Specifically Ramallah is a different situation, it's not like, let's say, Bethlehem, Hebron or Jenin or Nablus exactly because, as you just said, there is a kind of urban density with people, with diversities even though they're under occupation. So what we are trying to understand is that if specifically for Ramallah, there is a possibility for a Palestinian counter-project, something that we can call resistance or just another form of co-optation. Because we can say that perhaps in Jenin, Hebron, they do the same thing more-or-less, but they are not built in the same way, for the same reason and they don't have the power. This is the basic thing about Ramallah, no? That in a way, because there is the Palestinian Authority, they have the power to speak for everybody, in other words they are representative of power.
It has potential yes, because if you take other towns – we don't have cities, we have towns – if you take al-Khalil or Nablus, for example, these cities are still structured by family-groupings, the main families there, they control more-or-less the economy and political structure etc. Ramallah is different, it doesn’t have this structure. It has become for some various reasons - I have mentioned some of them - the annexation of Jerusalem, the borders etc. - the fact that it has become the seat of the Palestinian Authority, NGOs, new companies, private sector, political parties, so it contains this plurality, diversity from different parts of the West Bank, so it has become to represent the Palestinian society in terms of the composition of Ramallah, the demographic composition. And in terms of people relating to each other not through kinship but through other means, through work, through neighborhoods, through associations, through cultural activities, political affiliations etc. Now, this is still, I think, in a state of potentiality, to become the opposition centre, it has some objective qualities because of its representative character. It could become the centre for resistance and demand for self-determination and for inventing new forms of opposition to the Israeli project.
(in Arabic) So what do you feel could be the potentiality of Ramallah?
Because Ramallah has become a real urban centre, forget for a minute about the colonial situation, it has come to represent Palestinians from different walks of life, from different areas, from Gaza, also with Palestinians who are returnees, diaspora, so it has become a small nucleus of Palestinian society, including also Palestinians from '48 areas who work in Universities and different institutions. So objectively it has the potential to become the centre for resistance against the Israeli project of turning Gaza and the West Bank into Bantustans and calling it a Palestinian state.
[Extracts from conversation no.7]