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East Jerusalemites appeal to UN for help with garbage collection

Palestinian residents of Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem, which is grossly lacking in municipal services, are looking elsewhere for help with garbage collection.

Mynet (Hebrew) reports that residents of Qalandia and Kfar Akab are “drowning in garbage.”  The two Palestinian neighborhoods are within the Israeli-drawn municipal boundaries of Jerusalem, but located on the West Bank side of the separation barrier. According to Mynet, Qalandia has been without municipal garbage service for eight months, resulting in an “unbearable stench” and “a plague of mice, rats, and roaches.”

In Qalandia, Mynet reports, the local committee and residents have come up with creative solutions to the problem, including ferrying the trash out in cars, a few plastic bags at a time, to West Jerusalem. Security forces, however, put a stop to this.

As is a common sight throughout East Jerusalem, where municipal services are severely lacking, Qalandia residents have taken to burning their garbage.

Out of desperation, Qalandia and Kfar Akav have turned to the United Nations for help, asking for the agency to come see the problem firsthand. Speaking to Mynet, Tarik Abdallah, the head of Qalandia’s committee, said, “Despite repeated appeals, the city is not clearing the garbage. We don’t have a choice, now we believe that the only people who will help us are the UN. They’ll send representatives and see that we live like in a third world country.”

The city claims that it collects garbage in Qalandia four times a week.

Mynet presents this as a new problem, specific to these two neighborhoods. But East Jerusalem residents have long struggled with a lack of municipal services, including inadequate garbage collection. Even though Palestinian East Jerusalemites pay taxes and constitute over one third of the city’s population, Ir Amim reports that Palestinian residents “receive only 8-10% of the municipal budget.”

B’Tselem offers the following statistics that illustrate what receiving only a sliver of the budget means for these tax-paying residents of East Jerusalem:

  • Entire Palestinian neighborhoods are not connected to a sewage system and do not have paved roads or sidewalks;
  • Almost 90 percent of the sewage pipes, roads, and sidewalks are found in West Jerusalem;
  • West Jerusalem has 1,000 public parks, East Jerusalem has 45;
  • West Jerusalem has 34 swimming pools, East Jerusalem has three;
  • West Jerusalem has 26 libraries, East Jerusalem has two;
  • West Jerusalem has 531 sports facilities, East Jerusalem has 33.

When I reported on the issue of unequal municipal services in Jerusalem for Al Jazeera English back in 2010, Nisreen Alyan, an attorney with the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) took me to several hard hit areas, including Tsur Baher and Umm Tuba. Combined, these neighborhoods are home to some 15,000-20,000 residents. Only the 12 main roads had bins, leaving smaller streets without service.

Alyan, who wrote a 2009 ACRI report with the telling title “Life in the Garbage,” explained that it’s not just sanitation and public health at stake. Inadequate garbage collection makes an impact on the quality of life. Because East Jerusalem lacks parks and green spaces, children tend to play in the streets.

In Tsur Baher and Umm Tuba, the garbage in the road attracts dogs, some of which have attacked residents. So kids, too scared to go outside, have nowhere to play.

In a number of East Jerusalem neighborhoods, Palestinian residents have pooled their money together to pay for speed bumps, garbage collection, and street cleaners—services that the municipality should be providing.

ACRI has filed petitions about the lack of municipal services in East Jerusalem and reported last year that its efforts resulted in improved garbage collection in two East Jerusalem neighborhoods. But today’s Mynet article suggests that as municipal services improve in one area, they fall dramatically behind in another.

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  • COMMENTS

    1. XYZ

      All east Jerusalem residents, including those that have not opted for full Israeli citizenship, have the right to vote for the Jerusalem municipal council. If all the Arabs did this, they would have something like 1/3 of the seats on the city council. At that point, things would really begin to happen in the eastern part of the city! But, no, they do not vote, they do not take responsibility.
      They say that voting would “recognize the Zionist occupation of the city”. Well, sitting back and complaining isn’t solving their problems.

      Reply to Comment
    2. sh

      Why should their garbage not be collected if they don’t vote, XYZ? They pay municipal taxes so they should get basic municipal services, whether they vote or not. Do you have to show you’ve voted before your sanitation department deigns to pick up your trash?

