F.A.S.T. Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory
ONE LAND TWO SYSTEMS PROJECT
Foreword Michiel Schwartz
Challenging the Israeli Land Regime Alexandre (Sandy) Kedar
The Geography of Fear
page 30 A Home For Adel’s Family
Beyond the Matrix of Control
One Land Two Systems Malkit Shoshan & B e rt de Muynck
What Can A Dutchman Learn From Israel Matthijs Bouw
The Wall Of Led
C o n s t ructing Chaos
page 31 page 39
Misreading Modernism Dan Handel
Enforced Urbanisation Rassem Khamaisi
The Road To Nowhere
The Builder of Anata’s Tale
A project by Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti
The Art of Creating the Past Zvi Elhyani
Bitter Wine in the Dessert
page 19 Ein Hud: The Long Road to Recognition Muhammad Abu al Hayja page 20 Ethnocentric Ecology Naama Meishar page 22 Competition Brief
By Suhad Bishara, Sharif Hamadeh and Hana Hamdan
page 2 Foreword Michiel Schwartz page 4 One Land Two Systems Malkit Shoshan & B e rt de Muynck page 16 Misreading Modernism Dan Handel page 17 The Art of Creating the Past Zvi Elhyani page 19 Ein Hud: The Long Road to Recognition Muhammad Abu al Hayja page 20 Ethnocentric Ecology Naama Meishar
oth the past and the future can be constructed or destroyed – literally, through what we choose to build, protect and create in the physical world. No more so than in the Middle East, where the Israeli and Palestinian conﬂict is acted out through the architectureand physical planning of the land. Behind the seemingly downto-earth work of Israeli spatial planners lies a reality, which is actively reshaping the land into a divided state. While for Israeli towns and villages a future is constructed, the so-called ‘unrecognised’ Palestinian villages remain blank areas on planners’ drawings, or are literally wiped o ff the map. A territorial battle is now being fought with the spatial planners’ tools. One Land Two Systems aims to make visible the reality of this ‘state of a p a rtheid’ in Israeli architecture and planning. The project includes photography exhibitions and public debates, plus an architectural competition to design alternative planning solutions. Together, these activities will expose deeply cultural (and ideological) assumptions about the way we plan and design our own, and other people’s, lifeworlds. They have a very real sense of urgency - not just in the face of current developments, such as the construction of the Wall in occupied Palestinian
page 22 Competition Brief :to be demolished
terr i t o ry, but also given the demolition orders for parts of Palestinian villages that are given out on regular basis by Israeli regional planners. It is this often ‘invisible’ or ‘unrecognised’ reality of architecture and planning practices that One Land Two Systems sets out to expose. Israeli planning is an extreme example of a more general condition that can be found worldwide. Conﬂicting territorial claims (for example, for economical and environmental causes) are a fact of modern life. Michiel Schwart z Michiel Schwartz is an independent consultant involved in cultural r&d, Amsterdam.
ONE LAND TWO SYSTEMS FAST (the Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory) is dedicated to exposing the global abuses of ideological planning, as found in Israel’s ‘unrecognised’ villages like Ein Hud, and to offering alternative solutions. B e rt de Muynck and Malkit Shoshan
The State of Israel will prove itself not by material wealth, not by military might or technical achievement, but by its moral character and human values. David Ben Gurion
s there an alternative to the territorial strangleholds that characterise the Israeli-Palestinian conﬂict, carving the country into a tortured web of settlements, strips, banks, unrecognised villages, demarcation lines, fences and no man’s lands? Where do we go from a status quo that, all too often, looks less like a stable situation than a chaotic chain reaction based on the meltdown of terr i t o ry, religion, segregation, culture, politics and history? Should we place the emphasis on methods and solutions to address the conﬂict’s causes? Or focus instead on tackling its political, social, economical, religious, cultural, human, geographical and urban effects? Perhaps we would be better employed ﬁnding models, visions and strategies to cope with the situation, and others like it, thereby reclaiming the tool, once intended to create culture and now used to erase it: the tool we call architecture and planning? These issues are illuminated by the art icles that follow this introduction, a series of stories based not on theory, but on concrete, real-life examples: in particular, that of the ‘unrecognised’ Palestinian village of Ein Hud, and its struggle for acceptance. The factual history of Ein Hud is the best possible commentary on the unfounded theory that surrounds the conﬂict. It is also the best possible response to those who see a way out of the present situation in the rhetoric of demolition, tradition and imposition. They apply concepts that lead to such abstract ideals as restoration, preservation, separation, history and difference. They are creating causes that neither they themselves, nor those they impose them on, want. Reality, for them, is an everlasting state of emergency. A regime of preemptive planning is their main object. They push their opponents into the corner of protest and contemplation. But we think there is another reality out there, a reality leading to a point of no return. Other people, for whom the way out isn’t that clear, invest their rhetoric in raising a debate, for themselves and others. They go for the effect that needs to be brought about. Their interest doesn’t lie in the counter-project or the opposition, but in taking in a position. It lies in raising a debate, raising consciousness and reclaiming architecture and planning. This is a reality in which the ‘concrete chainsaw’ (as the French-Israeli director Simone Bitton calls the Wall in her documentary ﬁlm Mur), separating the haves from the have-nots, doesn’t just have to be seen as just another symbol of oppression. On the contrary, it can be used to ﬁnd ways to think, act and move forward. Research and activism aren’t just tools for placing this line on the agenda, but can actually be used
to localise the agenda within architecture and planning: an agenda that reads reality, and not its twisted interpretation. In this collection of articles, don’t expect to ﬁnd dist o rtions such as that made by an Israeli landscape architect: “Fencing not only creates injustices, but also provides intimacy and p rotection in many instances.”1 If we acknowledge that fences create injustices, the second part of the sentence is at best, self-deception, and at worst, a hallucination, if it is a comment on the work this and other architects are required to carry out at the command of the decision makers. Taking the building process as the epicenter of thought and action is not an attempt to introduce an arbitrary element of interpretation into a causal cultural relationship, but a method to explode and deepen this causality and explain its underlying agenda. Does it make sense to question whether building is a cause or an effect in the Israeli-Palestine conﬂict? Is it useful to ask if its own cause is protection, and its e ffect injustice? We don’t think so. We would rather view building as neither cause nor effect, but as a tool used to obtain power, to suppress, deny, refuse, control, violate and destroy basic human rights - on both sides. Here, building is a weapon of mass destruction. In order to formulate an opinion about this ongoing state of emergency, FAST (the Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory; our acronym embodies the urgency of the project) takes architecture, planning and territory as the basis for a strategy to overcome the conﬂict of causality. To this end, it is necessary to explain the three levels on which we operate: the situation as found, the issues at stake, and the strategy to be undertaken. FAST doesn’t intend to sketch a path that needs to be fol-
THE SITUATION AS FOUND In 1897, at the summons of the spiritual father of the Jewish state, Theodore Herzl, the First Zionist Congress convened and proclaimed the right of the Jewish people to national rebirth in their own country, a right later recognised in the Balfour Declaration (1917), and re a fﬁrmed in the Mandate of
As architects and planners, we aknowledge that we are major players in - or master puppets of - political planning lowed, leaving its implementation to the goodwill of promises. Rather, it acts, ﬁnding methods to implement the legal and the possible, localising an agenda beyond feeble, fancy and formless architectural research, mapping and design. If there’s a future for architecture and urbanism in this and similar apartheid-like situations - and the issue of imposed unrecognition as described in this lexicon also currently affects the Roma gypsies in Europe, the Mapuche in Chile, and the Kalahari Bushmen in Botswana, among others - it will be one in which research, design and activism strive through jurisdiction for seamless territories and universal human rights.
the League of Nations (1922), which stated, “the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, (is) in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” However, this was accompanied by the proviso that the rights of the Palestinians were to be protected: “It being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.” In the ﬁrst half of the 20th century, there followed a return of Jewish people to the land of Israel, the revival of the Hebrew language, the building of villages and towns
and the establishment of an economy and culture that was self-determining - a process that fed the aspiration for independency. The genocide of millions of Jews during the Second World War highlighted the problem of Jewish statelessness. On November 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution calling for the establishment of a Jewish state in EretzIsrael; the General Assembly required the inhabitants of Eretz-Israel to take such steps as were necessary on their part for the implementation of that resolution. This United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, a plan to resolve the Arab-Jewish conﬂict in the British Mandate of Palestine, was approved by the UN General Assembly at the UN World Headquarters in New York. UN recognition led inexorably to a sovereign state. On May 14, 1948, the members of the People’s Council proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel. It was a state based on Zionist ideology – and Zionism now shifted its focus to an increasingly territorial agenda and mandate: supp o rting the development and defence of the State of Israel, while encouraging Jewish people from all over the world to settle there. In the early years of the state’s existence, more than 500 Palestinian villages and cities were destroyed and over 800 new Jewish cities, villages and other types of settlement were founded. By the 1960s, the state had conﬁscated or otherwise acquired 93% of the country.2 While more then ﬁve million Jewish people from all over the
The evolution of borders of the Jewish settlements in Israel, 1040 BC – 2002 AD
world found a new home in Israel, over 600,000 Palestinians became refugees. Effectively, the State of Israel had simply been established on top of another one, leading to a territorial and cultural cover-up, and an inevitable territorial battle, not only in Gaza and the West Bank, but also within the formal 1967 borders of Israel3. For the Palestinians who remained in Israel, Israeli land policy now often denied their right to a home, by conﬁscating their land, refusing building permits, and refusing to acknowledge existing settlements. The ‘unrecognised villages’ come into existence through a top-down strategy of dislocation, d e rooting, institutionalised temporality, non-existence, denial and repression, and the bottom-up strategy of closeness, proximity, community and promise. This forced interplay has a strong impact on human behaviour and fundamentally affects the basis of life - shelter, access, culture and recognition – on both personal and community levels. A forced departure, under the guise of security and temporality, isn’t problematic until we realise that it is only a strategy (or solution) for separating people from their land, rights and sense of community. Forced evacuation or separation opens a broad spectrum of possibilities and expectations, with only one destiny: the wish to return when everything is over. In an everlasting state of emergency, that idea of returning was and is suspended by the Israeli state, as is the idea of staying somewhere temporarily. For some, like Salim Shawamre (see The Builder of Anata’s Tale), even the idea of living in a tent is denied by a Kafkaesque Israeli land policy. Forced evacuation means moving out of sight, moving out of contact, moving out of history, presence, future, and moving out of thinking
and memory. For Palestinians, it means becoming a phantom people dwelling on ghostly ground. While some Palestinian settlements are merely unrecognised, others are surrounded and limited – so Adel Sawaed‘s house is ringed by those of Israeli settlers in A Home for Adel and the Palestinians of Led are surrounded by a wall (see The Wall of Led). In The Geography of Fear, Gershon Baskin talks about the separated condition of Jerusalem. Borders will always exist; they deﬁne ‘yours’ and ‘mine’, creating spaces for relationship and demanding mutual respect. The wall, makes the dif-
A SITUATION IS CREATED We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population. David Ben-Gurion4 Separations, walls, and fortiﬁcations can have different shapes, colours, textures, and depths. They can create situations, events, programmes and conditions. As architects and planners, we understand the way our p rofessional tools are being used as
In situations where governmental bodies abuse planning to promote ideological agendas, we fight to reclaim our profession, in order to provide present and future sustainability to the different population groups of our countries ference between inside and outside; it creates a condition of human artiﬁciality within the vast open space of the world. In a strange way, we only can be free within the borders we deﬁne ourselves. If our space is not vast and open, but limited, and (for whatever reason), already deﬁned, we need our own borders within that artiﬁcial condition. We do not deal with a separation of openness versus enclosure, but of enclosure within enclosure. If borders within that condition a re unilaterally imposed, not bilaterally negotiated, questions need to be raised.
weapons, borrowed for the development of seams that tear apart our country and install isolated islands of seamless identity. Agricultural ﬁelds, national parks, cities, gardens, military areas, culture programmes, farms, roads, infrastructure and services, trees, acoustic walls, industrial parks – any aspect of the landscape can be turned into an element of fortiﬁcation (serving as protection, defense and attack), or can become a separating wall, between the two different systems and population groups: Palestinians and Israelis.
Confronted with a scattered terr i t o ry, we cannot undo what’s done, turn back time and restore a (ﬁctive) borderless condition. We can’t and don’t pretend nothing has happened, is happening and can still happen. What one can ask is to undo the separation, and to uphold equality as a condition and consequence of respect. Analysing the contemporarycondition, we can’t deny that we are confronted with a terr i t o rythat has multiple faces, the ofﬁcial and the unofﬁcial, the recognised and the unrecognised, the myth and the reality, the causes and the effects. To bring the pieces together one can use many strategies: welding, symbiosis, parasitism, bonding, connecting, linking, adhering, ﬁxing, or solidifying. Actually, the means are not important, only the end, which is seamlessness. Separation turns seamless when we erase disruptive borders, whether these are architectures, cities, walls, fences, ditches, checkpoints, mentalities, politics or strategies. Not that these aren’t necessary, but their current implementation intends to occupy and intimidate, not to cultivate and liberate. It leads to a state in which continuity is the paradoxical key-concept: continuity in place, access, location, culture, memory, time and evolution. Out of that continuity, discontinuity is politically and mentally carved, stripped, eliminated and erased, paving the way to embody the same discontinuity both territorially and physically. As architects and planners making plans, masterplans, spaces, buildings, and giving shape to people’s (living) environments, we ﬁnd ourselves as major players, or master puppets of political planning, in this territorial conﬂict. We ﬁnd ourselves in situations in which governmental bodies abuse plans and masterplans to promote ideological agendas, through which human rights are
Growth in numbers of Israeli settlements
Dislocation of Palestinian villages
Total built Israeli settlements
12/11/1918 – 14/05/1948
15/05/1948 – 05/06/1967
06/05/1967 – 31/12/1991
Total destroyed Palistinian villages
Unrecognised arab settlements in the north of Israel
violated. We ﬁnd ourselves ﬁghting to provide better living conditions to the inhabitants of our country, better services, homes, infrastructures, and economical development; ﬁghting to provide present and future sustainability to the different population groups and communities. We hear architects, landscape designers and planners talk in poetic clichés about snow-capped mountains, colourful carpets woven with threads of soil and stone, vegetation and water, galloping camels and prancing goats, villages of muslims, orchards ﬂowering in pink, rivers swollen with water, skyscrapers illuminated
Unrecognised arab settlements in the south of Israel
at night with dazzling lights... and there are even pathos-ﬁlled lines hinting at ‘wars of faith’ that have broken out over the millennia in ‘the land of promise’. We read critics’ words about the lack of awareness in the above-mentioned architects of even a hint of the destructive conﬂicts that are taking place in these places.5 We don’t want to take part in political arguments, we don’t propose a global solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conﬂict, and we don’t plan to start peace treaties, but we do aim to expose injustice and to ﬁght for equal planning solutions, equal services, and
We do not take part in political arguments, nor offer political solutions, but expose injustice perpetrated through the planning system and fight for equal planning solutions
Typical refugee camp (West Bank) built by the U.N. during the 50s. The picture was taken 10 years later
equal rights for all. We call for worldwide professional communities to participate in the creation of better plans, better masterplans and better solutions for places that have been neglected or harassed by governmental bodies. THE APPROACH, ISSUES AT STAKE AND PERSPECTIVE Israel is one country, with two systems. These systems exist, manifest and operate through borders, checkpoints, and through recognition and unrecognition. What does it mean when you refuse to recognise something? Does it mean you withdraw yourself from the topic? Ignore, deny, overlook (in this case, both literally and metaphorically), refuse and reject it? In denying its existence, do you exclude it from reality by all the possible means offered by the system you created? It certainly means that someone, a person or a group, is aware that this lack of recognition exists. The supposed ‘temporary’ nature of the situation is a good excuse to leave something unrecognised. But what are real people to do with this territorial temporality, this forced dislocation without an alternative, and existence in a non-existant situation? And how can we react to an imposed masterplan that can turn an unrecognised village into a recognised one overnight, and which lacks any accurate reﬂection of reality? Dealing with this in terms of walls, fences, ditches and so on, the closing of two systems leads to a situation where people no longer know whether they are a danger or in danger. The other is recognised through the sheer act of building a separation line. But in a continuous territory, it is clear recognition versus unrecognition. Everything is known, even the unknown. You cannot build a wall around an unrecognised village, even if you’d like to prevent its sprawl and expansion; for building a wall would legitimise its existence. Only demotivation seems to work, replacing the memory with a guerilla assault of art , identity, memory and territory. The art of transforming the built environment uses manmade myths of presence and absence, leading to a system of belief in which human values and moral character come into sharp focus through the application of intimidation, land conﬁscation, and the cutting of all social services. In this case, one should hon-
estly raise the question of whether architect u re and planning are being used to organise or disorganise space. For once a village is unrecognised, collective forms of existence are denied and put outside the legal system, and rights and laws become irrelevant: they can’t be applied to a non-existent situation. But this unrecognised landscape isn’t inhabited by phantom people, but by minority communities currently denied the political, civil, economic and cultural rights that they should have according to international human rights principles. To raise this issue within the ﬁeld of planning and architecture (for some villages the tools to keep the state of unrecognition pending, for others the sole recognition of their existence), work needs to be done to link community, national and international levels, insisting on equality, seamlessness and non-discrimination. Domestically, we need the implementation of international minority rights protection. At the same time, discussion is needed, to provide insight into the reality as found. To facilitate an extended environment for addressing these political and ideological conﬂicts we must bring various disciplines into play: law, geography, journalism and the media, activism, and many others. We need to mobilise national and international public opinion and to create a public debate about the issue of human rights violations through planning. THE EIN-HUD PROJECT Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist. Not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Huneifis; and Kefar Yehushua in the place of Tal alShuman. There is not a single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population. David Ben Gurion.5 Our ﬁrst project copes with one village that sadly reﬂects the complex reality of ideological planning in Israel, a typical example of the Israeli-Palestinian tragedy. The story of Ein Hud represents the history of the State of Israel, as an embodiment
of two parallel societies, two parallel planning systems, one building, the other destroying. Ein Hod – Ein Hud is the story of two villages, each representing a different reality and completely opposite living conditions. Through the series of articles we have included in this dossier, the various layers of Ein Hud-Ein Hod are revealed, as well as the reasons for our work. Ein Hod is the biggest artists’ village in Israel. It was established at the beginning of the 1950s by a group of artists led by Marcel Janco. He’d found a Palestinian village with hundreds of years of history; a village that had been conﬁscated in 1948 by the Israeli military, its 900-odd villagers made refugees in a single stroke. A village constructed in the ‘Islamic style’, composed of arched stone buildings. The Israelis renamed the place Ein Hod, the ‘place of beauty’. The new name, sounding almost exactly like its original name of Ein Hud, has a different meaning. They changed its identity and saw in it their reconnection with their ancient Mediterranean roots. It became their new home, and a symbol of a new ‘arts and crafts’ society. The Israeli government listed the village under the status of ‘community settlement’6, this was a new term for a government-sponsored gated community. Such communities are established in strategic locations in order to promote Jewish pre sence in the area and prevent Palestinian ‘encroachment’ over public land (see Bitter Wine in the Desert). Ein Hud, the working Palestinian village, became Ein Hod, an exclusive gated community for artists. While the new village was taking shape right on top of a conﬁscated one, the extended family of Muhamad Mahmud Abu al Hayja ﬂed from Ein Hud to their own land in the mountains, only 1.5 km away from their village. The family eventually lost all hope of returning to their homes,
so built new ones in their hiding place. The called the new village Ein Hud, after the old one. The new Ein Hud was an ‘unrecognised village’ (until Febru a ry 2004), and its people classed as internal refugees. This meant that, for over 50 years, they lived without services, water, electricity, schools or medical care, struggling with the authorities day by day for their right to a home, for their right to exist. Finally on last February 2004,
that automatically become illegal with the approval of the masterplan and may be demolished; if they are not demolished, the village has no space for the aforementioned activities. The masterplan doesn’t take into consideration large parts of the village; it leaves no space for future expansion, demographic growth, economic development, or future sustainability. Through the switch f rom unrecognised to recognised, the
OUR AIM IS EQUAL PLANNING PROVISION FOR ALL after years of continuous struggle, the government recognised the village – or rather 80 dunams of it, a very insufﬁcient area for its present existence and its future development. With this act of recognition, the Israeli government imposed a masterplan on Ein Hud for the development of the village. The total plan gives the village a total amount of land of 80,000 square metres (1 dunam = 1,000 square metres; the village area should total 80 dunams), an area it has already outgrown. Of this, 13 dunams (13,000 square metres) in the village centre is considered a ‘militaryarea’, so cannot be developed at all. Today, Ein Hud has 207 inhabitants and is part of the Hof Hakarmel jurisdiction area. This jurisdiction area enjoys an average area per person of 6 dunams (6,000 square metres), while Ein Hud was awarded 0.36 dunams (360 square metres) per person in the plan – about one-twentieth of the average allocation. The designated area for the development of public spaces, open spaces and commerce is already occupied by homes
imposed masterplan pushes this village further into a straitjacket of political planning. Our project aim is to reveal the story of Ein Hod – Ein Hud; to connect national and international NGO’s and law departments to help the villagers of Ein Hud; to engage re p o rters and journalists to contribute in mobilising public opinion and creating a public debate about the situation; and to engage the professional communities and produce an alternative solution, by holding an international architecture competition. CONCLUSION What can be done in a situation in which a top-down planning instrument is totally at odds with the grass-roots reality of unrecognised villages – and, in fact, with basic human rights? Is it possible to show the e ffect these planning ideologies, procedures and politics have on the daily existence of those who are submitted to them? It is at any rate clear that the current situation is not
sustainable, and that to change it we need to initiate a debate, wake up an apparently sleeping national conscience and reclaim a misused profession. But we can only reclaim it with an awareness created from reality, not myth, and with postitive action based on tools, methods, design, strategies and societies. In other words, the commitment to change must lead to action. Shouldn’t the discussion happen as reality unfolds, claiming concepts, designs and the right both to speak and to be taken seriously? Shouldn’t we trace the methods that lead to unrecognition and question their motives and effect? It might be possible to ﬁnd freedom in innocence, but deﬁnitely not in ignorance, or self-imagined ignorance. Defeating, undermining, criticising this status quo happens if one moves critique from a cultural, academic debate into a pragmatic, legal debate. The praxis of architecture and planning is the one that can inscribe reality, even if that reality incorporates the concept of unrecognition. Discussing the impact of architecture on human rights starts on a practical level, on moving clearly and decisively. More than ﬁfty years on, we are discovering the importance of the David Ben Gurion statement we quoted at the beginning of this introduction: The State of Israel will prove itself not by material wealth, not by military might or technical achievement, but by its moral character and human values. Half a century on, the use of material wealth, military might and technical achievement on a territorial level is proving only a disaster – and leading to profound international disapproval of Israel’s moral character and human values. FAST stands for reclaiming a nation’s moral character and human values, by reclaiming architecture and planning. Now and in the future, it’s our aim to inject the principles of human rights and humanistic morality into the State of Israel’s much-abused ﬁeld of planning. Malkit Shoshan is an architect and the director of F.A.S.T. B e rt de Muynck is an independent architect - writer and member of F.A.S.T.
1, Israeli landscape architect Vardit Tzurnamal Surroundings / From far enough up, you don’t see the view, as quoted by Esther Zandberg in El Haaretz on December 31st, 2004 2, ILA- 93% of the land in Israel is public domain; that is either pro p e rty of the state, the Jewish National Fund (J.N.F) or the Development Authority. The legal basis of Israel’s land policy is based on four laws: the Basic Law, establishing the Israel Lands Administration (1960; the Israel Lands Law (1960); the Israel Lands Administration (1960); and the Covenant between the State of Israel and the World Zionists. These Israeli laws were adopted by the ILA, the Israel Land Administration, the government agency responsible for managing the land, which holds the 93%. Ownership of real estate in Israel usually means a lease from the ILA for 49 or 98 years. 3,
Green line/ 1949 Armistice Line: see lexicon.
