chapter  4
33 Pages

The occupied Palestinian territories

Palestinian development has been fixed within an overly ‘rigid stable attractor’, debilitating any prospect of self-organisation and ability to adapt to the fitness landscape. This is because the occupation has led to the imposition of securitised political and economic policies, and regulatory mechanisms (through international agreements and regulation) that have weakened the Palestinian response and restricted the movement and interactive capabilities of those living in the West Bank and Gaza. Any attempt to change this system or attractor has only managed to reinforce the boundaries, which means that instead of forging a new system Palestinians are merely moved around within the current one, and when levels of insecurity develop in response to the conditions (through resistance in the First and Second Intifadas for example), Israel (with international acquiescence) has been able to readjust its control without suffering too much from the consequences itself. Because of this, even when compared to the harshest conditions in the previous examples, the oPt lacks the ability to make its own effective policies or self sustaining development. In identifying with Urry’s (2006: 14) maze analysis once again, in the oPt the changing walls symbolise Israel’s ability to adapt to Palestinian movements, but the restrictions on movement within the maze are further increased by attempts to control the direction of Palestinian ‘development’ through the imposition of a neoliberal framework that imposes a set of rules that must be accepted. The attractor is therefore stable, but has become overtly rigid due to the limits imposed on Palestinian actors, which reduces the ability to freely interact and influence a systemic change. Emerging patterns and positive feedback are therefore stifled. To remind ourselves, then, the following is required in order to allow for healthy complexity to emerge:

• Knowledge is a constant requirement in adapting to change and the framework at large.