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Palestinian Society and Politics

Palestinian Society and Politics

Joel S. Migdal
Gabriel Baer
Donna Robinson Divine
Mark Heller
Ylana N. Miller
Shaul Mishal
Shimon Shamir
Kenneth W. Stein
Rachelle Taqqu
Copyright Date: 1980
Pages: 308
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  • Book Info
    Palestinian Society and Politics
    Book Description:

    Initially published in Moscow in 1950 following the author's death, this book contains the first chapters of a large monograph Krylov planned entitled The foundations of physical statistics," his doctoral thesis on "The processes of relaxation of statistical systems and the criterion of mechanical instability," and a small paper entitled "On the description of exhaustively complete experiments."

    Originally published in 1980.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5447-9
    Subjects: Sociology, Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Maps, Figures, and Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. Contributors
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  6. Book I: The Effects of Regime Policies on Social Cohesion and Fragmentation

    • Introduction
      (pp. 3-7)

      In the wake of the third Arab-Israeli war in 1967, the Palestinian Arabs catapulted into public view and consciousness throughout the world and have remained highly visible ever since. The period since those fateful six days in June has also generated a wealth of new literature on the Palestinians. Despite the outpouring of new books and articles, however, there has tended to be a reiteration of the same two themes that have dominated literature on the Palestinians since the 1930s.

      A first theme has been the confrontation of Palestinian Arabs with Jewish settlers in Palestine since the beginning of the...

    • CHAPTER 1 The Two Faces of Ottoman Rule: Palestinian Society before World War I
      (pp. 9-17)

      By the early decades of the nineteenth century, conditions in the provinces of the Ottoman Empire that constituted historic Palestine had deteriorated badly. The effects of all three governmental policies—security, investment, and alliances—were to make life precarious and to drive communities to be inward oriented. The security policy of the Empire, resulting from its low level of capabilities, was to provide as few police and military forces as possible while still maintaining Ottoman suzerainty. The small number of billeted soldiers did not (and probably could not) control the wanton violence that permeated the area.¹

      One old Arab proverb...

    • CHAPTER 2 Direct Contact with the West: The British Mandate
      (pp. 19-32)

      A major effect of British rule in the period between the world wars was to intensify and institutionalize many of the patterns begun in the Ottoman period. The Arab population swelled, movement to cities and the western portion of the country grew, and more comprehensive, coherent stratification patterns predominated as people became more and more interdependent. At the same time, new policy orientations by the British, particularly in the realm of investment policies (including regulations relating to Zionist land-buying and settlement), brought new Arab elites into existence by the 1940s. New bases for social institutionsandcleavages among Palestinian Arabs...

    • CHAPTER 3 Dispersal and Annexation: Jordanian Rule
      (pp. 33-43)

      The period of violence that began in 1947 and culminated in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War was a major turning point for Palestinian Arab society; and, yet, there were critical elements of that society that displayed surprising continuity in the following decades, despite the massive upheaval. Given the challenges Palestinians were to face in the post-1948 era, the most notable among the continuities was the persistent social fragmentation.

      Since the latter part of the nineteenth century, Palestinians had been experiencing an increasingly interactive society. Village autarchy and inward-oriented peasants had been fading into history. Despite the new socioeconomic ties forged in...

    • CHAPTER 4 Israeli Military Rule: Continuity at the Macro-Level
      (pp. 45-53)

      As in 1917 and in 1948, war brought social and personal trauma to the Palestinians, as well as a new and uncomfortable political status. Although military operations were minimal in the West Bank during the June 1967 War, a new refugee problem was created during and immediately following the fighting. Again, estimates of the actual numbers fleeing the West Bank vary widely, but we can say that roughly 200,000 people left during and just after the War. It is clear that the West Bank population was reduced substantially, probably by between one-quarter and one-fifth to a total of about 665,000.¹...

    • CHAPTER 5 The Impact on Stratification of Employment in Israel: Change at the Micro-Level
      (pp. 54-77)

      By 1967, an apparent contradiction had come to characterize Palestinian society on the West Bank. Despite increasing physical mobility and higher levels of education¹—qualities often associated with a rapidly developing society—West Bank economic life was still that of a primarily low-technology, agricultural society. Agriculture was the sector of direct employment for about half the population, and another fifth worked in agricultural services and trade. Even in those areas of the West Bank that were classified as urban, one-fifth of the households engaged in farming.² In 1967, for example, Nablus, the city with the highest standard of living in...

    • Conclusion
      (pp. 78-87)

      In a world that has increasingly valued “political centralization” and “national integration,” Palestinian society has remained diffuse and fragmented. “The Palestinian Arabs, especially villagers and small-town dwellers,” write Dodd and Barakat, “are person-oriented, and community-oriented, and family-oriented. Outside these spheres, they feel lost.” They add, “As a result, in time of disaster, there is no other decisionmaking group except the family.”¹

      Much of the diffuseness and fragmentation has stemmed directly from dispersal and statelessness since 1948, but these characteristics were already evident during the struggle for independence and against partition during the Mandate. A strong, centralized, and integrated society, based...

    • APPENDIX Field Research in an Occupied Territory
      (pp. 88-96)
  7. Book II: Studies in Continuity and Change under Four Regimes

    • Introduction
      (pp. 99-100)

      Palestine has been in the grip of turbulent changes ever since the middle of the nineteenth century. These changes have come partly from the catastrophic wars that have plagued the country in the twentieth century, much as in the past. These recent wars, however, have taken place in the context of other powerful forces—the spread of capitalism from Western Europe, the clash of two nationalist movements, and the rule of four different regimes (five, counting Egypt’s rule of the Gaza Strip) in this century alone.

