The Politics of Planting: Israeli-Palestinian Competition for Control of Land in the Jerusalem Periphery

University of Chicago Press, 1993 - 203 páginas
On the open landscape of Israel and the West Bank, where pine and cypress forests grow alongside olive groves, tree planting has become symbolic of conflicting claims to the land. Palestinians cultivate olive groves as a vital agricultural resource, while the Israeli government has made restoration of mixed-growth forests a national priority. Although both sides plant for a variety of purposes, both have used tree planting to assert their presence on—and claim to—disputed land.

Shaul Ephraim Cohen has conducted an unprecedented study of planting in the region and the control of land it signifies. In The Politics of Planting, he provides historical background and examines both the politics behind Israel's afforestation policy its consequences. Focusing on the open land surrounding Jerusalem and four Palestinian villages outside the city, this study offers a new perspective on the conflict over land use in a region where planting has become a political tool.

For the valuable data it presents—collected from field work, previously unpublished documents, and interviews—and the insight it provides into this political struggle, this will be an important book for anyone studying the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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Shaul Cohen's Politics of Planting takes a critical geographical approach towards afforestation efforts mainly those carried out by the Jewish National Fund and predominately around Greater Jerusalem in order to establish that creating facts in the ongoing occupation of the West Bank does not solely rear its head amidst the illegal Jewish settlements but also through what we would perhaps now call environmental friendly measures. This is a fantastic foundational read for anyone concerned with understanding national eco-imaginaries (based on Anderson of course), symbolic engagement with nature in national discourses, and the political costs seldom figured into environmentalist and conservationist fancies. Also it does well to trace out the Zionist pioneering ethos vis-a-vis afforestation and cultivation, as well as the dissolution of aspects of Palestinian memory via nature reserves in the West Bank. An immensely provocative work that should not be missed.  


Land and Trees in Historical Perspective
Afforestation in Palestine from the Turn of the Century through 1948
Afforestation as a National Enterprise 194867
Jerusalem Divided Jerusalem United
Land Law Policy and Practice in the West Bank
Jerusalems Green Belt
The Village of Sur Baher
Beit Iksa and Beit Surik
The Village of Abu Dis
An Overview The Politics of Planting
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