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Neoliberalism as Aid for the Settler Colonization of the Occupied Palestinian Territories After Oslo

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Abstract

Since the Oslo Accord was signed in 1993, international donors have invested more than $30 billion as aid meant to develop the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) to foster peace with Israel. The approach has been dictated and driven by Western donors who have used their power to radically refashion Palestinian institutions and the economy while building a state based on neoliberal Western values. One of the biggest and more intrusive contemporary aid interventions, it has also been a complete failure, coinciding with a steep decline in Palestinian general welfare and an upsurge in violence. This chapter describes how this failure lies with a donor approach that was flawed from the onset because it adopted an ahistorical and decontextualized neoliberal approach to Palestinian development that specifically ignored Israel’s aggressive behavior as a settler colonial entity in the oPt. So rather than nurturing economic growth and peace, donors have ended up feeding into a process of de-development, dispossession, and violence. The case is though not without precedent as Western liberalism has had a long history of acting in tandem to colonialism.

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Thesis
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Throughout this century, modernists have been proclaiming that technology would transform world politics. These days futurists argue that the information revolution is leading to a new electronic feudalism, with overlapping communities laying claim to citizens' loyalties. But the state is very resilient. Geographically based states will continue to structure politics in an information age, but they will rely less on traditional resources and more on their ability to remain credible to a public with increasingly diverse sources of information.
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This article, excerpted and adapted from the early chapters of a new book, emphasizes the systematic preparations that laid the ground for the expulsion of more than 750,000 Palestinians from what became Israel in 1948. While sketching the context and diplomatic and polit-ical developments of the period, the article highlights in particular a multi-year "Village Files" project (1940–47) involving the systematic compilation of maps and intelligence for each Arab village and the elaboration—under the direction of an inner "caucus" of fewer than a dozen men led by David Ben-Gurion—of a series of military plans cul-minating in Plan Dalet, according to which the 1948 war was fought. The article ends with a statement of one of the author's underlying goals in writing the book: to make the case for a paradigm of ethnic cleansing to replace the paradigm of war as the basis for the scholarly research of, and the public debate about, 1948. ON A COLD WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON, 10 March 1948, a group of eleven men, vet-eran Zionist leaders together with young military Jewish officers, put the final touches on a plan for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. 1 That same evening, military orders were dispatched to units on the ground to prepare for the sys-tematic expulsion of Palestinians from vast areas of the country. 2 The orders came with a detailed description of the methods to be used to forcibly evict the people: large-scale intimidation; laying siege to and bombarding villages and population centers; setting fire to homes, properties, and goods; expelling residents; demolishing homes; and, finally, planting mines in the rubble to pre-vent the expelled inhabitants from returning. Each unit was issued its own list of villages and neighborhoods to target in keeping with the master plan. Code-named Plan D (Dalet in Hebrew), this was the fourth and final version of vaguer plans outlining the fate that was in store for the native population of Palestine. 3 The previous three plans had articulated only obscurely how the Zionist leadership intended to deal with the presence of so many Palestinians on the land the Jewish national movement wanted for itself. This fourth and ILAN PAPPÉ, an Israeli historian and professor of political science at Haifa University, is the author of a number of books, including The Making of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1947–1951 (I.B. Tauris, 1994) and A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples (Cambridge University Press, 2004). The current article is extracted from early chapters of his latest book, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (Oneworld Publications, Oxford, England, forthcoming in October 2006).
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Policy implementation brings together multiple agencies and groups to work in concert to achieve a set of objectives. Making these joint arrangements function effectively depends upon multiactor linkages and coordination. Drawing upon the Interorganizational and policy network literature, this article discusses these issues and applies them to National Environmental Action Plans (NEAPs). The article looks specifically at Madagascar, examining the implementation structure of the NEAP and how coordination problems are manifested. The essay concludes with some recommendations directed toward improving the effectiveness of Madagascar's NEAP, but which have wider applicability to managing coordination among policy implementation actors in general.
