From a development town to an eco-Jewish community: the case of Mitzpe Ramon
Reut Reina Bendrihem
( The Open University of Israel)
Paper short abstract:
The lecture will deal with economic dispossession and accumulation carried out by new settlers in Miztpe-Ramon, a small town in southern Israel. This process is executed through the practices of agro-ecological tourism.
Paper long abstract:
Mitzpe Ramon entrepreneurial economy began to develop in the 1980s following an agricultural-tourism project called "Sfat-Midbar"(the Desert's Threshold). This project brought privileged Jewish-Ashkenazi population from center Israel for the purpose of establishing farms on lands leased by the state. Those new comers developed a tourism and ecology based economy that excludes veteran populations (Oriental Jews and Bedouins) living in the area. My talk concentrates on "Sfat-Midbar" as a project that transformed the urban space of Mitzpe-Ramon. It was part of a larger process of selection and exclusion. It enabled privileges populations an access to the town and its natural resources, while spewing the underprivileged out. This process is signified by the transformation of Mitzpe-Ramon from a development-desert town to a gated community settlemen as part of gentrification process in the town.
Ideologies of dispossession along the private/public conundrum [Anthropology of Economy Network]