      Reply to Comment
    3. aristeides

      They should invite some Jews to move in. Services will follow.

      Reply to Comment
    4. DTA

      @SH: I totally agree with you. However, that said I hope the East Jerusalemites will start participating in the municipal elections. As an interesting comparison, note that the predominantly Kurdish cities in Turkey elect their Kurdish parties to their own municipal governments.

      Reply to Comment
    5. sh

      Aristeides, there’s no need to invite Jews to move in because they live there uninvited as you know. They dump their waste on Palestinian property according to a Silwan website: http://silwanic.net/?p=23984
      .
      Indeed, sometimes the municipality itself does: http://silwanic.net/?p=24781
      .
      DTA, I don’t know whether what the Kurds in Turkey do will appeal to them at this point in time. After there’s peace, maybe.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Jazzy

      I wonder how reliable the rubbish collection services are in the vast slums of Pakistan, India, Nigeria, and other urban agglomerations of the third world. How absurd would it seem if slum dwellers in these places appealed to the UN? While the rubbish situation in E. Jerusalem is certainly intolerable, this kind of thing does a lot to show how over-internationalized Palestinian grievances are – Palestinians have come to believe that all of their afflictions deserve international attention. Well, you know what, they don’t.

      Reply to Comment
    7. mya guarnieri

      jazzy: those slum dwellers are not living under occupation. there’s the crucial difference and that’s why the palestinians get, and deserve, international attention.

      Reply to Comment
    8. AIG

      Mya,

      Help me understand this. What is important is not the absolute level of services that people get but the status of the municipality? If people living in a slum in Rio have less sanitation and swimming pools than Palestinians in Jerusalem, the plight of the Palestinians is still more important. Why exactly is that?

      Reply to Comment
    9. Jazzy

      mya: Well, I thought we were talking about garbage collection. If what you’re really saying is that the Palestinians deserve UN attention for every occupation-related grievance that arises, OK. Is that your position? Because if it is, we could have a discussion about whether the UN is really going to help end the occupation. But, as a two-state moderate, I’m not going to have that discussion with you because you have a conflict of interest here – your profile as a radical, and probably your book deal as least to some extent, depend on the perpetuation of Palestinian suffering. As Noam Chomsky rightly observed in 2010, BDS and its allies (you) are responsible for discrediting efforts to actually end the occupation. Once you and your BDS friends move to Balata Camp and raise some children and then, when they can’t find work, some grandchildren as well, then I’ll have the debate with you about whether a garbage collection problem in E. Jerusalem should be dealt with by the UN because it is symptom of the occupation. Something tell me you prefer your 1st world life, your book deal, and your career as an iconoclast – so I don’t think you’re ever going to have credibility to tell anyone what’s actually going to help end the occupation. Maybe that will change, who knows.

      Reply to Comment
    10. Jazzy

      AIG: Mya is arguing that because East Jerusalem is currently run by an authority that is not legitimate under international law (not an unreasonable position), that whatever goes wrong there is an international problem. The real issue that she’s a far-left ‘pro-Palestinian’ hardliner who would reject any peace deal that didn’t give Palestinians abroad the right to their ancestors’ property in Israel. So, even though she presents at least a colorable argument about how a problem might be characterized, she isn’t actually interested in solving it. That’s kind of the M.O. for BDS as a whole, so get used to more complaints like the above article – its all a legitimate front for a cruel agenda of keeping people in refugee camps without actually having to live their yourself, but at the same time being really cool among a certain intellectual clique for some stupid reasons that have to do with post-modern philosophers who failed to actually describe the real world in any sensible way.

      Reply to Comment
    11. AIG

      Jazzy,

      As an Israeli supporter of the two state solution I feel like you that extremists like Mya are in fact hindering any possible solution. They are seeking “justice” instead of an end to the conflict and a Palestinian state.

      They want to rewind history. They are equivalent to Jews not willing to compromise with Germany until they resurrect from the dead the 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust. How can there be “justice” until these Jews are brought back to life?

      Reply to Comment
    12. aristeides

      By all means, let’s start demonizing justice!

