Owning the Homeland: Property, Markets, and Land Defense in the West Bank
This article examines the formation of land defense in relation to changing legal and economic conditions in the occupied Palestinian territories. It argues that as a result of settler capital and law, Palestinian land defense should be understood as emerging through, rather than apart from, private property. Specifically, it explores how private property and market forces shaped agrarian land defense (1970s–1980s) and real estate land defense (post-2007). In the 1970s and the 1980s, land defense sought to protect agriculture against market forces that drew Palestinians off the land and into wage labor in Israel. Beginning in the 1990s, the exclusion of Palestinians from Israeli wage labor and new forms of West Bank governance created the conditions for real estate land defense to appear. Taking the real estate project TABO as a case study, this article details its political logic, unexpected market effects, and social and economic limits.