Urban Planning, Colonialism, and the Pro-Jerusalem Society
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“Let old Jerusalem stand firm, and new Jerusalem grow in grace!”[1]


Under the shadow of British withdrawal, the last British high commissioner of the Mandate authority in Palestine, General Alan Gordon Cunningham, described these final words as his “fervent prayer” for the “holy city.” Cunningham’s words, in part, reflect the British colonial approach to Jerusalem, the place and the idea. While these words pay rhetorical reverence to the imagined city, Jerusalem was also a place inhabited by real people with real lives. Jerusalem is a city that captured European imagination as the “holy land” and, as such, the ancient foundation for Europeans’ own identity. The city was also the focus of directly opposed modern national narratives – Palestinian Arab and Zionist. This unique combination of ancient imagination with modern contestation was the backdrop for British rule in Mandate Palestine (1917–1948), reflecting an ideological construction of Jerusalem with modern municipal borders and a strategic political agenda for the city inherited from the Ottoman administration. This article examines Jerusalem under the rule of the British in light of its evolving urban and social landscape in the highly charged atmosphere of Palestine that followed the devastation of the war years. British policy toward this colonial capital left a resounding imprint on the modern history of its people and in many ways still frames the historical narrative to the present. This article studies the intersection between colonial imaginations and contemporary realities, attempting to offer new insights about the planning of Mandate Jerusalem and shed light on the process of the historical construction of a modern city in the colonial context.


Jerusalem as a City Worth Investigating


The contemporary historiography of Jerusalem as a “troubled city” is often a product of an analysis of the post-1967 period. Though earlier periods are of great significance, the logic of looking at the city in the post-1967 period is connected with the Zionist national narrative of the city’s “unification” when the Israeli army conquered the eastern part of the city and completed their initial military control of the city and its population that began in 1948.[2] This literature mainly concerns itself with the Israeli conception of Jerusalem as the imagined center of Zionist national narrative as well as the inherent “difficulties” within their settler-colonial framework of dealing with the reality of Palestinian Arab residents of the city. In addition to the strategic and ideological aspects of post-1967 Jerusalem, a good part of this historic literature also frames Jerusalem within the discourse of “peace studies,” which examines the main “negotiating obstacles” to resolving two diametrically opposed national narratives.

The story, however, begins much earlier. Long before 1967 and even before 1948, the British Mandate authorities established a vision of what Jerusalem, they believed, should become. It is fundamental to read this conception of the city within the context of understanding how the British incorporated their imagined vision of Jerusalem with their real power (and limitations of its real function) in Jerusalem to see how successive local colonial administrations balanced British (and Zionist) visions with their political and military power over an occupied people and place. Reading contemporary interest in the city through a longer historical lens will show how issues of space (imagined and real), boundaries, and citizenship can easily be found in British policy in Jerusalem. Since the boundaries and nomenclature still in use today were instituted by the British, it is useful to understand the ideological and practical foundations for the “idea” and the “reality” of contemporary Jerusalem found in the British Mandate era. The British administration initiated schemes of urban planning in Jerusalem from the very moment they entered the city as its conquerors.


Image Is Everything – The British Enter Jerusalem


Field Marshall Lord Allenby, the man who has freed Palestine, Arabia, Syria, and Mesopotamia, thereby, breaking the barbarous yoke of the Turk after five hundred years of oppression. Allenby’s capture of the Holy City of Jerusalem is most gratifying to all Christians. The Turkish Empire has crumbled and fallen, and a new Arab nation is in the making. The Holy Land is once more free![3]


As depicted in this propaganda film quoted here, Allenby staged his entry into Palestine with a grand arrival into the city considered the jewel of the “holy land” – Jerusalem. Religious connotations, in particular crusader rhetoric, influenced the British approach to their presence in Jerusalem. Obviously a city with a rich spiritual history, recalling a crusader past and celebrating Allenby’s entrance as a European Christian victory betrayed British political rhetoric concerning their intentions of exceptional rule that would soon define mandate powers of the conquered territory. British presence in the “holy land” had a historical context that this propaganda film clearly projected. European Christian connections to the place of Jerusalem as well as crusader analogies of conquest of a static place that belonged to medieval times framed British colonial practice in the city.[4] Though the British approach to occupying and later administering Jerusalem was neither monolithic nor exclusively informed by this kind of propaganda, it is important to note that Allenby’s theatrics upon entering Jerusalem left an important symbolic imprint on the British administration of the city.

