web analytics
August 30, 2014 / 4 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Will Hi-Tech Zone Save Jerusalem From Division?


Keeping-Jerusalem

   As we saw in our last article, northern Jerusalem is a critical front in the Arab drive to take over parts of Jerusalem and to then form yet another Arab country in the Land of Israel.
   The main Jewish presence in northern Jerusalem is Atarot – site of a former Jewish village, a currently closed airport, and a huge industrial zone that has dwindled to less than half its size as a result of the Oslo War (the Second Intifada).
   Despite the above, when security began to improve and Route 443 rendered Atarot easily accessible again, thoughts of how to strengthen its Jewish presence began to be entertained. For instance, the Jerusalem Planning Board floated a plan to build a sizable haredi neighborhood in Atarot. The idea even included a proposal for a tunnel to Atarot from Kochav Yaakov in the east, passing underneath a camp for perpetual Arab refugees.
   The idea gained steam, and in late 2007, then-Housing Minister Ze’ev Boim, recently deceased, announced that his ministry was looking into building a new Jewish neighborhood with 10,000 apartments in Atarot.
   “It is projects like these that will save Jerusalem [from being divided],” said Jerusalem lands activist Aryeh King recently. For the only way to prevent the strangling of existing Jewish neighborhoods is to build new ones alongside them. This is most definitely a national priority, in order to prevent the capital city of Jerusalem from being slowly divided from within.
   Unfortunately, “for some reason,” King continued in frustration, “[Jerusalem Mayor] Nir Barkat shelved the plan.” Minister Boim, as well, made an abrupt about-face, saying just a day after his original announcement that the idea had been rejected.
   Little has actually been written regarding why Boim or Mayor Barkat, generally considered to be strong proponents of retaining united Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty, canceled the hareidi neighborhood plans in Atarot. Some have said, however, that it is likely due to pressure from Uncle Sam – once again indicating the sensitive, strategic nature of Atarot.
   Danny Seidemann, founder and legal advisor to the left-wing Ir Amim NGO, has acknowledged that the U.S. was behind the change in plans. Seidemann has warned that a Jewish settlement project in Atarot would disrupt a zone of Arab contiguity extending all the way from Ramallah southwards to Shu’afat, not far from Ramat Eshkol. “Putting 11,000 residential units for Jews in the midst of a major Palestinian strip,” he was quoted as saying, ” would lead to a Balkanization of the area that would make a final status agreement on Jerusalem impossible.”
   For this reason, Seidemann continued, “based on my information…there was strong American pressure to drop the plans” to build in Atarot. Others have since seconded this appraisal as well.
   In other words, the PA, Ir Amim, and the U.S. are unanimous that 10,000 Jewish housing units could lead to the scuttling of an agreement to divide Jerusalem – and impede plans for a Palestinian state. Can the importance of such a project be made any clearer?
   Of late, another plan is taking shape – one that would not restore Atarot as a place where people could live, but rather as one where they will work. The Jerusalem Development Authority is actively promoting the idea, as is Mayor Barkat, of re-zoning the Atarot airport and an adjacent area for a 200-acre industrial bio-tech and hi-tech park. On deck to be built there is a new, state-of-the-art waste recycling plant for the 1,300 tons of garbage collected daily in the city. Slated for relocation to Atarot is the municipality’s Maintenance Center, currently located in Givat Sha’ul. Light industry such as carpentry shops will also be featured in the new park, providing employment for some 20,000 people.
   The plan is likely designed to help solve Jerusalem’s housing crunch – without building in Atarot. Givat Sha’ul is an area of prime demand, and housing there is sure to be filled up quickly – while arousing much less international opposition than in Atarot.
   On the face of it, then, it appears the new plan will solve two problems at once: Relieve housing congestion in the city and keep Atarot in Jerusalem without irritating the world too greatly. However, upon scratching the surface, several questions arise:
   1. The PA is already objecting to the plan, accusing Barkat of attempting to prevent compromise in Jerusalem.
   2. The housing in Givat Sha’ul is sure to be significantly more expensive than it would have been in Atarot – begging the question of who will benefit from the new apartments: Young couples from Jerusalem, or wealthy out-of-towners seeking a prestigious apartment in the capital?
   Most important is Question 3, with which we conclude: Will an Israeli industrial zone in Atarot put the brakes on the division of Jerusalem and a Palestinian state as effectively as 10,000 Jewish housing units there would? Is it not likely that peace negotiators will find a formula to keep the businesses running even under PA sovereignty?
   In short, will Jerusalem remain united and Israeli, or will it be divided, to the detriment of both Arabs and Jews?
   For more information on how to participate in keeping Jerusalem Jewish, via updates, bus tours of critical parts of Jerusalem, and more, send an e-mail to tours@keepjerusalem.org or visit the Keep Jerusalem-Im Eshkachech website at www.keepjerusalem.org.
   Chaim Silberstein is president of Keep Jerusalem-Im Eshkachech and the Jerusalem Capital Development Fund. He was formerly a senior adviser to Israel’s minister of tourism.
   Hillel Fendel is the senior editor at Israel National News/Arutz-7 and an author.Both have lived in Jerusalem and now reside in Beit El.

