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06 May: Tair Kaminer starts her fifth spell in gaol. Send messages of support via Reuven Kaminer

04 May: Against the resort to denigration of Israel’s critics


23 Dec: JfJfP policy statement on BDS

14 Nov: Letter to the Guardian about the Board of Deputies

11 Nov: UK ban on visiting Palestinian mental health workers

20 Oct: letter in the Guardian

13 Sep: Rosh Hashanah greetings

21 Aug: JfJfP on Jeremy Corbyn

29 July: Letter to Evening Standard about its shoddy reporting

24 April: Letter to FIFA about Israeli football

15 April: Letter re Ed Miliband and Israel

11 Jan: Letter to the Guardian in response to Jonathan Freedland on Charlie Hebdo


15 Dec: Chanukah: Celebrating the miracle of holy oil not military power

1 Dec: Executive statement on bill to make Israel the nation state of the Jewish people

25 Nov: Submission to All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism

7 Sept: JfJfP Executive statement on Antisemitism

3 Aug: Urgent disclaimer

19 June Statement on the three kidnapped teenagers

25 April: Exec statement on Yarmouk

28 Mar: EJJP letter in support of Dutch pension fund PGGM's decision to divest from Israeli banks

24 Jan: Support for Riba resolution

16 Jan: EJJP lobbies EU in support of the EU Commission Guidelines, Aug 2013–Jan 2014


29 November: JfJfP, with many others, signs a "UK must protest at Bedouin expulsion" letter

November: Press release, letter to the Times and advert in the Independent on the Prawer Plan

September: Briefing note and leaflet on the Prawer Plan

September: JfJfP/EJJP on the EU guidelines with regard to Israel

14th June: JfJfP joins other organisations in protest to BBC

2nd June: A light unto nations? - a leaflet for distribution at the "Closer to Israel" rally in London

24 Jan: Letter re the 1923 San Remo convention

18 Jan: In Support of Bab al-Shams

17 Jan: Letter to Camden New Journal about Veolia

11 Jan: JfJfP supports public letter to President Obama

Comments in 2012 and 2011



Who carries the flag for Palestinian liberation?

Masked Palestinian youths at the funeral of a 13 year-old boy killed in clashes in Bethlehem. Some carry knives and stun grenades. “There is evidence that militancy is gaining traction, and Palestinian political stagnation has created a vacuum for disillusioned individuals or fringe elements to fill with violence.” Photo by Harriet Salem/VICE News

Revitalising Palestinian Nationalism

By Perry Cammack, Nathan Brown, Marwan Muasher,  Carnegie

June 2017


Fifty years after the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, the Palestinian national movement seems to be at a crossroads. Repeated efforts to negotiate a two-state solution have faltered, and the traditional instruments of Palestinian nationalism—the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Fatah, and, since 1994, the Palestinian Authority (PA)—face crises of confidence.

While the current path is likely to lead to continued occupation, settlement expansion, and further internal division, the strategic alternatives could unravel Palestinian institutional and diplomatic achievements, with no certainty of success. A coherent strategy is needed, along with a new generation of leaders that can stem the political ruptures and inject new life into Palestinian institutions.


The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace recently conducted a survey of fifty-eight selected Palestinian leaders in various fields. As expected, participants view the Israeli occupation and settlement activity as critical impediments to Palestinian sovereignty. However, they are equally disturbed about internal and social divisions. In particular, the West Bank–Gaza split is seen as a massive barrier to fulfilling Palestinian aspirations.

A majority of respondents are pessimistic about the future and believe that the two-state solution is no longer viable. Youth are especially inclined to believe the Oslo Accords have not served Palestinian interests, and a significant number view armed resistance as a more effective method for advancing Palestinian nationalism. Carnegie also found a dwindling faith in Palestinian political institutions. Meanwhile, there is a growing focus on the importance of civil society and educational institutions.


In recent decades, most Palestinian national institutions have been organized around the assumption that they would eventually assume control of a sovereign state. But with Palestinians increasingly sceptical of the two-state solution, alternatives have emerged as plausible paths forward. Each has shown signs of percolation among grassroots actors, but none enjoys, nor is likely to enjoy, the full backing of the Ramallah-based leadership.

Binationalism. Public support for binational proposals, in which Palestinians and Israelis would share a single state, remains relatively low; and advocates have yet to articulate a viable strategy to achieve that vision. However, given the emerging Palestinian demographic majority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, binational options may become more appealing in the years ahead.

Rights-based approaches. There are indications that approaches seeking greater legal protections for Palestinian human and civil rights are gaining traction; they encompass various measures and tactics—from the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement to international legal instruments to nonviolent resistance. But a sustainable civil disobedience campaign would be difficult to organize and could spin out of control without a national consensus, energetic leadership, and strong discipline.

Armed resistance. Armed resistance, which is seen in Israel as synonymous with terrorism, is the most radical approach. The second intifada left thousands dead and was catastrophic to Palestinian aspirations. However, there is evidence that militancy is gaining traction, and Palestinian political stagnation has created a vacuum for disillusioned individuals or fringe elements to fill with violence.


Palestinian political and cultural identity and the perceived ideal of Palestinian unity still seem to resonate strongly, but the Palestinian people are dispersed both politically and geographically, complicating institutional renewal efforts.
While the PLO is weak, Palestinian interlocutors consistently view the entity as vital, and many believe it is key to the rejuvenation of the Palestinian national project. The PA has been atrophying for the last decade and today struggles to provide public services and remain solvent. It has failed to cultivate a new generation of talent, and there are unmistakable signs of brain drain.

Fatah has lost its historical sense of mission and functions as a patronage network rather than a political party.

Palestinian factions, too, face daunting challenges. Fatah has lost its historical sense of mission after decades in power and functions as a patronage network rather than a political party. Hamas faces even deeper problems: the absence of strategy, its weakness in the West Bank and inability to govern Gaza, its failure to provide a genuine resistance option, and its status as an international pariah.

Fatah and Hamas have agreed, with Western support, to a de facto partition of Palestine, which has allowed each to become deeply entrenched in its respective territory. There is a strong view among Palestinians that this rivalry divides the Palestinian people and has contributed to the decline in their institutions.

While Palestinian factions have lost their ability to appeal to younger generations, the undercurrents that led to their creation remain a powerful presence in society. The formal structures that embody the Palestinian national identity are declining, but the identity itself remains strong.

Furthermore, there are signs of dynamism at the subnational level. Unions, student groups, and other civil society actors have exhibited vibrant internal politics and engaging younger leaders, who may be able to revitalize Palestinian politics amid a pending generational change in authority.

A Palestinian woman carrying national and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine flags face Palestinian riot police blocking the road during a rally in the West Bank city of Ramallah, September 2013. Nasser Nasser/AP

DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT, Revitalizing Palestinian Nationalism,  here, pdf file


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