      Reply to Comment
    13. AIG

      “Justice” is a human concept that can be abused by taking it to extremes, and that is what you are doing. Everyday in courts of law all over the world, people are given monetary compensation for property taken from them and even for losing a loved one either by murder or manslaughter. Only in the case of the Palestinians does “justice” mean going back to exactly where they lived before. Only in the case of the Palestinians monetary compensation is not a good enough demand to bring about “justice”.

      Reply to Comment
    14. aristeides

      AIG – and just what offers of monetary compensation are these?

      Reply to Comment
    15. AIG

      Aristeides,

      What do you mean? It is a matter to be negotiated, but how can it be negotiated if in principle you reject monetary compensation?

      Reply to Comment
    16. Piotr Berman

      Jazzy: “But, as a two-state moderate, I’m not going to have that discussion with you because you have a conflict of interest here – your profile as a radical, and probably your book deal as least to some extent, depend on the perpetuation of Palestinian suffering.”

      So the lack of garbage collection in Palestinian parts of Jerusalem is a part of plot by Mya to perpetuate Palestinian suffering and get book deal? Say that we have established the motivation. But what opportunity does Mya have to prevent that garbage collection?

      AIG seems to agree with Jazzy: the lack of garbage collection is caused by Mya’s desire, but not to have a book deal but to “rewind the conflict”. Again, it is not clear how Mya is so powerful that she can control all municipal garbage trucks in Jerusalem out of her bedroom (which is also her office during day) and yet she seems so far from the halls of power. And why the garbage truck do not emit “Resistance is futile. All of you, bow to Mia” in Hebrew, Arabic and Armenian?

      Reply to Comment
    17. Jazzy

      Piotr: don’t misread me. I’m arguing that Mya has a conflict of interest in talking about other people who do power, not that she herself has power.

      Reply to Comment
    18. aristeides

      AIG – I ask again – What offers of monetary compensation are you referring to?

      Reply to Comment
    19. Cortez

      ” If what you’re really saying is that the Palestinians deserve UN attention for every occupation-related grievance that arises, OK. Is that your position? Because if it is, we could have a discussion about whether the UN is really going to help end the occupation”
      .
      Every occupation grievance deserves UN attention and world attention because Israel seems incapable of ending the occupation or stopping their abuses as the occupying entity.. Whether the UN can help solve these flagrant violations of the laws of occupation is another story. Nevertheless, as one of the world’s longest, most egregious and absurd occupations, any intervention should be welcomed until some level of rationality and humanity enters the discourse on this conflict.
      .
      I used to think the two state solution was the right path but it’s inherently racist and unjust.

      Reply to Comment
    20. Jazzy

      Cortez: ok, cool dude – just move to Bourj al Barajneh camp until the whole one-state solution thing works out since I’m sure you’re willing to sacrifice the next 5-infinity generations of your family’s happiness for ‘justice’.

      Reply to Comment
    21. mya guarnieri

      AIG: Oh, it’s people like me who are an obstacle to peace, huh? Not all those settlements…? Thanks for clearing that up for me.

      Jazzy: You have no right to put words in my mouth by saying that I would reject a peace deal. Two, you don’t know anything about me or the way I live so you also have no right to discuss my “1st world life.” And where, in this article, did I mention BDS? Your comments are, for the most part, off topic and I don’t appreciate you cluttering this thread with personal attacks and/or off topic babble.

      Do you have something to say about the fact that Israel collects taxes from East Jerusalemites and does not provide services to them?

      Reply to Comment
    22. XYZ

      Mya-
      The settlements are not an “obstacle to peace”. Everyone knows the deal on the table…
      Palestinians give up the Right of Return in exchange for an Israeli withdrawal back to the pre-1967 lines and division of Jerusalem.
      If Abbas were to publicly come out, Sadat-style and say he was prepared to make such a deal NO ISRAELI GOV’T WOULD BE ABLE TO TURN IT DOWN. Including a Likud, right-wing gov’t. There would be such an atmosphere of hysteria-euphoria that the whole world would be swept by it. No Israeli could stand up against it.

