Reassessing the British Mandate in Palestine: The Contribution of the British Mandate in Realising the Urban Dimension of Herzl’s Plan by Maha Samman on Institute for Palestine Studies


“During the British Mandate the purchase of land in Palestine and the Jewish migration in groups increased, and continued until the declaration of the Israeli state in 1948. It paved the way for many other detailed ideas, plans and implementation through different means, including extensive use of military power and violence. 
I will talk briefly about Jerusalem now. As you know, several planning schemes were proposed, starting with Mclean 1918 [plan], and then the 1919 Patrick Geddes [plan], and the 1922 [plan], the 1930 [plan], and ending by the Henry Kendal’s 1944 [plan]. Despite some differences, all have proposed the development and the proposals for networks of roads in the western side of the city, concentrated open spaces, public parks; and restricted areas in the eastern part of the city. Outside old city walls the urban patterns that developed were diverse and influenced by the the centralized planning approach. Lands were bought by Jewish organisations and urban ideas designed by architects influenced by the modern European movement rapidly developed. A trend clearly called for in the Hertzel pamphlet. For Geddes, Jerusalem was an integral part of Jewish heritage, and developing plans to protect this heritage was of ought most importance… Crookston emphasises that planners were Jewish
immigrants- and most planning staff in district commissions- employees already were Jewish, not Arab. This again shows the binary of making the Zionist dream a reality while making Palestinian reality a nightmare towards elimination… And if we look at  Jerusalem today, we see how these plans influenced planning with Israeli settlements.. the play with “ideal ideas” to achieve power, domination, and control within a colonial context, to use the urban dimension within the British and the Zionist spheres, until the British [retreated] and announced the Zionist state.”  [59:45]

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Jerusalem: Gradually, then suddenly, Zionism ceases by Hatem Bazian

Please TAKE ACTION RIGHT NOW and send your letter to the UN Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide and the International Criminal Court Prosecutor.

As a settler-colonialist project, Zionism sought the land but not the people in it. Consequently, the preconceived plan for Palestinians was set in motion before the Zionist movement arrived, with Theodor Herzl himself theorizing the need to “spirit the penniless Arab population” across the borders while making sure to strike an alliance with the property owners. Settler colonialist projects pursue either genocide or the transfer of the local population, so Zionism is not unique, nor is it an exception to the norm.

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Liberal Israeli leaders were contemplating genocide in Gaza already in 1967 by Jonathan Ofir

Please TAKE ACTION RIGHT NOW and send your letter to the UN Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide and the International Criminal Court Prosecutor.

“Perhaps if we don’t give them enough water they won’t have a choice, because the orchards will yellow and wither.”

That is what Israeli Prime Minster Levi Eshkol said in 1967 about Gaza, as revealed in newly declassified documents from the time. Ofer Aderet of Haaretz reported about this today.   

… The logic here is, after all, Zionism 101. Nonetheless, they can still be shocking to read, and they should be. These are statements that convey clear intention of ethnic cleansing, and even Genocide. Emptying out, suffocation, deprivation of water till orchards wither. These words are not uttered by rightist Zionist leaders, but by leftist ones. No wonder Israel keeps these archives hidden for 50 years and more.

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