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Roads in East Jerusalem

July 3, 2011

Not long ago I asked my East-Jerusalem friend Abed if the present mayor, Nir Barkat, is making a difference. Barkat, a high-tech multimillionaire, ran and was elected on the idea that he’s a good manager, not a political hack using the position as a stepping stone for further advancement. “Look, Yaacov, he hasn’t built a single new road in East Jerusalem yet, so from the perspective of most people there, he’s just like his predecessors. Since I’m more aware than most people about how the Israeli bureaucracy works, I know that it’s not easy to bring change, and I’m aware that Nir’s rhetoric and that of his administration is more positive. At the end of the day, however, they will be tested by those roads and similar objective facts on the ground”.

Fair enough.

Kol Ha’Ir (Hebrew local paper, not online) in its Friday edition (July 1st) told of a municipality decision to transfer 20 million NIS to the construction of roads in eight East Jerusalem neighborhoods. The construction will include the laying of underground infrastructure for improved water, sewage, electricity and communications; the roads will be constructed as roads in West Jerusalem, with sidewalks, street lighting, and shaded bus-stations. The project has been awarded to the Moriah company. This followed the announcement of a similar project last week in Wadi Jos, also in East Jerusalem.

It’s bad that this is happening only now. It’s regrettable that it needs mentioning at all. It’s still not happening in the field, only in the corridors of the municipality. I”ll have to follow developments – but the thing is, if it really happens it won’t be hard to see; it will be quite visible.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. LaughingAllTheWayToTheWestBank permalink
    July 3, 2011 2:09 pm

    Why does it matter.

    Muslim do not belong in Jerusalem. They have no history here; they have no future.

    The government has adopted an appeasement policy toward the Muslims. But seriously, how long can Humanity stand such Mohammedan depravity?

    When that happens all these roads will serve humanity – not the Muslims. Don’t expect the Jews to show any more mercy to the Muslims during the coming Nakba (soon in our days, Amen) than the Nazi-inspired Muslims did when they ethnically cleansed Jerusalem in 1948.

    If there can be no Jews in Mecca, then there can be no Mohammedans in Jerusalem.

    • July 5, 2011 10:41 am

      This won’t do, Laughing. First, becuase it’s counter-factual. There have been Muslims in Jerusalem since the 7th century, with only one short interruption after the Crusaders massacred them all in 1099. Muslims have controlled the city for most of the time since the 7th century. I don’t know of anyone who has the data, but it’s reasonable they were the majority of the populace for chunks of time since then. If you count Arabic-speaking Christians, they’ve been a clear majority almost continually between the 8th century until the 19th (again, interrupted by those murderous crusaders). Not to mention that the architecture and skyline of the city are profoundly influenced by Muslim building projects. Important mosques, anyone?

      I’m an avowed supporter of Israeli control of the entire undivided city. But I see no justification to re-write history, to write away the Muslim ties to Jerusalem, nor even to minimize their place in it today and in the forseeable future. On the contrary. Part of what makes Jerusalem one of the most fascinating places on earth is precisely it’s tremendous religious and cultural richness.

      • LaughingAllTheWayToTheWestBank permalink
        July 5, 2011 11:55 pm

        The Muslims who illegally occupy East Jerusalem today have nothing in common with the historic Muslim community. Jeez, if the monotheistic Muslims of early Islam were to reäppear in Jerusalem today and attempted to join a prayer to G-d at the Furthest Mosque, they would be slaughtered by the followers of the Mohammed-worshipping version of Islam that exists today.

        The Muslim presence before and after the Crusades would be unintelligible today – genetically, theologically, socially and otherwise. This was the era of the great Bayt al-Hikmah in Baghdad. When Muslims worshipped G-d. When Damascus was a center of civilization. That era has nothing to do with the death cult of Mohammed practiced in East Jerusalem nowadays.

        No, the muslim occupiers who came with the Ottomon colonialists are a rag tag group of Egyptians (“al Masri”); Iraqis (“al-Kurdi”, “al-Iraq”, “al-Baghdadi”, “al-TIkriti); and Nazis (“al Husseini”, “al-Aryan”). They have absolutely no history here and no connection with the historic Muslim community, even if they call themselves “Muslims”.

        I’m confused why you bring up Christians? Huh? Christians are the bearers of a proud Arab culture that goes back thousands of years. They are natives to this land and have every right to be in Jerusalem. Muslim colonialists have nothing in common with the Christian natives.*

        (* now, for political reasons some of those Christians ally with the Muslims. They will eventually give din v’cheshbon for that decision. But that doesn’t change the fundamental difference between the Christian natives, and Muslim colonialists).

  2. Womble permalink
    July 5, 2011 7:36 am

    Building in East Jerusalem is a problem because no matter what you build and for whom, you’re building it “illegally” from where the UN stands. It’s a catch 22.

    • July 5, 2011 10:43 am

      This is an interesting point. I’m not certain you’re technically right, but it’s certainly worth looking into. If you are right, it rather adds to the complexity, doesn’t it. Or to the silliness.

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