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The Arab New Left and May ’68: Transnational Entanglements at a Time of Disruption

Laure Guirguis

Abstract: Sartre’s visit to the Middle East turned into a fiasco, and the French philosopher ultimately signed a public letter in support of Israel. A few years later, the situation had changed completely: the French Left overwhelmingly took sides with the Palestinians, and Arab militants in France were key in triggering this turnaround. This was but one consequence of the multilayered interactions between Arab and European left-wing militant landscapes during the May ’68 momentum. The Arab New Left was a constitutive part of this global moment. Yet the Arab Left and “May ’68” have long been set apart from the growing literature on the revolutionary Left during the long sixties. Following three militant paths between France and the Arab East, I decipher the reconfigurations of geographies of resistance and the processes of resignification as symbols and know-how were displaced and transformed through ever more complex itineraries.
Keywords: French / Palestinians / Arab / Entanglements / revolutionary / geographies / paths / East / ultimately / Transnational

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