in: UCLA Center for Middle East Development (CMED), 14
Contested Sites in Jerusalem is the third and final volume in a series of books which collectively present in detail the work of the Jerusalem Old City Initiative, or JOCI, a major Canadian-led Track Two diplomatic effort, undertaken between 2003 and 2014. The aim of the Initiative was to find sustainable governance solutions for the Old City of Jerusalem, arguably the most sensitive and intractable of the final status issues dividing Palestinians and Israelis. This book examines the complex and often contentious issues that arise from the overlapping claims to the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif, the role of UNESCO, and the major implications of the JOCI Special Regime for such issues as archaeology, property, and the economy. Part One is dedicated to holy sites - ground zero of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a point reinforced by the Fall 2014 disturbances which threatened to spiral out of control and engulf Palestinians and Israelis into yet another wave of violence. Part Two of the volume contains studies on archaeology, property, and economics that were written after the completion of the Special Regime model, specifically to address in depth how a Special Regime would deal with each of these three important areas. Contested Sites in Jerusalem offers an insightful explanation of the enormous challenges facing any attempt to find sustainable governance and security arrangements for the Old City in the context of a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians.