These walls have already built unseen fences of hatred and will continue to exist in our midst as a malignant poison. Where we have built walls, we will have to build even higher and higher walls. By Yudith Oppenheimer Let’s talk about life for a moment, about how we can live in this city. Let us set aside for now the differences of opinion on sovereignty and eternity and talk about this moment, in which we can still steer matters to their semi-sane course, and can still safeguard with the fragile, imperfect, problematic reality that we had here until a…Read More...
It is no accident that eight Palestinian neighborhoods of Jerusalem wound up beyond the separation barrier. Since annexing Jerusalem in 1967, Israel has manipulated migratory trends toward an unstated goal: absorbing the land without the people. By Betty Herschman There are many ways to test the notion of Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. One could do a comparative analysis of how much the municipality invests in East and West Jerusalem — roughly 1:9. One could drive up the road that neatly divides the bougainvillea draped neighborhood/settlement of East Talpiot and Palestinian Jabal Mukaber, a model of a neighborhood…Read More...
A new report by Ir Amim reviews of various aspects of Israeli policy, from 1967 to the present day, that have created the current reality in which tens of thousands of Jerusalem residents have been sundered from the city since the establishment of the Separation Barrier and are virtually ignored by both the local and central governments. The findings of the report present a stark warning. The reality it describes constitutes a disaster for the Palestinians and will cause grave damage to the stability of life in Jerusalem, the foundations of Israeli society and to any future political resolution. Ir…Read More...
Two new videos catch a police 'skunk' truck spraying East Jerusalem neighborhoods with foul-smelling liquid. The smell was so bad that 4,500 students had to stay home from school. The "skunk" trucks drives slowly through the neighborhood. It is evening, and there is no evidence of clashes in the area. The truck proceeds slowly, sprays putrid-smelling water on a nearby building, continues on and shoots once again. When it's all over, the truck has tainted schools, homes, streets - entire neighborhoods - with its unbearable stink. Just like that. Two videos that were filmed this past week by Palestinian residents…Read More... | 37 Comments
If settling Jews beyond the Green Line in Palestinian East Jerusalem is legitimate, why are organizations sneaking in settlers in the middle of the night? Nine Jewish Israeli families took over two empty buildings in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan in East Jerusalem overnight Sunday. According to the NGO Ir Amim, the families took control over 10 housing units in two buildings in the heart of Silwan. They moved in under the auspices of Ateret Cohanim, a settler organization based in the Muslim quarter of the Old City that works to create a Jewish demographic majority in East Jerusalem. This latest takeover comes…Read More... | 74 Comments
There is a shortage of 738 classrooms in East Jerusalem – only 38 percent of Palestinian children are registered in the municipal education system. The problem is not lack of funds, but a planning policy designed to prevent development in Palestinian neighborhoods of the city. By Aviv Tatarsky As the Israeli school year begins, let's do a little math. There is a shortage of 408 regular classrooms and 330 kindergarten classrooms in East Jerusalem. This does not include replacing the 681 classrooms currently not up to code. In addition, there is a shortage of 1,636 classrooms in the official, public…Read More... | 2 Comments
The following is a collection of facts and figures about Jerusalem, compiled and published on the occasion of “Jerusalem Day.” Nationalist Israelis mark Jerusalem Day on Wednesday to mark the anniversary of the conquest of East Jerusalem and the Old City in 1967. The celebrations include the “march of the flags,” where flag-bearing Jewish revelers march through the Palestinian neighborhoods of the Old City, often times while chanting racist, violent and ultra-nationalistic slogans. Any counter protest by Palestinian residents of the neighborhoods is rarely tolerated by police. While Jewish Israelis celebrate the "reunification" of Jerusalem, data shows that the city…Read More... | 3 Comments
Daniel Seidemann, one of the country's top experts on the politics of Jerusalem and a longtime activist who founded the NGOs Ir Amim and Terrestrial Jerusalem, was struck by a rock thrown through his car window on Saturday. He was wounded in the back of his head, requiring stitches. Danny has many colleagues and friends who, like me, were terribly saddened by the incident. Being who he is, Danny himself had many things to say that are characteristically insightful and sensitive. With his permission, I am re-posting the texts he wrote for status updates on social media. Saturday, November 23.…Read More... | 26 Comments
+972 speaks with Yudith Oppenheimer, executive director of Israeli NGO Ir Amim, about the possibility of two national capitals in a shared Jerusalem and how the city should or could be divided between Israelis and Palestinians. Sitting in her West Jerusalem office, above the traffic on King George Street, Yudith Oppenheimer, 52, remembers the Jerusalem of her youth, a city physically divided. She recalls taking the bus to school each morning, going up King Solomon Road before turning toward Jaffa Road. “I remember the bus making the turn around this curve, and the wall. A concrete wall separating the side…Read More... | 14 Comments
With the start of the new school year, today (2.9.2013) The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) and Ir Amim published an annual update on the dire state of education in East Jerusalem, revealing deep gaps between the two parts of the city. The report concludes that the Jerusalem Municipality and state authorities are failing to meet a High Court ruling that ordered the completion of all missing classrooms in East Jerusalem by 2016. Faced with a shortage of 2,200 missing classrooms in the official Arab school system in Jerusalem, the authorities are doing too little to close this…Read More...
The number of classrooms, the availability of counselors and the numbers of dropout prevention programs constitute a grievous violation of the right to education for tens of thousands of Palestinian schoolchildren in Jerusalem. By Betty Herschman In cities around the world, most parents agonize about their kids’ first day of school. They worry about whether their kids will connect with their teachers. They worry about bullying. Mostly they anguish over the quality of education their child will receive and whether it will prepare them for a productive life beyond their school years. In East Jerusalem, mothers and fathers worry about…Read More... | 7 Comments
In response to the Palestinian statehood bid, the Israeli government has decided to promote zoning plans for the area known as E1, northeast of Jerusalem. The project is intended to link annexed East Jerusalem with the mega-settlement of Ma'aleh Adumin, thus finally making the creation of a contiguous Palestinian State impossible. By Ir Amim E1 (derived from “East 1”) is a term applied by the Ministry of Housing to an area located just east of the Jerusalem municipal boundary, on the hills between Ma’aleh Adummim and Jerusalem. It lies north of the Jerusalem-Ma’aleh Adummim road and edges the Palestinian towns…Read More... | 16 Comments
While Israelis are breathing a sigh of relief that quiet has mostly been restored (for the time being), and life can supposedly just go back to normal, with Gaza out of sight and out of mind, the other elephant in the room - the West Bank and East Jerusalem - is all but quiet. This morning (Sunday) a "price tag" attack was identified on a car in Shuafat, a Palestinian refugee camp in East Jerusalem, which is located inside the city's municipal borders (and thus under total Israeli jurisdiction). The car has the word "Gaza" graffitied on it, as pictured here in…Read More... | 10 Comments
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