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Is Jerusalem Being “Judaized”?

Filed under: International Law, Israel, Jerusalem
Publication: Jewish Political Studies Review

Jewish Political Studies Review

Jewish Political Studies Review 15:1-2  (Spring 2003)


The Palestinian leadership, various non-governmental organizations and even foreign governments frequently confront the municipality of Jerusalem (as well as Israel’s national government) over its purported policy of “Judaizing” Jerusalem. The allegation leveled is that an unacknowledged policy is in place to change the holy city’s demographic balance to the detriment of the Arabs. There is, however, no clear historical evidence to support these claims. Moreover, although the Jewish population has roughly doubled since 1967, when the then-divided city was reunited under Israeli sovereignty, the number of Arab residents has nearly tripled. Despite complaints of discrimination, every year thousands of Arab from the Palestinian areas choose to make Jerusalem their home. Thus is it reasonable to ask-why the constant hue and cry regarding “Judaization”? Is historical ignorance so widespread as to facilitate repeated, outrageously false claims? Are these allegations simply another convenient rhetorical weapon that can be mobilized against the Jewish state? Or might it be that the demographic shift isn’t taking place fast enough for Israel’s critics?


It is hardly necessary to go back to the reign of King David in Jerusalem, three thousand years ago, when the city was almost exclusively Jewish, to dismiss the frequent allegations that Israel is trying to “Judaize” Jerusalem. Indeed, as demographers have demonstrated, during the entire 100-year period that preceded the emergence of the modern State of Israel, Jews constituted the largest component of the population. Despite the unambiguous statistics, however, Arab and Islamic entities perpetuate the “Judaizing” canard. Ignorant of Jerusalem’s demographic history, indifferent as to what is at stake from an urban planning standpoint, these entities join in the boilerplate protests against “the Judaizing of Jerusalem.” Upon examination, however, it is clear that there is no factual basis for these claims and indeed, the reverse is true. The Jewish population has, since Israel’s capture of the predominantly Arab eastern sector in 1967, actually decreased as a percentage of Jerusalem’s population.


Demographic History and Projections

Jerusalem is often thought of as being a major city throughout recorded history. Yet despite its grandeur in ancient times and its beauty today, the holy city spent most of the past 2000 years as a depopulated, isolated and neglected backwater. Jerusalem’s rapid demographic evolution in modern times can be traced back approximately 150 years. In the words of the late Professor U. O. Schmelz:

In the early part of 19th century Palestine was a remote and rather unimportant corner of the vast but decaying Ottoman Empire. Population size was at a low ebb; destitution, ignorance, neglect, misgovernment and discrimination of religious minorities prevailed. Calamities such as droughts, consequent famines, and outbreaks of epidemics were frequent; but even in ordinary years endemic diseases were rife and insecurity widespread….At the time, Jerusalem was not the main city of Palestine, politically or economically. Despite its historical fame and religious significance, Jerusalem was in fact small, an island town of a backward provincial region, off major trade routes….[I]t was accessible only by riding or on foot and goods had to be transported by beasts of burden, since the first carriageable road, connecting Jerusalem with the port of Jaffa, was not constructed before 1869….[T]he city has hardly any water from natural springs or traditional wells.[1]

In 1845, the earliest modern effort to conduct a census, the Prussian Council in Jerusalem estimated the population of the city to comprise 7,120 Jews, 5,000 Muslims, and 3,390 Christians.[2] Karl Marx, who was hardly a proponent of Jewish interests, explained in an 1854 article that the Jewish population of Jerusalem made up the majority in the city.[3] As early as the 1860s,various other reports asserted that the Jews were the majority of Jerusalem’s population.[4] By the 1870s, the Jewish population passed the 10,000 mark and “probably amounted to about half of the city’s total population, according to Professor Schmelz’s interpretation of early census data.[5]

From the 1880s onward all sources acknowledged that Jews constituted a majority in the city.[6] Data from the British Mandatory period, between the world wars, reflected the Jews comprising approximately 60 percent of the total population in the city, with the remainder divided almost equally between Muslims and Christians.[7] The last British census taken before the 1948 War of Independence found the Jewish population to be approximately 100,000, with the remaining 65,000 almost equally divided between Muslims and Christians.[8]

As a result of the 1948 war, Jerusalem was bisected by an armistice line running on an irregular north-south course.[9] Thousands of Jews and tens of thousands of Arabs abandoned homes in residential areas that, respectively, ended up in the Jordanian and Israeli zones of the city.[10] For the ensuing 19 years, no Jews lived on the Jordanian side and Arabs constituted less than one percent of the population on the Israeli side.[11]

