Palestine is Throwing a Party and the Whole World is Invited

Palestine is Throwing a Party and the Whole World is Invited

Okay. Hi, everyone. Um and welcome to this really exciting event. Uh my name is Zara Salem and I'm an Assistant Professor here at the Department of Sociology at the LSE and I'm really happy to welcome you all to this this book book event. So, the event today is to discuss a new book by Kareem Rabie which is entitled Palestine is Throwing a Party and the whole world is invited. Capital and building in the West Bank. Uh which was published in 2020 at one by Duke University Press and I'm really glad to have Kareem with us here as well as three really incredible scholars who are going to discuss the book and you know we'll hopefully all have a conversation about the many kind of themes and topics that it touches on.

Um before I begin just wanted to say thank you of course to everyone who's speaking but also to Amy Gordon and Maggie Giles who help us who helped us to set up and did all the amazing behind the scenes work. So thank you so much. So, the book Palestine is throwing a party on the whole world is invited is a rich exploration of a lot of different dimensions of economic and political transformations that have happened in Palestine in kind of more more recently. It looks at it particularly at a shift in economic and political practice that oriented state scale Palestinian politics towards neoliberal globalization rather than a diplomatic to aid solution Um the book explores the ways in which private firms, international aid organizations, and the Palestinian government in the West Bank focused on large scale private housing development in an attempt toward state scale economic stability stability and market building Reflecting a belief that a thriving private economy would lead to a free and functioning Palestinian state. Um this is both an empirically rich and beautifully written book and it's such an honour to have with us here.

I was meant to bring the copy of my book with me so I could show it to you now but I have forgotten it at home but I'm sure, yes, there we go. So, you can see it. It's already, there's Kareem's copy as well. It's a really beautiful cover as well. So, the format for today is we'll begin with Kareem who talk a little bit about the context of where the book came from and then we'll hear from each respondent before coming back to caring for any responses or engagements and then, we'll also open it up to audience Q&A. Um you can Of course, send in your questions throughout the event, either via the Facebook comment section, or you can tweet at LSE Sociology or email Sociology dot media at LSC.AC.UK. So I'll now introduce our speakers and then we'll get started.

So Kareem Rabia is assistant professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois, Chicago. His work focuses on privatization, urban development, and the state building project in the West Bank. While on research in 2021 came as a visiting fellow at Cuny's Centre for Place, Culture and Politics and Committee on globalization and social change. Previously he was an assistant professor of Anthropology at American University in Washington DC. And the Harper Schmidt fellow at the University of Chicago and Marie Carrie Fellow at the University of Oxford Centre on migration policy and society.

Our first respondent is who is an assistant professor in Anthropology at Rice University Her latest book spaceship in the desert, energy, climate change, and urban design in Abu Dhabi. Uh also a really incredible book. Focuses on the construction of renewable energy and clean technology infrastructures in the United Arab Emirates. More specifically concentrating on the Master City project. Our second respondent who's also from LSE Sociology is Lucy Garbett who's a Palestinian writer from Jerusalem and a PhD student in the sociology department at LSC. Her research in include urban studies, political economy and coloniality. And she's currently researching the social life of planning processes in Jerusalem. She holds an MSC in development studies from Soas and before starting her PhD she worked for a number of organizations in Palestine on political economy and gender. She's currently the co-president of the graduate section at the British Brismas which is the British Middle East Study Society.

And her writing has appeared in English and Arabic in a number of outlets such as Guardian Merip and the Bidayat magazine. And just to say Lucy and I coorganized this event. So it's been a pleasure. Kind of bringing it all together. And our final respondent also from the LSE is Dean Sharp who received his PHD from Cuny. And who is currently an LSE fellow in Human Geography and the environment. So just the floor above us. Um he was previously a post-doctoral fellow at the program for Is lamic architecture at MIT and the co-director of Terra Forum Center for Advanced Urban Research. He's a co-editor of Beyond the Square. Urbanism and the Arab uprisings. And open Gaza which was published by the American University in Cairo Press. So welcome to everyone. It's a shame this couldn't be in person but really looking forward to the conversation and I'm going to hand it over to Karina. Okay. Well, first of all, thanks so much to the organizers and to everybody for speaking today, to Sada, to Gochet, to Lucy Dean, Amy, and Maggie, and to everybody who might be watching it on Facebook.

Um so, the organizers have asked me to speak for 10 or so minutes today before opening up for a conversation and I'd like to do a couple of things. First, to tell you a little bit about the what I did and what I think that I was trying to do. And then to talk briefly about what I think my work can contribute right now in a period of both increased struggle in response to various kinds of Israeli violence as well as increased attention on Palestine. So a bit about the book. The book is to me an ethnography of the political economics of state building in the West Bank. Through a few intertwined case studies I tried to show some of the big picture practices that are reshaping Palestine by reconfiguring the West Bank Visa V Israel. And I hope to show how how some of these practices, actors, and material consequences are relevant for the future there.

Again, the book with the discussion of a massive new private housing development being constructed north of the Ramonla called the there's been a ton of attention on it since I started this research and certainly in the time between my field work and the book coming out but I think my work does something a little bit different than the prevailing orientation. Um I use it as a site where a lot of the changes, to investment, to development, to the forms of state, to land tenure, and so on are visible. I began there and with developers and designers and then try to move outwards to interviews with financiers and people from the development apparatus.

I looked at their studies that elaborate the idea of a housing shortage in Palestine, a, shortage that the PA, developers, and aid agencies are helping the private sector to both Kraft and Me. I discussed changes in the idea of state and urban planning in Palestine and how public private partnerships are remaking the skill of governments there. I explore total YB targets potential buyers based on specific ideas about the land in Palestine and what that might have to do with increased class stratification through new forms of private land holding and legal precedent and at the same time I really want to listen to to the potential buyers and understand their aspirations and how large developments, debt, and new forms of home life fit into them. I look at jurisdiction and the fights over the legal basis for land holding through disputes between the lobby developers and right-wing Zionist groups.

I try to see what it might tell us about the liberal politics and law in the West Bank. I think there are couple of straightforward and invent arguments here. I want to use the Anthropology to talk about the ways that phenomena and multiple geographical scales have bearing on people's lives and I tried to toggle skills and triangulate questions. Within pul studies. There's been a strong orientation towards what normal shower body Solamanka calls the school of occupation studies and calls green lineism. Now, what my two geographer, Omad friends are are identifying, I think, is the real narrowing of analysis and method towards the occupation by first assuming it and second, towards its present contours and appearances. When I first started doing the research as a diaspora Palestinian, I was interested not only in return but in looking outwards and I struggle to make sense of the practices that aren't resistive in the ways that we might be predisposed to see or understand them.

I'll return to that in the last of my comments. I'm also a person who cares about cities, marks, and political economy and I think you can see all three in the toggling between you know, everyday practices, capital investment in the state. As for the politics of the book, it's been really illuminating to see how it's how it's being received and I think there's a lot going on pardon me. I think it's going to look different for different readers. I hope it's read by Palestinian s thinking about the state, capital, class stratification, movement. Um I'm not alone, of course, I'm working in that mode. Um I think I I make sort of a couple of of contributions there and about seeing capital and context as an object of study in Palestine What I mean is that the dynamics of capital and capitalism produce relations and context that can be seen historically and projected forward.

