Thursday, October 17, 2019
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
McKinney Conference Room, Watson Institute
111 Thayer St.
This talk examines the economic and juridical forces shaping Palestinian land defense in the highlands of the West Bank. Since Israel’s occupation in 1967, different land defense projects have sought to protect collective territory from land dispossession and settler encroachment. On the one hand, Palestinians—from rural communists to urban real estate developers—find themselves drawing on private property to protect collective territory from the settler state. On the other hand, capital has transformed rural social relations and land use in the West Bank and, as a result, the sorts of collectives that land defense projects can assemble. As a decades-long unfolding of legal struggles and engagements with rural political economy, antagonistic land defense projects should be taken as different answers to a shared problematic: how to hold territory and maintain collective life against forces that pull it apart? In this talk, Palestinian Studies Postdoctoral Research Associate Paul Kohlbry, will sketch out the ways in which different land defense projects have responded to agrarian crisis, why market-centered solutions have come to dominate, and where West Bank land politics may be headed.