A recent Foreign Affairs article gets history wrong and obscures a robust Palestinian discourse

Helena Cobban in the Boston Review:

It is hard to believe that it has been fifty years since I used to sit on the floor of drafty college residences in Oxford with Hussein Agha, Ahmad Samih Khalidi, Ahmad’s cousin Rashid Khalidi, and other luminaries of the Oxford University Arab Society, listening to their discussions of the then-parlous state of the Palestinian freedom movement (and voicing an occasional interjection). During the previous year, Palestinian guerrillas earlier chased out of the West Bank by Israel had proceeded to challenge King Hussein’s rule in Jordan; and during “Black” September 1970, Hussein hit back at them hard. In Spring 1971 the guerrillas were still reeling from Black September and were struggling to regroup in the extensive Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. In Oxford we eagerly read any scrap of news we could get about their achievements there.

In 1974, one year after I graduated, I took out a loan to travel to Beirut to build a career as a foreign correspondent. During the next seven years one of the biggest constants in my news budget was the Palestinian story.

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