaac, "A Socio-economic Study of Administrative Detainees at Ansar 3," JPS 18, no. 4 (Summer 1989), pp. 102-109. Another survey of "leading activists" of the Unified National Leadership of the Uprising found that over a third were from rural or refugee camp origins, and that only 5 percent or so were from notable families. Meir Litvak, "Palestinian Leadership in the Territories During the Intifada, 1987-1992," Orient 34, no. 2 (June 1993), p. 206.

11. Joost Hiltermann, Behind the Intifada: Labor and Women's Movements in the Occupied Territories (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991).

12. Glenn Robinson, "The Role of the Professional Middle Class in the Mobilization of Palestinian Society: The Medical and Agricultural Committees," International Journal of Middle East Studies 25, no. 2 (May 1993), p. 301. I would like to thank Glenn Robinson for his insightful comments on an earlier version of this paper.

13. Moshe Ma'oz, Palestinian Leadership on the West Bank: The Changing Role of the Mayors under Jordan and Israel (London: Frank Cass, 1984); Emile Sahliyeh, In Search of Leadership: West Bank Politics since 1967 (Washington: The Brookings Institution. 1988).

14. Ma'oz, Palestinian Leadership in the West Bank, pp. 127-30; Robinson, "The Role of the Professional Middle Class in the Mobilization of Palestinian Society," pp. 301-302, 321-22.

15. Jamil Hilal, al-Diffa al-gharbiyya:l-tarkib al-ijtinla'i wa al-iqtisadi [The West Bank: Social and economic structure] (Beirut: PLO Research Centre, 1975); Salim Tamari, "West Bank Politics and Social Forces," MERIP Reports 100/101 (October/December 1981); Pamela Ann Smith, Palestine and the Palestinians (New York. St. Martin's, 1984).

16. This is the assumption of John Wallach and Janet Wallach, The New Palestinians: The Emerging Generation of Leaders (Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing, 1992). For a critique of the view that the intifada radically altered Palestinian elite structures, see Ali Jarbawi, "Palestinian Elites in the OccupiedTerritories: Stability and Change through the Intifada," in Jamal Nassar and Roger Heacock, eds., Intifada: Palestine at the Crossroads (New York: Praeger, 1990).

17. Majdi al-Malki, "Clans et partis politiques dans trois villages palestiniens," Revue d'etudes Palestiniennes 52 (Summer 1994), p. 126.

18. See, for example, the discussion on Gaza-West Bank tensions in Sara Roy, "Gaza: New Dynamics of Civic Disintegration," JPS 17, no. 4 (Summer 1993), pp. 27-28. For an interesting recent attempt to think through how Gaza/West Bank differences might be accommodated in the structures of an emerging Palestinian political system, see Khalil alShiqaqi, al-Diffa al-gharbiyya wa qita' ghazza: alalaqat al-siyasiyya wa al-idariyya al-niustaqbaliyya [The West Bank and Gaza Strip: The future political and administrative relations] (Jerusalem: PASSIA, 1994).

19. On the current situation, see Rita Giacaman and Penny Johnson, "Searching for Strategies: The Palestinian Women's Movement in the New Era," Middle East Report 186 (January-February 1994); Sahar Khalifeh, "The Women's Movement," in Whither Palestine? (Washington, DC: Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine, 1994); United Nations Development Program, At the Crossroads: Challenges and Choices for Palestinian Women in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (New York: UNDP, 1994).

20. See Maxine Molyneux, "Mobilization without Emancipation? Women's Interests, State, and Revolution," in Richard Fagen, Carmen Diana Deere, and Juan Luis Coraggio, Transition and Development: Problems of Third World Socialism (New York Monthly Review Press, 1986); Gay Seidman, "No Freedom without the Women: Mobilization and Gender in South Africa, 1970-1992," Signs 18, no. 2 (1993).

21. Robinson, "The Role of the Professional Middle Class," p. 322.

22. Sahliyeh, In Search of Leadership, p. 163.

23. See, for example, Michael Inbar and Ephraim Yuchtman-Yaar, "The People's Image of Conflict Resolution," Journal of Conflict Resolution 33, no. 1 (March 1989); Marianne Heiberg and Geir Ovensen, Palestinian Society in Gaza, West Bank and Arab Jerusalem: A Survey of Living Conditions. (Oslo: FAFO, 1993), pp. 273-75.

24. Cheryl Rubenberg, The Palestine Liberation Organization: Its Institutional Infrastructure (Belmont, MA: Institute for Arab Studies, 1983); Adam Zagorin, "Auditing the PLO,' in Augustus Richard Norton and Martin H. Greenberg, eds.. The International Relations of the Palestine Liberation Organization (Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1989).

25. Agreement on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area, Annex I: Protocol Concerning Withdrawal of Israeli Military Forces and Security Arrangements, Article III.4.a. In fact, the number of Palestinian police may now be as high as 15,000; Associated Press, 27 January 1995. Several hundred additional Fateh military cadres may be transferred from Lebanon to Gaza in early 1995.

26. See, for example, the emphasis on political/ideological factionalism in Helena Cobban, The Palestinian Liberation Organization: People, Power and Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984). On the impact of factional competition with Palestinian mass organizations in the West Bank and Gaza, see Hiltermann, Behind the Intifada.

27. Aaron David Miller, The PLO and the Politics of Survival (New York: Praeger, 1983); and Shaul Mishal, The PLO under 'Arafat Between Gun and Olive Branch (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1986).

28. Rex Brynen, Sanctuary and Survival: The PLO in Lebanon (Boulder: Westview Press, 1990), pp. 174-75.

29. Ziad Abu-Amr, Islamic Fundamentalisnm in the West Bank and Gaza: Muslini Brotherhood and IslanuicJihad (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994).

