The Jewish quarter of Jerusalem today seems like an organic fusion of a modern Israeli city with an ancient Jewish heritage. However, as Simone Ricca details in this fascinating book, the aesthetics of the Jewish Quarter were deliberately planned and executed by Israel after it was occupied during the 1967 war. Secular-nationalist as well as religious politicians agreed that it should be turned in to the capital of the Jewish nation, and that it should be excavated and developed in such a way as to create a sense of continuity with the Jewish people's historical claims to the land. Zionist ideology was thus translated in to bricks and mortar as modern civic amenities were constructed around historic sites, such as the Wailing Wall and the Hurva Synagogue. Ricca examines the politics of heritage conservation, and shows that the Old City's reconstruction did not so much preserve the past as inscribe an identity on to the future.
Israel's Reconstruction of the Jewish Quarter After 1967