4, May 1948, to the General Staff. From Ben-Gurion, A Biography, by Michael Ben-Zohar, Delacorte, New York 1978. 5, as observed by Esther Zandberg in El Haaretz, Surroundings / From far enough up, you don’t see the view, on December 31st, 2004 6, quoted in The Jewish Paradox, by Nahum Goldmann, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1978, p.99.
G o v e rnment map showing plans to concentrate the Palestinian Bedouin tribes of the Negev into seven new cities
7, During the late 1970s, Israel developed a new settlement type, the community settlement. As part of a sophisticated system designed to exclude Palestinians, Jews received public land in desigated areas by a complex land allocation system. Initially, the settlement land is assigned through a system known as “the three-party lease”. According to this arrangement, three parties sign the initial land allocation contract: A) ILA as the public landowners agent; B) The Jewish Agency and C) the Jewish settlement as a collective (its legal entity is a cooperative). In order to lease (normally at a subsidised price and sometimes free of charge) an individual plot of land in such a settlements, a person must be accepted as a member of cooperative that incorporates all residents of the community. The cooperative (often with participation of the Jewish Agency) has the power of ‘selection’ and practical veto power over acceptance. This delegation of state power, the major rationale of which is to block Palestinians from access to land, serves simultaneously to preserve the mainly middle-class character of these settlements (definition from: ‘The Israeli Land Regime’ by Alexander (Sandy) Kedar)
Ein Hud: aerial photograph of the village in 1993 showing imposed government boundary of 2004
Ein Hod 2004
A restaurant, where used to be the mosque of the Palestinian village
The amphi theatre, made from the stones of the ruines of the old village
A memoration (boundary) stone, donated by the Dutch Hiborn family, overlooking Ein Hud
The new sign placed immediately after the recognition
Mosque of the new village
The new cultural centre
Ein Hud, 2004
The generators of the city
‘Sattelite’ phone booth
The new cultural centre
Alley New – not legal Town hall
a way more suggestive of a premodern, Romantic world view. Actually, they viewed the village more and more as a collection of ancient ruins, using it as a backdrop for their life and work. Although the village’s recent history is evident, it is denied through the years, in both ofﬁcial publications and media interviews, following Janco’s mystiﬁcation of its origins: “During excavations I found Roman coins,” he reported. “I found remains of Jewish cons t ruction... I found the village marked in crusaders’ maps.” But not a word about its Palestinian existence.
prevented them returning to their former homes, citing ﬁrst ‘security reasons’ and later the Law of Absentees, which effectively deﬁned them as internal refugees and conﬁscated their land. The Palestinian community, part of a traditional, agrarian society, had to construct everything anew, in different conditions, under a new regime and land ownership system. The ﬁrst permanent structures, built in the village a few years after the war, were already inﬂuenced by the modern , We s t e rn, building techniques imported from Europe and America.
FORMALISING A FANTASY
Not only were old structures reused by the new inhabitants, but materials were recycled to create pseudo-ancient artifacts: so stones
As growing numbers of Palestinians were employed in the building industry in Israel, they absorbed modernity. The resulting
the stone village from destruction and founded the Ein Hod artists’ community was told in mythic, heroic terms: “At the beginning we were ﬁve, then twenty,” he said. “We lived for a few years with no electricity, in abandoned houses full of rats and water collected from wells.” Of course, imagined as a progressive, socialist-oriented artists’ community, Ein Hod had to deal from the start with a highly problematic history: it was housed in the remains of a Palestinian village whose people had ﬂed just a few years before. However, instead of s t a rting from scratch, as we would expect a modernist project to do, Janco and his followers took an opposite approach.
left from houses were stacked to create an amphitheatre. This aestheticisation created a new, artiﬁcial, sense of place, which was then formalised in building regulations, and, even more so, in the way Ein Hod describes itself1. A logical loop is completed. The modernist project is completely disguised, while the village is re f e rred to as a vernacular, almost pre-historic settlement, ﬁrst by its inhabitants, and eventually by its ofﬁcial description, the planning system. This formalised the local, ‘traditional’ architecture, by providing speciﬁcations of low density, stone cladding and building height regulations.
Ein Hud, founded hastily due to c i rcumstances, located on the most eastern part of what used to be the lands of the Abu al Hayja family, was conceived as a tempor a ry place of shelter for a small group of refugees, escaping from their village during the war. After the ceaseﬁre, the Israeli authorities
architecture can be read as a new version of the Palestinian vernacular, mutated and adjusted to the changed ﬁeld conditions. Concrete structures, ﬂat roofs, window strips and stucco have replaced the images of Palestinian villages as described and romanticised in the 19th century. In this case too, the planning system has adopted the terms of the village façade – in this case, the modern proﬁle of the village architecture. So, in the masterplan issued recently, the planning machinery speciﬁed a density up to ten times that of neighbouring villages and kibbutzim. The result would be ‘mini-highrises’ of eight to ten ﬂoors throughout the village. No stone cladding is mentioned. The architecture would reﬂect the type already common in the village, buildings with a modern appearance and density.
MISREADING MODERNISM As the contradictions of Ein Hod and Ein Hud illustrate, the Israeli planning system is more a misguided reaction to architectural stereotypes, than a solution to real-world problems. Dan Handel
the case study of Ein Hud and Ein Hod in particular, we need to bear in mind the complexity of the political situation, the way the planning system has been linked to ideology over the years, and the tough sociological conﬂicts involved. However, it is possible, and maybe useful, to think of the problem as one of misreading modernity2. In the case of Ein Hod, the founders and current inhabitants are misreading their own project of constructing a community, while the inhabitants of Ein Hud are misreading their own building culture3. The process culminates in the misreading of the whole spatial situation by the planning system, and the end result is planning that is more a reaction to architectural images than a solution to the problems of reality.
“Concrete structures, ﬂat roofs and stucco have replaced the Romantic images of Palestinian villages.”
alking around the villages of Ein Hod and Ein Hud, you encounter a curious contradiction. Ein Hod is a colony of modern a rtists, yet consists of old stone structures and pastiches of old stone structures; while Ein Hud, home to a traditional, agrarian community, is made up of uncompromisingly modern-looking buildings. The contrast seems stranger still when we take into account the Dadaist background of Ein Hod’s founder, Marcel Janco. He had been at the cutting edge of mode rnism as a protoganist in the Cabaret Voltaire events in Zurich, during the years of World War I. While a practising architect in Romania, before his move to Israel in 1941, he produced simple, clean-lined modern buildings. PROBLEMATIC HISTORY Then came Janco’s work for the national planning department of Israel, and his ‘discovery’ of Ein Hud. The story of how he rescued
Gradually turning Dada theories about the liberation of the artist from civilisation and his return to the primitive, direct means of expression into a sort of orientalism, the founders progressively aestheticised the deserted village in
STARTING FROM SCRATCH
IMAGES, NOT REALITY In examining the relationship between the planning system and reality in Israel in general, and in
Dan Handel is a final year architecture student in the Bezalel academy of arts and design, Jerusalem, and a member of F.A.S.T.
1, For example in the ofﬁcial website of the artists’ village, history does not include the Palestinian people: “On the road to Haifa lies Ein Hod, an artists’ village on a hill, at the foot of Mount Carmel overlooking the Mediterranean coast, the town of Atlit, and an ancient 12th century crusader fortress. After the War of Independence the area was abandoned and left in ruin. In the ﬁfties, a group of artists led by the acclaimed Dada artist Marcel Janco decided that Ein Hod would be a place where they could work, build studios and workshops, and form a creative environment for art and art education...” 2, It is also possible to look in that way at the case of Tel Aviv and the Bauhaus. Misread as an architectural style, “Bauhaus architecture” in Tel Aviv produced theories, exhibitions and eventually an image of a “white city”. This image is now generally accepted by all planning authorities when regulating construction and pre s e rvation in the city. It also led to the recent declaration of the “white city” as a world heritage site by UNESCO. 3, In their research into the Palestinian Arab vernacular architecture ‘The Palestinian Village home’, Suad Amiry and Vera Tamari write: “(in the Palestinian village today) These modern structures are cluttered by showy multi-faceted walls built in a haphazard order, their ﬂat roofs often crowned by television antennae resembling the Eiffel tower, symbols of new afﬂuence. Neither the building style nor the ‘aesthetics’ of these new houses re ﬂect any clear link with the past.”
THE ART OF CREATING THE PAST The ruins of the Palestinian tragedy became the foundations for Israeli cultural reinvention Zvi Elhyani
n 1953, architect and Dada artist Marcel Janco served as a chief landscape designer of the new governmental planning department of Israel. This department – under the leadership of Bauhaus graduate architect Arieh Sharon – was established in 1949, soon after the Israeli war of independence, and outlined the physical planning of the new state.
Part of Janco’s duty was to travel around the country searching for sites to be declared national parks, nature reserves, or tourism and recreation sites. On one of those tours in an area south of Haifa bay, Janco heard loud blasts. Following the noise, he discovered that Israeli army forces were bombing village ruins that were alleged hiding places for Palestinian saboteurs.
Impressed by the village architecture and its location on the western slopes of Mount Carmel, overlooking the Mediterranean. Janco used his authority as a government bureaucrat to stop the destruction. Soon afterwards, he arranged for a group of his artistic contacts to explore the village’s potential as an Israeli artists’ colony. NOSTALGIC FANTASIES The heavy, impressive stone stru ctures of the village architecture – so unlike the clay buildings of the neighbouring villages - led Janco to conclude that this was “not just another Palestinian deserted village,” but an ancient settlement,
The discovery of Ein Hud by Marcel Janco and friends, 1953 (taken from “Marcel Janco”, Massada Press, Tel Aviv 1982).
with Roman, Palestinian, even Jewish, histories. In the more recent past, it was identiﬁed as the former Palestinian village of Ein Hud . The Palestinian population had been deported during the War of Independence, an event the Palestinians called Nakba (disaster). According to the Palestinian historian, Walid Khalidi – whose account is supported by sources such as the Palestinian newspaper Filastin and the Israeli historian Benny Morris – the village of Ein Hud, inhabited by Palestinians since the 10th century, was initially attacked on the evening of 11 April, 1948. The villagers of Ein Hud remained in their village after the fall of Haifa in late April, but in late May
the village was stormed again by Israeli forces after Palestinian snipers had allegedly halted trafﬁc on the Tel Aviv-Haifa road. Ein Hud fell to Israeli forces around 15 July, 1948, in an operation that was distinguished by the participation of Israeli naval forces. These assisted the land-based attackers by providing covering ﬁre and bombarding the villages. INVASION OR DESTRUCTION Like hundreds of other places deserted by embattled Palestinians, the now-empty village of Ein Hud and its surroundings was inhabited by Jewish immigrants, settlers and squatters. Soon after its occupation,
A rtists in Ein Hod in the 1950s (in the fore g round is Menashe Kadisman)
The ﬁrst gallery space in Ein Hod, 1954 (taken from “Marcel Janco”, Massada Press, Tel Aviv 1982).
A modern Israeli pseudo-vernacular building: W.J. Wittkower’s Mendel Fisher Student’s Hostel, Ein Hod , 1964-66
the Jewish settlement of Nir Etziyon was established on village land in 1949, one of hundreds of rural settlements that were established in Israel after 1948. In the village’s ruins, Jewish immigrants from Algiers were settled in order to set up a moshav (workers’ village), to be based on the agricultural infrastructure of the former Palestinian village, which encompassed nearly 1,000 of dunams of cultivated lands. But as soon as it turned out that the topography of the site was unsuited to m o d e rn agriculture, the Jewish immigrants were moved to the nearby deserted village of al-Sarafand (today known as Tzrufa Moshav). The ruins of the village of Ein Hud were doomed to destruction, either by nature or by the Israeli Army bulldozers that systematically erased the Palestinian pro p e rties that were not invaded by Jewish immigrants or squatters.
pastoral, and the connection between art, nature and landscape.
BUILDING BOHEMIA Janco and his group eventually got government permission to settle the
place and to preserve and restore it as the settlement of ‘Ein Hod’ – an a rtists’ colony based on residents, workshops, galleries and minor agriculture. Janco, who believed in the synthesis between locality and universal modernism, wanted to lay the foundations for an Israeli Arts and Crafts movement in Ein Hod. Janco wanted to invent an artiﬁcial site for the modern nation’s artistic-cultural ‘past’ and ‘origins’. “Unfortunately,” Janco wrote, “Israel today is maybe the only nation which has no artistic folklore of its own... of course there are reasons for that, a nation that had no land under its foot, could have not produce folk art. For we have been a diaspora in exile for centuries, we lost our national and folklore sources of inspiration... in Ein Hod, we tried, as much as we could, to contribute to the foundation of folkloric Israeli art.” Unlike the Jewish mysticism that attracted the Jewish painters who established the artists’ colony in the Palestinian quarter of the old city of Safed in the Galilee in 1949, Janco and his group aspired to a romantic
YEARNING FOR AUTHENTICITY The vision became reality, with Ein Hod rapidly transformed into a symbol of Israeli avant-gardism and bohemianism. The large buildings became galleries, studios and workshops for crafts such as glass, goldsmithery, lithography, carpentry, mosaic, pottery and weaving. Ein Hod was designated mainly a tourist site. According to Khalidi, the famous bar-restaurant in the centre of Ein Hod was opened on the ruins of the village mosque. In the 1950s and 1960s, alongside the increasingly dominant ‘nonrooted’ and ‘neutral’ International Style in architecture, a sort of spiritof-the-place trend emerged. Young Israeli architects showed a growing interest in local, folkloric Palestinian building – whether because of its p i c t u resque characteristics, or because of its down-to-earth adaptation to the speciﬁc physical conditions of the place. But the greater spatial inﬂuence was that of the gen-
triﬁcation of Israeli society that took place as the new immigrants settled into the Palestinians’ abandoned property. The settling of Janco’s group at Ein Hud was just one instance of the cultural and physical takeover of Palestinian pro p e rty by the local élite. The gentriﬁcation pro c e s s intensiﬁed after 1948, especially with the intelligentsia’s colonisation of the former Palestinian, well-established neighbourhoods of Jerusalem, and the bohemian expansion into old Jaffa, Safed, En Karem, Musrara or Yemin Moshe in Jerusalem, and Wadi Saleeb in Haifa. Beyond its value as real estate, the Israeli élite’s attraction to Palestinian pro p e rties and landscapes reﬂected a romantic longing for an ‘authentic’ and reinvented genius loci, even one placed within the physical terr i t o ry of the Palestinian tragedy. Zvi Elhyani is an architect, architecture historian and lecturer at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem.
F u rther reading: Khalidi, Walid, All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948, pp. 149-151, Institute for Palestinian Studies, Washington D.C., 1992 Ofrat, Gidon, Ruins Revisited: The image of the Ruin in Israel 1803-2003, pp. 23-30, Time for Art – Israeli Art Center, Tel-Aviv, 2003 (Hebrew) Efrat, Zvi, Vernacular, in The Israeli Project: Building and Architecture 1948-1973, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, 2005 (Forthcoming, Hebrew) Slyomovics, Suan, The Object of Memory: Arab and Jew Narrate the Palestinian Village, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998 Yafe, A.B., M a rcel Janco, Massada Press, Tel Av i v, 1982 (Hebrew)
EIN HUD: THE LONG ROAD TO RECOGNITION Muhammad Abu al Hayja, the mayor of Ein Hud, recounts how three generations of his family have struggled to gain acceptance for their village
uring the war of 1948, the 900 people living in Ein Hud – all members of the Abu El-Hijah clan – were uprooted from their homes like many others, and ended up scattered all over the world. But then my grandfather, Muhammad Mahmoud Abu El-Hijah, along with 35 members of his family, settled on a piece of land he owned, a kilometre or so from the village. He’d grown olives grapes and many other crops on this plot of land, which measured about 100 dunams. Now the family hid there, thinking to return to their village once the war was over. But after the war the village stayed empty; when my grandfather tried to return, he was prevented. “So, in 1951, he realised that, like thousands of other internal refugees, he had lost his home, and all his other assets. He stayed on his land nearby, and lived off agriculture, while Jewish artists eventually settled in his old village, renaming it Ein Hod. So my grandfather called his new village by the original village’s old name of Ein Hud.”
We re c ruited the local Palestinian leadership, as well as many leftwing Jewish supporters, and in a general meeting we established an Action Committee for the Recognition of Ein Houd. We held a demonstration of 500 people on Mount Carmel. After the demonstration, seven demolition orders were issued on different houses in the village, and so began a legal struggle against the orders that cost us much time and money.” ASSOCIATION OF FORTY “In 1986, the Markovich re p o rt concluded that the village of Ein Hud would be emptied, with the state ﬁnding an alternative solution for the inhabitants. Until then, no one had known about the phenomenon of unrecognised villages; it was only when we heard about demolition orders in other places that we realised we shared the fate of several other Palestinian villages in Israel. We started touring these villages and building relationships with local community leaders, and it became clear that Ein Houd’s dilemma is just a part of a much bigger problem. “After a meeting we had with the follow-up committee of the Palestinian citizens of Israel, the committee agreed to support a body to represent all the unrecognised villages, provided it had both Jews and Palestinians as members. So, in 1988, the Association of F o rty was established. It consisted of people from the unrecognised villages and their Jewish and Palestinian supporters. Its main goal was, and still is, to win recognition for the unrecognised vil-
Rabin’s assassination. The new g o v e rnment, elected in 1996, decided to re s t a rtthe entire procedure. We began planning again, but the Ministry of Internal Affairs now limited the area of the village to 80 dunams, of which 15 dunams were to remain agricultur-
Ein Hud’s dilemma is just a part of a much bigger problem al and military land, while 40 would contain buildings. This would mean a density of six living units per dunam, and three-storey buildings – very unusual in the area. Moreover, as the village is already built, it would be impossible to implement this plan.” OUR STRUGGLE CONTINUES “The plan was actually divided into two separate parts, the village plan and the plan for the road leading to the village. The division led to a rather ridiculous situation, with the authorities refusing to authorise the road because it did not lead to an ofﬁcial village, and refusing to authorise the village plan because it had no road leading to it. Eventually, they decided to build one plan that included the two components. “The master plan was ﬁnally issued in 2004. In the same year, elections for the regional council
Since Ein Hud was technically illegal, it had no services of any kind; our children faced a 9km-walk to the nearest school
BARBED-WIRE FENCES “In the years that followed, the state tried to evict my grandfather through the courts. In 1959, his land was declared state property. In 1964, the state attempted to execute the court order: judges, police ofﬁcers and government o fﬁcials came to tell him he could live in the house he’d built, but that the rest of the land was the government’s. So they fenced the village with barbed wire, and the fence had no opening to allow people to enter or leave, so it felt like a ghetto. The villagers tore the fence down, and the authorities put it back up, and this process was repeated twice. Pine trees were planted between the olive trees, in an attempt to Judaise the mountain. “In 1965, the law decreed that our village was on agricultural land, meaning that our homes must be demolished. In 1971, the Park Hacremel law declared the land the village stood on to be a national park. Later in the 1970s, the village and surrounding area were decreed a military zone, and later it was declared an archeological area as well. In 1975, the Black Goat Law was introduced, which prohibits raising goats in national
lages. To achieve this aim, it lobbies nationally and internationally, seeks media coverage, support s the local community in various p rojects, and undertakes legal advocacy.” BACK TO THE BEGINNING
Muhammad Abu al Hayja
parks to protect the trees; of course, only Palestinians raise black goats.” FIGHTING FOR SERVICES “The Service Law of 1981 stated that any house without a license is not entitled to services such as electricity and running water. Since Ein Hud was technically illegal, it had no services of any kind – our children faced a 9 km-walk there and back to the nearest school. But the third generation of our village was by now studying in the city of Haifa, 15km away, and had begun to demand governmental services in 1978. They
established a local committee for the village, which soon understood that the lack of services was a governmental tool, the purpose of which was to drive them us out of our village. “In 1983 there was an interview on Israeli TV with the Haifa district supervisor, who described the village as “a couple of tents” not needing state recognition. Nevertheless, we decided to keep on building and planning our village, and in 1986 we reached a c rucial decision – unanimously, too - at a local meeting. We decided we would ﬁght for our right to services till the end, braving the threats of demolition and eviction.
“After tremendous lobbying e ff o rts by the Association of Fort y and others, in 1992 the government announced that it would legalise four unrecognised villages. Ein Hud was one of them. The governmental authorities began planning these villages. In 1995, it was decided to recognise another four villages, and a further one followed in 1996. As for Ein Hud, it had to face many obstacles to gain actual recognition, going through an endless number of governmental committees and producing a highly detailed master plan; we had to ﬁght to change the Park Hacremel law as well. “Finally, by the end of 1995 the master plan of Ein Hud was a couple of months away fro m approval. It totalled 170 dunams, and included public areas stores and a motel. But then came
took place, but the inhabitants of Ein Hud were not allowed to vote. We went to the High Court of Israel, which decided that we have a right to vote for the regional council. It also ruled that the Ministry of Internal Affairs should ﬁnish the recognition process, appoint a local committee to represent the village, and ensure that Ein Hud has a representative in the regional council. “This decision accelerated the recognition process, and today Ein Hud has a local committee and a re p resentative in the regional council, and we are on our way to building the village. The local community of Ein Hud does not agree with the issued master plan, in fact we were forced to accept it. We will continue to ﬁght until we win approval for the 180-dunam plan.”
Government plan for a forest ‘wall’.
ETHNOCENTRIC ECOLOGY Palestinian villages have suffered because of Israeli conceptions of nature that are not only anthropocentric, but also ethnocentric
or a scientiﬁc one (because of genetic and biological resources). But beyond this, Israeli ecology has concealed a very unscientiﬁc hostility towards Palestinians, and their practices in the environment. In other words, the basis for nature pre s e rvation in Israel is not only anthropocentric, but ethnocentric as well. GREEN PATROL
hey don’t even like n a t u re and landscape; they have no real bond with this place. They don’t feel it belongs to them,” says Muhammad Abu al Hayja, resident and chairman of the cooperative association of the village of Ein Hud. He’s talking about the planning and nature pre s e rvation authorities in Israel, and their attitude towards the natural environment. For Ein Hud, like many a rural Palestinian community, has suffered its proximity to a declared Israeli nature pre s e rvation area, experiencing a loss of civil, social and planning rights, as well as restricted development. In Ein Hud’s case, the village is hemmed in by area declared (simultaneously) a nature re s e rve, a part of the Carmel National Park, and a military ﬁre zone (a forest owned by the Israel Land Administration, under the maintenance and direction of the Jewish National Fund1).
