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The symbiosis between Palestinian ‘Fayyadism’ and Israeli ‘economic peace’: the political economy of capitalist peace in the context of colonisation



Recent years have seen both the Palestinian Authority and Israeli government conveying the supremacy of economic approaches over politics to achieve peace and stability. More specifically, the encounter and symbiosis between Palestinian 'Fayyadism' as a professional application of neo-liberal approaches to state-building and economic development, and the Israeli strategy of 'economic peace' towards the Palestinians have shaped much of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict dynamic, with a particularly discernible materialisation in the West Bank. This article critically analyses this dynamic in light of the recently revived theory of 'capitalist peace', which, despite valid criticism, entails considerable similarities with the basic assumptions of 'Fayyadism' and 'economic peace'. While two key dimensions express this symbiosis—security co-ordination and economic normalisation—the article focuses mainly on the economic part, particularly the case of joint industrial zones, which exemplify the most extreme example of this symbiosis.
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Conflict, Security & Development
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The symbiosis between Palestinian ‘Fayyadism’
and Israeli ‘economic peace’: the political economy
of capitalist peace in the context of colonisation
Tariq Dana
To cite this article: Tariq Dana (2015) The symbiosis between Palestinian ‘Fayyadism’ and
Israeli ‘economic peace’: the political economy of capitalist peace in the context of colonisation,
Conflict, Security & Development, 15:5, 455-477, DOI: 10.1080/14678802.2015.1100013
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The symbiosis between
Palestinian Fayyadismand
Israeli economic peace: the
political economy of
capitalist peace in the
context of colonisation
Tariq Dana
Recent years have seen both the Pales-
tinian Authority and Israeli government
conveying the supremacy of economic
approaches over politics to achieve peace
and stability. More specifically, the
encounter and symbiosis between
Palestinian ’Fayyadism’ as a professional
application of neo-liberal approaches to
state-building and economic development,
and the Israeli strategy of ’economic peace’
towards the Palestinians have shaped
much of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
dynamic, with a particularly discernible
materialisation in the West Bank. This
article critically analyses this dynamic in
light of the recently revived theory of ’capi-
talist peace’, which, despite valid criticism,
entails considerable similarities with the
basic assumptions of ’Fayyadism’ and ’eco-
nomic peace’. While two key dimensions
express this symbiosis—security co-ordina-
tion and economic normalisation—the
article focuses mainly on the economic
part, particularly the case of joint indus-
trial zones, which exemplify the most
extreme example of this symbiosis.
Tariq Dana is a Senior Research Fellow at the Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Institute of International Studies and a fac-
ulty member at the MA programme in International Studies at Birzeit University, where he teaches courses on
global political economy. He is also a Policy Advisor at the Palestinian Policy Network (al-Shabaka).
Ó2015 King’s College London
Conict, Security & Development, 2015
Vol. 15, No. 5, 455477,
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In May 2013, US Secretary of State John Kerry speaking at the World Economic
Forum in Jordan unveiled a US $4 billion economic plan to boost the Palestinian
economy. The plan was an integral part of a broader American-sponsored peace initia-
tive to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on the conventional two-state for-
mula, its goal being to grow the Palestinian economy by up to 50 per cent in the
following three years and create wealth and stability across the region. According to
Kerry, the plan would ‘develop a healthy, sustainable, private-sector-led Palestinian
economy that will transform the fortunes of a future Palestinian state’.
While the plan
primarily targets vital sectors of the Palestinian economy, it also promises Israel enor-
mous economic benefits if it facilitates its implementation and embarks on a new
round of peace talks. This mutual economic benefit as promised by the US peace ini-
tiative is far from being innovative. In fact, it is a duplication of the ‘peace dividend’
paradigm that has underpinned the Oslo process since its inception.
Critics of the US economic peace plan argue that it goes hand in hand with the
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s economic peace (EP) strategy, designed
to improve the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) economy and the socio-economic condi-
tions in the occupied West Bank. EP has been widely critiqued due to its political
ambiguity and implicit intention to replace the political peace process with an eco-
nomic strategy.
While top Palestinian officials have repeatedly voiced opposition to
Israel’s EP strategy, dynamics on the ground contradict Palestinian official statements.
In practice, the PA and several Palestinian businesses have been actively involved,
overtly and covertly, in large-scale economic projects implemented within the Israeli
EP framework.
This has been facilitated by the emergence of Palestinian ‘Fayyadism’
and its accompanying reform agenda, launched by the former PA Prime Minister
Salam Fayyad (2007–2013), who despite his departure from the PA in 2013, has left a
substantial imprint on the PA model of governance and economic development.
‘Fayyadism’ has therefore become a shorthand phrase for the PA’s recent neo-liberal
approaches to state-building and economic development,
with an emphasis on politi-
cal stability, security and private sector-led development. In the context of ongoing
occupation and colonisation, ‘Fayyadism’ invariably encouraged joint economic
projects between Israel and the PA to flourish.
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The perceived harmonious PA-Israeli economic dynamic should not be understood
in isolation from the continuous effects of the Oslo peace process. This process, which
was initiated by the signing of the Oslo Accords between the Palestine Liberation
Organisation (PLO) and the Israeli government in 1993, has brought the occupied
Palestinian territory (oPt) into the forefront of internationally-promoted experiments
of governance, social engineering, economic development, security and institution-
building, which have been advanced by the highest-level practitioners, donor agencies
and international financial institutions. Such an extensive combination of post-
conflict/neocolonial experiments has transformed the oPt, particularly the West Bank,
into a ‘laboratory of technologies of control’.
The Oslo framework was implemented against the backdrop of the expansion of
global capitalism which requires, by consent or coercion, conforming dynamics and
trends to facilitate the engineering of neo-liberal consensus at the global scale.
globalisation of capitalism has introduced new forms of ‘peace processes’ that are
largely based on economic incentives and compromises, thus contributing to the
formation of a locally influential political-economic elite that is tied into the global
system economically, ideologically and politically. As Selby points out, peace processes
are based on ‘inter-elite political accommodations whose aim is often not so much
“peace” as the reconfiguration of domestic hegemony and/or international legitimacy’.
As such, the Oslo process and, by extension, the later myriad rounds of the
Palestinian-Israeli peace talks should be placed within an understanding of the global
Despite its persistent failure to achieve any of its objectives, the Oslo Accords remain
the defining framework for Palestinian-Israeli relations and the main reference upon
which the PA’s existence is fully dependent. Nevertheless, 20 years of the Oslo process
has witnessed multiple political episodes and transformations that have reshaped inter-
actions between the PA and Israel. In particular, the PA has been exclusively the target
of systematic alteration of its structures and functions to be co-ordinated in harmony
with Israel’s interests. This has been accompanied by the involvement of various inter-
ventionist actors who have been playing central roles in influencing and guiding the PA
state-building and policy framework. The goal, all too often, is to enforce political sta-
bility, security and to maintain Western and Israeli geopolitical interests, all of which
has come under the banner of the ‘peace process’.
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Several important studies have emerged in recent years to scrutinise the application
of neo-liberal approaches to state-building and economic development in the context
of the oPt, but there is a paucity of literature that provides in-depth analysis of the
neo-liberal dynamic in the oPt and its systematic interaction with the Israeli colonial
structure. This article argues that there is a symbiosis between the strategies of Israeli
EP and Palestinian ‘Fayyadism’ predicated on the superiority of economic approaches
over politics to solve the conflict. This in turn has been conducive to the promotion
of an unprecedented level of economic compromise between the two sides, while the
existing colonial dynamic has been left unchallenged. The article will critically analyse
this symbiosis in light of the recently revived theory of ‘capitalist peace’ which, despite
numerous critiques of its applicability, entails considerable similarities with the basic
assumptions of ‘Fayyadism’ and EP. This does not mean that economic co-operation
between the two sides only emerged with this symbiosis, but it acknowledges that
recent intensified economic co-operation represents an extension of the Oslo peace
process, which will be analysed as a failed model of capitalist peace.
The capitalist peace thesis
Recent years have witnessed increased academic and research interest in reviving a
long neglected liberal theory that perceives positive links between capitalism and peace,
labelled the ‘capitalist peace’.
At the heart of the capitalist peace thesis lies the basic
assumption that ‘capitalist nations do not go to war against each other’. Early attempts
to theorise the role of capitalism in securing peace among nations and states can be
traced back to eighteenth and nineteenth century liberal theorists who saw in the
unleashing of market forces a key to peace. In particular, the contemporary debate on
the capitalist peace is primarily rooted in the Kantian account of ‘perpetual peace’,
which predicted that ‘the spirit of commerce […] sooner or later takes hold of every
nation, and is incompatible with war’.
In this spirit, in 1909, Angell argued that a war
amongst advanced industrialised countries that were economically interdependent and
engaged in active trade relations was inconceivable.
So much for his predictions. A
few years later the First World War broke out among the advanced industrialised
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In fact, it was the outbreak of the First World War that shook the very foundations
of this theory. By the onset of the war, a high level of trade and economic interdepen-
dence had been reached among central capitalist powers; this however failed to prevent
them from engaging in a war against each other. Consequently the theory was invali-
dated due to its over-simplification and failure to explain the occurrence of one of the
deadliest wars in history among the most advanced capitalist nations. On the contrary,
the eruption of the First World War had rather supported accounts that saw a robust
relationship between capitalism and wars. Most prominently, Lenin’s theory of imperi-
alism depicted the First World War as a byproduct of fierce capitalist competition
among imperialist rivals. In his view, the First World War was ‘a war for the division
of the world, for the partition and repartition of colonies and spheres of influence of
finance capital, etc’.
Indeed, Polanyi further documented how and why the 100 years
of self-regulating market society and free trade that constituted the doctrinal pillar of
the nineteenth century’s European social and economic order, and the establishment
of the gold standard on an international scale, had eventually collapsed in the form of
the First World War and the subsequent triumph of fascism.
Contemporary theorists have expanded the account of capitalist peace to touch on
various facets of capitalism, ranging from private property rights, economic develop-
ment, foreign investment, to free trade, which are seen as being positively correlated
with peace.
They argue that ‘capitalism renders states more status quo-oriented and
less concerned with traditional security issues’.
Four major arguments are presented
by this theoretical perspective, with each reflecting a certain principal facet of capital-
ism. The first stems from the liberal understanding of human nature which assumes
that capitalist societies alter human behaviour in a manner that transforms antagonism
into peaceful social relations, underpinned by practices of consumption, trade relations
and business activities. The second argument focuses on the peaceful effects of unregu-
lated market relations particularly in a democratic setting because it produces a
balanced power distribution within society. The third argument emphasises the impor-
tance of private property rights and argues that contract intensity of capitalist econo-
mies produces peaceful relations. The fourth argument claims that smaller
governments and the openness of capitalist economies to global markets decrease the
likelihood of interstate wars, unlike closed economies that tend to intensify the level of
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Central to the capitalist peace thesis is the assumption that the pacifying effects of
capitalism are more effective than the pacifying effects of democracy. Hence, this chal-
lenges the very foundation of its sister theory of ‘democratic peace’, known for the
supposition that ‘democracies do not go to war with one another’ which dominates
much of liberal peace studies and became a key foreign policy instrument of Western
states, and the peace-building/state-building model adopted by supranational institu-
tions and donor agencies. While the democratic peace, both in theory and practice,
entails the promotion of free market policies and integration into the global economy
—in addition to the centrality of electoral representative democracy—proponents of
capitalist peace assert that capitalism supersedes democracy in discouraging wars.
This belief has led capitalist peace theorists to conclude that ‘the capitalist peace may
have overturned the democratic one’.
Despite many efforts to produce intensive quantitative research to present scientific
justification for a presumed relationship between capitalism and peace, the theory
remains fundamentally flawed and can be invalidated by pointing to centuries of
capitalist-driven wars and conflicts. The capitalist peace theory suffers from a myriad
of limitations, historical inconsistency and superficiality in understanding the causes of
war and peace. Therefore the current attempt to boost it, amid the ongoing crisis of
capitalism, might not live for long.
In reality, there are now many studies with substantial findings which propose that
much of the world’s crises and wars, historically and presently, can be attributed to the
global expansion of capitalism, with its far-reaching consequences on both the interstate
and intrastate levels. Historically, the emergence and development of capitalism was
accompanied by colonial wars and invasions, which heavily relied on violence to secure
raw materials, natural resources, cheap labour and open up new markets in the colonies
across the global South.
Many of the twentieth century American military interven-
tions, such as those in Vietnam, Chile, Guatemala, among others, were driven by the
imperative to secure America’s capitalist interests against Soviet Communism and radi-
cal third world nationalism.
Similar imperatives can be seen in the post-Cold War
conflicts, with the US-led imperial war on Iraq in 2003 exemplifying the most recent
trend of how violence and war are central to the expansion and protection of the capi-
talist system. Furthermore, evidence suggests that capitalist experiments in developing
countries, such as the IMF-sponsored structural adjustment packages since the 1970s,
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have resulted in a rapid deterioration of living standards, rising unemployment and
poverty, increasing social divisions, more material inequality and a weakening of the
state—all of which has encouraged authoritarianism, which consequently has
exacerbated internal crises and fuelled intrastate wars.
Oslo as a failed model of ‘capitalist peace’
The Palestinian-Israeli peace process that began with the signing of the Oslo Accords
in 1993 was largely motivated by an analogous logic to that of capitalist peace. The
Oslo political compromise was particularly inspired by the notion of the ‘peace
dividend’, promising a new era of economic co-operation and prosperity if the
Palestinians and Israelis negotiated a peaceful settlement under the globalisation
umbrella. Scholars who have examined the Oslo process through a political economy
lens have described it as the ‘peace of business’ and the ‘peace of markets’,
pointing to the capitalist assumptions underpinning the Oslo framework. Indeed, as
Turner argues, ‘the Oslo framework has been regulated and conditioned by the shifting
political economy and geography of Israel and the global neoliberal developmental
consensus into which the PA emerged’.
The Oslo process was primarily influenced by the steady expansion of global
capitalism following the end of the Cold War. The US-led ‘New World Order’, which
was launched following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, and which marked a
universal enforcement of the US model of free market economy and liberal democracy
through various normative and coercive means, brought to fruition neo-liberal
development models that began in the 1970s. The US’s unchallenged hegemony is
codified in its dominance over the Oslo process, despite the fact that the peace deal
was brokered through Norwegian back-channel negotiations. Peace-building policies
thereafter allowed for heavy involvement of international donors and international
financial institutions in designing and conditioning the very structure and policies of
the nascent PA.
A key factor that motivated Israel to embark on a peace agreement with the PLO is
associated with the liberalisation of its economy that was launched in 1985 as a
response to its acute economic crisis. Israel’s neo-liberal turn meant a drastic transfor-
mation of its strategic options from a welfare-warfare state to liberalism and regional
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This marked a major shift in Israel’s foreign policy towards the PLO
and the region at large, which was driven by Israel’s economic requirement for a
smooth integration into the global economy, attracting transnational capital and open-
ing up new markets particularly in the regional context.
Consequently, the rules of
the game have changed and a peace agreement that would secure desirable levels of
political stability constituted an urgent prerequisite for Israel’s new globalised econ-
omy. Israeli businesses were eager for a peaceful settlement and political stability as
was evident in their influential role in the early phase of the negotiating process, and
whose primary agenda was to transform the occupation from a colonial into a
neocolonial project.
