Ramallah: The Suburban Homes of the New Palestinian Middle Class



In the West Bank, between Ramallah and Nablus, air-conditioned tour busses carry groups of American investors up and down a winding, unpaved road to view the birth of a new Palestinian suburban town called Rawabi. This master-planned town, they are told, represents the promise of a new Palestine. As an editorial in Israel’s largest-circulation newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth stated, the city of Rawabi, is a “bourgeois, well-kept, demilitarized island free of politics.” Indeed, Rawabi is the spatial embodiment of the neoliberal incarnation of Israeli occupation, a project to employ urban development in the cultivation of a new depoliticized Palestinian subjectivity.