Forest planting ceremony
UNSCIENTIFIC HOSTILITY Nature pre s e rvation in Israel is based on an anthropocentric attitude towards nature, argues Nurit Kliot (2000: 218). She points out that, until the early 1980s, nature pre s e rvation in Israel differed in character from nature preservation norms in the West. The difference was obvious, despite Israeli pretensions to an enlightened and rational approach.2 A major theme in ecology in the West is a moral commitment towards all natural species and phenomena.3 Nature pre s e rvation in Israel, however, is based upon the importance of the environment from a human point of view. Thus the central consideration for nature pre s e rvation in Israel was retaining open spaces for the sake of people, and intensifying their bond with the land. Alternatively, preserving nature was viewed as an important economic goal (because of tourism),
Until the 1990s, Israeli ecological theorists assumed that local ecological systems had suffered from centuries of human interventions4 such as ﬁres, intensive logging, and acute overgrazing by Palestinians and Bedouins. Consequently, a vast part of the country was seen as having not reached its climax – an ecological term meaning a state of equilibrium reached by a plant community, having undergone all the phases of its succession (the succession theory being a deterministic theory5 that dominated ecology discourse until the early 1950s). The so-called Nature Preservation/Goat-Induced Damages Law had been passed in this vein in 1959. This legislation severely limited the number of goats legally acceptable in a private herd, as well as the size of grazing areas. The law added more inspections by the authorities, plus harsher penalties for what was redeﬁned as ‘grazing felonies’. The law came into effect only in 1977, when the then-Minister of Agriculture, Mr Ariel Sharo n , decided to establish the Green Patrol whose role it was to implement the law and put an end to black-goat overgrazing. THE CYPRESS INVASION Until the 1970s, Ein Hud’s residents owned about 1,000 goats and cows. According to Muhammad Abu al Hayja, this was their main source of income and food. It was especially signiﬁcant in view of the village’s inaccessibility and its remoteness from sources of food and alternative employment. Abu al Hayja recalls that the terraces on the mountain slopes
were covered with olive, apple, almond, ﬁg, carob and pomegranate trees. Until 1964, the villagers tended the terraces, pruned their trees and grazed their herds among them in the winter and spring months (in order to fertilise them and prevent thorny undergrowth in the summer). In 1964, the village houses were fenced in by barbed wire and the JNF planted the orchards over with cypress trees. Over the years, the terraces that remained untended were ruined. STERILE NATURE Thus, in a gradual process of limitations, marginalisation and discipline of movement and employment, the fabric of life of a Palestinian rural community has deteriorated, and all evidence of its interventions with the environment has been erased. Hence Abu al Hayja’s claim, that, “Nature, for these authorities, is a sterile entity.” This contrasts with his own, traditional view: “Nature gives back to you what you give to it.” The end of grazing and husbandry in Palestinian lands since
PROTECT, NOT PRESERVE Tom Selwyn illuminates the cons t ruction of Jewish Israeli identity t h rough nature and landscape versus that of Palestinian identity (Selwyn, 1998: 129). He questions the common expression, the ‘protection’ or ‘defence’ of nature, citing the well-known Society for the Protection (Defence) of N a t u re in Israel (Hachevra Lehaganat Hateva - Israeli nature lovers association), whose title in H e b rew sounds like the term ‘Israel Defence Forces’ (Tzva Hagana l’Israel). Nature has to be protected, just like the state, from Palestinians. The Hebrew expression ‘protection’ (defence) of nature could also have been termed ‘preservation’ (shmira) of nature. Nature had to emerge and reproduce a pure primordial ecosystem out of the so-called destructions that Palestinians had wrought upon the environment, and out of the ruined Palestinian villages themselves. Its protection was established not only through the legislation and supervision of open spaces, but also through con-
You must not be given permits, you should be kept crawling, close to the ground 1948 has caused thousands of dunams to turn fallow. This was an end to ecological disturbance, argued ecologists like Ze’ev Naveh. “After centuries of wild grazing by goats and logging for ﬁrewood, woods have gone to waste,” he claimed. “The Palestinian shepherd let his herd grow regardless of the effect of overgrazing on the quality of future pasture” (Naveh: 1959, 3). Naveh was one of many re s e a rchers who argued that Palestinian grazing had had a6 negative effect on local climaxes. FORMING THE FATHERLAND The concept of climax is in many ways similar to the idea of ‘fatherland’ that justiﬁed Jewish settlement in Israel and the expulsion of Palestinian residents from its borders, or at least from their homes and lands. Like the fatherland, the climax had to be restored and protected from Palestinians, both in ecological theory and in practice. The ecological metaphor of the Zionist narrative is that the appearance of Zionism in the Father’s land is constitutes the climax formation of the space itself, while modern Jewish Israeli culture is at its climax phase, having overcome turmoil and crises. Zionist ideology created a new Jew, who maintains a healthy relationship with the land that is his by right of the scriptures, on the one hand, and by rational, international resolutions on the other. This entity and the space it occupies have to be continuously protected from physical and symbolic disturbances of the Palestinian entity that maintained a total different relationship with the land.
sciousness-raising programmes in the school system and youth movements. These frameworks mediated space through learning and extensive hiking. So closeness to nature was institutionalised t h rough annual school hikes.
Abu al Hayja says he was told by an inspector of the Nature Reserves Authority: “If you built in fear, you will destroy nature less. You must not be given permits, you should be kept crawling, close to the ground.” An extended version of this article, “Fragile Guardians: Nature Reserves and Forests Facing Arab Villages” was published in 2003 in Haim Yacobi, (ed.), Constructing a Sense of Place Architecture and the Zionist discourse, Aldershot, Burlington, Singapore and Sydney: Ashgate, Pp 303-325.
1, Jewish National Fund – JNF - is a non-governmental organization controlled by the World Zionist Organization. It was founded in 1901 in o rder to purchase lands in Palestine and to turn them into the pro p e rty of the Jewish people that would never be sold but will only be leased. F o restation is one of JNF’s main concerns, especially as a practice of retaining hold of untended land, by the actual planting of forests, their maintenance and inspection, and by turning them into recreation a reas. 2, Kliot cites Azaria Alon, the former chairman of The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel that holds an established authoritative position in the discourse of nature preservation: ‘Israel is an island of nature pre s e rvation compared to its neighbouring countries, who do not consider this subject important at all’ (Alon in Kliot, 2000:224). 3, Deep Ecology is the major corpus of biocentric and ecocentric ecological philosophy strands, see Deval, 1994, Murphy, 2000. I do not accept this view as a sufﬁcient theory and embrace Ramashndra Guha’s and other’s critique of deep ecology, see Guha, 1994, Coats, 1998, Callicott, 1994. Bukchin, 2000. 4, An occasion that destroys organisms in an ecological environment and opens space for renewed settlement of other organisms. 5, I.e.: Climate has dominant inﬂuence over climax. Climax is predictable, and every stage of the ﬂora is in a state of constant change of species, towards the same climax. 6, For the diff e rent researches see Perevolotsky and Pollak, 2001, 276-7.
BUILD IN FEAR Only in the 1990s did Israeli ecological theory break free from the climax theory and the national narratives that had been attached to it. All the previous arguments about the inﬂuences of grazing reached a turning point. Perevolotsky and others now pointed out that the Mediterranean forests had known thousands of years of grazing and adaptation. If grazing is removed from the system, they argued, the growth of tre e s increases considerably, and with it the dangers of destructive forest ﬁres. It has even been suggested that the whole country is actually undergrazed, and that the encouragement of grazing is an ecological necessity for preserving the s p e c t rum of species (Perevolotsky and Pollak, 2000: 651-2). P e revolotsky reviewed ecological studies to showing that areas that underwent combined grazing and logging did not fail the ‘wide species spectrum’ test of areas considered in their climax stage. In practice, in pursuit of climax, nature pre s e rvation became a means to mark the borders of Palestinian localities, to limit and supervise them. Many eyes observe Palestinian communities: the Nature Reserve Authority, the G reen Patrolmen, hikers and aerial photography. All help to limit their basic civil and planning rights through applying explicit or implicit force. As Muhammad
References Bukchin, Murray (2000) , Defending the Earth: A Dialogue Between Murray Bukchin and Dave Forman, In: Gruen L. and Jamieson D. (Ed), Reﬂections on Nature; Readings in E n v i ronmental Philosophy Oxford University Press, O x f o rd and New York. Callicott, J. Baird (1994), Erth’s Insight, University of California Press, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London. Coates, Peter (1998), Nature: Western Atitudes since ancient Times, University of C a l i f o rnia Press, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London. Devall, Bill (1994), ‘Deep Ecology and Radical Environmentalism’, In Gruen L. and Jamieson D. (Ed), Reﬂections on Nature; Readings in Environmental Philosophy Oxford University P ress, Oxford and New York. Guha, Ramachandra (1994) , ‘Radical American Environmentalism and Wi l d e rness Pre s e rvation: A Third World Critique’, In Gruen L. and Jamieson D. (Ed), Reﬂections on Nature; Readings in Environmental Philosophy Oxford University P ress, Oxford and New York. Kliot N. (2000), ‘Nature Pre s e rvation in Israel’ in G. Barkay and E. Schiller (eds), Landscape of Israel – Azaria Alon’s Jubilee Volume, Ariel Publishing House, Jerusalem and The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, 217-28. Murphy, Patrick, D. (2000), ‘Ecofeminist Dialogics’, In Coupe L. (Ed), The G reen Studies Reader; From Romanticism To Ecocriticism, Routledge, London and New York. Naveh, Zeev (1959), Natural Grazing in Israel, Sifriyat Poalim, Maanit and Hakibbutz Haartzi Publishers, Merchavia. Perevolotsky, Avi and Pollak Gad (2001), Ecology – Theory and The Israeli Experience, C a rta, Jerusalem. Selwyn, T. (1995), ‘Landscape of Liberation and Imprisonment: Towards an Anthropology of the Israeli Landscape’ in E. Hirsch and M. Ohanlon (eds), The Anthropology of Landscape: Perspectives on Place and Space, Clarendon Press, Oxford .
page 28 Challenging the Israeli Land Regime Alexandre (Sandy) Kedar page 30 What Can A Dutchman Learn From Israel Matthijs Bouw page 31 Enforced Urbanisation Rassem Khamaisi
THE ISRAELI LAND REGIME A recent decision by the Supreme Court in the landmark Qaadan case may be the beginning of the end for the hugely discriminatory land policy of Israel Reporting: Alexandre (Sandy) Kedar
n the formation of the state of Israel, the Israeli Supreme Court established an Israeli land regime, a system devoted to the Zionist aim of Judaising Israeli space and society.1 Like other settler states, Israel initiated a comprehensive land and settlement policy, resting on new, powerful legislation that transferred land use, control and ownership into Jewish-Israeli hands. There were two major aspects to this: nationalisation of public and Palestinian land; and selective allocation of land possession rights within the Jewish population. At the end of the Israeli War of Independence, land ofﬁcially owned by the state and Jewish individuals and organisations amounted to around 13.5% of the country.2 The state then fashioned a national-collectivist land regime, rapidly and systematically expanding the land in its control3. By the 1960s, approximately 93% of Israeli terr i t o ry was owned or controlled by public and Jewish institutions aggregated together into Mekarkei Israel (lands of Israel).4 Land nationalisation took place through two major channels. In the ﬁrst place, Palestinian land was seized through
Supreme Court Decision: Qaadan vs. Katzir The state of Israel allocated land to the Jewish Agency in order to establish Katzir.11 This so-called community settlement was founded in 1982, in the Wadi Ara (Nahal Eiron) region. In 1995, the Qaadans, a Palestinian-Israeli family, attempted to acquire land in Katzir, but failed to do so. In October 1995, the Association of Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), which represents the Qaadans, petitioned the Supreme Court.12 The court made many attempts to convince the parties to ﬁnd an out-of-court solution. Finally, after ﬁve years of failed attempts, a four-to-one majority ruled in favour of the Qaadans family.13 Chief Justice Barak, with Justices Zamir, Or and Cheshin ruled that the state could not “allocate State land to the Jewish Agency for the establishment of the Katzir community settlement on the basis of discrimination between Jews and non Jews”.14 AN ESSENTIAL SHIFT This was a landmark ruling. Until the Supreme Court’s decision on Qaadan v. Katzir, Palestinians could not acquire land in any of the hundreds of settlements of this kind existing in Israel. A sophisticated discriminatory procedure, involving the State, the Jewish National Fund (JNF), the Israel Land Administration (ILA), the Jewish Agency, and community cooperatives guaranteed the ethno-national purity of these settlements. The case represents an essential shift in the court’s position. It signals a transition from a collective court with a settler mentality to a more individualistic and ‘liberal’ jurisprudence. Nevertheless, it is not a categorical transformation, but a big step, f rom the Jewish/Zionist position towards the democratic position within the ‘Jewish-Democratic State’ legal tenet. Moreover, the Qaadan case is a forward-looking precedent, which endeav-
Palestinians who became Israeli citizens lost 40-60% of the land they possessed the military, administrative and legal sovereign powers of Israel. The property of Palestinian refugees was transferred to public/Jewish ownership. In addition, Palestinians who remained and became Israeli citizens lost 40 – 60% of the land they possessed.5 DEMOGRAPHIC THREAT The second aspect of nationalisation concerned the formal registration of all British Mandate land as belonging to the state of Israel. Much of the millions of dunams thus transferred to state ownership during this process had hitherto been unregistered, but indeed legally belonged to the state. However, additional land was transferred from its Palestinian and Bedouin landholders as a result of crafty changes in the land possession rules, mainly those concerning mewat (‘dead’ land) and adverse possession.6 Thus, Palestinian land served as a major source in the making of the Israeli land regime.
The gradual transformation of land ownership, from private (red areas) to state (white areas)
ours to draw a line: accepting past practices, while initiating “a ﬁrst step in a difﬁcult and sensitive road”. This road simultaneously embodies considerable promises and signiﬁcant drawbacks. LOOKING AHEAD Signiﬁcantly, the case interferes with the discriminatory land allocation component of the Israeli land regime and offers a narrow reading of the Jewish part in the Jewish-Democratic legal paradigm. It expands the ‘democratic’ side and elevates equality into a fundamental legal principle that confronts the ethnocentric dimensions of Israel’s ‘Jewishness’. It unmakes and dismantles many, though not all, of the potent legal devices used in the past to discriminate against Palestinians in land issues. I believe that the Qaadan case could lead to various situations. The Knesset could attempt to override the decision, and further discriminatory practices could be invented. Furthermore, notwithstanding its individualist outlook, and while it could lead to the establishment of shared Jewish and Palestinian settlements, it is more likely that the case would actually lead to a more equal distribution of land to Palestinian communities. To prevent Palestinians from migrating to Jewish settlements, it is likely that the State and ILA would allocate land to existing Palestinian localities, and even for the establishment of new ones.15 It could also serve as a precedent in petitions demanding the allocation of land for Palestinian settlements. Alexandre (Sandy) Kedar is Professor at the Law School, Haifa University. An extended version of this article was published as ”A first Step in a Difficult and Sensitive Road: Preliminary Observations on Qaadan* v. Katzir” Israel Studies Bulletin vol. 16 pp. 3-11 (2000)
Another factor was the allocation of possession (not ownership) of much of the land now belonging to mekarkei Israel. The possession of this public land (including Palestinian land transferred to it) was allocated to Jewish residents and settlements.7 Rural land was allocated principally to kibbutzim and moshavim, while Palestinians were excluded from the complex allocation system.8 A different classiﬁcation of possessory land rights into distinctive spatial/legal categories allowed for discriminatory rules, while simultaneously maintaining a feasible façade. On the basis of this system, during the late 1970s, Israel developed a new type of settlement, the mitzpim (lookouts). A major motivating force for the establishment of the mitzpim has been the desire to Judaise Galilee. This region was perceived as representing a ‘demographic threat’, because of the high pro p o rtion of Palestinians residing in the area, and its proximity to the northern border. COMPLEX ALLOCATION RULES The mitzpim were established in strategic locations in order to promote Jewish presence in the area and prevent Palestinian ‘encroachment’ on public land. Such settlements off e red high-quality suburban homes at subsidised prices to induce Jews to move to the Galilee.9 The mitzpim then expanded into additional Israeli regions, becoming known as ‘community settlements’. Katzir was established in this way, in an area dense-
ly populated by Palestinians and bordering the 1967 Green Line. In order to exclude Palestinians from the community settlements, a sophisticated system evolved, with Jews receiving public land in these areas through complex allocation
the Jewish Agency) has the power of selection and of veto. This delegation of state power, the major rationale of which is to deny Palestinians access to land, also serves to pre s e rve the mainly middle class character of these settlements.
In 1948, land officially owned by the state of Israel and Jewish individuals and organisations amounted to around 13.5% of the country. By the 1960s, this had increased to approximately 93% of all Israeli territory
6. See Alexandre (Sandy) Kedar, Israeli Law and the Redemption of Palestinian Land, 1948-1969, SJD, (Law school, Harvard, 1996); Kedar 1998, p.686; Alexandre (Sandy) Kedar, “The Legal Tr a n s f o rmation of Ethnic Geography: Israeli Law and the Palestinian * Landholder 1948-1967”, 33 (4) NYU J. Of I n t e rnational Law and Politics, 923-1000 (2001);Ronen Shamir, “Suspended in Space: Beduins under the Law of Israel”, Law and Society Review 30 (1996):23. 7. The ethnic logic of the system functioned mainly to remove Palestinians from the land.Yet, typical to an ethnocratic regime, it had an impact on stratiﬁcation and fragmentation within the Jewish sector as well. See Oren Yiftachel, Nation-Building and National Land: Social and Legal Dimentions’, Iyunei Mishpat, 21:637-664 (Hebrew, 1998). 8. At late as 1995, Palestinian citizens of Israel were allocated a p p roximately 0.25% of all bublic land. Yiftachel and Kedar, 2000. 9. See Oren Yiftachel, “Power Disparities in Planning of a Mixed Region: Palestinians and Jews in the Galilee, Israel “Urban Studies” vol. 30(1)157-182. (1993). 10. That is the agemt of Mekarkei Israel (the State, The development Authority or the Jewish National Fund). 11. The land is owned by the State and is allocated to the Jewish Agency, in a renewable lease. Par 1-2.
procedures. Initially, the whole settlement was assigned through a system known as the ‘three-party lease’. According to this arrangement, three parties sign the initial land allocation contract: Israel Land Administration (ILA) as the public landowners agent;10 the Jewish Agency; and the Jewish settlement as a collective (its legal entity is a cooperative). In order to lease (normally at a subsidised price and sometimes free of charge) an individual plot of land in such a settlement, a person must be accepted as a member of cooperative that incorporates all residents of the community. The cooperative (often with participation of
A section through the landscape (right) showing height positions of Palestinian and Jewish areas
The distribution of community settlements by location (above) and over time (right)
1. See Oren Yiftachel and Alexandre (Sandy) Kedar “Landed Power: The Making of the Israeli Land Regime”(in Hebrew) Theory and Criticism 16 (2000):67-100. 2. For details see Yiftachel and Kedar, 2000. R. Kark, “Planning, Housing and Land Policy 1948-1952: The Formation of Concepts and Governmental Frameworks”in Israel- The First Decade of Independence, eds. I.Troen and N. Lucas(Albany:State University of New York Press, 1995), 461 – 478. 3. Alexandre (Sandy) Kedar, “Minority Time, Majority Time: Land, Nation, and the Law of Adverse Possession in Israel” (in Hebrew), Tel Aviv University Law Review 21(3)(1998):665,681682; Yiftachel and Kedar, 2000, at 78. 4. That is the State, The development Authority and the Jewish National Fund, which form together “Israel Land” see section 1. of Basic Law: Lands of Israel (1960). 5. Hillel Cohen, Present Absentees: The Palestinian Refugees in Israel since 1948 at 100 (2000). Yiftachel and Kedar, 2000.
12. See Moshe Reinfeld “Bagaz Recommends to ﬁnd an ‘ A p p ropriate Solution’ to the Palestinian Couple desire to Acquire Land in Katzir”Haaretz 18/2/98; Michael Goldberg, “Today the window of Equality has Opened” Yediot Aharonot 9/3/00. 13. Justice Kedmy was in the minority. This article addresses only the majority opinion. 14. Justice Cheshin wrote a short separate opinion but agreed to the ruling of Barak. 15. See for example Globes, April 11, 2000 at p. 30 reporting that Israeli authorities are considering the allocation of land for Palestinian villages, and even the establishment of a new Palestinian city, as a reaction to Qaadan. See also Prof. Amieam Gonen, “From Bitter will maybe Emerge Sweet”. Globes, 30/3/00.
WHAT CAN A DUTCHMAN LEARN FROM ISRAEL?
THEME PARK FOR ETERNITY The only place where the beige is not a function of the global corporation is in J e rusalem, where the building code of using beige stone is designed as proof of the fact that the city has been there for a really long time, as has air conditioning. Jerusalem has been planned by Safdie (the architect who also helped design the Merkava tank) et al in v e ry much the same way as Albert Speer had in mind for Berlin; a theme park for eternity, part of the ‘experience economy’, like Holland Village near Nagasaki, Japan. It is easy to imagine what would have happened if the Zionists had chosen Uganda. In Israel, the debates that globalism forces on Europe, the United States and the developing countries are fought out for real, on a small territory which is densely populated. Many people say that the situation in Israel is highly politicised and unlike any other place, and that it cannot be discussed without ‘normalisation’. I beg to differ from my Dutch experience. GOING DUTCH?
War has always been i n s t rumental in shaping human landscapes, and today’s hyper-defensive Israeli planning policy is the modern equivalent of history’s walled city Matthijs Bouw
rriving at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, you encounter a ﬁrst clash of history. At arrivals, it is clear that the current airport is built on the ruins of a 2000-year-old one. This is not the only clash I encountered while travelling through the country on a recent trip. In a 30-minute drive, I experienced a clash of territory, ﬁnding myself in continental Europe, Russia, Egypt and Arizona, and all within ﬁve minutes of each other. In the public debate, rhetorical ﬁg u res and ideological positions bring me back into the Deep South of the USA, social-democratic ideals of the 1950s and ‘60s, oriental sensitivism. And then I am not even discussing
The Netherlands is a country in which politics and ideology have been maximally downplayed in, and separated from, the architecture and planning debate over the last decades, and where in spite of this ‘ s h o rtcoming’, myriad useful planning tools have been developed. Its pragmatic, or empirical, approach has found its use all over the world. When projected onto Israel, this approach will make it an ideal laboratory for architecture and planning, and can provide the much-needed new solutions, not only for the country itself; conﬂicting territorial claims can be found all over the world, such as economic development versus the environment. Not only have I encountered this potential during juries at Israel’s architecture schools, where student proposals made me think of possible applications in the Netherlands, also the most speciﬁc of situations, Israel’s military planning technology, can be usefully put to work in the Netherlands. the trips I took further into Palestine. It seems that the world is compressed here on a small piece of land, with many of the big issues facing the world today, and by extension architecture and planning, heaped together. Globalism vs. tribalism, market forces vs. public agendas, the way that security issues inﬂuence the public realm, authenticity vs. Disneyﬁcation. And all this against the backdrop of an intense competition for space, such that issues of density vs. sprawl not only play out on the level of a functional debate, but also on an ideological level. NEW TRIBALISM This competition for space, this proximity or even juxtaposition of competing, and clashing, land claims, makes Israel an interesting study object for architecture and planning. People have migrated from all over the world to Israel. It has visibly enriched the country. One can see it in the food, in culture, in business, in the public debate. Yet, at the same time, there is a substantial amount of stratiﬁcation and segregation and even agitation within Israeli society, not only based on nationality, but also religion, geographical origin, economic position, political outlook. As a reaction to our globalised world, we can ﬁnd many instances of this new ( f o rced or voluntary) tribalism everywhere, from the growth of ghettos to the development of gated communities in the USA, as for instance described by Robert D. Kaplan’s in Empire Wilderness, but also, more and more, in Europe, once an example of an integrated society.
