One Year Into Self-Government: Perceptions of the Palestinian Political Elite

This study is the product of interviews with prominent Palestinian activists conducted during 1994 and 1995. The author aims at evaluating and comparing the differing attitudes of the nationalist mainstream, the secular opposition, the Islamic movements, and the camp of the independents and reformists towards the Oslo and Cairo agreements. Analyzed are the various groups' level of acceptance of the agreements, their assessment of the PNA's performance, and their opinion about Israeli intentions. The findings illustrate the dilemma of contemporary Palestinian nationalism: the need to achieve a balance between the outcome of the agreements, the leftists' and the Islamists' claims, and the demands of the civil society for participation and democratization.

Oct. 1, 1997