The notion of a ‘peace dividend’ was promoted beyond the Israel-Palestine frontiers
to embrace the wider regional context, with open borders for capital and markets that
would yield an unprecedented regional economic boom. The former Israeli Prime
Minister Shimon Peres expressed this strategic vision in his account of a ‘New Middle
East’, which sought to transform regional economies into peripheries subordinated to
the Israeli core.
The materialisation of this strategic vision required a process of
political and economic normalisation with the Arab states that would create the proper
conditions for economic co-operation and investments. A key political factor in the
achievement of Peres’s vision was utilising a resolution of the Palestinian question as a
strategic instrument toward establishing a ‘New Middle East’, and incorporating it into
the broader ‘New World Order’.
As a result of the structural power asymmetries and the decisive US backing of
Israel’s strategic interests, Israel emerged as the sole winner. The most important
economic ramification of the Oslo agreements was the redefinition of the Palestinian-
Israeli economic relationship from one subjected to an enforced structural dependency
that existed since 1967, to a consensually regulated structural dependency based on
internationally recognised agreements between the PLO and the Israeli government. In
particular, the Paris Protocol of 1994 specified the rules governing the Palestinian-
Israeli imbalanced economic relations, which are firmly based on protecting the accu-
mulated Israeli colonial experience of domination, rather than creating the conditions
for the gradual transfer of economic power over resources, land and development to
the Palestinians. While some cosmetic economic functions were transferred to the PA
to serve as symbolic trappings of statehood and help relieve Israel from the burden of
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overseeing civil services (e.g. welfare, education, health and direct or indirect taxation),
Israel maintained control over essential pillars of the economy such as borders, land,
water, natural resources, labour, freedom of movement, trade, fiscal management,
industrial zoning and water resources.
No less important is that the Paris Protocols
recognised the quasi-customs union that was established under occupation since 1967,
thus effectively instituting Israel’s restrictive trade regime over the Palestinians. The
Oslo process has also provided Israel with remarkable economic opportunities abroad,
with new trade relations established with various states in the Middle East, Asia and
Europe, thus opening up new markets and fields of activity to the Israeli economy.
Despite the absence of full diplomatic relations, business contacts have been
established with several regional states, especially Gulf states.
Consequently, the Oslo process successfully delivered a lucrative deal for the Israeli
economy in the period 1994–2000, represented by a rise in GDP of 14.2 per cent.
According to Benny Gaon, a prominent Israeli businessman and industrialist, the
Israeli economic boom ‘would not have been likely before the peace process began’.
During the same period, and despite international financial flows to the PA, the
Palestinians experienced an unprecedented economic deterioration characterised by a
rise in unemployment and poverty with GDP falling by 3.8 per cent.
Palestinian ‘Fayyadism’
The term ‘Fayyadism’ denotes a particular political economy model of governance that
has guided Palestinian politics in recent years, and which largely reshaped the PA’s
state-building trajectory. The core of Fayyadism is a Third Way approach to Palestinian
statehood: its fundamental rationale is based on the assumption that neither armed strug-
gle (the first way) nor political negotiations (the second way) have succeeded in achieving
an independent state. It emphasises technical, economic and security co-operation with
Israel and the international donor community to enable institution-building and eco-
nomic development as a cornerstone strategy for a future Palestinian state. In order to
achieve this, Fayyadism has focused on two principles. The first pertains to acquiring
international support for its state-building effort, and assumes that a Palestinian state can
be attained through creating conditions for institutional facts on the ground, economic
development and effective internal policing. Accordingly, this will stimulate the
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international community to appreciate Palestinian institutional readiness, a matter that
will invariably translate into tangible international recognition of the de facto state. The
second principle is based on building a state upon the conditions set by international
financial institutions and donor agencies. This has involved the systematic implementa-
tion of neo-liberal packages of governance, institutional management and economic
development, supported by security reform and the enhancement of internal policing to
maintain political stability as a precondition for the project to flourish. While the first
principle has failed as no state has yet emerged, the second continues to be the guiding
framework of the PA.
Both principles have guided the PA’s reform agenda, elaborated in three successive
reports lunched by Fayyad’s government (2008–2010): the first was ‘The Palestinian
Reform and Development Plan’ (PRDP), the second was ‘Palestine: Ending the Occupa-
tion, Establishing the State’ and the third was ‘Homestretch to Freedom’. These reports
are essentially based on a series of proposals recommended by the World Bank and other
donor agencies. The reports place particular emphasis on three mutually reinforcing
components: (1) institution-building and good governance; (2) security; and (3) private
sector-led economic development. According to this vision, these components constitute
‘positive and proactive steps, both nationally and internationally, in order to end the
occupation and reach a just and lasting political settlement in our region’.
While these
reports have been endorsed and praised by international financial institutions, several
observers and independent assessments have shown various shortcomings in Fayyad’s
approach to replace a political solution, and have questioned the very nature of his
state-building trajectory in an increasingly authoritarian context.
A major weakness of Fayyadism is that this approach disregards the structure of
power relations and the existing asymmetries which are a by-product of a complex of
factors lying at the core of the ongoing conflict. By asserting that institutional
readiness is a precondition of state recognition, not the other way around, Fayyadism
exemplifies a historical misrepresentation of the way in which states are generally built
and recognised. According to Kanafani:
[H]istory affirms, almost without exception, that state creation is a purely
political decision that has owed nothing to these other factors. Shortages of
economic or institutional viability may have played a role in dissolving
states, but not in creating them or drawing their borders.
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A cornerstone of Fayyadism is its uncritical embracing of the Washington Consensus
and its neo-liberal policies of economic governance. While it is widely agreed that
neo-liberalism constituted the guiding framework for the PA economic policies since
the early years of its establishment,
Fayyad’s neo-liberal rearrangement takes it one
stage further due to its technical professionalism, systematic implementation and accel-
eratory dynamic. Hanieh notes that the PA’s commitment to such a massive and rapid
implementation of neo-liberal policies exceeds measures imposed by IFIs on any other
state in the region.
These measures are primarily intended to pave the way for the private sector to
expand and capture various public services. According to Fayyad’s economic develop-
ment, a thriving private sector has the objective of creating a ‘diversified and thriving
free market economy led by a pioneering private sector that is in harmony with the
Arab world, [and] is open to regional and global markets’.
However, this approach
avoids acknowledging the fact that, in order for the private sector to flourish, an
overall harmony with the Israeli authorities, security establishment and business
community is a prerequisite for this economic vision to materialise.
A key factor in the economic functionality of Fayyadism stems from the necessity of
creating a solid degree of political stability on the ground; that is to preserve the polit-
ical status quo regardless of the expansionist nature of Israeli colonisation. This factor
intersects with the security situation, which necessitated the extensive rebuilding of the
Palestinian security sector which was destroyed, scattered and left largely dysfunctional
by the Israeli reoccupation of Palestinian towns during the Second Intifada. With
events associated with the fragile security situation in the aftermath of the Second
Intifada, and the Israeli and Western distress following Hamas’s victory in the legisla-
tive elections in 2006 and its seizure of power in the Gaza Strip in 2007, great efforts
and resources have been invested in reforming and empowering the West Bank-based
security forces.
This marks a systematic reconstruction of PA authoritarianism.
Fayyadism in this regard has practically enforced tough security measures under the
banner of ‘law and order’ with professional capabilities of internal policing. An exam-
ple of Fayyad’s government security practices is evident in the systematic repression of
political dissidents, particularly through well-designed security campaigns against
refugee camps, most prominently subsequent security campaigns that targeted Jenin
refugee camp in 2007, 2008 and 2013, which aimed to ‘make Jenin a model city for
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the West Bank’.
Moreover, this security effort required the consent of, and closer
co-ordination with, the Israeli security establishment, which has quantitatively and
qualitatively surpassed the levels that existed during the 1990s.
