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Growing neighborhoods in Jerusalem

June 30, 2011

Here’s an interesting map, which shows where Jews and Arabs lived in 1967, and where they lived in 2006. I lifted it out of a 2007 Hebrew book:

אורה אחימאיר, יעקב בר-סימון-טוב, 40 שנה בירושלים, 1967-2007

published by the Jerusalem Institute for Israel studies, and downloadable in its entirety here.

The largish Jewish neighborhood of Har Homa doesn’t appear on either map, and should appear in the lower right corner of the second map, where there’s an empty area. There are some 15,000 people living there.

Given that the population of the town has roughly tripled, it’s no surprise that the built-up areas are noticeably larger, and that both Jews and Arabs live on more ground than they used to. Interestingly, though surprising only to people who follow the international media, none of the Jewish expansion happened on ground that was previously occupied by Arabs. I’m not talking about ownership of empty land – that’s a matter I’ve not yet even begun looking into. On the straightforward question if any Jewish neighborhoods were built on land that had been previously lived on by Arabs, the answer is no. (There have been cases where individuals have purchased homes previously owned by Arabs – but no neighborhoods were built this way, and those Jewish homes are not marked on this map).

In addition, it is easy to see that some cases where Palestinians and their supporters criticise Israel for moving into Arab neighborhoods, the Arab neighborhoods are themselves new and were empty fields when Israel arrived in 1967.

Finally, as I never tire of saying, (most recently yesterday), the map shows how dividing the town now or in the future will inevitably be a very different proposition from an urban perspective than last time, in 1948.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Nycerbarb permalink
    June 30, 2011 1:04 pm

    I see you took up my challenge!

    I assume the heavy blue line is the municipal border. Do you know the history of how it was determined, and why it has the wandering shapes? It looks as complicated as a New York City congressional district!


  2. Silke permalink
    July 1, 2011 12:23 pm

    Robert F. Kennedy visited Israel in early 1948

    These articles by Robert F. Kennedy were published in the Boston Post after his March 1948 visit to the Middle East. He departed Palestine prior to Israel’s declaration of independence on May 14 and Ben-Gurion’s announcement of the name of the new country. RFK, therefore, does not refer to “Israel” or to “Israelis.”

    and tells that

    The Jews point with pride to the fact that over 500,000 Arabs in the 12 years between 1932 and 1944, came into Palestine to take advantage of living conditions existing in no other Arab state. This is the only country in the Near and Middle East where an Arab middle class is in existence.

    Just in case this might come in helpful.

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