"I strongly recommend this new study by Zaha Hassan, Nadia Hijab, Inès Abdel Razek, and Mona Younis to any person or organization that wonders what we can do to revive and reinvigorate the Palestinian presence on the global diplomatic stage. This is an urgent need. The PLO's many political successes in the past half-century always benefited from sustained mobilization of international support, thanks to the critical impact of Palestine's diplomacy and diaspora. This report indicates how these essential political and national dynamics can be revitalized by the actions of Palestinians themselves."
– Rami G. Khouri, American University of Beirut Director of Global Engagement; Senior Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School
“Fills … analytical gap with precision and clarity”
This Report is the first of its kind for its close examination of Palestinian officialdom’s processes, and governmental oversight. A significant number of Palestinians the world over agree that the official leadership has failed to live up to its mandate and has been a steady source of embarrassing blunders and frustrations. Yet this same critical base would be hard-pressed to describe the particular legislative and administrative junctures that have produced these outcomes. Based on dozens of primary interviews, Palestinian legislation and historical documents, Reviving a Palestinian Power: The Diaspora and the Diplomatic Corps fills this analytical gap with precision and clarity. The diplomatic corps, born of tremendous sacrifice and fortitude, has become bereft of its historical weight as a political address for the Palestinian diaspora and an engine for their collective advancement. This Report convincingly insists that it does not have to be this way.
– Noura Erakat, Legal scholar and human rights attorney
“A refreshing, lucid text”
Al-Shabaka offers us a substantive study conducted by a team of experts and based on research and interviews with carefully-selected stakeholders. Seeking an end to the marginalization of the Palestinian diaspora and a revival of the central role it historically played in building a vibrant Palestinian polity, the authors focused their investigation on the Palestinian diplomatic corps and whether, how and under what conditions it could become a two-way channel between the leadership and the diaspora. The result is a refreshing, lucid text that makes us aware there is no alternative to a more democratic, representative and strategy-oriented PLO, in the face of the dangers and challenges surrounding the Palestinian cause.
– Camille Mansour, Secretary-general of the Institute for Palestine Studies Board of Trustees
“Why Fixing This Is Critical”
“An essential read for anyone looking to understand the Palestinian body politic and the multitude of challenges facing the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) since its founding in 1964. This study offers a rare lens into the complex relationship or lack thereof between the PLO and a diverse Palestinian diaspora, and why fixing this is critical to break the current paralysis.”
– Joyce Karam, Senior correspondent at The National
“Solid analysis and constructive suggestions”
Palestinians' political futures are intimately tied to the vitality of their national institutions. By exploring how Palestinian diplomacy does and could operate -- and how to revive not only its international vitality but also its ties to the diverse and far-flung components of Palestinian society -- the report provides a solid analysis and a set of constructive suggestions that should be taken seriously by Palestinians and by those who wish to see a better future for them.
– Nathan Brown, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, George Washington University
A “timely study [that] presents concrete proposals”
In my 1984 study of the PLO, I concluded that the PLO’s 1982 departure from Beirut had shifted the Palestinian movement’s center of gravity from diaspora Palestinians to those in the homeland—whose role has always been heroic. Over the intervening decades, though, Israel’s continuing expansion of its settler-colonial project in Palestine has squeezed Palestinians there ever harder. Now, if the project of national liberation is to be saved, diaspora Palestinians must again grab the baton, but their relationship with the PLO has long been badly fractured. Al-Shabaka’s timely study of this fracture presents concrete proposals for how to heal it.