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ISRAELI POLICIES OF SPATIAL TAKEOVER: PLANNING, ETHNIC EXCLUSION AND DEARABIZATION OF EAST JERUSALEM
[ Ghazi‐Walid Falah ] - Department of Geography and Planning,University of Akron, Akron
The paper examines the policy of spatial takeover pursued by successive Israeli governments over five decades, focusing on Palestinian people, land and homes in the Jerusalem Palestinian Governorate occupied in 1967. In this space, Israeli state institutions (central and local), the Israeli political class and World Zionist organizations and agencies have joined hands in order to alter and in effect to change and in some cases to “cleanse” the Arab and Moslem nature of the city in line with Judaization of Greater Jerusalem and the creation of a unique quadrimodal Matrix of Control through land use regulations, barriers, walls, tunnels, and a road system bifurcated along ethnic lines, a form of spatial apartheid. The Separation Wall is one mode in this matrix. Another is state policy to take over more private land from the Palestinian localities in the Jerusalem municipal area by engineering of planning regulations and the designation of Palestinian private land for uses other than residency, in effect expropriating it. Arab Jerusalemites are controlled and ground down on a daily basis in their motility through this urban space, alienating them from their own home city. Not only is space fractionated, but concomitantly time is in a sense itself “occupied” and bloated out of all proportion for moving through that spatial mazeway. The guiding policy since the 1967 occupation has been orchestrated to control Arab Jerusalemites, grinding them down psychologically on a daily basis in their motility through this urban space. From the planning perspective, the Palestinians have been boxed in, peripheralized. The underlying policy here is a mode of soft ethnic cleansing: to make the lives of people so miserable they will emigrate. A Judaized ‘United Jerusalem’ is arguably the prime icon in the Israeli Zionist national narrative.
Accessibility and exclusion, Matrix of Control, Spatial Planning policy, Palestinians, Israelis, Jerusalem