Nazerat Illit, or Upper Nazareth, is a Jewish enclave built above the Palestinian Arab city of Nazareth in the Galilee, northern Israel. The “illit” city (the Hebrew word illit means both higher physically, but also “elite”, or better, in a moral and philosophical sense) was built on confiscated Palestinian land and, according to British journalist Jonathan Cook, serves two purposes: to stop the expansion of the “Arab capital” of Israel and to act as a mitzpe (“lookout”) to literally watch over Nazareth’s Palestinians (the municipal government building overlook the city).

Cook, a former reporter for The Guardian and The Observer, now writes for Abu Dhabi’s The National as the only foreign correspondent based in Nazareth, where he’s lived for almost a decade.

Cook’s position in the Arab capital heartland of Israel puts a different perspective on his reporting: namely that the post-1967 conflict over the occupied territories is best understood as a reflection and continuation of the larger conflict begun in 1948.

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