I think the class ought to be a greater part of the analysis. It also ought to be part of discussions about the geographies of stratification and movement and unity. And once productive social relations, capital and class are on the table, I think, I hope that there's a basis to move outwards and see what possibilities actually are in Palestine and for interconnected struggles beyond it.

So now let me talk a little bit about what I think this this might have to to do or how it engages with what's going on in Palestine right now. Now, I admit it's it's it's hard, it's been hard for me having this book come out in May to to talk about capitalism and aspiration and stratification right now.

Um it's even harder to convince myself or others sometimes about an approach that tries to move beyond analysis of subjugation and resistance when the biggest story right now and the thing that we we all ought to be focusing on is precisely another ambulation in Jerusalem and that's it and more visible and widespread immunity in response. What I can offer, I think, is a way to situate it all. I recently read around it in Harshawalia's new book and she describes Borders and Bordering as forms of racial capitalist state craft and I think that starts to get us toward the state dimensions of these questions. Or also, you know, the way that put it in a talk in May or early June. Uh, he said that the reason that we're seeing resistance in and inside, pardon me, resistance inside, and in Led Zip, is in part because they're not what he called the Oscelo territories.

So, stable is an ongoing set of practices that emerge through Oslo. It also helps understand the recent visibility of settlers and settler violins inside. Here's how I put it in the book. The practices that surround ideas and representations of housing of aspiration and so on. Uh go a long way in producing stability and orienting ideas and frameworks around future interventions. In the Middle East characterized by widespread resistance to autocratic governments, resistance that has often been inspired by the Palestinian struggle against colonization and Israeli occupation. Ramadan. might be in some ways and for some people. One of the more insulated and stable places in the region.

Terms of class aspiration and stability there, are not many places in the West Bank other than DeMallow where a refracted image of normal everyday life is permissible. Palestine refers less and less to territory and to fewer and fewer Palestinian s. At the same time, as a target of interventions, it does much more work. Economic interventions oriented Palestine towards the global market, the Palestine and the West Bank stands in for historic Palestine and the diaspora comes to limit wider possibilities and as far as cities are concerned, the Mullin and surrounding areas of the primary sites for development as market building and they exist in a vacuum enabled by the distribution of Israeli state violence Moreover, Ramadan is an idea and a representation that circulates to further plans and intervention. Uh it's it's a place and an image for aspiration and growth as politics. So, I was thinking about work from like Lisa Turkey, from Glads Academy when I when I when I wrote that, that sort of thing. So, for me, much of Zionist imperative is predicated on a ratio, both physical and in terms of of making it impossible to live as a Palestinian or as an indigenous person.

Um you know, and I think that that one of the the sort of undercurrents that that runs through this is all these discussions about settler colonials and settler colonial studies and so, Patrick Wolf, I think was taken up in a lot of hand-handed ways but it's worth remembering that what he was responding to was an argument within the academic discipline of genocide studies and he proposed this this idea of eliminationist logic as an alternative and that logic brings with a new context and possibilities to disaggregate Palestinian s from their land and life worlds and attach them elsewhere. Um so, you know, I'm sort of thinking about what what a model looks like as the the flip side of things like center of life policies or things that Lucy can tell us a lot about. Um and they're they're elite Palestinian s who are able to benefit within that context to accommodate and or to get rich and or to reframe nationalism. Um but they're not doing it by confrontation but by presenting an alternative.

Um and now the the the other thing to say is that maybe this moment is is the time that all these focus this focused investment in market building and stabilization fails. And I really don't know. Um you know the we might just see more money plowed in, more accumulation at the top and more instability distributed downwards. Um but I hope what I've what I've done is to show sort of the flip side to what's happening now, the sort of geographical spread of what's happening now. The places and forms of life that enable and are enabled by what happens throughout Palestine So, I will stop there and start to listen. Thank you so much. Great. Thank you so much Kareem That. was a great opening. Um I'll hand it over to Ah thank you Kareem and ah thank you to the organisers ah and ah for setting up this event and for including me in in it.

Ah first I want to say ah what a pleasure it was to read this book. Ah in some ways it ah because it felt like reading a mirror of a book I myself published recently on the construction of an eco city in Abu Dhabi called Master City. So thank you Kareem for writing it and for also giving it such a great title. So Kim and I have I think very similar objects of observation in our projects.

So two planned cities under construction in the Middle East. And our objects of study are relatively different but complementary. So Palestine is throwing a party as an interest in transforming logics of the state and capitalism for instance whereas my book tried to understand what the construction of an eco city means in regards to climate change. So as I was reading the text I was reminded of a conversation I had with another Palestine scholar Sophia Paula Robbins a decade ago at a panel at the so we had Sophia and I had just met and we were exchanging simple notes on our dissertation field work which were which was happening then and when we came to realize that none of the infrastructure projects that we analyzed in Palestine or the UAE were ever completed. So for those of you who might not know Sofia wrote also wrote a great book called Wastage that looks at Palestine So. I'm bringing up this exchange because both the Gulf and Palestine tend to be exceptionalized for various reasons. But there's quite a bit that they share and reading Kareem's book really foregrounded those shared qualities for me and the book I think is doing a is very explicit in showing the kinds of parallels between Israel and Palestine and showing the ways in which they mirror each other but it made me also ask if you were to stretch these dynamics beyond these two actors and think about the Middle East more broadly what kinds of parallels would be fine.

So is there a conversation we can have about how the Middle East makes itself known through Rawabi? So since I started the on how things don't get completed in Palestine or the UAE perhaps I can continue over the question on potentiality. So I read much of Kareem Kareem's book with this comparison in mind and thinking about what potentiality might mean in a in the context that he's describing.

So what kind of social, political and financial roles does does incompleteness of Rawabi serve here in this manuscript and surely of course in completeness is contextual and different from different everywhere and and so I want to make sure that we think about incompleteness not only not as an ontological category but rather as an epistemological one here. Um and given the specific possibilities that housing generates in reordering social life. I was very excited to see a discussion of how the project that I came looks at promises a transformation of kinship structures for instance in Palestine Palestine and I wondered what are some other material ways in which housing shapes, the structures of possibility here. So how would and and broadly thinking About sort of say how would the housing project be different from another kind of infrastructure project? Say if road road construction.

So in another section of the book we encounter a much more matter of fact conversation where one employee explains how they're getting paid. Aren't they? Uh emphasizing that the incompliances of the project not only produces specific arrangements regarding how to live in an indetermined future or how to aspire for an internate future but also shapes mundane everyday practices by providing say salary to some groups of people. And I wanted to ask what are the ideas of the future that make this project project compelling to their builders and to future inhabitants that are specific to the Palestinian context. And if they're able to scale this about up a bit. What does what does Rawabi project say more broadly about conceptualizations of the future and how imaginations of the future are more mobilized to our specific goals and purposes globally.

So, discussions of scale are very important to Kareem's book and I really enjoy this emphasis and this and discussions of scale are not only operating here temporarily but also spatially and so in the book, we see that stands in for the possibility of a smooth, spatially expansive market which operates in a post occupation environment and in a thoughtful passage in the book, this is on page 71, Kirim says, and I'll I can read this bit very quickly. The rhetoric of peace and universality cannot easily project across the conflict and above overlapping geographies of disposition and forms of race, space, territorial governance.

