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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments

Bringing together essays and photographs by leading Israeli practitioners, and complemented by maps, plans and statistical data, A Civilian Occupation explores the processes and repercussions of Israeli planning and its underlying ideology. It demonstrates how, over the last century, planning and architecture have been transformed from everyday professional practices into strategic weapons in the service of the state, which has sought to secure national and geopolitical objectives through the organization of space and in the redistribution of its population. In fact, as the book shows, Israeli architecture has consistently provided the concrete means for the pursuit of the Zionist project of building a national home for the Jewish people in the Land of Israel. As such, it is the first study to supplement the more familiar political, military and historical analysis of the Israel-Palestine conflict with a detailed description of the physical environments in which it is played out.

The banning of the first edition of this book by its original publisher was proof, if any were needed, that architecture in Israel, indeed architecture anywhere, can no longer be considered a politically naive activity: the politics of Israeli architecture is the politics of any architecture.

Review

The Politics of Israeli Architecture undertook the first detailed examination of the spatial form of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, examining how their physical layout is informed by the politics behind them.” Esther Addeley

Review

A Civilian Occupation is a stinging critique of the Israeli architectural community’s role in the rapid colonization of the Occupied Territories, particularly the West Bank. With strongly argued, detailed maps and dramatic aerial photographs, it shows how 800-plus Israeli settlements—architect-designed, strategically perched on hilltops and sealed to Palestinians—are the keys to government control of the Territories.” Guardian

Review

A Civilian Occupation is a damning study of the politics of ‘settlement.’ The architects show how ancient techniques (seizing the nearest strategic hilltop) and modern ones (print advertising to entice settlers) have been combined to accomplish what is, euphemisms notwithstanding, an imperialist campaign.” Nick Rockel Adbusters

Review

“Metropolitics of horror: Globalization is certainly not the end of the world, but nevertheless, it seems like a ‘journey to the center of the earth.’ In this hyper-center, everything is telescoped under the formidable pressure of media and events in a false proximity that has nothing real except its own communicative hysteria. All, all at once! That is today’s axiom of globalization. Hence, instead of ancient geopolitics—the territorial extents managing the necessary intervals of space between the states—emerges a metropolitics of the instant where the clash is permanent. From now on, this ‘axis of the world’ has only one name, Jerusalem, the holy city that became the suicidal resonance box of the new milllennium. … Therefore, it is only logical that Israeli architects would wake up and revolt against the atrocities. But can we still listen to the builders, when the demolishers are recruiting everywhere, sometimes even among architects, as the example of one of the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks shows?” Martha Schwendener Art Forum

Review

“This remarkable collection indicts, with remarkable clarity, the role played by architecture in both the politics and practices of occupation. It exposes the tragic dissonance between an architectural culture born of optimistic and ameliorative dreams and its now willing collusion in the ugliest of repressions. … A Civilian Occupation, in sadness and anger, points up the ultimate irony, the way in which those white colonies, so arrogant on their hilltops, simultaneously promote the ghettoization of Israelis and Palestinians both. Here, once again, the putative ‘rationality’ of technocratic solutions proves to be—in its chilling banality—a truly modern form of evil.” Paul Virilio

Review

“The concept of building the state of Israel was long central to the Zionist dream. But after Israel’s independence in 1948, the phrase took on a more literal meaning. A half-century later, this slice of history helps explain the intensity of a dispute currently dividing Israeli architects. Some argue that the architectural profession has, perhaps unwittingly, contributed to escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Others respond that architecture is neither political nor ideological and, as such, has nothing to answer for.
Michael Sorkin

Review

“An incriminating piece of work that shows how deeply implicated Israeli architects have been in the state’s expansionism.” Alan Riding New York Times