In contrast to the bombastic rhetoric in the propaganda film, Allenby entered the Old City of Jerusalem to accept formal surrender of the city (though the mayor, Husayn al-Husayni, had surrendered two days earlier) on foot, leaving his horse and cars behind. Allenby’s “humble” entrance was supposed to symbolize his respect for Jerusalem as a religious center.[5] This paradox between crusader rhetorical propaganda of conquest and portrayals of solemn respect for place is indicative of British behavior in Jerusalem, which tried to strike an uneasy balance between coveting control of the city while respecting what the British purported to be the religious status quo.

General Allenby famously entered Jerusalem weeks after the Gaza campaign ended in the Allies’ favor. Less than six weeks earlier, on 2 November 1917, Lord Arthur Balfour, Britain’s foreign secretary, wrote to Lord Rothschild, a leading Jewish personality in Britain, announcing his government’s commitment to political Zionism through the Balfour Declaration. In spite of the stated goals of the mandates under article 4 of the Covenant of the League of Nations along with promises to support Arab independence during the First World War,[6] the Palestinian Arab population of Palestine was denied national and political rights under British rule. In 1920, the military government was replaced by a civil administration led by Herbert Samuel, the first high commissioner of the British Mandate in Palestine. Samuel led the colonial administration as the League of Nations ratified the British Mandate for Palestine (which fully incorporated and amplified the Balfour Declaration) in July 1922. By including the Balfour Declaration in the text of the Mandate, the British clearly defined their obligation toward Palestine’s Jewish minority (who at the time constituted less than 10 percent of the population) and their exclusive quest toward self-determination.

With its explicit support of and official commitment to the establishment of a “Jewish national home” in Palestine, the British colonial authority’s relationship with the local Arab population was tenuous from the very beginning.[7] The obligations embedded in the Balfour Declaration formally linked British imperial policy with the political goals of Zionism, effectively ignoring the national rights of the Arab majority in Palestine. Although they claimed to serve their Arab and Jewish constituencies equally and fairly, the colonial administration consistently supported a nascent Jewish state while providing successful obstacles for an independent Arab state.[8] Like the rest of the work of the British administration in Palestine, urban planning in Jerusalem was never removed from this colonial and Zionist context.


Six Major Schemes for Preservation and Modernization


After leading his procession through the passage-ways of the Old City, Allenby stood next to the Citadel inside of Jaffa Gate (Bab al-Khalil) and delivered his proclamation addressed to the inhabitants of Jerusalem announcing that the city was now formally under martial law. It also read, in part:


Since your city is regarded with affection by the adherents of three of the great religions of mankind, and its soil has been consecrated by the prayers and pilgrimages of multitudes of devout people of these three religions for many centuries, therefore, do I make known to you that every sacred building, monument, holy spot, shrine, traditional site, endowment, pious bequest, or customary place of prayer, of whatsoever form of the three religions, will be maintained and protected according to the existing customs and beliefs of those to whose faiths they are sacred.[9]


Though Allenby focused on the “eternal” religious importance of Jerusalem as a place and pledged to protect the city, he immediately brought the Alexandria city engineer, William McLean, and asked him to “report and advise upon what measures should be taken to institute the necessary control of building operations and town development” in Jerusalem.[10] Though their military had yet to capture all of Palestine (fighting was still happening nearby around Nablus and in the Jordan Valley), McLean arrived in due course and produced the first of many British town plans for Jerusalem. Still under direct military rule and not yet even officially designated as occupied enemy territory, the British began a process that would span the entirety of their occupation in Palestine – the Town-Planning Schemes for Jerusalem.