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To see for ourselves the conditions under which Palestinians live and struggle – this was the mission of the delegation of Indigenous and Women of Color Feminists that traveled to Occupied Palestine in June 2011.1 All of us had been part of social justice struggles in our respective communities and all of us sought to increase our capacity for effective solidarity action with Palestinians. I traveled with the delegation as an Indigenous woman living under US occupation seeking to understand how another Indigenous population struggled under settler colonialism. Sometimes it takes seeing the suffering of others to realise the full magnitude of our own suffering. As a Dakota woman in Palestine, I had the painful experience of witnessing the monstrous destructiveness of settler colonialism’s war against a People and a land base. I told one friend that it was like witnessing ahigh-speed and high-tech version of the colonisation of our Indigenous homelands. Colonisation ought to be one of the most easily recognised forms of oppression in the world, but it is not. In fact, colonising powers work so steadfastly to rationalise and justify this crime against humanity that it eventually becomes normalised, acceptable, and even righteous. I come from a place where the government denies that it is colonial – it denies that it is a government of occupation. I recognised this same colonial deception at play in Israel’s disavowal of itself as a colonial entity.
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This article questions the singularity of the Palestine Nakba. It highlights some of the historical preconditions that enabled the Nakba to occur, revealing it to have been a consolidation rather than a point of origin. The preconditions that had equipped the Zionists for settlement before they first set foot in Palestine combined economic, technological, military, cultural and moral attributes that were the cumulative outcome of centuries of Eurocolonial history. The article introduces the concept of preaccumulation to characterise this complex historical endowment that settlers imported with them. The article also argues that the donors who funded the world Zionist project differed from the speculators who financed territorial expansion in other settler colonies in that they did not require a return on their investment. Unencumbered by the obligation to return a profit, Zionist settlers enjoyed the easiest of imported advantages in relation to the local population, a confounding of capitalist rationality that overwhelmed the limited set of resources available to Native Palestinians. Combining their unconditional funding with the ethnically exclusive strategy known as the Conquest of Labour, Zionists built up a contiguous zone of Jewish-only land on which to fashion their ethnocratic state-in-waiting in Mandate Palestine. Against this background, the article argues that the Nakba accelerated, albeit very radically, the ‘slow-motion’ means to Native dispossession that had been the only means available to Zionists while they were still building their colonial state.
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This densely argued essay offers an original approach to the study of Israel-Palestine through the lens of colonial studies. The author’s argument rests, inter alia, on the distinction between colonialism, which succeeds by keeping colonizer and colonized separate, and settler colonialism, where ultimate success is achieved when the settlers are “indigenized” and cease to be seen as settlers. Referring to the pre-1948 and post-1967 contexts, the author shows how and why Israel, itself a successful settler colonial project emerging from the British mandate, has failed to create a successful settler project in the occupied territories; indeed, and paradoxically, the occupation’s very success (in terms of unassailable control) renders the project’s success (in terms of settler integration/indigenization) impossible. Also addressed are the consequences of occupation, particularly what the author calls Israel’s “recolonization,” and the implications of the approach outlined for the Israel-Palestine conflict and its resolution.
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Neoliberalism has become a hegemonic discourse with pervasive effects on ways of thought and political-economic practices to the point where it is now part of the commonsense way we interpret, live in, and understand the world. How did neoliberalism achieve such an exalted status, and what does it stand for? In this article, the author contends that neoliberalism is above all a project to restore class dominance to sectors that saw their fortunes threatened by the ascent of social democratic endeavors in the aftermath of the Second World War. Although neoliberalism has had limited effectiveness as an engine for economic growth, it has succeeded in channeling wealth from subordinate classes to dominant ones and from poorer to richer countries. This process has entailed the dismantling of institutions and narratives that promoted more egalitarian distributive measures in the preceding era.
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The years since the Oslo agreement have seen a marked deterioration in Palestinian economic life and an accelerated de-development process. The key features of this process have been heightened by the effects of closure, the defining economic feature of the post-Oslo period. Among its results are enclavization, seen in the physical separation of the West Bank and Gaza; the weakening of economic relations between the Palestinian and Israeli economies; and growing divisions within the Palestinian labor market, with the related, emerging pattern of economic autarky. In the circumstances described, the prospects for sustained economic development are nonexistent and will remain so as long as closure continues.
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American foreign aid has been essential for both cementing and sustaining efforts to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict since the 1970s. During the Oslo process, aid was designed primarily to build public constituencies to support the negotiations. However, aid quickly became a bandage for a deteriorating Palestinian economy weighed down by corruption, damaged by violence, and stifled by Israeli closures. Rather than serve its original purpose, aid became a crutch for an unsteady process that collapsed following the 2000 Camp David summit. Unlike in other Arab-Israeli negotiations, where aid has been more effective, the Oslo process highlights the limits of foreign aid as an instrument of statecraft.
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The policies of the Quartet of the United States, the UN, the EU and Russia have contributed materially to systemic, probably irreversible collapse - 'state failure' - in the Palestinian Authority. The Hamas takeover of Gaza in June 2007 underlined the consequences of applying sweeping, punitive sanctions against an entity and a population already exhibiting signs of severe political, social and economic stress. The risk is that this approach will polarise Palestinian politics even further, expanding the scope and scale of internecine violence. If Hamas is brought down in the Gaza Strip neither the Palestinian Authority emergency government nor the government of Israel would be able genuinely to govern the area. But the alternative is that Hamas will succeed in consolidating its power in Gaza. A resumption of external trade or even a ceasefire agreement may allow a power-sharing deal to be reached once more with Fatah, but will not endure in the absence of a diplomatic initiative that reinstates firm benchmarks and detailed goalposts for the two-state solution. This is unlikely as long as the international community will not engage in forceful political intervention. The fact that the Quartet confined the mandate of its new special envoy, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, to assisting Palestinian political and economic reform suggests that it has opted for the default choice of persevering in a failed policy.
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In the closing years of the eighteenth century, a great intellectual and moral challenge to European empire was launched by many of the most innovative thinkers of the day, including Kant, Adam Smith, Bentham, Burke, Diderot, and Condorcet. They drew on a strikingly wide range of ideas to argue against empire: among others, the rights of man and the imperative of popular self-determination, the economic wisdom of free trade and foolishness of conquest, the corruption of natural man by a degenerate civilization, the hypocrisy required for self-governing republics to rule despotically over powerless subjects, and the impossibility of sustaining freedom at home while practicing despotism abroad.
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Incl. abstract, bibl. Despite the enormous energy devoted to generating the right policy models in development, strangely little attention is given to the relationship between these models and the practices and events that they are expected to generate or legitimize. Focusing on the unfolding activities of a development project over more than ten years as it falls under different policy regimes, this article challenges the assumption that development practice is driven by policy, suggesting that the things that make for 'good policy' - policy which legitimizes and mobilizes political support - in reality make it rather unimplementable within its chosen institutions and regions. But although development practice is driven by a multi-layered complex of relationships and the culture of organizations rather than policy, development actors work hardest of all to maintain coherent representations of their actions as instances of authorized policy, because it is always in their interest to do so. The article places these observations within the wider context of the anthropology of development and reflects on the place, method and contribution of development ethnography.
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The article explores the relationship between genocide and the settler colonialism. The author asserts that though the settler-colonial logic of elimination has manifested as genocidal-they should be distinguished. The article further analyzes the negative and positive dimensions of settler colonialism. While on the one hand it attempts to dissolve native societies, it also establishes a new colonial society on the seized land base.
The New Tyranny.” Foreign Policy
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From Emergency Aid to Development Aid: Agencies Are Failing to Connect
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