Geographies of aid intervention in Palestine

Recent scholarship has highlighted the little effectiveness of the aid industry in the 1967 occupied Palestinian territories, and even its complicity in sustaining the Israeli occupation. A blind faith on economic development to keep alive the “peace process”, as well as the dominant “post-conflict” framework that has shaped most development intervention since the Oslo accords, have contributed altogether to bury the root causes and socio-political realities of this particular context. Less research has been done about the micro-geographies of aid intervention and the ways in which these practices are negotiated, implemented, and contested. The aim of this conference is thus to critically explore the ways in which aid intervention reshapes the socio-political, spatial, economic, and environmental relations, in addition to thinking about alternatives forms of aid that respond to Palestinians needs and rights not only in the West Bank and Gaza Strip but also elsewhere.

Dates: 27/28 September 2010

Venue: Said Khoury Development Studies Hall – Birzeit University

Location: Birzeit, Occupied Palestine

Organizers: Middle East and North Africa Research Group (Ghent University)
Center for Development Studies (Birzeit University)

Supporters:Birzeit University Ghent University Vlaamse Interuniversitaire Raad – University Development Cooperation (VLIR-UOS)


Conference Program

Monday 27th September 2010

8:15 – 8:45: Registration

8:45 – 8:50    | Opening Remarks
President Birzeit University

8:50 – 9:00: Opening Remarks
Samia Botmeh, Director of the Centre for Development Studies, Birzeit University
Sami Zemni, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Research Group, Gent University

9:00– 9:30: Keynote address

Mark Duffield, Bristol University

Aid, Territories and People

9:30 – 11:30: Session One: The legacy of Aid in Palestine’s colonial present

Sara Roy, Harvard University
Perspectives on Palestinian (de-)development
Jamil Hilal, Independent Researcher
Civil society in the context of settler-colonialism and the establishment of the PA
Islah Jad, Birzeit University
NGOs and the Depolitization of Palestinian Social Movements
Jalal Al-Huseini, IFPO
The refugee aid industry during Oslo

11:30 – 11:45: Coffee break

11:45 – 13:45: Session Two: Palestine as a humanitarian space

Didier Fassin, Princeton University
The humanitarian politics of testimony
Ilana Feldman, George Washington
Naive humanitarians, exemplary victims, and the limits of humanitarian space

Hassan Jabareen, ADALAH The discursive and spatial performativities of law

Numan Kanafani, Copenhagen University
The political economy of food aid to Palestine

13:45 – 14:45: Lunch break

14:45 – 16:45: Session Three: Development, Neoliberalism and Security

Mandy Turner, University of Bradford
The Limits of Peace building under Occupation: an Analysis of the Palestinian Reform and Development Plan
Dawood Hamoudi, Stop the Wall Campaign
Donor money. Israel Economic Vision
Aisling Byrne, Conflicts Forum
The development of neo-colonial structures under the guise of state-building
Eileen Kuttab, Birzeit University

Building a neoliberal citizen. Education and the reproduction of aid.

Tuesday 28th September 2010

9:00 – 9:30: Keynote address

Patrick Bond, University of Kwazulu-Natal
Post-liberation aid, finance and neoliberal public policy: The case of South Africa

9:30 – 11:30: Session Four: The political logics of donors (and recipients)

Khalil Nakhleh, Independent researcher and writer
Development Mythology in Occupied Palestinian Authority Areas
Benoît Challand, European University Institute
Foreign donors and the power to promote and exclude
Guy Burton, Birzeit University
Revenue without a cause: Arab financial assistance in Palestine
Ayman Abdel Majeed, Birzeit University
Perceptions of Palestinians towards international aid

11:30 – 11:45: Coffee break

11:45 – 13:45: Session Five: Development under occupation

Raja Khalidi, UNCTAD
The economic dimensions of prolonged occupation: Continuity and change in Israeli policy towards
the Palestinian  economy
Jad Isaac, ARIJ
Environmental Colonialism

Hassan Ladadweh, Birzeit University Facing Palestine’s uneven development

Fathy Khdirat, Jordan Valley Solidarity
The “Eastern Border”: developing Area C

13:45 – 14:45: Lunch break

14:45 – 16:45: Session Six: Encountering and contesting the aid regime

Iyad El Riyahi, Bisan Challenging development as normalization Ingrid Jaradat Gassner, Badil Political advocacy. Reverting and challenging the neutrality of the aid paradigm Rina Jabaree, Adalah Aid and subjugation. Palestinians inside Israel Nora Lester Murad, Dalia Indigenous Resource Mobilization for Palestinian-led Social Change & Development 16:45 – 17:00 | Coffee break17:00 – 18:00 | Session Seven (round-table discussion): Imagining alternatives

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