The 1948 war was a watershed in the long history of Ramle, when most of the town’s original Arab inhabitants were displaced, their material and symbolic assets appropriated by the nascent Israeli state. Those who remained in or returned to the now mostly Jewish city of Ramla became a minority in their former hometown.
The core of this monograph is the process of Israelisation that the city of Ramle/Ramla underwent during the 1950s and 1960s, and its differential implications for the town’s ethnic communities. By setting the changes the town experienced between 1948 and 1967 in a wider perspective, Piroyansky thoroughly scrutinises various components of this process. Notions and practices linked to wartime expropriation, commercial appropriation, urban landscape redesign, civic performance and urban planning, are examined here in three different yet complementary layers—municipal, national and international.
While three theoretical fields are juxtaposed in the book—those of property and repossession, post-war transformation and urban spatial practices—Piroyansky uses an interdisciplinary approach that is first and foremost historical, incorporating and intertwining legal, geographical, anthropological, sociological, architectural and cultural perspectives and terminologies to combine a theoretical approach with empirical research.