Palestine-Israel and the Neoliberal Ideal Comments

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Dwight Haase



When I was asked to review this piece for AJISS, I was excited to see scholarly
work relating the Palestinian-Israeli conflict to neoliberalism. Reading the
paper only heightened my enthusiasm; by invoking neoliberalism the author
adds new insights into the nature of this conflict and why it persists.
More often than not, we try to understand this conflict in terms of nationalism
or religion. Thus framing it as a clash of intractable ideologies,
which allows us to blame it on some uncompromising Islamic extremists
and Zionist settlers, has become convenient – although neither is representative
of the majority of either the Palestinians or the Israelis.
Given this approach, we in the West have a tendency to look upon Israelis
and/or Palestinians as the cause of their own problem. We scratch
our heads when they do not come to an agreement, throw up our hands
when the next president’s peace plan fails, and figure that those people are
just that way – always have been and always will be. Not only is this viewpoint
intellectually weak, but it is politically damaging because it ignores
the true causes of the conflict and justifies indifference to violations of
human rights.

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