DevMode
The fact that East Jerusalem suffers from deprivation does not require a scientific investigation. It is sufficient to walk its street to discover how neglected it is. If the evidence of one's eyes is not enough, a plenitude of research has shown the existence of institutionalized, systematic discrimination. This article seeks to draw attention to the means by which the discrimination is perpetrated, to discover the roots and meaning of the policy and what it says about the motivation of those carrying it out.
The municipal deprivation manifests itself in three areas: allocation of land for residences; allocation of municipals services and limitation of demographic development. East Jerusalem residents, who make up 35% of the population, receive 9-12% of the municipal budget - well below their urgent and legitimate needs - suffer from deprivation and a chronic lack of infrastructure. The mass of limits imposed by city hall on land for legitimate building has made the mission almost impossible. The permitted area for building is extremely sparse - about 10,000 dunams out of the 70,000 dunams annexed in 1967. The size of the buildings on the plots is also severely limited. In most of East Jerusalem the building percentages per plot are 35-75%, whereas in the Western part of the city the percentages are 75-120%1. Regarding demography, the State determined, in one of its most shameful decisions, that the Arab sector should not exceed 30% of the population of the city in order to maintain an absolute majority of Jews. The latest master plan, "Jerusalem 2000," acknowledges that this objective has not been achieved and sets a new limit - 40% Arab. The decision-makers are apparently incapable of understanding the moral implications of their untenable policy. It is not difficult to imagine how the State of Israel would react if a European country intended limiting the number of its Jewish residents.
By means of the above three control mechanisms, City Hall rules the lives of East Jerusalem residents: The first determines the living area; the second determines the quality of life; and the third determines their status as an inferior minority. These mechanisms are meant to engrave in the consciousness of the East Jerusalemites that they are subtenants, living in the city under sufferance of the Jewish authorities. Otherwise, it is not possible to explain why the municipality demolishes "illegal" houses on out-of-the-way hilltops where no Jewish foot had ever trod. More than 700 houses have been destroyed in the last decade just to show who's boss2.

The Motive behind Municipal Policy

The source of this municipal policy toward East Jerusalem derives from a combination of ideological motives and a discriminatory organizational culture. The ideological motive is based on the belief that Jerusalem belongs to the Jewish people exclusively. This ideology extends even to those areas arbitrarily annexed in 1967, which were never part of historic Jerusalem. The discriminatory practices are carried out people who are motivated neither by rightist ideology nor nationalist attitudes. Indeed, these are professionals, not racists, who administer a racist policy.
This phenomenon is reminiscent of European colonial policy in Asia and Africa where the colonial authorities avoided racial hatred while cold-bloodedly exploiting the locals. They simply carried out their jobs as expected of civil servants of an imperial power. A similar situation exists in the Jerusalem City Hall. Liberal people, free of racist motives, carry out discriminatory policy in the name of the "current mandatory power," i.e., the State of Israel.
A senior administrator in the municipality does not require specific directives to discriminate against the eastern part of the city. This policy is maintained by covert codes, and the message trickles down and is copied at all levels. Like all bureaucratic institutions, the municipality requires of its employees adherence to its guiding principles. One of the most effective methods of perpetuating the system is by rewarding and advancing like-minded officials. An ambitious official learns quickly that those who toe the line are rewarded accordingly and the naysayers pay the price. This behavior effectively transforms all those who conform to it into an element of the racist municipal machine.
The sociologist Ralph Linto3 has noted that an organization sometimes develops values different from those of its members. Furthermore, in certain situations people can maintain more than one set of values and even conflicting values. Thus, a municipal employee can act according to liberal values outside the office and conform to different, even totalitarian, values while carrying out his city duties.
Prof. Dan Horowitz finds an explanation for this behavior in what he terms the "operational code" of the 1948 generation.4 He believes that the '48 generation, which eventually took over the national leadership, blurred the concepts of justice and equality because of "security considerations" and left a wide span of wiggle room. This gap between vision and execution exists not only in the Arab context, but also with regard to every ethical issue. The executive rank does maintain high moral principles, but these are overridden by force of circumstance. This permissive attitude to matters of principle, which Horowitz calls "constructive hypocrisy," enables the executive to overcome the cognitive dissonance involved in discrimination and gives legitimacy to all deviations. In this manner, the executive rank can live in tranquility with the discrimination, since in the background the vision remains, and keeps them enlightened and humane.