According to the Jordanian and Israeli censuses of 1961, in their respective zones, the city’s aggregate population was comprised of 72 percent Jews, 22 percent Muslims, and 5 percent Christians.[12] The 1967 war, followed by Israel’s expansion of the municipal boundaries of the re-united city, resulted in the Jewish percentage of the city’s population rising to 73.4 percent.[13]

Since 1967 various factors have contributed to the rapid growth of the city’s Arab population, both in terms of absolute numbers and as a percentage of the total. These factors include their high fertility rate,[14] employment opportunities exceeding those in the West Bank,[15] migration to Jerusalem by waves of Palestinians from the Hebron area,[16] and net out-migration of 7,000 or 8,000 secular Jews per year.[17] Whereas in 1967 the population of the united city was 26 percent non-Jewish,[18] by the year 2000 it had risen to nearly 32 percent.[19] The leading forecast to the year 2020 suggests that the Arab population will continue to grow, not only in absolute numbers but also as a percentage of the total (see Figure 1).[20] The municipality is aware of these projections as it commissioned the author, demography Professor Sergio DellaPergola, to research this question for its Strategic Master Plan for the year 2020.[21]

The “Judaizing” Canard

The core accusation leveled at the city in denunciations from across the Arab and Islamic world is that the alleged discriminatory planning policy is motivated by a furtive objective to “Judaize” Jerusalem. Thus, it is claimed that the entire planning scheme of the municipality is geared to increase, or at least maintain, the Jewish percentage of the city’s population.

The “plot to Judaize Jerusalem” renders various opponents of Israel apoplectic. Some of their major assertions, spanning a period of 25 years, are here quoted in chronological sequence. As far back as 1978 UNESCO lent its voice to what in the interim years has become a veritable chorus of condemnation of Israel for “continuing to Judaize” Jerusalem.[22] In particular, the campaign to prevent the “Judaization of Jerusalem” became a mantra at international gatherings in the Islamic world and beyond. For example, in 1979, Algeria and South Yemen issued a joint communiqué, which urged the Arab and Islamic countries to work for an end to the “[J]udaization of [J]erusalem.”[23]

In 1980, a Chinese editorial, commenting on the Knesset’s passing the unification of Jerusalem law, attacked “the process of [J]udaization of [J]erusalem.”[24] During the first intifada, which began in 1987, the Unified National Leadership of the Uprising issued a leaflet that warned against “the systematic attempts to Judaize Jerusalem.”[25] This trend continued into the 1990s, as in 1992, the Egyptian Foreign Minister called upon the Arabs to “launch a full-fledged diplomatic offensive against Israeli… [J]udaization of [Jerusalem].”[26] Further, in 1995, Jordan welcomed the communiqué of the Jerusalem Committee of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which called upon the United States and Russia to exercise pressure to stop the “[J]uda-ization of [J]erusalem.”[27] Subsequently another NGO, the Muslim World League, decried “the intentions of the Israeli government to usurp Al Quds [Jerusalem] and complete its Judaization by replacing its Arab population with Jewish settlers.”[28] Thereafter in 1995, the Kuwaiti parliament criticized Israeli efforts at “the [J]udaization” of the holy city.”[29]

In addition to accusations in the political realm, in 1995 and 1996 the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA), a Jerusalem based think-tank, entered the fray with two lengthy papers. They embodied sophisticated attacks on Israel’s policies vis-à-vis Jerusalem.[30] The first, entitled Jerusalem: Palestinian Dynamics of Resistance and Urban Change, 1967-94,[31] is summarized on the PASSIA Internet website as, “examin[ing] Palestinian efforts to survive as a distinct society and their strategies of resistance to Israeli attempts to ‘Judaize’ the city.”[32] Elsewhere this author refers to a “policy of Israelisation,” and to the usefulness of various institutions in “protect[ing] the Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem from the municipal integrationist policy adopted by then-Mayor Teddy Kollek.”[33]

The orientation of the second study published by PASSIA is readily apparent from its title: The Judaization of Jerusalem-Israeli Policies Since 1967.[34] Its abstract on PASSIA’s website mentions, “the destruction of Jerusalem’s geographic identity through the means of land control, land confiscation, the blocking of Palestinian development and settlement construction.”[35] The essence of Hodgkins’ (author of the second PASSIA study) broadside is peppered with claims like, “Israel’s current stranglehold over the holy city has been the result of a carefully planned and scrupulously enacted Israeli policy to secure exclusive control in Jerusalem.”[36]

