the fire these times

52. The Palestinian Left and Its Decline (1982-2007)

I spoke with Francesco Saverio Leopardi of Ca’Foscari University of Venice about his recently released book ‘The Palestinian Left and Its Decline: Loyal Opposition’.

We go through the recent history of the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine, or PFLP, from 1982 to 2007. We go through its complicated role(s) in various Arab countries and even more complicated relationship with other Palestinian groups, especially the PLO, as well as some lessons to draw from this group’s experience.

As with all conversations I have, this one was intended to be broader than its specific topic.

Hopefully by the end of this episode you will have a basic understanding of: the PFLP’s history, tensions within the Arab left, the role of Israel and the Assad regime in destroying parts of the Arab left, and even a brief comparative analysis of the Egyptian communist movement and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). 

I even made a loose comparison between the experience of the PFLP and that of the Free Syrian Army just to challenge my guest, include a more comparative analysis in our conversation, and to let him expand on what he called ‘the opposition-integration dilemma’.

Of course, this is a conversation around a book so we couldn’t get into all of the details that Francesco Saverio Leopardi explores in ‘the Palestinian left and its decline: local opposition‘. 


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The Fire These Times is available on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Castro and RSS.

Music by Tarabeat

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