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Title: Selling Rural Palestine: Land Devaluation, Ethical Investment, and the Limits of Human Rights

This article is a study of the causes and consequences of making Palestinian land into an ethical investment. It builds on fieldwork in villages north of Ramallah where a Palestinian real estate company purchased devalued agricultural lands and offered them to Palestinian buyers as an ethical investment. It argues that through private titling, planning, and infrastructure, this company secured land for potential investors and produced an imaginary of rural areas as empty and unowned. It created enclaves that protect the rights of new owners but undermine the possibilities for collective land defence, and it pioneered a model of development that will transform the use and control of village land across the West Bank. Rather than an example of a company that uses human rights to cover up illegality, this case illuminates the limits of human rights for critiquing capital and settler colonialism and for understanding the forces that are reshaping rural Palestine.

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p. 897-915
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National Science Foundation
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