Dear Friends: 

On Friday, the UN Security Council passed a resolution pronouncing its mounting concern about the irreversible impact of Israeli settlement building on the viability of the two state solution.  With the US abstaining in order to let the resolution proceed, the Security Council called for an immediate cessation of settlement building in order to salvage prospects for peace.  

The passage of this resolution – involving a bold shift in policy for the current US administration – represents the urgency of taking actions to bolster conditions for reviving our moribund peace process.  It is a meaningful expression of a growing international consensus: we can no longer stand by idly watching the accelerating extinction of chances to resolve this conflict. 

Ir Amim, the Israeli NGO with the goal of an agreed resolution on Jerusalem – the city at the core of the Conflict – enshrined in its mission, is prepared to use all of the resources at our disposal to impress upon the Israeli public the options we do have for changing this scenario as we enter 2017, the year marking 50 years since Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem and occupation of the West Bank. 

We urgently need your help to sustain our work to advance an agreed resolution on Jerusalem and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and to address the most urgent social, economic and political disparities in Jerusalem today.

Alongside our abiding commitment to advancing a political resolution, Ir Amim will need your support to forward the other clause of our mission: creating the conditions for a more viable, just and sustainable city now and toward a political resolution to the Conflict. Support that in 2016 enabled us to secure new fire and ambulance services for Kufr Aqab, one of eight East Jerusalem  neighborhoods beyond the Barrier advocate both locally and internationally to challenge the mounting uptick of private settlement in the Historic Basin that is further complicating conditions for negotiations expose Israelis and visitors from across the political spectrum to the politics of East Jerusalem through our alternative tours and mobilize our young West Jerusalem based leaders and activists to take up the mantle in fighting for more equitable services across the city.

Take a look below at just a few examples of why our work is so urgently needed and please prioritize Ir Amim in your year-end giving.  Click here to make a donation of $50 or more to Ir Amim (or see our website for check and bank transfer options).  These accomplishments belong to you – our supporters – who share a stake in realizing the true greatness of a city that remains stymied by its unresolved schisms. 

- With gratitude from all of us here at Ir Amim
   & undiminished wishes for a season of light

 


2016 Ir Amim Highlights

IR AMIM POLICY PAPER: Jerusalem: Present Home and Future Capital of Two Peoples

The management of Jerusalem in the absence of and toward a political agreement must be based on the understanding that the city is the home of two peoples. Both peoples have profound attachments to the city and both will continue to live side by side under any future political constellation.”

In early 2016, against a backdrop of recurrent violence and a spate of proposals for unilateral separation in Jerusalem, Ir Amim issued a seminal policy paper presenting a constructive vision for the city and offering concrete and proactive guidelines for managing the city in the present and laying the groundwork for a future political solution. Click here to read the full paper.

 

IR AMIM/PEACE NOW REPORT on Settlement in Batan al-Hawa, Silwan

“If the settlers are successful, Batan al-Hawa is anticipated to become the largest settlement compound in a Palestinian neighborhood in the Historic Basin of the Old City, with the outcome of significantly tightening the emerging ring of settlements around the Old City and severely undermining the possibility of a future two state solution in Jerusalem.” 

– Broken Trust: State Involvement in Private Settlement
in Batan al-Hawa, Silwan
 

 

 

 

Private settlement activity – backed by state authorities – has accelerated in the Batan al-Hawa section of Silwan, putting an entire Palestinian community of more than 600 people at risk of displacement. Ir Amim’s monitoring and advocacy efforts have focused a spotlight on this key example of Israeli efforts to consolidate control over the Historic Basin in advance of any future negotiations. Read the full report here.

 

 

 

MONITORING AND ADVOCACY: TEMPLE MOUNT/HARAM AL-SHARIF TRENDS 

“The Israel Police should continue to refrain from imposing collective entry restrictions on Muslim worshippers. It is also important that decision makers make clear to the Israeli public that maintaining Muslim freedom of worship on the site is a basic component of the status quo as well as being essential to the prevention of violence and the effectiveness of Police operations.”

