Ir Amim web site

Dear Friends:


In a reality in which a political resolution does not appear possible in the foreseeable future, the city owes its ability to maintain day to day operations to delicate balances that enable the flow of daily life and a reasonable level of functioning. Strengthening these balances – not threats of draconian unilateral measures that push the Palestinians into despair and hopelessness – is the key to maintaining relative stability in the city at this time…

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. There are steps that can be taken in the existing reality: To improve in a systemic and comprehensive manner the living conditions in East Jerusalem; to encourage economic and social development and oppose racism and violence in both parts of the city; to protect the holy sites of both peoples and the three major religions; and to enable the residents of East Jerusalem to build their institutions in the city and to manage their own lives within it.

From Ynet op-ed by Yudith Oppenheimer, Ir Amim Executive Director


Against the backdrop of protracted violence in Jerusalem and the stalled political process, Ir Amim recently published its proactive recommendations for how best to manage the city now and toward a political resolution of the Conflict: 



Kedem Compound – Touristic Settlement in the Historic Basin

For more than two years, Ir Amim has been at the forefront of an ongoing legal battle against the Kedem Compound, a plan for a massive visitor center being promoted by the Elad settler organization in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan. Last June the Appeals Subcommittee of the National Planning Council accepted some of the public objections to the plan, downsizing it nearly by half and imposing clear restrictions on the types of activities that can be conducted at the site.

Proving the influence of political pressure on the planning system and responding to a request from the Justice Ministry to reopen discussion, the National Planning Council voted to restore the Kedem Compound plan to its original dimensions, summarily reversing the Appeals Subcommittee’s decision and wiping out the achievement of Silwan’s residents, concerned NGOs and planning professionals.

Click here to read a full account of the latest developments.

Batan al-Hawa – An Entire Community at Risk 

About 100 families are at risk of eviction in Silwan’s Batan al-Hawa neighborhood in the Historic Basin of Jerusalem.  With full support from the State of Israel, the Ateret Cohanim settler organization is waging a campaign to displace an entire Palestinian community. Seventeen families have already been evicted, an additional 51 families have received legal threats, and more are at risk. 

Learn how settlers are working with the backing of State authorities to settle the hotly contested Historic Basin: Haaretz report and editorial.

Expanding Ir Amim’s English Social Media Presence

We are delighted to present our new Facebook page, a significant expansion of Ir Amim’s English language social media capacity and complement to our growing Twitter presence.

Our growing English-language social media presence affords us an opportunity to deepen our conversation with you by providing timely commentary and updates on Jerusalem in a political context.

Please follow our new page ( and share it with your friends and anyone you know who is concerned for Jerusalem’s future.

"Sons of the City: The Past and Future of Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem" Explores Shared History in the City 

Last month Ir Amim honored Jerusalem scholar, expert and long-time supporter Prof. Menachem Klein and his latest book, Lives in Common.  Klein’s book offers rare insights into the shared life of Arabs and Jews in three cities – primarily Jerusalem, along with Jaffa and Hebron –lessons for the present and a launch point for critically evaluating various unilateral separation plans now being promoted. 

Featured speakers included writer Eli Amir, Dr. Omar Yousef of the International Peace & Cooperation Center (IPCC), and journalist Bambi Sheleg.

Click here to read an in-depth Haaretz interview with Prof. Menachem Klein on the common history of Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem.



Ir Amim: Recent separation proposal is detached from any understanding of the fabric of daily life in Jerusalem, and could lead to political, urban and humanitarian chaos.

New York Times, March 6


18-housing unit building plan in Jabel Mukaber being promoted by Elad settler group advances.

Walla! NEWS, March 30

Ir Amim’s Aviv Tatarsky: CCTV cameras on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif won’t lower tensions, don’t touch root of the problem: collective restrictions on Muslim worshippers.

+972, March 19



Ir Amim invites you to join one of our public tours – an opportunity to learn about the political, economic and social issues associated with Jerusalem’s role as the epicenter of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to engage in dialogue about the future of the city. The tours provide an incisive and candid look at Jerusalem and how developments – from settlement building to revocations of Palestinians’ permanent residency status – impact our ability to negotiate a resolution to the Conflict.

Given the current situation, at present the tours do not enter Palestinian neighborhoods. Participation requires registration in advance and is free of charge.

The next tours: 

Thursday, April 28, 2016 - 9:30 AM: Study Tour of East Jerusalem in English (register here) 

Friday, May 27, 2016 - 9:30 AM: Study Tour of East Jerusalem in English (register here)



Ir Amim works to inspire an informed public discourse on political issues related to Jerusalem, and to promote conditions for a more equitable Jerusalem today and towards a future, agreed-upon political resolution. We reach out to the general public in Israel and to our friends abroad by means of tours, lectures, press reports, social media activity, media campaigns and more.

Please consider making a contribution to Ir Amim as we work to monitor all of the current developments in our city, and conduct legal and policy advocacy to fight developments that undermine hope for a political resolution on the city. To donate, please click here.


Follow us on Twitter: @IrAmimAlerts and Facebook ( keep current on Ir Amim’s positions on unfolding events in Jerusalem and be the first to access our latest resources. Stay tuned for updates on Ir Amim’s growing English language social media presence.


With thanks for your continued interest and support,

The Ir Amim team