      Only problem is that it will never happen. Abbas would get a bullet in the head if he ever said such a thing. The fact that the Islamic regimes are coming into power in the all the Arab countries means that there is no possibility of any contractual peace between Israel and the Palestinians or any other Arab country is impossible. I am sorry to be the one to break it to you but this is the situation. Even the Israeli political Left is finally beginning to realize this (Shelli Yechimovich, Ari Shavit, Uzi Dayan, etc, )
      Get used to it.

      Reply to Comment
    23. Cortez

      “Cortez: ok, cool dude – just move to Bourj al Barajneh camp until the whole one-state solution thing works out since I’m sure you’re willing to sacrifice the next 5-infinity generations of your family’s happiness for ‘justice’.”
      .
      Oh yeah because the other alternative is continue occupying people and to treat them like animals and to allow a refugee situation to persist because of my own mythological supremacist goals…thanks for being humane.
      .
      XYZ “The settlements are not an “obstacle to peace”. Everyone knows the deal on the table…”
      .
      Settlements are major obstacle to peace if not one of the main obstacles. If you’ve seen a map of the West Bank and the control GOL exercises over the Area C of the West Bank and Area B, you would understand why it makes every meeting a farce. It would be a different situation if Israel were offering Palestinians the chance to become Israeli or become united but thats not the case.
      .
      “Palestinians give up the Right of Return in exchange for an Israeli withdrawal back to the pre-1967 lines and division of Jerusalem.”
      .
      Why should the native inhabitants of the land give up their home? What rational reason is there for violently kicking people out of their home and telling them that they have no right to return?

      Reply to Comment
    24. XYZ

      Thank you Cortez for making my point. If the Palestinians think like you, and they say they do, there will never be a peace agreement. My question for you is that given no Israeli gov’t will ever agree to allow a right of return, what sort of “war of attrition” do you recommend to the Palestinians to bring Israel down once and for all?

      BTW-The Jews are the “native people” of the country so they have no obligation to go along with what you want. Odd you should choose the name of one of the great conquerors of history whose actions directly lead to the destruction of an entire civilization in Mexico.

      Reply to Comment
    25. joe

      I would think conscience and natural justice would imply that everyone gets proper services, sanitation and the like – whether or not they participate in voting. I can’t think of anywhere in the western world where services are dependent on voting, can you?

      It might well be the case that the stateless residents of East Jerusalem would not be happy even if they had swimming pools, rubbish collected, schools that were worth going to, passports, full human rights and so on and so forth. Even with all those things, they might have unresolvable grievances.

      But y’know, depriving them of all these things is not helping. The state of Israel has unilaterally and unnecessarily given them a grievance. Which, ultimately, is plain foolish.

      Reply to Comment
    26. Joe

      xyz – lofty final agreements and spreading blame for their failure is not really the nub of this issue.

      Israel claims jurisdiction over the whole of Jerusalem yet deprives some residents the things it awards to others as a right.

      I’d have thought taxation without representation (and full services) was a fairly basic political philosophy, otherwise is just seems like oppression of a certain subset of people.

      Reply to Comment
    27. Cortez

      ” If the Palestinians think like you, and they say they do, there will never be a peace agreement.”
      .
      So if the Palestinians think rationally then there will never be a peace agreemeent? –> this is what you’re saying to me.
      .
      “My question for you is that given no Israeli gov’t will ever agree to allow a right of return, what sort of “war of attrition” do you recommend to the Palestinians to bring Israel down once and for all?”
      .
      Who said War of Attrition? Maybe go to Court?
      .
      BTW-The Jews are the “native people” of the country so they have no obligation to go along with what you want. Odd you should choose the name of one of the great conquerors of history whose actions directly lead to the destruction of an entire civilization in Mexico.
      .
      By the way Palestinians are Jews by matrilineal and patrinilineal descent but I guess they are less human because they are culturally and linguistically Arab. You still haven’t explained why they should have less rights though or should be treated like garbage.