In a revealing passage, Hodgkins faults then-Mayor Olmert for “stepping up efforts to pacify Palestinian Jerusalemites by providing improved services” to the Arab residents.[37] Imagine the censure that would have awaited the mayor had he neglected or curtailed the municipal services given to Arab residents. Even the Eastern Ring Road,[38] which the study grudgingly acknowledges “would have been an infrastructure asset in peace time,”[39] is vilified as part of Israel’s conspiracy to, in a matter of years, “fill all the remaining green areas in Palestinian East Jerusalem with Israeli settlements and by-pass roads.”[40] The obvious, indeed paramount utility of this road to Arabs, particularly those traveling from the Bethlehem area (south of Jerusalem) to the Ramallah area (to the north), is nowhere mentioned.[41]

In the latter part of the 1990s the frequency of “Judaizing” accusations reached a new intensity: In September 1996, the Chairman of the Iraqi parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee “called on the Arab world to use force against Israel to stop the ‘Judaization of Jerusalem.'”[42] A few days later the Palestinian intellectual Edward Said published an opinion piece in the English newspaper the Observer, which accused Israel of attempting “to ‘Judaize’ what was formerly Palestinian about East Jerusalem.”[43] In 1997, the Lebanese prime minister, speaking before the Organization of the Islamic Conference, “called for a united Arab and Islamic stance to prevent the Judaization of Jerusalem.”[44] Ten months later Arafat’s accusations regarding Israel’s “Judaization” of Jerusalem were covered in the Los Angles Times.[45] In April 1998, the Lebanese foreign minister told the media that he had briefed Pope John Paul on “the ongoing Judaization of Jerusalem.”[46]

In June 1998, the Arab League heard pleas from Yasser Arafat to take concrete measures to prevent the “Judaization of Jerusalem.”[47] The following day Arafat met with the Turkish Prime Minister and, according to the Voice of Palestine radio report, Arafat reviewed “the Judaization of Jerusalem.”[48] In a July 29, 1998, speech to the Organization of the Islamic Conference’s Jerusalem Committee, Arafat stated, “We shall…save holy Jerusalem from the Judaizing monster.”[49]

Arafat’s July 30, 1998 meeting with the Foreign Minister of Iran served as yet another forum to attack “the expansionist policies of the Zionist regime aimed at the Judaization of Bayt al-Maqdis [the Temple Mount] by imposing extensive changes in the demographic situation of the city.[50] Simultaneously, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which represents 55 countries, urged the United Nations Security Council to “dissuade” Israel from what it called a plan to “Judaize” Jerusalem.[51] In the meantime, the Hamas Internet website features an article entitled, “The Judaization of Jerusalem Includes the Construction of Al-Haykal [Third Temple].”[52]

On November 7, 1998, the secretary general of the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization told an interviewer, who inquired about their role in a bomb blast in Jerusalem, that the “operation” was part of the “continuing jihad against the Israeli occupation and Zionist aggression…and Judaization of the land.”[53] Such reflexive identification may pacify the Islamist undercurrent that, in many Middle Eastern and Asian countries, threatens the establishment.[54] Appealing to the masses is a core component of the predictable ritual that has, for decades, debased international discourse. Jews were, and remain, a convenient scapegoat. While the posture of Hamas and Islamic Jihad is not surprising, even Jordan, a country at peace with Israel, has joined in the canard. Thus, on September 10, 2001, the secretary general of Jordan’s Royal Committee for Jerusalem Affairs condemned the “Judaization of Jerusalem.”[55]

In September 2000, the Palestinian Authority introduced a new sixth grade textbook into its primary schools, which features the “Judaization of Jerusalem,” as one of the major problems facing Palestinian society.[56] In 2001, the Ministry of Education of the Palestinian Authority published a book highlighting education topics in eastern Jerusalem; the first of three chapters is dedicated to the “Judaization of Jerusalem.”[57] In November 2002, the Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine gave a lecture on “Palestine Between Practices of Judaization and the Oppressive Siege” at the Zayed Centre, a research institution funded by the United Arab Emirates. In his speech, the Mufti asserted that a resolution on Jerusalem passed by the U.S. Congress “was a part of the Zionist plan that aimed at the Judaization of Jerusalem.”[58] In Arafat’s address on New Years day 2003, he protested the Judaization of “our Christian and Islamic holy places.”[59] And most recently in January 2003, the Agence France Presse quoted Arafat complaining about the construction of a so-called Berlin Wall around Jerusalem. He declared, “its unacceptable! It’s nothing but the Judaization of Jerusalem.”[60]


