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The Politics of Planting: Israeli-Palestinian Competition for Control of Land in the Jerusalem Periphery
by Shaul Ephraim Cohen
University of Chicago Press, 1993
Paper: 978-0-226-11276-3
Library of Congress Classification DS109.94.C65 1993
Dewey Decimal Classification 333.30956944

On the open landscape of Israel and the West Bank, where pine and cypress forests grow alongside olive groves, tree planting has become symbolic of conflicting claims to the land. Palestinians cultivate olive groves as a vital agricultural resource, while the Israeli government has made restoration of mixed-growth forests a national priority. Although both sides plant for a variety of purposes, both have used tree planting to assert their presence on—and claim to—disputed land.

Shaul Ephraim Cohen has conducted an unprecedented study of planting in the region and the control of land it signifies. In The Politics of Planting, he provides historical background and examines both the politics behind Israel's afforestation policy its consequences. Focusing on the open land surrounding Jerusalem and four Palestinian villages outside the city, this study offers a new perspective on the conflict over land use in a region where planting has become a political tool.

For the valuable data it presents—collected from field work, previously unpublished documents, and interviews—and the insight it provides into this political struggle, this will be an important book for anyone studying the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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