International donors, particularly the US and the EU, have played key roles in the
PA’s security reform, with a major focus on shaping the PA security doctrine, training,
vetting and strategic planning, and the formation of professional security apparatuses
with enhanced capacity for internal policing and ‘counter-terrorism’ operations.
a huge role by international donors in fostering and consolidating the repressive
character of the PA is of great significance to understanding the interrelation between
economic liberalisation and authoritarianism in the context of ongoing occupation.
Israel’s economic peace
The notion of EP signifies an Israeli political economy strategy for improving the
economy and the socio-economic situation in the West Bank. EP is closely associated
with the name, worldview and electoral programme of the Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu whose credo rests on the assumption that ‘economics, not
politics, is the key to peace’.
From his perspective, EP primarily ‘relies on two forces:
Israeli security and market forces’.
Shortly after his election in 2009, Netanyahu con-
verted his vision into an administrative body whose mandate is to endorse EP in the
West Bank through advancing around 25 economic initiatives in co-ordination with
the Quartet and the PA.
Netanyahu’s logic of economic peace is simple: by introducing economic incentives
through active economic and security co-operation, accompanied by a partial
reduction of the closure regime in the West Bank, the anticipated improvement of
socio-economic standards and economic growth would in turn weaken the tendency
towards violence and ensure Palestinian acceptance of the political status quo. In other
words, giving primacy to economic development on the basis of effective security
performance may constitute a convenient substitute for the political process, and the
maturing of the EP through its effects of normalisation and pacification would
ultimately lead to peace.
Approaches that promote economic pacification are not new in the history of Israel’s
occupation. While such approaches often appear to be dominated by economic policies,
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they are essentially representing a broader strategy with often-unstated political
objectives. A prominent historical example of economic pacification emerged in the
immediate aftermath of Israel’s occupation in 1967, when the Israeli government
adopted a proposal by the Minister of Defence Moshe Dayan, who advocated a politi-
cal-economic strategy widely known as ‘open bridges’.
This strategy was based on the
notion of ‘self-management’, and relied on three principles: (1) non-presence: reducing
the presence of the Israeli military forces in the occupied areas; (2) non-interference:
encouraging the population to manage their daily economic and social activities with
minimal interference from the occupation authorities; and (3) open bridges: allowing
the Palestinians to trade with Jordan, and to a lesser extent with Egypt. Further, Israel
also endorsed a limited pattern of ‘modernisation’ of the Palestinian economy through
implementing agricultural-related projects.
However, Israel neglected to implement
macroeconomic policies that could serve the actual needs of the Palestinian economy.
The ‘open bridges’ policy was particularly effective in terms of stabilising the initial
phase of the colonisation process through ‘redefining the conditions that govern the
lives of Palestinian people’.
In the words of Dayan, the real aim was to make the
‘occupation invisible’.
While it is true that Dayan’s strategy was ostensibly conducive to a considerable
increase in the per capita income and general well-being in the oPt, it did not build a
productive economy capable of absorbing the labour force and of developing the oPt
Farsakh notes that while Israel’s policies led to the doubling of per
capita income, they also caused a disintegration of the Palestinian economic base.
This disintegration disrupted the political foundation of the Palestinian liberation
movement and its struggle for self-determination and political independence. In fact,
these policies instituted the pillars of the occupation, and superimposed a state of
structural dependency on the Israeli economy, which were advanced through a set of
sophisticated colonial techniques and various restrictive measures by the Israeli author-
ities after 1967.
A brief comparison between Dayan’s ‘open bridges’ and Netanyahu’s ‘economic
peace’ shows huge similarities in their underlying political impulses. The long-term
political consideration of Dayan’s ‘open bridges’ was based on the belief that improv-
ing the socio-economic conditions of the population would minimise the likelihood of
PLO influence in the occupied territory and decrease political opposition to the
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occupation. This strategy, therefore, meant that allowing for a certain degree of
economic prosperity in the occupied territory would gradually result in people giving
up their political rights. Similarly, Netanyahu’s economic peace asserts that improving
the living standards in the West Bank would generate pacifying effects and preclude
political radicalisation. This would help replace political peace through negotiations
with economic peace through market forces. Another major political objective of EP is
to exploit the internal Palestinian political and institutional division between the
Fatah-led PA in the West Bank and the de facto Hamas government in Gaza. By
promoting an economically prosperous West Bank, Israeli policy-makers envisage a
disciplinary model for Gaza’s deplorable reality under the Israeli siege, which will
pressure the population to turn against Hamas in pursuit of a similar socio-economic
reality to that of the West Bank.
The symbiosis: the industrial zones model
The symbiosis between Fayyadism and the EP can be seen most visibly in large-scale
economic projects that have emerged in the West Bank in recent years, officially
labelled as ‘development’. Because of the power asymmetry, coupled with the neo-
liberal orientation of these projects under occupation, their implementation is subject
to Israeli authorisation, and requires the active involvement of Israeli companies and
capital in the occupied West Bank. These joint projects are admired by Western
donors and development agencies, which have played a crucial role in various areas
such as offering significant amounts of financial support and sponsorship. This section
focuses on an example of these joint projects: the construction of joint industrial zones
in the West Bank. It argues that joint industrial zones signify the most significant
manifestation of how Palestinian, Israeli and regional capitals and businesses
co-operate and advance the capitalist dynamic within the existing colonial framework.
Export Processing Zones (EPZ) have proliferated in various parts of the developing
world following the end of the Cold War.
These zones are one aspect of the interna-
tionalisation of capitalism in its neo-liberal form, which exemplify market deregulation
and export-oriented development to attract foreign investments. They are designed to
attract multinational corporations to operate with minimal control through offering
them special privileges and laws, including duty free arrangements, tax concessions,
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reduced administrative costs, circumscription of trade unions and few workers’
In fact, these zones rarely represent a gain for the host nation.
In the oPt, the initial idea of building industrial zones as a pacifying instrument
based on creating jobs and improving the socio-economic standards of the population
predates the Oslo process. The Sadan development plan of 1989, set up by Israel’s
Minister of Finance Ezra Sadan, and commissioned by the Israeli Minister of Defence
Moshe Arens, can be identified as the first official expression of Israeli interest in
establishing an industrial base in the occupied territory linked to the Israeli economy
and its industries.
The plan intended to reduce unemployment in the Palestinian
work force, that had resulted from Israel’s tightening of its closure policy during the
First Intifada, which had prevented a large segment of Palestinian workers from reach-
ing their jobs inside Israel. Israel’s political calculus behind the plan stemmed from
concerns pertaining to the consequence of the closure policy on workers’ political
radicalisation and potential engagement in the First Intifada.
The plan granted Israeli businesses the higher-added tiers of the industries into which
Palestinian enterprises would be integrated.
It marked the first time that Israel sought
to involve diaspora Palestinian capital in joint investments in the industrial zones. In
1991 Israel issued military order 105, which permitted for the first time free Palestinian
investment in Gaza, while the Civil Administration began to provide new licences and
subsidies and benefits to exiled Palestinian businesspeople, including the right of resi-
dency in the territory.
The plan resulted in the construction of the Erez industrial
zone in 1991 in the area of Beit Hanun on the Gaza border, which operated until it was
shut down and abandoned as part of the Israeli disengagement plan in 2005.
As part of the Oslo peace-building framework, joint industrial zones became a con-
sensual economic project between the PA and Israel, and were regarded as one of the
most important joint initiatives to produce ‘peace dividends’. The US encouraged
export-oriented industrial zones as effective means to promote the Oslo peace process
through deepening Palestinian-Israeli economic normalisation. Furthermore, the
industrial zone initiative served to consolidate the nascent PA neo-liberal economic
model through fostering export-led development and integrating it into the dynamics
of global markets. The US administration of Bill Clinton sought to expand the existing
US-Israeli Free Trade Agreement to include Egypt, Jordan and the PA. Clinton partic-
ularly expressed US interest in establishing industrial zones in the occupied territory:
Palestinian ‘Fayyadism’ and Israeli ‘economic peace’ 469
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[I]f you agree to establish industrial zones in the West Bank and Gaza and
elsewhere, I am prepared to go to Congress and seek approval for extending
duty-free treatment to products coming out of those zones. Of course, in the
end, the economic and political cooperation among all of us will be the most
important thing in reaping economic progress.