Universals are not shared or available to Palestinian s. They encompass an unevenly distributed within Israel. In some ways, even if or when this future, the promised future arrives would not be available to many within Palestine and and I was curious to see more of sort of how are these boundaries of possibility drawn or how they shift in the in the spaces that Kareem is looking. Uh and what are some some of the ideas of universality that this the Rawabi project foregrounds through its principles of design. So the discussion on how the housing project is itself a settlement similar to Israeli settlements were very provocative here I think. What are some other special representations of these boundaries as we might observe them within this housing project and would any of the experiences of the people who began to inhabit this new city in the last few years possibly give us some close here. So beyond the very exciting conceptual questions that the book is asking, I was also drawn to this methodological struggle. So, in so many parts of the book, we read about how Kareem tries to meet specific people and cannot send emails and receive surprising phone calls and response, looks for specific reports and ends up reaching them through other unexpected means and in parts, it almost feels as if there's a parallel between the incompleteness of the housing project and the incompleteness of some of Kareem's attempts at reaching the right documents or the right and we see the missionaries of almost make themselves known through Kirim's methodological explorations as well.

And so I wanted to hear more about sort of how how the specific positionality how came specific positionality as a researcher shaped these kinds of encounters and and see how the how the project came about. And I was also very curious to know more about the decisions that Kareem makes regarding say not including Robbie's name in the book summary in the back of the book or or sort of thinking about how altering the name of the project itself actually acts as a sort of an exercise of advertising for the project and how he does not want to do that and I want to know a little bit more about the kinds of decisions that shape that framing of the project and and yeah, I'll end there and I'm very excited to hear the rest of the comments and hear the discussion Thank.

You very much. Great. Thank you so much for those great comments and questions. Uh over to you Lucy. Yeah thank you and thanks so much. Um great interventions. I'm really so happy to be part of this conversation and thanks as well to everyone who helped organise it and Sarah as well for her quite kind and assistance that I joined conversations and things. Um I've been so looking forward to this book coming out like I feel like it's all been cropping up cited as a PhD thesis that I couldn't access and so many texts and I've always been so really on tender hooks to wait to read it and so I'm so glad that it's now out in the world.

And as Kareem was saying you know there's a growing literature that's kind of been more concerned with sort of more contemporary political economic And political economic and sort of class in Palestine but I mean there's been very very few studies that deal with this ethnograph so Kareem sort of political economic ethnography of this private housing development in Palestine I think will really be and I hope will be a major launching pad for a lot more future research on these issues and centering class as well but also using these methodologies with all their as Doctor was mentioning its troubles. And in my intervention today I'm going to focus on two main parts of the book that I think really contribute important discussions within the field of Palestine studies and a few questions as well. Um and the first point I wanted to bring up was what I think the book does really brilliantly is in its commitment and grounding within Palestinian history and knowledge production. Uh the book doesn't fall into categories or traps of seeing neoliberal ism or the Oslo accords in the 1990s as moments of major rupture or take them to be the starting points in the timeline of investigation.

And instead Kareem encourages us to understand Ozlo within longer histories of economic and political control and see it as a moment of transition of a greater, uneven integration into regional and world markets. And in this kind of dislocation of common framings and understandings, in a lot of the studies of Palestine, the book draws on a rich body of work and I really wanted to congratulate you for that. I think it's not often noticed, Uh citation practices and things and in particular chapter eight, capital critique and the landscape I thought was really an amazing chapter and there's a wonderful discussion that kind of charts how notions of the rural past and the Palestinian that doesn't as both signifier and symbol emerges both to unite Palestinians and link them to the soil.

But you also then show us how this has been based on a version of history that is obscured class and economic relations and how these have shifted over time. And you bring this then into discussion with the project and how both critics and supporters of the project engage in these forms of romanticism. And instead you draw our attention to market Palestinian capitalists and settler colonial heritives and how they interact together. And I suppose this kind of then takes me to the second part of the book that I thought was a really important contribution which is your notion of uneven integration.

And enjoying on notions of uneven development you see these so called zones of stabilization. Not as anomalies to the settler colonial context in Palestine but rather as part of a a new attribute it to a more contemporary outcome of well to Rodney's underdevelopment the and pose it alongside previous work that has analysed Palestine as a case of the development or is separated. And I like to especially how you draw our attention to how forms of structural dependence can produce zones of these so-called stability and produce market relations rather than strictly only exploitative modes of production alone. And I suppose I have a few questions on this. Um and when is the idea you present that these zones of stability come at the expense of others. And I think you also attribute a geographic scale to this so you frame these sort of states that you scale accumulations and developments in a place like coming at the expanse of other places in historic Palestine And I think that this is a really compelling argument to look at the kind of uneven topography of Palestinian social relations and how this can be connected and concentrated in particular geographic spaces.

Although I wonder perhaps this can be expanded within the Palestinian context also move beyond Ramadah and I quote from the book, you say as Palestine collapses into Ramala and Ramala is given an outward orientation. forms of social life, liberation, politics and aspiration are foreclosed throughout the West Bank, Gaza, Israel and the Palestinian despora. Building for relative freedom in Ramala is the flip side of policing elsewhere. And while I certainly agree with this, I think that Ramala has played a very particular role. It's the centre of economic and political activity to some extent in the West Bank but I wanted to about our role as researchers and I definitely include myself in this. Um whether we too have collapsed Palestine into Ramadan and are blinded in a way by its flashing lights that invite us to focus on it. And I wonder a bit about you know urban developments, consumption patterns, and changing social relations in places like Jericho for example that have seen a proliferation of villas built by wealthy families from all over the West Bank including Nebus and Hebron.

In addition to previous patterns of more wealthier families from Jerusalem or Ramala that already had properties in this area. But I wonder also about urban developments in Hebron and Nables and wow they are not Ramadan. My question is to what extent can these bounded sites of the sort of spectacular that are filled with PR, that have these named actors Um behind them tell us more broadly about class certification patterns in the bill environment between Palestinian s. And I asked what extent is this also for example book, a story about Jerusalem, not at the expense of Jerusalem, but that similar patterns take place in zones or spaces of so-called stability and uneven integration in the diaspora for example, across Palestinian cities, I guess that's my question and it's also drawing a bit on my research, so far in Jerusalem, which very much in early stages, but you can kind of see how middle class neighborhoods in the northern periphery such as, Percy neighborhood such expanding and are allowed to expand whereas neighbourhoods in the old city basins such as Silwan are facing increasing demolition orders and dispossession. And interestingly the same company that built Joaby is now engaged in the project in Bitanina and Jerusalem called Lena that plays on a nationalist phrase of to which I think is really interesting as well but for another discussion.

So, and it also brought me to a point I wanted to ask about the research and the process of writing this book because you're Palestinian and you came to Palestine interested in political economy at the beginning of your research and you're critical of what the term occupation might have foreclosed in terms of understandings of historical and geographical oppression and erasures that Palestinian s face and as someone who's researching and interested in Palestine class dynamics as well. I wonder if you could speak a bit more about the reception of your research and interests in different contexts including inside and outside of Palestine and how focusing on the particular constructions of homes in the midst of so many being dispossessed is part of the same story and at least I think it is.

