Dienstag, 30. September 2008

Jerusalem: Arabische Kulturhauptstadt 2009

Seit 1996 wird der Titel „arabische Kulturhauptstadt“ an eine arabische Hauptstadt verliehen. Zuständig für die Auswahl ist die Gruppe der arabischen Länder innerhalb der UNESCO, für 2008 Damaskus . Für das Jahr 2009 wurde Jerusalem ausgewählt. Jedoch rief dies in Israel laute Proteste hervor.
1. View to the Old City from Mt. Olive
Außenministerin Zipi Livni rief in einen Brief auf, mit Nachdruck gegen die UNESCO-Entscheidung zu protestieren, um die Titelverleihung zu verhindern.

Lesen Sie weiter zum Konflikt um Jerusalem:

One Jerusalem, two People?
Short introduction into the City's conflict (from Egbaria/Waltz: 'The Fabrication of Israel..)

2. Illegal Israeli Jewish Colonies
in East Jerusalem

Sharon’s ‘visit’ in October 2000 to the Haram al Sharif, the ‘Holy Place’in the Old City of Jerusalem, was the trigger point for the outbreak of the so called second Intifada.
Sharon’s visit to Jerusalem’s holy place did not only symbolise the Israeli claim of the city as theirs, but was also planned as a starting point for a central offensive to the city, regarding citizenship, economy, borders and land properties, which culminated in the construction of the wall and the government decision in July 2004 to apply the absentee property land law from 1950 to the Jerusalem case. Step after step, during the last ten years the Israeli government was restricting Palestinian presence and life in the Eastern, Palestinian City of Jerusalem including the Old City. It began after Oslo, when Jerusalem was excluded from actual decisions and this in an unilateral procedure, when Jerusalem was segregated from the rest of the West-Bank and Gaza Region. From that time, only Palestinians who have a special permission from the Israeli Army, are allowed to enter the city. From that time on the historical through-road from the south to the north of Palestine, hence the West Bank which ran through Jerusalem is blocked.

'Judaising' Jerusalem by continuing the process of erecting colonies only for Israeli Jews and placing Jewish Israeli citizens from Israel into the east occupied Jerusalem and its surrounding communities began already in the days after the occupation in 1967. More than 250,000 settlers have been transferred meanwhile into the large housing estates forming a ring, ‘embracing’ the Palestinian and Arab Jerusalem and the historical Old City. Moreover small satellites of Israeli colonies were implanted amidst of the Palestinian residential areas, in Sheikh Jerah, the Kidron Valley, Abu Dees, Souwane, Silwan, Tur, Essawiyye or Ezzariye, and particularly in the different Palestinian quarters of the Old City, neglecting the historical shape and value of architecture, society and atmosphere. With the wall the rings around Jerusalem will become more dense and more restricting any Palestinian development.
Through a sophisticated strategy of setting facts by planning, also the historic map of the city has been turned upside down in terms of religion and ethnicity. The western Gate of the Old City e.g., the Jaffa or Hebron Gate, has all means of convenience for the Jewish believers; an area equipped with close-by huge bus parking areas on the historic Mamilla ground, access for cars and taxis, accordingly, and on Friday evening and Sabbath, thousands of religious Jews enter smoothly through the Jaffa or Hebron Gate to the wailing wall. Subsequently, this area and the Citadel has become a complete Israeli Jewish terrain, along with the Jewish Quarter, which lies on the southern part of the Old City, hosting a huge traffic hub, while the entrance to the ‘Via Dolorosa’, which is of main interest for Christian believers, remain neglected, has difficult access, no parking space however police control all over.
One century of Zionist planning, has changed fundamentally the whole fabric and spatial use of the city. Particularly, and since 1967, the Israeli government has followed rigorous spatial policy in the city to judaise its spaces and change its identity, through planning and building - as the Zionist movement did since the beginning of the century and the establishment of the Jewish State (see Waltz/Zschiesche 1986). Since the beginning of the so-called peace process in 1993 these efforts multiplied to suppress and deprive the Palestinian side more and more, reduce their presence in the old city and control and hinder the social and economic life of the Palestinian inhabitants.

