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Government And Opposition In The Public Sphere

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Chapter Summary

The Hamidian government did not use censorship and police surveillance alone to control its public image; it also attempted to actively enhance its legitimacy in the eyes of the public. The government often transferred representative projects to local actors, and in Jerusalem, the municipality served as such a local partner. Perhaps the most successful example of a state prestige project managed by the municipality was the clock tower erected in 1906 on top of Jerusalem's Jaffa Gate. It is difficult and often impossible to reconstruct local Palestinian views on contemporary political developments, because the Hamidian censorship regulations impeded the development of an Arabic press and forced the existing Hebrew newspapers to be very cautious with regard to any statement on politically sensitive issues. From the documentation available, it seems that the main topic of political controversy in the District of Jerusalem was military conscription.

Keywords: Arabic press; clock tower; District of Jerusalem; Hamidian government; Hebrew newspapers; Jerusalem; local partner; military conscription; political controversy



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