The Implausibility of the “Judaization” Claim

The frequent assertion that Israel uses the planning law and, in particular, the refusal to grant construction permits[61] and the demolition of illegal structures to discourage Arabs from living in the city, is not supported by the facts. There is no discrimination against Arabs in the issuance of building permits and the city uses administrative demolition orders rarely, cautiously and with procedural safeguards.[62]

The fervent denunciations of the municipality for supposedly hindering the issuance of building permits to Arabs and/or charging them exorbitant fees are completely unsubstantiated. Quite to the contrary, the relevant data shows that the approval rate, which is quite high, does not differ significantly from that of the Jewish sector (see Figure 2).[63] Likewise, the procedures and costs associated with the permit process are identical in Jewish and Arab neighborhoods. Furthermore, the city has actually devoted efforts to encourage Arab residents to abide by the planning law.[64] Indeed, in a number of related respects the city actually discriminates in favor of, rather than against, the residents of Arab neighborhoods, i.e., certain building code violations are overlooked, improvement taxes are not collected, and professional advice is provided free of charge.[65]

The municipality uses administrative demolition only as a tool of last resort against structures, typically uninhabited, which could never be granted a permit, even retroactively. The senior political and civil service echelons are acutely aware of the unpopularity of this measure, both locally and internationally. Consequently, they seek to avoid demolition if another viable option exists.

In addition, the Planning and Building Law has built-in safeguards to protect the rights of the public. Three signatures are required for issuing an administrative demolition order: of an engineer or architect who spotted the violation, a legal advisor of the local authority, the chair of the local commission (the mayor in the case of Jerusalem).[66] Significantly, the Jerusalem municipality has set for itself still more stringent requirements. Thus five signatures are required before an administrative demolition order is carried out. In addition to the three required by the statute, the deputy manager of the licensing and inspection department and the managing director of the city must also sign.[67] The owner of the structure then has the opportunity to instruct his/her lawyer to lodge an appeal with the local court. If such an appeal is filed, the court will stay the demolition order until the matter is decided.[68]

Even if, for the sake of argument, one assumes that a demographic policy existed after 1967, the municipality could have turned to much simpler and less politically costly measures to achieve that goal. For example, the municipality was under no obligation to modernize the rudimentary water system it inherited from Jordan. The existing system constituted little more than a series of antiquated cisterns and public faucets, which left a majority of the households without running water. These conditions were hardly adequate for modern living, let alone for modern construction. But the outdated Jordanian system would not have provided sufficient supplies of water for mixing the quantity of cement needed to build tens of thousands of new living units.[69]

With water in short supply in the entire region, including in Israel, neither the municipality nor the state was under any legal obligation to connect the Arab residents to the Israeli national water grid. The municipality could have simply left the status quo-a water system that would have severely discouraged both construction and general economic activity in the Arab sector. Instead, acting on its own volition, the municipality moved to integrate the water system by connecting, directly or indirectly, virtually every legal structure to piped-in water.[70]

A further example that discredits the supposed “Judaization” plan was former Mayor Kollek’s policy of integrating the city’s Arab residents into municipal life. The Arab residents of Jerusalem were issued residency status which entitled them to participate in municipal elections and benefit from various services including health insurance, social assistance, education services, national insurance, etc.[71] Until today, Arab Jerusalemites are issued blue identity cards like those held by Israeli citizens, which entitle them to travel freely in and out of Jerusalem and all over Israel, even when there is a security alert and Palestinians residing in the West Bank and Gaza are refused entry.[72] Had Israel not provided “permanent residency” status to the city’s Arabs who had declined Israeli citizenship, this would have preempted one of the major magnets that attracted, and continues to attract, Arabs to reside in Jerusalem.


