[Marxism] Palestine in the Middle East: Opposing Neoliberalism and US Power

Pance Stojkovski pance at rogers.com
Tue Jul 15 06:32:13 MDT 2008

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin .... No. 125 .... July 15, 2008

Palestine in the Middle East: Opposing Neoliberalism and US Power
Part 1

Adam Hanieh

Over the last six months, the Palestinian economy has been radically
transformed under a new plan drawn up by the Palestinian Authority (PA)
called the Palestinian Reform and Development Plan (PRDP). Developed in
close collaboration with institutions such as the World Bank and the
British Department for International Development (DFID), the PRDP is
currently being implemented in the West Bank where the Abu Mazen-led PA has
effective control. It embraces the fundamental precepts of neoliberalism: a
private sector-driven economic strategy in which the aim is to attract
foreign investment and reduce public spending to a minimum.

Understanding the logic of this economic framework is critical to assessing
the current juncture of the Palestinian struggle. The neoliberal vision
underpinning these policies is a central corollary to the political
direction promoted by the Israeli government, the Palestinian Authority
(PA) and their US and European Union (EU) supporters. The aim, as the first
part of this article explains, is to formalize a truncated network of
Palestinian-controlled cantons and associated industrial zones, dependent
upon the Israeli occupation, and through which a pool of cheap Palestinian
labour is exploited by Israeli, Palestinian and other regional capitalist
groups. The evolving institutional framework for the Palestinian economy
not only incorporates the Israeli occupation into the way 'development' is
conceived, but also acts to foster the culpability of Palestinian political
and economic elites for how these structures operate.

Complete Bullet:

(part 2 tomorrow)

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