Since 1967, Israel's objectives in Jerusalem have been to establish irreversible and exclusive control over the holy city. Policy decisions were made on the city's future in the aftermath of the 1967 war which have been systematically pursued over the last twenty-nine years.
On the national and municipal level, Israeli policy makers have consistently sought to implement strategies which would ensure Israel's physical domination of the city while minimizing dissent from within and from abroad. Policies have been developed and implemented in order for Israel to create geographic integrity and demographic superiority in favor of a Jewish Jerusalem. Concomitant with their actions on the ground, Israel has run a pervasive public relations campaign designed to secure national and international legitimacy for both their practices in East Jerusalem and their sole sovereignty over the whole of the city. They have succeeded in altering the geographic and demographic layout of the city and made tremendous strides in promo ting their actions as a legitimate part of the democratic governing of the city. The acceleration of Israeli actions since the signing of the Oslo accords, and particularly since the election of Benjamin Netanyahu, demonstrate that the Israeli government considers the issue of Jerusalem closed. Furthermore, the dearth of public protest and the ease with which the general public accepts the conversion of East Jerusalem into exclusively Jewish developments indicate that the Israeli government has been successful in legitimizing their actions, at least at home. If current Israel plans are brought to fruition, the final status of Jerusalem will have been settled long before the Palestinians arrive at the negotiating table.
Evolution of Israeli Policy on Jerusalem
In the 1996 Israeli elections, the party platforms of Meretz, Labour, Yisrael b'Aliyah, Likud, the N.R.P. and Moledet all call for Jerusalem to remain a "united" city under Israeli sovereignty. All evidence suggests a broad consensus in Israel supports the dominant vision of Jerusalem as the "eternal and undivided capital." All Israeli governments since Levy Eshkol have pursued policies which would ensure Israel's continued hold on all of Jerusalem. While Labour and Likud have differing opinions on the overall philosophy of land for peace, both parties categorically regard Jerusalem, as defined by the 1967 boundaries, as an integral part of the Jewish state. Israeli policies on Jerusalem were clearly defined immediately preceding the 1967 war and have been carefully and consistently implemented by subsequent national and municipal governments ever since. Consistent with Zionist strategies in the pre-state period, as well as strategies in the in the rest of the Occupied Territories, Israeli policy in Jerusalem has evolved over the past 29 years out of a perceived need to establish irreversible facts which would cement their claim to the city.
The principle of a "unified" Jerusalem under exclusive Israeli control predates the conquest of East Jerusalem in 1967. In the aftermath of the 1948 war, the Israeli government took immediate action to consolidate their hold on West Jerusalem and lay the foundations for the eventual conquest of the East. Speedy political maneuvers were made to legitimize control of the West. A rapid series of resolutions and legislation ratified by the Knesset in 1949 and 1950 revealed Israeli intentions for the city. The Knesset rejected all calls for internationalization after the war and declared that "Arab aggression" invalidated their obligation to implement the partition plan. On 2 February 1949, Ben Gurion declared that Israeliheld Jerusalem was no longer occupied territory but an integral part of the state of Israel. However, in an important distinction, Ben Gurion expressed a willingness to establish the UN sanctioned corpus separatum over the Old City. The seemingly magnanimous gesture on Ben Gurion's part represented a clear desire to delegitimize Jordan's hold over the Old City while at the same time removing Israel's own territorial acquisitions from debate.
After insisting on the unrestricted exercise of exclusive sovereignty over West Jerusalem, Israel then accelerated the process of making Jerusalem its capital. In 1950, the Knesset formally declared Jerusalem to be the capital of the Jewish state retroactive to the date of the declaration of independence, and began the hasty process of transferring all government ministries from Tel Aviv. By July of 1953, all government ministries, including the Foreign Ministry had been moved to Jerusalem. These early unilateral maneuvers on the part of the Israelis to pre-empt any discussion over their control over the Western part of the city, in retrospect, can be viewed as harbingers of Israel's treatment of East Jerusalem once captured in 1967.
The situation after the 1948 war was clearly viewed as temporary by many key figures in Israeli politics. In a 1949 address to the Knesset, Ben Gurion proclaimed that "We cannot lend ourselves to take part in the enforced separation of Jerusalem, which violates... the historic and natural rights of a people who dwells in Zion."
The awkward configuration of the ceasefire lines largely drawn by Moshe Dayan attest to the perceived impermanence of Jerusalem's boundaries. Despite the construction of the Givat Ram campus of the Hebrew University, Israel went to great lengths to maintain their presence on Mount Scopus relying on biweekly UN convoys to restaff and resupply the Israeli enclave. In 1965, newly elected Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kollek shelved plans for the construction of a new city hall to be located far away from the ceasefire lines. Kollek defended his decision on the grounds that "by staying on the frontier, we [are] giving expression to our faith in the eventual unification of Jerusalem." On the eve of the 1967 war, Rabbi Kook declared in his annual sermon celebrating Israeli independence that leaving the holy sites of the Old City in the hands of the "goyim" to be a sin. Israel persists in perpetuating the popular perception of the defensive nature of the 1967 war. However, the speed with which East Jerusalem was captured by war reflects the long standing desire to "reunify" the city under exclusive rule. After the 1967 war, the thrust of both policy and rhetoric over Jerusalem shifted from "reclamation" of the city's Eastern half to preservation of the lands taken by force of arms.
