Developing a Palestinian Resistance Economy through Agricultural Labor
In 2013, four Palestinians incorporated Amoro Agriculture, Palestine’s only mushroom farm. In the absence of an alternative to Israeli mushrooms on the Palestinian market, Amoro’s products were welcomed as an engaged example of the boycott of Israeli goods and were hailed as an iteration of a Palestinian resistance economy based in the agricultural sector. Using the testimony of the farmers and their experience of what proved to be a short-lived agritech venture, this article explores questions of agricultural development in the occupied Palestinian territories generally, and the development of a “resistance economy” based in agriculture specifically. It argues for recentralizing the question of the development of agricultural labor in the occupied West Bank and for abandoning the depoliticizing romanticism that surrounds the land and the farmer in the discourses of Palestinian struggle. It further contends that growth in the agricultural sector needs to be addressed in a holistic fashion, which includes a recalibration of the relationship of capital and the quasi-state bureaucracy of the Palestinian Authority to labor.