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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Wednesday, October 06, 2004
    Forting up - West Bank and Croxteth Park connect
    Eyal Weizman's book A Civilian Occupation arrived today and the introduction makes a fascinating point which never dawned on me before. Basically, that it is possible to trace a link between Israeli settlements and gated communities in urban areas everywhere:

    The ascent up the West Bank mountains coincided with the flight of the middle classes and their 'forting up' behind protective walls - both formations setting themselves against the poverty and violence of the Third Worlds they have produced. After all, is it not the same period of 1980s Reaganism that has produced the highest number of West Bank settlements and introduced the very terms 'gated community' and 'new urbanism'? Is the principle of exclusive bypass roads really that different from the deliberate carving up of poor communities with dead-end highways? Are we actually describing a unique place whose specificity renders its study a local curiosity, or is this not a worst-case scenario of capitalist globalization and its spatial fallout?

    As a study of a local curiosity it is a fascinating book - now, it is becoming essential.