One of the first acts undertaken by the Israeli government after the city's conquest was to redefine the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem. The Jordanian municipal boundaries, comprising 6,5 square kilometers, were expanded to include an additional 70,000 dunums. The drawing of the new municipal boundaries now 71 square kilometers, was a classic example of racial gerrymandering. The purpose of this new configuration of municipal Jerusalem was to include the maximum contiguous territory with the minimum non-Jewish population into the city's boundaries. That same principle used in determining the boundaries for the city, has defined Israel's treatment of East Jerusalem since 1967. Israeli policy in Jerusalem was developed and enacted with one goal in mind: to prevent any possible repartition of the city by ensuring territorial integrity and a Jewish demographic majority. In the minds of
Israeli decision makers, national policy in regards to Jerusalem has been remarkably consistent. Differences between Labour and Likud exist in regards to emphasis, attitude and overall strategy. Nevertheless, when in power, both parties have pursued the physical annexation of East Jerusalem. Any perceived difference between the Labour and Likud positions vis-à-vis Jerusalem are erroneous, as both parties have been equally aggressive in ensuring that Israel maintain exclusive sovereignty over the city. At the national level, settlement plans or 'land for peace' formulae have always treated the territory in and around Jerusalem as a nonnegotiable part of Israel.
National Policies for Jerusalem
It was the Labour government of Levi Eshkol which set the precedents for complete Israeli sovereignty over a "united" Jerusalem. In a flurry of legislative maneuvering similar to 1949, East Jerusalem was immediately accorded a status different than that of the rest of the Occupied Territories. On June 28, 1967 the Knesset amended the law of 1950, which proclaimed Jerusalem as Israel's capital, to reflect the newly defined municipal boundaries. This legislation officially extended Israeli law to the Eastern part of the city, an act which differentiates it from the rest of the West Bank. It was clear from the standpoint of the Labour policy makers that Israel did not consider itself an occupying power in East Jerusalem. In the eyes of the Eshkol government, the application of Israeli law to East Jerusalem was no different than the application of Israeli law to any of the territory in Israel which was not included in the 1947 United Nations partition plan. This legislation set the precedent for the difference between Labour and Likud in regards to the territories as a whole, but also marked the beginning of a clear stance on Jerusalem as an issue beyond negotiation.
The Allon plan outlines the Labour party's settlement strategy toward the occupied territories. Settlement efforts were to emphasize security, chiefly in the Jordan Valley and Greater Jerusalem. The Allon plan also called for settlement of the highlands along the north-western portion of the West Bank which was deemed strategically desirable for settlement. Security and Jerusalem were the two fundamental aspects of the plan. Israeli settlement activity in the period from 1967 to 1977 reflected the principles of the Allon plan, with the notable exceptions of Elon Moreh and Kiryat Arba. These two exceptions, however, were more the result of political pressure on the part of Gush Emunim than overall government strategy. When Likud came to power in 1977, the settler population of the West Bank was a mere (by today's numbers) 5,000. The settler population of East Jerusalem, however, was already 150,000. The Allon plan demonstrates that Jerusalem, more specifically, Greater Jerusalem, including the Etzion Bloc, is unquestionably part of Israel from the perspective of the Israeli Labour party. Settlement of Greater Jerusalem was an established national priority long before the ascendance of the Greater Israel philosophy to the Israeli mainstream.
The focus of the Likud governments' overall settlement policy differed from Labour in regards to differing positions of land for peace. While Labour's obsession lay in the preserving of a Jewish demographic majority in the territories already in Israeli hands, Likud's focus was on creating a demographic majority to hold more territory. The subtle difference between these two ideologies was clearly reflected in the differing settlement plans proffered by the two parties. As previously stated, Labour settlement plans were designed to "avoid swallowing to many Arabs", when acquiring territory. Likud, however, felt the creation of a Jewish majority a more viable solution than withdrawing from captured territory. Likud's settlement effort expanded to include the whole of the "Land of Israel." The declared objective of Likud's settlement strategy was to facilitate the annexation of the Territories into Israel by creating geographic and demographic facts which would prejudice the status quo in favor of the Jewish state. Ariel Sharon, the chief architect of Likud era settlements, sought to fragment the continuity of Palestinian communities by settling hilltops around all Palestinian population centers in the West Bank. Jerusalem was, like Hebron, of special religious significance, but was in no means regarded having a separate status from the rest of the Occupied Territories. Without question, there was significant building in Jerusalem under the Likud governments. All available territory would be annexed into Greater Israel on the basis of a religious-historical imperative. Nevertheless, the majority of the Likud era settlement was confined to land expropriated in the early 1970s and in accordance with plans approved by Labour governments. Jerusalem area settlements were no exception.
The Begin government did differ from Labour in its willingness to run the risk of international criticism in blatantly pushing a united Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel. It was under Begin that many government offices were moved to areas in East Jerusalem. Most prominent among these was the National Police Headquarters. This office was moved into a pre-existing building in Sheikh Jarrah which the Jordanian government had intended for a hospital. Furthermore, throughout the Camp David negotiations, Israel repeatedly reiterated its stance that Jerusalem was an integral part of the state. In July 1980, the Begin government ratified the Basic Law on Jerusalem, declaring Jerusalem "whole and united", and Israel's permanent capital, over which Israel exercised exclusive sovereignty. In addition to codifying the physical annexation of the lands conquered in 1967, the Basic Law also obligates the national government to give the city preferential treatment in the allocation of resources and funds. These actions led to international protest, including UN Security Council Resolution 478 which declared the new Basic Law null and void. However, international censure at the diplomatic level had little tangible effect in blocking settlement activity in Jerusalem under Likud alignment governments.