Over the course of Mandate rule in Palestine, the British drew up six development plans for the city. All of these town plans were conceptually based on an ordinance issued by the military governor of Jerusalem, Ronald Storrs, on 8 April 1918, which restricted all new construction within a 2,500 meter radius of Damascus Gate (Bab al-‘Amud) except by formal permission granted by the military government. Though this was based on an Ottoman ordinance (following the rule of maintaining the status quo), through Storrs’s proclamation the British formally put into place a process by which they would exclusively control and regulate town planning and any kind of legal building within the Old and New City. In this context, the Old City was to be “cleaned up” and made to fit the British image of a classical city while the New City was to be the space for “European modernity” through the promotion of Jewish immigration and settlement into new and well-designed neighborhoods. Though this may seem an obvious extension of political power, it also dictated politics of development in Jerusalem and explained how the British used town planning to control political and social definitions of the city.


The 1918 McLean Plan


After being summoned by Allenby, McLean arrived and began his work in Jerusalem. He worked without survey maps or even general topographical maps for the Jerusalem area, but still produced a draft for the first stage of work for the military administration and its various support organizations. It was McLean who suggested that Storrs issue the proclamation mentioned above. In addition to the restrictions mentioned, Storrs also provided a set of provisional regulations which included: no building to be placed so as to appear on the skyline of the Mount of Olives or to the south of the city; no building to be of a greater height than eleven meters above ground level; roofs to be constructed with stone or other approved material; no buildings intended for industrial purposes to be permitted; and approval only for buildings which were an extension of the small villages embraced in this area and for special buildings to the north and west of the old city. The commander-in-chief of the military government approved this scheme on 22 July 1918.[11]




Image 1: “McLean’s 1918 Plan for Jerusalem,” reproduced from Robert Home, “British Colonial Town Planning in the Middle East: The Work of W. H. McLean,” Planning History: Bulletin of Planning History Group 12, no. 1 (1990): 7.


The McLean scheme divided Jerusalem into four zones. McLean wrote an explanatory note attached to the maps, stating that his plan “was designed to preserve the medieval aspect of the Old City and to surround it by a belt of land which should remain in its natural state as far as practical at the time. Further, any structures which might be erected within a belt situated beyond this area should be in harmony and in scale with the Old City.”[12] With a central focus on the ideal of preservation in the Old City, it is clear that this scheme focused on the city as a medieval treasure that needed both to be protected as such for the future and to be restored to such from changes made in the immediate past and present. That is, it prohibited new building projects except with special government permission and prescribed a process of “clearing . . . undesirable buildings” to leave the city in what was described as its “natural state.”[13]

While the first and second zones included the Old City and the area immediately surrounding and encircling the walls of the Old City (covering the Kidron Valley, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Pool of Siloam, Mount Zion, and the Valley of Hinnom), the third zone as seen on the map concentrated on the north and east of the city (covering the Mount of Olives and the village of Bethany), where buildings may be erected under special circumstances and conditions (“in harmony with the general medieval style”). The naming of places on the map and in the language of the plans was central to how the British saw the city and their role in it. The introduction and use of classic biblical names to mark the area was antiquated and not in common daily use for a significant part of the Arabic-speaking population. In an effort to recover, restore, and protect an ancient city, this kind of representation was key to British colonial cultural practice in Jerusalem. This issue of naming would become more obvious in subsequent town planning schemes.

The fourth zone included the area north and west of the city where there was a “plan for future” development, including certain neighborhoods and a basic plan for roads. It is important to note that even at this early stage, while Palestine was still under military occupation and martial law, the British town planners designated the western section of Jerusalem as a focal point for development. As these areas began to “develop” throughout the subsequent decade, the Jerusalem imagined by British officials in 1918 became a part of the real (lived) Jerusalem for Arab and Jewish residents in the expanding metropolitan area. Within the Old City, the prohibitions of building influenced all of the later planning schemes. Moreover, removal of “cumbersome” shops and vendors near the main gates of the Old City clearly elevated preservation of space over people’s use of it. That is, by preserving the space as a relic of a time long passed, this scheme did not take into account the place as a lived space where people (primarily Arab residents of the city and the surrounding villages) worked and lived.


