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Meron Benvenisti (Hebrew: מירון בנבנשתי‎, born April 21, 1934) is an Israeli political scientist who was Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem under Teddy Kollek from 1971 to 1978, during which he administered East Jerusalem and served as Jerusalem's Chief Planning Officer.[1] Initially trained as a medievalist, he has published books and maps on the Crusaders period in the Holy Land. He later obtained a Harvard doctorate in conflict management. In 1984 he founded the West Bank Database Project, documenting social, economic, and political developments in the West Bank. Since 1992 he devotes his time to teaching as visiting lecturer (Ben-Gurion University 1994–1998, Johns Hopkins SAIS Washington DC 1982–2009), research and writing on Jerusalem, Northern Ireland conflict, Israeli- Palestinian relations, Palestinian vanished landscape, bi-nationalism and restaurant reviews. He was a fellow at The Wilson Center in Washington DC and a Visiting Fellow at Harvard's CFIA and a recipient of research grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the US institute of Peace. Between 1991 and 2009 he wrote a column for Haaretz, Israel's leading left-liberal newspaper. He holds a doctorate from Harvard's Kennedy School. He is the son of Israel Prize recipient David Benvenisti.[2]

He has long been a critic of Israel's policies towards Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and is an advocate of the idea of a binational state. In 2004, he warned that plans to build a separation wall were actually plans for "bantustans" that would effectively imprison millions of Palestinians and exacerbate the conflict, rather than resolve it as many hoped. He said that "The day will come when believers in this illusion will realise that 'separation' is a means to oppress and dominate, and then they will mobilise to dismantle the apartheid apparatus." [3] In 2012, he suggested claims that Israel is an apartheid state were "wrongheaded, simplistic and dangerous," but also said the situation in Israel proper is "no less grave". He suggested that Israel is a "Herrenvolk democracy" (master race democracy) in which Israel behaves 'like a full-blooded democracy' but has a group of serfs (the Arabs) for whom democracy is suspended, creating a situation of 'extreme inequality.' In the same interview, he stated (perhaps confusingly) that "The separation fence: that is truly apartheid. Separation is apartheid." According to Benvenisti, the only solution is to incorporate Palestinians into the state on conditions of equality.[4]

Publications[edit | edit source]

Books (partial)[edit | edit source]

  • Benvenisti, Meron (1970): The Crusaders in the Holy Land, New York [1]
  • Benvenisti, Meron (1976): Jerusalem, the Torn City, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, ISBN 0-8166-0795-8)
  • Benvenisti, Meron (1984): West Bank Data Project: A Survey of Israel's Policies, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, ISBN 0-8447-3544-2 [2]
  • Benvenisti, Meron (1988): Conflicts and Contradictions, Villard, ISBN 0-394-53647-9 [3]
  • Benvenisti, Meron (1995): Intimate Enemies: Jews and Arabs in a Shared Land University of California Press ISBN 0-520-08567-1 [4]
  • Benvenisti, Meron (1996): City of Stone: The Hidden History of Jerusalem University of California Press ISBN 0-520-20521-9 [5]
  • Benvenisti, Meron (2002): Sacred Landscape: Buried History of the Holy Land Since 1948. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-23422-7 [6]
  • Benvenisti, Meron (2007): Sons of the Cypresses: Memories, Reflections and Regrets from a Political Life. University of California Press [7]
  • Benvenisti, Meron (2012), The Dream of the White Sabra (Hebrew)

Articles (partial)[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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