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Separatism, coexistence and the landscape: Jews and Palestinian-Arabs in mandatory Haifa

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Haifa was named a ‘mixed city’ by the British, who ruled Palestine from 1917 to 1948, in reference to the two national communities that inhabited the town. This definition was not neutral, and reflected the Brits aspirations to create national coexistence in Palestine among the diverse urban societies.

Reality was more complicated. The basic assumption of this paper follows the idea that the bi-national urban society of Mandatory Haifa developed into dual society, albeit with much overlapping in economic and civil matters, but takes it one step further: through highlighting changes in the urban landscape, I wish to argue dominance of the national European modern Hebrew society over the Palestinian-Arabs and the traditional and oriental Jewish societies and ideas alike. The changes in the urban landscape tell us the story of Zionism's growing influence and dominance, and the way the urban landscape was used to embody Zionism's modern European ethos. The neighbourhood's segregation, therefore, represents not only the effort to separate but to create a modern national ‘sense of place’ that influenced the city development.
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Keywords: History; historical geography; mandatory Palestine; mixed cities; urbanizem

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Israel Studies, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel

Publication date: January 2, 2016

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