   Their column appears every other week.

About the Author: Chaim Silberstein is president of Keep Jerusalem-Im Eshkachech and the Jerusalem Capital Development Fund. He was formerly a senior adviser to Israel's minister of tourism. Hillel Fendel, past senior editor at Israel National News/Arutz-7, is a veteran writer on Jerusalem affairs. Both have lived in Jerusalem and now live in Beit El.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Will Hi-Tech Zone Save Jerusalem From Division?”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
ISIS in Quneitra
Updates from Kuneitra, Syria [video]
Latest Indepth Stories
IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz reviewing maps on the Golan Heights.

The bad news is that ISIS and Al Qaeda are on the Syrian Golan. The good news is that every terrorist in Syria is killing each other.

TorahScroll AoT17

The congregants, Ethiopians spanning generations, were beaming with joy and pride.

Troodler-082914

The withdrawal from the Gaza Strip nine years ago did not enhance Israel’s security.

Eisenstock-082914

How does a soldier from a religious home fall in love with a soldier from a non- religious kibbutz?

In 19th century entire ancient Jewish communities fled Palestine to escape brutal Muslim authorities

Responsibility lies with both the UN and Hamas, and better commitments should have been demanded from both parties in the ceasefire.

But the world is forever challenging our Jewish principle and our practices.

If this is how we play the game, we will lose. By that I mean we will lose everything.

Reportedly, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have formed a bloc that seeks to counter Islamist influence in the Middle East.

One wonders how the IDF could be expected to so quickly determine the facts.

While there is no formula that will work for everyone, there are some strategies that if followed carefully and consistently can help our children – and us – gain the most from the upcoming school year.

We risk our lives to help those who do what they can to kill to our people .

Twain grasped amazingly well the pulse of the Jewish people.

The entertainment industry appears divided about the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

More Articles from Hillel Fendel and Chaim Silberstein / KeepJerusalem.org
Keeping-Jerusalem

“This arbitrary ban is an ugly stain on our democracy, and it also undermines the rule of law.”

Keeping-Jerusalem

Arab mother: “Life is zero, life is worthless. That is why we have all the suicide bombers;”

Our capital was not arbitrarily chosen, as capitals of some other nations were.

Jerusalem: The historic and spiritual capital of the State of Israel and the Jewish people.

It is critical to note the solid legal basis for the position that no part of Jerusalem is actually “occupied.”

Jerusalem: extraordinary financial and building growth and satisfaction by both Jewish and Arab residents.

Arab attacks on Jews must be stopped and Jewish construction in Jerusalem must proceed without hindrance.

The Arab world is simply not built to accept the existence of Israel in its midst.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/keeping-jerusalem/will-hi-tech-zone-save-jerusalem-from-division/2011/04/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: