"We are losing Jerusalem"
Nayrouz Abu Hatoum
(Columbia University )
Paper short abstract:
This paper explore the social and political transformations of Kufr Aqab, a Palestinian "neighbourhood" at the margins of Jerusalem's municipality. I argue that Palestinian make claims to Jerusalem through urban informal re-making of their spaces and constant re-establishing presence in the city.
Paper long abstract:
My paper explores the social and political transformations of Kufr Aqab, a Palestinian "neighbourhood" at the margins of Jerusalem's municipality. It investigates the frameworks and practices of community building that Kufr Aqab's dwellers employ to cope with the rapid urban and demographic changes in their space. Situated on the border-zone of Jerusalem's Israeli municipality and the Palestinian West Bank, Kufr Aqab's geopolitical location renders it an extrajudicial territory. This paper argues that Israel's discriminatory policies in Jerusalem oversee urban dispossession of Palestinian Jerusalemites. Through four main Israeli policies and practices Palestinians' presence in Jerusalem is undermined. I shall refer to these policies and practices as a "matrix of dispossession". The matrix of dispossession consists of a settler colonial identification system; discriminatory urban development; house demolitions; border and checkpoint system (most notably: the wall). I also argue that we cannot understand urban strategies utilized by Palestinian Jerusalemites without looking into the larger structure of settler colonial citizenship that they are subjected to. Building on Asef Bayat's (2012) article "Politics in the City‐Inside‐Out", I borrow the notions of 'informality', 'urban subaltern' and 'survivals by repossession' to explain Palestinian strategies of claiming Jerusalem through imprinting their spatial dwelling practices in the face of this matrix of dispossession. Palestinian Jerusalemites make claims to Jerusalem through the constant re-making of their urban space and re-establishing presence in the city.
Shifting populations, permanent instability, suspended stay: contemporary mobilities in Palestine and Israel