I certainly believe it is but I wonder if you could speak a bit more about the process of reaching this analysis and how it felt and the reception and push back if any as well. And then it brings me to my last kind of reflection which is on social reproduction and similarly to I wanted to say that in the chapter and housing shortage and national prior you set out how the so-called housing shortage was created by Palestinian institutions and international actors and how encouraging the idea of home ownership through more available mortgages was parts of also these ideas of encouraging people, young people to move out of family homes and changing kinship patterns.

Uh I suppose my question here is how you address the idea of social reproduction within the book because you reference it quite a bit and you make links at how capital and family life and gender roles are constituted. But then we don't get to see very much in the book about how this actually translates into shifting social reproduction patterns. Um and I think this is also you know part of the tricky timeline of the book where your research started and ended even before the concrete of Rawabi sort of actually was lived in. But you know I was speaking to a friend who teaches at university the other day and she was mentioning that a lot of her colleagues sent their children to the school in Derwaby through a bus that goes every day. Auntie Noah Ramala and Rawabi even if they're very critical of the project of and I'm curious about this also this kind of shifting density in Palestinian homes that's moving from the kind of extended family house to more nuclear families that are living in these apartment blocks that are set up and that and what that then means for care work and social relations more broadly so if these housing projects are all based on the idea that they're living away from the extended family then what kind of infrastructure needs to be created in order to support these shifting social reproduction patterns where children and the elderly might need to be cared for outside of the home for example.

Um and so and what kind of implications does that hold then also for like labour and gender roles and norms and also the cost of life. Um and yeah and so then thinking about today and things I suppose it's not really lived in as a housing project per se but the the main element of it over this fantastical mall they created as part of the project that has these international brands like mango and Zara and offering Palestinian s the opportunity of buying these brands and and and that the school with aspirational aspects to it is and the office spaces and researchers seen as the most successful parts of it. So I suppose as well like if you were to and it's quite a difficult question but like if you were to kind of come at this research project now today like what which you. What what would you do differently or what would you, what do you think it might look like if you had to start at it differently, I don't know.

It's a difficult question, but I was curious to hear what you think and Great thank you Lucy Uh. really interesting comments and questions. And I'll hand it now over to Dean. Thank you so much Sarah and well thanks for the wonderful comments as well that I don't want to spread this conversation too thin. So I also kind of maybe just add to some of the comments that Lucy and Gotcha have also said and things that I was particularly interested in. But I actually want to touch firstly on this question of rupture.

Um in the framework of critical urban Arab studies and maybe Kareem if you could also your covers respond to how you see this book fitting in because personally I do see a a rupture in the scholarship around critical urban studies within the Arab world that I think there's a real wave at the moment. Um of these critical approaches that is really invigorating and I see you know this book very much a part of. Um got you mentioned her own book that I see as part of this but scholars like Najib Barani, Ahmed Kana Omar Salamanka who you also mentioned then of course at AUB there are people like and you know studying also similar types of life scale urban developments things that we could also call physical manifestations of neoliberalism, neoliberal urbanization.

Um you know, so is there then a rapture in academic scholarship in terms of there's just a dramatic rise now of people concerned with these objects. Or is this maybe something that is also happening materially? Like is there a different scale in urban transformation going on that is causing more people to study it? or is that the wrong way to frame it? Kareem a I really'd love to get your kind of insights into that. Um but certainly see it in terms of critical urban era of studies There's a really exciting moment and many people such as yourself are really producing excellent work. And I wanted to touch on this method methodological struggle that both Lucy and Butcher touched upon. Um because firstly just to stress. What a remarkable job you do in studying a moving target. And to stress you know that that what you know a project that you know is unfolding as you're studying it is, is a, a courageous challenge to take on, and I think you've done it really successfully, and then added on to that, you've got this struggle, it's gotcha mentioned, of focusing on, and there's no doubt that it anchors the book and is the centre of this study, but not wanting, then, to make this book about it, because this isn't a book about as it's central purpose.

It's about as you say, on the title, capital and state building in the West Bank. Um, so, firstly, just to, again, highlight, what a remarkable job you do in making sure that that central focus of your study is maintained and illuminated, Um, but also, if you could elaborate on that, that practice as well. Um, as someone that has written on solidair in Beirut, you know, it's also a similar struggle, that I've had to you know ensure that sort of there isn't actually the central thing that you want to talk about and just like your central interlocator.

naturally, you know, I certainly didn't want to make about, you know, this magical figure that just conjures up everything and and again, you do a really good job of doing that and also, in maybe flattening that presence, you also, you know, highlight the role of other figures that also touch on this outward focus rather than inward that I really think brings a sophisticated analysis to to this case study and illuminates for instance the role of figures like Tony Blair in and and you know his his insidious role is is really kind of illuminated quite remarkably and and again maybe in the comments if you could touch upon how you see Blair in fitting into this project would would be wonderful. Um so yeah, I think that those those are really interesting ways, that this book presents this study, and, and another aspect that I, I wanted to perhaps raise with and, and bring up to the conversation. is this, tension, not only in the book, but within Middle East studies, more broadly in Palestine studies, in particular, with post colonial approaches and the more materialist, work of Harvey and Smith, and of course, as you make clear, this very much a book anchored in the thinking and theories of David Harvey and Neil Smith and you know that tension there is perhaps evident in the book and again to touch upon that.

It's interesting. You only mention Edward Saeed once. Um and it's to comment on Raymond Williams' his work and I'm just interested in how you think about post colonial theory and the approaches because they're interesting discussions again about scale but also about universalism. You know, you are not wanting perhaps to take the same kind of universalist approach that Harvey would want or has perhaps been characterized by it and you are wanting to situate the global processes in material and contextual ways. And again to just us, I, I, I think you do it in a really nuanced and way and if this is, you know, your thinking in terms of how to basically make sure that Harvey's work touches the ground. Um or you know, that kind of situated universalism and situated global approaches Um and finally just to say perhaps some things that I'd also love to hear your thoughts on. Uh in terms of the ecological dimensions thinking also in relation to the type of work that got you did in with Mazda and questions like urban metabolism that is increasingly being brought into the conversation around planetary urbanization and thinking along those lines of the lineages of of thought.

Um did you think of and and upon perhaps like how do I be impacted the the environmental context of of these situations and thinking around those questions of of metabolism. Great. Thank you. Was that a dean? Yeah. Okay. Thank you so much. Um wow, there's a lot there. I I think it's testament to how interesting the book is. So, I know you probably can't answer all of that, Kareem but, I'm going to hand it back to you to maybe pick out the the ones you'd like to maybe talk about so we can get the conversation started and if anybody watching has questions, please do post them in a chat.

So back to you Kane. well, first of all, thank you everybody. Having this is too many people to have, respond. It's too many questions. I wrote everything down. So, if you all want to bring them back up in conversation, you should because there's zero chance that I'm going to mention all of it now. I think that I want to start with, all three of you kind of talked about the method. Um the sort of either specific questions about what it was like or Lucy how it was felt, the method, and how I engage with the sort of different bodies of literature was one thing that came through. Um I Yeah, well God. Um well, I think that one of the things that I tried to do, I think Lucy you you sort of got, you presented it this way and I think that, that you got it, you sort of saw what, what was happening, which was that I was sort of trying to start with Palestine studies, my sort of like relationship to Palestine studies, and, and kind of trying to find a lot of what was happening there, wanting or maybe not like sufficiently explanatory to what, to what I, I was finding, and then as an anthropologist, trying to see how Anthropology could could help us to understand what was going on.

