Dear Friends: 

While June marks the anniversary of 50 years since 1967, here in Jerusalem May was a peak month for Municipality-sponsored activities celebrating a “unified and eternal capital” and for Palestinians observing 50 years since Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem. The dual reality of life in the city was most powerfully symbolized by 70,000 Israeli nationalist celebrants stomping through the Muslim Quarter of the Old City – flag-draped marchers allowed into the same narrow side streets where Palestinians were cordoned off by metal barriers, under siege in their own homes.

Ir Amim has been on maximum drive in the months leading up to the anniversary and will continue to push forward with priorities ranging from advancement of Palestinian planning rights and a cessation of home demolitions to informing any forthcoming peace process with our expert analysis on Jerusalem’s role in the conflict.

We have actively campaigned against the Israeli government awarding the Israel Prize – the highest honor in the country – to David Be’eri, a settler leader at the fore of Palestinian home takeovers in East Jerusalem.  We just completed an all-fronts advocacy campaign to reroute the Flag Parade away from the Muslim Quarter (read all about it below).  And we held a standing room-only alternative Jerusalem Day event with Israeli and Palestinian experts exchanging their forecasts on the future of Jerusalem under various political case scenarios. 

We capped off the night off with this: 


This video represents Ir Amim’s vision of Jerusalem.  It’s an image that reflects what a fairer and more just – though still complicated – Jerusalem would look like with an Israeli capital in West Jerusalem and a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem.  We understand well the roadblocks to getting there but we also know that change cannot be attained without a vision to move us forward.  

We invite you to share our vision widely and to support our work to realize it.  To meet our quarterly goals, Ir Amim must raise $50,000 to keep all of our staff out in the field, in the press, in the halls of the Knesset, and in exchanges with diplomats, journalists, and policy analysts from around the world to advance ideas for a political resolution on Jerusalem and how to make the city a more equitable and sustainable one today. 

Your support is particularly critical at this time, with even harsher anti-NGO legislation now back in the news. 


Click here or on the button below to make a donation of $25, $50 or $100 to Ir Amim (or see our website for check and bank transfer options).



Thank you for standing by us,  

Betty Herschman
Director of International Relations & Advocacy



Jerusalem Day Flag Parade: Ir Amim’s Advocacy Continues

Ir Amim renewed its full-scale advocacy campaign against the annual Jerusalem Day Flag Parade, working quietly behind the scenes to exert pressure on the Israel Police to reroute the parade away from the Muslim Quarter of the Old City; mounting a large-scale campaign to engage public support; submitting a late night petition to the High Court; and sending a phalanx of field monitors out to document the parade.

While the court ultimately rejected Ir Amim’s petition, our ongoing legal action and presence on the ground continue to serve as a lightning rod for raising visibility of the parade and its impact on Palestinians’ freedom of movement and commerce, and building growing alliances to challenge its violent passage through the Muslim Quarter.

Kufr Aqab: Court Reaffirms City’s Obligation to Improve Roads

Ir Amim and the residents of Kufr Aqab have prevailed in obtaining a new ruling to compel the Municipality to improve road maintenance and infrastructure in this East Jerusalem neighborhood outside the Separation Barrier. In November 2015, the Jerusalem Administrative Court ruled that the Municipality was obligated to repair and improve roads and drainage systems in Kufr Aqab and nearby neighborhoods located beyond the Barrier. The Municipality was given a nine-month period to prepare an implementation plan for maintenance work.

Having failed to produce a detailed, operative plan in a timely manner, the Court recently ruled that the Municipality was in contempt of court, obligating it to comply with its previous ruling  and ordering it to pay NIS 50,000 in court costs. Ir Amim will continue to monitor developments and ensure that the Municipality fulfills its obligations to the people of Kufr Aqab and surrounding neighborhoods.

Future Time, Jerusalem: Ir Amim’s Alternative Jerusalem Day Event

This year, marking the 50th anniversary since the annexation of East Jerusalem, Ir Amim took a forward-looking approach to its annual event, raising the question of what Jerusalem could look like under various political scenarios. The speakers - renowned guests Omar Yousef, architect, professor and head of the Jerusalem Studies Department at Al Quds University and Ofer Zalzberg, Senior Analyst for Israel/Palestine at the International Crisis Group – addressed four scenarios, two offering variations of continuation of the current status quo, and two envisioning dramatic transformation, either by escalation of tensions or a peaceful resolution.

The last scenario –Jerusalem as the capital of two peoples – engendered an animated exchange of ideas, from a divided city to an open city model, and strategies for creating greater parity between the sides. Ir Amim punctuated the dialogue with a launch of its new video imagining a future open Jerusalem. Wast El Tarik, a Jewish-Arab ensemble, wrapped up the event, held with the generous support of the Heinrich Boell Foundation.

At-Tur Petition: Ir Amim Demands Fulfillment of Planning Rights for Palestinian Residents   

Ir Amim and local residents recently filed a petition demanding that Israeli authorities promote planning for the Khalet al-Ein section of At-Tur according to the boundary established in the Jerusalem 2000 Outline Plan. 

The petition aims to counter encroachment upon the Palestinian neighborhood by the planned Mount Scopus Slopes National Park, which would consume all of the neighborhood’s remaining land reserves. Despite the fact that the plan for the national park was rejected by the National Planning Council, planning authorities have continued to circumvent the decision and advance plans that would prevent At-Tur from building housing, schools, and public amenities it has been barred from developing by decisions from the planning authorities.

While Mayor Barkat claims east and west Jerusalem enjoy equal rights, in reality not one major plan for Palestinian neighborhoods has been approved since 1967, and even when Palestinian residents pay for planning out their own pockets, their plans are summarily suppressed in the planning system.



This is where we want to hear from you and where we’ll be posting featured Q&A in upcoming newsletters. What do you want to know about Jerusalem’s role in the Conflict? What political complexities need teasing out and what additional resources can we provide? 
Help us create an active exchange by writing to us at



Ir Amim’s Aviv Tatarsky: “the maliciousness of the demolition policy in al-Walaja, East Jerusalem and Area C is unmistakable. Thousands have been made homeless by demolitions in the last two years, with the underlying goal of expelling the Palestinian population to the Area A and B enclaves throughout the West Bank.”

+972, May 5

Ir Amim’s Betty Herschman, commenting on the alternative Jerusalem Day event held by Ir Amim: “The idea is to educate Israelis about the political issues contributing to our ability to come to a political resolution of the conflict. And Jerusalem Day is an important day to raise questions about the city and its future.”

Times of Israel, May 18


Ir Amim’s Oren Haber: “unilaterally severing neighborhoods from East Jerusalem is both inhumane and impractical, and it stands to thwart any progress toward a political resolution on the city, rather than promoting it.”

Jerusalem Post, June 5



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. 

Participation requires registration in advance. We welcome participants’ contributions towards the cost of the tour.

The next tours:   

Friday, June 23, 2017 - 9:00 AM: Study Tour of East Jerusalem in English (register here) 

Friday, August 4, 2017 - 9:00 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. In addition to our internationally recognized monitoring and advocacy, we help raise the level of discourse on Jerusalem by reaching out to the general public in Israel and to our friends abroad through tours, lectures, press reports, social media activity, and media campaigns.

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. For more in-depth information, check out the Ir Amim website.


With thanks for your continued interest and support,

The Ir Amim team


Ir Amim on the Web