Purported Official Efforts to Maintain a Jewish/Arab Population Ratio

Much has been made of an alleged population control policy to maintain an official “desired Jewish/Arab ratio” for the population of Jerusalem. For example, the Ir Shalem non-govern-mental organization (NGO) asserts that, “[t]he planning of East Jerusalem is influenced by government policy dictating that a proportion of 78% Jews and 22% Arabs should be maintained in East Jerusalem.”[73] Note this allegation relates not to the whole of the city but to only that part where today some 200,000 Arabs reside. No source or citation is provided to support Ir Shalem’s claim, despite the fact that in the modern era the Jewish population in eastern Jerusalem has never exceeded 50 percent.[74] To reach the percentages posited by Ir Shalem would require totally unprecedented shifts in population(s)-either the out-migration of approximately 100,000 Arabs or the immigration of some 200,000 Jews. And even if that number of Jews could be enticed to move to Jerusalem, how could they be accommodated without proper living units or infrastructure?

Putting aside the Alice in Wonderland assertion of Ir Shalem, the best indication that there may have been such a policy to preserve the Arab/Jewish ratio appears in a book by former Deputy Mayor Meron Benvenisti. He refers to a decision by the City Council to annex land to Jerusalem so as to preserve the ratio of population that is optimal-72 percent Jewish to 28 percent Arab.[75] Benvenisti also states that the then city engineer and chief planner had confirmed that there was a government directive to preserve the ratio and that this would be done by manipulating the housing potential.[76] Despite claims of a policy to engineer a presumed shift in favor of the city’s Jewish majority, the actual divergence has been in favor of the rapidly growing Arab minority (see Figure 3). Moreover, since 1967 new Arab construction has outpaced Jewish construction.

There is some indication that, perhaps when Golda Meir was prime minister in the 1970s, the national government considered preserving a certain Jewish/Arab ratio in Jerusalem.[77] Caution is justified, however, as while various current and former municipal employees have mentioned such a “policy,” none have come up with solid evidence in the form of an official document. Interviewed on this point, DellaPergola describes the “ratio” was merely a “declarative message” which “was never put into practice.”[78] DellaPergola also states that he does not pay attention to the claims of “Judaization,” but rather focuses on the facts. In the opinion of the author, barring the effective implementation of tangible measures to implement such a program, there is not much point in speculating whether such a policy exists, or ever existed.

Benvenisti[79] wrote in the mid-1970s that “Arab complaints of the ‘Judaization’ of Jerusalem…were taken up and accepted in wide circles all over the world. However, demographic data did not justify such complaints.” Benvenisti observed that, “the massive Israeli efforts (new post-1967 neighborhoods) only ensured that the growth in the Jewish population in the city did not lag behind the Arab community.” His insight, which has withstood the test of time, was that, “[a]s in so many other areas, the complaints rested not so much on real facts as on the declarations of politicians.”[80]

In sum, despite the hue and cry, Jerusalem is not being “Judaized.” The demographic evidence does not support the allegations that Israel is “Judaizing” the city. Indeed, the undisputed demographic trend during the post-1967 period has favored the city’s non-Jewish population. Hence, in spite of all the complaints that the city mistreats its Arab residents, thousands of new illegal Arab migrants arrive yearly from the West Bank.[81] It might even be said that Jerusalem, under unified Israeli control since the 1967 war, and despite the abdication of any significant political role by the Arabs, has undergone a marked shift in the Jewish/Arab ratio. To the surprise, or delight, of those who have publicly campaigned against the presumed shift in favor of the city’s Jewish majority, the actual divergence has been in favor of the fast-growing Arab minority. Might it be that the pace of this transformation has not satisfied those who campaign regularly against the supposed “Judaizing” of Jerusalem?

*     *     *


*   This article is revised and adapted from the author’s book Illegal Construction in Jerusalem: A Variation on an Alarming Global Phenomenon (Jerusalem: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 2003).

1.  U.O. Schmelz, “Modern Jerusalem’s Demographic Evolution,” Jewish Population Studies 20 (1987):9.

2.  Martin Gilbert, Jerusalem Illustrated History Atlas (1977), pp. 41, 45.

3.  Shlomo Avineri, “Karl Marx and Jerusalem,” Jerusalem Post, Sept. 4, 2000, at 8.

4.  Schmelz, “Modern Jerusalem’s Demographic Evolution,” p. 17.

5.  Ibid., p. 15.

6.  Ibid., p. 17.

7.  Ibid., p. 28.

8.  Michael Romann and Alex Weingrod, Living Together Separately: Arabs and Jews in Contemporary Jerusalem (1991), p. 16.

