Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel / Flash 90
Housing construction site in the Har Homa neighborhood of East Jerusalem.

Newly-elected city councilman Aryeh King told that it’s clear who’s making the decisions for Jerusalem – and it’s not Barkat: “It’s Netanyahu who is holding up the construction in the capital, and he is very dangerous. He has taken practical steps to hand over to our enemies neighborhoods of Jerusalem, including instructing the police not to patrol there, placing signs forbidding entry to Israelis, and more.”

Muslims Moving Out of Old City


Let us not overlook the bright spots, however. The Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies released a report last week showing that the rate of emigration from the city among 20- to 34-year-olds is on the decline. In 2009, over 3,000 of them left the city while in 2012 the number fell by nearly 1,000. Significantly, most of those who left were from the haredi sector, as can be seen from the cities to which they moved: About a quarter went to Tel Aviv while nearly all the others relocated to Ramat Beit Shemesh, Kiryat Sefer, Bnei Brak and Beitar Illit. The luxury apartment buildings under ostentatious construction in central Yerushalayim do not provide the solution for young couples just starting out.

Most significantly, among Arab neighborhoods the one from which the most people moved out in 2011 is what is known as the Muslim Quarter of the Old City: No fewer than 1,240 Arabs decamped to other parts of the city. It was not reported how many Jews had moved into this area, but the Jewish presence there is increasingly identifiable and currently numbers 60 families.

To keep Jerusalem unified, Jewish, and under Israeli sovereignty, we must push for the actualization of construction plans all over the city. Yerushalayim is, right now, on the negotiators’ chopping block. To learn how to influence public opinion, or simply to participate in bus tours of the city, please visit or send e-mail to [email protected].


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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 former senior editor of Arutz-7. For bus tours of the capital, to take part in Jerusalem advocacy efforts or to keep abreast of KeepJerusalem's activities, e-mail [email protected].