GATED AND BEIGE WAR, THE ENGINE Newcomers from all over the world settle in distinct areas, from which the old inhabitants ﬂee. Bat Chefer is a gated community (of which there are many in Israel) that in almost no way distinguished itself from one in Arizona, including the soaring heat, rows of carefully regulated white dwellings, play-
The recent incident involving Gre t t a Duisenberg, ﬂag wielding wife of Wim, the EU central bank president, proved once again the ﬁne tread one has to walk while discussing anything relating to Israelis and Palestinians. Especially anything that
A clever system of laws, regulations, and institutions has been set in place over the past decades with the intention of territorial conquest ground elements based on Harry Potter and a nicely decorated wall. On its Eastern perimeter, the wall, however, had additional fences and a small reservists’ camp. On that side was the Palestinian city of Tulkarem. Worldwide, segregation is exacerbated by the dwindling role of the public sector in planning and building. Israel’s economy is v e ryliberal, and as a consequence, when not informed by the so-called ‘security concerns’, so is planning. This means malls at any highway exit, with their beige-ness not so much a function of the desert but a tribute to genericism, and mirrored glass windows on the accompanying ofﬁce stru ctures, housing the same companies as in Orange County.
involves territorial issues. However, as an architect and urbanist, there is much to be learned from the terr itorial tactics utilised in the Israel-Palestinian war. Not only because of the spatial techniques that are used to deal with the competing territorial claims, but also because the wide spectrum of non-spatial techniques used offers insight into the ‘deep structure’ of planning. War is often the engine for technological pro g ress, as for instance Paul Virilio and Manuel DeLanda have demonstrated. War has been instrumental in the creation of cities. The Dutch 16th-century city, for instance, was devised according to the shooting distances of artillery. Carefully devised by mathematicians-cum-urbanists
such as Simon Stevin, it was exported all over Northern Europe. MAPS CAN DECEIVE Defensive strategies inform the Israeli city as well. The distances and target lines of the one-dimensional war have been replaced by the non-dimensional suicide bomber. A result is the success of the shopping mall and the delivery service, rather than the public square safely inside the city’s walls. And with that, the city, as a place for interaction and emancipation, has become nonterritorial. This is something everybody knows already, but has a tendency to forget, staring blindly at two-dimensional maps and planning documents and drawing arrows suggesting ‘connections’. That maps can spread disinformation is shown in Khaled Khalil’s article on the ‘unrecognised villages’: to be not on the map means to have no status, no services, no right. That maps can fool people is shown in Eyal Weizman’s article ‘The Politics of Ve rticality’, in which he describes the three dimensionality of planning the t e rritorial conquest of the occupied territories and the peace proposals, whereas the spin remains two-dimensional. OTHER LESSONS The sophistication of planning the conﬂict three-dimensionally is accompanied by a clever system of laws, regulations, and institutions that have been set in place over the past decades with the intention of territorial conquest. It is also too easy for planners in general to forget how this ‘deep structure’ informs the outcome of any proposal. Only by engaging it, can planning function. This lesson, which is so evident in Israel, should be taken seriously by every member of our profession. On a more mundane level, other lessons can be learned in Israel. One Architecture, my ﬁrm, has, for instance, copied the system of bypass roads in a plan for the logistics a reas around Schiphol airport near Amsterdam, an area as dominated by the multi-dimensionality of safety zones, justin-time logistics and competing land claims. By making two road networks, one for lorries and one for normal cars, we have reorganised the area more efﬁciently, with fewer new roads, greater concentration of synergetic functions, and fewer environmental conﬂicts. UNDERSTANDING SPRAWL While maps can hide the complexity of a territory, maps are also a way of communicating its intricacies. By drawing them in the multiples, the different layers and mechanisms, the ‘deep-stru c t u re’, of planning are slowly exposed. In the late 1980s, Bruno F o rtier attempted to re s e a rch the development of Paris during the 18th and 19th centuries. At that time, there were no such things as ofﬁcial urban plans and written documents. He painstakingly drew maps of the city, a new map every ten years, in order to discover the mechanisms of urbanisation. Armed with this research, he put his ‘Atlas de Paris’ to use to understand the sprawl of the periphery in the late 20th century, paving the way for the likes of Rem Koolhaas to operate in France. In this sense, this project might not only be an important contribution to ‘Israel’s obsession with maps’, it might also offer the tools to understand and deal with its current challenges in planning. This article, written in 2002, first appeared in Territoria Magazine. Matthijs Bouw is the director of One Architecture, an Amsterdam based and internationally operating architecture and urbanism firm.
ENFORCED URBANISATION Decades of planning policy have given Palestinian rural communities the density of cities – without the benefits Rassem Khamaisi
his story begins at the start of the 20th century, with the Zionist idea to create a ‘national home’ for Jewish people in Palestine. The Zionist movement began to buy land and promote Jewish immigration to Palestine, with the goal of achieving a Jewish majority there. The geographic and demographic dimensions of the landscape were to be transformed by small Jewish colonies and agricultural settlements, populated by urban Zionists, attracting waves of ideological immigrants. The goals of Jewish domination and a Jewish majority were unofﬁcial policy b e f o re 1948; after this, they became formal and ofﬁcial. Needless to say, while Israeli spatial planning policies aimed at increasing the Jewish presence, they also aimed at decreasing that of the Palestinians. So Israeli governments conﬁscated land from the Palestinians who remained after the war, changing the landscape and Judaising the space. Between 1948 and 1966, the Israeli government prohibited the return of Palestinians to their homes, limited their movements, concentrated them in small areas, and encouraged their economic dependence. The Bedouins in the Negev, for example, were concentrated in an area known as the Syage Region in 1948. Later, in 1964, it was decided to put
shapen urbanisation.’ However, while large villages such as Um-Elfahem, Skhnen, and Tamra have grown in size (like the small town Nazareth, absorbing people from demolished villages nearby), and have changed their municipal status to municipality, their social and physical structure, cultural behaviour and infrastru c t u reremain similar to that of a village. In addition, most residents present themselves as villagers, and want to continue to live in a village stru cture, with its sense of community belonging. PROMOTING MIGRATION Israeli land policies have involved a refusal to recognise Palestinian settlements, and so today over 80,000 people live in unrecognised villages, most of them in the Negeve. The housing in these villages is labelled ‘illegal’, and so has no basic amenities. Government policy encourages workers to abandon agricultural work, yet it is hard for Palestinians to move to towns where there is a Jewish majority. Effectively, growing numbers of Palestinians are concentrated in a
Palestinian villages have doubled their population more than 5 times in the last 50 years, while residential areas have doubled theirs more than 12 times Um el Fahem
them in seven new urban localities such as Tel-Shava, Rahat. Meanwhile, the Jewish population was dispersed to the peripheral regions of Negev, Galilee and Jerusalem, where most Palestians live, a policy of ‘ethnic occupation’. COMMUNITY BELONGING In 1957, the government started the p rocess of preparing outline plans for Palestinian villages to limit their expansion, e ffectively introducing a policy of urbanising the rural communities. In Palestine, the Palestinians had formerly lived in a diversity of about 963 towns and villages. Palestinians had the freedom to choose where to live. The urbanisation process there, prior to the creation of the state of Israel, was in line with that seen in other Middle Eastern countries. Cities such as Haifa, Jaffa and Jerusalem absorbed large numbers of immigrants from the country, while the tendency of villages was to increase naturally with their populations. Israeli researchers have tended to describe this process as a kind of ‘detained urbanisation,’ ‘latent urbanisation,’ or ‘mis-
small number of villages, a policy of e n f o rced urbanisation. The Sharon plan, 1951, states that population growth among the Palestinians is expected to decrease, while economically they will no longer rely on agriculture. The other national plan for the geographic distribution of the population in Israel expected large emigration from Palestinian villages, and from the periphery to the urban centre of the country. The implicit policy was actually to reduce the numbers of Palestinians living on the periphery, and thus to weaken their relation to their land by promoting migration to towns. RESTRICTIVE PLANNING This national policy is reﬂected in restrictive local planning. The outline plans for every recognised village were largely conceived as a means of accelerating the urbanisation process. The explicit goal of local plans was to improve the standard of living for Palestinians by imposing modern urban planning on the traditional communities.
The implicit aim is to reduce Palestinian terr i t o ry. In urban localities, the government can concentrate people, reduce the cost of developing and maintaining infrastructure, and provide a housing solution for more people. A quick analysis of a number of such plans shows a reliance on ‘ﬁll-in’ building, an overwhelming preponderance of housing development, limited ﬂoor-plan size and a rise to four ﬂoors. Public spaces are rare, and most planned areas are private. The different village plans are strikingly uniform. Actually, it seems as if an original plan was made, then copied from village to village with little adaptation. In actuality, the gap between the ofﬁcial plans and reality is large. Migration from the villages to central cities has not happened. The government has not allocated resources to implement its plans for a modern urban infrastru c t u re. Many Palestinians have housed themselves, as is infact traditional, but often building illegally because planning permits are hard to get. In many cases, therefore, housing is primitive.
communities, by planning for highrise buildings on small plots - a style which does not ﬁt the social and cultural habits of the Palestinians, nor their tradition of building their own houses. This urbanisation process was also applied to the villages recognised in the mid-90s: Kamane, Hosines and Ein Hud. Meanwhile, the state of Israel justiﬁes its policy by arguing that it suffers from a land s h o rtage, and must therefore be careful in land use allocation. By concentrating people, the government says it can save land. The unreality of this claim is highlighted by the fact that most Jewish settlements are villages (see lexicon). The number of Jewish centres increased from 771 in 1961 to 1078 in 2000, while Palestinian ones increased from 109 to 124 in the same period. The process of adding a Jewish settlement is to build a new one, while adding a Palestinian one involves recognising an existing one. In addition, 45 Palestinian villages are still not recognised.
DUAL POLICY Today, looking at most Palestinian communities, we ﬁnd similarities in physical and manpower stru c t u re, the economic base and social and community behaviour. They share the same structure because they passed through the same process. Most have doubled their population more than ﬁve times in the last 50 years, while residential areas have doubled theirs more than 12 times. This population growth came not from immigration, but from local growth, and has led to expanding housing areas, including ﬁll-in development, so creating a greater housing density coupled with a marked lack of public areas – including, even, roads. In Israel, the national, regional and local spatial planning policy has a dual nature, related to ethnic belonging. For Palestinians, the policy means a reduction in territory, an increase in density and population concentration, and the loss of villages – urbanisation, in other words, but without an increase
in urban possibilities. And although planning policy changed somewhat in the ‘90s, there is still a long way to go before it can genuinely meet the needs of Israel’s Palestinians. Rassem Khamaisi is an urban planner in the Department of Geography, University of Haifa
Bibliography Abo Sitts, S. (2000), Conﬁscation of Palestinian Refugees P ropriety and the Denial of Access to Private Propriety, submitted to the social, Economic and Cultural Rights Committee, UN October 2000 Alexander, E. R, Alterman, R. & Law Yone, H. (1993)” Evaluating Plan Implementation: the National Statutory Planning System in Israel”, Pro g ress in Planning, 20, 97-192. Central B u reau of Statistics, 2001, Statistical Abstract of Israel, no 52. Table 2.9 2-26. ‘Ethnocracy’ and its Territorial Contradictions, “Middle East J o u rnal, 51(4):505-519. Falah, G. (1989), Israeli Judaization Policy in Galilee and its impact on Local Arab Urbanization, Political Geography Quarterly, 8, 229-253. Falah, G. (1992), Land Fragmentation and Spatial Control in N a z a reth Metropolitan Area, Professional Geographer, vol. 44. Falah, G. (1996), The 1948 Israeli: - Palestinian War and Its A f t e rmath: The Tr a n s f o rmation and De-Signiﬁcation of Palestine’s Cultural Landscape, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 86 (2), 256 – 285.
THE ENVIRONMENTAL FALLACY Over the last decade, the government has allocated money to help alleviate the housing problems of Palestinians. Again, this policy had an underlying commitment to increasing the urbanisation of Palestinian
G e rtel, S. and Law Yone, H. (1991), Participation Ideologies in Israeli planning, Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 9, 173-188. Golan, A. (1995), “The Transfer to Jewish Control of Abandoned Arab Lands during the War of Independence, “Israel – The First Decade of Independence”, ed. S.I. Troen, and N. Lucas. Albany : State University Of New York Press,. 403-440.
The unreality of the state of Israel’s claim that urbanisation is necessary for environmental reasons is underlined by the fact that most Jewish settlements are villages. What’s more, their number increased from 771 in 1961 to 1078 in 2000, while Palestinian ones increased from 109 to 124 in the same period
J e ruis, S. (1966), The Arabs In Israel, Haifa, El Etehad Khamaisi, R., (1990), Planning and Housing among the Arabs in Israel, Internatonal Center for Peace in the Middle East, Tel-Aviv. Khamaisi, R., (2000), Where the Town Hidden, Pnem, vol, 13, pp.53-62 ,(Hebrew). Kimmerling, B. (1982), Zionism and Te rr i t o ry, Berkeley, University of California. Kipnis, B. (1987), Geopolitical Ideologies and Regional Strategies in Israel, Tijdchrift Voor Economishe en Social Geography, 78, 125-138. Kipnis, B. (1976), Trends among the minorities population in the Galilee and their planning implication, City and Region, vol. 3, no. 3, 54 – 68. Hill, M. (1980), Urban and Regional Planing in Israel”, in: Bilski, R. (ed) Can Planning Replace Politics? The Israeli Experience, Martinus Highoff, The Hague, 259-282. Lustick, I. (1980), Arabs in the Jewish State, University of Texas press, Austin. Masalha, N., 1997, Maximum Land and Minimum Arabs: Israel Transfer and Palestinians. 1949-1996, IPS, Beirut. Mear-Brodnes, M., (1968), Social Aspect in planning in the Arabs sector, the regulative planning and the process of self-housing, Center for City and Region resersh, Technion, Haifa. S h a ron, A. (1951), Physical Planning in Israel, Internal Minister, Jerusalem. Yiftachel, O. (1992), Planning a Mixed Region in Israel: The Political Geography of Arab-Jewish Relations in the Galilee, Av e r b u ry, Aldershot. Yiftachel, O. (1997), “Israeli Society and Jewish-Palestinian Reconciliation” Nazareth
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page 34 Segregated Spaces page 34 A Home For Adelâ€™s Family page 38 The Wall Of Led page 39 The Road To Nowhere page 43 Bitter Wine in the Dessert By Suhad Bishara, Sharif Hamadeh and Hana Hamdan
SEGREGATED SPACES Israel’s Policy of Discriminatory Land Allocations Suhad Bishara, Sharif Hamadeh and Hana Hamdan
ince the state of Israel was established in 1948, its successive governments have enacted laws and pursued policies that have displaced Palestinians from their homes. Today, 93% of all land in Israel is directly controlled by the state.1 Some areas have been transferred to Zionist organisations such as the Jewish Agency and the Jewish National Fund, which by deﬁnition serve only the Jewish community. Land policy in Israel is characterised by the discriminatory and selective allocation of land, minimising use by Palestinians and maximising use by the Jewish population. Land is allocated on the basis of nationality, and different forms of exclusion operate to bar Palestinians from geographical space. The statistics tell the story: Palestinian citizens of Israel form almost 20% of the total population, yet Palestinian towns and villages account for only 11.6% of the total in Israel.2 Palestinian local councils have jurisdiction over only 2.5% of the total land area of the state3. In about 78.4% of towns and villages identiﬁed by the Central Bureau of Statistics as Jewish, Palestinian citizens of Israel are blocked f rom purchasing or leasing land by admissions committees.4
Palestinian citizens of Israel are prevented from purchasing or leasing land in about 80% of Israel.5 In Galilee, in the nort h of Israel, Palestinian councils have jurisdiction over 16.1% of the land, although Palestinians make up 72% of the local population. In the nort h e rn Naqab (Negev) region in the south of Israel, where Palestinians comprise 25.2% of the population, Palestinian councils have jurisdiction over just1.9% of the land.6
The four short articles that follow this introduction, accompanied by maps, aerial images and photographs, outline four examples of segregationist policies in Israel, their effects on Palestinian citizens of the state, and the legal action currently being taken against them. In Kamoun, a Palestinian family is being denied permission to build on its own land because the local planning and building committee wants an exclusively Jewish neighbourhood there. In the ‘mixed city’ of Led (or Lod), construction has begun on a tall concrete separating wall to divide the Jewish inhabitants of a moshav (agricultural settlement) from their Palestinian neighbours on the other side. In the ‘unrecognized villages’ of Atir and Um al-Hiran in Israel’s Naqab, Palestinian Bedouin are issued with demolition orders and eviction lawsuits ahead of the establishment of a new Jewish town in the area. Meanwhile, the “Wine Path Plan”, drawn up for the Naqab, proposes state recognition for several illegal Jewish “individual settlements” on “Israel’s lands”. This effort will concentrate and restrict the Bedouin population of the region even further. As the examples presented here indicate, the land laws which Israel has enacted and the policies it has pursued have had a profoundly negative impact on Palestinians, leading to a situation of gross inequality between Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel, and the creation of segregated spaces. 1, The Israel Lands Administration (ILA), a governmental body established by law, administers all “Israel’s lands.” These lands belong to (i) the State of Israel - 74% (14.4 million dunams); (ii) the Development Authority - 13% (2.5 million dunams); and (iii) the Jewish National Fund (JNF) - 13% (2.6 million dunams). See ILA’s Annual Report 2003, p.127 (Hebrew); available online at: www.mmi.gov.il/Envelope/index.asp 2, See Central Bureau of Statistics, Statistical Abstract of Israel, No. 55, 2004. See Oren Yiftachel, “Land Planning and Inequality: Space Division Between Jews and Arabs in Israel,” ADVA Center, November 2000 (Hebrew) and Oren Yiftachel, “NationBuilding and the Division of Space in the Israeli ‘Ethnocracy’: Settlement, Land and Ethnic Disparities,” 21 (3) Tel Aviv University Law Review pp 637-663 (June 1998) (Hebrew). 3,
See Central Bureau of Statistics, 2004. op. cit.
See Oren Yiftachel, 2000. op. cit.
See Oren Yiftachel, 2000. op. cit.
Aerial photo showing Adel’s house surrounded by new Jewish settlements
A HOME FOR ADEL’S FAMILY Adel Sawaed has tackled obstacle after obstacle in his quest to fullfil the simple dream of building a (legal) house on his father’s land in Kamoun
Boundary stone of the state-owned forest nearby
Suhad Bishara, Sharif Hamadeh and Hana Hamdan
rom his home in Kamoun, northern Israel, Adel Sawaed and his family have a hilltop view that most real-estate developers can only dream of. On a clear day, the valley before him exposes not only the Sea of Galilee, but also stretches to reveal the Golan Heights. It is an aweinspiring sight, and not one he will give up without a struggle. Since 2000, Adel, a Palestinian Bedouin citizen of Israel, has been ﬁghting a court order to demolish his home, obtained by the Misgav Local Planning and Building Committee. According to the committee, Adel built his house illegally because he failed to gain its permission to build on his family’s land. Adel had applied for a building permit following his marriage to Itaaf in 1997, but after failing to receive a response from the committee, he decided to go through with the construction of a temporary home in 1998. In 1999, Adel was criminally indicted for building this home without a permit. He had to wait until August 2004 for the committee to decide whether or not it would grant him permission to build a permanent home. The committee ﬁnally decided to reject his application. Adel believes that the challenge of achieving a building permit on this particular hilltop is the direct result of his home’s apparently awkward location. Although Adel’s family bought the land on which his home now sits in 1919, the c o n s t ruction of the Jewish settlement of Kamoun during the 1980s and 1990s has created difﬁculties for the family’s attempts to build on its own land.
Another forest marker. These stones underline Jewish ownership
G o v e rnment masterplan for the community settlement of Kamoun(see lexicon)
Adel outside the house the government wants to demolish
FAMILY ROOTS The gated community of Kamoun (population 500), now surrounds the Sawaeds’ land, effectively encircling it with family residences developed in the style of American suburbia. In the midst of this Jewish neighbourhood, the Sawaed family presents an Arab anomaly – a Palestinian Bedouin oasis in the heart of a Zionist community. Adel believes that the committee refused to issue him a building permit because it wants to drive him and his family away in order to create an exclusively Jewish neighborhood. He says that the Ministry of Construction and Housing has actively encouraged him to move to Kamaneh, a Palestinian village located further down the hill, by offering ﬁnancial incentives. But Adel feels a strong connection to his family’s land, and is determined not to be moved. He says his father, now 80 years old, was born on this land, and that his grandfather also lived in the area. Since the end of the Ottoman era and the beginning of the British mandate period, his family has maintained a presence here, he says. GOOD NEIGHBOURS Despite the difﬁculties, Adel says the family maintains very good relations with some of their Jewish neighbours. His wife is very active in the local women’s groups, he tells us, and points to the framed samples of her craftwork hanging on the wall in their living room. Neighbours have visited to share in the Eid celebrations, and one neighbour even offered to connect Adel’s home to his own electricity network after the committee refused to allow Adel to hook up
The Sawaed family land
“The committee cannot ignore the social problems that arise by different communities living together in the same small community town, such as Kamoun. For this reason also, the option of (the Sawaeds) living in Kamaneh is preferable” Misgav Local Planning and Building Committee, 2004
his home to the local electricity grid that serves the Jewish community. Then, when Adel bought a generator to provide his home with electricity, some neighbours began to complain that the generator made too much noise. The Misgav Regional Council eventually became involved and suggested that he build a room to house the generator and reduce the noise. Adel replied that if he were to build a room, he ought to be allowed to live in it. He was eventually allowed to connect his home to the grid.
STAYING OPTIMISTIC Following Adalah’s legal intervention on his behalf in July 2003, Adel secured an agreement that his temporary home would not be demolished, pending the committee’s decision on his application for a building permit. The agreement also contained provisions to ensure that if the committee decided to reject Adel’s request for a building permit and ordered the demolition of his home, it had to provide 30 days advance notice to enable him to ﬁle an appeal. In August 2004, the committee rejected Adel’s application, recommending that he either apply to lease a plot of land from the nearby Arab village of Kamaneh, or exchange his plot of land for land in Kamaneh through the Israel Lands Administration. Announcing its decision to reject Adel’s application for a building permit, the committee reasoned that it could not “ignore the social problems that arise by different communities living together in the same small community town, such as Kamoun. For this reason also, the option of (the Sawaeds) living in Kamaneh is preferable.” Perhaps surprisingly in the light of such decisions, Adel has always remained optimistic about his ability to stay on his family’s land. “My existence here proves that I am optimistic about the case,” he says. “Even if I only manage to retain this temporary home and live in it, that would be an achievement.” In September 2004, Adalah ﬁled an appeal against the committee’s decision to the Nort h e rn District Planning and Building Committee. A hearing on the appeal will be held this year.
THE WALL OF LED
But for Arif this argument is disingenuous. “They say they have the right to build a wall around the moshav, but it surrounds us, not them,” he explains. “They claim that thieves come from this side. This is a great lie. If you go to the moshav, there are no fences around the houses there. They could have built fences around their own houses if they were concerned about thieves.” INEVITABLE ILLEGALITY
A so-called security measure, the separation wall in Led echoes the infamous wall of the Occupied Palestinian Territories and highlights the problem of institutionalised racism Suhad Bishara, Sharif Hamadeh and Hana Hamdan
The 3,000-strong Palestinian community of Shanir is accustomed to its collective characterisation as criminals. Since the neighbourhood lacks a ﬁnalised master plan, all of the houses built there were constructed without a building permit, and are therefore deemed illegal by the state. The moshav, established by Jews from Argentina in the 1950s, is keen to have the 1.6km wall incorporated into the master plan currently being drawn up for the area. The residents of Shanir, however, reject this idea and have sought the help of Tel Aviv University’s Law Clinic to take legal action against the wall’s construction. With the clinic’s guidance, Arif and other residents have ﬁled petitions to the c o u rts and submitted objections to the relevant planning committees. As a result of their eff o rts, in January 2004 the Supreme Court issued a temporary injunction halting the building of the wall pending a ﬁnal decision on its legality.