Accordingly, joint industrial zones gained international support, and saw several donor
agencies and international financial institutions rushing to provide technical and finan-
cial assistance. For its part, the PA established the Palestinian Industrial Estate and
Free Zone Authority (PIEFZA) in 1998 to promote and supervise investments in the
industrial estates and the free zones. Linking between the peace process and the indus-
trial zones, it was hoped that these projects would produce pacifying effects to support
the Oslo process and ensure political stability needed to attract foreign investment.
According to a 1999 World Bank report, these zones are designed ‘to play a key role
in attracting foreign and local investment, and to facilitate joint ventures and other
models of cooperation and confidence-building’.
These international efforts sought to build multiple industrial zones in the West Bank
and Gaza. However, the implementation encountered several difficulties and repeated
delays caused by the political conditioning of the Israeli authorities. The most tangible of
these was perhaps the Karni industrial zone, which was officially inaugurated in 1998 on
the borders between Gaza and Israel. Major donor agencies such as USAID, the European
Investment Bank, the International Finance Corporation and the World Bank supported
this project through providing loans and technical assistance.
However, the Karni
industrial zone came to a complete standstill in 2007 because of the Israeli-imposed siege
on Gaza, which banned the movement of goods and workers into and out of Gaza.
The processing of industrial zones in the oPt was temporarily suspended in the sec-
ond intifada. Nevertheless, the later emergence of Fayyadism and EP reinvigorated
interest in advancing joint economic initiatives. On the one hand, the idea of joint
investments in the West Bank industrial zones gained currency at the 2007 Paris
Donors Conference, which was held to provide international support to Fayyad’s
vision for economic development and statehood. On the other hand, the revival of
industrial zones to boost the PA economy was politically motivated by the ‘West Bank
First’ strategy that was meant to offer a political carrot for the West Bank leadership
while at the same time punishing the Hamas-governed Gaza Strip.
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Industrial zones have come to symbolise the symbiosis of Fayyadism and EP. For
Israel, industrial zones are an integral part of the EP strategy, which would contribute to
creating jobs and improving the socio-economic conditions in the West Bank, where
Israeli businesses are expected to be actively involved with their Palestinian counterparts
to normalise economic ties and generate pacifying effects necessary to maintain the
political status quo. For Fayyadism, industrial zones constitute an essential part of the
envisioned investment-enabling infrastructure that would support export-oriented eco-
nomic development. The PA thus anticipates that the industrial zones will reduce unem-
ployment in the West Bank and contribute to strengthening the national economy.
This EP-Fayyadism economic collaboration finds expression in four industrial zones,
which are currently under construction or partly operational. Each industrial zone has
received special sponsorship(s): Jenin Industrial Free Zone (JIFZ) is sponsored by Tur-
key and Germany, Bethlehem Multidisciplinary Industrial Estate (BMIE) is supported
by France, Jericho Agro-Industrial Park (JAIP) is supported by Japan, and Tarqumiya
Industrial Estate (TIE) near Hebron is sponsored by Turkey and the World Bank.
These zones are designed to produce a variety of products intended for export through
Israeli-controlled borders. This includes products such as metal goods, food and
beverages, chemicals, cosmetics and building materials (JIFZ), food industries (JAIP),
high-tech and other small and middle-sized industries (BMIE), medium to heavy
industry (stone, construction materials), logistics and transit enterprises, and textile
and garments production (TIE). According to Abunimah, these products will be
exported under the label ‘Made in Palestine’.
This will imply commercial manipula-
tions benefiting Israeli firms because they will be able to further infiltrate Arab markets
and avoid international boycott campaigns particularly in Western markets.
In order to accommodate investors, Palestinian institutions overseeing industrial
zones such as PIEFZA and the Palestinian Investment Promotion Agency (PIPA) have
set two laws that are profoundly influenced by neo-liberal logic and imperatives, and
granted excessive concessions and incentives to investors. According to the CEO of
PIEFZA, these laws were ‘specifically developed to place at the forefront our investors’
interests and rights’.
This includes income tax exemptions, fixed assets exemptions,
free movement of capital and profits, export exemptions, local market sales, rules of
origin incentives, investment guarantee for foreign direct investors, infrastructure
incentives and preferential access to regional and international markets.
Palestinian ‘Fayyadism’ and Israeli ‘economic peace’ 471
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International donors’ motivations for supporting industrial zones sits well in the EP
framework. For example, the Japanese-sponsored agro-industrial zone in Jericho,
named the ‘Corridor for Peace and Prosperity’, which is the largest industrial project
in the West Bank, has been marketed along with the supremacy of economic develop-
ment and co-operation in achieving peace. According to Japan’s foreign minister:
When the concept of the Corridor for Peace and Prosperity is materialized,
the regional problem will be solved through economic, rather than security
or political, ways. We believe that Japan is the only one in a position to
achieve this.
Moreover, joint investments in these industrial zones will likely create new opportuni-
ties for Israeli businesses in terms of export-generated profit and the availability of
cheap labour, as speculated by the World Bank:
It could be imagined that Israeli firms establish plants in the Palestinian
state to access cheaper labor and then export from there to the rest of the
Arab world. This would bring employment and technology to the Palestini-
ans, while providing Israeli goods free access to a large new market.
Unlike incentives granted to investors, local workers experience a drastically different
treatment. According to estimates, these industrial zones were to create 150,000–
200,000 job opportunities; a number that nearly equals the Palestinian jobs lost inside
Israel since the Second Intifada.
The Palestinian economist Sam Bahour noted that
these industrial zones ‘promise menial labor-intensive jobs that are extremely reliant
on donors fund to maintain their livelihood’.
In his view, this suggests a shift from
the Oslo-framed internationally-funded PA economy, to a system that is still based on
donor assistance, but with the involvement of Palestinians to sell their labour for the
benefit of commercial enterprises inside industrial zones.
Similar to the capitalist exploitive practices as documented inside the EPZs in
developing countries, and the QIZs in Jordan and Egypt, where workers have few
employment rights,
the industrial zones will likely apply a similar pattern of exploita-
tion on Palestinian labour. In fact, it was reported that Palestinian workers inside these
zones would not benefit from Palestinian or Israeli labour laws including wage levels,
social security, environmental regulations and other workplace conditions. Existing
Palestinian trade unions are not permitted to represent workers, and industrial zone
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workers will not be given the right to establish their own union. Given the priority of
security, restrictive measures will apply on movement in and out of the industrial
Industrial zones, as is the case with every project, are subject to the existing power
asymmetry favouring Israel’s political priorities. As discussed above, the uneasy experi-
ence of the Karni industrial zone in the 1990s shows how the implementation and
functionality of such projects are exclusively based on Israel’s political conditioning
and consent. Therefore, Israel will likely use these industrial zones as an effective tool
for political pressure. In other words, the entire functionality of the industrial zones
and the expected economic outcomes will largely depend on Palestinian acceptance of
Israeli political conditions.
Israel’s control over the development of industrial zones is determined by its overall
control of Palestinian resources and infrastructure such as water, electricity and lands.
Plus, Israel effectively controls the movement of people and goods inside the West
Bank; and maintains full authority over the borders and trade with the outside world.
At best, the logic guiding industrial zones to bring peace will only benefit and enrich
a very narrow segment of the Palestinian political-economic elite with their Israeli
counterparts and international investors, while it will alienate Palestinian society at
large. Promises that employment opportunities and other economic gains will yield
economic benefits for Palestinians, which as a consequence will spill over to the politi-
cal sphere, thus rendering peace attainable, will prove difficult to fulfil.
