The Gaza Strip: The Political Economy of De-development
by Sara Roy
Washington, D.C.: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1995. 375 pp. $27.95 ($17.95, paper).
Reviewed by Daniel Pipes
Middle East Quarterly
Though her ostensible subject is Gaza, Roy's emotions are engaged when the subject is Israel. The Israeli government, she writes, "has attempted to dispossess Palestinians of their political and cultural patrimony through the direct expropriation of their economic resources." 324 So intense is her hatred of things Israeli that Roy finds normal language inadequate. Instead, she reverts to archaisms (its military occupation since 1967 has been "malefic") 323 and neologisms (its policy in Gaza has been one of "de-development," a term she made up to mean the "deliberate, systematic destruction of an indigenous economy by a dominant power"). 4 Even when the Israelis do something right, such as subsidize the growing of carnations in Gaza, Roy finds that the Palestinians "suffered considerable losses" from the program, due to the capriciousness of the Israeli marketing company. 327 As for the Declaration of Principles (DoP), the less said, the better: Roy writes that this agreement "will not alter the underlying relationship between occupier and occupied, only its form." 330
When Palestinian sympathizers like Roy dismiss Yasir Arafat as a sell-out for having signed the DoP, it invariably prompts the thought that they are less interested in the welfare of Palestinians than with the opportunity to vent spleen at the Jewish state. Its academic trappings aside, this would seem to a be a book whose purpose first and last is to discredit Israel.
Related Topics: Daniel Pipes | March 1996 MEQ
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