Ir Amim web site

 

 

 

Dear Friends: 

 

Always, the advent of Rosh Hashanah reminds us to pause and reflect on the year – in Jerusalem, a year of mounting political challenges to peace but one that ends with a solid record of actions to maintain stability in the city and increase resources for some of its most disenfranchised: 

  • In 2016 Ir Amim exhausted all channels to ensure the nationalist Jerusalem Day Flag Parade passed through the Muslim Quarter without major event on the eve of Ramadan.  
  • We countered a spate of unilateral proposals calling for separating roughly two-thirds of the Palestinian population from Jerusalem with concrete policy recommendations for managing our city now and toward a political resolution.
  • Our sustained monitoring and advocacy against the imposition of collective restrictions on Muslim access to the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif played a key role in averting the violence repeatedly seen over the last several years.  
  • And working alongside the residents of Kufr Aqab-Semiramis, we brought vital emergency services to two of the East Jerusalem neighborhoods still within the city boundaries but left outside the Separation Barrier.   

Take a look here for more on what we’ve been able to accomplish with your support.

This year Rosh Hashanah holds particular meaning for us as we prepare to mark 50 years since Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem.  It’s a sobering anniversary and a call to action.  In the year ahead, Ir Amim will marshal all of its resources to draw attention to what the next 50 years will look like if we don’t take urgent action to keep the door open to a political resolution on the city.  

At the top of our agenda is making sure you know the name Batan al-Hawa, Silwan – site of a full-scale settler campaign to evict 100 Palestinian families – some 600 people – from their homes.  Not to take over one apartment, or even ten, but to displace an entire community.  Many of those evicted stand to be made refugees for the second time.  

Beyond the intolerable toll this will take on the people of Batan al-Hawa, there’s a policy dimension to this story that needs to be told: The Israeli government has played a principal role, acting through the General Custodian and the Registrar of Trusts (both under the Ministry of Justice) to facilitate settlers’ seizure of Batan al-Hawa, as well as providing roughly one million shekels each year to fund private security for radical Jews settling in the hearts of Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem.  Click here to read our new joint Ir Amim-Peace Now report. 

With your contribution, we can mobilize key Israeli policy makers and members of the international community committed to furthering a two state solution to take action against state backed private settlement in Jerusalem.

Batan al-Hawa is only the most egregious example of a growing trend of private settlement in Jerusalem.  Today, some 2,500 settlers live in 142 settlement sites in the Old City and Historic Basin.  Since Prime Minister Netanyahu was last elected, 40 new sites have been added (an increase of 39%) and among them approximately 778 settlers (39%).  The continued eviction of Palestinians from their homes is not only a humanitarian outrage; it is a dire threat to the two state solution. In order to negotiate a political resolution to the city, we must stop these attempts to secure the most hotly contested area in Jerusalem - one that can only be settled through negotiations between Israel and Palestine. 

We have $50,000 left to raise by year’s end.  With your help, Ir Amim can sustain its capacity to monitor, report, educate and advocate against the expansion of private settlement in Jerusalem.  If you’re a new supporter, please help us with a $50 gift.  If you can, please consider joining our roster of $1,200 donors.

Together, with stamina, conviction and all the advocacy tools at our disposal, we can preserve our mission to create a more equitable and sustainable Jerusalem both now and toward a political resolution on the city.

 

With gratitude, 

The staff of Ir Amim

  

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