Review

“It is a disheartening destiny that, unlike the agricultural settlements of left-wing Zionism, these arrogant latter-day Israeli encampments have settled nothing, least of all the land itself. In a score of aerial photographs one can observe the paradox of suburban, hill-top fortresses, totally and utterly inimical to the culture of an ancient landscape. …As mentioned in this book, no future resolution of the conflict will ever be able to heal the scar inflicted by this tragic combination of political and topographic violence.” Anne Karpf Jewish Chronicle

Review

“The Israel Association of United Architects thinks that these ideas are not architecture.” Kenneth Frampton

Synopsis

Censored last year by the Association of Israeli Architects, A Civilian Occupation is the first attempt by Israeli architects, scholars, journalists, and photographers to highlight the role of Israeli architecture in the Middle East conflict. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, the declared aim of the Zionist project has been to build a national home for the Jewish people in the Land of Israel. From the settlement offensive of the Tower and Stockade villages in the 1930s, through the total planning of the state of Israel soon after its independence, to the colonization of the occupied territories from 1967 to the present, this book reveals how central Israeli architecture has been in securing that aim.

Synopsis

Bringing together essays and photographs by leading Israeli practitioners, and complemented by maps, plans and statistical data, A Civilian Occupation explores the processes and repercussions of Israeli planning and its underlying ideology. It demonstrates how, over the last century, planning and architecture have been transformed from everyday professional practices into strategic weapons in the service of the state, which has sought to secure national and geopolitical objectives through the organization of space and in the redistribution of its population. In fact, as the book shows, Israeli architecture has consistently provided the concrete means for the pursuit of the Zionist project of building a national home for the Jewish people in the Land of Israel. As such, it is the first study to supplement the more familiar political, military and historical analysis of the Israel-Palestine conflict with a detailed description of the physical environments in which it is played out.

The banning of the first edition of this book by its original publisher was proof, if any were needed, that architecture in Israel, indeed architecture anywhere, can no longer be considered a politically naive activity: the politics of Israeli architecture is the politics of any architecture.

Synopsis

Israeli architects, scholars, journalists, and photographers highlight the role of architecture in the Middle East conflict.

About the Author

Eyal Weizman is an architect and Director of the Center for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths College, University of London, and has worked with a variety of NGOs and human rights groups in Israel-Palestine. He co-edited the book A Civilian Occupation to accompany the major exhibition of the same name, has written many articles in journals, magazines, and books, and is an editor at large for Cabinet magazine. His other books include Hollow Land and Lesser Evils. He received the James Stirling Memorial Lecture Prize for 2006-7.Described by Le Monde as a “thorn in Israel’s flank”, Gideon Levy is a prominent Israeli journalist. For over twenty years he has covered the Israel-Palestine conflict, in particular the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, for the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz in his column “Twilight Zone.”

Product Details

ISBN:
9781859845493
Binding:
Hardcover
Publication date:
11/17/2003
Publisher:
VERSO
Pages:
191
Height:
.69IN
Width:
6.16IN
Thickness:
.75
Number of Units:
1
Illustration:
Yes
Copyright Year:
2003
Series Volume:
no. 808
UPC Code:
2801859845495
Author:
Zvi Efrat
Editor:
Eyal Weizman
Author:
D. R.
Author:
Meron Benvenisti
Author:
Sharon Rotba
Author:
Sharon Rotbard
Author:
Ilan Potash
Author:
Nadav Harel
Author:
Pavel Wolberg
Author:
Gideon Levy
Author:
Eran Tamir-Tawil
Author:
Oren Yiftachel
Editor:
Rafi Segal
Author:
Rafi Segal
Author:
Eyal Weizman
Author:
David Tartakover
Author:
Efrat Shvily
Author:
Rafi (edt) Segal
Author:
Milutin Labudovic
Author:
David (EDT) Tartakover
Author:
Eyal (EDT) Weizman
Author:
Rafi (EDT) Segal
Media Run Time:
B
Subject:
Architecture
Subject:
Architecture and state
Subject:
World History-Middle East
Subject:
History
Subject:
General Architecture

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