The Contested City

March 2001 9781850655763 369pp


Although Israelis and Palestinians are adamant that they will not negotiate or indeed compromise over the status of Jerusalem, agreements have been made and understandings reached between the two protagonists, as well as between other Arab states. This book sheds light on the political history of Jerusalem in Arab-Israeli relations over the last 25 years. The author adopts a multidisciplinary approach -involving history, political science, geography, city planing, sociology and international relations – in order to integrate the political status of the city on the negotiating table with its complex urban reality, thereby dispelling many of the myths that shape political discourse about the city. Too often, he argues, Jerusalem’s complex political geography has been overlooked in the rush to maximise short-term political gains.


‘This is an important and well-researched book. It traces the political, municipal and to a lesser extent, socio-cultural aspects of Jerusalem during the Israeli occupation of East (Arab) Jerusalem since June 1967. Klein comprehends both the Jewish and the Arab feelings regarding the city and recognises the: “It is the capital of Israel, but East Jerusalem is the future Palestinian state’s capital-in-the-making. Most Palestinians feel a personal relationship with Jerusalem even if they have not visited it for years.’  — Jordan Times


Menachem Klein teaches in the Department of Political Science, Bar-Ilan University, Israel, and was a team member of the Geneva Initiative Negotiations in 2003. He has advised both the Israeli government and the Israeli delegation for peace talks with the PLO (2000) and was a fellow at Oxford University and a visiting professor at MIT. He is the author of The Shift: Israel-Palestine from Border Struggle to Ethnic Conflict, also published by Hurst.

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