The Israeli political arena and Palestinian contention: The case of the 'first' Intifada

Eitan Y. Alimi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Are changes in political conditions objective features of the world or are they ultimately what social movement activists and adherents make of them? The position taken in this article argues that shifts in the Israeli structure of political opportunity, manifested in a series of transformative events, were framed by the Palestinians within the occupied territories as a political opportunity affecting their strategy of contention during the run up to the 1987 'first' Intifada. Findings from content analysis data obtained from several Palestinian newspapers between 1974 and 1986 suggest that (a) the Palestinians collectively perceived Israeli domestic events as favourable political circumstances, and (b) their mutual interpretation of Israeli events as a reflection of divisions over the occupation was associated with rationalizing contention. Theoretical implications of bridging the culturally and structurally laden approaches to the study of collective action are offered.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)433-453
Number of pages21
JournalBritish Journal of Political Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2007


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