A bill to expropriate church property and a plan to charge the church 650 million NIS in back taxes prompt protest from Christian leaders. Christian leaders announced that the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, one of the holiest sites in all of Christianity, will be closed indefinitely to protest a Knesset bill that will allow the government to seize church land, as well as a plan to tax church property. [tmwinpost] In a statement released Sunday, the heads of the Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Armenian churches, the bodies responsible for governing the Holy Sepulcher and other Christian holy sites, denounced…Read More... | 4 Comments
A closer look at Jerusalem's new construction plans are a testament to the fact that Israel cannot continue lording over hundreds of thousands of Palestinians without infringing on their basic rights. By Aviv Tatarsky After a considerably long lull, Prime Minister Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat have rebooted their plan to build beyond the Green Line in the city. These days, the government is working to build 2,000 housing units in East Jerusalem — and that's only the beginning. Israeli building in the territories occupied in 1967 is usually tied to Israel's attempt to thwart all attempts to make East…Read More... | 14 Comments
The occupation takes many forms in Jerusalem, none more pressing and fundamental than housing inequality between Jews and Palestinians, and the continual home demolitions carried out in the east of the city. By Uri Agnon Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat announced last week, just ahead of this weekend's anti-occupation protest in the city, that he is seeking a further term in office. Barkat has made the concept of “Jerusalem, the united capital” into the centerpiece of his mayorship, and with Saturday's demonstration marking 50 years of occupation, the coalition organizing the protest has a duty to treat Jerusalem as a symbol — just as Barkat…Read More...
The Jerusalem municipality has repeatedly refused to come up with master plans for its Palestinian neighborhoods. The result? It has taken to demolishing illegally-built homes. By Michal Haramati and Sahar Vardi Forty Israeli Jews set out for a tour beyond Jerusalem's hills of darkness last week, paying a visit to the neighborhood of Ein al-Loza in Silwan. The tour was led by members of the neighborhood committee, who for over a decade have been trying to receive the same treatment from the Jerusalem municipality as residents of West Jerusalem do. The past few months has seen a steady increase in fines and especially home demolitions…Read More... | 2 Comments
Even as the end of Netanyahu's reign seems to be approaching, it's no time to celebrate — the problems in Israel run far deeper than one man. Over the past few years, the top echelons of the Jewish Israeli Left have been trying to figure out how to remove or "replace" Prime Minister Netanyahu. [tmwinpost] Those who have been following these conversations over the past few years, could have, for a moment, become confused and think that the criticism of the government and regime in Israel are the result of Netanyahu's rule — not the occupation, discrimination, racism, not abandoning…Read More... | 1 Comment
How does one go about fostering neighborly relations in Jerusalem? It's very simple, according to the city's mayor: curfews, closures, concrete blocks and lots of police. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat regularly holds forth about how his city’s various demographics can rub along in peace and quiet. Back in July, in deference to the city's ultra-Orthodox population, he announced he wouldn’t attend Jerusalem’s Pride parade. Barkat's decision, taken so as not to "harm" Jerusalem's Haredi community, came one year after an ultra-Orthodox man was so outraged at the presence of LGBTQs in the city that he stabbed six people at the same event, murdering…Read More... | 2 Comments
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...
'Sick,' 'perverts,' 'abomination,' 'blasphemers,' 'handicapped': Hate speech against Israel's LGBTQ community has reached fever pitch this week, and comes as police have detained queer activists and the High Court has capitulated to homophobia. The last seven days in Israel have been particularly hostile for the country's LGBTQ community. A steady stream of homophobic slander from nationalist and ultra-Orthodox rabbis has been bookended by two major pride parades facing serious threats and calls for counter-demonstrations. [tmwinpost] The sequence of events began with Be'er Sheva's pride parade, slated to take place Thursday last week. It would have been the southern Israeli city's first march, in lieu of…Read More... | 1 Comment
Short of allowing Palestinians to establish an independent state, there is nothing Netanyahu won't do to ensure his political survival. Liberal Israeli columnist and Channel 10's top political commentator Raviv Drucker published a piece in Haaretz Sunday, in which he waxes optimistic about the "day after Netanyahu" and who could possibly take over and bring the Israeli Right back to its proper, "sane" place. [tmwinpost] Drucker, of course, knows that barring some unforeseen circumstances, the "day after Netanyahu" is far, far away. Far enough for him to propose Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon as Netanyahu's possible successor. While Drucker hasn't forgiven…Read More...
Redrawing the map of Jerusalem will not lock out potential attackers. Instead, it will only spark the sort of reaction one could expect following the wholesale nullification of rights from a significant number of Palestinians. By Yoav Galai With so much being written about the volatility of the status quo on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, a bigger picture of a deeply divided city breaking apart is becoming lost. On Sunday, Israel’s Channel 2 reported that the government is considering revoking the residency status of Palestinians in East Jerusalem who live beyond the separation barrier. Though this would potentially remove tens of…Read More...
While the exclusion of Palestinian cab drivers from a Jerusalem megaplex is illegal and immoral, it is just the tip of the iceberg in a city that constantly tries to erase Palestinian existence. “If she wants a Jewish driver, she’ll get a Jewish driver, I don’t understand what difference it makes.” This is how Merav Basher, the representative of Cinema City Jerusalem, responded to Thair Raga, a cab driver from East Jerusalem, when he confronted her about the megaplex's policy of ordering Jewish-only drivers for some of their workers. This policy has now come to light after an exclusive investigative…Read More... | 13 Comments
The mixed Jewish-Arab school has been the target of racist attacks in the past, but for the parents, students and teachers of the 'Hand in Hand' school, this feels different. 'This time, the fire was ignited inside our home.' The timing couldn’t have been more “perfect”: while I was still at a demonstration against the “Jewish Nation-State Law” outside the Prime Minister’s Office, I got a message saying that the bilingual school was set on fire. Here we were demonstrating against political arson, and not too far away someone is already doing it with gasoline and matches. This time, the…Read More... | 18 Comments
Clashes and riots break out over the death of another Palestinian teen shot by Israel police. Israel Police on Sunday threatened to destroy a memorial for murdered Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir, who was burned alive by several Israeli Jews on July 2, according to Tamar Fleishman, an Israeli activist who met with the Abu Khdeir family on Sunday. Mohammed's father, Hussein, reportedly said police instructed him to dismantle it or they would. According to Fleishman, Hussein told police that if they destroyed the memorial the entire family would return in the middle of the night and build a larger one in the…Read More... | 3 Comments
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