I mean, I definitely don't think that it's like an application of Harvey or or Smith but I mean, I think that those were two thinkers that were helping me try to understand the the the sort of the big picture and how it relates to what's happening on the ground. Similarly, the the question, of social reproduction, which was which was helping me try to try to sort of make the link between, between the sort of the the scales and I think I think Lucy again, you sort of got it right and everybody sort of had a similar critique here, I think, which is like the, the, you know, how, like, what's actually going on there? What can I, what can I, what, do I have the capacity to say about what's, what's going on, and, you know, this is something, Lisa Roeful wrote a, a review of it that was like extremely kind, but this was also her critique too, which is that, which is that, like, more needed to there on the sort of specificities of it and the kind of like specificities of this class gratification stuff that I'm talking about, what the home life consists of, things like that and I mean, I I the only answer I can give you is one that's just like, is going to be wanting, right? Which is that which is that I it was really pretty hard to write a book about something in process, you know, and this relates to what would I, what would I, I do if I was doing it today.

I mean, I have more stuff to talk about. I think the the sort of F of of class stratification, of home life, would be, would, would be there you know, as the place gets more lived in or as it sort of has more of a social life, as questions of, of sort of care work are being shifted to private schools, probably private nurseries, stuff like that. I mean, I think that that, that's kind of, kind of pretty, pretty straightforward and then, I think that this would also help me to sort of better flesh out the the kinds of things that Gucci are asking about about like, you know, what are the specific ideas of the future, what are the forms of universality, either that sort of developers and state people share, what we alongside the the the sort of conceptions or potentially changing conceptions of people through living in this place. Like you you said it pretty explicitly in terms of like the question of how housing restructures, how it shapes structures of possibilities, things like that.

I mean, I think that the putting the the the go to question and the Lucy question together. I mean, I would have more to talk about there. I think that the way that it was available to me to study but also the one that I'm sort of inclined to be interested in. I mean, I'm not trying to be defensive here necessarily. Was was about the the kind of like the the the sort of general scale practices. Like how the sort of like the shape, the state, and the the developers are are doing these things. Um and and and sort of like what the what the outcomes are. I think another critique was was was similarly like why don't I put why don't I put the lobby on the back of the book? Um or question is whatever. It's fine.

Um and so you know and and I did actually mention Salem Tamari made that made the point explicitly. He said like writing about in the first place has the the a danger of being an advertisement for it. I mean he's not wrong. You know and that's why put it in the book, right? Um I think that I I yeah again, this is just one of those things like I mean, you all know writing something is really difficult and you you end up having so many more questions. It's also hard to to to write about something in process and to be something, somebody who thinks in terms of conversations and process to then suddenly be on the hook for something like inside. It stinks. Um but I but you know, I think that like that's the answer to it is I do really think out and care about process and I think that a lot of the the things that A lot of that, I think the claim sort of emerged from that, the arguments emerge from that and also a lot of the sort of, like, difficulties and, and, and weaknesses of it, you know, and that was also part of the, the reason previous versions didn't have a lot of that epnographic stuff, didn't have stuff about, about chasing, chasing people down, and things like that, and, and, and, somebody who read an early version of it, they were like, these endless footnotes about it all, and somebody, somebody, who read an earlier version, said, like, this, this good stuff, you should put it in, and then it sort of stru me as I as I decided to to do that that it was a way to to to swim around in the process and the and the method stuff and also, I think that I I I hope that it's read by Students of Anthropology maybe, undergraduates, whatever, thinking about, thinking about like, this is what it might look like to try to to try to study general scale phenomenon as an anthropologist, you know, and I and I and I think that, yeah, the they're both, things I managed and things that I, I couldn't do.

Because of that approach. I think, I mean, this is something that I would be interested to hear, all you all talk about because I think everybody's sort of work and practice kind of engages the similar way in a in in some ways and and go to, I mean, I think that you're, you're right. You're, your book, I think, has a lot of resonances. I, I, I, I read it. I loved it. I taught it. Um it was not out when I was revising and in production which is actually, you know, it's it would have been better I think. Um had I had that Opportunity but I mean, I think that yeah, I think that the the future and the promise and the what was it that you you said? You said about oh about the incompleteness, right? And I think that incompleteness is also the is, I mean, the same thing as process and I think that the, like, that's what I wanted to, to, to, talk about. is how a process generates things. Um I guess the last thing I want to say which is not some big point or anything but Dean you mentioned Tony Blair.

Uh you know, when I was at the the second Palestine Investors Conference, I took this out of the book but when I was at the second Palestine Investors Conference, it was one of the, you know, the few times that I had Wi-Fi and I was, I emailed my my my supervisor who is the geographer Neil Smith and then, you know, he happened to be in front of the computer and we were Emailing back and forth and I sent him a picture of Tony Blair speaking at a lecture and he was like, Kareem get, out of there, go home immediately, take a shower.

That was, that was the, the advice about Tony Blair in this process. So, I think I hit some of it and we can keep talking about it. Um It's also, I just thank, thank you all for reading it so carefully and for I think, seeing a lot of what I was trying to do and what worked and what didn't and I'm, so, I'm really grateful for your, your attention, and, Yeah, thank you. Great, thank you, Kareem and also if Dean or Lucy or Gopcha, if you want to come in again, it would be great to maybe turn this into more of a conversation Um if I could also ask a question which is sometimes an annoying question but I'm always really interested in kind of the connections.

I mean, when we finish these big projects, I think at least in my case, I was already kind of really wanting to move on and do something else after you spend so much time on something. Um but obviously, these projects are often connected. So, I was curious about whether while doing this work, you kind of started thinking about other types of projects that you'd want to do or maybe things that popped up during field work or during the writing that kind of have opened up different research questions or trajectories.

It would be great to hear about that and I guess another, maybe smaller question was, struck for example, when, both in kind of dean and Lucy's work but also Lucy's comment during her response about these spaces as being not really lived in. Um but still often what they're providing is these kind of very aspirational futuristic things like these molds for example and it reminded me quite a bit of Cairo as well. Kind of these new developments outside of Cairo where you you know there's so much that's been built. So much of it is actually empty. Um people are not living in these kind of flats or villas. But the moles are doing really well. I mean the you know the shopping malls, the the private schools, all of these other things that were built alongside these, you know, housing settlements are actually, you know, packed or busy and being expanded endlessly. So, I was really interested in in your thoughts or maybe for people who haven't read the book about these regional these regional maybe connections or similarities that we're seeing across different countries as well.

Are these connected to, you know, who's investing or questions of capital. Is there something else that's happening because I'm always really struck by, yeah, the the similarities we're seeing across different spaces, and I imagine it's probably also across the global south more broadly in some ways, so I'd, I'd love to hear more about how you thought about maybe these, regional connection or disconnections or things that are appearing across different spaces. Um Yeah.

