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silwan

  • A lifetime achievement award for normalizing settlements

    David Be'eri won the state's highest award for doing what decades ago would have seemed impossible: inspiring the Israeli people to identify with the settler enterprise. By Yonathan Mizrachi Following last week’s announcement that David Be’eri, the founder of the settler organization Elad, had won the Israel Prize for lifetime achievement, some who closely monitor Israel’s settlement enterprise wondered why a person whose activity is limited to a single neighborhood in East Jerusalem was selected? Why not, say, Ze’ev Hever (Zambish), the figure most closely identified with the settler movement, whose work encompasses the entire West Bank? [tmwinpost] Be’eri, whose mission…

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  • The home demolitions Israel's media isn't talking about

    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…

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  • It didn't have to be this way in East Jerusalem's Silwan

    The neighborhood of Batan al-Hawa is today the site of major friction and tensions between Palestinian residents, Jewish settlers and the massive security presence that accompanies them. But things weren’t always like this, and they don’t have to be. By Hussam Abed Try and imagine this: Jews move into a Palestinian village and are welcomed with open arms. They become part of the local economy, share in joyous occasions and sad ones, and together with their neighbors form a unique, rich human tapestry. The tensions are the same you’d find in any society: they are not shaped along the rigid…

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  • A tunnel in the service of nationalism

    Israeli politicians use problematic archeological findings to drum up support for exclusionary nationalist narratives under East Jerusalem. By Yonathan Mizrahi "I didn't think I would be so excited," said Culture Minister Miri Regev. "Mr. President Obama, I am standing here on the path that my forefathers walked 2,000 years ago. There is not another nation on earth that has such an attachment to its country. Not the Ukrainians, not the New Zealanders, not the English. There is not a nation on earth that has a connection to its land like the Jewish people do to the Land of Israel." [tmwinpost]…

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  • Jerusalem mayor believes collective punishment is key to coexistence

    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…

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  • Israelis don't understand Palestinian fears over Jerusalem

    For Israelis, Jerusalem is an archaeological treasure. For Palestinians, it is a city whose heritage and identity are constantly under threat. By Yonathan Mizrachi It turns out that issues of identity, religion and recognition are far more critical to East Jerusalem Palestinians than what the Israeli Right and center would have us believe. A new survey shows that East Jerusalemites are more concerned with Jewish pilgrimage to the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif and archaeological excavations than issues such as lack of infrastructure and the denial of construction permits. The survey, commissioned by Israeli NGO Emek Shaveh, an organization of archaeologists and community activists focusing…

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  • Dispelling the myths about building in Jerusalem

    In Jerusalem, construction of Jewish neighborhoods continues unabated, while Palestinians are still struggling for basic infrastructure. By Aviv Tatarsky There is no construction freeze. As opposed to declarations by right-wing politicians such as Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat or Education Minister Naftali Bennett, construction in Jerusalem was never frozen, while the cranes and bulldozers keep working tirelessly in the city's Jewish neighborhoods located beyond the Green Line. Thousands of housing units in Gilo, Har Homa, Ramot, Pisgat Ze'ev, and Ramat Shlomo. These not only provide housing for Israelis — they establish facts on the ground in order to make partitioning the…

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  • Israel's extremist settlers are aiming for the mainstream

    The fact that this year's Jerusalem Day did not include violence and racist chants against Palestinians signals a change of strategy in winning the hearts and minds of average Israelis. The main lesson I learned from Jerusalem Days past was to wear comfortable walking shoes. Or preferably running shoes, since I previously learned that there is no way to know what causes police on horseback to charge into and disperse Palestinian crowds out of the enclosures put up around Damascus Gate, into which they were corralled in the first place. [tmwinpost] Without a doubt Jerusalem Day is the most tense…

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  • 'Israel only officially recognizes Jewish holy sites'

    The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem is one of the most sacred places in the world for Christianity. Yet Israel does not officially recognize it as a holy site, a new report reveals. Last Saturday the Eastern Churches marked Holy Fire, the Saturday after Good Friday, when Easter begins. Thousands of pilgrims visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City of Jerusalem to watch what they believe is the annual miracle of fire in Jesus Christ’s tomb in the Sepulchre chapel. The place was packed, and all the churches throughout the entire Old City were…

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  • WATCH: Ever wonder what a 'settler takeover' looks like?

    Dozens of Israeli settlers with crowbars descend on two homes in the old city of Hebron. Israeli authorities remove them a day later. The phrase "settler takeover" is used fairly often by the international media to discuss a common occurrence in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. But rarely do the cameras actually capture just how this kind of thing is done. That's why the sight of dozens of Israeli settlers with crowbars descending on two homes in the old city of Hebron is as surprising as it is disturbing. The settlers, who took over the buildings on Thursday, claimed…

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  • East Jerusalem's youth: Proof that managing the conflict doesn't work

    The blood of East Jerusalem's children, and the blood of their Israeli victims, is a reminder of one thing: there is no way to 'manage' the conflict. A year of mostly bitter, devastating events has finally come to an end. From the murder of 16-year-old Shira Banki at the Jerusalem pride parade to the grotesque behavior of the Israeli Right to the growing exclusion of Arabs from the public space, 2015 leaves behind it very few reasons for optimism. This was the year in which women continued to be murdered in horrifying numbers across the country, Gaza continued to bleed,…

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  • East Jerusalem streets given Hebrew names amid tensions

    The city council pours oil on the fire by approving Hebrew street names in Palestinian neighborhoods as tensions run high. The move is part and parcel of efforts to 'Judaize' the eastern half of the city, which Palestine claims as its future capital. With all eyes on Jerusalem as tensions in the city continue to rise, the city council approved 30 Hebrew street names for roads in East Jerusalem's Palestinian neighborhoods Sunday evening. The decision, which was reported by Israeli news site Walla!, was criticized by Palestinian members of Knesset Ayman Odeh and Ahmad Tibi and goes against the recommendation…

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  • Why a pro-settler group wants to talk about ISIS

    An Israeli group working in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan is presenting ISIS destruction of antiquities as a cautionary tale for its own struggle with Palestinians. By Yonathan Mizrachi A group that manages the City of David's archaeological site in the heart of the village of Silwan in East Jerusalem, the "Elad Foundation in the City of David," is holding its annual archeology conference, entitled "ISIS: Is it possible to stop the destruction?" It will deal in part with the destruction of antiquities in Iraq and Syria. That the so-called ISIS group is destroying ancient ruins is indisputable. The organization documents…

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