By and large, in the latter half of the twentieth century a regime change has meant the victory of a leftist national liberation movement over an oppressive power; whether the new regime makes good on its stated purpose of delivering justice to its people has not evidenced such a standard pattern, however. While liberation movements such as the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa were able successfully to convert their role as revolutionary “freedom fighters” into democratic participation in the state (Connell, 9), movements such as Castro’s Cuban Revolution, while accomplishing regime change, failed to deliver a successful state. This paper suggests that lessons can be derived from these cases that apply to the Palestinians’ national liberation movement, in that intra-movement conflict that often appears “intractable” may in fact be a specific prerequisite for a successful regime change into the hands of the Palestinian Authority.
Dangling today somewhere between the role of a state and a non-state actor, the Palestinian National Authority (PA) was chartered after the Oslo Accords to fill the governmental role in the would-be state of Palestine. Headed by Yassir Arafat, the PA provides an internationally recognized manifestation of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), which became the voice of the Palestinian nationalism movement since Israel’s independence in 1948. The ongoing transition of the PLO from a national liberation movement (and a distinctly non-state actor) to the ruling government party in a Palestinian state has proven difficult due not only to the controversial nature of the issue of a Palestinian state on ...
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