The tools were similar and even more sophisticated as what was implemented after 48 in the Israeli side:
- Land confiscation and occupation of land and buildings, water and nature resources,
- Destruction of Palestinian Jerusalemite villages, areas and buildings,
- Establishment of new Israeli buildings and colonies,
- Creation of regional demographic reality of an Israeli Jewish majority,
- Establishment of new roads, bypass roads and road networks,
- Destruction of Palestinian cultural, economic and social infrastructure,
- Arbitrary fixing of (new) boundaries on the basis of strategic criteria.
This was most of all done with spatial planning instruments, through master plans, definition of land use and refuse of building licenses.
The purpose of this policy is obvious. Jerusalem should become a Jewish city, the capital of Israel, the Jewish State. The Palestinian existence in the city should be reduced to a minimum (plans say still maximal 30%) – if not completely cleaned off. Let speak two important strategists of the Zionist project, to understand it.
" If we ever get Jerusalem and I then still will be able to do something, I would begin to clean the city from everything that is not holy" (Herzl in his diary, 31.10.1897)
" The question of Jerusalem is not a question of arguments or policy, it has first priority and is an issue of possession and power. Do we have the military power a. in order to take the Old City, b. to secure a broad passage from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, not only for better access, but also to establish a space for settlements, which will connect Jerusalem firmly to the Jewish State, and c. to destroy the spatial continuity of the Arab communities in the Triangle? If we do not reach, we cannot say, that we, Israel , have liberated Jerusalem." (Ben Gurion 1951: 164)

For Palestinians, Jerusalem is the main question, whether there will be a state of Palestine with its capital Jerusalem (East Jerusalem, including the Old City in the borders after 1947) - or whether Palestine will remain a patched carpet of partly autonomous areas, controlled inside and outside and surrounded by the Israelis, with an administrative centre in Gaza Strip, Ramallah, or Abu Dees – while Jerusalem will be in turn the capital of Israel, ‚liberated’ as much as possible from Palestinians?
Looking back to the last century, the Zionist planning since the end of the 30's had already converted Jerusalem from an internationally oriented and world-open metropolis into an ethnical segregated ‘front city’ with the most aggressive and fierce battles to influence and overtake each meter of Arabic Palestinian land.

Ben Gurion (1951): The Revolt. New York
Herzl, Theodor (1960): The Complete Diaries. New York
Waltz, Viktoria, Zschiesche, Joachim (1986): Die Erde habt Ihr uns genommne. 100 Jahre zionistische Siedlungspolitik in Palästina. Das Arabische Buch. Berlin
See also:
Ben Arieh, Jehoshua, (1986a): Jerusalem in the 19th Century. The Old City. St. Martins Press. New York
Brik, Nasi, (1996): Jerusalem. Influences of a ethnical-differentiating ideology on the town development, thesis, Augsburg
B'Tselem (2002): Land Grab. Israel's Settlement Policy in the West Bank. Jerusalem
B'Tselem (2003): Behind the Barrier. The Human Rights Violation as a Result of Israeli's Separation Barrier. Jerusalem
Dumper, Mike, (1992): Israeli Settlement in the Old City of Jerusalem, in: Journal of Palestine Studies 21, 4 (1992) 32.
Ir Shalem (ed.) (1998): East Jerusalem, the Current Planning Situation. A Survey of Municipal Plans and Planning Policy, Jerusalem
Kahlidi, Walid, (ed), 1992: All that remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied ad Depopulated by Israel in 1948, Washington, The Institute for Palestine Studies
Kroyanker, D., (1982): Jerusalem. Planning and Development 1970-1982, in: The Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies for the Jerusalem Committee (ed..), Jerusalem
Krystall, Nathan, (1999): The Fall of the New City 1947-1950, in: Tamari, Salim, (ed.): The Institute of Jerusalem Studies, Jerusalem. Badil Resource Center. Bethlehem: 92 f.
Pappe, Ilan (2006): The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. Oneworld. Oxford
Rempel, Terry, 1999: Dispossession and Restitution in 1948 Jerusalem. In: Tamari, Salim (ed) The Institute of Jerusalem Studies, Jerusalem. Badil Resource Center. Bethlehem, 189-235
Schoelch, Alexander (1990): Jerusalem in the 19th Century (1831 - 1917). In:
Seidemann, Daniel (1998): Interview: Ehud Olmert‘s Hebronization of Jerusalem? In: Institute of Jerusalem Studies (ed.), Jerusalem Quarterly File, 1, 1998, 31ff.
Tamari, Salim, (ed..) (1999): Jerusalem 1948, The Institute of Jerusalem Studies, Jerusalem. Badil Resource Center. Bethlehem
The Closure of Jerusalem (1999): March 30, 1993 - March 30, 1999, Jerusalem; inofficial report, Orient-House, planning department. Jerusalem
The Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies for the Jerusalem Committee (ed.) (1982): Jerusalem Planning and Development 1979-1982, Jerusalem
The Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies for the Jerusalem Committee (ed.), (1985): Jerusalem Planning and Development 1982-1985. New Trends 1985, Jerusalem
Waltz, Viktoria (1996): Jerusalem today. Results of the thirty years lasting planning authority of Israel over the city and its surroundings. University of Dortmund 1996 (lecture manuscript);
Weidenfeld, George and Nicolson (ed) (1989): Jerusalem - City of Mirrors. Faber and Faber. London