The 1919 and 1922 Schemes and the Pro-Jerusalem Society


Also in 1918, the Pro-Jerusalem Society was founded as the brainchild of Jerusalem’s military governor, Ronald Storrs. As a semi-civilian project very much attached to the colonial presence in Jerusalem, the Pro-Jerusalem Society was the initial arm of government’s town planning and development policy in Palestine. As described by Ronald Storrs, it was founded:


in fact, though not on paper, in the spring following Lord Allenby’s liberation of Jerusalem. There were, and will always remain, many aspects of civic life, more especially in this unique city, in which no Military Administration, no Civil Government even, could, without thwarting civic and individual effort, occupy itself, however sympathetically inclined.[14]


Storrs, enamored of his position in Jerusalem,[15] considered preservation part of his primary duties as the first British military governor in Jerusalem. His dual role in the government and the Pro-Jerusalem Society solidified the centrality of the society’s work. According to Storrs:


The Pro-Jerusalem Society was then the Military Governor civically and aesthetically in Council, and the political effect of such a reunion round one table of differing, and very often actively discordant, elements bound together here by their common love for the Holy City is not to be underestimated. From the first the venture enjoyed the active patronage and support of the Commander-in-Chief, who never failed to encourage and stimulate our endeavors.[16]


Reminiscent of Allenby’s earnest efforts to preserve the holy city, Storrs asked Charles Robert Ashbee, an architect then in Egypt, to come to Jerusalem and prepare a report and plan for the protection of the city. Ashbee was also appointed civic advisor and secretary to the Pro-Jerusalem Society upon his arrival in Palestine. According to Naomi Shepherd, Storrs’s recruitment of Ashbee was very much in line with his own rhetoric, for Storrs cared more about the place of Jerusalem than for its people.[17] Restoration and preservation of the Old City, then, was the immediate task of Storrs’s Pro-Jerusalem Society. Ashbee, a disciple of William Morris and active participant in the Arts and Crafts Movement in England, was not only interested in preserving the buildings of the city, but under his lead, the Pro-Jerusalem Society was also concerned with the culture of the place as he saw it: that is, preserving the way of life and traditions of the Jerusalem of his imagination, without much regard for the place as a lived city. For example, as part of the efforts toward preservation, the Pro-Jerusalem Society paid to remove a clock tower near Jaffa Gate constructed in the late Ottoman period.[18] It was an “eyesore” to Ashbee who saw it as disturbing a place that needed to remain static and preserved, though it was a useful and functional element of the space. He also promoted “the encouragement in the district of Jerusalem of arts, handicrafts and industries in consonance with the general objects of society.”[19] The handicrafts mentioned here were ones that were conducive to Ashbee’s vision of ancient Jerusalem, like the traditional arts of glassmaking or weaving.

The Pro-Jerusalem Society focused primarily on the Old City. They worked to restore the mosaics beneath the Dome of the Rock as well as Suq al-Qattanin (Cotton Market). In addition to restoration, they also worked to clean up debris and create more open spaces within the Old City. They mainly cleaned up debris and animal waste around the approaches to the Citadel.The society was also interested in “beautifying” the space for its visitors to enjoy. They planted gardens and made a pedestrian walkway along the ancient ramparts, a promenade which in Ashbee’s vision was the “the largest, perhaps the most perfect medieval enceinte in existence, rivaling Carcassonne, Chester, and Nuremberg.”[20]This process was the application of a completely European aesthetic vision of how they believed the place should “look” and function, local consumption aside.

