In This Review

In Search Of Leadership: West Bank Politics Since 1967
In Search Of Leadership: West Bank Politics Since 1967
By Emile Sahliyeh
Brookings, 1988, 201 pp

The subject presents real difficulties, for the West Bank Palestinians themselves as well as for the observer, given the fact of Israeli occupation, the declining authority of the traditional Palestinian leading families, changing social relations, and the conflicting outside influences from Jordan, the PLO and Israel. Yet the author, who draws on his own experience and research as a teacher at Bir Zeit University, does a fine job of tracing how local mayors, PLO adherents, communists, Islamists and others have contended for leadership of a people without power under a tough military regime. The book does not get into the events of the uprising of the past year, but anyone who has read this careful account of the preceding years will not be surprised that the Palestinians have become politically mobilized and are demanding a voice in their own future.