Last updated on: 5/16/2008 3:33:00 PM PST

Why Did Palestinian Nationalism Decline after the First Arab-Israeli War in 1948, and Why Did It Re-Emerge after the 1967 War?

General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
Husam A. Mohamad, PhD, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO), in a 1999 essay titled "Inter-Arab Politics and the Mainstream of the Palestinian Movement," wrote the following:

"The 1948 war...resulted in the dispersion of the Palestinian people, the shredding of their society and the reorientation of their politics and identity. From 1948 to 1967, Palestinian politics remained part of pan-Arab politics at the official level and a crucial factor in the consciousness of all Arabs, which resulted in an increased Palestinian affiliation with pan-Arab populist parties and regimes during the inter-war period. Palestinian movements and groups after 1948 had no choice but to acknowledge their dependence on the Arab states...

Since 1967, the mainstream leadership of the Palestinian movement began emphasizing Palestinians' local priorities in the conflict with Israel, paving the way for a new ideology of Palestinian nationalism rather than Arabism. As a consequence, the practical appeal of pan-Arabism began losing ground to the more localized and militant Palestinianism. Accordingly, both the 1948 and 1967 wars played important roles in reorienting Palestinian political belief systems and affiliations into two new directions, where the first affiliation was mainly associated with the pan-Arab movement following 1948, and the second became more connected with local Palestinianism and its warfare strategy after 1967."

1999 - Husam A. Mohamad, PhD 

Deborah J. Gerner, PhD, Professor of Political Science at the University of Kansas, in her 1994 book titled One Land, Two Peoples: The Conflict Over Palestine, wrote:

"During the first nineteen years of Israel's existence [1948-1967], Palestinian nationalism was muted and resistance to Israel was expressed almost entirely by the surrounding Arab states. This changed dramatically with the June 1967 War and the subsequent Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, among other territories. At this point, the conflict again took on elements of a Palestinian-Israeli nationalist clash without losing the interstate character that had developed since 1948. Palestinian political and military groups were established during the subsequent twenty years and Palestinian nationalist expression regained its past vigor and in fact increased in strength."

1997 - Deborah J. Gerner, PhD 

Albert Hourani, the late Oxford Historian, in his 1991 book titled A History of the Arab Peoples, wrote:

"Since 1948 the Palestinians themselves had not been able to play an independent part in the discussions about their own destiny: their leadership had collapsed, they were scattered between a number of states, and those who had lost their homes and work had to make a new life for themselves. They had been able to play a part only under the control of the Arab states and with their permission. In 1964 the Arab League did create a separate entity for them, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), but it was under Egyptian control and the armed forces connected with it formed part of the armies of Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq...

The most important result [of the 1967 War] was the Israeli occupation of what was left of Arab Palestine: Jerusalem, Gaza and the western part of Jordan (usually known as the 'West Bank'). More Palestinians became refugees, and more came under Israeli rule. This strengthened the sense of Palestinian identity, and the conviction among them that in the end they could rely only on themselves."

1991 - Albert Hourani