chapter  3
Jerusalem’s Holy Basin: from history to settlement
Pages 28

Since the nineteenth century, the Holy Basin has been shaped by the modern and interrelated disciplines of urban planning, landscape design and management, archaeology, conservation and heritage that were developed mostly by the British and used successfully after them by the Israeli planning establishment. Most recently, the nationally and religiously motivated Jewish settler associations have seized the baton and have employed these systems to their own great advantage in establishing control over key parts of the Old City and its surrounding territory. Thus, although a history of the planning innovations since the nineteenth century has its own intrinsic interest, it is related here in terms of a more contemporary question: how is it that the settlers have had such success in integrating themselves into the Old City and surroundings to dominate its holy sites, archaeology, landscape and tourism, reinventing the historical area of Jerusalem as an iconic and heavily manipulated ‘Holy Basin’?