The Mindset

The organizational culture that rules in the municipality was not conceived in the corridors of city hall. It is the recycling of a type of behavior that migrated from the army to Safra Square. The fact that more than half of the senior municipal officials came from the army has a direct impact on the aforementioned discrimination. In the army mindset, which these officials bring with them, the Arab is always an enemy, even if he is a resident of the state. According to Kenneth Boulding's characterization, it is possible to say that force is a major component of the personality of these officials and this is reflected in their mode of administration, the basis of their definition of the collective, their way of dividing the national resources, and socio-political elements.
This set of power values has entrenched itself in the local culture and influences all interaction between Jews and Arabs. The attitude of the municipal officials is simply a local emulation of the overall attitude in the civil service towards Arabs in general. The municipal planning policy for East Jerusalem is similar to the expropriation of land from Arabs in the Galilee and the Negev, just as the discriminatory budgetary practices toward the east of the city are local versions of the discriminatory government practices against the Israeli-Arab sector.
This mindset is reinforced by the deep feeling that the city is still in the throes of a war for survival. Powerful forces threaten the Jewish character of the city, therefore all action to strengthen the Jewish majority is justified and necessary.

Technocrats of Discrimination

Thus the municipal professionals play ball with the political echelon. The considerations that motivate them are basically professional, but surprisingly conform to purely political objectives. A dangerous symbiosis between the political and professional echelons is established. The officials responsible for city planning are a perfect example of the problematic cooperation between the administration and professionals. These are professional architects, devoid of any political party considerations, yet their behavior serves a rightist political agenda. For example, in 2005 they decided not to grant building permits in Wadi Kadoum and in A-Tur, because these were piecemeal plans, not part of an overall concept for the area. In principle, this is a legitimate requirement; however, in view of the fact that since 1967, planning for East Jerusalem has proceeded at a snail's pace, what solution is there for the legitimate needs of the residents of the area? How can one demand of residents to wait until the municipality sees fit to prepare an overall plan for the area, when they know that City Hall has no budget (and is not ready) to invest in such an ambitious project?
The "enlightened" members of the city's Legal Department imposed impossible administrative conditions on those seeking building permits. A Palestinian requesting a building permit is required to produce authorization from the "arrangement official" that there are no further claims on the plot in the Jordanian claims index, authorization from the Custodian of Abandoned Property that they have no claim to the property, and authorization from the "mapping center" that the plot has been properly identified.
Most difficult was the requirement that the property owners produce authorization from the Land Registry that the property had been registered in their name, a rarity in East Jerusalem, where properties are not usually registered in the Land Registry. It is possible to carry out an "initial registration," but this leads to a potential problem - if the property has been divided among many heirs, and one of them lives on part of the property, then the Custodian of Abandoned Property becomes a "partner" of the property. All these provision are anchored in law; however, the legal experts chose to ignore the fact that the law was intended to serve the interests of the Jewish majority, and does not necessarily suit the Palestinian reality.
These lawyers, and the municipal administration served as "the executive arm of political decisions."5 The system is bolstered by hundreds of lower ranking officials carrying out their professional duties. The municipal welfare department remains silent in the face of the demolition of homes that demolished families, leaving deep psychological scars in children and deepened their plight. This is the case of officials in other department, who have unintentionally become the technocrats of the occupation.

Gray Racism

This is how an organizational culture that boosts racism has developed. Its strength lies in the fact that it is not overt and obvious, but hides behind neutral rhetoric. It is always camouflaged by consensual phraseology with a thin fa├žade of liberal cosmetics. Thus a unique style of behavior, unknown in the profession literature, was created in our land: "gray racism" - not racism that is fed by hatred of the other, but rather "lite-racism" that is sustained by indifference, inertia, bureaucracy and the force of habit. When all those deprived are of the same people, there is no alternative to call it by its name - "ethnic discrimination," the twin of the notorious "racial discrimination."
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