While they focused on cleaning up the area around the Old City’s gates, the Pro-Jerusalem Society also worked within certain neighborhoods. In what they described as the area adjoining the “Jewish Ghetto [section of the Old City] . . . one of the worst slums in the city,” they took over a piece of land to create a children’s playground.[21] Helen Bentwich, the wife of the first attorney general of the Mandate government, with the aid of a “band of Jewish girl gardeners . . . and the assistance of the Zionist Commission,” worked to rebuild the surrounding walls and planted the gardens of this space.[22] The plan, however, did not achieve the results those who imagined it wanted. The local residents, who did not seem to want a public garden in their neighborhood, removed the trees and flowers from the space. Instead of reading their project as foreign, and therefore unwanted, Ashbee explained this defeat as an unfortunate deficiency in the local population. He lamented, “the police were unable to give the necessary protection, and the work had, for the time being, to be suspended . . . the present population of the Holy City had much to learn yet in the elementary duties of citizenship.”[23]

            In 1919, under the auspices of the Pro-Jerusalem Society, Patrick Geddes was requested to draft a new scheme planning for the future expansion of modern Jerusalem. Like the 1918 plan, Geddes’s vision also focused on the Old City and the zone around it as a “protected area” to the east, retaining the importance of the Mount of Olives as a central “open space” area in the city where building was to be severely limited. As late as 1948, British officials took pride in the fact that the Mount of Olives area remained in its “natural and original character” because of these building restrictions and zoning regulations.[24]

Moreover, Geddes’s plan was the first time the local British administration introduced the place of a future university in the city. This plan placed the proposed Hebrew University in the Mount Scopus region (where it would be dedicated in 1925 by Lord Balfour) northeast of the city, where construction was also to be limited and centered around the university campus. In fact, according to the British narrative of success in development in Jerusalem, “the Hebrew University complex on Mount Scopus promises to become a precinct with an outstanding character all its own.”[25] In supporting this project, the British claimed they were helping make Jerusalem into a “cultural center.” A modern university with modern buildings would no doubt represent progress to the British as a core element in their support of the Zionist project in Palestine, never mind the proximate Arab village (al-‘Isawiyya) on whose land the university was built.

As a product of the initial work of the Pro-Jerusalem Society, a town planning commission was appointed in 1921, and its primary task was to prepare a development scheme for Jerusalem. This scheme, promulgated by the town planning commission in 1922, was partially based on the 1918 and 1919 schemes as well as on an official survey that the government had procured. The 1922 scheme was in many ways the application of the previous schemes and the first phase of implementation of the visions therein: with the official introduction of the Pro-Jerusalem Society, as well as civilian rule with the legislative capacity of the high commissioner and his government, these earlier plans were put into an actual work-plan in 1922.

The 1922 scheme was based on four zones: the Old City, which included Mount Zion and the valley of Kidron, reserved for special treatment; the park system, composed of public and private open spaces including the Mount of Olives, the land surrounding the city walls, and Mount Scopus; industrial workshops and factories zones; and business and residential zones. For the first time in the series of city planning schemes, an attempt was made to set aside sites for industrial zones in three principle sites: south of city (near the railway station), in Bayt Safafa (which had become by the late 1940s mainly residential), and in the Schneller quarter to the north of the city.[26] This scheme moved beyond preservation and into what the planners described as modernization and development. It should be remembered that the British might have planned development, but a great deal of building or expansion actually occurred more organically for the Arab villages and with their own specific and independent design schemes than for the new Jewish suburbs. The demographic changes in the 1920s point to this phenomenon. The successive schemes through the first years of direct British presence in Palestine, whether under the auspices of the military government or the civilian administration, say more about the British focus than the actual situation in the city.