Despite the great hopes proffered by the election of Labour in 1992 and the assumed promises implicit in the Declaration of Principles signed on 13 September 1993 between the PLO and Israel, settlement construction and land expropriations continued unchecked under the Rabin government. Jerusalem was a prime target of this policy. Even prior to the signing of the Oslo Accords, the Rabin government escalated the battle for Jerusalem. In March of 1993, Prime Minster Rabin imposed a general closure on the West Bank and Gaza Strip which has effectively required all Palestinians to obtain special permission to enter Jerusalem. The closure created a de facto border between the population of the West Bank and the population of Jerusalem. Once the Oslo accords were ratified, particular energy was focused on ensuring the future of Jerusalem would be settled prior to the commencement of final status talks. Even though the city was, ostensibly, included as a final status issue and, therefore, negotiable, the Rabin government was always clear on Jerusalem. On 18 June 1993, Rabin told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committees that "Palestinian Autonomy will not include Jerusalem." Order 360 which supposedly called for a freeze on settlement construction conveniently excluded Jerusalem. In addition to supporting the construction of new settlements such as Har Homa (see Appendix IV) and sanctioning major expansions in Pisgat Ze'ev and the Greater Jerusalem area, the Rabin government, in coordination with the Jerusalem Municipal Planning Department, approved plans to construct two major roads around Jerusalem designed to sever Jerusalem from the Palestinian communities in the West Bank while simultaneously linking up with the Greater Jerusalem settlements. The Rabin government's late construction policies are proceeding in the spirit of the plans announced in 1990 when Ariel Sharon was Housing Minister. During Rabin's tenure as Prime Minister, housing policy in Jerusalem was clearly based on eliminating the possibility of a loss of Israeli sovereignty over the annexed part of the city during the final status negotiations.
The settlement strategy of the Rabin/Peres government, called the Sheeves plan, was designed to consolidate Israel's hold on select parts of the Occupied Territories and Jerusalem in line with the final status configurations provided for in the Allon Plan. By December of 1992, the Rabin/Peres government had formally approved the Sheeves plan which carefully repackaged government sponsored settlements as national guidelines for public and private sector investment in Israel. The plan essentially takes Israel and the Occupied Territories as one unit and then classifies areas on the map in accordance with government priorities for development. This distinction allowed the Rabin/Peres government to claim they had cut off direct government benefits to the settlements, while channeling the money via grants to private development initiatives. This distinction was sufficient for the US government to reinstate the $10 billion in loan guarantees. Areas of national privilege, or Zone A, have the highest priority and receive the largest amount of national assistance. East Jerusalem and the settlement in the Greater Jerusalem area are all designated as Zone A according to the Sheeves plan.
In line with the tenets of the Sheeves plan, Labour Minister of Housing and Construction Ben Elizar described the settlement effort between 1992 and 1996 as the battle for the "destiny of Jerusalem." On May 4, 1995, Ben Elizar announced that during the next five years Israel will construct 30,000 housing units in Jerusalem targeting mainly Shu'fat area, Airplane Hill and Har Homa (Jabel Abu Ghaneim). Ben Elizar repeatedly recommended massive expropriations from Palestinian land owners in Beit Hanina, Wallaje, Beit Safafa, Beit Sahour, Um Tuba etc. in order to hasten the settlement process in advance of the final status negotiations. It was clear government policy to limit settlement activity "to the areas [the Israelis] were going to keep", chiefly Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley. It appeared that Labour viewed the inclusion of Jerusalem in the Oslo negotiations as more of a bargaining chip than an actual item for negotiation. Labour posture and settlement activity during the negotiations seem to imply that the more "generous" the territorial concessions in the West Bank, the more restrictive the solution on Jerusalem. It seemed that Labour was hoping to, in theory, trade East Jerusalem, possibly Greater Jerusalem, for more contiguous concessions on the West Bank.
Shortly after the election of Netanyahu, the settler magazine Nekuda, released the text of an interview with Ya'ir Hirschfeld, one of the original architects of the Oslo accords. In the interview, Hirschfeld detailed understandings that he had reached while negotiating a final status agreement with the knowledge and consent of the Labour government. The agreement detailed an arrangement for Jerusalem where the Israelis would enjoy recognized sovereignty in West Jerusalem and de facto sovereignty over East Jerusalem and the Old City. The Palestinian capital, to be called Al-Quds, as opposed to Jerusalem, would be located outside of the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem in Abu Dis. While a Palestinian flag would fly over the Haram al-Sharif, and Palestinians in East Jerusalem would have limited autonomy, effective sovereignty over Jerusalem would remain in Israel's hands. In a related article published in the Jerusalem Post, Labour MK Yossi Beilin confirmed Hirschfeld's account of the final status agreements as being "a blueprint for a peace agreement in the future." This version of a final settlement clearly demonstrates that the Labour government never had any intentions of making any real concessions over Jerusalem at any time during the Oslo process. Quite the contrary, as their settlement strategies attest, they were determined to secure as maximalist an interpretation of Jerusalem as possible before the negotiations were closed. Little more proof is required beyond the fact that the settler population of East Jerusalem grew from 148,000 to 200,000 during the first two years of the Rabin government. With the return to power of the right wing, it seems apparent that there will be little left to negotiate for when and if the subject of Jerusalem is brought to the negotiating table.
