A survey commissioned by the Jerusalem Municipality in 1968 exposed the town’s Jewish population were reluctant to share it with East Jerusalem Palestinians. The mayor followed the prime minister’s recommendation and ordered the destruction of copies of the survey. One surviving copy is presented here.

In 1968, Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek commissioned a comprehensive survey on the views Jewish residents of west Jerusalem had on Arab residents of East Jerusalem. The roughly 20 survey questions explored the image Jewish residents of Jerusalem had of Arab residents of the city and their positions on the possibilities for urban and social integration between Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem.

Responses to the survey (on which a handwritten note reads “Secret [.]  Research for Teddy”), reveal that most Jewish residents of the city did not wish to share their town with residents of East Jerusalem. Eighty-five percent of the respondents believed the city’s “unification” would result in increased crime rates, and 80% of respondents thought it would bring “acute social problems”. 58% stated Arabs should not be permitted to live in West Jerusalem, while a solid majority –  89% – believed Jews should be permitted to live in the eastern part of the city. 55% of respondents said they would not agree their children go to school with Arab children, in West Jerusalem.

The survey results were disconcerting, and after Mayor Kollek presented them at a meeting of the Ministerial Committee for Jerusalem, Prime Minister Levy Eshkol suggested he refrain from publicizing them. Kollek wrote to Eshkol that he agreed, and that he had ordered the destruction of all copies of the survey, save those in the possession of the prime minister and the minister of foreign affairs.

The survey was first written of in Tom Segev’s book 1967.


Document 1:

Mayor Teddy Kollek's letter to Prime Minister Eshkol

March 11, 1968

Document 2:

Research for Teddy