Sunday, August 31, 2014

Metropolitan Jerusalem

Yair Assaf-Shapira

A metropolis is defined as an urban area that includes a main (metropolitan) city, which constitutes the core of the metropolis, and other surrounding localities that have relations with it. There is, generally, interaction between the satellite communities of the metropolis and the metropolitan city for the purposes of employment, education, culture, shopping, and the like. The intensity of relations with the metropolitan city determines whether a locality is defined as part of the metropolis or not. Recently the Central Bureau of Statistics released new definitions for the metropolises in Israel, with Jerusalem included for the first time. Also included were the metropolises of Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Be’er Sheva. The definitions were based on the rate of employed residents of each locality who work in the main employment centers of the metropolis. About 75% of Israel’s population resides within these metropolitan areas.

Metropolitan Jerusalem has been defined as stretching from Jerusalem to Beit Shemesh in the west, and including Israeli localities in the West Bank, up to Mitzpe Yericho in the east, to Ofra in the north to Gush Etzion in the south. In all, the metropolis comprises 86 localities, and has a population of 1,164,000 residents. Metropolitan Jerusalem is the second largest, after Metropolitan Tel Aviv, which numbers 3,642,000. The metropolises of Haifa and Be’er Sheva have populations of 891,100 and 354,900 residents, respectively. 

We can learn about the character of the metropolis by looking at the population of the core city as a proportion of the entire metropolitan populace (the weight of the core city within the metropolitan area), both in spatial terms – how concentrated or scattered it is– and in economic terms – the weight of the metropolitan satellite communities and hence their potential contribution to the prosperity of the core city.

This factor varies greatly among Israel’s metropolitan areas. The population of Tel Aviv-Jaffa constitutes only 11% of the entire metropolis’s population, whereas in Jerusalem the population of the city constitutes 71% of the total for the entire metropolis. For Haifa and Be’er Sheva, the weight of the core city in each metropolis is 31% and 56%, respectively. Accordingly, the relative weight of the metropolitan city within the metropolis is lowest for Tel Aviv – an indication of the large number of residents with ties to the city, a fact that correlates with the economic prosperity of Tel Aviv-Jaffa. Jerusalem’s relative weight is the highest, correlating with the low weight of the metropolitan satellite communities and indicating that Jerusalem provides services and employment primarily to its own residents. 


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Palestinian Residents of Jerusalem

Lior Lehrs

The events that took place in East Jerusalem during recent weeks have re-exposed the complex and explosive reality of relations between Jews and Arabs in the city and the tension between East and West Jerusalem. Against this background, let us look at the data relating to Palestinian residents in Jerusalem and the current situation in East Jerusalem.

According to data of the Central Bureau of Statistics, as of late 2012 the Palestinian population of Jerusalem numbered 300,200 residents, constituting 37% of the total population of Jerusalem (815,300). The relative size of this population group in the city increased from 26% in 1967, 28% in 1980, and 32% in 2000. The population comprises a vast Muslim majority (96%) and Christian minority (about 4%). East Jerusalem – that is the territory added to the city after June 1967 – has 297,900 Palestinian residents, who constitute 99% of the total Palestinian population of the city as a whole and 60% of the residents of East Jerusalem. In addition, East Jerusalem has 199,650 Jewish residents, constituting 40% of its population. The largest Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem are Beit Hanina (34,800 residents), the Muslim Quarter (29,100 residents), Ras al-Amud (24,100), A-Tur (23,600), Shu‘afat (22,800), Jabal Mukaber (21,900), and Silwan (19,100).

Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem have the legal status of residents of Israel, which includes rights to social security and national health insurance as well as freedom of movement throughout Israel. Yet they are not citizens and therefore have no right to participate in elections to the Knesset or to receive an Israeli passport. They do, however, have an affiliation with the Palestinian Authority: they have the right participate in elections to the Palestinian parliament, and their schools use the Palestinian educational curriculum.

The Palestinian population of Jerusalem is characterized by a young age structure, with a median age of 20.2 (compared with 25.9 among Jews in the city). The total fertility rate among Palestinian women is 3.6 children. In recent years this rate has been declining, having stood at 4.1 in 2006. Interestingly, the total fertility rate among Jewish women in Jerusalem is higher (4.3), as a result of the high overall fertility rate among ultra-orthodox women.

The poverty rates within the Palestinian population of Jerusalem are very high: 77% of families are below the poverty line, compared with 21% of Jewish families in the city. The rate of participation in the workforce among the Palestinians of Jerusalem stands at 67% for men and 14% for women (compared with 52% and 59% among Jews, respectively). The main economic sectors in which Palestinians are employed are wholesale and retail trade and repairs (21%), construction (13%), accommodation and food services (11%), and education (11%).


Translated by Merav Datan