This book examines the history of the Palestinian Left by focusing on the trajectory of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) during its declining phase. Relying on a substantial corpus of primary sources, this study illustrates how the PFLP’s political agency contributed to its own marginalisation within the Palestinian national movement. Following the 1982 eviction of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) from Lebanon, the bases of the PFLP’s opposition to Fatah’s primacy in the national movement were jeopardised. This book argues that the PFLP’s «loyalty» to the PLO institutional and political framework prevented the formulation of a real counterhegemonic political project. This drove the PFLP’s action to suffer a fundamental contradiction undermining its stance within the national movement. In the attempt to continue its opposition to Fatah, while maintaining integration in the Palestinian mainstream, the PFLP’s agency fluctuated, compromising its effectiveness and credibility. Apparently irreversible, the PFLP’s marginalisation is a factor fostering the current Palestinian impasse, as no alternative is emerging to break the thirteen-year long Hamas-Fatah polarisation.
Dr Francesco Saverio Leopardi is a Research Fellow at the Department of Asian and North African Studies at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. Dr. Leopardi is currently conducting a research project covering Algerian-Chinese economic relations and the emergence of China as fundamental trading partner for Middle Eastern and North African states. He also teaches International Relations of the Middle East at the Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Bologna. In Bologna Dr. Leopardi has contributed as Research Fellow to a larger research project named ‘The Making of the Washington Consensus. International Assets, Debt and Power (1979-1991)’. The goal of the project was to shed light on the politics of negotiations on sovereign debts in the Global South and reassess the relations between debtor countries and their creditors. In particular, he focused on the case of Algeria and its debt crisis (1989-1997) and his research was based on both English and Arabic primary sources retrieved from creditors and debtors’ archives. He obtained his PhD at the University of Edinburgh in November 2017 with a thesis on the decline of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
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