Geography, History, and the Future of the Holy City
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After almost 25 years of studying Jerusalem, Dumper (Middle East Politics/Univ. of Exeter; The Future for Palestinian Refugees, 2007, etc.) lays out a clear picture, with plenty of maps, showing the rat’s maze of boundaries in the holy city.

These borders include not just the Green Line of the 1949 Armistice, the post–Six Day War border, the municipal boundary or the 2003 barrier erected by the Israeli government. There are also unseen borders in the education and electoral policies. The strongest barrier is the classification of Palestinians as either “citizens,” with a right to vote, or “permanent residents,” who are effectively treated as immigrants in their own land. All live under policies that exclude them from certain employment and residential zones and subject them to confiscation of land and property. In addition, their infrastructure and public services are inferior while police surveillance is increased. The author tries to explain both sides of the conflict in deciding whether to separate the city or find a way to share its administration. As part of the project Conflict in Cities and the Contested States, Dumper has seen solutions in divided cities that could lead to some degree of success in this seemingly intractable situation. There is no doubt that the key to peace is Jerusalem, and the author points out the most contentious issues—among, them, Israeli security concerns, the question of the sites holy to three different religions and Palestinian sovereignty east of the 1949 line. The many borders are all fluid; they are not irreversible, and when there is an incentive for the Israeli government to concede territory, there may be peace—though the author realistically states that it won’t be soon.

Dumper's partiality toward the Palestinians is obvious, and this book provides a solid counterpoint to Caroline Glick’s recent manifesto, The Israeli Solution.

Pub Date: May 27th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-231-16196-1
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Columbia Univ.
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2014


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