The violence of the past week, and the media’s coverage of the bloodletting, erased a central aspect of the story: Palestinian mass civil disobedience. For many Israelis, the violence over the past few weeks around the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif is little more than a result of Muslim intransigence in the face of legitimate Israeli security concerns. This, after all, has been the major talking point among both the Israeli leadership as well as the media. For Palestinians, on the other hand, the metal detectors erected last week by Israeli authorities at the entrance to the Al-Aqsa compound sparked outrage and protests. [tmwinpost] That…Read More... | 8 Comments
Settler organization Ateret Cohanim has been gradually kicking out every single member of the Kirsh family from their homes since 2010. By Yael Marom Israeli police evicted a Palestinian family from their home in Jerusalem's Old City earlier this week, at the height of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. The nine-member Kirsh family, which includes children and a pregnant woman, has been living in the same home since the 1930s. [tmwinpost] Their home was transferred over to Ateret Cohanim — a settler organization known for taking over Palestinian assets in the Old City and turning them over to Jewish families…Read More...
As the Jerusalem municipality is gradually forced to acknowledge a catastrophic shortage of classrooms in the city's Palestinian districts, it also finds brave new ways to avoid tackling it. By Aviv Tatarsky Let's start with the bottom line: there is a shortage of 2,000 classrooms in East Jerusalem schools. In effect, that means Israel prevents more than 60,000 schoolchildren from their right to free education. About two-thirds of them pay extortionate tuition to sub-standard institutions that are not properly supervised by the authorities. The remaining third have dropped out. All this, sadly, is not new. Ir Amim publishes annual reports detailing the…Read More...
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... | 2 Comments
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...
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