Since the Oslo I Accord was signed in 1993, more than $40bn has been spent by international donors as foreign aid for Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
As long-time analysts, we have grown tired of adding this (ever-growing) number to the beginning of so many of our journal articles, op-eds and reports. Yet, we find we cannot avoid this, because of how clearly it underlines the failure of the western donor-driven development model, the moribund Oslo “peace process” it is meant to support, and the significant sums of aid funding that end up going into Israel’s economy.
It is thus inevitable that a shift should take place in prevailing development thought, from one that considers development as a technocratic, apolitical and neutral approach to one that recognises structures of power and relations of colonial dominance, rearticulating processes of development to be part of a struggle for basic rights, resistance to displacement, and true emancipation.
Co-written with Jeremy Wildeman
Published at The Middle East Eye, 31 October 2020
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