PALESTINE IS THROWING A PARTY AND THE WHOLE WORLD IS INVITED: CAPITAL AND STATE BUILDING IN THE WEST BANK
Join Mezna Qato (University of Cambridge), David Harvey (CUNY Graduate Center), and Kareem Rabie (University of Illinois, Chicago) in conversation about Rabie’s new book Palestine is Throwing a Party and the Whole World is Invited (Duke University Press 2021).
In 2008, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad invited international investors to the first-ever Palestine Investment Conference, which was designed to jump-start the process of integrating Palestine into the global economy. As Fayyad described the conference, Palestine is “throwing a party, and the whole world is invited.” In this book Kareem Rabie examines how the conference and Fayyad’s rhetoric represented a wider shift in economic and political practice in ways that oriented state-scale Palestinian politics toward neoliberal globalization rather than a diplomatic two-state solution. Rabie demonstrates that private firms, international aid organizations, and the Palestinian government in the West Bank focused on large-scale private housing development in an effort toward state-scale economic stability and market building. This approach reflected the belief that a thriving private economy would lead to a free and functioning Palestinian state. Yet, as Rabie contends, these investment-based policies have maintained the status quo of occupation and Palestine’s subordinate and suspended political and economic relationship with Israel.
“Palestine Is Throwing a Party is a brilliant, carefully researched, and thoughtful book. Kareem Rabie uses the lens of urban planning and development to show us how global processes of unequal capital accumulation, racialized labor and property regimes within Israel/Palestine, and the managerial rule of Palestinian technocrats and capitalists collaborating with Israel all persistently reproduce the violent systems of settler-colonial expropriation in Israel/Palestine since 1948.” — Laleh Khalili, author of Sinews of War and Trade: Shipping and Capitalism in the Arabian Peninsula
“Drawing on his exceptional knowledge and understanding of Palestine, along with a considerable amount of original, innovative, and detailed fieldwork, Kareem Rabie presents thought-provoking insights on the question of urbanism in Palestine. This extremely interesting study makes an important contribution.” — Adam Hanieh, author of Money, Markets, and Monarchies: The Gulf Cooperation Council and the Political Economy of the Contemporary Middle East
Kareem Rabie is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at University of Illinois, Chicago and visiting fellow at CUNY’s Center for Place Culture and Politics; and Committee on Globalization and Social Change.
Mezna Qato is Margaret Anstee Fellow at Newnham College, University of Cambridge. She is a social historian of Palestine and the Palestinians, and was previously Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Fellow at Columbia University, and Junior Research Fellow in the History of the modern Middle East at King’s College, University of Cambridge.
David Harvey is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Geography at the City University of New York (CUNY) and author of various books, articles, and lectures. He is the author of Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism (Profile Books, 2014), one of The Guardian’s Best Books of 2011, The Enigma of Capital and the Crises of Capitalism (Oxford University Press, 2010). Other books include A Companion to Marx’s Capital, Limits to Capital, and Social Justice and the City. Professor Harvey has been teaching Karl Marx’s Capital for nearly 40 years. He was director of the Center for Place, Culture and Politics from 2008-2014.
This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics, the Department of Anthropology at the Graduate Center and LeftEast. It is free and open to the public.