Students and Resistance in Palestine : Books, Guns and Politics book cover
1st Edition

Students and Resistance in Palestine
Books, Guns and Politics

ISBN 9781138802971
Published December 16, 2014 by Routledge
224 Pages

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Book Description

Exploring the Palestinian Student Movement from an historical and sociological perspective, this book demonstrates how Palestinian national identity has been built in the absence of national institutions, whilst emphasizing the role of higher education as an agent of social change, capable of crystallizing patterns of national identity.

Focussing on the political and social activities of Palestinian students in two arenas – the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and the Palestinian diaspora, Students & Resistance covers the period from 1952-2000. The book investigates the commonality of the goal of the respective movements in securing independence and the building of a sovereign Palestinian state, whilst simultaneously comparing their development, social tone and the differing challenges each movement faced.

Examining a plethora of sources including; Palestinian student magazines, PLO documents, Palestinian and Arabic news media, and archival records, to demonstrate how the Palestinian Student Movements became a major political player, this book is of interest to scholars and students of Palestinian History, Politics and the Arab-Israeli Conflict.

Table of Contents

Preface Introduction 1 The Rise of a New Generation: Palestinian Students and the Experience of Nakba 2 From Struggle to Accommodation: The General Union of Palestine Students and PLO 3 The Politics of Survival: The GUPS in Times of Crisis 4 Between Cairo and Beirut: The GUPS in the Aftermath of the 1973 War 5 The 1980s: Military Challenges and Paradigm Shift 6 The Emergence of the Palestinian Higher Education System 7 Between Academic Freedom and Military Supervision: The Palestinian Universities and the National Struggle 8 The Palestinian Student Movement in the West Bank and Gaza: A Sociopolitical Account 9 The Palestinian Student Movement Between Two Intifadas

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Ido Zelkovitz is Research Fellow at the Ezri Centre for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies and teaches in the Department of Middle Eastern History at the University of Haifa, Israel. Dr Zelkovitz was a post-doctoral research fellow in The Institute of Sociology at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen and he is Currently the Schusterman Visiting Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Minnesota for the Academic Year of 2014/15.


"It is sometimes forgotten today that Palestinian politics was born in student organizations. […] This history, and its modern incarnations, is the subject of a new book by Ido Zelkovitz, an accomplished young scholar currently at the University of Haifa. He set out to examine how the Palestinian student movement played such a key role in the quest for national independence. This is an intensely academic study, but it is accessible to both, a general and an expert audience, and as one of the first major studies tracing the Palestinian student movement through to the present, it is an important contribution to understanding the history of the Middle East in modern times. […] The book raises important questions and the reader is left with an unequivocal view that paying attention to Palestinian student politics is essential to understanding Palestinian affairs." Middle East Media and Book Reviews Online (

Ido Zelkovitz’s Students and Resistance in Palestine: Books, Guns and Politics offers a new perspective on the conflict by examining the history of Palestinian university students. One of the book’s main achievements is to represent Palestinian youth as rational, nuanced, and conscientious leaders in the Palestinian struggle for statehood. Through a detailed political history of twentieth century Palestinian student movements, the book makes the case that youth in the West Bank, Gaza, and diaspora played and continue to play a significant role in shaping Palestinian national identity and the call for the establishment of a sovereign state…. Zelkovitz’s book is of high value.
Heidi Morrison, Assistant Professor of History, University of Wisconsin – La Crosse
Journal of the Society for Contemporary Thought and the Islamicate World, October 27, 2015, 1-3

Zelkovitz provides a wealth of detail regarding student movements, their constant in-fighting, and the ways they