Israel, Thomas, West Bank discussed on Jewish History Matters


That is a kind of a historically intensified situation so in a way i am making a historical argument in the book by saying that really after the nineteen nineties after oslo. A huge kind of uptick and we've production by palestinian society as well as waste inundation by israeli society in the west bank and palestinian areas of the west bank the everyday experience of policy mians involves a kind of constant interaction at multiple different scales with various wastes. So you know one really iconic of a person walking on a road and let's say ramallah or on the way to qalandia checkpoint and just walking by block after block of dumpsters overflowing with waste that are then being burned to mitigate the size of that high all in the dumpster and you know that being kind of escape -able experience for someone who's living their daily life in the west bank. There's that and then there's the scale of people who are in the palestinian bureaucracy with whom i spent a lot of time in municipalities and in the palestinian authority who are trying to trouble shoot at a policy level either at the skill of the city or village or at the scale of the west bank as a whole what to do essentially with the accumulations of waste. I do wanna say that. I'm really interested in the multiple scales. The person with the trash fire next them as they walked to school. And also the bureaucrat. Who's thinking about the future of palestine being inundated with wastes. Yeah there are so many different ways in which we can take this. I think that part of what's at stake here is the way in which waste helps us to conceive of the situation in israel and palestine. Kind of speaking. How is it that waste helps us to think through kind of really big issues about the nature of what's been taking place in israel and palestine both recently and also over the course of the past generations if i can answer that kind of diagonally. I'll just say that. The way that this project came about was that i was thinking a lot about the way that people responded to hamas winning the two thousand six elections the legislative elections and what we were hearing primarily from people who are kind of on the center or to the left was that palestinians had voted even palestinians who were not in particular supporters of hamas or of political islam. Were voting for what thomas representative in terms of welfare and infrastructure provision because the lead. Pa had failed to provide certain forms of welfare an infrastructure. And you know it really struck me that there was such a quick easy move to say that people voted on the basis of what they thought about infrastructure and welfare. And i thought you know that's really not the way we tend to think about the developed world to put it bluntly or you know the global north that usually they're more factors at play when we think about politics and electoral politics and then the thing that really struck me to that. You really can't make that move so easily in a place like palestine. I mean in particular the west bank or gaza where there hasn't been the experience of a state in the long term so that you don't have the accumulation of experience of holding accountable essential government when things go wrong in fact you have multiple governments and of course since the mid nineties you have international donors playing a really huge role and then you have the kind of layer cake of the israeli administration the palestinian authority and and municipalities and other ngos et cetera..

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