The first part of this article appeared in Palestine-Israel Journal 8.3 (2001).

In the first part of this article, I set out to deal with the question of why there are so few "Jerusalemites" in Jerusalem, in the sense of people who see themselves as belonging to the city, rather than to an exclusively national, religious, ethnic or other group. I argued the case that the reason for this is tied up with the current belief that the conflict between exclusive nationalisms dominates the character of the divided city.

An Alternative Worldview

The consequences of such cultural alienation and conflict among the peoples of Jerusalem are cumulatively debilitating for the life of the city. Unless an inclusive definition of Jerusalemite identity prevails, the chance of securing a just and sustainable peace, in the face of extreme nationalism and religious othodoxies, remains small. But what are the practical possibilities of sustaining alternative, oppositional initiatives, and expanding the vision of a common civic identity, particularly in periods, such as the present, of increasingly severe and prolonged violence?
There is at present a diversity of groups within Palestinian and Israeli civil society that are the "carriers" of progressive ideas and oppositional practices, which, taken as a whole, have contributed to the emergence of an alternative worldview.
The overall relation between the two communities is highly asymmetric. The conditions in which Palestinian groups operate are much more restricted than their Israeli counterparts; their civil society is less developed and their resources are much more limited. Despite these constraints there is a considerable range of groups involved on both sides, operating on many different levels.
At any time, and especially at present under the stress of increased violence and heightened mistrust, there are very few fully functioning Israeli-Palestinian partnership organisations. However, a wide spectrum of parallel organisational involvement and joint projects bring together groups in both societies. Such initiatives range from conferencing and working party reports, to protest movements and direct action groups. These include Bat Shalom, the Israeli Women's Peace Network; B'tselem, the Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories; the Alternative Information Center and the Jerusalem Mediation and Arbitration Center, as well as the Truman Institute of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

A "Culture of Peace"

A wide-ranging group of individual Palestinian and Israeli intellectuals and professionals have published proposals on the Jerusalem situation and its prospects. Their individual and collective positions are often at odds both with others in their own societies and with their counterparts in the "other" national group. But their differences are oriented toward a struggle which rejects exclusive nationalism in favor of its opposite, cosmopolitan viewpoint.
Efforts to give weight to this viewpoint are institutionalized in a range of policy study centers. These centers sponsor projects intended to bring together Palestinian and Israeli specialists, politicians, religious leaders and the like, to exchange views and formulate joint reports. Their efforts have provided a body of ideas that prefigures an alternative "culture of peace" built on the premise that a negotiated settlement of the conflict over Jerusalem is feasible and attainable. (Kolek 1995; Beckerman 1996; Abdul-Hadi 1998; Baskin and al Qaq 1999).
A second category is made up of groups of individuals and NGOs engaged in complementary joint activities between Israeli and Palestinian Jerusalemites. Some are involved in "dialogue" (meeting to exchange individual experiences) and others, such as NGOs, work on funding and implementing joint projects.
A third category is mainly dedicated to the immediate task of actively opposing current injustices. This includes human rights defense organisations and alternative information agencies. They are both monitors and activists.
Finally, a series of efforts are being made to rethink Jerusalem's territorial and governmental form. An accumulation of studies suggest the possibility of dealing with the core issues of sovereignty, territory and symbolic affinity in order to enable Israeli and Palestinian Jerusalemites to share the same space in peaceful, if conflict-mediated, co-existence. (Baskin and Twite 1993; Khamaisi et al 1997; Ma'oz and Nusseibeh 2000, and others).

"Collective Identity Needs"

Jerusalem is currently divided not only between nations but also between religions, theistic and secular groups, and ethnic communities. In addition, it is split geographically, in terms of Arab and Jewish neighbourhoods within the city, and Arab villages, Palestinian refugee camps and Jewish settlements, outside. These divisions mark every aspect of life and organisation of space in the city. (Sabella 1995; Nusseibeh 1995a,b; Hasson 1997).
It is possible to conceptualize a different way of dealing with the "identity politics" of the city. In the framework I propose here, the polarized claims to "ownership" and control of territory, and the pursuit of national, "interests" or "rights" are displaced by the concepts of "collective cultural groups" and "collective identity needs". Such "needs" can be specified in measurable and comparable terms. They can facilitate the accommodation of "identity needs" if satisfaction is not achieved at the expense of another group (Safier 2001, forthcoming).
An examination of each type of "collective identity need" in Jerusalem reveals a complex pattern of inequalities in terms of need satisfaction among the different cultural groups sharing the city.