      Reply to Comment
    28. “Ok, cool dude – just move to Bourj al Barajneh camp until the whole one-state solution thing works out since I’m sure you’re willing to sacrifice the next 5-infinity generations of your family’s happiness for ‘justice’.”
      .
      Jazzy, this is the second time in recent days that you have presented people as being callous towards refugees.
      .
      I spend a lot of time in refugee camps, and when my next project gets underway I will need to live in one for at least two years. Amongst the refugee population, there is strong support for one multiethnic state. My question for you: when was the last time you set foot in a refugee camp? When did you ever ask a single refugee about what would make them happy? In order to back up your own political stance, you keep telling people who disagree with you that we need to go and live in refugee camps – but there is no indication that you yourself have ever been in a camp or made an effort to learn about the political stances common amongst refugees.
      .
      “That’s kind of the M.O. for BDS as a whole, so get used to more complaints like the above article – its all a legitimate front for a cruel agenda of keeping people in refugee camps without actually having to live their yourself, but at the same time being really cool among a certain intellectual clique for some stupid reasons that have to do with post-modern philosophers…”
      .
      Yesterday I asked you if you had ever looked at the initial BDS statement and seen the sheer number of refugee organisations that signed it. If you were aware of the huge grassroots support for BDS that exists in refugee camps. You didn’t answer. The fact remains that refugees are a crucial part of the BDS movement. They aren’t puppets being manipulated by Mya and her sinister clique of post-modern philosophers. The only person here manipulating refugees is you, because you are completely ignoring what refugees have said and done politically – all the while claiming that you care for them. You need to stop talking about them and start talking to them – and better yet, listening to them.

      Reply to Comment
    29. XYZ

      Cortez-
      Many vicious antisemites in history had Jewish blood, like Ferdinand and Isabella and Torquemada and a lot of famous people in a Central European country that took on the Jews more recently.
      It’s the Arabs/Muslims who have been treating other groups “like garbage”, to use your phrase…why do you think the ancient Jewish communities in the Middle East have disappeared and why do you think the Christian minority is dwindling in the same countries?
      Its the Muslims who describe the Jews as being subhuman with their infamous “decendents of pigs and apes” comment. Go listen to some Muslim preachers speeches.

      Reply to Comment
    30. XYZ

      You apparently missed the point I made which says that the east Jerusalem Arabs HAVE IT IN THEIR POWER to greatly improve services simply by voting in the municipal elections. It makes no sense for them to claim that they are being neglected when they themselves can do something about it.

      Reply to Comment
    31. aristeides

      XYZ – stop changing the subject and bringing out a kitchen sink full of canards blaming the Palestinians for all the ills in the mideast.

      .
      Do you have garbage piling up in front of your house? Does your municipality, wherever it is, refuse to collect it or allow anyone else to collect it and haul it away? Do you have sewage service to your house? When you call an ambulance, does one show up at your door? If so, then you have no standing to blame the residents of E Jerusalem for trying to solve their grievance.

      Reply to Comment
    32. AIG

      Joe,

      The nub of the issue is that you are comparing Israel to some pie in the sky ideal.

      I assume you live in the US so let me give you this example. Princeton and Trenton are basically neighboring municipalities. The average score on the SAT in Princeton is 1837. In Trenton it is 1133. Are the children in Trenton THAT different than those in Princeton? Or is the more likely explanation is that there is severe discrimination?

      Don’t the people in Trenton pay taxes just like the people in Princeton? Why are their kids so thoroughly screwed by the US? That is one hundred times worse than garbage collection as basically the future of the kids of Trenton is being taken from them.

      I can give you many more examples in the US. Two wrongs do not make a right but it is galling that you have the nerve to lecture Israelis about “taxation and representation” and “oppression”. It is not as if the situation in Trenton is just recent. It has been going on for decades. New Jersey is one of the richest states in the US, we are not even talking about Mississippi or Alabama.

      The bottom line is that when it comes to criticizing Israel, all norms and reasonable discourse goes out the window and what replaces it is some comparison to an ideal that exists nowhere. Yes, take the East Jerusalem garbage issue to the UN. But don’t be surprised if people think you live in la-la land.

      Reply to Comment
    33. AIG

      Vicky,

      The facts are that the huge majority of the Palestinians in the refugee camps have consistently voted for Fatah or Hamas, neither of which supports a multi-ethnic state. Therefore I find it hard to believe what you say. Their actions speak clearly and contradict your assessment.

