Bringing together essays and photographs by leading Israeli practitioners, and complemented by maps, plans and statistical data, A Civilian Occupation explores the process and repercussions of Israeli planning and its underlying ideology. It demonstrates how, over the last century, planning and architecture have been transformed from everyday professional practices into strategic weapons in the service of the state, which has sought to secure national and geopolitical objectives through the organisation of space and the redistribution of its population. In fact, as the book shows, Israeli architecture has consistently provided the concrete means for the pursuit of the Zionist project of building a national home for the Jewish people in the land of Israel. As such, it is the first study to supplement the more familiar political, military and historical analysis of the Israel-Palestine conflict with a detailed description of the physical environments I which it is played out.
The banning of the first edition of this book by its original publisher was proof, if any were needed, that architecture in Israel, indeed architecture anywhere, can no longer be considered a politically naive activity: the politics of Israeli architecture is the politics of any architecture. Contributors: Daniel Bauer, B'Tselem, Meron Benvenisti, Zvi Efrat, Kenneth Frampton, Nadav Harel, Miki Kratsman, Milutin Labudovic, Gideon Levy, Ilan Potash, Sharon Rotbard, Rafi Segal, Efrat Shvily, Michael Sorkin, Eran Tamir-Tawil, Paul Virilio, Eyal Weizman, Pavel Wolberg, Oren Yiftachel
Rafi Segal and Eyal Weizman are Israeli architects based in Tel Aviv. Their office is involved with practical and theoretical projects. Exhibitions related to A Civilian Occupation: The Politics of Israeli Architecture were held at the Storefront Gallery for Art and Architecture in New York and in Kunst-Werke Berlin.