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The Marginal as Central: Al-Jadid and the Development of a Palestinian Public Sphere, 1953–1970

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This article argues that throughout the 1950s and 1960s the communist-sponsored Arabic literary journal al-Jadid played a central role in creating a Palestinian-Arab counterpublic within Israel by challenging Zionist discourses and championing Arab and Palestinian causes. As a result, when Palestinian writers, activists and intellectuals in Israel were reconnected with Palestinians outside Israel after the 1967 War, they played a vital role in the development of a broader Palestinian public sphere that emphasized perseverance, ties to the land, and resistance to Zionist hegemony. rough content analysis of over 140 issues of al-Jadid published between 1953 and 1967, this article demonstrates al-Jadid's signifi cant role in communicating politically subversive discourses to an increasingly literate public living under military rule, as well as its part in the social circulation of these discourses in the region following the 1967 War. In doing so, it sheds new light on the nexus of media, literature and nationalism in the Palestinian context.


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