IREMAM/MMSH Édition du 2 juin 2021

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Jean-François LEGRAIN

CNRS/IREMAM (Institut de Recherches et d'Études sur les Mondes Arabes et Musulmans)
Maison Méditerranéenne des Sciences de l'Homme, Aix-en-Provence

Publications in English

1989 - “The Fundamentalists : a Challenge for the PLO Monopoly in Occupied Palestine”, a conference for the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (Brismes) and AFEMAM, Durham, 9-11 july 1989.

1990 - "The Islamic Movement and the Intifada", in Intifada. Palestine at the Crossroads, directed by Jamal R. Nassar et Roger Heacock, New York, Praeger, 1990, p. 175-189 (version locale) (a great part of this text was plagiarized by Michel Jubran and Laura Drake, "The Islamic Fundamentalist Movement in the West Bank and Gaza Strip ", Middle East Policy (MEP ), II/1993, 2, p. 1-15. The plagiarism was confessed in MEP, III/1994, 3, p. 2).

1991 - "A Defining Moment : Palestinian Islamic Fundamentalism" in Islamic Fundamentalisms and the Gulf Crisis, edited by James Piscatori, Chicago, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1991, p. 70-87 (version locale) (a great part of this text was plagiarized in Mûsâ Zayd Al-Kîlânî, Al-Harakât Al-Islâmiyya fî-l-Urdun wa Filastîn (The Islamic Movements in Jordan and Palestine), Amman, Dâr Al-Bachîr, 2d edition, 1994, p. 186-193).

1994 - "Palestinian Islamisms : Patriotism as a Condition of Their Expansion", in Accounting for Fundamentalisms : The Dynamic Character of Movements, edited by Martin E. Marty et R. Scott Appleby, Chicago, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, p. 413-427 (version locale).

1995 -"Hamas", in Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, edited by John L. Esposito, New-York, Oxford University Press, 1995, t. 2, p. 94-95.

1997 - "Hamas : Legitimate Heir of Palestinian Nationalism ?", in Political Islam. Revolution, Radicalism or Reform ?, edited by John L. Esposito, Boulder-London, Lynne Rienner, p. 161-178 (version locale).

1999 - English summary of Les Palestines du quotidien. Les élections de l'autonomie, janvier 1996 (Every Day Palestines. Elections under Autonomy, January 1996), Beirut, CERMOC, 1999, 452 p.

1999 - "The successions of Yasir Arafat", Journal of Palestine Studies, XXVIII/4, Summer 1999, n° 112, p. 5-20 ( (local copy).

2004– Interview by Gilles Paris, "Arafat Irreplaceable" (local copy), translation of "Une succession et non un remplacement : Arafat est irremplaçable", Le Monde, 6 novembre 2004 (, 1-0@2-3218, 36-385847, 0.html) (local copy).

2005/1 - "Mahmoud Abbas, the savior ?", Truthout ( (local copy), translation of "Mahmoud Abbas : le sauveur ?", Le Figaro, 17 janvier 2005 ( (local copy).

2006/1 -"Hamas on the Political Scene", an English translation by Nur al-Cublicle from Florida ( (local copy) of " Le Hamas sur la scène politique", Le Monde, 31 janvier 2006 (, 1-0@2-3232, 36-735978, 0.html).

2006/2 – "Beyond Gaza and beyond Beirut: the true objectives of Israel", an English translation by Nur al-Cublicle from Florida ( (local copy) of "Au-delà de Gaza, au-delà de Beyrouth, les vrais objectifs d'Israël", Le Figaro, 21 juillet 2006 ( _gaza_au_dela_de_beyrouth_les_vrais_objectifs_d_israel.html) (local copy).

2006/3 - "Fatah vs. Hamas, heading toward an internecine Palestinian war?”, an English translation by Nur al-Cublicle from Florida ( (local copy) of "Fatah-Hamas, vers une guerre interpalestinienne ?", chat sur, 15 décembre 2006 (, 40-0@2-3218, 50-845536, 0.html) (local copy).

2007 - "Gaza: Fatah repudiates the Constitutional process", an English translation by Nur al-Cublicle from Florida ( (local copy) of "Palestine : aucun rafistolage n’est envisageable", Libération, 13 juin 2007 ( (local copy).

2008 – "Yâsir ‘Arafât", in Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John & Everett Rowson (eds), Encyclopaedia of Islam Three, Leiden, Brill, 2008, p. 151a-153b.

