Jerusalem Municipality Prefers Arab Building, Says Councilman

June 3, 2015  

Jerusalem Councilman Arieh King revealed on Wednesday how the Jerusalem Municipality appears to be encouraging a demographic change in Israel’s capital, exposing how the local planning and building committee of Jerusalem discusses Arab building much more than it discusses Jewish plans.

King wrote on Facebook that a full 60% of the committee discussions next week will be on Arab building plans, while just 40% of the sessions will devoted to Jewish residents’ plans. The ratio has particular significance in portions of Jerusalem beyond the 1949 Armistice lines, where 230,000 Arabs and 200,000 Jews reportedly live, and where Jewish construction has been largely frozen by the government since late 2013.

The councilman’s post included an attached image of the committee’s schedule for next Wednesday, in which of the 25 entries only nine discussions were on Jewish projects. The rest were filled with new projects and expansions for Arab neighborhoods such as Jabel Mukaber, Beit Hanina, Isawiya, Shuafat, as well as plans for Arab housing in the Old City and other locations.

King accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of “blocking discussions of Jewish projects and in doing so harming the demographic balance of Jerusalem.”

“The time has come for the public to understand what is happening in this city,” wrote the councilman. “Around 40% of the approved housing units that are built in the city with a permit are given to the city’s Arabs.”

He continued, “to this 40% you have to add around 800 housing units each year built without a permit. Today there are around 41,000 illegal Arab housing units throughout the city! To this you have to add the fact that every year they demolish 50 housing units of Jews as opposed to just 25 of Arabs.”

“So the next time you hear the leftists/Americans/Europeans and the Arabs claiming that (Israel) doesn’t given the Arabs building permits and that’s why they build without permits, cut out and save the attached schedule of the local committee and ask for their responses,” he said, referring to the schedule showing a drastic imbalance in favor of Arab building projects.

Speaking about the effects of having the committee focus 60% of its debates on Arab projects, he warned that “the importance of the situation as it is today, when the government of Israel in freezing Jewish building, is that it’s causing an undermining of the demographic balance in the city.”

“This was started by the Likud member, former Mayor and Prime Minister, the convicted criminal Ehud Olmert, who caused an Arab migration from the east of the city to its west when he advanced the separation barrier within the domain of the city,” King charged.

He concluded, saying the situation “is being continued by the current Likud leader, the great divider and freezer of Jerusalem, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu who is preventing Jews from building and preventing the Jerusalem Municipality from demolishing illegal buildings of Arabs.”

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