This article deals with two nonviolent resistance movements in the contemporary West Bank, where the “local” itself is under constant threat of encroachment by Israeli infrastructures of control, co-option, and containment. Resistance is fertile in two ways: one, people have proposed that nonviolent resistance is the productive (fertile) way to oppose the Israeli occupation, and two, nonviolent resistance is fertile in the sense of using local resources (land, water, plants) to produce local food and drink. The first example is Taybeh beer, the first Palestinian microbrewed beer, and the second is Sharaka, a community supported agriculture group in the West Bank, which supports “reinvention” in the sense of rediscovering local Palestinian foods and making them available to consumers. Both movements assert their opposition to the occupation: Taybeh invites consumers to “taste the revolution” in their beer, while Sharaka invites consumers to seek out the local “baladi” taste of Palestinian products instead of Israeli-produced food products. The article investigates the important differences between the two in terms of their orientation toward international (Taybeh) or local markets and audiences (Sharaka). The two also differ crucially in their attitude toward effective resistance: through developing Palestinian firms within a neoliberal economy or in striving for an independent Palestinian agriculture in opposition to dependence on Israeli food products. Further, the two differ on practices of boycott: Sharaka supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement whereas Taybeh actively seeks Israeli markets for its beer.
Resistance Is Fertile!
Anne Meneley is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Trent University. Her work focuses on the material qualities of olive oil that have made it such a valued substance in dietary and spiritual realms for centuries. She focuses now on the production of “extra-virgin” olive oil from prestigious (Tuscany) and dangerous (Palestine) places, to highlight how imaginaries of origin affect contemporary global circulations. Forthcoming work deals with food as a means of peace and conflict.
Anne Meneley; Resistance Is Fertile!. Gastronomica 1 November 2014; 14 (4): 69–78. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/gfc.2014.14.4.69
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