Yāsir ʿArafāt (Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Raʾūf ʿArafāt al-Qudwa), also known as Abū ʿAmmār (1929-2004), was the iconic figure of the Palestinian nationalist movement from 1969 until his death. He was a founder of the militant Fatḥ movement (1959) and was elected president of the Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee (PLOEC) in 1969, an office he held for the rest of his life. He came to endorse a two-state solution and in 1994 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

2009 – "Hamas", in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, edited by John L. Esposito & Natana DeLong-Bas, New-York, Oxford University Press, 2d edition, 2009 ( (

2009 - "The Shiite Threat in Palestine: between phobias and propaganda", Communication given on 1 October 2009 in the International Conference on Sunni-Shia Contemporary Relations organised by Brigitte Maréchal - Centre interdisciplinaire d'études de l'Islam dans le monde contemporain (CISMOC) (Catholic University of Louvain) and Sami Zemmi - The Middle East and North-Africa Research Group (MENARG) Universiteit Gent (UGent), Brussels, 30 September - 2 October 2009  (French original version).

2010/8 - "Mobilizations in Palestine: between the kinship and the 'parties'", text of an intervention in the International symposium “In the Shadow of Separation: Territorial regimes and new socio-economic practices”, organized by Consulat Général de France à Jérusalem, Al-Quds University, Al-Quds - Bard Honors College - Program in Urban Studies and Spatial Practices, Al-Quds Centre for Jerusalem Studies, Institut Français du Proche-Orient (IFPO) and Institut de Recherches et d’Études sur le Monde Arabe et Musulman (IREMAM), Abu Dis, al-Quds University, 23, 24 & 25 November 2010.

2012/01 - “Hamas as a ruling party” in Samer S. Shehata (Ed.), Islamist Politics in the Middle East: Movements and Change, New-York, Routledge, 2012, p. 183-204 (

2012/02 - "The third intifada: possibility or fantasy ?", Doha (Qatar), al-Jazeera Center for Studies, 13 juin 2012 ( ;  power point (

2012/06 - “Palestine: what does the future hold?”, in Political Regimes in the Arab World. Society and the Exercise of Power, Ferran Izquierdo Brichs (Éd.), Oxford, Routledge, 2012 (

Ce texte est issu d’une intervention donnée à la Fundació CIDOB "Poder Y Regímenes Políticos En El Mundo Árabe Actual", Barcelona, 7-8 abril 2008, paru in Cidob [Centre D'informacio I Documentacio Internacionals A Barcelona], Power and regimes in the contemporary Arab world, New-York, Routledge, 2012, p. 303-307. Pour la version en espagnol voir "¿Qué futuro le espera a Palestina ?", in Ferran Izquierdo Brichs (Ed.), Poder Y Regímenes Políticos En El Mundo Árabe Contemporáneo, Barcelona, Fundació Cidob, Edicions Bellaterra, 2009, p. 377-382 ( et L'original en français, "Quel avenir pour la Palestine ?", est inédit (version locale).

2013 – "The Shi'a Threat in Palestine: between phobias and propaganda", in Brigitte Maréchal & Sami Zemni (eds.), The Dynamics of Sunni-Shia Relationships: Doctrine, Transnationalism, Intellectuals and the Media, Londres, Hurst & Co, 2013 (

"Denunciations of a “Shiite threat” in Palestine have multiplied in the last ten years, even if almost 99% of the population in the Occupied Territories is Sunni, and the remaining 1% is Christian. These denunciations have been made by individuals, organizations and States empowered by various motivations but united in the same hostility towards Hamas and the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine (IJMP), on the one hand, and the Lebanese Hezbollah, Syria and Iran, on the other. This research establishes an inventory of the phobias and propaganda developed around the so-called “Shiitization” of Palestine as the cement of an “axis” of destabilization. Even if these phobias are usually religious and the propaganda political in nature, both tend to excel in mutual instrumentalization. I show that these types of discourse, beyond their superficial differences, centre on a common “conspiracy theory” (i.e. Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, Syria and Iran are thought to form one ensemble, with every element being, in fine, enslaved to the interests of Iran alone, the “enemy” of peace and stability in the Greater Middle East). Three main aspects of the “threat” are questioned: the “spread” of the Shiite faith, the “fascination” with revolutionary Iran and the “uniqueness” of the Iranian, Syrian, Lebanese and Palestinian projects."

