Politics in Palestine

Arab Factionalism and Social Disintegration, 1939-1948

By Issa Khalaf

Subjects: Middle East Studies
Series: SUNY series in the Social and Economic History of the Middle East
Paperback : 9780791407080, 318 pages, September 1991
Hardcover : 9780791407073, 318 pages, September 1991

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations


Map Acknowledgments

A Note on Transliteration



Part One. Introduction: The Changing Social Basis and Context of Palestinian Arab Factionalist Politics: The Dialectical Effects of Internal and External Socio-Economic Factors

1. State, Society and Politics in Late Ottoman and Early Mandatory Palestine

2. Socio-Economic Change During the Latter Part of the Mandate: Peasants, Workers, and Factionalism

3. Notables, Merchants, and Capitalists in the Arab Pollitical Economy

Part Two. Urban Notable Political Leadership: Factionalism and Its Effect on National Integration

4. The Backdrop: British Policy and Palestinian Politics in Regard to the White Paper, 1939-41

5. Notable Politics I: Futile Exercises in Leadership

6. Notable Politics II: External Threat, Internal Domination

7. The Mufti, Palestinian Politics, and Efforts at Socio-Political Unity of Arab Society

Part Three. The Reaper of Disunity: External Interference and Internal Collapse, 1947-48

8. Arab Politics and the Palestinians: Nationalism, Dynastic Intrigue, and Political Ambitions

9. British Withdrawal, War, and Disintegration







This book presents a coherent picture of the origins of the Palestinian problem. The author offers an analysis of factionalism in Arab society, with a detailed examination of the social and political history of the Palestinian Arabs between 1939 and 1948. Khalaf weaves together the socio-economic, sociological, political, and politico-military dimensions that have led to social disintegration. He focuses on the role of the urban elite in perpetuating factionalism and using nationalism as a weapon to deflect opposition during a period of rapid social change.

For those who are concerned with peace in Israel, the book provides a meaningful historical appreciation of a highly-charged, emotionally-laden conflict.

Issa Khalaf is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Loras College.