      Reply to Comment
    34. In the past I have voted for the Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party, neither of which is representative of everything I want. I voted for them because realistically this was the choice that I had in the constituency that I was living in, and sometimes you have to make the best of a bad job. People in OPT refugee camps vote pragmatically too, even though they might not be aligned with either of the two major parties.
      .
      In the camps in Lebanon, meanwhile, governance lies principally in the hands of popular committees. There are similar grassroots committees at work in the OPT camps, and they definitely influence the political ‘personality’ of each camp, but they would struggle to break the hegemony of the two main parties when it comes to actual governance.

      Reply to Comment
    35. P.S. For anybody who is interested in the function of popular committees in the refugee camps, their fraught relationships with the PA, their overall representativeness, and their capacity for government, this is quite an interesting article with a special focus on Dheisheh camp: http://www.imemc.org/article/60940
      .
      It’s relevant to the topic of Mya’s post too, as the popular committees are very concerned with service provision.

      Reply to Comment
    36. Jazzy

      mya: If you were a Palestinian in East Jerusalem, what do you think would be the fastest way to improve your municipal services, like garbage collection?

      Reply to Comment
    37. Cortez

      “Many vicious antisemites in history had Jewish blood, like Ferdinand and Isabella and Torquemada and a lot of famous people in a Central European country that took on the Jews more recently.”
      .
      All Palestinians are vicious anti-semites? Wow…did you take a poll on this? and what does Europe have to do with this. Palestinians(when they included Jews, Muslims and Christians) didn’t do anything to anyone in Europe…don’t see the relevance of that.
      .
      It’s the Arabs/Muslims who have been treating other groups “like garbage”, to use your phrase…why do you think the ancient Jewish communities in the Middle East have disappeared and why do you think the Christian minority is dwindling in the same countries?
      .
      Maybe due to the rise of ethnic nationalism brought on by Western-European colonialism….
      .
      Its the Muslims who describe the Jews as being subhuman with their infamous “decendents of pigs and apes” comment. Go listen to some Muslim preachers speeches.
      .
      And….aren’t we trying to do better than the others…should we be trying to set an example by treating people better than others? Maybe trying to embrace and educate them or remind them of our shared history?
      .
      And from my knowledge Iran for example doesn’t demolish the homes of Persian Jews out of spite.

      Reply to Comment
    38. AIG

      Vicky,

      And so we reach a dead end. You want me to believe that many Palestinians want a multi-ethnic state but vote for pragmatic reasons for parties that are against it and have not bothered to create a party of their own to reflect their positions. Neither have they bothered to create camps inside the main parties to reflect this view. Sorry, you are making them look irrational, or more likely, you have met a few Palestinians that support a multi-ethnic state and based on this anecdotal information, you are making an incorrect generalization.

      Reply to Comment
    39. AIG

      “Maybe due to the rise of ethnic nationalism brought on by Western-European colonialism….”

      And then we get these kinds of arguments that are the ultimate dead end. If Arabs have no personal responsibility and can blame everything on colonialism, what is there to discuss? Hey, how about excusing Israelis for what they are doing because of the Holocaust? It is just as bad an argument.

      Reply to Comment
    40. AIG,
      The PA exercises very tight hegemony over Palestinian political life, so it’s not as simple as just deciding to set up your own brand-new party. There are several smaller parties operating in Palestine, some of which enjoy pockets of great popularity (the Palestinian Communist Party, for example, is gaining traction in Dheisheh camp through its work in the cultural centre) and these parties are represented on the local municipal level. There is no chance that they would be permitted to achieve greater power than that, which is why the people who support them often vote tactically in the main election – if they vote at all. (Voter apathy is a significant problem.) This is exactly why Palestinian refugees set up the popular committees – it enabled them to do something pro-active that provided immediate practical benefit to their communities, and above all, it allowed them to express a political views that do not have any other forum. Perhaps one day these refugee committees will evolve into actual parties, especially given that they are now forging links with popular resistance committees in local villages. But for now their remit is far too specific, and in any case, the PA would crush any serious autonomous contender for power.
      .
      Furthermore, Palestinian refugees don’t vote on one issue alone. When they go to the ballot box they are thinking about immediate domestic issues as well as long-term political solutions to the conflict, and they consider the candidates’ stances on these internal issues. As I mentioned, the level of disillusionment is high; a lot of people simply do not believe that either Fatah or Hamas have it in their power to resolve the conflict, so they make their choice of candidate based on service provision, perceived lack of corruption, desire to keep a worse candidate out, or other criteria.

