The Association for Civil Rights in Israel, a left-wing group that has accused Israel of “apartheid” and “collective punishment” and rejects Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem as “illegal” has issued it’s East Jerusalem By The Numbers report for 2014. As usual, the report focuses on Israeli “abuses” in the eastern part of the city, but fails to present facts and numbers that challenge the premise that Israel is a racist power bent on discriminating against Arab Jerusalemites.
For instance, the report correctly cites that the Arab’s now constitute one-third of the total Jerusalem population. But somehow, ACRI researchers failed to note that the Arab population has exploded in the city since the Six Day War, from 68,600 in 1967 to slightly under 300,000 today.
Similarly, the report noted that “from 1967-2013 Israel revoked the residency of 14,309 East Jerusalem Palestinians.” Conveniently, however, the report failed to note that since 1980, Jerusalem Arabs have had the option to accept Israeli citizenship. As Israeli citizens, Jerusalem Arabs would have the right to live anywhere in Israel, including Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria. But doing so would imply an recognition of the Jewish State of Israel, something Arabs are unwilling to do -either due to sincere ideological convictions, or because they are afraid of Palestinian Authority retribution were they to accept a blue Israeli ID card.
The report also fails to mention the large majority of Jerusalem Arabs who prefer to live under Israeli jurisdiction than under the thumb of Abu Mazen’s thuggish thieves.
Significantly, the report discusses poverty in Jerusalem, but only in terms that are sympathetic to ACRI “key issues” like Arab Minority Rights, LGBT Rights,Refugees and Asylum and other causes. For instance, the report says that 75.3% of East Jerusalem residents, and 82.2% of East Jerusalem children, live below the poverty line. But there is no mention of poverty, say in the haredi community, where approximately 58 percent of families live below the official government poverty line. Those numbers are certainly less than in the Arab sector, but they are hardly insignificant. For some reason, however, they don’t make it into ACRI’s report.
In the section “Beyond the Separation Barrier,” the report bemoans “the construction of 142 km of the separation barrier, the closure of checkpoints, and a policy of requiring entry permits have cut East Jerusalem off from the rest of the West Bank and led to a weakening in the social and economic conditions of residents.” Of course, the barrier also helped curtail Palestinian suicide attacks on Israeli buses and restaurants, but that fact doesn’t make it into the report. One wonders whether the author of this report would feel safe getting on a bus in western Jerusalem in the absence of the security wall.
One additional, glaring hole in the report concerns the Mount of Olives, Ras al-amid and Ma’aleh Zeitim, all of whom which have seen repeated anti-Jewish violence and anti-Jewish Price Tag attack for many months. The report also fails to mention the Arab “honor killig” phenomenon, especially amongst the Bedoin population of the Negev. No accurate numbers about the phenomenon in the Negev exist, but locals authorities believe the practice is not uncommon amongst Bedouin tribesMeir Halevi Siegel