30. Litvak, "Palestinian Leadership in the Territories," pp. 209-11. As Litvak notes, the socioeconomic and educational profile of Islamist activist leaders in Palestine echoes that of Islamic militants elsewhere in the region; see, for example, Saad Eddin Ibrahim, "Anatomy of Egypt's Militant Islamic Groups: Methodological Notes and Preliminary Findings," International Journal of Middle East Studies 12, no. 4 (November 1980).

31. On Fateh, see Cobban, The Palestinian Liberation Organization; on the PFLP, see As'ad AbuKhalil, "Internal Contradictions inthe PFLP: Decision Making and Policy Orientation," Middle East Journal 41, no. 3 (Summer 1987).

32. Ibrahim Dakkak, "Back to Square One: A Study in the Re-emergence of the Palestinian Identity in the West Bank, 1967-1980," in Alexander Scholch, ed., Palestinians Over the Green Line: Studies on the Relations between Palestinians on Both Sides of the 1949 Armistice Lines Since 1967 (London: Ithaca Press, 1983). Because of the disproportionate weight of leftist organizations in the PNF and NGC, and because of a concern over the loss of central control over actions in the territories, Arafat was suspicious of both groups. Later, conservative notables (like Ilyas Fray) and external resources (through the PLO-Jordanian Joint Committee) would be used in an attempt to reassert control.

33. The differences are emphasized by Ze'ev Schiff and Ehud Ya'ari, Intifada: The Palestinian Uprising Israel's Third Front (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990). For a more nuanced view, see Helena Cobban, "The PLO and the Intifada," Middle East Journal 44, no. 2 (Spring 1990). On inside-outside relations and the PLO's institutional development, see Jamil Hilal, "PLO Institutions: The Challenge Ahead,"JPS 23, no. 1 (Autumn 1993), pp. 46-60.

34. AliJarbawi, al-Intifada wa al-qiyadat al-siyasiyya fi al-diffa al-gharbiyya wa-qita' ghazza: bahth alnukhba al-siyasiyya [The intifada and the political leadership in the West Bank and Gaza Strip: A study of political elites] (Beirut: Dar al-Tali'a, 1989); Ziad Abu Amr, 'Notes on Palestinian Political Leadership," Middle East Report 154 (September-October 1988).

35. See, for example, Hillel Frisch, "The Palestinian Movement inthe Territories," Middle Eastern Studies 29, no. 2 (April 1993), pp. 257-62; and al-Malki, "Clans et partis dans trois villages palestiniens," p. 120. Some 80,000 persons were held in Israeli detention between 1988 and 1994.

36. For a recent discussion by the Secretary of the "Palestinian Independent Commission for Citizens," see As'ad 'Abd al-Rahman, "al-Nidal al-filastini wa al-dimuqratiyya," [The Palestinian struggle and democracy], paper presented to the World Affairs Council conference on "Democracy in the Arab World," Amman, July 1994.

37. See Sara Roy, "The Seeds of Chaos, and of Night: The Gaza Strip after the Agreement," JPS 18, no. 3 (Spring 1994), pp. 85-89.

38. In particular, between "preventative security" and "presidential security" officers. Palestine Report 7, no. 36 (4 September 1994), p. 16.

39. See in particular Laurie Brand, Palestinians in the Arab World: Institution Building and the Search for State (New York: Columbia University Press, 1988). Also relevant are several of the analyses of the interplay between Israeli policy and Palestinian organization under occupation presented above in the previous section on "organizational perspectives."

40. It is indicative of the current confusion of Palestinian self-government that different sources produce different lists of the PA cabinet members. Jerusalem-based Faysal al-Husayni was named to the cabinet but not sworn in to protect the status of Orient House. Munib al-Masri was not sworn in and is inactive as a cabinet minister, devoting his efforts instead to private sector lobbying and a major Palestinian investment conglomerate. Tayyib 'Abd al-Rahim is"secretary" ofthe PA but does not formally occupy a cabinet seat. Rabbi Moshe Hirsch of the anti-Zionist Naturei Karta sect has been cited by some sources (including himself) as PA 'Minister of Jewish Affairs." Finally. several officials have used the unofficial title of "Minister of State" (jamil Tarifi, "coordination with Israel"; Hakam Balawi, "security," 'Abd al-Rahim Ahmad,"presidential affairs").

41. The FIDA members are 'Azmi al-Shu'aybi (a deportee and former senior organizer in the West Bank) and (FIDA leader) Yasir 'Abid Rabbu; Samir Ghawshah is from the PSF. Arafat was unsuccessful in enticing members of the PFLP, DFLP, Palestinian People's Party (PPP, the former Communist party), or Hamas into his cabinet, but is probably holding seats open so that he may be able to do so in the future.

42. Arafat, al-Nashashibi, 'Amr, 'Abid Rabbu, and Ghawshah are all PLO Executive Committee members.

43. These include al-Shu'aybi (Dentists' Association, Ramallah), Fray] Abu-Miydan (Bar Association, Gaza), Zakariya al-Agha (Arab Medical Association, Gaza), and Riyad al-Za'nun (Higher Health Council, Gaza). Tahbub headed the Higher Islamic Council.

44. For example, Faysal al-Husayni-a member of the Husayni clan, and son of 'Abd al-Qadir al Husayni (a nationalist hero killed in 1948)-has spent years in prison and under house arrest. He was an activist with the General Union of Palestinian Students in the late 1950s and early 1960s; worked at the Jerusalem office of the PLO when it opened in 1964; and was a Fateh organizer in the West Bank after 1967. See his interview in JPS 18, no. 4 (Summer 1989), pp. 4, 8.

45. The PA has separate structures for public security, civil police, civil defense, presidential security, "preventative security," and intelligence

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