2014/05 – "Gaza/Ramallah. Une réconciliation sans entente est-elle possible ?", intervention devant l’Association France-Palestine Solidarité, La Halle aux toiles, Rouen, 16 mai 2014 (support diaporama) (

A Palestinian reconciliation agreement was once again signed by Hamas and Fatah in a hurry April 23. Its evaluation requires to consider it within the large frame of the last 50 years. In this regard, two main periods can thus be distinguished: - From 1967 to 2004. Palestinian nationalism was structured through a process of "palestinization" under the aegis of the PLO. This process concerned identity as political and military domains and Hamas can be seen as acting within it. - Since 2004. The national bond disintegrated through a process of "depalestinization”. - Some analyst would be right to consider that the Palestinian way to implement the Oslo agreement constitutes the real transition from the first to the second period when a break occurred between the Palestinian Authority and the Diaspora. Therefore, as long as the structuring frames of the second period remain, no true reconciliation can truly be effective and be able to respond to today’s challenges.

2017 - "Ḥamās", in Kate FLEET, Gudrun KRÄMER, Denis MATRINGE, John NAWAS & Everett ROWSON (Eds), Encyclopaedia of Islam Three, Leiden, Brill, 2017, p. 97-99.

Ḥamās, lit. “zeal", is the acronym for Ḥarakat al-Muqāwama al-Islāmiyya (Islamic Resistance Movement), founded in 1987, during the First Intifāḍa, as the “strong arm in the uprising” of the Muslim Brotherhood Association in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Brotherhood was established in Palestine in mid-1940, as an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, and originally advocated daʿwa (preaching Islam, coercively, if need be) and non-involvement in politics. The creation of Ḥamās, then, signalled a new form of engagement for the Brotherhood, first in mobilising against Israeli occupation and then in competing for power in internal Palestinian politics.

2020 - "Hamas according to Hamas. A reading of its Document of General Principles", in Routledge Handbook of Political Islam, Shahram Akbarzadeh (dir.), Londres New-York, Routledge, 2020, p. 79-90 (

On May 1, 2017, the Islamic Resistance Movement-Hamas promulgated a “Document of General Principles and Policies”, adopted by its representative bodies after several years of debate. The reading that I propose operates a constant back and forth between the text itself and, on the one hand, a body of press releases published by the movement itself and previous declarations of its leaders, including of course the 1988 Charter and, on the other hand, the positions of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). With this Document, Hamas explicitly assumes its vocation to be one of the elements of the Palestinian national liberation movement. The originality of the text lies in the absence of explicit religious references and in the multiplicity of nods to the positions held by the PLO in the 1970s. The only novelty lies in the mention of armed resistance as a strategic choice. The Document, however, is a subtle work and its silences are just as meaningful as its assertions. Thus, far from a truly secular approach, its authors appear to have simply opted to silence the religious foundations, without of course denying them, of assessments expressed most of the time in secular terms. The Document could express a kind of bet on the future when the generation of Mahmoud Abbas, head of the PLO and the Interim Palestinian Authority of Autonomy (PA), and Salim Zaanoun, speaker of the National Council Palestinian, is called to disappear sooner or later and when is periodically announced the annexation to Israel of new Palestinian lands. While the PLO and the PA prove incapable of offering a vision of the future, prisoners of the sole logic of survival in the preservation of assets which are most often financial and individual, Hamas would thus aim to restore depth to the policies it pursued in Gaza while seeking to broaden its base.

2020 - "Fidā’ī", in Encyclopaedia of Islam Three, Kate FLEET, Gudrun KRÄMER, Denis MATRINGE, John NAWAS & Everett ROWSON (Eds), Leiden, Brill, 2020, p. 18-19.

Fidā'ī is an Arabic neologism developed in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict during the 20th century. The term makes the guerilla Palestinian fighter the one who pays with his life the ransom (Fidā) of the national liberation of his fellow citizens. It was largely used during the 1960 and 1970’s through a secular epic carried on by Arab nationalism and revolutionary internationalism. As the most common form of this struggle was the guerrilla (ḥarb al-‘isābāt), al-ḥarb al-fidā'iyya became its synonym. The fidā'ī differs from the fidāwī in the Ismaili tradition.

2021 - "Intifāḍa", in Encyclopaedia of Islam Three, Kate FLEET, Gudrun KRÄMER, Denis MATRINGE, John NAWAS & Everett ROWSON (Eds), Leiden, Brill, 2021, p. 37-39.

Since the second half of the twentieth century, the term Intifāḍah has been used to describe any large-scale social movement characterized by its suddenness, a certain degree of violence and the involvement of youth. It refers to Palestinian uprisings and to other revolts around the world supposed to share characteristics with the latter. It is not, however, a scientific characterization of a particular type of social, political and / or armed movement, even in the Palestinian case. The term, in reality, is only a label granted or refused by the actors of a movement, be they the partisans or the adversaries.


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