BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency & Refugee Rights and the Institute for Jerusalem Studies (IJS) announce the publication of a new book, Jerusalem 1948 – The Arab Neighborhoods and their Fate in the War. This joint project was launched four years ago to study the events which transformed the western parts of Jerusalem into a Jewish city as well as the fate of the Palestinian communities evicted in this process.
Jerusalem 1948 is an attempt to provide a reconstruction of this process of displacement and expulsion and to account for the fate of Arab Palestinians who lost not only their property and homes, but also a whole world that exemplified Jerusalem and Palestine before 1948.
Jerusalem 1948 addresses in detail the atmosphere that preceded the war, and the military operations that accompanied the dislocation of the Palestinian Arab communities from the Western suburbs and villages, as well as the relocation of the inhabitants of the Jewish quarter to Israeli-held territory. It also addresses the question of land loss and property claims in light of the findings of the Palestine Conciliation Commission.
The introduction to Jerusalem 1948 concludes:
“Since many exiles continue to live either in the annexed Eastern part of the city, or in its immediate vicinity—their claims for the return of their property (and residence) are particularly poignant since Israel has already established (and expanded several folds) Jewish private residencies in the old city (Jewish Quarter), in Silwan, Ras al-Amud, Neve Ya’coub, Atarot, Abu Tor, etc.—all areas in which Jews had some property and residence claims before 1948—and in more than a dozen newly established colonies in areas where no Jewish claims existed before. Palestinian claims for their properties in the Western city (and its rural hinterland) are fully substantiated, both in records derived from the land registry (whether in Tabu or land tax records), as well as in the records of the Palestine Conciliation Commission discussed here. The fact that Israel continues to claim the city to be united and indivisible, subject to the same administrative laws of the state, makes these claims all too obvious, and their denial equally ludicrous.”