If you have anything to say about that Sure, thank you. Well, I mean, I think that your last point is tied to Dean's question also, which is about the sort of, like, broadening out of critical or critical urban Arab studies. Uh, and I think that, like, the, I, I think there's probably just a similarity in approach, just, like, the, sort of like, questions of specificity and ultra situatedness are just, like, are no longer, no longer valid, and I think that, that people are trying to think about links, links to other places, links through capital investment, links through sort of ideological practices, links especially through development, which is something that we see a lot in, in Palestine and trying to sort of broaden out, not just regionally, but, but to sort of worldwide questions of, of capital, and, and, and capital investment.

I think this is also, related a bit to the the question of of Lucy, of you know, the sort of have I or have we as researchers collapse too much into Ramadah? And I think that the the I mean I I just I'll I I can only sort of go back to the the discussion of process and the sort of like how I how I was trying to understand what's happening there versus what's happening in other places. And I think that the the the answer to that question which is not just but you know might be or parts of parts of Cairo whatever is that the is that they're sort of modeling. Modeling of a certain sort of practice. of a certain certain approach Um it's not really the like the the sort of eco city or the same kind of same it's not the same kind of project but it's a similar kind of sort of spatial investment and capital investment at scale and And yeah and I think that the the the again the process is important because one of the things that I tried to do through the discussion of the the real estate development project was not just was not just talk about the sort of like the relationship of Ramala to to the place but also to talk about how land tenure is changing.

How mortgages are now being enabled by this by this process. And you know so right there it's it's it's an opportunity to link to other, you know, we can say flows of capital or changing forms of development date or or so on and so like right there it stops being a a sort of a uniquely Palestinian question. It starts being a being a much wider one. Um And I think that, you know, the research trajectory, you know, so, all the time that I, I spent in Palestine, this is my, my sort of next research interest is on sort of the ways that people have been talking about China, you know, they're sort of like, jokes about China or ideas that there's like shatter, you know, of the Palestinians in China and and so I went twice in, in 2015 and 2017, between Palestine and China, to first, try to like index the stories and jokes that people are telling. I won't tell any of the jokes here because some of them are pretty pretty weird or risky.

But but you know, trying to trying to like say, okay, can I, can I like, can I find this like little Hebron in somewhere in China? And so, I, so, I, I, you know, I, I went around and I I met with, met with Palestinian s in Beijing, a little bit in Shanghai, in Guangzhou And it struck me that the stories that that sort of ordinary people in Palestine are are telling are not not not quite getting it but there are sort of these Palestinian diaspora communities within China who are sort of mostly organized around trade.

Uh a lot of them with Palestine So, it it struck me that these traders who are sort of organizing, import, and export are really understand, you know, sort of the movement of capital but also the the changing sort of like market and market possibilities within the West Bank and also how sort of bureaucratic mechanisms, standards requirements, customs, regimes, stuff like that are of how the West Bank market is being sort of structured within within and in suspension to Israel And so that so I started to to I mean the research trajectory really is like taking these questions and trying to move outward you know regionally in terms of capital capital investment and so on. So that's that's my goal there. I've done some you know I traveled twice. I was supposed to be gone much of this year but obviously that was impossible Um but soon, soon, I'm writing something about it now actually. Palthus asked me to write something about it. So, I I'm going to do that and yeah, I I mean, I think that I can't really give very solid answers except to say that like, one of my goals is to try to understand the specificity of Palestine in relation to to the sort of worldwide, worldwide practices, worldwide phenomenon and so on.

Kareem, can I ask and pick up on partly the this question of the influence of other urban developments in the region because the in the book it doesn't come up but I I'm wondering if in the course of the research it did, were other like projects like Solidaire or Abduli, in Arman, whether he referenced or indexed in in any way.

Was that influence present at all? Yeah, just add to that question before you answer Kareem I. was also quite struck by the the expertise of one of the people that you talk about in Vietnamese urban planning and they I think the one of the Acorn people that you talk about had built a city in Vietnam. So, there's almost like there's a different kind of exchange that's happening there. Maybe I'm not sure. I'm just speculating but I was wondering if you could say something about that. I looked at the footnote that you have about it. But maybe it would be great to hear from you here. Yeah, you know, they the developers weren't really making that many comparisons to other places. Um they did reference Solidaire in terms of like class aspiration sorts of things but not in terms of planning or anything like that. Um the the the person that you mentioned the was was an early architect based in the US. Um who was hired to work on the plan and then sort of like fell out of the picture at some point.

Um but he worked on his own and and with AECOM on sort of the massive how do you, how do you say it? Like, massive projects, you know, all over the world, you know, that's a firm that works on like, Olympic villages and huge urban development projects and stuff like that and the Vietnamese thing came up, it was pretty interesting. I mean, I didn't sort of push him on the question at all. The Vietnamese thing came up because he was using it as the counter example of, you know, of how, of how planning can, not the counter example, like a relevant, a relevant analog for how planning can sort of lift people up, you know, and he was, he sort of said like, the the situation in Vietnam was extremely backwards and then, we, you know, we did planning and it sort of raised the sort of social life and economic conditions and and so on and so forth but all those people that I spoke with in the the sort of early parts of planning for the lobby who were overstewer based in America. Um really said they said things like, you know, our plan could be anywhere.

You know, and I think that this, you know, the the the it's we would do the same plan for a city and the states, for a city in Europe, for a city, for a city anywhere, like, these are the, these are the economic things you need. These are the services you need and so on and so, like, it's a, it's a good question and one that probably should've occurred to me more, but like, the, the sort of, the way they sort skip the the kind of regional scale immediately and sort of talk about, talk about universals, universal ideas and aspiration.

I mean, they use that word. That's not me being an academic about it. I mean, they use words like like universal aspiration and so on. Yeah. Is there another question? It almost feels like there's a sort of there are two movements that are following each other. One the first one being sort of a a move to decontextualize and then the second one being a move to sort of recontextualize by adding the olive trees by adding the sort of the, you know, a specific Palestinian flare to the project and and again, this, I think, almost seems like there's a toolkit here that we could develop together where because these are the things that I'm I was observing at Mazda as well where there's a sort of a move to decontextualize to say the city could be built anywhere and then to bring in the wind towers and to bring in you know the specific kinds of, you know, vernacular, you know, formalisms to the to the project to say, okay, you know what, actually, this is not about, this could, this is about, about, Abu Dhabi, or about the Middle East or about the Arab world, something I, so, so, yeah, it's, it's fascinating to see, a parallel moments emerging in, and, in both of these projects.

Yeah, I, this is sort of related to one thing that I forgot to answer before, which is the question of, like, how, how I think people are receiving it, or struggles against it, or, or what have you, and, and what, the one thing that developers did talk about at the beginning of the project was, was settlements, and so they had, they had met with most softy, who I who I interviewed, and, you know, and they were, they were, they were justifiably proud of of the the sort of engagement with themes, you know, an important and very famous architect.

He's a nice guy. and then, the sort of people, Palestinian s, youth organizers, and others or found out about it or read something about it and and sort of say, started, you know, strengthening the existing critique of this housing development as a settlement, right? And they said, like, they're talking to, they're talking to, to, an architect who's designed a settlement and so on and so, there is that, that connection that, that, that people make, and, and on the reception that people have, or how do people talk about, how do people talk about the lobby? I mean, I think that, like, I mentioned this a little bit, but, you know, there is, there is like a pretty unfriendly reception to it in, in, in Palestine I.