Now considered a ‘mixed city,’ up until the war of 1948 and the creation of Israel, the city of Led was Palestinian. After 1948, the city experienced the twin processes of rapid Judaisation through the settling of Jewish immigrants on the one hand, and de-Palestinianisation through the expulsion of most Palestinians on the other. However, the neighbourhood of Shanir, named after the family who owned the land prior to Israel’s establishment, began to grow, following the arrival of Palestinians from elsewhere in the new state, including many internal refugees and Bedouin in search of employment. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, today the city is home to about 14,000 Palestinians, representing roughly 21% of the total population. INSTITUTIONAL DISTINCTIONS For Palestinian citizens of Israel such as Arif, the wall’s construction is both symbolic and symptomatic of Israel’s approach to Jewish-Palestinian relations among its own citizenry. Successive Israeli governments in the self-deﬁned ‘Jewish state’ have not only privileged the state’s Jewish citizens to the detriment of its non-Jewish Palestinian indigenous population, but have taken care to maintain an institutional distinction between Jews and Palestinians in Israel. In e ffect, this leads to policies of segregation. As Arif says, “The problem is not with the residents of the
View of the wall from the Palestinian neighbourhood Shamir (right)
e are in the middle of a struggle,” says Arif Muharib, a Palestinian town councillor from Led (known also by its Hebrew name, Lod), in central Israel. Heavy-set, with broad shoulders and a thick neck, Arif could certainly pass for a warrior (as his surname suggests in Arabic), but his battle is of a legal, not a physical nature. Since July 2003, Arif has been challenging the legality of erecting a tall concrete wall between the Jewish moshav (agricultural settlement) of Nir Zvi, and the Palestinian residential neighbourhood of Shanir in Led (pop: 51,314), where he lives. Like the internationally condemned wall currently undergoing construction in the 1967 Occupied Palestinian Territories, Led’s own separation barrier is ostensibly being built for security purposes. Jewish Israelis living in the moshav complain that Palestinian drug addicts from Led enter the moshav and burgle their homes to fund their habit. View towards themoshaw
“The problem is not with the residents of the moshav, but with the government. Instead of encouraging cooperation, they separate us. The taxes we pay should not go to such projects.” Arif Muharib
Section of the wall
moshav, but with the government. Instead of encouraging cooperation, they separate us. The taxes we pay should not go to such projects.” Ordinarily, the funds for a project such as this would be provided from the budget of the relevant local authority, but in the case of Led, the government is prepared to foot the bill. In July 2002, the Sharon-led government decided to ask the Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Construction and Housing to jointly fund the construction of what they described as ‘an acoustic wall’ between Shanir and Nir Zvi. The government asked the ministries to jointly allocate NIS 3 million (almost US$700,000) for the project. Arif, however, believes the reasoning behind the wall’s construction has nothing to do with aural aesthetics. “The reason is racism,” he says simply. “Racism is very common in this state. The residents of the moshav don’t want to see Arabs.” Shanir
THE ROAD TO NOWHERE As if living beside desert highways in makeshift homes with no facilities was not enough, the Palestinian Bedouin villagers in Um al-Hiran and Atir now face their second, forced, exodus in 50 years Suhad Bishara, Sharif Hamadeh and Hana Hamdan
rive along the desert highways around Beer elSabe (Beer Sheva) in the south of Israel, and it does not take long to notice clusters of makeshift houses set in from the side of the road. These Bedouin villages are ‘unrecognised’ by the state of Israel, and consequently have no ofﬁcial status. They are absent from state planning and government maps, and receive little or no basic public services such as electricity, water, telephone lines, educational or health facilities. In total, about 40 unrecognised villages exist in the Naqab (Negev) desert . The twin unrecognised villages of Um al-Hiran and Atir, situated about 30km from the city of Beer el-Sabe, are prime examples. Surrounded by an expanse of the Naqab desert, and constructed largely out of corrugated iron and breezeblocks, these Bedouin villages seem a world away from the nearby Jewish towns of Omer and Nevatim. There, the res-
idents enjoy ﬁrst-class suburban living conditions, in homes boasting generous, well-watered gardens. The living conditions in unrecognised villages like Um al-Hiran and Atir resemble those of Third-World shanty towns. FIRST DISPLACEMENT The residents of Atir and Um al-Hiran, all of them Palestinian Bedouin citizens of Israel, have lived on these lands since 1956, after the Israeli army uprooted them from their homes in Wadi Zubaleh. Now, nearly half a century after their original transfer, the Sharon government is attempting to expel the community once again, and has ﬁled lawsuits to evict the villagers from their homes. The older members of the community vividly recall their original transfer. According to 85-year-old Sheikh Haj Abu el-Qian, the community was ordered to evacuate their homes in Wadi Zubaleh over 48 years ago by a written order delivered by the Military Governor. When the community
raised objections to this order, the Israeli military began forcibly removing the elders of the tribe who were then either imprisoned or scattered among different Bedouin communities. Haj Abu el-Qian remembers very clearly that his own father, Issa, was imprisoned on 20 October 1956. He remembers that the army completely demolished his family’s home, along with all other Arab Bedouin homes in Wadi Zubaleh. They were then brought to Um al-Hiran with other families of newly-created refugees from the region. He says they were provided with 3,000 dunams of land to live on and cultivate. When they ﬁrst settled there, the populations of Um alHiran and Atir numbered under 100 people in total. The combined population of the two villages is now between 1,000 and 1,500 people, living in over 200 homes.
WARNING NOTICES Two years ago, warning notices for the demolition of these homes began to arrive, informing residents that the Ministry of the Interior was aware of building taking place without permits. Then, in April 2004, the state of Israel ﬁled a lawsuit to evacuate the villagers from their homes, claiming that the families living in Um al-Hiran and Atir are trespassing on ‘Israel’s Lands.’ Some houses now have demolition orders hanging over them. Residents say that homes are threatened with destruction every week. They argue that they have been living on this land for over 48 years, on the instructions given by the military in 1956. Their land in Wadi Zubaleh is now being cultivated by Jewish Israelis living in Kibbutz Shuval, with the government’s assent. The euphemistically termed ‘Sharon Plan’ for the Naqab, launched in April 2003, may indicate the location to which
In 2003, the authorities demolished 120 buildings in unrecognised villages throughout Israel
the government expects to transfer these Palestinian citizens of the state. A prime ministerial initiative, the plan aims to concentrate the Bedouin in the Naqab in seven new development towns to complement the seven towns established for Bedouin between the 1970s and 1990s. To that end, 38% of the plan’s NIS 1.175 billion (US $265 million) budget is allocated for home demolitions, land dispossession and community transfer. NEW JEWISH TOWN According to Adalah’s correspondence with Ehud Olmert, Minister for Industry, Trade and Employment, who is charged with ministerial responsibility for the Israel Lands Administration, in 2003 alone, the authorities demolished 120 buildings in unrecognised villages throughout Israel. Most of these buildings were homes. The lawsuits for the evacuation of were ﬁled by the gove rnment to make way for a new Jewish town. In July 2002, the government announced that a Jewish town named Hiran would be established in the area currently inhabited by these Palestinian Bedouin citizens of Israel. The government’s decision on this issue draws heavily on an Israel Lands Administration re p o rt from 2001 which recorded plans for the construction of 2,000 housing units for Jewish families in the prospective town of Hiran, and explicitly identiﬁes the Bedouin presence there as ‘a special problem’. Yet, faced with the prospect of their further evacuation, the villages’ residents appear deﬁant. Having experienced the ordeal of transfer 48 years ago, they are not willing to be moved again. “Atir is in our blood,” says Sheikh Khalil Abu el-Qian. “We have been building this village since 1956 and we don’t know anywhere else. We want our rights to be recognised here. We will not leave.”
Adalah is currently preparing to launch a legal defence for the residents of Um al-Hiran and Atir against the evacuation lawsuits.
Regional masterplan for the Northern Negev (Naqab)
G o v e rnment masterplan for Hiran: the big picture
– Employment Center
– National Road
– Scenic Viewpoint
– Firing Zone
– Regional Road
– Existing Forest
– Archeological Site
– Trans Israel Road
– Planned Forest
– Nature Conservation
(above) Government masterplan for Hiran; zooming in Detailed plans for the zoning of the Hiran region: there are over 14 different categories of use
The municipal line of Hiran (in blue above); planned land use within the line (below)
BITTER WINE IN THE DESERT
With their ancestral homes already under pressure, the Bedouin of the Naqab desert now face a new invasion of vast, ranch-like ‘individual settlements’ under the dubious ‘Wine Path Plan’
A tourist farm on the ‘Wine Path.’ Others are pictured below and overleaf
ifty-six years after the establishment of the state of Israel, Zionist settlement of the land continues apace. In addition to the traditional settlement methods, whereby entire Jewish towns are established at once, another strategy has been gaining governmental popularity in recent years. Individual Jewish homes, surrounded by hundreds or even thousands of dunams of land, and fenced off from the general public, are being established at an accelerated rate. Known as ‘individual settlements,’ these residential-territorial projects are being set up to Judaise otherwise unsettled spaces, particularly in the Naqab (Negev) desert in the south of Israel. This strategy aims to prevent Palestinian Arab Bedouin citizens of Israel, indigenous to these areas, from expanding beyond the limited territory on which they are currently located. ‘ROBBING THE LAND’ Although established illegally on non-residential lands, the individual settlements are founded with the complicity and cooperation of state institutions. The thinking and impetus behind their establishment was well illustrated by the comments made during a meeting in December 1999 of the National Council for Planning and Building (NCPB). The
Firing zone sign
‘The Desert Olive’ farm
NCPB, a statutory body established under the Planning and Building Law (1965), currently sits within the Ministry of Interior. It is the highest planning authority in the state, mandated to review and decide upon plans at both the district and national level. According to the protocols of the meeting, Shmuel Rifman, the Head of Ramat Ha’Negev Regional Council, e x p ressed the need for individual settlements in the following terms: “I’m telling you again, they are robbing the land. About one million dunams are being robbed by the Bedouin.”At the same meeting, Dr Hanna Swaid, who was then a Palestinian member of the NCPB, re p o rtedly told his colleagues: “The intent here is that you want to protect the state’s land from Arab intrusion. This is how I understand things and we shouldn’t cover them up in any other way.” UNJUST DESERT The phenomenon of individual settlements is particularly acute in the Naqab (Negev) desert, where approximately 140,000 Palestinian Bedouin citizens of Israel live. The Bedouin have been viewed by successive Israeli governments as, at best, a backward community of non-nationals, and at worst, a potential ﬁfth column endangering the ‘Jewish’ state. A State Comptroller’s Report from 2000 quotes the
then-Minister of Infrastructure, Eli Suissa, as stating in 1999, “Within my diff e rent duties, I have always worked to protect the lands of the nation, [including] actually seizing it in order to prevent its control by foreign elements.” As part of this effort to ‘protect the lands of the nation’ from ‘foreign elements’, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon initiated the individual settlements policy in 2002. A governmental decision taken in November 2002 in approval of the policy states that: “It is a tool to fulﬁll the government’s policy for developing the Negev and Galilee, and for safeguarding state land in the Negev and Galilee.” ARIEL SHARON’S RANCH In parts of the Naqab, the Bedouin are already feeling the pressure that individual settlements impose upon their towns and villages. Salem Abu el-Qi’an, a resident of the unrecognized Bedouin village of Um al-Hiran, says that the three individual settlements established near his village in the 1980s, were founded speciﬁcally “in order to evict Um alHiran and Atir residents from their homes.” According to a governmental draft re p o rt obtained by Adalah, these three individual settlements hold a total of 7,758 dunams between them. The same re p o rt states that, as of Febru a ry 2003, there
were a total of 59 individual settlements in the Naqab, covering over 81,000 dunams of land. Individual settlements range in size from tens to thousands of dunams of land. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s own individual settlement, often referred to as his ‘ranch,’ holds 1,261 dunams. AGRI-TOURISM AS AGGRESSION In March 2004, 18 months after Prime Minister Sharon’s launch of the individual settlements policy, Adalah appeared before the NCPB to raise objections against a new individual settlements initiative proposed for the Naqab, named ‘The Wine Path Plan.’ The plan, initiated by the Israel Lands Administration and the Ramat Ha’Negev Regional Council, would affect tens of thousands of dunams of land. The stated goals of the plan are: “designating spaces for the development of the Wine Path area in Ramat Ha’Negev, combining tourist, agricultural and scenic uses, and setting instructions for pre s e rving and developing them”; and “setting purposes and permitted uses in the Wine Path area in Ramat
“Within my different duties, I have always worked to protect the land of the nation, (including) actually seizing it in order to prevent its control by foreign elements.” Eli Suissa (former Israeli Minister of Infrastructure)
Ha’Negev for the establishment of up to 30 agricultural tourist farms.” To meet these goals, the plan seeks to retroactively legalise and re-designate established individual settlements for residential and other purposes, such as restaurants, shops, and motels. New individual settlements will also be estab-
lished, thereby creating a total of 30 such settlements in the Naqab, including one token tourist settlement run by a Bedouin. At the hearing, Adalah argued that by ensuring that ‘Israel’s Lands’ are used exclusively for the beneﬁt of Israel’s Jewish citizens, the policy of establishing and supporting individual settlements is discriminatory; that it fails to address the current needs of the local Palestinian Bedouin population; and that the retroactive legalisation of the seizure of ‘Israel’s Lands’violates the Planning and Building Law (1965). Adalah urged the NCPB to propose an alternative plan based on an equal and just distribution of land, which takes into consideration the future needs of the Bedouin in the Naqab and aims to eliminate the socio-economic gaps between Jewish Israelis and the Palestinian minority in the region. On 30 March 2004, the NCPB decided to approve the Wine Path Plan, with certain conditions, for submission. Adalah plans to ﬁle an objection to the NCPB’s submission of the plan early in 2005.
45, Stateless Nation
A project by Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti Stateless Nation is a long term research project and an exhibition on the frontiers of citizenship. The Occupied Palestinian Te rritories are the place where to investigate and observe the new relations between Te rr i t o ry, State and Populations, and to reﬂect the new meanings and implications on the physical and social space.
STATELESS NATION page 46 The Geography of Fear page 48 Beyond the Matrix of Control
Stateless Nations was ﬁrst presented in June 2003 at the Venice Biennale in the occasion of the 50th International Art Exhibition “D reams and Confli c t s”, November 2003 at Ofﬁcina Giovani Prato – Italy, June 2004 at Umm El Fahem Gallery – Israel, August 2004 at Bethlehem Peace Center – West Bank, October 2004 at Birzeit University – West Bank. Sandi Hilal, Bethlehem 1973, Architect, researcher in “transborder policies for daily life” in the University of Trieste. Alessandro Petti, Pescara 1973, Architect, researcher in urbanism in the University of Architecture IUAV Venice. i n f o rmation: www.statelessnation.org; email@example.com
page 50 C o n s t ructing Chaos page 53 The Builder of Anata’s Tale A project by Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti
THE GEOGRAPHY OF FEAR Gershon Baskin, who is a co-director of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information (IPCRI), talks to Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti about the past, present and future of Jerusalem Many people still consider the future of Jerusalem as the heart of the PalestinianIsraeli conflict. I agree that it’s the most important issue, because it symbolises everything that is in conﬂict here. It has the religious, national and territorial dimensions. It is the symbol and the reality of the conﬂict, a microcosm of it. Everyone wants the city, everyone is ﬁghting for it, and everyone is willing to die for it. So it is a lot bigger in terms of meaning than in its size, it has history, heritage and sentimentality, it’s both beautiful and ugly, the city of love and the city of hate. Jerusalem is the heart of the conﬂict, and I have always believed that it is the ﬁrst issue that the Israelis and Palestinians must try to work on. If we could come to an agreement, to understand the meaning of living together here, of sharing Jerusalem and overcoming divisions, then we could solve all the other problems. Let’s talk about Jerusalem as a divided city. Jerusalem has been divided since 1948, and it became even more divided after 1967. Today, it is one of the most divided cities in the world, even though we don’t have a wall running through it. Actually, we have many invisible walls in the city that separate all the different group, the religious Jews from the non-religious Jews, the rich from the poor, the Israelis from the Palestinians. There is this geography of fear. Everyone knows their p a rtof Jerusalem, and where it is safe to stay, and where it is not safe to be, and people are very careful if they have to go into an unsafe area, they try to sneak in and to run out again as fast as possible. You can see on days when there is tension, or an Israeli incursion into the Palestinian areas, that the separation and the division become even stronger. Is the division purely geographical? Well, it is a very segregated city, everything in Jerusalem is either Israeli or Palestinian; there is no place in the city that does not have one or the other as its identity, even the foreign institutions - the Catholic organisations in the city, for example, are split into Catholic Israeli and Catholic Palestinian. Then there is the division in the psychology of the people, who know that they don’t live in a uniﬁed city. It’s not even that the city has an East-West division, because the EastWest division was never that accurate, it’s divided by far more than direction, for there are many different divisions within it. It’s divided even in terms of service provision: we had an ofﬁce in East Jerusalem across from Damascus gate, we bought an air conditioner, and then called the Israeli company to come and install the air conditioner, but they wouldn’t come to East Jerusalem. I told them that I thought East Jerusalem was p a rt of the undivided eternal capital of the state of Israel, and they said: “Yes, but we don’t go there.” So we had to ﬁnd a
Palestinian air conditioning engineer. I live in West Jerusalem, where we get a lot more municipal services than people in East Jerusalem. If you compare the services that Zakaria Al-Qaq (my co-director who lives in Silwan in Abu Tur) gets, you ﬁnd it totally different. It’s two different worlds. Even though we both pay taxes to the city, the city treats us differently. Even taxi drivers won’t take passengers to e v e ry part of the city. Which is illegal. According to Israeli law, once you enter a taxi, it has to take you anywhere you want to go - as long as it is legal to go there. It’s illegal to take passengers to Bethlehem, but the taxi driver has a legal obligation to take you anywhere in Jerusalem. Are there no shared places for Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem? Very few. There used to be more, but over the last two and a half years, since the Intifada, it has become more difﬁcult for the Palestinians to enter Jerusalem. Today, in Israeli hospitals you can ﬁnd both Israelis and Palestinians – I’m thinking mainly of Hadassah Hospital - because in terms of the
46, Stateless Nation
could go to the cinema in the mall, they could go shopping, and they could eat fast food together. It was more frequented before the Intifada, because today there are guards all over the mall, soldiers all around it. Other than that, the city is divided. If you go on Saturday to Liberty Bill Park, you ﬁnd a lot of Palestinians, but when there are a lot of Palestinians in the park, the Israelis leave. Then there’s the community centre in Abu Tur, a divided neighbourhood, with a line drawn through it dividing the Palestinian and Israeli parts. The community centre, Beit Nachemia, tries to have both Palestinian kids and Israeli kids, and sometimes they play basketball – not together; separately, but on the same court. Can you tell us more about IPCRI here in Tantur? IPCRI is an organisation in which Israelis and Palestinians work together for peace. Tantur, where our ofﬁce is located, is one of these neutral places like the Noterdam, which is Vatican property. It’s neutral, but not indifferent; they care about the conﬂict, they want to help and to offer their space to bring Israelis and Palestinians together. If you ask the average Israeli, even people living over here in Gilo, about Tantur, most of them are not even aware it exists. They drive by it, but they don’t know that it’s here, it’s part of an invisible geography. When I tell Israelis to come and meet us here in Tantur and I give them the directions, they say that they have seen this place above the hill, and always wondered what was there, but they never came in. There’s a sign on the front saying that this is a private property, business only, with a wall and a gate, so it’s not very welcoming on the outside. Every Palestinian knows it, because they use it to cross over from Bethlehem or from the south of the West Bank into Jerusalem. So the border police and the Israeli police know it, but most Israeli Jerusalemites don’t know it. Before the Intifada, up until March 2001, our ofﬁce was in Bethlehem; but we can’t go, at least the Israelis can’t go, to the ofﬁce anymore. It became too dangerous, and then illegal.
“Everything in Jerusalem is either Israeli or Palestinian; there is no place in the city that does not have one or the other as its identity, even the foreign institutions – the Catholic organisations in the city, for example, are split into Catholic Israeli and Catholic Palestinian. Then there is the division in the psychology of the people, who know that they don’t live in a unified city” human body, it doesn’t matter if you’re Israeli or Palestinian. Everybody gets sick, and everybody needs medical care, and Hadassah Hospital treats everybody. Again it’s more difﬁcult for Palestinians because of health insurance, so the only Palestinians that go there are the ones who can pay the bills, but still, if you go to the hospital you can ﬁnd Israeli doctors and nurses, Palestinian doctors and nurses, and Israeli and Palestinian patients. Another place where you can ﬁnd both is the zoo, because I guess that at the zoo the people go to look at animals, and as there are no Israeli or Palestinian animals, the zoo is common territory. The other place is the shopping mall in Malha, which I call the Americanisation of Jerusalem; before the Intifada, you’d walk through the doors of the shopping mall and you’d ﬁnd yourself in any American mall, no longer in Israel. Israelis and Palestinians could go there, they
What do you think are the borders of Jerusalem? That’s a political question, and I think the borders have to be negotiated and agreed on. There are different kinds of borders. Some people say the old city is the heart of Jerusalem, and the borders of Jerusalem are the walls of the old city, and anything else outside the old city is not Jerusalem. But for me, Jerusalem is a state of mind; I have my own consciousness of the city, I have “my” Jerusalem. First of all, the borders have to be negotiated. Today, there are still no agreed borders of Jerusalem. There is the border that existed prior to 1967, there is the border that Israeli annexed after 1967, and there are areas that have grown up in the periphery outside the municipal borders. If you go up towards Ramallah on the road to Sho’fat and Beit Hanina, Al-Ram and Dahait Al-Barid, and there are places where
one side of the street is Jerusalem and the other side of the street is not Jerusalem. In my mind, if one part of the street is Jerusalem, the other part is also Jerusalem. Jerusalem could be the capital of two countries. I think that we could have borders for Palestinian Jerusalem and Israeli Jerusalem, and a part of the city that is share d Jerusalem. There are all kinds of possibilities that have to be negotiated and agreed on.
“As there are no Israeli or Palestinian animals, the zoo is one of the few common territories in Jerusalem” What about the wall? The wall is a tragedy. I started talking about this wall when it was being built in the minds of the Israelis a few years ago. I saw it coming and I have been warning people how tragic this wall will be, and how difﬁcult it will make life for many people, mostly Palestinians, and how it will make peace impossible. I’m looking forward to the day when we destroy the wall from both sides, because I can’t see anything good coming from it. The wall is an unfortunate reality that Israelis need, because they need to prevent suicide bombers from coming in; fortunately or unfortunately, they have the example of the fence around Gaza, which worked, in that there hasn’t been a single suicide bomber who’s come out of Gaza over the last two and a half years. The wall is going to make Jerusalem a more difﬁcult place to live in than it is today. And I think Jerusalem is already a very difﬁcult city to live in. We keep destroying Jerusalem by ﬁghting for it; we claim how much we love it, but we are strangling Jerusalem. And now we’re making it even worse by adding this physical wall that is separating people from their lives, land, and homes. It’s making movement nearly impossible, and creating more ghettos within this city that we all claim to love so much. How do you see the future of Jerusalem? I hope that once Israelis and Palestinians have arrived at a peace agreement, and have managed to implement it, then Jerusalem will be the city that symbolises the peace between the two peoples. We have a tremendous amount in common in our cultures, heritages and histories, in our religions, language, food, dances and music. So, there are a lot of similarities, and Jerusalem could be the celebration of our peace; or it could be as it is today, an orgy of of war and hatred. I hope that we can turn Jerusalem into a celebration of peace, an open city where people have freedom to move and work. Jerusalem could be a cultural masterpiece, but only if there is peace. As long as the conﬂict makes more divisions, as long as we claim we love Jerusalem yet treat this city with hatred, we make it a terrible place to live in - but it has the potential to be something entirely different.
