Residents, Not Citizens: Israeli Policy towards the Arabs in East Jerusalem, 1967-2017
Publication Year: 2017
Amnon Ramon, Yael Ronan
During the two weeks that followed the Six Day War, the government held discussions on the “unification of Jerusalem”. Simultaneously a discussion took place regarding the status of Arab residents in the annexed territory. A “temporary” decision was made to grant East Jerusalem Arabs the status of residents rather than citizens of Israel. In Addition they were allowed to maintain Jordanian citizenship. This decision had and continues to have far reaching repercussions that affect all aspects of life in East Jerusalem to this day. The central issue of this book is how the status of the Arab residents who lived in the territory annexed by Israel was determined. Accordingly, the book focuses on the social and legal status of East Jerusalem Arabs and the various forms this status has taken over the past fifty years. In a broader sense, it addresses Israeli policy towards the city’s Arabs. This is a summary of the book’s findings. The book itself is available in Hebrew.
The central issue of this book is how the status of the Arab residents who lived in the territory annexed by Israel was determined. This territory covered about 70 square kilometers and included some 70,000 residents. An exploration of this issue reveals deeper layers that reflect the attitude of Israel’s leadership and society towards the Arab population in East Jerusalem as well as other territories captured in the war. To this day, that attitude has had far-reaching repercussions for the reality of life in East Jerusalem. The discussion that follows is based on recently released documents of the State Archives in Jerusalem, in particular the minutes of government meetings that have been made available to researchers.
Focus of the book
The book focuses on the social and legal status of East Jerusalem Arabs and the various forms this status has taken over the past fifty years. In a broader sense, it addresses Israeli policy towards the city’s Arabs. Part I traces the history of the status of residence as well as the attitude of Israeli authorities towards Arab residents within the overall context of Jerusalem’s “unification”. Part II presents the current state of affairs in relation to residence status during recent years and examines the far-reaching implications of this unique status for the lives of East Jerusalem Arabs. The concluding chapter explores various alternatives for status in the context of various future scenarios for the city, both in the absence of a political agreement or in the event of progress towards an interim or final agreement.
Part III, by Prof. Yael Ronen, offers a comparative analysis of the status of East Jerusalem Arabs from the perspective of international law. The book as a whole provides food for thought and deliberation regarding a central issue that, fifty years after the “unification” of Jerusalem, has become marginalized.