Conclusion: instituting a colonial political economy
Since the Oslo Accords, advocates of the ‘peace dividend’ have envisioned that a capi-
talist interaction would bolster economic interdependence and peace between the
Palestinians and the Israelis and the region at large. This assumption proved illusion-
ary; peace has not found a way through the Oslo process and the ‘peace dividend’ has
been limited to compromises among the elites. After the Second Intifada, local and
international efforts to revive the peace process have been overwhelmingly focused on
advancing the dynamic of capitalism in the West Bank to pave the way for another
prospect for peace.
Palestinian ‘Fayyadism’ and Israeli ‘economic peace’ 473
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The PA-Israeli implicit consensus on this form of capitalist peace is evident in the
symbiosis between Palestinian Fayyadism and Israeli EP, which stimulated multiple
joint economic projects, including the construction of export-oriented industrial zones,
under the condition of Israel’s colonial order. The outcome of such interaction has
been a fragile political stability, underpinned by security co-ordination and elite net-
works of economic interests, which will likely collapse through the impact of any seri-
ous political or economic crisis.
The West Bank experience has demonstrated that capitalist interaction between the
coloniser and colonised has come to constitute a mechanism of control that serves
colonial entrenchment and pacification. In this context, colonial entrenchment implies
the perpetuation of the Israeli occupation and its settler-colonial regime, while pacifi-
cation is an attempt to ensure the domestication of the population and their accep-
tance of the status quo. Yet speculations that an intensified capitalism and economic
‘interdependency’ between the coloniser and colonised would bring peace is unrealistic,
given the fact that ‘interdependency’ in the context of the structural power asymmetry
that characterises Palestine-Israel relations is irrelevant. Rather, capitalist peace will
institutionalise structural dependency characterised by manifold forms of colonial
domination and subordination, which will eventually harden resistance to this form of
colonial peace.
I would like to thank the anonymous peer reviewers for useful comments made on an earlier
draft, however, any errors are my own. I am particularly thankful and indebted to Mandy
Turner for sharing expertise and valuable support during all phases of this research project, and
to Riccardo Boco for the postdoctoral opportunity at the Graduate Institute of International and
Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland, which allowed me space to write it.
1. Kerry, ‘Remarks to Special Program’.
2. IKV Pax Christi, ‘Analyzing Israel’s Economic Policy’;
Green, ‘Economic Peace in the West Bank’.
3. For example, joint industrial zones, Israeli-
Palestinian business forums, Palestinian investments in
Israel and even in illegal settlements, joint manage-
ment of water resources, Israeli investments in the
new Palestinian city ‘Rawabi’, Palestinian-Israeli part-
nership in IT sector.
4. Khalidi and Samour, ‘Neoliberalism as Liberation’.
5. Weizman, Hollow land.
6. Plehwe et al., Neoliberal Hegemony.
7. Selby, ‘The Political Economy’, 13.
8. Weede, ‘Capitalism, Democracy and Peace’.
9. Kant, Perpetual Peace, 37.
10. Angell, The Great Illusion.
11. Lenin, Imperialism.
12. Polanyi, The Great Transformation.
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13. Weede, ‘Capitalism, Democracy and Peace’; Schneider
and Gleditsch, Assessing the Capitalist Peace; Mous-
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14. Schneider and Gleditsch, ‘The Capitalist Peace’.
15. For further reading on these arguments, see Schneider
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16. Mueller, ‘Capitalism, Peace and the Historical
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18. Boswell, ‘Colonial Empires’.
19. Sullivan, American Adventurism Abroad.
20. Hartzell et al., ‘Economic Liberalization via IMF’.
21. Bouillon, The Peace Business.
22. Turner, ‘Completing the Circle’, 502.
23. The first substantive programme that guided the PA’s
initial economic polices was based on a World Bank
report that was issued even before the establishment
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... inter alia, Elsheshtawy 2004, Elsheshtawy 2008, Fuccaro 2001. 4 The existent literature on Rawabi argues, however, that the consequences of such "context-free" urbanism (Elsheshtawy 2018: 17) is far more dire in a colonial political condition as it de-politicizes and normalizes Israeli violations of Palestinian rights and further entrenches Palestinians' statelessness (cf. inter alia Dana 2014, Grandinetti 2015. But, while it is important to recognize that Rawabi is unable to "solve" the lack of a Palestinian state, it should not however be dismissed as just another neoliberal scheme. ...
... However, Dana posits, such initiatives treat Israelis as "normal business partners rather than an occupying power." Whether by accepting a donation of trees from the Jewish National Fund or by contracting ten Israeli construction companies, Rawabi normalizes the violation of Palestinian rights by Israeli authorities (Dana 2014). Similarly, Tina Grandinetti contends that Rawabi promotes a neoliberal idea of a Palestinian middle class. ...
... While it is accurate to perceive Rawabi an extension of this "neoliberal turn" in Palestine (Dana 2015), such a critique of the city is premised on the continued statelessness of Palestinians. That is to say, Rawabi -or, for that matter, the neoliberal brand of state-building prevalent in Palestine -has been criticized because it does not "solve" Palestinian statelessness or secure the sovereign State of Palestine. ...
... Th ey attempted to create frameworks for regulation, distribution of housing and resources, environ-mental protection, and otherwise orient state capacity to fi nally serve Palestine and Palestinians. As political circumstances changed and sovereignty-or even the terms of the agreementslowly blurred at the edges, state planning was broken down to studs (Th awaba 2019; Zeid and Th awaba 2018) and international aid came to fi ll a gap in authority and governance (Dana 2015;Turner 2012Turner , 2015. In the early 2000s, alongside both the erosion of government capacity and consonant with changing priorities and ideological orientations in an aid apparatus that emphasized market building and economics over service provision, this period of change had signifi cant impact on what planning could do or mean in Palestine and for Palestinians. ...
... Th e emerging state in the West Bank is an ongoing process that exists as part of and within a political system, economy, and structure of possibility scaff olded by the "confl ict" and its various "solutions. " Critics have long ago identifi ed the importance of understanding the peace process as process, infused with economic rationales and need for foreign investment, as well as goals for accumulation (Dana 2015;Haddad 2016;Hanieh 2013b;Massad 2006;Turner 2012). Th e case of planning is one description of how governance has met the contours of wider practice while also orienting and directing it. ...
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Drawn from ethnographic fieldwork and documentary research, this article examines three shifts in national-scale planning in Palestine. In the period after the Oslo accords, Palestinian planners were tasked with the responsibility to create formal structures of governance and build for a future, eventual state there. Through that process and especially after the second intifada, national planning came to focus almost exclusively on market openness, privatization, and capitalistic development as part of a state and economy building project. Increasingly since 2015, planners have attempted to re-take some kind of formal authority. This article argues that such regimes show how Palestine is increasingly crafted at the state-scale as a node in wider global political economies in order to ostensibly stabilize the political situation, and in ways that have wide consequences for Palestine.
... The invisible lines superimposed by the agreements divide the site into area A and C, partially overlapping with the Jerusalem Municipality. On the ground, this determines very different conditions in terms of legal guarantees, security and autonomy, consistent with the neo-liberal state-building criteria at the foundation of the Oslo Agreements (Dana, 2015). This micro geo-political pattern affects the very local scale, driving spatial patterns and demographics. ...
... Gulf countries, which were predominantly Muslim, were characterised instead by a much more prescriptive religious approach that was and remains very different from the approach traditionally observed in Palestine and by Palestinians, and which continues to be strictly regulatory towards social structures and gender relations. (Dana, 2015), aimed at demonstrating the reliability of the Palestinian administrative and economic system as a fully-functioning country, able to keep control and manage its territories, citizens and, therefore, its security. 8. Camps in the West Bank are typically provided with water and electricity by Palestinian companies. ...