The guidelines of the Netanyahu government are very clear in regards to the final status of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the undivided capital of Israel and will remain, forever, under sole Israeli sovereignty. In his victory speech on June 2, 1996, Netanyahu declared that: "We will keep Jerusalem united under Israeli sovereignty. I declare this here tonight in Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people which will never be divided. The government will thwart any attempt to undermine the unity of Jerusalem and will prevent any action which is counter to Israel's exclusive sovereignty over the city. The government will allocate special resources to speed up building, improve municipal services and reinforce the social and economic status of the Jerusalem metropolitan area."
The expansion of existing settlements and the establishment of new ones in the Jerusalem area are a foregone conclusion for the Netanyahu government. In addition to the opening of the Hasmonean Tunnel along the Haram al-Sharif, Netanyahu has linked the promised withdrawal from Hebron with a the closure of all Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem. Furthermore, as the dramatic increase in the number of housing demolitions in recent months affirms, Jerusalem's right wing municipality feels empowered by the presence of the Netanyahu government. In the absence of international pressure, which does not appear forthcoming, or a national crisis on the Palestinian front, it is clear that Netanyahu has the resources and the political capital to cement exclusive Israeli rule over East Jerusalem and to make the extension of Israeli control over all of Greater Jerusalem a fait accompli.
Municipal Government Policies in Jerusalem
Strategies for ensuring Israel's objectives on Jerusalem have been, by in large, developed and enacted on the municipal level. While the national government offered unconditional support, the municipality is the engine driving the incorporation of East Jerusalem into Israel proper. Without question, the architect of the Israeli master plan for Jerusalem was former mayor Teddy Kollek. Using the principles of the early Labour government as a mandate, the Kollek municipality pursued planning policies intended to cut Greater Jerusalem off from the West Bank and facilitate its easy annexation into Israel proper. Official documents of the Jerusalem municipality and statements maby the city's policy makers show that Jerusalem's urban development was dictated by national considerations intended to strengthen Israeli control in all parts of the city. In a letter to former Mayor Kollek, written in 1975, Deputy Mayor Yeshoshua Atza stated that the "political national considerations must be the cardinal one [in regards to planning] and only then the urban consideration." In addition to controlling the land, demography became the cornerstone of planning in Jerusalem. They city's growth and the preservation of the demographic balance among its ethnic groups was a matter decided by the government of Israel. As he would proclaim at a later date, Kollek saw his role very clearly. "I am seeing to the Jewish majority... that is why we are here, to see to [the Jewish majority]." The impact of the policies developed under his administration, detailed in the coming sections, will demonstrate his commitment to this goal. Kollek used his tenure in office to cement an exclusively Israeli vision over the pre1967 geographic and demographic realities. It was his hand which drafted the settlement and demographic policies being strategically carried out until this day.
Former Mayor Kollek revealed his intentions for the future of Jerusalem within days after the defeat of Jordan in 1967. On the very day of conquest, Kollek approached Moshe Dayan and promised that he would personally supervise the clearing of No Man's Land. The impetuous behind these immediate actions was to start the process of "creating facts" that would establish a permanent Jewish presence in the Holy City. On the night of Saturday, June 10, after the armistice had been signed, the 619 inhabitants of the Maghrebi Quarter were given three hours to evacuate their homes. The historic quarter adjacent to the Wailing Wall was demolished in order to create a huge plaza to accommodate the presumed influx of Jewish pilgrims. In this first brutal act, former Mayor Kollek established a precedent for the remainder of his long tenure in office. Plans and policies were developed from the first years of the occupation designed to impose exclusively Jewish facts in occupied Jerusalem at the expense of the indigenous Palestinian population. Under the guise of protecting the city from the dangers of re-division, Kollek enacted a long series of policy initiatives designed to irreversibly integrate East Jerusalem into one city united under Israeli sovereignty.
The operating perception of the Kollek municipality when they began to plan for a "reunited" city remained one of siege. From their perspective, the aftermath of the 1967 war left the Palestinians with the upper hand in both numbers and the area of land in their possession. "It is necessary" claims former municipal planner Yisrael Kimchi, "to point out who [was] occupying who." Using maps drawn in 1968, Kimchi indicates how the Palestinians had encircled Jewish Jerusalem. Demography was a key element in the perceived imbalance between Jewish and "non-Jewish" residents of the city. Former mayor Kollek continually enunciated his concern about the growth of the Palestinian population in and around Jerusalem. Making the city more conducive to Jewish settlement was seen as the appropriate remedy to the situation. As the western side of the city was without any room available for expansion it was deemed necessary to look across the greenline. The Kollek administration viewed the events of 1967 as opening up new possibilities on what was termed as "completely vacant land owned by Jews or Arabs from outside [or] the [Jordanian] government." With the backing of the Knesset, Kollek era planners set to fill open spaces with Jewish facts. The fact that the majority of this vacant territory had Palestinian owners was not an overriding municipal consideration.
