Oren Haber: “Indeed, it is a pitiless municipal leadership that would displace an elderly woman and then deny her even a makeshift home. It is a heartless system that subjects the Palestinians of East Jerusalem to ongoing house demolitions on grounds of unlicensed construction, while denying them the option to build legally.”
Ir Amim's Betty Herschman, Director of International Relations & Advocacy: “Trump took pains to clarify that the U.S. would take no formal position on borders or other final status issues. In fact, any pretext of neutrality was rendered invalid as soon as he recognized Jerusalem as capital of Israel.”
Ir Amim's Betty Herschman, Director of International Relations & Advocacy: "Trump’s proclamation legitimized a patient campaign to drive one-third of the Palestinian population from the city and absorb roughly 140,000 West Bank settlers by granting their settlements sub-municipality status and ultimately allowing them to vote in municipal elections... The right wing may be savoring its triumph, but ultimately both the Palestinians and Israelis—certainly in Jerusalem, where the two maintain a delicate balance of daily relations—lose big."
Ir Amim’s Executive Director, Yudith Oppenheimer: “One can make vain declarations that annul the Palestinian connection to Jerusalem, but it is impossible to uproot Jerusalem from their hearts, or to uproot them from their city. Jerusalem was and will continue to be the home of two peoples.”
Yudith Oppenheimer, Executive Director of Ir Amim: “The difference between the right-wing and Zionist Union plans is smaller than one might think. Both advocate unilaterally uprooting Palestinian neighborhoods from Jerusalem and imprisoning them in enclaves that are completely disconnected, where residents’ living conditions will deteriorate even further… No party stands to gain from further harm inflicted upon the residents of east Jerusalem within or outside the Separation Barrier.”
Ir Amim Board member Naomi Chazan: “Two interrelated bills… if adopted, will fundamentally redraw the contours of the city and the composition of its inhabitants in Israel’s 70th year. Together, they will create a massive Jerusalem metropolis under Israeli sovereignty, transform the character of the city, further bifurcate the West Bank, and sound the death knell for any possibility of an Israeli-Palestinian accord.”
Oren Haber: "While the proceedings that led to the latest eviction in Sheikh Jarrah were lawful, were they just? Or perhaps our eyes have become blind to injustice, our hearts immune to outrage. This brand of injustice will bring neither stability to Jerusalem in the short term nor peace to the city in the long term."
Over the last week a series of escalating events on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif has threatened peace and security at the holy site and for Jerusalem as a whole. Ir Amim has created the following primer to help make sense of these rapidly spiraling events and to raise the call for a swift, agreed resolution of the current conflict.
Ir Amim's Betty Herschman: “For decades, the state has empowered settler groups to dispossess Palestinians of their land and homes. Now that power is being wielded against Reform and onservative Jews, further driving a wedge between the Israeli and Diaspora Jewish communities. To help bridge that gulf, we must not only fight together for religious pluralism in Israel but also against the government’s empowerment of settlers who are steadily gaining ground at the Western Wall, throughout the Old City in which it is centered and in the entire ring of Palestinian neighborhoods around its perimeter.”
Ir Amim Executive Director: "Reform Jewry can and should play an important role in leading a pluralistic religious discourse grounded in principles of social and gender justice and tikkun olam. Such a discourse would recognize the importance of the Western Wall in Jewish tradition and identity, while at the same time treating the site within the context of the larger political reality in which it is centered."
Oren Haber: Unilaterally severing neighborhoods from East Jerusalem is both inhumane and impractical, and it stands to thwart any progress toward a political resolution on the city, rather than promoting it.
Aviv Tatarsky: “the maliciousness of the demolition policy in al-Walaja, East Jerusalem and Area C is unmistakable. Thousands have been made homeless by demolitions in the last two years, with the underlying goal of expelling the Palestinian population to the Area A and B enclaves throughout the West Bank.”
05.03.17 / Maariv
Oren Haber: The policies that encourage migration of Palestinian residents beyond the Barrier do not constitute a kind of preferential treatment but rather the opposite; these policies constitute abandonment of the residents without services and proper infrastructure, creating extreme crowding and unregulated, unstable construction that would likely endanger the residents in case of a natural disaster.
Ir Amim Executive Director: I yearn for the day in which numerous embassies will open in Jerusalem, but only when it is a city of peace. In this city the American flag will fly over two embassies, the American embassy to Israel in west Jerusalem and the American embassy to Palestine in east Jerusalem.
