Submitted 2012. This research will examine whether organizations working with disadvantaged communities involved in planning conflicts are aimed at practical changes or social and political changes (Fenster, 2009). Claiming that an active civil society is a necessity in the quest for social, environmental and spatial justice, the research suggests that adopting an approach and practice of empowerment by these organizations will promote the participation of communities and individuals in shaping the urban spaces and by that to social justice. The research will base its claims by tracking planning conflicts in the mixed city of Jaffa, examining interactions between the actors involved and acknowledge their experiences. The research's main objective will be to identify elements which promote or prevent the empowerment of disadvantaged communities. It will then highlight terms of empowerment in the discourse of civic organizations, as part of their everyday practice of social intervention.