Kollek was also eager to stave off any potential criticism by marketing his actions in Jerusalem as both benevolent and democratic. At the beginning of his tenure, Kollek coined the philosophy that Jerusalem was a "mosaic" united under a democratic Israeli rule. However, as former city planner Sara Kaminker points out, the "mosaic" terminology was "a beautiful marketing ploy for selling segregation". The Kollek administration made a concerted effort to cloak the discriminatory methods employed in meeting these goals in easily digestible and justifiable terms. Actions taken by the municipality were promoted as having the best interests of the "Arab residents" in mind. For example, the lands expropriated in East Jerusalem are consistently referred to as vacant or unused, even when private ownership is admitted. The discriminatory policies of the Kollek government were advertised as providing badly needed housing by expanding into vacant areas "without inflicting harm." There is an equal level of adamancy in insisting that the municipality did everything possible to ensure that West Jerusalem city planners took every measure to provide for the Palestinian residents. Israelis will continual point out examples of population growth in the Palestinian sector. Even in regards to housing, they will deny a shortage and, conversely, argue that they provided as much housing as possible. In 1967, claims Yisrael Kimchi, there were only 5,130 housing units for Palestinians in East Jerusalem. Kimchi proudly credits the efforts of West Jerusalem city planners in providing an additional 5,700 units over the past 29 years. From the standpoint of the Kollek municipality, every possible measure was taken to provide for the Palestinian minority who are residents of the "united city." The perception persists that the critical element in the continued progress for Jerusalem is for Israel to retain control of the city.
Despite the careful packaging the objectives of the Kollek municipality remained to ensure geographic integrity and demographic superiority. He focused his efforts within his domain, as established in 1967, even when it clashed with settlement plans at the national level. Kollek made his vision of Jerusalem explicitly clear in a 1984 municipal council meeting when he expressed his objections to what he considered the premature establishment of Ma'aleh Adumim.
"I think it is a mistake to establish it before we have filled Jerusalem. In another five years, we will fill Jerusalem and then we will go there [to Ma'aleh Adumim]. In Jerusalem we took upon ourselves, as Jews, a very difficult urban task, in that we received distant neighborhoods, and we had to connect them; Ramot Neve Ya'akov, and Gilo, for example. It will take us years before we can swallow all that."
Municipal policies and strategies which were devised as early as 1968 created a framework for the gradual integration of East Jerusalem into Israel proper and its complete separation from the West Bank.
When Ehud Olmert won a surprise victory from Teddy Kollek in 1992, there was significant trepidation on behalf of the Palestinian population of the city and the Israeli left wing. Without question, Olmert and the Ultra-Orthodox deputies who govern with him, represent a distinct shift to the religiousnationalist right of Israeli politics. From the very beginning of his tenure as mayor, Olmert expressed his intentions to expand the city "to the East, not to the West", and to "make things happen on the ground to ensure the city will remain under Israeli sovereignty for eternity." However, it is important to recognize that Olmert's policies vis-à-vis settlements and the Palestinian population were an unabashed continuation of the plans conceived by his predecessor. Former municipal planners Yisrael Kimchi and Sara Kaminker are in agreement that there is "no tangible difference between Kollek and Olmert" in terms of objectives in East Jerusalem, other than the perception that Olmert may be "smarter" in carrying out his plans. Already, there is a belief within the Palestinian community that Olmert is stepping up efforts to pacify Palestinian Jerusalemites by providing improved services. Recent requests to the Ministry of Interior for more than NIS million in funding for the development of the city's "Arab areas" support this belief. Olmert's policies and strategies are widely viewed as being consistent with the strategies developed by Kollek.
The Judaization of Jerusalem
Israeli Policies Since 1967
Israeli policy in Jerusalem has been dominated by one overriding purpose: to secure and maintain exclusive Israeli sovereignty over all parts of the city. The conquest of the city in 1967 was viewed by the vast majority of Israelis as the culmination of the natural progression of Jewish history. Retaining Israeli control was viewed as a moral imperative. This nearly unanimous national consensus concerning Jerusalem assured policy makers that any action they took towards this end would not be criticized or questioned by the Israeli Jewish public. Consistent with Zionism roots, where the moral claim to the land is justified through settlement, a broad series of policy initiatives were promulgated to create irreversible facts on the ground. National governments, Labour and Likud alike, kept Jerusalem as a national imperative and supplied the city with necessary resources and support to met the desired objective. This strong backing allowed the municipal government to force new geographic and demographic realities onto East Jerusalem. Fueled by the Israeli paranoia that any weakness in their hold on Jerusalem will result in the city's division, the national and municipal governments are still building a geographic and demographic wall around East Jerusalem. The following sections will detail how the Israeli policy objectives of creating geographic integrity and demographic superiority in Jerusalem has translated into new realities on the ground.
The Judaization Process
1. Geographic Integrity
One of the first actions taken by the Israelis in the aftermath of the 1967 war was to redefine the municipal boundaries of the city. Although a flagrant violation of international law, these new boundaries became the framework within which the Israeli government would alter the existing layout of the city and the surrounding villages in an attempt to physically secure their control over the city. Policies were developed and implemented, primarily through the municipal planning committees, to establish geographic integrity between West Jerusalem and the additional lands captured in 1967. From the first days of the occupation of East Jerusalem, Israel set out to place facts on the ground in order to prevent the re-division of the city.
Over the past 29 years, Israel has employed numerous strategies to control Palestinian lands in East Jerusalem. Through discriminatory zoning practices and complex planning stipulations, Israel has managed to block Palestinian development of available land leaving it vacant until it is expropriated for "public purpose." However, the key element in Israel's plan to completely integrate occupied East Jerusalem into pre67 Israel has been the construction of more than 15 settlements in and around the boundaries illegally established in 1967. These settlements, constructed in four major phases, have created a chain of settlements separating East Jerusalem from the West Bank. The strategic placement of each new "neighborhood" on the map of East Jerusalem unquestionably reflects a desire on the part of the municipal planners to met the national objective of manufacturing geographic integrity for the "undivided capital of the State of Israel."
2. Land Control
Securing control of the undeveloped lands in East Jerusalem has been an essential element in Israel's race to create irreversible facts in the city. Israel has been able to bring about a near total reversal of the 1967 situation. At this point, numerous sources indicate that only 9,400 dunums are available for Palestinian development. According to Palestinian cartographer Khalil Tufakji, the breakdown of land distribution in East Jerusalem is as follows: 34% expropriated for "public" use, 40% Green Areas, 7% un-zonned, 6% roads and infrastructure, 3% frozen and 10% for Palestinian use. Furthermore, the remaining 10% is almost completely utilized. This almost complete subjugation of the Palestinians' ability to maintain control of their lands was achieved through a series of quasilegal methods, enacted mostly on the municipal level. Direct confiscation or expropriation of land has been but one tool utilized by Israeli planners in dominating the landscape of East Jerusalem. Palestinian development has also been prevented through a series of discriminatory zoning policies. Planning and permit requirements demanded by the Israeli municipality have made it nearly impossible for Palestinian owners to utilize their land. The municipal planners followed a strict policy of keeping Palestinian lands in East Jerusalem empty until they could
be expropriated for the construction of housing and infrastructure for the exclusive use of Jewish Israeli residents.
3. Land Confiscation
Land expropriation occurred in 5 main phases since 1967. The first phase occurred immediately after the city's conquest when the Israelis confiscated over 120 dunums of land in the Old City. More than 5,000 Palestinian residents of the Old City were evicted and lost their property. The second phase began in January of 1968, when 4,000 dunums of prime real estate were taken from the Palestinian neighborhoods and villages of Sheikh Jarrah, Shu'fat, Lifta and Issawiya. In the third phase, which took place in the early 1970s, 14,000 dunums were taken from Malha, Sur Baher and Beit Jala, as well as additional territory from Lifta and Shu'fat. In March of 1980, the fourth phase began with the confiscation of 4,500 dunums from Beit Hanina and Hizma. The fifth, and most recent phase, occurred in 1991 with the expropriation of an additional 2,000 dunums from Um Tuba, Sur Baher, Beit Sahour, Bethlehem, Beit Safafa and Beit Jala. To date, Israel expropriated a total of 24,000 dunums of Palestinian land in East Jerusalem for the construction of Jewish settlements. Once again, this figure amounts to 34% of the total available land in East Jerusalem. At this point, an additional 6,000 dunums, 8.5%, is slated for expropriation, primarily in the south of Jerusalem. This brings the total of land confiscated to 30,000 dunums. Thus, Israel has been able to obtain direct control of 42.5% of the land in East Jerusalem for settlements or road construction.
4. Blocking Palestinian Development
While a useful tool, land expropriations had to be consistent with municipal development plans. Other tools were needed to prevent the Palestinians from creating their own facts on the undeveloped lands in East Jerusalem. In addition to expropriation, Israel managed to control major portions of the land in East Jerusalem through a series of discriminatory municipal ordinances designed to block Palestinian development. Upon close examination, municipal planning and zoning restrictions are carefully drafted to facilitate Jewish plans while thwarting Palestinian construction. Israel has relied upon zoning restrictions, Town Planning Schemes and tight control of building permits to keep Palestinian lands undeveloped until the time was "ripe" for the construction of a Jewish settlement. One of the most effective municipal strategies toward this end is the practice of zoning large tracts of Palestinian land in East Jerusalem as "Green Areas" where any development other than agriculture is strictly prohibited. Planning maps for the Jerusalem district are color coded to indicate different zoning designation. On these maps, large areas are colored green and labeled as setach nof patuch: unobstructed view. Areas with this designation are, in theory, to be planted and to serve as public open spaces. However, in reality this designation has been used to block Palestinian development of these key land reserves. Currently, a total 31,000 dunums in East Jerusalem are zoned as "Green Areas" meaning that all construction is prohibited, and 44% of East Jerusalem is, effectively, off limits to the Palestinian owners.