02.09.16 / +972
Aviv Tatarsky: 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.
Ir Amim board member Alon Liel writes: “The recent U.S. condemnation [of Israeli settlement expansion] is anything but overstated; it is an indication of mounting global concern over the imminent extinction of the two state solution. In the next six months, until January 20, 2017, the window for saving it remains open, albeit narrowly.”
04.08.16 / Jerusalem Post
Ir Amim Executive Director: The escalation in Israel’s unilateral actions in east Jerusalem is evident in almost every realm, and all branches of government are parties to it… The drive to push the Palestinian presence out of Jerusalem – either by direct action or by engaging in practices that render it unseen – is implemented every day.
07.07.16 / +972
In Jerusalem, construction of Jewish neighborhoods continues unabated, while Palestinians are still struggling for basic infrastructure. Aviv Tatarsky: In the past few years the state has not approved a single, detailed master plan for the city’s Palestinian neighborhoods, while it approves plans for 10,000 housing units in Israeli neighborhoods.
Israeli authorities destroy three homes in al-Walajeh, a village that was partially annexed to Jerusalem, yet has been totally neglected by the municipality.
Ir Amim Executive Director: Jerusalem does not need more threats of closures and barriers but rather a policy of hope that recognizes the deep-seated connection of both peoples to the city and their right to lead lives of prosperity and dignity under any political constellation.
19.03.16 / +972
Aviv Tatarsky: It is welcome news that the long-awaited cameras will finally be installed soon. The bad news is that they don’t even touch the root of the problem — restrictions on Muslim worshippers accessing Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount.
Ir Amim Executive Director: Unilateral separation from Palestinian neighborhoods in Jerusalem would disrupt delicate balance in the city and set it on fire.
23.11.15 / Jerusalem Post
A clear vision for the future of our city demands that we reject divisive policies and support those that contribute to a more just and sustainable city.
Ir Amim Executive Director: PM Netanyahu’s proposal to revoke the residency status of 100,000 East Jerusalemites is met with silent complicity from Israel’s self-appointed “democratic” camp.
21.10.15 / +972
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.
14.10.15 / Walla! NEWS
The checkpoints will not stop a determined attacker with a knife. He will find an opening to slip through. Conversely, the disruption of Palestinians’ freedom of movement will only heighten the sense of rage, giving rise to more terror attacks. It would be best for us to return to the only real solution: A Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital
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.
21.03.15 / +972
The Sub Laban family has been living in the heart of Jerusalem’s Old City for over 60 years. Now, a right-wing settler group is trying to expel them, with the full support of the state.
Ir-Amim in the 2012 Human Rights March
A video clip explaining how construction in E1 prevents territorial contiguity in the West Bank and impedes progress towards a two-state solution.
E-1 is not just another settlement. If there is one place that can singlehandedly put an end to the two-state solution, E-1 is it.
Jerusalem Day 2012 On Jerusalem Day people talk about Jerusalem in Jerusalem. They all say they will never give up Jerusalem. But this is not what a city that hasn’t been given up on looks like. This Jerusalem Day we will cast aside slogans and clichés, look reality straight in the eye and find new solutions for a better future in this city.
In light of a substantial rise in new construction plans for East Jerusalem – What is Israel’s plan? Is it to rely on Israeli public indifference? Or perhaps on the international community turning a blind eye? Or maybe on Palestinian desperate submission?
Demonstrating against privatization of national parks
Coffee in Silwan? Pilates in Issawiyya? Shopping in Sheikh Jarrah? If these neighborhoods are not on your radar, they must not be part of our capital. Ir-Amim invites you on a study tour of Jerusalem, to understand daily life in the city within its political context.
Is archeology used to obscure history instead of illuminating it? Is Israel digging up antiques in order to cover up reality? Ir-Amim invites you on an archeological tour of Silwan/ City of David to find out about archeology’s function in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and how it became a tool in the struggle over Jerusalem.
As the municipal elections draw upon us, Ir-Amim invites Jerusalemites and Israelis to visit the neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, to meet with their residents and learn what life five minutes away from downtown Jerusalem is really like.
Does the Jerusalem we know depend on the TV channel we watch? How is Jerusalem portrayed in Israeli, Arab and international media? Debate in the Mishkenot Sha'ananim Auditorium.
41 years following Jerusalem’s “unification” 78% of Israel’s citizens still hold that Jerusalem is de facto divided. While the government persists in acting unilaterally in Jerusalem, 65% of the public supports a political resolution of the Jerusalem issue.