Who Profits was joined by Dr. Rafeef Ziadah, a Lecturer in Comparative Politics of the Middle East at SOAS, University of London, and Dr. Weeam Hammoudeh, an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Community and Public Health at Birzeit University, Palestine, for a conversation on the political economy of COVID-19 in occupied Palestine.
The knock on effects of Covid-19 have laid bare the inequality and violence at the heart of the current economic and political system, where profit accumulation and the entrenchment of power comes at the expense of the wellbeing of people and communities.
Now several months into the crisis, it has become abundantly clear that pre-existing and underlying structural conditions shape the uneven impact of the coronavirus pandemic, from access to care to broader socio-economic conditions.
Across historic Palestine, decades of militarized settler-colonial rule and systematic economic de-development, in the interest of Israel’s geopolitical and economic goals, have established the foundation for the occupied Palestinian territory’s crippled neo-liberal economy, hollowed Palestine’s industrial base and structured the impoverishment and underemployment of fragmented Palestinian communities.
Codifying dependence: The Paris Protocol
It is impossible to understand the structural vulnerability of the Palestinian economy to the Covid-19 crisis without addressing the relations of dependence and subordination between occupied and occupying economies, codified in the Oslo Accords and their economic annex, the Paris Protocol.
Politicizing the question of health
A global perspective on public health entails a recognition that health is never divorced from politics and the prevailing economic order.
Palestinian workers face a choice of no choice
Hand in hand with a process of ethnic cleansing and military occupation has been a process of economic pacification. Land confiscation, forcible displacement and economic strangulation have left Palestinian workers with little choice.