5. Settlement Construction
As mentioned in the previous section, the majority of the undeveloped land in East Jerusalem was expropriated for Jewish use by 1968. Land expropriation, however, was only the first step in reaching Israel's objective of securing the geographic integrity of the city. Since the first days of the occupation, plans for development put forward by the municipal council have been based on the political criterion of safeguarding the city's "reunification" after the 1967 war. Plans that were drafted as early as 1969 set out to capture strategic points around the city and settle them with Jewish neighborhoods. Since 1967, the municipality has planned and overseen the construction of 13 major Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem. These settlements or "neighborhoods" as Jerusalem city planners refer to them, have completely altered the landscape of East Jerusalem. If the additional settlements current on the municipalities agenda are built, East Jerusalem will be completely separated from the West Bank and completely integrated into Israel's vision of a unified city.
6. Demographic Superiority
The 1973 Inter-ministerial Committee to Examine the Rate of Development in Jerusalem, commissioned by Golda Meir, determined that it was vital to the future of Jerusalem to ensure "the relative proportion of Jews and Arabs [in Jerusalem] as it was at the end of 1972." At that point in time, the population figures indicated a Jewish majority of 73.5% and a Palestinian minority of 26.5%. The subtext of the this decision was a desire on the part of the municipal government to implement strategies for combating the higher rate of natural growth among the Palestinian population and ensure a Jewish majority in the city. In 1992 the Kubersky, commissioned by the Ministry of the Interior, restated the needs of the government to take measures to ensure a Jewish majority in Jerusalem. While the municipal governments have planned and built the Jerusalem area settlements, the national governments have made every effort to facilitate their settlement with Jewish Israelis. In hand with increasing the Jewish population of the city, the Israeli government has actively sought to limit the number of Palestinians living in the city. In addition to the serious restrictions on housing and development facing Palestinian Jerusalemites, Israel enacted a series of restrictive policies regarding residency rights in the city. These policies serve a twofold purpose; first, of separating Palestinian Jerusalemites from the Palestinians in the West Bank, and second, providing means of preventing Palestinians from "legally" residing in the city. Israeli strategies for "preserving" the 1967 demographic ratio have fostered a series of discriminatory housing and residency policies designed to actively curtail the growth of the Palestinian population.
7. Encouraging Jewish Immigration
The massive construction of settlements in East Jerusalem has done more than alter the geographic layout of the city. Since 1967, Israel has managed to completely reverse the demographic realities in East Jerusalem. In July of 1993, an official Jewish majority was declared in East Jerusalem; at that time, the official figures reported 154,000 Palestinian residents and 168,000 Israel residents in East Jerusalem. Two years later, the number of Israeli settlers had grown by more than 30,000 bringing the total to 200,000. At the current date, sources estimate the Jewish population of East Jerusalem to be 240,000. Furthermore, the national blueprint of the Interior Ministry has made ambitious projections, calling for a Jewish majority of 77% for the Jerusalem region by the year 2020. This dramatic change in the demographic realities of Palestinian East Jerusalem was the result of a concerted effort on the part of the Jerusalem municipality, with the support of the Knesset, to encourage Israeli Jews and new immigrants to populate Jerusalem's new "neighborhoods." Policies were developed to provide substantial economic incentives to prospective residents. New "neighborhoods" were aggressively marketed as affordable alternatives to the crowded conditions in the urban centers that offer a tremendous improvement in the quality of life. In addition, steps were taken to promote the growth of industry in several of the larger settlements in East Jerusalem in hopes providing further impetuous for new Jewish immigrants to settle permanently in Jerusalem. While some aspects of these policies were less effective than others, the overwhelming result has been a massive influx of Jewish settlers who largely view themselves as residing comfortably in convenient, affordable suburbs of Jerusalem.
7. Attacks on Palestinian Residency Rights
Israel municipal policymakers were aware early on that measures would have to be taken to prevent the rapidly growing Palestinian population from taking root in East Jerusalem. In 1994, the growth rate of the "non-Jewish" [Palestinian] population of Jerusalem was 3.4% while the growth rate of the Jewish population reached only 1.3%. Despite huge Jewish immigration and the numerous discriminatory housing policies which have created a massive Palestinian housing shortage in East Jerusalem, the natural growth of Palestinian Jerusalemites still outstrips the growth of the Jewish population. In order to maintain the desired demographic ratio in the city, Israhas relied upon a series of discriminatory bureaucratic methods to deprive Palestinian Jerusalemites of their "rights" to live in the city. These policies stem from the two-tiered system of ID cards imposed upon Palestinians after the 1967 war. The blue ID cards denoting Jerusalem residency, were originally imposed upon Palestinian Jerusalemites as a means of separating them from Palestinians in the West Bank and integrating them into Israel proper. In addition to serving this end, the issuance of ID cards also gave the Israeli Ministry of Interior de facto control over who had the "right" to reside in the city. The system of laws concerning residency of Palestinians in East Jerusalem has been converted into a key mechanism for restricting the number of Palestinians living in the city.
Legitimization of Sovereignty
The quest for legitimization of Jewish claims to reside in the holy land has been a key component of Zionist strategies since before the founding of the Jewish State. Israel's self-perception as a democratic beacon in the authoritarian Middle East has become an essential part of garnering legitimacy for its practices. Furthermore, the image of Israel as a benevolent democracy has become a core founding myth among Israeli Jews. Public relations strategies which cloak discriminatory Israel practices have become a key element in the battle for Jerusalem. Historical and legal justifications are the major components of Israel's mission to legitimize the Judaization of the city. Israeli propaganda has consistently portrayed the capture of East Jerusalem as the obvious redressing of past wrongs and the natural evolution of holy the city. Furthermore, Israel has been frighteningly successful in disguising its policies of disenfranchising the Palestinians both legal and part of their benevolent, democratic governance of the city.