            This British focus mixed well with Zionist settler-colonial aims. In fact, Geddes, who was responsible for the 1919 scheme, was first brought to Palestine by the Zionist Organization. A British town-planner, his ideas fit the profile for what Ashbee described as “modernist” plans for Palestine. The Old City was to be preserved while certain sections of the New City would be home to new neighborhoods that reflected British notions of modernity and progress. Geddes previously worked in British India where he experimented with his unique ideas of civic reconstruction and expansion. He was also contracted by the Zionist Commission to submit his plans for the Hebrew University in Mount Scopus.[27] More generally, in sections to the north and west of the city, privately hired town planners created a neighborhood plan for new Jewish suburbs. Richard Kaufmann, an architect well informed about similar neighborhoods in pre–World War I England and Germany, provided the basic plans for these new self-described garden neighborhoods. These neighborhoods were the basis of Jerusalem’s modern residential development in the New City and have been described as “the expression par excellence of the conquest of Jerusalem by the Zionist ethos . . . an urban settlement [based] on a new foundation, redemption of the land.”[28] With European influence and design, as well as European residents, these neighborhoods represented the colonial modernity that the British plans coupled with preservation.[29] While the Old City was to be cleaned up and preserved as a static historical monument, these neighborhoods in the new city were constructed to celebrate the “modernity and progress” of British influence. Again, this paradox was the rhetorical paradox of the British mandate process in Palestine.  


The 1929 and 1930 Town Schemes


By the end of the first full decade of the British presence and several years after the 1922 transition from military to civilian rule, town planning was fully incorporated into the bureaucratic apparatus of the government. With the demise of the Pro-Jerusalem Society in 1926, much of the society’s preservation work was taken over by the Department of Antiquities within the Old City. In 1929, the town planning authorities concentrated their scheme on the city walls and gates to continue their work of preservation and “the eventual clearance of the undesirable buildings.”[30] This work, claimed too by previous schemes and the Pro-Jerusalem Society, continued to be the official rhetoric, as authorities added that it had been difficult over the previous years to get owners of the properties to cooperate with their plans. Specifically, “one of the main objects of this scheme was to prevent further building activity in [the] belt around the city walls and, by zoning it as a proposed public open space, gradually to remove the existing buildings which obscure large portions of the ancient wall.”[31]

The government moved this process along in the subsequent years. In 1936, the government took further action to remove the “unsightly shops in the vicinity of the Damascus Gate” and served notices to the owners of the properties.[32] Within months, after expropriation proceedings, the buildings were demolished and the area cleared for more gardens. In 1941, an earthquake rocked the city and the British authorities used the opportunity to inspect the stores outside of the Jaffa gate area. The city engineer declared them dangerous structures and, with the provisions of the 1929 scheme, the government moved to expropriate the properties. Though “considerable resistance was met as anticipated,” the government succeeded in demolishing the area, creating more “open space.” As stated in the 1929 scheme, the remaining buildings would be demolished in order to create even more open space. This expropriation and demolition process followed the ideals first projected by Storrs in 1918; the British were, thus, working to construct the city of their imagination by completely marginalizing the lived city.[33]

            The British revealed their intentions through the words and sketches of the 1918, 1919, and 1922 schemes. By 1930, in the wake of the Buraq Revolt within which Jerusalem was a center of Palestinian resistance, the various government authorities worked to further implement this ideology. With the growth of the new Jewish suburbs, “in order to not to impede the development of new suburbs [the town planning commission] was obliged to consider in advance numerous detailed scheme for these quarters outside the Old City which were rapidly developing.”[34] By 1930, then, the city began to look like the British had first imagined in 1917, with the massive exception of the people who had little to no agency throughout the story of British town planning – the local, indigenous Palestinian Arab residents of the Old City and surrounding Jerusalem villages.




It was only in 1944, in the final town-planning scheme presented by the Mandate government, that British development authorities referred to Arab villages in the Jerusalem area in clear and explicit terms. Reading Arab Palestinians into their schemes was clearly not the primary aim of British town planning. Though Jerusalem’s villages grew in the late Ottoman and early Mandate period into some of the most populated and well-built areas of the New City, spreading into the newly constructed neighboring Jewish suburbs, they nevertheless remained “mostly rural” in British minds. They did not fit nicely into the fixed British categories of “ancient” or “modern” and therefore were not fully incorporated, like other Arab populations, into British Jerusalem. In the end, the colonial imagination remained unwilling and unable to incorporate the lived reality of Jerusalem of this indigenous population.