Mean, youth activists, anti-normalization activists have have protested and have protested ahead of the development for Mussade personally. Um, And there's this this sort of like ambient sense that it's it's something outside of Palestine. And I I I I take that seriously. I also want to take seriously like the fact that people can express aspirations in this place. Like I don't I don't I don't want to sort of judge or criticize potential buyers because I think that one of the things that that the developers are doing successfully is is marketing a promise to people. And I think that it's it's it's it's worth trying to understand why people, why people would want that, you know, in a situation that's characterized by, you know, the threat of violence and insecurity and instability. I mean, I think that it's, it's, it's pretty clear why somebody would would, you know, be convinced by the idea that they could, they could have their life be a, be a different way.

So, I, I think that, yeah, there, there are a lot of people, you know, are against it for, you know, practical reasons, aesthetic reasons, because of what it's doing in terms of the meager funds of the PA, because the, because it's sort of understood as a normalization project and so on. And then a lot then there are others who are really excited about it. You know. that's, that's, that's, that's true of it as well. Could you maybe could we talk a bit more about the difficulty or you know in the introduction you said it's hard to talk about capitalism rather than than resistance. And maybe to to just expand it and get into that because you know in some ways I think that such a study is yours that is deeply immersed in the context and focuses on Palestinians and and Palestine is also deeply humanising and and for those that are perhaps not familiar with the with the context, you know, away in that again, pushing back against this exceptionalization framing that, you know, I think that this work is is an important part of, of doing, and, and, is that essential work that could, I think, you know, also befriend as a form of, of resistance if you like, but, maybe to hand back to you.

And also if I could just jump in there too, I think it reminds me a bit at the beginning, Kenny, we we're talking about how you could fit the sort of launching of your book back in May, you know, on this topic, in the context of everything that was unfolding, I'm sure noone could have really imagined, would reach the heights it did and things, and, and there I feel compelled also to, to, to make the links of, you know, the killing of Nisal Banat in and and by the by the PA and so you know and the different kind of social mobilizations that came up around then as well and what they were talking about and a particular kind of structure and and politics that was going on and I think that is deeply intertwined somewhere in your story when you're talking about the idea of a state that has no sovereignty and what does this state that has all these security forces also do and what is it that these kind of zones of stabilization or ideas of a place like that give off these illusions of aspiration and normality, normalcy, which I find that maybe many people that are even kind of critical of the project might engage with that.

Sometimes it's not these contradictions are a normal part of everyday Palestinian life that life goes on despite these uncertainties all the time or despite all these things. But I think there is a link there that you're, that, you know, there is a great importance actually for your work coming out at that time, even though it might not always feel that way, and, and, you know, that, but I think that it is, part of that same story, of everything happening. Well, I mean, thank you for that. I, I mean, I think it's part of the same story too. I think that what I was what I was sort of referring to or what I had in mind was, I mean, it was these, these academic questions of like, the object of study, but it's also this personal thing. You know, it was like the, the, the stress and the horror of watching what was going on. You know, and not really knowing how to talk about it, and especially not wanting to have to talk about it through myself or my book.

You know, I just was not interested in having that conversation move through me at all. You know, and so, we, we had, Lucy mentions we had a a talk. Did I say this? I don't remember. Um we had a a talk scheduled in May that was with the historian and Mesnocateau and with David Harvey. And we it it was the day after the the the the aerial attacks really started in Pleasant and we just didn't want to do it. You know. And it was it it and so I do I mean this is also the condition of like writing about Palestine You.

Know there there are sort of weird issues and stresses and you know instead of doing the talk I stared at Twitter all day and felt like **** you know, and so, I mean, I I was, you know, scared for people and I think that that was, that was also what I had in mind, which is like, you know, I think this is part of the same story and I think and I was like so glad that I that in the the the part about the flip side, I was so glad I actually wrote it into the book but but I mean, I think that Yeah, it was it was difficult to talk about a story that was not the one that felt most most present or most most vital or most important to me. You know, I, I, I, I, I still, like, believe my arguments about the need to talk about other things and to talk about the wide geographies and and skills and phenomenon that are happening in Palestine like I still, I still think that's right but it wasn't what I felt like talking about at the time.

That's sort of what what I had in mind, you know? Um and I think that it, it's, yeah, I mean, I, I think that it does, it does sort of touch on the same kinds of phenomena. Not, I mean, it is the same sort of like Milange of stuff that is also the the you know PA stabilization, PA security forces, PA murder of an activist. You know and and and sort of critic. And so I think that I think it's the same it's the same sort of sort of thing and trying to just understand the the multiple ways and the multiple places and the multiple say scale again. Um where things things are happening in Palestine You.

know, because I think that I think that to talk about to talk about sort of like individual forms of violence and not abstract it to the state or the law or the people who are insulated from it. Um leaves us kind of wanting if we want to talk about the big picture political situation. And if I can jump in, I mean, I think it's been really interesting listening to this conversation as well and thinking about these attachments to certain ideas of the future that work through property and even kind of the this more effective way to think about political economy which I think is really interesting. I mean, also it was I was thinking quite a bit about, for example, in Egypt, you know, Sadad's project in the that began in kind of the mid 70s to early 80s was also very much about developing these attachments to a future that, you know, would be beyond the reach of most Egyptians, but that, for many people, seemed something that was attainable, and it was something that also that was so present in the material landscape, through billboards, and even today, I think every time I go back to Cairo, it's just like one big billboard, I mean, it's almost, every inch of space, on every street has been taken up by a billboard, and they're all advertising real estate I mean it's really kind of amazing and you know the almost the same themes that we had 30 years ago of like these very European looking families on a beach but there's still this kind of almost this dream of middle class social mobility through property that still remains such a powerful kind of effective attachment.

And like you're saying for many people it it's understandable why that's the case in in the face of everything. So yeah it was really struck also by this idea of attachment and how these different and competing visions of the future especially compared to for example the the revolution which was a very different type of orientation towards a very different future. Um are always coming into kind of tension and and spaces like like Cairo. So yeah, really interesting. Well, and if they're and if they're based in that way, then, that's part of how class gratification works, right? Definitely. And I mean I think I I think also so much so so much of the political economy of different projects has been built around this question of real estate now at least in Egypt.

I think the one of the big distinctions that emerges for example between the military versus kind of that more you know Mubarak type elite was was its emphasis on the types of infrastructures it builds. Um how it understands property development and I know for example on the late 2 thousands and you know to leading up to 2011. Some of the only property development you were seeing were were these complicated compounds and shopping malls and almost nothing else. Um and I think there's a way in which that became symbolic also of what this ruling class basically understood as kind of development. So I think there's a really interesting way in which you can trace also these major shifts between political projects through through this question. And of course the influence of golf capital and how clear that's become in places like Egypt or I think it's just a huge percentage now that is just built by by own legal capital. Um yeah. Good. Good. that. Um you know Qatar is obviously very present in in terms of financing and and in the book that and correct me if I'm wrong.