9.   Schmelz, “Modern Jerusalem’s Demographic Evolution,” p. 41.

10.   Schmelz, “Modern Jerusalem’s Demographic Evolution,” p. 42.

11.   Romann and Weingrod, Living Together Separately, p. 11.

12.   Schmelz, “Modern Jerusalem’s Demographic Evolution,” p. 62.

13.   Had it not been for the extension of the municipal boundaries, the Jewish majority in the re-united city would have comprised 81 percent of the total population in 1967. Schmelz, “Modern Jerusalem’s Demographic Evolution,” p. 64. Even the Hamas website contains an article, which specifies that the current Jewish population is 73 percent of the city’s total. Nabil Al-Sahly, The Demographic Conflict Between the Arabs and the Jews in Jerusalem Since the Basel Conference in 1897 (visited Nov. 7, 2001) http://

14.   Israel Kimhi, Arab Building in Jerusalem (CAMERA Monograph Series, 1997), p. 18.

15.   Meron Benvenisti, City of Stone: The Hidden History of Jerusalem (1996), p. 167. Ironically many of these opportunities were in providing construction workers and tradesmen employed by the entrepreneurs building the new Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem.

16.   Romann and Weingrod, Living Together Separately, p. 231; Benvenisti, City of Stone, pp. 186-87, 189.

17.   Interview with Sergio DellaPergola, Professor of Demography at Hebrew University, in Jerusalem (Nov. 26, 2001). Most of the Jews who leave Jerusalem move to the city’s suburbs or the greater Tel Aviv area.

18.   The breakdown is between Jews and non-Jews, however not all in the latter group are Muslims. For example, in the year 2000, the non-Jewish population of Jerusalem was 91 percent Muslim. Interview with Z. Uri Ullmann, Director of Division for Strategic Planning and Research of Jerusalem Municipality, in Jerusalem (Nov. 25, 2001).

19.   Kimhi, Arab Building in Jerusalem, p. 18.

20.   Interview with Sergio DellaPergola (Nov. 26, 2001).

21.   Ibid.

22.   News Services and Staff Reports, “UNESCO Acts Against Israel,” Washington Post, Nov. 29, 1978. According to the report, this educational, scientific, and cultural body voted 67-24 with 24 abstentions to deny aid to Israel because of “deplorable” archaeological digs that, it was claimed, were Judaizing the city. The U.S. delegate voted against the Arab-sponsored resolution and denounced its language as “offensive.” Harris Schoenberg, Mandate for Terror (1989), pp. 16-17.

23.   “Algeria, North Yemen Support Arab Confrontation States, Palestinian People,” Xinhua General Overseas News Service, June 18, 1987.

24.   “Commentary: Israeli Expansionists’ Provocative Challenge to World Opinion,” Xinhua General Overseas News Service, Aug. 1, 1980.

25.   Anne Latendresse, Jerusalem: Palestinian Dynamics of Resistance and Urban Change, 1967-94 (1995), p. 13.

26.   “Egypt Urges Diplomatic Offensive Against Israeli Occupation of Arab Land,” Xinhua General Overseas News Service, Mar. 5, 1992.

27.   “Jordan Welcomes Communiqué of Jerusalem Committee,” Xinhua General Overseas News Service, Jan. 18, 1995.

28,   “MWL Slams Israeli Land Grab,” Moneyclips, May 4, 1995.

29.   “Kuwait Parliament Condemns Israeli Confiscation of Arab Lands,” Xinhua General Overseas News Service, May 20, 1995.

30.   A third report published by PASSIA, was written by Sami Musallam, the Director of Yasser Arafat’s Jericho Office. Sami F. Musallam, A Programme for Action for Peace (1996), p. 9. Although less strident than Hodgkins’ paper (Allison Hodgkins, The Judaization of Jerusalem-Israeli Policies Since 1967 [1996]), Musallam’s report contains such hyperbole as, “Other methods have been used successfully by Israel in order to decide the fate of Jerusalem….Under the pretext of developing Arab villages or neighborhoods, the Israelis developed a ‘master plan’ for the city. This was used to strangle the Arab presence in the city.” This argument was effectively answered by Israel Kimhi, the former City Planner of Jerusalem. Kimhi wrote, “[t]he legitimate difficulties encountered by the municipality in attempting to implement a coherent plan benefiting all residents were interpreted as a politically motivated policy intended to prevent Arab construction.” Kimhi, Arab Building in Jerusalem, p. 31.

31.   Latendresse, Jerusalem.

32.   PASSIA, Publications on Jerusalem no. 82, available at PASSIA Internet Website (visited Nov. 8, 2001); jerusalem/publications/pub_jerusalem_no_82.htm.

