Circles of Control, Circles of Resistance

Hillel Cohen

in Good Arabs

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780520257672
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520944886 | DOI:
Circles of Control, Circles of Resistance

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In May 1921, Arabs from the villages on the Sharon plain, north of Tel Aviv, attacked the surrounding Jewish settlements. In Palestinian historical literature, this offensive is considered the beginning of organized Palestinian resistance to Zionism. They had only limited success because of the meager arms they had at their disposal (only a few dozen had guns), because of advance warnings received by the Jews, and because of a sharp British response. But their initiative and resolve made the attackers paragons of Palestinian nationalism. Although the security agencies did not cease to intervene in Arab politics, their efforts grew less effective. The story of Tareq 'Abd al-Hayy illustrates the nature of the General Security Service's activity and the measure of its success during Israel's first two decades. The considerable benefit that the security authorities received from their power to dismiss and appoint mukhtars reinforced their opposition to the establishment of municipal governments in the villages. The result was a fierce struggle against the Ministry of Interior, which sought to further the municipalization process.

Keywords: Arabs; Jews; Israel; Zionism; nationalism; resistance; security agencies; General Security Service; Tareq 'Abd al-Hayy; municipal governments

Chapter.  15400 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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