A Civic Policy on East Jerusalem

Towards a New Theory of Change


Marik Shtern

Publisher Van Leer Institute Press
Language Hebrew
Year of Publication 2022
Series Theory in Context Series

This research report discusses the importance and possible courses of action for the treatment of the inscrutable political issues related to the residents of East Jerusalem. After Israel's military campaign in Gaza and waves of violence from East to West Jerusalem in the years 2014-2015, Israel began to invest in socioeconomic areas in the eastern part of the city, in the hope that reducing social and economic disparities would solve the problem. But at the same time it continued to neglect political issues and severe inscrutable problems that discriminate between Jews and Arabs in the city in terms of status and rights.  This document focuses on four main fundamental issues: civil status, relations between the residents and the Israel Police, planning of housing construction, and the neighborhoods outside of the separation fence. Each chapter of the document is devoted to one of those areas and offers a brief overview of the nature of the problem and proposes policy tools for its resolution.

The report argues that a new civil policy towards the residents of East Jerusalem is in order, because otherwise equality and social integration will never be achieved. Accordingly, neither will the potential thriving of West Jerusalem be possible. Untangling the political knot and realizing those solutions are the responsibility of the Israeli side, because it is the sovereign and the party responsible for these problematic arrangements in the first place. The resolution of these problems is of paramount importance and has the potential to generate a significant change in the city's daily life.

The report calls on social activists, heads of organizations and institutions in Jerusalem, directors and opinion leaders in the Jerusalem Municipality and the Government of Israel, to act to reduce disparities in East Jerusalem. The document was written by Dr. Marik Shtern, a political geographer and research associate at the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Reserch and at Truman Institute at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He studies the political geography of divided cities and Jerusalem in particular.

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