      Reply to Comment
    41. aristeides

      The point is simple – residents of E Jerusalem didn’t vote to be incorporated into the municipality. They didn’t have a choice. They don’t have a choice about paying taxes to the municipality, either. They have a right, as legal taxpaying residents, to municipal services.

      .
      The blame does not belong to the residents, it belongs to the municipality that fails to provide them.

      Reply to Comment
    42. Joe

      AIG, I don’t live in the USA hence I’m afraid your example means very little to me.

      And anyway, you are comparing chalk with cheese. Whilst schools in neighbouring districts might be worse in USAmerican states, I cannot imagine a situation where one district has a sanitation service and the next has none, can you? Schools in the two sides of Jerusalem are different by several magnitudes, unlike those in your example.

      What is so hard about accepting that the East Jerusalemites are paying the taxes but not receiving the services they deserve?

      Reply to Comment
    43. AIG

      Joe,

      Based on what are you making the claim that differences between schools in East and West Jerusalem are more stark?

      The discussion is not whether people in East Jerusalem should get the services they deserve. The discussion is whether when they don’t, the UN should be involved.

      Reply to Comment
    44. Joe

      AIG, who else do they have to appeal to?

      Reply to Comment
    45. Jazzy

      Vicky: Once again, I’ll defer to Chomsky – what the refugees say they want doesn’t relieve you of the responsibility to make a moral choice about what’s best for them. Ok, they’re willing to sacrifice the quality of life of their children and grandchildren because they cling to a lost cause. But YOU, and I, would never make the same choice for our own families, so its hypocrisy to just say you support their choice. So unless you DEMONSTRATE that you actually share their values, by making the SAME SACRIFICES, you’re a hypocrite. It doesn’t matter how many camps you’ve been to. Dick Cheney supported plenty of young men and women going off the fight a war even though he was a chicken hawk. Is that ok because they told him it was what they wanted to do? Nope.

      Reply to Comment
    46. AIG

      Joe,

      How about God? No, let me think, how about the representative to the city council that they didn’t bother to elect? Next time you get a parking ticket in your city, why don’t you appeal to the UN?

      The Palestinians in East Jerusalem deserve municipal services just like anybody else. But it is just ridiculous on the one hand not to elect representatives to the city council and then appeal to the UN for better services. The correct thing to do is lodge a complaint with the ministry of interior and if a quick reply is not obtained, to compel one by appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court (there is a special capacity of the court that deals speedily with such issues involving compelling government to action).

      Reply to Comment
    47. mya guarnieri

      aig: you mean the israeli supreme court whose rulings the state consistently ignore? that one? and, within israel proper, palestinian citizens of the state can and do elect representatives. and, guess what? the allocation of resources is still lopsided.
      i’m sorry, but the issue here isn’t elections. and palestinians in east jerusalem shouldn’t have to go to court to get garbage collection.

      Reply to Comment
    48. Joe

      What Mya said. They shouldn’t need to vote and shouldn’t need to go to court to be treated like everyone else that lives in the supposedly sovereign state of Israel. Israel should supply all these things equally to everyone, regardless of their political views.

      Reply to Comment
    49. Joe

      … or if they can’t or don’t want to do that, admit that East Jerusalem is not really a full part of Israel. In which case they’re tacitly admitting that (as everyone else accepts) it is occupied land. In which case the United Natons is exactly the right fora for the residents to complain to.

      Reply to Comment
    50. directrob

      Jazzy, are you calling Vicky a hypocrite for saying that she supports the choice of the people that are victims of the Israeli occupation? That is the most mesjoega thing I have read for long time.

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+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

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