Middle East Studies

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The City of Jerusalem

The Israeli Occupation and Municipal Subjugation of Palestinian Jerusalemites

Dr Meir Margalit is an authority on municipal policy for East Jerusalem. Until November 2013 he served as a member of the city council of the Jerusalem Municipality on behalf of the left-wing party MERETZ, holding the city council's East Jerusalem portfolio. That position enabled Dr. Margalit to assist in advancing solutions to the Arab eastern part of the city. He was co-founder and field co-ordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), and today heads the board of the Center for Advancement of Peace Initiatives (CAPI).

The author writes from the experience of thirty years working in the Jerusalem municipality, including 21 years as a public official and ten years as an elected councilor representing the left-wing Meretz party.

“This book is born from an urgent need to understand the mechanisms articulating the city in which I live, which I love and for which I suffer. I am from Jerusalem, I could not live in another city and the barbarities my government is perpetrating on the Palestinian parts of the city do not allow me to remain quiet. Through this book I engage with the prevailing model of power and repression and the neo-colonial system that expresses its perverse functioning.”

This book is centered on the political and economic mechanisms practiced by Israel in East Jerusalem over the last decade. These mechanisms reinforce the occupation and keep Jerusalem’s Palestinians subjugated through co-optation into the Israeli system. Analysis is centered on the changes wrought during the mayoralty of Nir Barkat (2008–2018), who came into politics from the business world and introduced management concepts to the workings of municipal government. While Barkat succeeded in creating the illusion of a “new era” in eastern Jerusalem, the result is heartbreaking displacement and vulnerability toward East Jerusalem's residents, and the application of urban planning that impacts negatively on residents’ legal status. The City of Jerusalem: The Israeli Occupation and Municipal Subjugation of Palestinian Jerusalemites is a profound sociological and economic analysis of a city under a “normalised” occupation which has destroyed the very essence of what Jerusalem stands for: a reflection of diverse religious belief within a multicultural setting, where citizens‘ rights are upheld and not discriminated against for political purpose.

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-78976-035-4
Paperback Price: £25.00 / $34.95
Release Date: April 2020
Page Extent / Format: 180 pp. 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: Yes



Chapter 1: Jerusalem as a Non-city                                                                     
Chapter 2: Occupation as a Base Axiom                                                             
Chapter 3: The Apparatus that Sustains the Occupation                                     
Chapter 4: The Barak Administration and its Specific Way of Working     
Chapter 5: The Identity Crisis of Jerusalem's Palestinians                       
Chapter 6: Silent Forced Migrations in Jerusalem                                               
Chapter 7: Toponymy and Occupation in a Non-city                                           
Chapter 8: Taking Control of Space                                                                   


Dr. Meir Margalit is one of the few researchers who has been able to get to the issues which the Municipality of Jerusalem tries to hide from us. He was able to do this thanks to a number of unique qualities. First of all, he worked for Jerusalem’s City Hall for about 25 years, both as an official and as an elected member of the City Council. For this reason he knows the city deeply and from inside, both its policies and the officials who carry them out. He also has access to materials unknown to most of us, and he can decipher documents that would not mean much to anybody else. In the second place, there is also his academic background, which makes his research serious, and which gives it a great measure of professionalism and credibility. All these qualities are enough to make his research both fascinating, and very much essential within all the existing literature that deals with Jerusalem.
 Ilan Pappe, University of Exeter

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