Rana Barakat is an assistant professor of history and contemporary Arab studies at Birzeit University. This research and resulting article is the result of a generous grant through the American Historical Association’s Decolonization Seminar at the National History Center in Washington, DC, in July 2011. She would like to thank Salim Tamari for his thoughtful editing suggestions.



[1] From Henry Kendall, Jerusalem: The City Plan, Preservation and Development during the British Mandate, 1918–1948 (London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1948), v.

[2] See for example: David H. K. Amiran, Arie Shachar, and Israel Kimhi, Urban Geography of Jerusalem: A Companion Volume to the Atlas of Jerusalem (Jerusalem: Department of Geography, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1973); Mervon Benvenisti, Jerusalem: The Torn City (Minneapolis: University of Minneapolis Press, 1976); Issam Mattar, “From Palestinian to Israeli: Jerusalem, 1948–1982,” Journal of Palestine Studies 12, no. 4 (Summer 1983): 57–63; Yehoshua Prawer and Ora Ahimeir, eds., Twenty Years in Jerusalem, 1967–1987 (Jerusalem: Ministry of Defense Publishing House and Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, 1988); Uziel O. Schmelz, Modern Jerusalem’s Demographic Evolution (Jerusalem: Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, 1987); Yosef Schweid, “The Unification of Jerusalem: The Planning Aspect,” Kivunium 35 (1987); Richard Westmacott, Jerusalem: A New Era for a Capital City (London: Anglo-Israel Association, 1968).

[3] “With the Crusaders in the Holy Land: Allenby the Conqueror” (1919). This quote is from the introduction to the film that documents the entry of General Allenby to Jerusalem. Imperial War Museum (IWM), film and video archive IWM 45, quoted by Abigail Jacobson, From Empire to Empire: Jerusalem in the Transition between Ottoman and British Rule, 1912–1922 (PhD diss., University of Chicago, 2006), 189.

[4] Issam Nassar, European Portrayals of Jerusalem: Religious Fascinations and Colonist Imaginations (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 2006).

[5] Luke McKernan, “The Supreme Moment of the War: General Allenby’s Entry to Jerusalem,” Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television 13, no. 2 (1993).

[6] In reference to the correspondence between Sharif Husayn of Mecca, the leader of the Arab Revolt in the First World War, and Sir Henry McMahon, British High Commissioner in Egypt. Though the details of the exchange were a matter of great debate, it was clear that Britain made a series of promises to support Arab independence if the Arab armies fought for the Allies during the war. For a reproduction of the exchange see: George Antonius, The Arab Awakening: The Story of the Arab National Movement (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1969), Appendices A and C.

[7] Appointing Herbert Samuel, an outspoken Zionist and, as a Cabinet minister, one of the foremost British supporters of a Jewish state in Palestine, the first High Commissioner was a clear signal that the British commitment to the Balfour Declaration would be paramount in the governance of Palestine. For a well-argued example of this analysis see: Sahar Huneidi, A Broken Trust: Herbert Samuel, Zionism, and the Palestinians (London: I. B. Tauris, 2001). For a more sympathetic view towards Samuel, see Bernard Wasserstein, Herbert Samuel: A Political Life (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992). See also H. J. Simpson, British Rule in Palestine and the Arab Rebellion of 1936–1937 (Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons, 1938).

