Final Exam – Jerusalem

  1. What seems to have motivated the Israelis to create the separation wall, the settlements in the occupied West Bank, and the expansion in in East Jerusalem (formerly known as the Arab quarter)? What justifications are used for expansion?

The motivation behind the creation of the wall between the Palestinians and Israelis revolved around border issues, the possession of Jerusalem, religious differences and more. The main issue however was to prevent Palestinian suicide bombers from attacking Israel or any of the Israeli territories. The conflict has been ongoing for decades upon decades. The wall serves the purpose of keeping the Palestinians out of the Israeli territory. The wall was constructed in 2003 as an attempt to cut down suicide bombers from Palestine from entering Israel. The wall is 96 miles long and over 25 feet high. It has cut down the rate of suicide bombing in Israel by over 30%, however Israeli attacks on Palestine have not stopped.

The settlements in the occupied West Bank came from a long battle between the Israelis and Palestinians over the territory of East Jerusalem. Still today, some people consider the West Bank to be in Israeli territory but “occupied” by the Palestinian people. The battle between Israel and Palestine has been ongoing since the early 20th century and does not seem to look like it is going to end anytime soon. Israeli justifications for their expansions include rights to the Jordan River, possession of the West Bank and the amount of time they have spent on the land.

  1. Since the creation of the separation wall, suicide bombings have gone down significantly in Israel. What long term dangers are there to Israel in the creation of the wall, and more settlements and expansion in East Jerusalem, based on the films here?

The creation of the wall by Israel may have caused a decrease in suicide bombings, but it caused an increase in hostility between Israel and its neighboring countries, Palestine and Jordan. Palestine has had conflicts with Israel for decades and the creation of the wall did nothing but angered the Palestinian people. It also caused hostility between the people of Israel and the people of Jordan. It is only a matter of time before larger conflicts arise and war erupts along the Gaza Strip and the Mediterranean Sea. Israel is basically hogging the the water from the Jordan River, along with other natural resources and other resources needed by neighboring countries, and it was a mistake on Israel’s part to put up that wall. The wall in Israel is nothing but a political tool used to shield them from the Palestinians and it is only a matter of time before the Palestinians lash back.

  1. What is urban space like in these films? What is life like on the different side of the wall and division? Consider not only the ethnic/religious differences, but also the obvious social differences depicted in the films.

Urban space in these films is dingy and dirty. People in Palestine are always on the defense, constantly worried about an attack from the people of Israel. It is a constant, 24/7 struggle not just for the soldiers, but for the citizens of Palestine. Life in Israel is drastically different than life in Palestine. Mass killings FROM bombs are a daily scene in Palestine. Mass bomb ATTACKS are a daily scene in Israel. The status of life in Israel is high and growing, while the status of life in Palestine is low and plummeting. If the war doesn’t stop, it is only time before Israel erases Palestine off the map.

  1. How does the wall in particular reshape life for both Israelis and Palestinians?

Since the early 20th century when the war between the Palestinians and the Israelis first began, the Palestinians in the occupied lands have had to live their lives in Jewish only settlements, drive on settler-only highways, check-in at designated checkpoints and roadblocks all throughout Palestine, and put up with land confiscation, demolition of their homes, random detention, daily attacks on Gaza and more. Simply put, residents of Palestinians have been under constant attack since the construction of the wall. The Israelis on the other hand have been the source of mass devastation for the people of Palestine.  Although the people of Palestine have fought back their attacks have paled in comparison to the attacks on Gaza that Palestine has had to undergo.

  1. How has urban planning been used to help Israel gain control of East Jerusalem? How does this use of urban planning align with the use of urban planning we have studied historically? How is it different?

Illegal construction has taken place in Israel and OSHA has focused on Israel’s demolition of unauthorized structures since 2000, providing background on some of the key difficulties facing Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem in their efforts to build and identify a number of at-risk communities. “Urban planning” has been used and manipulated in Israel in order to gain control of East Jerusalem. Israel’s urban planning tactics are different from urban planning tactics in other countries due to their unethical and illegal nature.