... The invisible lines superimposed by the agreements divide the site into area A and C, partially overlapping with the Jerusalem Municipality. On the ground, this determines very different conditions in terms of legal guarantees, security and autonomy, consistent with the neo-liberal state-building criteria at the foundation of the Oslo Agreements (Dana, 2015). This micro geo-political pattern affects the very local scale, driving spatial patterns and demographics. ...
... In the context of a fully liberalised real estate market, where no measures have been taken to balance the social mix, diverse profiles of migrants end up sorted to specific locations by the force of their spending capacity and time perspectives. (Dana, 2015), aimed at demonstrating the reliability of the Palestinian administrative and economic system as a fully-functioning country, able to keep control and manage its territories, citizens and, therefore, its security. 8. Camps in the West Bank are typically provided with water and electricity by Palestinian companies. ...
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Since 1948 the everyday of Palestinians is affected by manifold forms of migration. Experiences of displacement are so endemic to have become a relevant part of the Palestinian identity as a nation. However, the diversity of such experiences contributes to fragment Palestinian society into quite distinct communities and (sub)cultures. While a large scholarship recognises the importance of displacement within the contemporary Palestinian nationhood, it struggles to achieve the plurality of identities that composes today’s Palestinian society, particularly missing out the input from migration dynamics that are not immediately ascribed to the Israeli occupation. Taking the case of the southern suburbs of Ramallah/Al-Bireh, this chapter endeavours to substantiate some of the different identities coexisting in the urban West Bank today. Identity is explored in everyday spaces and practices, delving into the interplay of historical, political, social, economic and spatial dynamics that underlie the existence of specific socio-spatial realities.
... The invisible lines superimposed by the agreements divide the site into area A and C, partially overlapping with the Jerusalem Municipality. On the ground, this determines very different conditions in terms of legal guarantees, security and autonomy, consistent with the neo-liberal state-building criteria at the foundation of the Oslo Agreements (Dana, 2015). This micro geo-political pattern affects the very local scale, driving spatial patterns and demographics. ...
... Gulf countries, which were predominantly Muslim, were characterised instead by a much more prescriptive religious approach that was and remains very different from the approach traditionally observed in Palestine and by Palestinians, and which continues to be strictly regulatory towards social structures and gender relations. (Dana, 2015), aimed at demonstrating the reliability of the Palestinian administrative and economic system as a fully-functioning country, able to keep control and manage its territories, citizens and, therefore, its security. ...
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Making Home(s) in Displacement critically rethinks the relationship between home and displacement from a spatial, material, and architectural perspective. Recent scholarship in the social sciences has investigated how migrants and refugees create and reproduce home under new conditions, thereby unpacking the seemingly contradictory positions of making a home and overcoming its loss. Yet, making home(s) in displacement is also a spatial practice, one which intrinsically relates to the fabrication of the built environment worldwide. Conceptually the book is divided along four spatial sites, referred to as camp, shelter, city, and house, which are approached with a multitude of perspectives ranging from urban planning and architecture to anthropology, geography, philosophy, gender studies, and urban history, all with a common focus on space and spatiality. By articulating everyday homemaking experiences of migrants and refugees as spatial practices in a variety of geopolitical and historical contexts, this edited volume adds a novel perspective to the existing interdisciplinary scholarship at the intersection of home and displacement. It equally intends to broaden the canon of architectural histories and theories by including migrants' and refugees' spatial agencies and place-making practices to its annals. By highlighting the political in the spatial, and vice versa, this volume sets out to decentralise and decolonise current definitions of home and displacement, striving for a more pluralistic outlook on the idea of home.
... However, the small benefits offered by economic peace are not the result of any political change; they do not end Palestinian subordination to Israelthey solidify it. Therefore, economic peace undermines any Palestinian attempt to build a viable, independent economy where they can trade freely with the world without Israeli mediation or oversight (Dana, 2015). ...
Peace is usually studied through nation-states operating in the international system, but recently, peace scholars have underscored the need to research peace as a part of everyday life. I argue that communication scholars should join the new conversation about everyday peace. I discuss major peace theories in broadcast and digital media that either replicate the state-centered approach or struggle to find ways to reach reconciliation. Nevertheless, I argue that communication scholars are well equipped to study everyday peace by focusing on mediatized manifestations of everyday life in popular culture and digital platforms. I demonstrate my claim by analyzing visual and sonic manifestations of everyday peace in Israel/Palestine. I investigate two Israeli television shows, Fauda and Arab Labor, focusing on Jewish and Palestinian men who try to pass members of the other community. Their identity work proves that national and ethnic identities are not stable but remain in flux, undermining Zionism which strives to silo Jews and Palestinians into separate categories. Nevertheless, Fauda and Arab Labor do not prescribe easy solutions to the conflict in their plots. Instead, they allow characters to work through the hardships of the conflict and its implications in their everyday lives. I study the texts of both television shows, illuminating the power of fiction to discuss taboo subjects at the core of the conflict. Moreover, I analyze the production of both shows. Based on interviews with creative workers, I contend that making quality TV is in itself a form of peacemaking because it brings Jews and Palestinian together, galvanizing them to process trauma and explore possible connections between the two communities. I study the sonic expression of everyday peace through a second case study — Border Gone, a digital activist project publishing stories of ordinary Palestinians from Gaza in Hebrew online. I trace the project’s evolution, which initially centered around translating stories written by young adults with the help of hundreds of Israeli volunteers. The stories reveal the humanity of Palestinians, undermining the Zionist perception that all Palestinians are terrorists. Ultimately, Border Gone transformed into an independent news outlet; the managing team was resolved to provide the appropriate political context to Palestinian stories, showcasing how the Israeli occupation of Gaza affects everyday lives. I conducted interviews with Border Gone’s managing team, and with members of its volunteers’ community. I analyze posts appearing on the project’s Facebook page and investigate the various comments uploaded to the page between December 2019-May 2021. May 2021 marked the peak of the project’s operation during a devastating war in Gaza. During the war, I joined the project’s managing team, conducting a participant observation on its news reporting process using the transcripts of a WhatsApp group where we communicated with each other. I conclude that Border Gone affords nonreciprocal listening to Palestinian stories, wherein Jews educate themselves about the reality of Palestinian life without expecting the other side to do the same. The stories captivate Israeli listeners and encourage them to engage in meaningful solidarity by insisting on lively descriptions of Palestinian experiences. Border Gone, as well as Fauda and Arab Labor, prove that peace is possible between Jews and Palestinians who use media to write and tell stories of everyday peace; moreover, media making draws members of these communities close, helping them process the horrors of violent conflict together.
... Under former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, the PA pursued a state-building strategy based on reforming the security sector, building accountable institutions and effective public service, and stimulating growth through the private sector in a free market economy (Tartir 2015). Many Palestinian scholars sharply criticised Fayyadism, arguing that this strategy exacerbated the dependence of the PA not only on the Israeli economy but, equally problematically, on international donor assistance (Brown 2010;Dana 2015). The EDP, in contrast, focuses on shifting from the services and foreign aid-oriented economy that Fayyadim promoted to investing in a self-reliant agriculture and industry-based economy. ...
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The Palestinian Authority (PA), frustrated by the one-sided and zero-sum plan to end the Israeli–Palestinian conflict presented by former US President Donald Trump, has escalated efforts to diminish its reliance on Israel. In particular, the PA responded with plans to disengage from the Israeli economy and become more self-sufficient. This course of action has become known as the Economic Disengagement Plan (EDP). This paper explores the likelihood of the EDP creating development in the absence of Palestinian sovereignty and the extent to which the EDP may be capable of achieving Palestinian separation from the Israeli economy. It argues that the EDP is incapable of separating the Palestinian economy from Israeli in the absence of national sovereignty for the Palestinians over their land. However, while the EDP is not a strategy to achieve political or economic independence, it can contribute to Palestinians’ somood (steadfastness) on their own land, build resilience and advance resistance against the Israeli occupation. To do so, the EDP needs to be placed within a broader national strategy of liberation and decolonisation, rather than being confined to the shackles of inequitable agreements that reflect the severe power imbalance between Israel and the PA, as is the case now.