Opposite: views from East Jerusalem towards Ramallah
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BEYOND THE MATRIX OF CONTROL Israeli anthropologist and coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, Jeff Halper argues that an EU-like Middle East Union would override Israel’s iron grip on the landscape In the last few years, more attention has been given to the idea of transforming the Occupied Palestinian Territories into a Bantustan. Is this the end of the socalled ‘two-state’ solution? It’s important to understand Israeli intentions towards the Occupied Territories. First, Israel considers the State of Israel, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza to be one country. The Occupied Territories make up only 22% of the country. The other 78% of what was historically Palestine, from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean, is now the State of Israel. The Palestinians, in their 1988 declaration of independence in Algeria, and again in 1993 during the Oslo process, recognised Israel’s1967 borders. In other words, the two-state solution that we talk about means that Israel would get 78% of the country, and Palestine 22%. This 22% is problematic. The question is not only whether such a small area is viable, but also how the occupying Israeli presence could be removed – since there are now over 200 Israeli settlements throughout the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, supported by an entire infrastru c t u re. In other words, how we could roll back this massive occupation? This is the real problem, at least from the ofﬁcial Palestinian point of view. Now, the Israelis look at this completely differently. For the Israelis, this is one country, there are no occupied territories, there is no Palestinian area, it is one country, it is the land of Israel, it belongs exclusively to the Jewish people, and this is the whole thrust of the Zionist movement that is reﬂected today in Israeli policy. There was never ever a genuine intention, in the days of the Oslo peace process, to create a viable Palestinian state. Israel has claimed the entire country, and in fact over the last 35 years of the Occupation, since 1967, it has worked hard to incorporate the West Bank irreversibly into Israel so that it will be permanent. So it is impossible to detach the Occupied Territories from Israel in order to create a Palestinian State? Within the widespread Israeli settlements of the Occupied Te rritories, we have seven major settlement blocks: the Jordan Valley settlements, the Ariel block settlements right in the middle of the West Bank, the large settlement block Ma’ale Adummim, the whole greater Jerusalem area which comprises several smaller blocks, the corridor running up from the south to Hebron, the settlement of Kiryat Arbà, and the Gaza block. These are the areas that Israel wants to keep, and you might say that, over the last 35 years, Israel has actually succeeded in making it one country, in making it impossible to detach the West Bank from Israel. The problem is that Israel wants the country, but doesn’t want the Palestinians. Because if in fact this were one country today, then with 5.5 million Jews and 4.5 million Palestinians it wouldn’t be a Jewish country any more - especially if we take into account the 4 million refugees that claim their right to return. So this is the dilemma,
we want the whole country but we don’t want the Palestinians, and the answer is a Bantustan: the same logic and the same s t ru c t u re as found in South African apartheid. This means that Israel will keep its settlement blocks that allow it to keep control of the area, but the Palestinians will get cantons, or little islands (area A-B on the map). This is where Palestinians are pretty much conﬁned, in over 200 islands throughout the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza; they are unable to move from one island to another. If we look at the map, what we see is the emergence of these Palestinian islands, surrounded by Israeli settlements and roads. They are to be found to the north of the West Bank around the city of Nablus, in the Jordan Valley, next to the Ariel settlement, and beside the wall of separation that Israel
developing a viable economy, so the Palestinians are left with a little truncated mini-state, totally dependent on, and controlled by, Israel.
esting idea, and personally I would have no problem whatsoever with a single state, the problem is that Israelis will never go for it. So where do we go from here?
Following your analysis, the issue is more about control than terr i t o ry. Yes, let’s take as an example the generous o ffer of Barak, that gives up 95% of the terr i t o ry to the Palestinians. First of all this is not true, there was never a 95% offer, but let’s say it is true, let’s go with the 95%. It sounds wonderful on paper, you’d never get 100% in negotiations and so obviously if the Palestinians turn down 95 %, that means they are not reasonable, that they don’t want peace. But if we look at it from the point of view of control, viability and sovereignty, then when we examine the map we ﬁnd out that the 5% makes the difference between a viable state and a Bantustan, because the control of greater Jerusalem, where most of the Palestinian economy is located, and control of the borders and water and so on, can all take place within the 5%, the very strategic 5%. To use an analogy I think helps to understand the relation of terr i t o ry to control: think about a plan of a prison. If you just look at the plan of the prison, it looks like the prisoners own the place, 95% of the territory of the prison belongs to the prisoners: the visiting areas,
“If in fact Israel were one country today, then with 5.5 million Jews and 4.5 million Palestinians it wouldn’t be a Jewish country any more - especially if we take into account the 4 million refugees that claim their right to return” is building all the way down through the West Bank. This wall, up to four times longer than the Berlin wall, two metres higher (at eight metres high), and 15 metres wide (that’s half a football ﬁeld wide), will be tremendously fortiﬁed: it has mineﬁelds, snipers, tank positions, and artillery, and it is being built 3-6 kilometres inside the Palestinian terr i t o ry, actually which means that the wall will take between 7-10% of the West Bank, and so 70,000 Palestinians will ﬁnd themselves living between the border and the wall. It is a tremendous project of oppression. Each Palestinian canton will be separated from the others by settlements and bypass roads, and will be integrated into Israel horizontally, rather than looking at the West Bank as one unit. We have the northern island to the north of West Bank, a central canton around the city of Ramallah, the large area of greater Jerusalem deﬁned in the south by a buffer zone and the wall, then the Jordan Valley settlements, then a third disconnected island around the city of Hebron in the south, also isolated from the rest, and a fourth canton will be in Gaza; ﬁnally, it might be that little islands of neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem will be given to the Palestinians. So this allows Israel to maintain control of the Occupied Te rritories. In this structure, the Palestinians might get most of the terr i t o ry, but they don’t have a viable sovereign state. Instead, the structure allows Israel total control of the terr i t o ry, freedom of movement, the border, the water-rich aquifers under the West Bank, the airspace, and the communications space. Because the Palestinian mini-state or entity is divided into tiny islands, there is no possibility of
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the living areas, the cafeteria, the exercise yard, the work areas, they all belong to the prisoners, all the prison authorities have is the 5% that’s left. And if it is a minimumsecurity prison they might have 1%. It’s not a matter of terr i t o ry; it’s a matter of control. Is there any chance of a different scenario? Things are so stalemated today, everything seems so closed in, there is almost nowhere to go. Israel is tremendously strong, the Palestinians are very weak, and cannot throw o ff the occupation on their own. Meanwhile the Arab countries are neutralised, Europe is passive, the USA is behind Israel, and the UN is neutralised. There is almost nowhere to turn. In this terrible situation, some people are thinking beyond the immediate obstacles, trying to map out a possible scenario for the future, so that then we can begin to work our way back into a solution. So a number of people are writing and thinking about scenarios for the future, but the usual scenario is two states, it’s the basis of Oslo, the Palestinian Authorities programme, and the Israeli peace movement. The problem with that is that it might be not viable any more. Some now talk about the one-state solution, and indeed if the PLO were to say, “OK Sharon, you win. One country, the settlements remain, there will be no Palestinian state here. Now we Palestinians want equal civil rights.” That would put Israel in a very difﬁcult situation, because if Israel said no, then it would be outright apartheid; and of course, if it says yes, then it’s not a Jewish state any more, so it is never going to say yes. That’s an inter-
I believe that the problems facing the area are regional in nature; they are not local. Whether we have one state or two, this is too small an area to deal with fundamental issues like security, water and refugees - a Palestinian state would have problems dealing with refugees, economic development, issues of Israeli hegemony, and so on. What I’m advocating is a regional approach, what I call a two-stage approach. First of all, there has to be a Palestinian state, because Palestinians have to have their own political space, self-determination, a ﬂag, they have to be part of the international community, they need sovereign territory in the West Bank, as much as possible of East Jerusalem, and Gaza. But there’s still the question of viability, so what I’m saying is, let’s look at Europe: in Europe you have many different countries, but people can live and work wherever they want to. The EU has disconnected citizenship from residency, so Italians can go and live in France, for unlimited periods, everyone has a European passports. Now, if we adopted that here, I think that would relieve the pressure on this tiny Palestinian state to address all the p roblems of Palestinians, economics, refugees and so on. I propose a Middle E a s t e rn Union consisting of Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, which in a sense recreates the historic union of this region as the greater Syria. I would also add Egypt. Egypt is so important and it has had a peace agreement with Israel for 35 years. This would make a very meaningful geographical and economical unit. It could be one union, like the European Union, where different states remain, citizenship remains, but you have the freedom to live and work wherever you want to. This solution would give the Palestinians a political space, but it does not matter if the occupation disconnects the terr i t o ry or not, because you have access in the entire region, so Palestinians do not have to live within their boundaries, they can live wherever they want to, especially because Palestinians consider Israel part of Palestine too, so in a way it tremendously widens the borders, your living the space is widened, and especially for refugees, this is the only way out, because Israel will not accept many refugees. I mean, no country is going to accept 100,000 people who are hostile to it and who do not have citizenship, it is not going to happen. The fear of Israel is demographic, thousands or millions of refugees coming in will destroy Israel as a Jewish state, but in this scenario the integrity of each state is recognised. If refugees want to go home to the Galilee they can do that, but as Palestinian citizens, not as Israeli citizens. This way, Israel does not have problems with lots of refugees coming in, there is enough land, there is enough work, there are already 350,000 foreign workers in Israel, that’s not a problem, the problem is if these refugees demand citizenship. So as Palestinians they could live wherever they want, not necessarily within Palestinian borders, but as Palestinians voting in the Palestinian elections rather than in the Israeli elections, and from that point of view it does not threaten the integrity of Israel. Now, look at it the other way around: you say to the settlers that if it is so difﬁcult to remove these settlements, then they will not be removed, but they are in Palestine, and the settlers can continue to live in the settlements but as Israeli citizens, they don’t vote in the Palestinian elections. The settle-
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Different layers of Israeli control in the Jerusalem are a
ments of course are open to Palestinians to move in, because it’s in Palestine, but Israelis can continue to live in Palestine and Palestinians recognise them as Israeli citizens. The problem for the Palestinians is not that there are Israelis living in West Bank, it is that Israelis are living there exclusively, claiming exclusive rights and control. If you
neutralise that, and say, ﬁne, you can continue to live here but you are not controlling anything, you are living in Palestine, then I think there will be no real problem. In this way, it is possible to start to democratise and develop the entire region, because even if we have a separate Israel and Palestine emerging, if they emerge in a region that is poor
and undemocratic, it’s going to be a very unstable region, and it’s not going a work. Actually, the two united together are very strong, because the Israeli economy and society are strong and the Palestinians have a strong, rich and educated diaspora, which is a big resource. Together these two will dominate the region anyway, so by creating
the Middle East Union we could create conditions in which the entire region develops. That’s my ideal scenario for the future.
Interview by Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti
CONSTRUCTING CHAOS Architect Omar Yu s e f’s tortured, twisted buildings are a response to the physical and psychological devastation around him. He talks to Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti Is it difficult to work as an architect in Palestine? Like every other Palestinian in the West Bank and Gaza, I am living under a military occupation. I am checked everywhere I go. I cannot follow a building I am constructing in Gaza, because they almost always refuse to allow me to enter. To follow a building site in Ramallah, every morning I have to check that there is no military curfew - and later on, I might not be allowed to pass through all the checkpoints. So there is no way I can plan my day as a European architect might do. Going from Bethlehem to Ramallah should normally take 30 minutes, today it takes a whole day – and that’s if you can even get there. This creates unexpected situations that become sources of inspiration for my buildings. I often doubt whether architecture is the best instrument to communicate such content and feeling, but it is the only instrument I have. How has the situation in Palestine influenced your architecture? When I started working in Palestine, I wondered about the meaning of creating architecture in this place. My concern was to ﬁnd a means, a language, to communicate through architecture. I began to consider buildings as sculpture. I watched what was happening around me, the urban and architectural context, the unplanned architecture of East Jerusalem. I took this way of building as a lesson, I learned to make architecture through something which did not a p p a rently look like arc h i t e c t u re . Discussions in Palestine are often reduced
“Palestinians are always out of place, even in their own land” to conversations about symmetry, columns and arches. I often ﬁnd myself talking to a client who wants to build arches, trying to convince him that arches are more in the Roman than the Islamic tradition. Whereas in my sketches - I don’t know how or why - architecture undergoes twists to reach an unstable form. I am attracted by what surrounds me, by the instability and devastation of the houses. I’ve wondered for example, what has happened to my values? Which new signs should we make for a contemporary culture? Is it possible to think of our extraordinary past, without forgetting our contemporary identity, our everyday life? I have great appreciation for those of my colleagues who work on historical buildings, but I perceive a tearing emptiness in thinking about contemporary architecture in Palestine. Our experiences of everyday life are experiences of fragmentation and spontaneity. It’s sufﬁcient to observe J e rusalem to understand. The Palestinian population is not allowed to build new
houses, even if the demand for them is great. So, during the Jewish Passover, when council employees are on holiday, the Palestinians in Jerusalem put together a house in a few days, forced into illegality by discriminatory rules, by the absurd distinction between Jews and not-Jews. I try to observe this by changing the viewpoint, recognising in this behaviour a true human instinct to survive. If law does not respect life, life destroys the law. There has to be reciprocity between law and life, otherwise the law is endlessly violated. It is a matter of survival. How have you interpreted this urban and social condition in your architecture? My buildings have twisted walls, always on the edge of collapse. Urban planning does not exist for Palestinians. Planning is only used by the Israeli authorities to build new settlements. Thus the Palestinian town must develop itself as it can. I have tried to learn from the transformations of this sort of town. Entering Ramallah, facing the refugee camp of Qalandia, there is a strange building you worked on, with a façade that seems ready to collapse... When I was put in charge of a large building for the Red Cross, ten ﬂoors had already been built for many different uses; a cultural centre, a large theatre, a conference hall, a hotel, even a school. Then I asked: what do you want me to make, gracious interiors featuring nice holes for windows? I accepted the challenge of a banal commission, helped by the fact that my commissioners did not know exactly what kind of uses the building had to have, and how each ﬂoor had to look. This gave me the freedom to think of the façade separately from its use. O b s e rving the refugee camps, and thinking of the history of the Red Cross and its continuous commitment to war zones, I thought of patching pieces of wall onto the building frame. The result looks like it has just been bombarded, exactly like the refugee camp opposite it. Using diff e rent materials, piled one on top of the other, employed as the local technology allows, this technique expresses the kind of life that survives in the most difﬁcult places, like the refugee camp, a challenge to the culture of death. While we were completing the building, many people asked me if there was something wrong, didn’t I realise that the walls were twisted? I appreciated that people were debating the building, and starting from that, they were discussing of the role of the Red Cross. It was an intriguing idea to create a building almost like a sculpture in a fragmented landscape, rather like the culture of the Palestinian diaspora. Scattered around the world, Palestinian culture lacks unity. However this was the challenge, to create a feeling of unity out of the fragments, a new cultural approach. Only by observing contemporaryPalestinian reality is it possible to create and contemplate contemporary Palestinian culture.
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Is it possible to define a Palestinian identity today? If I observe Jerusalem, I see a city that has shown hospitality to many cultures, and when I wonder who the Palestinians are, my answer is that they are the people who have resisted the domination of various others. So Palestinian culture is the result of many inﬂuences. This positive feature is evident within the city: houses are built next to historical buildings, a roof leans against an old wall, it’s just like a giant archaeological site. We ﬁnd diff e rent levels, an identity that reveals itself as a collage. I like to think of the Palestinian identity as one that continuously overcomes existing values to ﬁnd new ones, which expresses the contradictions of the historical period. How do documents influence Palestinian life? When I went to study abroad, I had a Jordanian passport and an Israeli travel document. With these papers, I could not travel outside my own country without lots of forward planning. Once, for example, I was invited to a seminar in Paris. I went to the French embassy, where they did not really understand that I had an Israeli document, which had been given to me by the Israeli authority, but for Palestinians: otherwise, I would have obtained my visa in half an hour. Once they discovered I was Palestinian, they told me I should have requested the visa six months in advance. All Palestinians feel somehow that nothing is normal for them. Even moving around or simply living in our own world is far from normal for us Palestinians. You are always a Palestinian - someone who is odd. Our wish for normality expresses itself in our longing for a passport that actually recognises our civil rights. We’d like to get the same treatment as everyone else at an airport, and not always this special treatment.
“The Israeli Occupation finds its clearest expression in the transformations of the territory, and the city of Jerusalem is the epicentre of such transformations” Can you tell us more about the special treatment of Palestinians in Jerusalem? Palestinians who live in Jerusalem cannot live abroad for longer than three years, or they lose their right to live in Jerusalem. Their identity card would be withdrawn. It’s pure folly. Isn’t this my hometown after all? Where can I go if I can’t come back to my own town? The Palestinians are always out of place, even in their own land. I always tell my Israeli friends that they shouldn’t be surprised that Palestinians live in illegality – for us, it’s the only way to survive. My job, for example, re q u i res me to supervise the building sites in Ramallah and Bethlehem. That means I have to cross many checkpoints, and if these are closed, I am forced to cross the borders illegally, in order to go on working and living. The Israeli Occupation ﬁnds its clearest expression in the transformations of the territory, and the city of Jerusalem is the epicentre of such transformations. Since the Occupation started in 1967, there’s been progressive colonialisation, with Israeli settlements strategically placed on the hills. All the planning policies have been in favour of
the Israeli occupiers. So, alongside welllinked settlements with high-tech services, Arab villages survive, absolutely overlooked, with no services from the council. In Berlin, there has been such a wave of enthusiasm, and investments every w h e re after reuniﬁcation, whereas reuniﬁed Jerusalem has not only kept its forms of separation, but is building new, crueller ones. It is enough to look at the physical space to realise this. The new highways connecting new settlements have been used to separate the Palestinian zones one from another. So, along the highway that follows the path of the 1967 wall, it is clear how, even if the wall is not there anymore, the town is still heavily segregated. J e rusalem has been transformed into a collection of Palestinian ghettos with Christians and Muslims, and Jewish ghettos. The common public spaces, which should connect diff e rent areas of the city to service all the citizens, are instead used as ghetto-ising tools. In the Palestinian part of the city, the only public services built by the municipality are the police headquarters and the prison. The public institutions in the Palestinian sector serve as intimidation, they are there as threats. Even more extreme is what is happening in Ramallah and Bethlehem, where space development is only vertical because the Israeli authorities p revent any natural expansion, while Jewish settlements continue to occupy the land. So on one side, there are people who are forced to live in dense clusters, and on the other side, a far smaller number of people occupying a much wider area of land. These are places of apartheid. Investments are only available for the Jews, with special terms to build public houses at low prices, whereas building sites are forbidden for the Palestinians - which forces them to live in ghettos. As a consequence, many decide to abandon their homeland. Such is the Israeli strategy for ‘solving’ the Palestinian issue. The Occupation is the largest problem at any level, from social to urban, from economic to judicial. I think some separation is needed, to restore equality and respect, but not separation as segregation in boxes, and a slow suffocation of the people inside the boxes. The end of the Occupation is the most important thing to create life and development. While life is denied by the Occupation, people feel oppressed and this fosters turmoil. We don’t need to talk about whether violence is justiﬁed or not, of course no violence is justiﬁed; but violence is inevitable until we can restore a division founded on equality and respect. J e rusalem should be a town shared by two states, otherwise ruthless Israeli control and Palestinian ghettos full of social and economic problems will endure. If the J e rusalem issue is not solved, the Palestinian issue can’t be solved. Jerusalem is the crucible of the conﬂict: if the conﬂict is not solved in a fair way here, we will re t reat from any possible solution, we will delay it. Should a wall separate the future Palestinian state from Israel? The old city of Jerusalem is special because a wall surrounds it. Walls are sometimes positive and sometimes negative. There are people who think that walls are positive, because they make for good neighbours. But I think it is necessary for walls to have holes in them, a place for the neighbours to communicate to avoid complete segregation. Walls without holes become small prisons. Walls are just instruments to shape the space, what is good or bad is the meaning we give them. In a certain sense, we would need walls to build a Palestinian state, to ﬁnd ourselves, to be separated, to be able to walk on our own, to separately face problems. I do not imagine that the Palestinian society would be the ideal society, however I was happy when - during the Oslo process - an autonomous Palestinian identity was being built. We need to face our problems on our own, and it’s a process, it’s not pos-
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sible to be immediately ready for a new situation. We need elections, and if we are not happy with our government we need to be able to change it. Now the checkpoints are walls, walls with a small hole where there is a soldier, like the tiny window of a prison cell. All these walls have transformed the West Bank into a large prison, into a series of cells. Moving in this land, you look forward to
“Walls without holes become small prisons. Walls are just instruments to shape the space, what is good or bad is the meaning we give them” and hope to ﬁnd a breach in the wall, to overcome it somehow, you hope the door is not barred. I use walls in my architecture, of course, but I do not know why they are always twisted, with holes. Maybe it is because I ﬁnd inspiration in the demolished and destroyed land. From Jenin to AlMoqata in Ramallah, wherever you turn your eyes you ﬁnd twisted walls, destroyed houses that you cannot believe are still standing, whole ﬂoors suspended over empty spaces, without walls but still containing a sofa and TV, sights that no engineer would be able to calculate. I was in shock when I came back to Ramallah after the last raid of the Israeli army, and I found my building fully in harmony with the demolished landscape. Thus walls are good if they have many holes. If they serve to set your limits, you know that is your space; but such walls should surround us without being dominated by others. This is what the Palestinians mean as the end of the Occupation, it is a cultural demand. Walls that are too high, without holes, simply create ghettos of humiliation; they are not good walls. What is your dream? My dream is to be normal - even if, frankly, I enjoy living in such abnormality. I have to live with the abnormal, so I have to see it as an adventure rather than complaining about it. I’d love to see many more architects working with these conditions, able to express their hardships until the Occupation is ﬁnally be over. Anyway, I dream of the day when I am ﬁnally able to plan, to construct urban spaces different from those I shape today. Meanwhile, I dream of escaping from this condition on the edge of survival.
Omar Yusef is an architect and lecturer at the Architecture Department of Birzeit University, West Bank
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THE BUILDER OF ANATA’S TALE
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Construction worker Salim Shawamre, who lives and works in Anata, East Jerusalem, explains why he is rebuilding his home for the fourth time, after its repeated destruction by the Israeli army
y family was forced to abandon Om Alshagaf, one of the 418 Villages which were destroyed by the Israeli Army during the war in 1948. We had sought refuge in the old city of Jerusalem until the new military Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza forced us into exile once more; this time we ﬂed to a refugee camp called Sho’fat. I lived with my four brothers and ﬁve sisters, in a room measuring 3 x 6 metres. I graduated as technical builder and went to work in Saudi Arabia. I worked there for ten years before returning to the refugee camp. “My family had grown, and I’d returned from Saudi Arabia with the money for a house outside the camp. I bought a small plot of land near a place called Anata, a village near the camp, not far from Jerusalem. I applied for a permit to build a house on my little plot. Between 1990 and 1994 I applied three times, but the Israeli administration of the Occupied Te rritories repeatedly refused to grant me a permit. The ﬁrst time, they told me, “We can’t give you the permit because your land is outside the planning zone of the village.” But everyone knows that there is no real planning for Palestinian villages, only for Israeli towns and settlements. Come to our Palestinian villages and you’ll see roads built 100 years ago, by the Turkish government. “After the ﬁrst application had been turned down, the administration told me to apply for a licence for a building site. I made the application and waited over a year. The answer, when it came, was that they could not give me a licence because the land was
dren, until the 9th of July, 1998, which was the darkest day of my life. While I was sitting eating lunch with my family, I heard a voice outside. I went out and found my house surrounded by Israeli soldiers and bulldozers. The ofﬁcer asked me, “Is this your house?” I replied, “Yes, it is.” “No it isn’t,” he countered. “It’s not your house anymore, you have 15 minutes to get your belongings and leave with your family, because we’re going to destroy it now.”
someone to reply to him. And then they only gave him the documents I had already submitted. Anata is a small village, so I asked all the residents who are landowners to sign a document in which they declared they did not oppose the construction of my house. I collected more than 400 signatures, went to the lawyer of the civil administration and told him. “You should ﬁnd the two signat u res you need in this list.” They replied, “But we lost your ﬁle.”
