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Colonialist Construction in the Urban Space of Jerusalem


This article examines the matrix of Israel’s urban interventions using territorial and demographic engineering to transform Jerusalem into a closer approximation of Zionist ideological conceptualization. It argues that the state deploys archaeological, cultural, sociopolitical, territorial, and urban design instruments to deconstruct or re-narrate the other histories and characteristics of the city in order to preempt alternative sovereignties. The asymmetrical power of the Israeli state is constantly challenged in urban spaces and quotidian practices by Palestinians who hold competing discourses. Palestinians contest Israel’s conceptualization through discourses that do not ascribe to the state project, emphasizing that identity is not exclusive to one ethnicity or religion, while working to sustain and strengthen an alternative sovereignty.