Recognition and Respect

A primary need is for all cultural groups that share the city to be given equal recognition as citizens. This encompasses equality before the law, non-discrimination and equal protection in terms of public order and security, equal access to, and provision of, common social services and support,s as well as a sense of "solidarity" from fellow citizens.
A second collective identity need is for respect: all groups are to be treated distinctively according to their cultural particularities, but on an equivalent basis to all other cultural groups, whether majority or minority. This encompasses respect for different religious beliefs and different forms of cultural expression.
A third identity need is for resourcing: collective cultural groups should be able to mobilize resources and make proportional claims on the resources of the wider society. This can be done through internal resource mobilization and redistribution, equality of opportunity for members of different cultural communities, and proportional equity in the allocation of benefits and costs of public finance.
A fourth need is for representation. Formal and informal participation should be granted in government, especially where decision-making and resource allocation are involved. This includes a degree of proportional representation in executive, legislative, judicial and administrative branches of government, equivalent avenues of access to major groups of decision-makers in government and opportunities to develop institutions of self representation.
The final basic need is for the possibility of realization of cultural community life in the shared space of the city. This most essential need includes access to residence free from restriction and insecurity for members of all collective cultural groups, provision and appreciation of group requirements for specific sites and areas, and equal access to all public facilities, amenities and public spaces.
In respect of the need for "recognition," there is at present a "hierarchy of satisfaction" descending from a privileging of the ultra-orthodox European Jewish religious community (Haredim) to the greatly underprivileged Palestinians denied inclusion as citizens on an equal footing with Israelis. In between these two, other varieties of orthodox religious and secular Jewish groups are themselves recognized more fully than Oriental Jews (Mizrachim) and Palestinian Israelis.
In each aspect of equality of "recognition," the rebalancing of needs to replace the hierarchy does not appear to pose intractable difficulties. The two instances of genuine difficulty remain the peculiar special status of the ultra-orthodox Jewish communities who refuse to accept the principle of common citizenship, and the position of Palestinian (Arab) Israelis, for whom a framework is needed to work out their status needs in relation to a 'two-state' accommodation over Jerusalem (Ma'oz and Nusseibeh 2000; Hasson 2000a).
In relation to the need for "respect" there is at present a mutual incomprehension and distrust of "the others". Nevertheless, their mutual satisfaction also appears achievable without disparagement between the main groups. A mutual acknowledgement of the distinctive Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities in the Old City, the two distinctive Israeli Jewish and Palestinian Arab national cultures in the wider urban area, and the distinctive religious and separate secular traditions of the Haredim, the Ashkenazim and the Mizrachim, do not threaten any of these collective cultural identities. There is need for the negotiation of a basis for better mutual understanding among religious and secular groups of Jews and Palestinians, and the according of greater acknowledgement of the different groups of Jews. (Kuttab and Klein 2000).

Resourcing and Representation

In terms of "resourcing" the situation the needs of the Haredi community are well met, as are those of the majority secular Askenazi community. The needs of the Mizrachim have been very poorly met, while those of the Palestinian community are largely ignored.This is due to a combination of inequality in income and wealth between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs, and the massive inequity in proportional redistribution of municipal revenues. The Palestinian third of the population receives below five percent of total budget expenditure. The resource needs of the underprivileged and marginalized communities could be quickly advanced without compromising those of the more well resourced, by releasing restrictions now imposed on the potential of the Palestinian community to participate more fully in the economic opportunities.
In terms of "representation," the Haredim are at present heavily over-represented, although all other Jewish groups have substantial representational capacity both in relation to government and self-government. The critically "under-represented" are the Palestinians. Given the de facto today - and in all likelihood de jure tomorrow - "two-state" situation operating in Jerusalem, the conflict in this area of need is focused around the governmental structures that will accommodate two sovereignties, and their two capitals, in the one city. There are already a variety of alternative models of shared sovereignty and municipal management, which would satsify the needs of both Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem (Kuttab and Kaminker 1997).
It is in the area of "realization" that the shift from rights to needs has the most impact. Palestinians have by far the greatest unmet needs in terms of residential provision, basic infrastructure and access to city center locations. The Mizrahi underclass in the south of the city also need drastic improvement in the quality of living environment and facilities. There is an acute need for future residential expansion among the Palestinians and Haredi communities. Provisions need to be made for the return of a proportion of the Palestinian Jerusalemite refugee community and for the absorption of new Jewish immigrants. All of these requirements will impose pressure on the environmental capacities of the Jerusalem region (Abed 1997).
A wide variety of schemes have been proposed for the future growth of the Jerusalem region. These deal with the available land, as well as the economic and social requirements of an expanding urban region. A future co-dominium Jerusalem, stretching from just short of Ramallah in the north, to Bethlehem in the south, Abu Dis and Har Homa (Jabal Abu Ghnaim) in the east, and Ein Kerem in the west, could see a future population of over a million (Khamaisi et al 1997; Hasson 2000b).

"Cosmopolitan Development"

The specific ideas being developed to meet the main needs of all major cultural groups in Jerusalem, must be placed in a broader context. Diverse citizenship, shared space, transnational institutional forms, and a culture of peace (Silberstein 1999; Sabella 1999; Hasson 2000a; Baskin and al Qaq 1999) are all elements in an alternative worldview and discourse to which I have referred to under the rubric of "rooted cosmopolitanism." This is an inclusive and pluralist worldview, which, when applied to Jerusalem, provides for the possibility of a negotiated end to conflict on the basis of peaceful co-existence founded on social and cultural justice for all Jerusalemites.
A cosmopolitan development program, based in and promoted by civil society organisations could embrace projects in the areas of economic development, social welfare, physical (territorial) development, public order and security, and urban governance. These can draw on experiences from elsewhere, as well as that of Jerusalem itself, according to the following four principles:

• To promote the idea of building a common civic identity and consciousness by encouraging inhabitants to identify with the city, in which the diversity of cultural communities produces a quality of life that is greater than the sum of its individual constituent groups.

• At the same time, the inhabitants' diverse collective cultural affiliations would be celebrated. This means working towards equality of appreciation for all collective cultural identities present in the city and allowing majority and minority groups to preserve and develop their own traditions.

• To strengthen social organisations in civil society. This would entail supporting independent social groups and movements, both civic and communal, which interact with government and commercial bodies in managing economic activity and urban services. In particular, the aim is to encourage intercultural co-operation around shared interests.

• To work for the positive reinforcement of the absorbitive capacity and cosmopolitan connections of the city, promoting "openness" of exchange and movement of people, goods and ideas.

Such an alternative frame of reference is needed to promote intercultural relations in the city and an oppositional belief system to that of exclusive nationalism. It will be a critical component in consolidating moves towards a more positive, peaceful and just settlement.

This is a revised and shortened version of an article from the journal City 5.2 (2001), with thanks to the editors and publishers for permission to reproduce portions here.


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