The Walls of Jerusalem: Preserving the Past, Controlling the Future
A complete examination of the men and forces that created and shaped the modern state of Israel over the last hundred years
Walls of Jerusalem is a study of the creation and evolution of the modern state of Israel. This unique work begins with the actions of four extraordinary men — Theodor Herzl, Chaim Weizmann, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, and David Ben-Gurion — and follows with their influence on subsequent leaders and on the political and military decisions that have shaped and changed Jerusalem and the nation. The resulting physical realty has made concrete the shift in vison from the broad utopian ideals of the beginning, to the separation barrier and settlement enclaves that increasingly divide both Jewish and Palestinian cultures.
The author traveled across the West Bank, into the Israeli settlements and along the Israeli security barrier dividing Israel from Palestine. He entered the tombs, mosques and synagogues, experienced the distortion of Jerusalem since the building of the separation barrier - the watchtowers, the welded gates, the shuttered shops, divided highways and back-ways, tunnels, bridges, checkpoints, to better understand evolving reality that defines the stage for the future relationship between Israel and Palestine.
Walls of Jerusalem is a timely book, its vivid narrative journeys through a century and a half of dreams and conflicts that lead to a divided Jerusalem:
- It presents each stage of Israel’s evolution, from the 1896 publication of Herzl’s Der Judenstaat and the Balfour Declaration, to the opening of the United States embassy in Jerusalem in 2018
- Relates the visions of Israel’s creators to the destructive and constructive forces utilized to create a new nation
- Reviews the century long attempts by international organizations to resolve the conflict between Jews and Palestinians
- Makes every effort to present a balanced exploration of challenges facing the state of Israel and its place on the world stage, but in conclusion gives emphasis to the plight of the Palestinians
- Integrates illustrations with text to provide a detailed portrait of central figures in modern Israel’s history
About the Author
ALAN BALFOUR is Professor Emeritus and former Dean of the College of Architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has also served as Dean of Schools of Architecture in Texas and New York and was Chairman of the Architectural Association in London. The Walls of Jerusalem follows his most recent book Solomon's Temple: Myth, Conflict, and Faith. Among his other published works are books on Shanghai, New York, and Berlin. He is a recipient of the Topaz Medallion, the highest recognition given in North America to an educator in architecture.