Irus Braverman

East Jerusalem Project: House Demolitions

View of Jerusalem's Old City, Abu Tor, and the Green Line from the south. Photo by Irus Braverman Houses in the village of Jabel Mukaber in East Jerusalem, where numerous Palestinian houses have been demolished

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This project examines how techniques of illegality based in planning laws and policy are utilized to dominate the Palestinian population of East Jerusalem. Although the demolition of homes is the most spectacular spatial mechanism of illegality exercised by Israel in East Jerusalem, the project focuses on the mundane bureaucratic techniques of illegality, such as mapping, filing, and arbitrariness. In addition to describing the bureaucracy of demolitions, the project also explores resistance through the illegal building carried out by East Jerusalemite Palestinians as an act of spatial protest. In examining tactics of everyday resistance, I suggest that the study of illegality in the East Jerusalem context allows a nuanced understanding of the relations between bureaucrats and subjects, thereby offering a deeper understanding of the nature of power itself.


(2007). Powers of Illegality: House Demolitions and Resistance in East Jerusalem. Law and
Social Inquiry 32(2): 333-372. [SSRN].

(2006). House Demolitions in East Jerusalem: Illegality and Resistance (Tel Aviv: The Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace) (Hebrew). [SSRN].

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