Did did you manage to actually speak to any Qatar representatives? Cos from what I I remember reading the book I didn't get the the impression that again the Qatar is appearing the book as as always in the background. So I just wonder did you have any direct engagement with those financing or or managed to talk to any of those current representatives? I did not manage. No. Um I mean, I think that that was also part like I mean, the reason they felt like in the background to you reading it was they felt like in the background to me studying it and I think that that was sort of part of the one of one of the things that kind of led me to make this argument about how how forms of capital investment to to private to private firms but as the idea of development, how that's kind of like scaffolding these these practices, you know, how loans are backed, how this project is is is being sort of backed by the and you know and I I I wrote a little bit about it when I talked to some of the then probably now former employees of the development firm.

Um about how, you know, they said, you know, the developers are treating the like an ATM. The are investing for political reasons, they're not really paying that much attention, you know. There was an audit but it was whatever and so, I think that they, the, the, the, that, that sort of led me to, to, to, to believe that this, that there are these, these forms of investment that, you know, are scaffolding these projects, and insulating developers in ways they might not be insulated in other sorts of more direct investment situation and that is that is one of the ways that the Palestinian investment and Palestine look look a little bit different but but yeah, the the reason they felt that way to use because they felt that way to me.

I mean, I wish. I wish I could've could have spoken to them. Great. Um so I know it seems like there was a little bit of an issue with the live stream and not everyone was able to join but it will be recorded and up and everything but I don't know if anybody else Yeah, I was just going to ask when it's a bit of a move away from what we the we've just been talking about so far but there are the two chapters that deal with regavem, the the settler group and the and the use of the law and how these right-wing settler groups were trying to sort of mirror more liberal Israeli groups and how they were trying to contest particular expropriation strategies through the law.

And I was interested to hear. They were really interesting. I was interested to hear about kind of, again, maybe even just speaking a bit more about the process of, you know, writing and researching and when you come to put it all together out of the messiness of the meanderings of what fieldwork was, what you had access to, what you didn't, what came out, what didn't. In fact, the project probably took way longer than was ever expected to ever materialise itself.

So, you know, these are the unexpected pipes of research that I think are important to talk about. So kind of I thought maybe it'd be nice to hear about again maybe the process of I think you mentioned it how you sort of were looking at a court case because Rigavim had you know contested and things but what made you to want to put to chapters in there in that way and how did you sort of seeing it see it fit in to the story you were telling us? Yeah, thank you for that. You know, as people are reading it, that's the the least remarked upon part of it which also I think is indicated now that we're bringing it up as at the very end.

So, I'm actually glad you did. Um I I mean, I guess it's up to readers to decide whether or not I was successful. Um I think that what I was, what I was trying to do was sort of in my mind, I was thinking about those chapters about about the land and sort shared conceptions of history in the land and kind of trying to trying to move outwards and to and to think about like what are shared conceptions and how are they sort of shaping and framing what's happening in Palestine and so rather than sort of the ideas of of memory or land holding or or sort of prelapse area in life or whatever in the the chapters before it. I was thinking about the law and the sort of like liberal liberal law in in the West Bank. And and So, Regobeam came up because I was sort of tracking a lot of things about Little Wabby, through the newspaper, through Google Alerts, through all sorts of stuff and then it this this lawsuit, you know, you heard about settler opposition, these settlers who have come down the hill and protest and sort of make a mess for developers and things like that and then, you started to hear about legal cases and you know, and I was talking to my my my good friend, the anthropologist, Nicole Abergini, that time and and I was like, you know, I've just heard about this thing.

He was like, Regave, Mino, Regaveem. I found, I found Regoveem also in this project that he was working on with decolonizing architecture on the red castle. So, Regobeam was one of the one of the groups that was protesting that and then, so, Nicole and I did did some research together, wrote a piece together, and then I think he he sort of continued working on it and then, it it figured heavily into the the books that he wrote with me of course, right? And so, so, but but like we sort of in conversation with one another and in doing some research together, sort of hit on all this mirroring stuff but that's not our term. That's what the that's what the people are are are saying and then when we were talking to you know, the liberal opposition.

We talked to Miguel Spard, we talked to, you know, people in in peace now and and and other places and so, so, it's, that, that was sort of, this, this is like my version of, of, of trying to understand what the, what the mirroring stuff has to do with, like, with law and the land in Palestine and, and, and then, you know, sort of, after, after we had finished that project, I sort of chased down the legal cases, got them translated because I, I, I don't know Hebrew, and started to, started to do that work of really like putting the petitions next to each other to see just how, just how they're mirroring, just how they're, they're shaping their arguments and making their claims, but yeah, it did start with them, with them suing little lobby for, like, encroachment on the landscape, basically, for all the things, this relates to a question I didn't answer about the environmental stuff.

Um, but, you know, suing them for, for dump their dump sites, suing them for encroachment onto the the landscape but the landscape as as sort of understood by these these radical right-wing settlers is the entirety of the West Bank, the entirety of Palestine and so, you start to sort of like, I started to swim around in the in the kind of competing claims about authority and law and I mean, some of them have kind of like a messianic worldview. Others are are sort of like just settler right wingers and and trying to parce that and to see or just to sort of ask questions, let's say, about, you know, legal practice and what it, and what it's doing, and what it can, what it, what it can encompass, which is, which is pretty big, while at the same time, what it can allow, which for Palestinian s is pretty small, and so that, that was sort of the, the goal there, and, and yeah, the why, the why I put it there, is because I, I did, I did sort of see it as a way to kind of get bigger and to think about like, you know, the different kinds of states that are, that are operating in the same landscape, you know, why as a, why as a, a sort of a method question, did it come up? I mean, it came up through the wabby.

You know, that's, that's, that's where I came up and then, you know, I was, I was very fortunate to have a friend and a colleague who I was, you know, talking through a lot of this stuff with and so, yeah, that's, that's, that's why, I, I, as I, as I sort of think about this, I'm, I'm looking at it. As I think about it, You know, they're, they're, they're, they're, I, I've, I would have made that argument a little bit more differently and I'm a little bit more explicitly about the, about the state stuff. I think it, it, it, it might sometimes just sort of sit there in a way that I think, I, I could've given a little bit more weight to how it fits in to the, the whole process, but that was, that was, that was why it's there.

Great. Thank you. I mean, oh, sorry. Lucy did, you? Yeah, I just wanted to say thanks and thank you also for just writing such a wonderful book and that really helps yeah, you know, other people like me and others who are trying to grapple with this whole thing and it's really I can, I can feel how hard it is to have risen about it and studied it and put all these elements in together and so you did such a wonderful job and yeah, congratulations really. It's really wonderful and yeah. Well, I hope I don't sound like I'm just complaining.

Um but but thank you. Thank god. Just I'm really grateful for everybody. It sounds like up, right? I mean, it's, I'm really grateful for everybody who's comments and time and really sort of like careful and generous and productive readings and conversations and for everybody in LSE for organizing it and yeah, thank you. Yeah, thank you all so much. Thank you, Kareem Also, yeah, for writing such a great book and thank you all for contributing. This was an amazing conversation. I feel like I have so much to think about now as well. Um But yeah, thank you everyone. Thank you for Lucy for co-organizing with me and Amy.

And we'll see you all soon, hopefully, in real life next time. Have a good night or day. Take care. Thank you everyone. Thank you, Corinne. Thank you. Thank you so much. Amen. Thank you. Bye. Bye.

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