– "Keeping the Peace on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif
during the Jewish High Holiday Period
"

 

 

As advocated by Ir Amim, police exercised restraint in application of collective restrictions on Muslim worshippers on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif, and relative calm prevailed on the Mount during Passover and the Jewish High Holidays in 2016. Click here for the full policy paper. 

 

ADVOCACY: IR AMIM FLAG PARADE CAMPAIGN

“Somewhere between 7:00 and 7:30 PM, quiet prevailed in the Muslim Quarter. The last of the marchers, the flags and the loud voices disappeared down the alleyways leading to the Western Wall, and the Muslim Quarter returned to its residents… It was a moment when we understood that we had made something of a difference.”

– Yudith Oppenheimer,Executive Director of Ir Amim,
from a summary of the 2016 Flag Parade campaign

Ir Amim’s major public campaign to reroute the nationalist Jerusalem Day Flag Parade – an annual lightning rod for anti-Palestinian incitement and violence – away from the Muslim Quarter was of particular importance this year due to the concurrence of Jerusalem Day with the start of Ramadan. Click here to view a video highlighting the campaign’s particular sense of urgency this year. 

  

ADVOCACY: IR AMIM AND RESIDENTS WIN FIRST FIRE TRUCKS IN KUFR AQAB

“As long as Israel’s control of East Jerusalem continues, responsibility for providing services in these neighborhoods lies in the hands of the Israeli government and the Jerusalem Municipality. Since the State of Israel separated many residents of East Jerusalem from their city by means of the Barrier, we will continue to insist that the authorities meet their obligations towards them.”

– Oshrat Maimon, Ir Amim's Director of Policy Advocacy 

After a campaign spearheaded by Ir Amim and local residents, the Israel Fire and Rescue Services has opened Kufr Aqab’s first fire station, located near the Qalandia checkpoint. Ir Amim has also helped facilitate placement of a Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance to service the area. Initial progress was also made towards improving road infrastructure in Kufr Aqab following an Ir Amim petition resulting in a 2015 court order mandating that the Municipality ameliorate deadly road conditions. Ir Amim continues to monitor the Municipality’s compliance.

 

ONGOING MONITORING: TRACKING THE HUMANITARIAN AND POLITICAL IMPACT OF EAST JERUSALEM DEMOLITION PEAK IN 2016

“Managing the ‘neighborhood chaos’ while constantly fueling it and continually eroding the Palestinian presence in the city is tantamount to playing a cynical game with the lives of all Jerusalem residents and with the city’s future.”

– Yudith Oppenheimer, Executive Director of Ir Amim, in an op-ed published in the Jerusalem Post

This year marked a new record in Palestinian house demolitions in East Jerusalem. Throughout 2016, 220 residential and non-residential units were demolished, about triple the year-end total of 74 in 2015. The sharp increase in demolitions falls into a clear pattern of employing demolitions and evictions to displace Palestinians from the city so as to further consolidate Israeli control of East Jerusalem and particularly the highly contested area of the Historic Basin. 

Ir Amim will continue to challenge these developments through ongoing monitoring and advocacy.

 

IR AMIM OUTREACH: MOBILIZING WEST JERUSALEM'S YOUNG ACTIVISTS AND LEADERS THROUGH NEW COURSES, SEMINARS AND INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP

“There is potential here for [finding] common interests between the Arab and ultra-Orthodox populations in Jerusalem… We don’t have to think only in sectarian terms in this city.”

– Ultra-Orthodox course participant

 

Ir Amim’s public outreach work reached new heights this year, raising awareness on East Jerusalem and increasing the understanding of its complexities among new audiences, including progressive ultra-Orthodox activists, college students and West Jerusalem-based civil society leaders. Click here to read more about Ir Amim’s exciting new partnerships forged this year. 

 UPCOMING STUDY TOURS            

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 our shared future. 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 on the Conflict.

Participation requires registration in advance and a small contribution towards cost of the tour.

The next tour:

Friday, January 6, 2017 - 9:00 AM: Study Tour of East Jerusalem in English (register here)

 

SUPPORT IR AMIM 

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For online donations, click here or on the button below.

 

 

  

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