Most of us encounter hospitals when we are in a state of vulnerability – either as patients or as relatives of patients. Moreover, the hospital setting itself entails an encounter with Israeli society in all its diversity. Throughout Israel, and in Jerusalem in particular, Jews and Arabs, secular, religious, and Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) patients and healthcare providers lie in hospital beds or work side by side in such a way that the familiar balance of power is often transposed. This creates a shared space, and although most of its occupants did not arrive by choice, it has tremendous potential – for both negative frictions and positive encounters.
This paper addresses hospitals in Jerusalem, Israel’s most diverse and culturally multifaceted city, as a shared space for Jews and Arabs. The paper will present relevant studies in this field, with attention to reciprocal relations within the shared space.
This paper was written with the support of the Anti-Defamation League.