33.   Latendresse, Jerusalem.

34.   Hodgkins, Judaization of Jerusalem.

35.   PASSIA, Publications on Jerusalem no. 96, available at PASSIA Internet Website (visited Nov. 8, 2001); http://www.www.passia. org/jerusalem/publications/pub_jerusalem_no_96.htm.

36.   Hodgkins, Judaization of Jerusalem, p. 1.

37.   Hodgkins, Judaization of Jerusalem, p. 4. During his first campaign for the post of mayor in 1993, Olmert promised to upgrade the quality of life for the city’s Arab residents. “Kollek Ousted as Jerusalem’s Mayor,” Facts on File World News Digest, Nov. 11, 1993, p. 854E2.

38.   The Eastern Ring Road is a major highway that promises to benefit the Arab residents of Jerusalem. As a regional project, it will contribute to economic development in both Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

39.   The irony of this criticism is immediately apparent. It was written in 1996 when the incremental Oslo peace process was at its apogee. Either the author was opposed to the Oslo process, or she sought to postpone indefinitely a vital improvement in the transportation network that was certain to benefit Palestinians at least as much as Israelis. Most major cities in the industrial world have one or even two ring roads. Their ubiquity is simple to explain: the ring highways enable travel that is faster, safer and more efficient. There can be no doubt that Jerusalem would benefit if the large, heavily-laden trucks did not have to traverse its center on the narrow road that winds past the Cinemateque, the Sultan’s Pool and the New Gate. Palestinian organizations have highlighted the negative side-principally that Israel is building it and that some Arab-owned land will be taken in the process. Although the municipality has repeatedly stated that compensation would be paid to the landowners, they will likely refuse to take what could be construed as a “peace offering.” Matthew Brubacher, “The Jerusalem Ring Road: The Good, the Bad and the Explosive,” News From Within, vol. XVII (May 4, 2001):11.

40.   Hodgkins, Judaization of Jerusalem, p. 8.

41.   Currently it is impossible to travel from the southern half to the northern half of the West Bank without weaving through slow, downtown urban streets, which Israel closes to Arabs who have Palestinian Authority identity cards when security concerns take precedence. Meron Benvenisti, Intimate Enemies: Jews and Arabs in a Shared Land (1995), pp. 52-53.

42.   “Iraq Urges Arabs to Use Force Against Israel,” Agence France Presse, Sept. 26, 1996.

43.   Edward Said, “Fury of the Dispossessed,” Observer (London), Sept. 29, 1996, p. 23.

44.   Radio Lebanon, “Lebanese PM Urges Halt to Normalization With Israel,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, Part 3 Asia-Pacific, Pakistan, Organization of the Islamic Conference Summit in Islamabad, speeches, FE/D2876/S3, Mar. 25, 1997.

45.   Robin Wright, “Arafat Rejects Proposal for Limited Withdrawal,” Los Angeles Times, Jan. 24, 1998, p. A10.

46.   Radio Lebanon, “Foreign Minister Comments on Talks in Europe,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, Part 4, The Middle East, Jordan, ME/D3202/MED, Apr. 16, 1998. No mention was made as to whether the pope was persuaded by this charade.

47.   Hans Dahne, “Arabs Helpless to Prevent Expansion of Jerusalem,” Deutsch Presse-Agentur, June 25, 1998; Meron Benvenisti, Conflicts and Contradictions (1986), p. 97.

48.   Voice of Palestine, “Arafat Holds Talks with Turkish Prime Minister in Ankara,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, Aug. 1, 1998.

49.   Press Release of Likoed Nederland, “Arafat Again Urges ‘Jihad’ Against Israel,” Aug. 16, 1998.

50.   “Foreign Minister, Arafat Discuss Israeli Policies,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, July 31, 1998.

51.   “OIC Warns UN of ‘Disaster’ Unless it Toughens up Against Israel,” Deutsche Presse-Agentur, July 30, 1998.

52.   The “Al-Haykal” is the Third Temple, which Jewish sources predict will be built following the coming of the Messiah. Ja’far Hadi Hassan, “Judaization of Jerusalem Includes the Construction of Al-Haykal,” Hamas Internet website, visited Sept. 5, 2001;

53.   “Israeli and Palestinian Affairs: Aftermath of Jerusalem Bomb,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, ME/D3380/MED, Nov. 10, 1998.

54.   For example, Martin Kramer, “Fundamentalist Islam at Large: the Drive for Power,” Middle East Quarterly, June 1996 (visited July 28, 2002); 82.

