Fatah from Below: The Clash of Generations in Palestine

Journal article

Høigilt, Jacob (2015) Fatah from Below: The Clash of Generations in Palestine, British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 43 (4): 456–471.

Read the article here (Open Access)

Dominated by a Fatah/Palestinian National Authority coalition, West Bank politics is characterized by authoritarianism, factionalism and an accommodating policy vis-à-vis the Israeli occupier. These features are prominent parts of what Hisham Sharabi called neopatriarchy, a dysfunctional political system that leaves societies internally repressive and externally weak, marginalizing the young and accommodating colonial interests. The resulting alienation and dissatisfaction among young Palestinians have led to two kinds of reaction that bear on the Palestinian–Israeli conflict: a well-organized but leaderless popular resistance, and destructive, spontaneous outbursts of violence. The onus is on the elite to reform the political culture, as liberation from Israeli occupation will not by itself improve the dysfunctional organization of West Bank politics.

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