“I asked him why, but the soldiers began to beat me. My wife closed the doors and the soldiers began to break the windows, throwing in tear-gas to force my wife and the children to come out. My wife fainted and the children were crying. I was handcuffed. The neighbours came to help us. but they were kept out. Eighty people from the Council against House Demolitions came to protest, and many of them were arrested. Seven people from the neighbourhood were beaten and a 16-year-old was so badly injured that he lost his stomach. Finally, they destroyed the house with bulldozers and we went to live in a tent.
“So you see, there is no way for Palestinians to obtain permits. They are lying to themselves and to the world when they say that the Palestinians have rights. I know that in Washington if anyone builds a house without a permit, that house will be destroyed, I also know that the authorities write to the owner before destroying it, but all the laws
“The Israeli Council against House Demolitions and the Palestinian Council to Save the Land convinced us to rebuild the house as an act of resistance against the Occupation. We began to build it again with hundreds of Israeli and Palestinian volunteers who worked and ate together until the 2nd of August, 1998. On the 3rd of August, at 4am in the morning, we opened our eyes and saw the guns pointing at us in the tent, so that we did not dare to move. The Israeli soldiers had come back. They
“This is not just the story of Salim Shawamre. Over 10,000 Palestinian homes have been destroyed this way since 1967. This means that more than 10,000 families are homeless, like us. But I have nowhere else to go. I worked for 10 years in the desert to be able to build this house, and I will never give up on it” on a slope - but everyone knows that Jerusalem is on a mountain, and of course all the land around it slopes. “So I went to the Israeli civil administration to make another application, and I told them that I thought they’d never give me a permit, because the law in the Occupied Territories is formulated to serve the occupiers and not Palestinians, who live under occupation. They told me that I was guaranteed to get the permit this time. I waited for over another year until they wrote that I could not have the licence because two landowner signatures were missing. Every time an application is made, you pay $5000, which is lost if a permit is not granted. How much more money would I have to waste? “So in 1994, I started to build my house. And I lived there with my wife and six chil-
house, how can you protect me?” “This is not just the story of Salim Shawamre. Over 10,000 Palestinian homes have been destroyed this way since 1967. This means that more than 10,000 families are homeless, like us. But I have nowhere else to go. I worked for 10 years in the desert to be able to build this house, and I will never give up on it. This is the reason I began to re-build it again, 5 months ago. Now we are working on the interiors. Hundreds of Israeli and Palestinian volunteers are working together again and this way we send a very clear message to the Israeli government. We refuse to be enemies to each other, we want to live together, but we are both losers, both Palestinian and Israeli blood is shed. We need a brave Israeli leader who would have the courage to choose a different path. Without one, we
“We opened our eyes and saw the guns pointing at us in the tent. The Israeli soldiers surrounded the place and destroyed the house, including the wall around it and the 52 trees I had planted. They did not even leave us with the tent, because they said that Palestinians have to ask the Israeli authorities even to live in a tent” in Washington have been made to serve the citizens, while for us Palestinians, the laws are built to serve the Occupation only. “This is the reason I began to rebuild the house for the third time. Hundreds of volunteers from all around the world, hundreds of volunteers from the Israeli Peace Now movement, all came to work together until we ﬁnished it on the 9th of June, 1999. We had a party and the media came. I began to work out the electrical system and other minor ones, and I ﬁnished on the 3rd of April, 2000.
surrounded the place and destroyed the house for the second time, including the wall around it and the 52 trees I had planted. They did not even leave us with the tent, because they said that Palestinians have to ask the Israeli authorities for a permit even to live in a tent.
“I went back there with my family but we did not live there for a long time, only for one day. They came on the 4th of April 2000, in the morning, with two bulldozers and soldiers. They destroyed everything, even the foundations. You may imagine what it means to live with your family in your house for only one day. The children had gone out to school and when they came back in the afternoon, everything had gone.
“The BBC, CNN, NBC, and other media have made long re p o rts about what the Israeli Occupation means for a man who just simply wants to live and have a house for himself and his family. In an Israeli newspaper, Ha’aretz, the Israeli administration wrote that the house was destroyed because two landowner signatures were missing, and that, if I had got them, I would have got my permit. We read this news and promptly wrote to the civil administration, asking which two signatures were missing. My lawyer spent three months trying to ﬁnd
“My human rights and my family’s have been violated by this Occupation. They have d e s t royed my home, but this is not the worst, the worst is that they have destroyed my family. My wife has not recovered yet. She couldn’t talk to anyone for two months. My youngest son has left school, and one of my daughters is afraid to go from the bedroom to the bathroom during the night. Another daughter said, when I tried to calm her by telling her I would protect her, “How could you? I saw how the soldiers beat you when they came to destroy the
will go on the same way for years and years, to ﬁnally ﬁnd ourselves at the same point. “We need a Palestinian state, we need to have our own state like every other nation in the world. It’s our right, and it’s our land, the land where we were born. My dream is to have my house and justice and peace. We do not want to live in a Bantustan. We want a real state, even if it will be only 22 per cent of historical Palestine, but it will have to be a continuous territory, where it will possible to travel from the south to the north without any checkpoint, without any settlement which forces us to stop. “People believe that the wall which the Israeli government is building is a wall which serves to separate, but that’s not so. The wall is not along the green line as the Israelis say, it is more than 10 kilometres within the Occupied Te rritories. This way, they annex the richest part of the agricultural land in Palestine. As a Palestinian, I would accept the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem as capital, but there is something more, which we must not forget. That’s Resolution 194 of the United Nations - the right of the refugees to come back home.”
Salim Shawamre talked to Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti.
54, Stateless Nation
55, Stateless Nation
56, Stateless Nation
A Absentees’ Property (Compensation) Law, 5733-1973: The Main Provisions of the Law 1. The persons entitled to compensation are all those who were residents of Israel on 1 July 1973, or became residents thereafter, and who, prior to the property bec o ming vested in the Custodian of Absentees’ Property were: A. the owners of property, including their heirs, or B. the tenants only of urban property, including spouses living with them at the last mentioned date, or C. the lessees of property, or D. the owners of any easement in property. 2. The criteria for determining the value of property have been adopted from the Palestine Conciliation Commission of 1961. Accordingly, in respect of urban property the base figure is the net annual value on 29 November 1947 as last determinedbefore that date for the purpose of urban property tax. In order to allow for the fact that net annual value is always set at a very low figure, an addition of a sum ranging from 30% to 60% (depending on the date of the last pre-1947 assessment) of the net annual value will be made. Since the original values were given in pounds sterling, to yield its eq u i v alent in Israeli lira of today the resulting figure will then be multiplied by 175. As regards agricultural property, the present-day value will be determined according to its classification for the purpose of rural property tax; the 14 or so ca tegories with their value per dunam are spec i fied in the Schedule to the Law. All sums properly paid by the Custodian of Absentees’ Property on behalf of an owner will be ded u c t ed from the compensation. Tenants of urban property will generally receive 15% of the value of the property as ascertained for the purpose of compensation. A l e s s ee will receive such compensation as is found to be the value of his rights in the property. 3. Claims for compensation must be submitted before 30 June 1976 in the manner and form to be pres c r i bed by regulation. If a person becomes an Israel resident after 1 July 1973, the claim may be subm i t t ed within two years thereafter, if that goes beyond 30 June 1976. An advisory committee is to be set up, under the chairmanship of a Magistrate, to advise the Officer in Charge as to the rights of claimants, the determination of the annual value and the amount of compensation. In the event of any dispute over the decision of the Officer in Charge as to the right to compensation or the amount t h e r eof, either the claimant or the Attorney General have a right of recourse to the District Court within six months after the Officer has given notice of his decision. These legal proceedings are exempt from court fees. The fee s of lawyers dealing with compensa-
tion claims are expressly restricted by the Law to certain maximum percentages; payments made in excess of the permitted rates may be recovered in civil proceed i n g s and any person receiving any excess is liable to be fined five times the amount of the excess and, if a lawyer, may be open to professional disciplinary proceedings. 4. After compensation has bee n finally determined, the first IL 10,000 thereof will be paid in ca s h not later than 1 July 1975 or within six days after final determination whichever is the later, and the ba lance will be discharged by the issue of government bonds within six months after final determination. The bonds will be reg i s t e r ed in the name of the recipient with the Bank of Israel, but, from 1 April 1980, will be negotiable as if they were bearer bonds. They will be repayable in 15 equal annual insta lments, with accruing interest at the rate of 4% on 1 October of each year commencing in 1975, although the Minister of Finance, with the approval of the Knesset Finance Committee, may direc t earlier payment if that is req u i r ed for rehabilitating or rehousing the claimant. Capital and interest will be linked with the cost-of-living index. Bonds will be exempt from s tamp duty. The foregoing applies to owners of property. Payment for comp e n sation to other claimants is generally to be made before 1 July 1975 or within six months after final settlement of the claim, whichever is the later. 5. The Ministers of Finance and Justice are responsible for implementing the Law. The Minister of Justice may make regulations regarding procedures for making claims and the manner of dealing with them. The draft law was presented to the Knesset on 9 January 1973. It became a law on 1 July 1973. The purpose of the law is to pay comp e n sation to every resident of Israel, whether of East Jerusalem or elsewhere in the country. Compensation will be paid in respect only of land, wherever situa t ed, in the State of Israel. The law is concerned with providing a solution for one important part of the larger problem of the Arab r e f u g ees. The following is from a Ministry of Justice Press Release, August 12, 1973. Apartheid: Apartheid is an A f r i kaans word meaning “separation” or literally “aparthood”. In English, it has come to mean any l egally sanctioned system of racial s eg r egation, such as existed in The Republic of South Africa be t w ee n 1948 and 1990. The first rec o r d ed use of the word is in 1917, during a s p eech by Jan Smuts, then Prime Minister of South Africa. South African apartheid was condemned internationally as unjust and racist. In 1973, the General Assembly of the United Nations agreed the text of the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid. The immediate intention of the Convention was to provide a formal legal framework within which member states could
apply sanctions to press the South A f r i can government to change its policies. A number of organisations, including the Palestinian Society for the Pr o t ection of Human Rights ( LAW) and the Islamic Human Rights Commission, allege that Israel is an apartheid state under the UN definition. This view has been put forward, for example, by many Arab states at the World Conference against Racism in 1978, 1983, and 2001. This led to a boycott of the conference by the United States and Israel in all three cases, and by many European countries in the first two. http://www.fact-index.com/a/ap/ apartheid.html Arab: From arabah, a desert, the name employed, in the Old Te s tament to denote the valley of the Jordan and Dead Sea. In Arabic. Arab, in Hebrew Arabi, Arbim in French, Arabe. One of a swarthy race occupying Arabia, and numerous in Syria, Northern A f r i ca, etc. Arabia: An extensive region in the southwest of Asia. It is bounded on the west by the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea, on the south by the Indian Ocean, and on the east by the Persian Gulf and the Euphrates. It extends far into the north in barren deserts, meeting those of Syria and Mesopotamia. It is one of the few countries of the world from which the original inhabitants have never been expelled.In ancient times, it was divided into three parts:, (1) Arabia Felix (Happy Arabia), so ca l l ed because of its fertility. It embraced a large portion of the country now known by the name of Arabia. The Arabs call it Yemen. It lies be t w ee n the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. (2) Arabia Deserta, the el-Badieh or ‘Great Wilderness’ of the Arabs. From this name is derived that which is usually given to the nomadic tribes, which wander over this region, the ‘Bed a w een,’ or, more generally, ‘Bedouin,’ (3) Arabia Petraea, i.e., the Rocky Arabia, so ca l l ed because of its rocky mountains and stony plains. It comprehended all the northwest portion of the country, which travellers know better than any other part. This country is, however, divided by modern geographers into (1) Arabia Proper, or the Arabian Peninsula; (2) Northern Arabia, or the Arabian Desert; and (3) Western Arabia, which includes the peninsula of Sinai and the Desert of Petra, originally inhabited by the Horites (Gen. 14:6, etc.), but in later times by the descendants of E sau, and known as the Land of Edom or Idumea, also as the Desert of Seir or Mount Seir. The whole land appears (Gen. 10) to have been inhabited by a variety of tribes of different lineage, Ishmaelites, Arabians, Idumeans, Horites, and Edomites; but at length becoming amalgamated , they came to be known by the general designation of Arabs. The modern nation of Arabs is predominantly Ishmaelite. Their language is the most developed and the richest of all the Semitic languages, and is of great value to the student of Hebrew. The Israelites wandered for 40
years in Arabia. In the days of Solomon, and subsequently, commercial intercourse was to a considerable extent kept up with this country (1 Kings 10:15; 2 Chr. 9:14; 17:11). Arabians were present in Jerusalem at Pe n t ecost (Acts 2:11). Paul retired for a season into Arabia after his conversion (Gal. 1:17). The country is frequently referred to by the prophets (Isa . 21:11; 42:11; Jer. 25:24, etc.).
Archeological Site: 1. The Manager of the Israel antiquities authority is allowed to declare an area as an archeo l o g i cal site. 2. This declaration will be written in the land registry and the owner of the place will be informed as well as the aerial committee of planning and building.
His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing nonJewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
5 November 2nd, 1917 Dear Lord Rothschild I have much pleasure in conveying to you. on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet:
Prohibition of activities in the site: 1. In the area of the site, no one can carry out any of the activities listed below without a certificate of approval from the authority manager:
I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation. Yours, Arthur James Balfour
A. Building, paving, excavation, mining, digging, flooding, clearing, ploughing or planting. B. Placing dirt, excrement, waste, and garbage, including placement in the bo r d e r ed property. C. Change, add or remove parts of the antiquity. D. Dismantling, removal or displacing it or its parts. E. Writing, engraving or painting. F. Building buildings or walls on the site or on its borders. G. Another activity that had been dec i d ed relatively to the spec i f ic site by the authority. 2. Any announcement about clause (G) will be written in the registry. 3. R egarding religious and sa c r ed sites, a committee of ministers, in which a minister of Law or religion will be the chairman, will give the approval. From the ‘Agricultural Settlement (Restrictions on the Use of Agricultural Land and Water) Law’ (1967), which prevents Jewish leaseholders of state lands from subleasing them back to Palestinian Arabs. – Arab Association for Human Rights 2001, ‘Land and Planning.’
http://www.wsu.edu:8080 / ~ w l dciv/world_civ_reader/world_civ_re ader_2/balfour.html B edouin: An Arabic word meaning ‘desert dweller’, used to designate the primarily nomadic Arab p eoples of the Middle East, where they form about 10% of the population. They are of the same Semitic stock as their sed e n ta r y n e i g h bours (the fellahin; see Arabs) and share with them a devout belief in Islam and a distrust of any but their own local traditions and way of life. Camel and shee p b r eeding provide their main livelihood. Land is divided into rec o gn i s ed tribal orbits within which are roving family groups. The tribe is a community of equals headed by a sheikh. Among the Bedouin, hosp i tality and simple, immediate justice are first rules of conduct. Although Bedouin have traditionally avoided agricultural work, settlement policies of the various Middle Eastern states in the 20th century f o r c edmany of them into a sed e ntary life. http://reference.allrefer.com/encyclopedia/B/Bedouin.html Any tribe or member of a tribe of Arab nomads living in the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula,
B The Balfour Declaration: (1917) The British Foreign Sec r e tary, Arthur James Balfour, wrote to Jewish leader Lord Rothshild, to assure him that his government supported the ideal of providing a homeland for the Jews. The British hoped thereby to win more Jewish support for the Allies in the First World War. The “Balfour D eclaration” became the basis for international support for the founding of the modern state of Israel. The letter was published a wee k later in The Times of London as reproduced here.
Syria, or North Africa . www.wordsmyth.net/live/home Black Goat Law: I m p o s ed by the government in 1950, the ‘Black Goat Law’ ca u s eda gradual red u ction in the number of goats and in grazing pressure. A further red u ction occurred in the 1980s, for s o c i o - economic reasons. In some forest areas, grazing pressure even
LEXICON d ec r e a s ed much below the desirable level for effective elimination of dry herbaceous veg e tation and regenerating evergreen shrubs and trees. This changeover from goat to cattle grazing encouraged the expansion and invasion of thorny shrubs formerly eaten by goats ( Sarcopoterium spinosa, Calycotome villosa) into the forest’s lower growth and open patches, thus resulting in dangerous levels of accumulated forest fuels. At present, beef cattle occupy most of the grazed forestland, though a small percentage of s h eep and goats graze as well. The JNF Forest Department encourages controlled grazing in planted and native forests. The issuance of licenses according to herd size and carrying capacity of the grazing area restricts grazing to spec i fic areas, timeframes and pressures. During the last two decades, silvopastoral management of large, planted forests has developed (Etienne 2000; Tsiouvaras 2000). The Forest Department carries out infrastructure development (fencing, watering and tending compounds) for herd owners in or nearby the forest. This aims at avoiding any legal tenure of the herd owners on the forestland, which is national property. These activities are financed by the KKL, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Israel Lands Administration through a joint administrative body known as the ‘Pasture Authority’. ’Integrated Fo r e s t Fire Management in Israel: A 15 Year Review, 1987-2002’
ment land is assigned through a system known as ‘the three-party lease’. According to this arrangement, three parties sign the initial land allocation contract: A) ILA as the public landowners agent; B) The Jewish Agency; and C) the Jewish settlement as a collective (its l egal entity is a cooperative). In order to lease (normally as at a subs i d i s edprice and sometimes free of charge) an individual plot of land in such a settlement, a person must be accepted as a member of cooperative that incorporates all residents of the community. The cooperative (often with participation of the Jewish Agency) has the power of ‘selection’ and practical veto power over acceptance. This delegation of state power, the major rationale of which is to block Palestinian access to land, serves simultaneously to preserve the mainly middle-class character of these settlements. ‘The Israeli Land Regime’ by Alexandre (Sandy) Ked a r.
C Colonialism: A system in which a state claims sovereignty over territory and people outside its own boundaries, colonialism is often u s ed to facilitate economic domination over such territories’ resources, labour, and often markets. The term also refers to a set of beliefs used to legitimise or promote this system, especially the belief that the mores of the coloniser are superior to those of the colonised. A d v o cates of colonialism argue that colonial rule benefits the colonised by developing the ec onomic and political infrastructure n ec e s sary for modernisation and democracy. They point to such former colonies as the United States of America, Australia, New Zealand, Hongkong and Singapore as examples of postcolonial success. www.wikipedia.net Community Settlements: A settlement type developed in Israel for the first time in the 1970s. Community settlements were esta b l i s h edin strategic locations in order to promote Jewish presence in the area and prevent Palestinian ‘encroachment’ over public land. As part of a sophisticated system d e s i g n ed to exclude Palestinians, Jews rec e i v ed public land in these areas by a complex land allocation system. Initially, the whole settle-
Marcel Duchamp, L.H.O.O.Q.
Dada or Dadaism. Nihilistic movement in the arts, named after the French children’s word for horse. It flourished chiefly in France, Switzerland, and Germany from about 1916 to about 1920 (and later -ed.) and that was ba s ed on the principles of deliberate irrationality, anarchy, and cynicism, and the rejection of laws of beauty and social organisation. The most widely accepted account of the movement’s naming concerns a meeting held in 1916 at Hugo Ball’s Cabaret (Café) Vo l taire in Zürich, during which a paper knife inserted into a FrenchGerman dictionary pointed to the word dada; this word was seized upon by the group as appropriate for their anti-aesthetic creations and protest activities, which were engendered by disgust for bourgeois values and despair over World War I. In the United States the movement was centered in New York at A l f r ed Stieglitz’s gallery, ‘291,’ and at the studio of the Walter Arensbergs. Dada-like activities, arising independently but parallelling those in Zürich, were e n g a g ed in by such chiefly visual artists as Man Ray and Francis Picabia. Both through their art and through such publications as The
Blind Man, Rongwrong, and New York Dada, the artists attempted to demolish current aesthetic standards. Travelling between the U n i t ed States and Europe, Picabia became a link be t w een the Dada groups in New York City, Zürich, and Paris; his Dada periodical, 291, was published in Barcelona, New York City, Zürich, and Paris from 1917 through 1924. In 1917, the Dada movement was transplanted to Berlin, where it took on a more political character. The Berlin artists, too, issued Dada publications: Club Dada, Der Dada, Jedermann sein eigner Fussball (‘Everyman His Own Fo o t ball’), and Dada Almanach. In Paris, Dada took on a literary emphasis under one of its founders, the poet Tr i s tan Tzara. Most notable among Dada pamphlets and reviews was Littérature (published 1919-24), which conta i n ed writings by André Breton, Louis Aragon, Philippe Soupault, and Paul Éluard. After 1922, however, Dada faded, and many Dadaists subsequently became interestedin surrealism. www.peak.org Defence (Emergency) Reg u l ation 125 (1945): This regulation “grants military commanders the authority to forcibly declare areas ‘ c l o s ed’ and so prevent anyone from entering or leaving them without special permission. This regulation is used to evacuate areas, and on occasion entire villages, so as to facilitate the transfer of ownership with minimal resistance. No compensation is ever offered.” (Arab Association for Human Rights 2001, ‘Land and Planning’) ”Regulation 125 has never been used to close Jewish settlements in Israel, even where these communities are located in dangerous areas. Moreover, Jewish settlements adjacent to these u p r o o t ed villages have used these lands for their own purposes.” (Adalah 2003) Dunam: In Israel, since the 20th century, a dunam has been a unit of land area, equalling 1,000 square meters. From the Turkish dönüm, signifying approximately 1,000 square metres. Considering the fact that modern spoken Hebrew developed in Turkishadministered Palestine, there are surprisingly few Turkish words in it, the reason being that Turkish officials conducted their business with the local population in Arabic, so that few Jews had a knowledge of Turkish. One of the few Turkish words to have entered everyday Hebrew is dönüm – which, as Hebrew dunam, is the standard unit of land measurement in Israel. The only difference is that the Israeli dunam, approximately a quarter of an acre, is exactly a 1000 square metres, whereas the Turkish dönüm was 940.
F F.A.S.T. ( Foundation For Achieving Seamless Territory):
A network organisation of architects, planners, human rights activists, filmmakers, journalists, lawyers, etc. ded i ca t ed to exposing abuses of planning in Israel and around the world, and to offering alternative solutions for them. FAST was esta b l i s h ed in 2004 by the Israeli architect, Malkit Shoshan. Filastin: The press of the Mandate period, particularly the major Arabic newspapers.