      The new forces of change have affected every aspect of Palestinian Arab life, but...

    • Part One: The Palestinian Village

      • CHAPTER 1 The Office and Functions of the Village Mukhtar
        (pp. 103-123)
        Gabriel Baer

        The office ofmukhtarwas first established by the Ottoman Law of Vilayets of 1864.¹ According to this law, every group of people (sinif) in a village was to elect two mukhtars, but a group of less than twenty houses was entitled to elect only one. The term sinif does not specify the character of these groups, which means that the Ottoman legislator intended the existing traditional groups to be represented by the holders of the new office. These were thehamulas(clans) and religious communities. Though this was contrary to the territorial character of the Law of Vilayets, the...

      • CHAPTER 2 Administrative Policy in Rural Palestine: The Impact of British Norms on Arab Community Life, 1920-1948
        (pp. 124-145)
        Ylana N. Miller

        In 1920 the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine gave international recognition to the British presence in that country. It also formulated contradictory imperatives that would hamper the development of a unitary state and lead to severe imbalances in communal growth. The difficulties were partially inherent in the mandate system itself and thus were shared with other countries in the Fertile Crescent. In part they were peculiar to Palestine, which was singled out as the site of a Jewish national home.

        Palestine entered the Mandate with a history and demographic character that resembled those of surrounding areas. Its population underwent...

      • CHAPTER 3 West Bank Refugees Between Camp and Society
        (pp. 146-166)
        Shimon Shamir

        Becoming a refugee implies rejection by one society from which one has fled; remaining a refugee implies nonacceptance by another society in which one has sought refuge. The present article focuses on the latter conditions not with the intention of downgrading the import of the circumstances of becoming a refugee, but because it was these conditions that this author could observe directly and study subsequent to the June 1967 War.¹

        The study was undertaken in Jalazun, an average-size camp of about 4,000 persons. It is situated three miles north of Ramallah. Economically, Jalazun is closely linked to the nearby town...

    • Part Two: Palestinian Urban Elites

      • CHAPTER 4 Conflictual Pressures and Cooperative Interests: Observations on West Bank-Amman Political Relations, 1949-1967
        (pp. 169-184)
        Shaul Mishal

        The new political order that emerged in the territory of mandatory Palestine after the 1948 War afforded the Jewish community in Palestine sovereign status and the Emirate of Transjordan political authority for its independence. The war, the movement of the Palestinian population to the West Bank, the control of the region by the Jordanian Army (the Arab Legion), and its annexation to Jordan in April 1950, transformed Palestinian-Jordanian interstate relations into intrastate relations. Jordan became a dualistic society with two main political communities: Palestinian and Transjordanian.

        Annexation tripled the population under Jordan’s rule. In 1948 Transjordan’s population was almost 400,000;...

      • CHAPTER 5 Politics and Social Change in the West Bank Since 1967
        (pp. 185-211)
        Mark Heller

        At the conclusion of the June War in 1967, the political elite of the West Bank (those preeminent in its public affairs and its interactions with outside forces) still consisted largely of notables drawn from the historically prominent families that had long dominated Palestinian politics. The basis of state power, however, had changed significantly from the mandatory period. In the years 1947-1949, the elite had been reduced substantially—in overall numbers, in the economic resources at their disposal, and in the scope of their influence beyond their home bases. And in the two decades of Jordanian rule, the West Bank...

      • CHAPTER 6 The Dialectics of Palestinian Politics
        (pp. 212-230)
        Donna Robinson Divine

        Few people seriously question the value of political independence. What is debated is the nature of the problems engendered by its absence. Various authors have argued that political subordination cultivates violence, social and economic dependency, or ethnic and tribal fragmentation.¹

        Given the historical record, it makes sense to begin an analysis of Palestinian society by examining the effects of conquest and political dependence. We want to establish the connection between these critical elements of the society and the particular texture of its politics. In spite of the semantic problems surrounding the term “society,” there are ways for us to learn...

    • Part Three: Modes of Interaction between Elites and Masses

      • CHAPTER 7 Legal Protection and Circumvention of Rights for Cultivators in Mandatory Palestine
        (pp. 233-260)
        Kenneth W. Stein

        In the immediate wake of communal violence that plagued Palestine in August 1929, High Commissioner Sir John Chancellor, himself favorably disposed to Arab claims to Palestine, succinctly defined the intermediary role His Majesty’s Government was playing between Arab and Jew. He said that “there is a tendency here to regard the Government as sort of umpire and scorer, trying to hold the balance between the two races, noting when one scores off the other, and regarding it as only fair that the next point in the game should be scored by the race that lost the preceding one.”¹

        The general...

      • CHAPTER 8 Peasants into Workmen: Internal Labor Migration and the Arab Village Community under the Mandate
        (pp. 261-286)
        Rachelle Taqqu

        The study of the Arabs in mandatory Palestine has long suffered from a preoccupation with elites that has produced a static, one-dimensional image of the Palestinian community. This emphasis has grown out of a primary interest in Palestinian nationalism and has sought justification in the structure of Arab politics and society under the Mandate. Nevertheless, an exclusive concern with the role of elites overlooks the social and economic transformation that was overtaking Palestine. If the popular identification with the hegemonic classes and culture remained strong, profound imbalances within Arab society were also emerging. Traditional social relations were shaken as landholding...

  8. Index
    (pp. 287-290)
  9. Back Matter
    (pp. 291-292)