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Palestine is Throwing a Party and the Whole World is Invited

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Kareem Rabie's book takes its title from a 2008 invitation to an investment conference in Palestine, penned by the former Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. The conference was "framed as though it were possible to circumvent politics through economic mechanisms, a subtle reinvention of political practice."

Palestine is Throwing a Party and the Whole World Is Invited: Capital and State Building in the West Bank, (Duke University Press, 2021) takes a different approach to understanding the realities of Palestinian politics. While most narratives deal with historical and collective memory, Rabie's book delves into the economics of colonialism and military occupation, as well as the role of international diplomacy which has exacerbated societal divisions among Palestinians, most noticeably in the vast discrepancies between Ramallah and the Gaza Strip, the former being portrayed as "a model for potential".

According to Rabie, "1948 was among other things an utterly massive transformative redistribution of wealth from Palestinians to Jewish colonists and to the state." Hence, it is not the rupture that the book discusses, but rather the fragmentation, stratification and neo-liberalisation of Palestine, epitomised by the Rawabi project (a "planned city built for and by Palestinians in the West Bank"), which was announced in the 2008........

© Middle East Monitor

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