This article discusses the rise and failure of private horticultural farming by Palestinian leaders and middle-class developers in the Beisan valley in the 1930s. This focus broadens and deepens our understanding of the colonial encounter in Palestine. Although the Palestinian middle class appears prominently in the political narratives of the struggle, this group has been paradoxically deemphasized in the social history of capital and settler accumulation and dispossession. By correcting this bias, the article seeks to develop a more inclusive narrative concerning private property in land in the settler-colonial predicament as a process of double loss: of Indigenous land relations and ecologies, on the one hand, and national life and territory, on the other. To do so, the article privileges an actor-based history, which captures both the development of political and economic practices and traditions, as well as the long and deep effects of governmental structures of dispossession.

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