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Illegal Construction in Jerusalem: A Variation on an Alarming Global Phenomenon Hardcover – January, 2003

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Editorial Reviews


Weiner’s illustrated study discredits conventional wisdom about causes and effects of illegal building in the Arab sector of Jerusalem. -- JCPA Annual Report 2002

About the Author

Justus Reid Weiner teaches courses on international and comparative law and business in the Rothberg International School of Hebrew University. He previously taught as a Visiting Associate Professor at Boston University Law School and has lectured widely in Israel and abroad. His publications have appeared in leading law journals and magazines. Weiner received his B.A. from Colgate University and his J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law. He has been a scholar-in-residence at the JCPA since 1994.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 172 pages
  • Publisher: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (January 2003)
  • ISBN-10: 9652180416
  • ISBN-13: 978-9652180414
  • Product Dimensions: 11.6 x 8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,331,181 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By eyesoftheworld on December 23, 2003
Format: Hardcover
When approaching the vastly complex Israeli/Palestinian conflict, the effects that long-term political positions have on the daily lives of the people actually living in the region are often underestimated or brushed aside.
The consequences of such positions are most intensely felt by the hundreds of thousands of Jewish, Arab and international residents who call Jerusalem home - a city that despite near-constant conflict for over sixty years, is nonetheless one of the most varied, interesting, and multicultural cities to be found anywhere on Earth.
As is often the case in the Middle East, things are not always what they seem. While we are confronted nightly with images of violence from the Holy Land, the root causes and their effects are sometimes difficult to ascertain. In Jerusalem, one such manifestation is the international outcry over the administrative demolition of illegally built structures.
Justus Reid Weiner, scholar-in-residence at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs ([...] an independent think-tank, has undertaken the first comprehensive study of illegal construction in Jerusalem -a phenomenon that has reached epidemic proportions.
A long-time Jerusalemite, Weiner brings first-person perspective to the damaging consequences that the politicization of Jerusalem's municipal affairs has wrought on the ancient city's residents of all backgrounds.
If someone decided to build a three-story home in the middle of Central Park or the Champs Elysee without permission, would the tax-paying citizens of New York City or Paris not expect the municipality to swiftly and effectively remove this impediment to their city's standard of living? Why is Jerusalem any different?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Shalom Freedman HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover
One of the strange paradoxes of the Israeli- Arab conflict is how frequently the Israelis are accused of actions which in fact it is the Arabs who primarily engage in. Here the item in question is illegal building in the city of Jerusalem.

Justus Reid Weiner in this work makes a careful study of the whole building - situation in Jerusalem. He reveals that there is a massive illegal building going on in the Arab sector which the Municipality of Jerusalem , also for political reasons, dares not seriously impede. Over six- thousand illegal structures have been built by Palestinians in the past four years alone. Often this is on land which is formally owned by absentee landowers.

This pattern of lawlessness in building has according to Weiner no justification in the Arab claim that they are deprived by the Israeli authorities of building permits. In fact thirty- six thousand such permits were issued in this time.

The massive disordered sprawl which such illegal building creates is only one side of the problem. Weiner also shows how much of the building is politically motivated an effort of the Palestinian Authority to seize territory . Much of the building too Weiner shows is done by criminal elements within the Palestinian community.

This illuminating work puts in true perspective a much misunderstood problem.
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