G Green Line/ 1949 Armistice Line: After the cessation of hostilities be t w een the Arab countries and Israel in 1948, an armistice a g r eement was signed in 1949. The agreement delineated the bo rders of each party and designated the no man’s land be t w een them according to the location of their r e s p ective armies. This line demarca t ed the borders be t w een Israel and the West Bank and Gaza Strip as rec o g n i s ed by the international community. It is worth mentioning here that Israel does not specify the boundaries of its state. Although the line became known later as the ‘ G r een Line’, its proper name is the ‘1949 Armistice Line’.
I The Israel Land Administration ILA: In Israel, 93% of the land is in the public domain; that is, either theproperty of the state, the Jewish National Fund (J.N.F), or the Development Authority. The Israel Land Administration (ILA) is the government agency responsible for managing this land, which comprises 5,750,000 acres. ‘Ownership’ of real estate in Israel usually means leasing rights from the ILA for 49 or 98 years.Four cornerstones make up the leg a l basis of the Israel lands policy: • • • •
Basic Law establishing the Israel Lands Administration (1960) Israel Lands Law (1960) Israel Lands Administration (1960) Covenant be t w een the State of Israel and the World Zionists.
Individual farms: ‘The Land Keepers’: A plan for a new development of agritourism farms along the road leading south from Bee r Sheva to Mitzpe Ramon. The National Planning and Building Council was persuaded that the road could be a key tourist focus, where agritourism farms ca n be founded without harming the nature or archeology of the area. The National Planning and Building Council set a number of conditions for carrying out the plan. The farms must be based on s u b s tantial agritourist activities, up to six tourist bungalows can be built on each farm, and the public will be guaranteed free passageway. There will be parking for tourists, and free movement for
trips and hikes. Interference: An occasion that destroys organisms in an ecological environment and opens space for renewed settlement of other organisms. Israeli: 1. (n) a native or inhabitant of Israel 2. (adj) of or relating to or characteristic of Israel or its people. Israel’s Nationality Law relates to persons born in Israel or resident therein, as well as to those wishing to settle in the country, regardless of race, religion, creed, sex or political belief. Citizenship may be acquired by: • Birth • The Law of Return • Residence • Naturalisation Acquisition of nationality by birth is granted to: 1. Persons who were born in Israel to a mother or a father who is an Israeli citizes. 2. Persons born outside Israel, if their father or mother holds Israeli citizenship, acquired either by birth in Israel, according to the Law of Return, by residence, or by naturalisation. 3. Persons born after the death of one of their parents, if the late parent was an Israeli citizen by virtue of the conditions enumer ated in 1. and 2. above at the time of death. 4. Persons born in Israel, who have never had any nationality and subject to limitations specified in the law, if they: – apply for it in the period between their 18th and 25th birthday and have been resi dents of Israel for five consecu tive years, immediately preced ing the day of the filing of their application. Acquisition of Nationality according to the Law of Return: On the establishment of the state, its founders proclaimed “...the renewal of the Jewish State in the Land of Israel, which would open wide the gates of the homeland to every Jew...” In pursuance of this tenet, the State of Israel has absorbed survivors of the Holocaust, refugees from the countries in which they had resided, as well as many thousands of Jews who came to settle in Israel of their own volition. The Law of Return (1950) grants every Jew, wherever he may be, the right to come to Israel as an oleh (a Jew immigrating to Israel) and become an Israeli citizen. For the purposes of this Law, “Jew” means a person who was born of a Jewish mother, or has converted to Judaism and is not a member of another religion. Israeli citizenship becomes effective on the day of arrival in the country or of receipt of an oleh’s certificate, whichever is later. A person may declare, within three months, that he/she does not wish to become a citizen. An oleh’s certificate may be denied to persons who: 1. engage in activity directed against the Jewish people;
LEXICON 2. may endanger public health or the security of the state; 3. have a criminal past, likely to endanger public welfare. Since 1970, the right to immigrate under this law has been extended to include the child and the grandchild of a Jew, the spouse of a child of a Jew and the spouse of the grandchild of a Jew. The purpose of this amendment is to ensure the unity of families, where intermarriage had occurred; it does not apply to persons who had been Jews and had voluntarily changed their religion.
Judaisation project, and especially its prevailing land and settlement practices, led to the rupturing of the state’s borders, to the continuing involvement of world Jewry in the governing of the state, and to the subsequent undermining of equal citizenship, popular sovereignty and democratic rule. Most n o tably, the Judaisation project has ca u s ed the pervasive dispossession of Palestinian-Arabs, but it has also r e s h a p ed relations be t w een Jewish ethno-classes, mainly along the Ashkenazi-Mizrahi and orthodoxs ecular cleavages.” Oren Yiftachel
Acquisition of Nationality by Residence: Special provision is made in the Nationality Law for former citizens of British Mandatory Palestine. Those who remained in Israel from the establishment of the State in 1948 until the enactment of the Nationality Law of 1952, became Israeli citizens by residence or by return. According to an amendment (1980), further possibilities to acquire citizenship by residence were included in the law. Acquisition of Nationality by Naturalisation: Adults may acquire Israeli citizenship by naturalisation at the discretion of the Minister of the Interior and subject to a number of requirements, such as: 1. They must have resided in Israel for three years out of the five years preceding the day of submission of the application. 2. They are entitled to reside in Israel permanently and have settled or intend to settle in Israel. 3. They have renounced their prior nationality, or have proved that they will cease to be foreign nationals upon becoming Israeli citizens. –The Minister of the Interior may exempt an applicant from some of these requirements. (Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
J Jewish National Fund (JNF): This non-governmental organisation is controlled by the World Zionist Organisation. It was founded in 1901 in order to purchase lands in Palestine and turn them into the property of the Jewish people that would never be sold but only leased. Fo r e s tation is one of JNF’s main concerns, especially as a practice of retaining hold of untended land, by the actual planting of forests, their maintenance and inspection, and by turning them into recreation areas. Judaisation of the land: ” The case of Israel well illustrates the making of an ethnocratic regime. It has evolved around the central Zionist (and uni-ethnic) project of Judaising Israel/Palestine. This strategy was implemented by land, settlement, immigration and military policies, and created a stratified and seg r eg a t ed political geography. The ‘momentum’ of the
K Kalahari Bushmen: Since 1997, the government of Botswana has been uprooting the Bushmen from their ancestral lands, and moving them to resettlement camps. Reasons given have included the Bushmen’s ‘development’, and conservation of the area. In fact, the exact opposite is taking place. An exploration boom aimed at sec u ring lucrative profits from the e x p l o i tation of future diamond mines on the reserve is well underway, and there has been a huge increase in diamond concessions in the reserve since the Bushmen evictions. As a traditional communal society, the Bushmen fin d themselves in a quagmire of legal, p o l i t i cal and economic straits. Their situation is not unlike that of the American Indians or the Australian a borigines in the 1800s. While unwritten traditional tribal law held communal land sacred, English law hardly recognizes its legality, preferring instead the concept of privately owned land. http://www.kalaharipeoples.org/ Kibbutz: A kind of communal settlement, the first kibbutz to be e s ta b l i s h ed in Israel was Degonia, near the Sea of Galilee, in 1909. Others followed during the 1920s. The early kibbutzim were agricultural co-operatives protec t ed by a r m ed settlers. Their motto was “Work and Believe”. Today, there are about 230 kibbutzim in Israel. Life on a kibbutz varies somewhat according to the main focus of each particular group. Most are mainly agricultural, while others make toys, shoes, blow glass, or a number of other things. Some kibbutzim operate tourist facilities or arrange for young people from other countries to spend time living at the kibbutz and sharing in the work and other aspects of life there. Committees are what govern kibbutz life. The various parts of community life are dealt with by s p ec i a l i s ed committees. There are committees for finance, education, and care of children – to name but a few. They have a special meeting once a year where they elect officers, take care of policies, and regulate other aspects of kibbutzim life. In a kibbutz, all property is shared equally by everyone living in a certain village. There is equali-
ty of opportunity and responsibility. Residents do not receive salaries but they are given housing and other necessities, including medical services and ed u cation. Women work as the men do, and everyone eats at a common table. Some kibbutzim have modern kitchens, swimming pools, and gymnasiums. There are art galleries, concert halls, and cultural centres. Kibbutz hotels are popular v a cation spots. Originally the children on a kibbutz lived in a separate house apart from their parents. Their parents were working all day. They could visit in the afternoons and on w eekends, but the children slept in s p ecial quarters and not with their parents. Today, in an effort for more family stability and closeness, the children spend their days with other children but sleep in their parents’ quarters at night. Members from one kibbutz can transfer to another or move to independent farms or other jobs. Less than 4% of the people of Israel live in kibbutzim.
said that a “illegal constructions are spreading over wide areas and destroying the principals of fiscal planning”. The committee ruled , “Central and local governmental bodies have to act quickly and decisively in order to stop the illeg a l buildings and destroy them immediately”. The committee rec o m m e n d ed the creation of a national unit, to control the illegal building as part of the Ministry of Interior Affairs. This is now operating and has six units in the different regions of the country, plus an administration centre. The unit is responsible for tracking illegal buildings, creating a l egal case against them, and, following the legal process, their demolition. Mitzpim: The mitzpim were e s ta b l i s h ed in strategic locations in order to promote Jewish presence in the area and prevent Palestinian ‘encroachment’ on public land. Such settlements offered highquality suburban homes at subsidised prices to induce Jews to move to the Galilee. The mitzpim then expanded into additional Israeli regions, becoming known as ‘community settlements’. Katzir was esta b l i s h ed in this way, in an area densely populated by Palestinians and bordering the 1967 Green Line.
Land (Acquisition for Public Purposes) Ordinance (1943): This ruling authorises the government to confis cate land for public purposes with minimal compensation. 40% of the owner’s land ca n be confisca t ed without compensation. Public purposes are usually Jewish: From 1200 dunams confisca t ed in Nazareth for public purposes, 80 dunams were used for public buildings and the rest was u s ed to build Jewish housing [1 acre = 4 dunams].
M Mapuche: The Mapuche are the pre-Hispanic inhabitants of Central and Southern Chile and Argentina. They are also known by the Spanish denomination of Araucanos. Mapuche means people of the land. There has been a longs tanding disa g r eement be t w ee n the community and landowners over demarcation and fencing (demarcación y cerramiento) of the community’s land. Landowners are reported to have intimidated members of the community repeated l y , in attempts to force them to aba ndon their land. The authorities have reportedly not acted to protect the community against this harassment. The community has fil ed a lawsuit against several local landowners which is before the First Civil Court (Primer Juzgado Civil) in the city of Temuco. http://www.mapuche-nation.org/ Markovich Report: The Markovich committee dealt with the issue of illegal building on sta t e lands and in open (green) areas, a phenomenon it described as a ‘ s tate ca tastrophe’ in the conclusion of the committee report, which
concert hall, a theatre, and classes in cultural subjects for adults.
N N a k ba, Nakba or Al-Nakba: An Arabic term, pronounced AnNakba, which means ‘cataclysm’ or ‘ calamity’. It is the term which Palestinians usually use to refer to the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. The term Nakba was coined by C o n s tantine Zurayk, a professor of history at the American University of Beirut, in his 1948 book Ma’nat al-Nakba (‘The Meaning of D i saster’). Zurayk wrote a continuation book, The New Meaning of the Disaster (also in Arabic) in 1967, but the term Nakba is r e s e r v ed for the 1948 war. Together with Naji Ali’s Hanzala (the barefoot kid always drawn from behind), and the symbo l i c key for the house in Palestine ca rried by so many Palestinian r e f u g ees, the Nakba is perhaps the most important symbol of Palestinian discourse. N a k ba Day (May 15th) is cons i d e r ed an important day on the Palestinian calendar, and is traditionally observed as a time to learn a bout the history of Palestine and to remember the event. National Park: An area designated as a National Park or National Reserve is intended as an area for trees and veg e tation to grow with no disturbances, while birds and animals remain in their natural environment.
Modernism: The term Modernism refers to the radical shift in aesthetic and cultural sensibilities evident in the art and literature of the post-World War One period. The ordered, stable and inherently meaningful worldview of the ninet eenth century could not, wrote T.S. Eliot, accord with “the immense panorama of futility and anarchy which is contemporary history.” Modernism thus marks a distinctive break with Victorian bourgeois morality; rejecting nineteenth-century optimism, they presented a profoundly pessimistic picture of a culture in disarray. This despair often results in an apparent apathy and moral relativism. http://www.iath.virginia.edu/ Moshav: In this kind of cooperative agriculture settlement, each family owns its own farmland and home. Purchasing and selling are both done cooperatively. There are a number of villages grouped around a central town in a moshav. The town collects and gives out the produce and furnishes the need ed equipment and materials. The town is the administrative centre. Within this central town, there is generally a secondary school, a
Nature Preservation Authorities: According to Azaria Alon, the former chairman of The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel: “Israel is an island of nature preservation compared to its neighbo u ring countries, who do not consider this subject important at all” (Alon in Kliot, 2000:224). Deep Ecology is the major focus of biocentric and ecocentric ec o l o g i cal philosophy strands, see Deval, 1994, Murphy, 2000. However, see the critique of dee p ecology by Ramashndra Guha and others: Guha, 1994, Coats, 1998, Callicott, 1994. Bukchin, 2000. Negev: (Hebrew) Naqab (Arab) The Negev encompasses about half the landmass of Israel. The borders of Jordan and Egypt frame it, with its southernmost tip at Eilat. Though Israeli leaders from BenGurion on have stressed the i m p o r tance of settling the area, it remains undeveloped and sparsely populated. For centuries, the area has bee n “home” to Bedouins who have increasingly given up their nomadic lifestyle and settled in permanent homes. It is often possible to visit the permanent and semipermanent tents of these hosp i table people and enjoy sweet tea and the best pita you’ll ever taste fil l ed with goat cheese and a delicious spice ca l l ed zater. Some of the encampments are regular stops for tourists, but others are more authentic villages where s h eep and goats are tended, and
LEXICON young and old alike still observe the ways of old. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/j source/vie/desert.html
P Palestinian: A descendant of the Arabs who inhabited Palestine.
were bo r n In 2004, 20,000 new immigrants arrived to Israel. In 2003, 23,000 immigrants arrived .
The Central Bureau of Statistics, Israel Present Absentees: T he A b s e n t ee Property Law (1950) allowed the State of Israel to acquire control of all the property (including land) left behind by those who were expelled from or fled from their homes during the 1948 war. The absentee status does not change should the person come back, or even if they never left the country in the first place, in which case they are known as ‘present absentee s . ’
R Park Hacremel Masterplanplan n: Designating approximately 10,000 dunam as National Park and nature reserve. Pine trees: The environmenta l effects of pine and euca l y p t u s t r ees, as described by a bo tanist: “They acidify soil, devour nutrients and leach substances into the soil that repel other plants. So microorganisms in plantation land are deficient for years after harvesting.”
Roma Gypsies: The Roma p eople (pronounced “rahma,” singular Rom) along with the closely related Sinti people are commonly known as Gypsies. They are a traditionally nomadic people who originated in northern India but currently live worldwide, chiefly in Europe. Most Roma speak some form of Romany, a language closely related to the modern IndoEuropean languages of northern India and Pa k i s tan. Many former Eastern bloc countries have substantial populations of Roma. The level of integ r ation of Roma in society remains limited. They usually remain on the margins of society, living in isolated ghetto-like settlements. Only a small fraction of Roma children graduate from secondary schools.
Are All Trees Green? The spotlight on forestry Text Maria Johns “When the pioneers came to Israel at the turn of the century, they found bare hills and mountains and valleys fil l ed with swamps. After years of hard work, disregarding the danger of contracting malaria, they managed to dry out the swamps by opening up the waterways of the rivers and by importing Australian euca l y p t u s t r ees, known to have large root systems. The experiment succeed ed . The eucalyptus trees acclimated quickly and became instrumental in drying out the swamps. Israelis also sought to forest the bare mountains and hills as quickly as possible. The Jewish National Fund sta r t ed to plant pine tree s because they grow quickly. Unfortunately, the trees were not s u i t edto the climate and started to die after a few deca d e s . ” (www.transparent.com) Population of Israel: The total population of the State of Israel is a bout 6.8 million. • 76% of the citizens of Israel are Jewish, 20% are Arab (Palestinian) and 4% are belong to other groups. • The growth percentage of the population in Israel in 2004 was 1.7%, the lowest since 1990. • During 2004, 143,00 babies
Kasper David Fr i edrich, Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog
Usually they feel rejec t ed by the s tate and main population, which creates another obstacle to their integration. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roma_ and_Sinti Romanticism: An attitude or intellectual orientation that charact e r i s ed many works of literature, painting, music, architecture, criticism, and historiography in Western civilization over a period from the late 18th to the mid-19th century. Romanticism can be see n as a rejection of the precepts of order, calm, harmony, balance, idealisation, and rationality that typified Classicism in general and late 18th-century Neoclassicism in particular. It was also to some extent a reaction against the Enlightenment and against 18th-century rationalism and physical materialism in
general. Romanticism emphasised the individual, the subjective, the irrational, the imaginative, the personal, the spontaneous, the emotional, the visionary, and the transcendental. Among the characteristic attitudes of Romanticism were the following: a dee p e n ed apprec iation of the beauties of nature; a general exaltation of emotion over reason and of the senses over intell ect; a turning in upon the self and a heightened examination of human personality and its moods and mental potentialities; a preo ccupation with the genius, the hero, and the exceptional figure in general, and a focus on his passions and inner struggles; a new view of the artist as a supremely individual creator, whose creative spirit is more important than strict adherence to formal rules and traditional p r o c edures; an emphasis upon imagination as a gateway to transcendent experience and spiritual truth; an obsessive interest in folk culture, national and ethnic cultural origins, and the medieval era; and a pred i l ection for the exotic, the remote, the mysterious, the weird, the occult, the monstrous, the diseased, and even the sa ta n i c . www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/glo/rom anticism/
S Seam: The term ‘the seam’ is adapted from the Seam Zone: “The IDF spokesperson’s unit has announced on February 10th 2004 that the IDF is completing the establishment of a new brigade, which will be responsible for the Seam Zone area, from the area south of Qalkilya to the outskirts of Jerusalem, an area that includes 9 Israeli communities and 32 Palestinian villages. “The new brigade, to be ca l l ed the Macabim Brigade, was established in order to reinforce the Israeli homeland security in the area of western Seam Zone area in which the building of the security Fence is not yet complete. “The responsibility for the Brigade region will be taken by compulsory soldiers’ brigade of “Amud Haesh” division of the Central Command. “The establishment of the r egional brigade which includes additional forces for protecting the Seam Zone, was intended to enable commanders in the area to focus on the effort to prevent infiltration of terrorists into Israel through this zone, to supervise the construction of the security fence, and provide security for the Israeli civilians in the region.”
www.seamzone.mod.gov.il Settlements: see table 1
T Territorialism: 1. A social system that gives authority and influence in a state to the landowners. 2. A system of church government based on primacy of civil power. www.yourdictionary.com Territorialism preached the formation of a Jewish collective in Palestine, or anywhere else, on the basis of self-rule. The territorialist outlook coalesced in the deba t e over the Uganda Program. In July 1905, after the Zionist Congress rejec t ed this plan, the Territorialist Jewish Organization was esta bl i s h edin Basle under the leadership of the writer Israel Zangwill. It attempted to locate territory suitable for Jewish settlement in various parts of Africa, Asia, and Australia, but with little success. The Balfour Declaration and the resulting Zionist awakening neg a t ed the movement and led to its dissolution in 1925. Other territorialist attempts, meant as counterweights to Zionism, were undertaken in the Soviet Union be t w een the two world wars. The first was in the southern Ukraine and the northern Crimea, where four non-contiguous “national districts” (raiony) were e s ta b l i s h edin the early 1920s and obliterated when the Nazis invaded. The second was in Birobidjan, where a ‘Jewish Autonomous R egion’ was proclaimed in 1934. This venture also failed, leaving a small Jewish minority in the region. In 1935, in response to the Nazi accession to power in Germany, I saac Nachman Steinberg esta bl i s h ed the Freeland League in the United States. This organization attempted, unsuccessfully, to pursue Jewish autonomy by obtaining a large piece of territory in sparsely populated areas in Ecuador, Australia, or Surinam. None of the territorialist movements are viable today. www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org
U UN Declaration: The United Nations General Assembly
Resolution 181 ca l l ed for the partition of the British-ruled Palestine Mandate into a Jewish state and an Arab state. It was approved on N o v e m ber 29, 1947 with 33 votes in favour, 13 against, 10 abstentions and one absent. www.mfa.gov.il/MFA
Z Zionism: This political movement m a i n tains that the Jewish people constitute a nation and are entitled to a national homeland. Formally founded in 1897, Zionism embraced a variety of opinions in its early years on where that homeland might be esta b l i s h ed. From 1917, it focussed on the establishment of a Jewish national homeland or state in Palestine, the location of the ancient Kingdom of Israel. Since 1948, Zionism has been a movement to support the development and defence of the S tate of Israel, and to encourage Jews to settle there.
Online exhibition of the competition at www.seamless-israel.org
photo by Eriko Watanabe
F.A.S.T. Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory F.A.S.T.
We would like to thank the following Ngo’s (Non Governmental Organizations) for their support on this project:
Director Malkit Shoshan
I.C.C.O Mieke Zagt M a rtin Siepermann
Association of Forty Muhammad Abu El Hayja Muhammad Abu Duef Ola Jabali
De Balie Anil Ramdas Marga Verheije Mirjam Ukpabi
Adalah Suhad Bishara Sharif Hamadeh Hana Hamdan
Mediamatic Willem Velthoven Jans Possel A rne Hendriks
An Other Jewish Voice Anneke Mouthaan Jaap Hamburger
I.C.A.H.D. J e ff Halper
Amnesty International (Campaign) Ruth de Wijs
Bimkom Naama Meishar
Archis Ole Bouman Lilet Breddels Elain Ho
Board Willem Velthoven - Chairman Michiel Schwarz - Boardmember Alwin Van Heemstra - Boardmember Sandi Hilal - Boardmember Stefano Boeri - Boardmember Dan Handel - Architect B e rt de Muynck - Architect - Writer
Novib, Oxfam Catherine Essoyan Bettina Huber Christel Speller
Stateless Nation Sandi Hilal Alessandro Petti
Colophon This is a publication of F.A.S.T. Editor in Chief Malkit Shoshan Editors B e rt de Muynck Jane Szita Graphic design B a rt de Baets Contact address firstname.lastname@example.org www.seamless-israel.org February 2005 Edition 10.000 copies ISBN 9066173173
Contributors Muhammad Abu El Hayja Archis Daniel Bauer Suhad Bishara Matthijs Bouw Zvi Elhayani J e ff Halper Sharif Hamadeh Hana Hamdan Dan Handel Sandi Hilal Rassem Khamaissi Naama Meishar Alessandro Petti
Photography, illustrations Adalah Archis Daniel Bauer Zvi Elhayani Haneen Kandelaft B e rt de Muynck Stateless Nation Malkit Shoshan Vitala Tauz Eriko Watanabe
We would also like to thank the following people who contributed to the project in various ways: Edo Amin (journalist), Daniel Bauer (photographer), Aaron Betsky (Director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute), Petra Blaisse (Director of InsideOutside), Stefano Boeri (architect, Director of Domus Magazine), Matthijs Bouw (architect, Director of One Architecture), Zvi Elhayani (architect, architecture historian), Rebecca Gomperts (Director of Women on Waves), Noa Haim (architect), Rachel Leah Jones (ﬁlmmaker), Rassem Khamaissi (geographer), Alexandre (Sandy) Kedar (lawyer), Naama Meishar (architect), Hella Rottenberg (journalist), Jane Szita (journalist), Eyal Weizman (architect), Eriko Watanabe (architect), Oren Yiftachel (geographer), Esther Zanberg (journalist)