In March of 1995, Mayor Olmert revealed the plans for a 16month and $11million celebration marking the 3,000 anniversary of Jerusalem as "the Undivided Capital of Israel." This celebration, which included an enormous fireworks display immediately after Netanyahu's election, is perhaps the most ostentatious example of Israel's need to justify the continued occupation of East Jerusalem in religious and historical terms. The Israeli propaganda machine has expended considerable effort in providing copious amounts of evidence and information attesting to the exclusive Jewish character of Jerusalem's history and spirituality. The genuine centrality of Jerusalem to the Jewish faith is cynically used for political legitimization. Countless hours of rhetoric have been spent reciting biblical quotations and segments of Jewish prayer as a preface to why Israel cannot loosen its grip on the city. Contained in the emphasis on the inherent Jewishness of Jerusalem is a blatant negation of the city's importance to the other monotheistic religions who regard the city as holy. The Government Press Office describes the religious importance of Jerusalem as follows: The observation that "Jerusalem is holy to three religions" tends to mislead, since Jerusalem is holy to Jews, Muslims and Christians in fundamentally different ways. Jerusalem contains sites holy to Muslims and Christians, and is one of many locations of religious significance to them. To Jews, however, it is the city itself which is uniquely holy, only Jews have a religious prescription to live there.
The tacit assertion is that because Jerusalem is uniquely holy to Jews and because only Jews, by their assessment, have been religiously commanded to live there, then only Jews have a legitimate religious right to live in the city.
Information packets put forward by various Zionist lobby groups and the Israeli Government Press Office always start the history of Jerusalem with King David, ignoring the fact that Jerusalem was a Jebusite capital whose settlement predated David by roughly 2000 years.
Since 1967, successive Israeli governments have set out "with conviction, with motivation, with determination, with stamina..." to eradicate all other visions of the Holy City that conflict with the vision of Jerusalem as the 'eternal, undivided capital of the Jewish State'. The question then persists, why, if the Israelis are so determined to make no concessions on Jerusalem and have expended so much energy and resources in establishing Jewish superiority in the city, did the government agree to settle its final status during the Oslo process? Given the Israeli preoccupation with the rule of law and their need for international legitimization the answer is fairly obvious. By negotiating the final status of Jerusalem in the context of a peace process sponsored by the international community Israel can finally secure unquestionable legitimacy for its exclusive rule over the holy city. The frenetic pace of settlement activity since the beginning of the peace process attest to Israel's quest to implement as many irreversible geographic and demographic facts on Jerusalem's soil in advance of the negotiations. If Israeli policies for Jerusalem continue to be implemented at the current pace, there will be little left for the negotiators to decide upon. Without question, Israel views the final status of Jerusalem as an issue that has already been settled.
However, the fundamental fact remains that without a just and equitable solution to the question of Jerusalem there will never be a lasting peace in this region. As the clashes in late September clearly demonstrated, continued Israeli aggression in Jerusalem will only result in further bloodshed. At a peaceful demonstration outside the Israeli Interior Ministry, Faisal Husseini indicated that it would be foolish to discount the Palestinians' anger over the dual standards that currently govern the Oslo process, especially in regards to Jerusalem. "The Israelis", argues Mr. Husseini, "say we must be creative about the 400 Jewish settlers in Hebron. We want the same creativity for the 160,000 Palestinians who live in East Jerusalem." Regardless of the dramatic success of Israel's Jerusalem policy in altering the geographic and demographic realities of Jerusalem, the basic rights of the Palestinian residents cannot be ignored. Any political settlement over the future of Jerusalem must incorporate both the basic rights and the national aspirations of the Palestinian people.
Hope, as always, may come from unexpected places. As demonstrated in this paper, much of the success Israeli governments, in particular the Jerusalem municipality, have enjoyed in pursuing their discriminatory policies in the city, have stemmed from the broad, Israeli consensus concerning the city's future. However, there are serious chinks in the Israeli consensus that can be opened to give Palestinian Jerusalemites a chance to pursue their aims. While the vast majority of Israelis would say it is an absolute must that Jerusalem remain united, few can define exactly what that means. Field research conducted in the fall of 1995 showed that less than 50% of Israeli Jerusalemites surveyed could correctly define the municipal boundaries. Furthermore, only 6% of the Israeli Jerusalemites could name more than 9 of the Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. Finally, 53% of those surveyed had no objections to the idea of an independent Palestinian municipality. A recent survey scheduled to be published in the Israeli daily Ma'ariv shows that a slight majority of Israelis favor moving the capital to Tel Aviv. While Israel clearly has the upper hands in terms of physical power, there is no reason it must continue to win the public relations war. At this critical juncture, Palestinians must be vigilant in making their legitimate rights to the city widely known and respected, not only in the international community, but in Israel as well.
Where there is a political will, there is a way to reach a negotiated solution for Jerusalem. However, Israeli settlement construction and attempts at forcing a Jewish majority in all parts of the city have prejudiced and will continue to prejudice the outcome. The onus is currently on Palestinian Jerusalemites to present a united front with concrete development plans to ensure their aspirations for Jerusalem will be met in a satisfactory manner.