[8] This has been a very popular area of research in the recent history of the British Mandate era in Palestine. In particular, scholars have shown that the ideologies and methods of the colonial administration privileged the Jewish sector or the Yishuv over the indigenous Arab population. This practice reinforced the separatism inherent in Zionist ideology and methods. For an example of this literature as it related to economic policy, see: Barbara Smith, The Roots of Separatism in Palestine: British Economic Policy, 1920–1929 (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1993); and Jacob Metzer, The Divided Economy of Mandatory Palestine (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998). For land policy and land law, see (among many others): Warwick P. N. Tyler, State Lands and Rural Development in Mandatory Palestine, 1920–1948 (Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, 2001); Amos Nadan. The Palestinian Peasant Economy under the Mandate: A Story of Colonial Bungling (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2006); Ronen Shamir, The Colonies of Law: Colonialism, Zionism, and Law in Early Mandate Palestine (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000). See also: Tom Segev, One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs under the British Mandate (New York: Henry Holt, 2000). Tom Segev’s contribution to this arena of analysis successfully argued against traditional Zionist historiography that claimed the British policy in Palestine was anti-Semitic and pro-Arab. Segev argued that the British did not have a coherent policy toward either population – an assessment that greatly underestimated the privileges that benefited the Jewish minority under the Mandate structure.

[9] Kendall, Jerusalem, 4.

[10] Kendall, Jerusalem, 4.

[11] Kendall, Jerusalem, 4.

[12] Robert Home, “British Colonial Town Planning in the Middle East: The Work of W. H. McLean,” Planning History: Bulletin of Planning History Group 12, no. 1 (1990): 6.

[13] Home, “British Colonial Town Planning,” 6.

[14] Charles Robert Ashbee, ed., Jerusalem, 1918–1920: Being the Records of the Pro-Jerusalem Council during the period of the British Administration (London: John Murray for the Council of the Pro-Jerusalem Society, 1921), from the preface by Ronald Storrs, v–vi.

[15] Ronald Storrs, Orientations (London: I. Nicholoson and Watson, 1937).

[16] Ashbee, Jerusalem, v–vi.

[17] Naomi Shepherd, Ploughing the Sand: British Rule in Palestine, 1917–1948 (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2000), 48–54.

[18] According to Wasif Jawhariyyeh, it was Storrs and not Ashbee who ordered it to be removed. See: Oud wa Barood: The Jerusalem Diaries of Wasif Jawhariyyeh (1904–1948), ed. Issam Nassar and Salim Tamari (Jerusalem: Institute of Jerusalem Studies, 2001).

[19] C. R. Ashbee, A Palestine Notebook, 1919–1923 (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1923); Alan Crawford, C. R. Ashbee: Architect, Designer, and Romantic Socialist (Newhaven: Yale University Press, 1985).

[20] Crawford, C. R. Ashbee, 52.

[21] Ashbee, Jerusalem, 4.

[22] Ashbee, Jerusalem, 4.

[23] Ashbee, Jerusalem, 4–5.

[24] While these plans were presented in the years mentioned above, as far as legal application of these visions regarding zoning, the local government under a civilian authority (not introduced until later) needed to implement the visions described in these plans. In practice, it seems that town planning occurred two phases, the visionary and the functional.

[25] Kendall, Jerusalem, 3.

[26] Since 1922 the bulk of development occurred to the south and west of the city, so the region described here in the north was the focus of the 1944 Scheme.

[27] Shepherd, Ploughing the Sand, 55–56.

[28] David Kroyanker, Jerusalem Architecture (New York: Vendome Press with the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, 1994), 157.

[29] These neighborhoods were founded in the period after the 1922 Scheme and include: Beit Hakerem neighborhood (1922), Talpiot (1922), Rehavia (1924), Makor Hayim (1924), Kiryat Moshe (1925), and Bayit Vegan (1928).

[30] Kendall, Jerusalem, 11.

[31] Kendall, Jerusalem, 17.

[32] Kendall, Jerusalem, 18.

[33] The timing of this demolition was not lost on the local population. The years of these expropriations coincided with local unrest leading up to the height of violence of the Palestinian revolt in 1937 when the British military were unable to enter the Old City. The clearing out of the areas making way for gardens also removed the Arab residents and proprietors who were part of or supported the Revolt. Rana Barakat, Thawrat al-Buraq in British Mandate Palestine: Jerusalem, Mass Mobilization, and Colonial Politics, 1928–1930 (PhD diss., University of Chicago, 2007).

[34] Kendall, Jerusalem, 18.

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