The urban geopolitics of neighboring: conflict, encounter and class in Jerusalem’s settlement/neighborhood

Marik Shtern, Haim Yacobi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


This article examines a unique, yet paradigmatic, case study of a colonial neighborhood in East Jerusalem that is undergoing a significant demographic transformation.1 The French Hill neighborhood, built in 1971, was one of the first settlements in East Jerusalem. Initially, it was populated primarily by upper-middle class secular-Jewish residents. This group has been steadily diminishing as two other distinct new groups moved into the neighborhood: Ultra-Orthodox Jews and Palestinians. This volatile social mix has caused intense inter-ethnic and intra-ethnic collisions. Based on qualitative and quantitative studies, we argue that the juxtaposition of colonial and neoliberal logics of space reveals a shared, yet fragile, middle-class identity. We suggest that this new geopolitical space of neighboring calls for a discussion of political conflict, housing and current colonial conditions that brings class back to our understanding of the production of contested space.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-487
Number of pages21
JournalUrban Geography
Issue number4
StatePublished - 21 Apr 2019


  • Geographies of Encounter
  • Israel/Palestine
  • Jerusalem
  • Urban geopolitics
  • contested cities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies


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