This chapter mobilises three influential representatives of Palestinian society—the Palestinian NGO sector, the PA’s public servants, and the business community—to draw conclusions on how the Palestinian Authority’s dual rentierism hindered its ability to instil a social contract with its society. The relationship between the international community and the PA, on the one hand, and between the PA and Israeli clearance revenue on the other, hindered the formation of a stable societal contract between the PA and different segments of Palestinian society. The chapter’s primary argument is that the PA’s commitments to abide by externally imposed conditionalities undermined its inward accountability and hindered its legitimacy. It further shifted the PA’s accountability in favour of rent providers. The resultant state–society relationship was weak, and plagued by authoritarianism, lack of political institutions, mistrust, and competition. The evolution of a social contract based on taxation and representation was further undermined by the PA’s weak domestic legitimacy.KeywordsNon-governmental organisationsRentier bargainLabour UnionsPrivate sectorSocial contractConditionality
The COVID-19 pandemic has generated a crisis within a crisis in Palestine. The economy of the Palestinian Territories has been weakened by and subordinated to the Israeli occupation. The post-Oslo neoliberal turn has worsened the situation. The Palestinian public institutions have a very restricted policy space and are heavily dependent on the donors’ agendas. The role of the Palestinian economists and experts is significantly challenged by this unique situation, both in terms of theoretical contributions and policy-making. This chapter aims at scrutinising how to theoretically frame the specificities of the Palestinian economy and discussing both mainstream and ‘heterodox’ economic approaches can hardly offer effective policies and actions for a more sustainable and less unequal development, even in the aftermath of the pandemic. A number of interviews integrate the analysis about the economic debate in Palestine and the way economic thought is produced and translated into policies.KeywordsPalestinePalestinian economyNeoliberalismOsloCOVID-19De-development
The introduction chapter situates the hunger strikers’ experience in the historical frame of colonised Palestine and to the wider context of the Palestinian struggle against settler colonialism and the fragmentation of the Palestinian political movement in the post-Oslo period after the decline of the national struggle. It discusses the rationale behind the book, gives a historical background and explains the importance of the hunger strike in understanding resistant subjectivity in Palestine. It also summarises the core arguments of the book and outlines the chapters.
A timely study by two well-known scholars offers a theoretically informed account of the political sociology of Israel. The analysis is set within its historical context as the authors trace Israel's development from Zionist settlement in the 1880s, through the establishment of the state in 1948, to the present day. Against this background the authors speculate on the relationship between identity and citizenship in Israeli society, and consider the differential rights, duties and privileges that are accorded different social strata. In this way they demonstrate that, despite ongoing tensions, the pressure of globalization and economic liberalization has gradually transformed Israel from a frontier society to one more oriented towards peace and private profit. This unexpected conclusion offers some encouragement for the future of this troubled region. However, Israel's position towards the peace process is still subject to a tug-of-war between two conceptions of citizenship: liberal citizenship on the one hand, and a combination of the remnants of republican citizenship associated with the colonial settlement with an ever more religiously defined ethno-nationalist citizenship, on the other.
The Peace Business is a study of the evolution and consequences of business cooperation in the Middle East in the years of the peace process. Markus E. Bouillon examines how the engagement of entrepreneurs and businesspeople in the peace process, as well as how the nature of business ties between Israelis, Jordanians, and Palestinians, failed to strengthen and advance peace in the Middle East. In this important contribution to the Israel-Palestine debate, he argues that private business interests undermined economic and political stability domestically and thus contributed to the failure of the peace process.
The resurgence of political economy as an important topic reflects the deep interpenetration of politics and economics. There are few economic issues of consequence that are not shaped by government decisions, and there are few governments whose agendas are not dominated by economic issues. No country reflects the interpenetration of politics and economics as much as Israel. In this analysis, Ira Sharkansky examines the extensive involvement of the Israeli government in the country's economy, reflected in governmental expenditures that exceed the gross national product, intimate links between governmental activity and Israeli's standard of living, high inflation and other economic problems, and policymaking behaviors that include entrepreneurialism and indirection. He explores the strategic points of Israel's political economy, pursuing a qualitative analysis of Israeli problems and strategies for dealing with them. Those interested in policy analysis, political economy, comparative politics, comparative public administration, and Israeli politics will find this book invaluable. "Contents: "The Political Economy of Israel; What is the Israeli State? How Large is the Government Budget?; Israel's Standard of Living; Israeli Municipalities: Local Initiative amidst Central Controls; Who Gets What amidst High Inflation? Winners and Losers in the Israeli Budget 1978-1984; Conundrums of Israel's Political Economy: Problems without Solutions; Public Sector Entrepreneurialism; Policymaking by Indirection; Perspective on Israel's Political Economy.
When, during the summer of 2007, the Catholic Primate of All Ireland and Archbishop of Armagh, Sean Brady, attended a celebration of Irish culture in Milwaukee, he had more to speak on than the usual subjects of social breakdown and sexual abuse; his other main concern was to promote inward investment to support the Northern Ireland peace process. Echoing pleas by political, economic and cultural leaders across the Northern Irish political spectrum, he called on the British government to bring down corporation tax in the North to the same 12.5 per cent level as in the Irish Republic, and urged American companies to increase their investment in Northern Ireland (Cooney, 2007). His call was made at a time of growing concern within the Republic about the potential economic repercussions of the resumption of power-sharing in Belfast — a concern that economic growth may become increasingly concentrated in the Dublin-Belfast corridor, crystallised above all by an Aer Lingus decision to open a new Belfast flight hub at the expense of established routes from Shannon (Connolly, 2007). And his call was also made against a backdrop of ongoing discussions in the North, and with London, over a plethora of economic issues — about water bills, house prices, public sector investment, cross-border cooperation and much more besides.
This first complete history of Israel's occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip allows us to see beyond the smoke screen of politics in order to make sense of the dramatic changes that have developed on the ground over the past forty years. Looking at a wide range of topics, from control of water and electricity to health care and education as well as surveillance and torture, Neve Gordon's panoramic account reveals a fundamental shift from a politics of life-when, for instance, Israel helped Palestinians plant more than six-hundred thousand trees in Gaza and provided farmers with improved varieties of seeds-to a macabre politics characterized by an increasing number of deaths. Drawing attention to the interactions, excesses, and contradictions created by the forms of control used in the Occupied Territories, Gordon argues that the occupation's very structure, rather than the policy choices of the Israeli government or the actions of various Palestinian political factions, has led to this radical shift.
Leila Farsakh provides the first comprehensive analysis of the rise and fall of Palestinian labour flows to Israel. Highlighting the interdependence between Israel's confiscation of Palestinian land and the use of Palestinian labour, she shows how migration has been the result of evolving dynamics of Israeli occupation and the reality of Palestinian labour force growth. This study analyzes the pattern of Palestinian labour supply, the role of Israel's territorial and economic policies in the Occupied Territories in releasing Palestinian labour from the land, and the nature of Israeli demand for Palestinian workers, especially in the construction sector where the majority of commuting labourers are concentrated. New light is shed on the growth of illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which are being built by Palestinian workers. Palestinian Labour Migration to Israel is original in its analysis of the contrasting forces of separation and the integration between Israel and the Palestinian territories, showing that the changing patterns in labour flows reflect a process of redefinition of the 1967 borders. It will be of valuable interest to economists and development specialists as well as to scholars, policy makers and all those concerned with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.