Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

Students and Resistance in Palestine

Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

Students and Resistance in Palestine

Article excerpt

Students and Resistance in Palestine. Books, Guns, and Politics. By Ido Zelkovitz. New York: Routledge, 2015. 213 pp. $145.

The 2015 victory of Hamas over Fatah in student government elections at Ramallah's Birzeit University is just the most recent reminder that higher education in Palestinian life is fundamentally a political arena. Zelkovitz, a research fellow at the Ezri Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies at the University of Haifa, documents just how important student politics have long been in both Palestinian higher education and Palestinian nationalism.

From the creation of the Palestinian Student Association at the University of Cairo in 1944 to that of the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS) in 1959, student organizations have been at the forefront of political activism and have provided cadres of leadership to various Palestinian factions. As successive waves of political fervor washed over Arab society, student politics followed suit: revolutionary leftism, pan-Arabism, and Islamism have been prominent themes. Zelkovitz details how Palestinian students, particularly those living far from the Middle East, tended to be more radical and routinely pushed against compromises that could bring peace. …

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