This puts the lie to Bibi’s support for an undivided Jerusalem. It is totally inconsistent with such a claim. It also puts the lie to everything Bibi is saying regarding building elsewhere in Jerusalem and in particular in E-1. Perhaps Bibi has obtained permission to build in areas that everyone agrees Israel will keep in exchange for Bibi agreeing not to build where Obama diagrees. Ted Belman
Rumors, leaks and hearsay have been replaced by an official document by a senior official admitting that political considerations have and will prevent Jewish construction in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Shimon HaTzaddik.
Plans for additional housing for Jews in the majority-Arab neighborhood (known in Arabic as Sheikh Jarrah) have become stalled, and a letter written by Yaniv Benita, Assistant to Interior Minister Eli Yishai, inadvertently explains why.
In the letter, Beinta claimed that construction in the neighborhood would not be carried out due to what he termed political prevention.
For a long time now, residents of the neighborhood have tried to attain permits to construct Jewish homes and buildings while at the same time Arabs in the neighborhood were given permits for their own construction.
Aryeh King, Director of the Israel Land Fund and a long-time activist in the effort to redeem land previously owned by Jews in Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem, claimed recently that someone in the Prime Minister’s Office was preventing the Jewish applications for building permits from seeking approval based on political considerations.
This was all speculative, until the letter proved him right.
In the letter, Benita wrote that he received plans for construction in the neighborhood, yet, “Unfortunately, based on political reasons, we are prevented from discussing this. When you receive relevant approvals, these plans will be raised by the District Committee for Planning and Construction.”
King, who ran for the 19th Knesset with Otzma LeYisrael, is hoping the letter will cause the next government to change its stance on construction in such neighborhoods which have been deemed frozen by the administration.
During the elections, King criticized Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, alleging that reports of approval of construction in Jerusalem were nothing but election-season spin.
“Netanyahu is running a campaign that places Jerusalem at the center of public discourse,” King explained to Arutz Sheva. “Bibi is trying to lie to the public and present a false picture in which he is building and widening the city, but in actuality, the facts are opposite.”
The Jewish part of Shimon Hatzaddik was reclaimed by Jewish families who held deeds to the homes their families had been kicked out of decades earlier.
In 1947, there were about 100 Jewish houses in the neighborhood. However, as a result of increasing Arab violence, the British ordered the residents to evacuate their homes in 1948.