|Ph.D Student||Hananel Ravit|
|Subject||Decision-Making in Israel's Land Council: Analysis of the|
Ideological Changes in Israel's Public Land Policy
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Emeritus Rachelle Alterman|
The research attempts to identify the main objectives that underlie Israel's national public land policy and their evolution over time. The goal was to find out the extent to which the major changes that Israeli society and economy have undergone over the past five decades are reflected in the decisions of Israel's Lands Council (ILC) through time. This issue has to date not been systematically examined.
In selecting the decision areas to focus on, we adopted the Israeli Land Administration (ILA) consistent and basic distinction between urban land and agricultural (cooperative farming) land. In each sphere, we focused on what is widely regarded as the major policy issues: In the urban sphere, the selected issue is the gradual evolution of the public leasehold contracts for households and the incremental granting of greater property rights to the urban lessees. In the agricultural sphere, the selected issue is conversion of farmland to other uses and the evolution of policies about the share of financial benefit granted to the holders of agricultural lessees. This issue is currently the subject of intense public debate in Israel, involving profound questions of social equality and distributive justice.
The purpose of our research was to analyze the main considerations that influence ILC decision-making process. The research method selected focuses on the protocols of the decisions associated with the two topics stated above. We developed a set of normative and operational objectives (or dimensions) that characterize the set of topics on the agendas of the ILC. The five normative objectives are: the Zionist-national objective; the economic objective; the financial objective; the social objective, and the environmental objective; the two operational objectives are: the administrative-efficiency objective and the legal certainty objective.
Using content analysis, as the selected research methodology, we analyzed the statements made by the ILC members throughout these protocols, and gave each protocol a set of scores according to the dominance of the statements in it - one for each of the seven dimensions.
Our findings indicate that there is a distinct and often counter-intuitive separation in the decision making considerations between the urban and rural spheres. Even when the ILC members gave a similar weight to a specific objective in both spheres (such as the Zionist-national objective), that objective received a different interpretation or definition in each of the two spheres. The policymakers clearly have a different set of attitudes towards urban lessees than rural lessees.