55.   “Jordan Condemns Israeli Isolation of Jerusalem,” Xinhua General Overseas News Service, Sept. 10, 2001.

56.   Fouad Moughrabi, “The Politics of Palestinian Textbooks,” Journal of Palestinian Studies, vol. XXXI, no. 1 (Autumn 2001); (Feb. 13, 2003).

57.   The second chapter covers the “Judaization of Education,” Al-Quds el Sharif: Reality and Future Challenges, (Feb. 13, 2003).

58. (Feb. 13, 2003).

59. (Feb. 13, 2003).

60.   “Arafat: Israelis Building ‘Berlin Wall’ around Jerusalem,” Agence France Presse, January 3, 2003; (Feb. 13, 2003).

61.   Justus Weiner, Illegal Construction in Jerusalem: A Variation on an Alarming Global Phenomenon (2003), Appendix 3.

62.   Ibid., Appendix 4.

63.   Ibid., Appendix 5.

64.   Ibid., Appendix 6.

[65]. Interview with Uri Lupolianski, then Senior Deputy Mayor and Acting Mayor of Jerusalem Municipality, in Jerusalem (Jan. 31, 2002).

66.   Planning and Building Law (1965), as amended, translated to English by Aryeh Greenfield, art. 238A. In the case of Jerusalem, the mayor signs in the place of the chair of the local commission. Interview with Ehud Olmert, Mayor of Jerusalem Municipality, in Jerusalem (Dec. 31, 2001).

67.   Telephone interview with Danni Libman, Chief City Prosecutor in Legal Department of Jerusalem Municipality, in Jerusalem (Apr. 14, 2002).

68.   Telephone interview with Israel Ben-Ari, Deputy Manager of the Licensing and Inspection Department of Jerusalem Municipality, in Jerusalem (Dec. 6, 2001).

69.   In fact, new Arab construction is outpacing Jewish construction. See Weiner, Illegal Construction in Jerusalem, Section IV. A.

70.   Interview with Shalom Goldstein, Advisor to Mayor of Jerusalem Municipality for East Jerusalem Affairs, in Jerusalem (Apr. 8, 2002).

71.   Latendresse, Jerusalem, pp. 4, 5-6.

72.   Benvenisti, Intimate Enemies, pp. 53-54.

73.   Ir Shalem, “East Jerusalem-The Current Planning Situation: A Survey of Municipal Plans and Planning Policy” (n.d.), p. 9 (emphasis added). Israeli attorney Daniel Seidemann is perhaps the most active, and effective, individual in the campaign against Municipal efforts to enforce the planning law. In 1998, Seidemann was the lead counsel and a founding member of the NGO called (ironically) “Ir Shalem.” The Hebrew expression “Ir Shalem” translates to “whole city.” Ir Shalem’s Report on planning in East Jerusalem, which lists Seidemann as its “advisor,” expresses its appreciation for “the generous help” of the European Commission. Thereafter Seidemann left Ir Shalem and founded another non-profit entity known as the “Pro-Jerusalem Society.” American Committee on Jerusalem Internet Website (visited May 31, 2002);

74.   Interview with Sergio DellaPergola (Nov. 26, 2001).

75.   Benvenisti, City of Stone, p. 50. Actually the ratio in 1967 was 74.2 percent, not 72 percent. Ibid., p. 174.

76.   Benvenisti, City of Stone, p. 165.

77.   A pro-Palestinian NGO, the Alternative Information Center, published a memorandum claiming, “Israeli demographic policies of this period [1967-1991] were designed to create a Jewish majority in the areas occupied in 1967.” The same memorandum states, but without a supporting footnote, that “a decision [was] made by the Israeli government in the early 1970s, according to which the percentage of Palestinians in the city should not exceed the quota of 28 percent.” Lea Tsemel and Ingrid Gassner, “The Trap is Closing on Palestinian Jerusalemites,” Memorandum 1/96 of the Alternative Information Center, pp. 7, 10.

78.   Interview with Sergio DellaPergola (Nov. 26, 2001).

79.   In this author’s opinion, based on his work experience and prolific scholarship, Meron Benvenisti knows as much about Jerusalem as any living person.

80.   Meron Benvenisti, Jerusalem: The Torn City (1976), p. 255.

81.   Nissim Salomon, Deputy Director General and Head of City Administration of Jerusalem Municipality, in Jerusalem (June 3, 2002).