The Politics of Jerusalem Since 1967

In This Review

The Politics of Jerusalem Since 1967

By Michael Dumper
Columbia University Press, 1997
365 pp. $34.00
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This book, while written from a perspective that assumes that both Israeli and Palestinian interests in Jerusalem will eventually have to be addressed in any lasting settlement, is largely devoid of propaganda. Instead, one finds carefully documented information on the demography of the city, maps that show the changes over time, and a catalog of issues that have to be addressed on a daily basis. A reader will learn to suspect the grandiose claims of partisans. For example, the frequent Israeli assertion that Jerusalem has always had a Jewish majority depends on how one defines the city. Even now, there is no agreed definition of what constitutes Jerusalem. Within the confines of the present-day municipality, Israelis make up about two-thirds of the population, but the contiguous metropolitan area just beyond the boundaries of the city is predominantly Arab. Reading this book will help to explain why the dispute over building additional homes for Jews on one of the remaining empty spaces in Jerusalem evokes such strong emotions.