Netanyahu and Barkat’s ‘Jerusalem Disengagement’ – by 2030?

Councilman Arieh King exposes ‘de facto division’ of the capital, with all the figures behind his prediction of an Arab majority by 2030.

By Ari Yashar and Tamar Yonah

KingJerusalem Councilman Arieh King spoke to Arutz Sheva on Sunday, revealing the governmental policies from the highest echelons down to the grittiest building and population figures that lead him to reach one shocking conclusion: by 2030, Jerusalem will be an Arab capital.

King began by discussing the Sunday morning rock attack on a bus filled with 65 children making their way to school from Ma’aleh Hazeitim, a Jewish neighborhood on the Mount of Olives where King lives. He revealed that the attack by Arab terrorists is in fact a routine for Jews in the neighborhood, happening three times last week and dozens of times last month at the same exact spot. “The question is: where are the Israeli police?” asked King rhetorically. The councilman answered his own question, noting there is “no doubt that the problem is from the top, from the government.”

“For six years (Prime Minister Binyamin) Netanyahu has been trying de facto – by putting facts on the ground in eastern Jerusalem – to divide the city,” charged King, noting how the terror is only the tip of the iceberg. The councilman lists how since taking office, Netanyahu forbade Jews from entering eight Jerusalem neighborhoods including Kalandia, allowed the Palestinian Authority (PA) to build schools in Jerusalem, and let the PA “pave four kilometers of road in Jerusalem” with US financial aid. At the same time Netanyahu is instituting a Jewish building freeze and forbidding police from escorting Jerusalem building inspectors in eastern Jerusalem, revealed King, allowing local Arab residents to turn it into the “wild west” in terms of rampant building abuses. “Bibi is doing what Arik Sharon did in Gush Katif,” said King, using Netanyahu’s and former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s nicknames. He elaborated that Netanyahu is doing as Sharon, who “didn’t talk or negotiate – he just did.”

Partners in crime

According to King, Netanyahu is accompanied in his efforts by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who “is allowing Arabs to build in tremendous numbers that we never saw in Jerusalem, with no way of comparison to the days of (former Mayors Ehud) Olmert and even Teddy Kollek.”

King recently ran afoul of Barkat when he petitioned the Jerusalem District Court over Barkat’s plan to build 2,500 Arab housing units in Al-Sawahira Al-Gharbiyya – in response, Barkat dismissed King from his coalition posts.

As King notes, the neighborhood is sensitively located in the Kidron Valley between the Old City and the East Talpiyot neighborhood, and already today has 3,000 illegal Arab housing units.
With the new project there will be a whopping 5,500 new units in the neighborhood, greatly increasing the number of Arab residents even as Netanyahu freezes Jewish building amid a housing crisis.

That availability of housing is directly intertwined with the demographics of the capital city, particularly in the eastern part of the city which is home to around 200,000 Jews and 230,000 Arabs.

King notes that currently over 37% of Jerusalem’s population is Arab, whereas just ten years ago it was only 30%. “Al Quds” by 2030. Barkat, under Netanyahu’s policy of not having inspectors accompanied by police, has let illegal Arab building run rampant, charges King – and he has the numbers to back up his words. There are currently 40,000 illegal Arab housing units in eastern Jerusalem; during the first 10 months of 2014 the Municipality has demolished a paltry 14 illegal housing units, reports King.

“If you are today an Arab and you are building legally, you probably are a totally stupid, idiotic person, because the chances for your house to be destroyed is less than 0.1%,” comments the councilman. “More Arabs are getting permits to build than Jews, and this is beside the extra bonus of illegal apartments that they are building – about 700 to 800 apartments built illegally every year,” adds King.
King offers a sobering prediction: “I’m seeing 2030 as a year when the Arabs will have the same numbers as Jews in Jerusalem…if the policy continues as it is.” And as he makes clear, it is “all because of Barkat and Netanyahu.”  However, the councilman feels certain that things will change in the Municipality well before then, appraising that Barkat will be forced to leave the mayoral post in a year or two before his term ends. At that point King hopes a right-wing mayor will be voted in, and if no other such candidates step forward, he will throw his own name into the ring for the post.

International pressure?

When asked whether Netanyahu and Barkat’s policies of “splitting Jerusalem” might not be due to international pressure, King dismisses the excuses, saying “it’s a decision that they made.” King notes that Barkat was the head of the leftist party Kadima in Jerusalem, and never joined a right-wing party later on. However, he knew that to be re-elected he needed to present himself as right-wing, argues King. Kadima was in fact formed by Ariel Sharon after he split from the Likud in order to carry out the expulsion of Jews from Gaza, and its party platform supports the policy of “unilateral disengagement”.

As for Netanyahu, “already six years ago (he) decided that we need to withdraw from some neighborhoods in east Jerusalem, maybe all the neighborhoods in east Jerusalem. Nobody is forcing them, its a decision that they made.” Backing up his appraisal, King notes that in recent years no new neighborhoods have been established in Jerusalem. Any recent neighborhoods, like Ma’ale Hazeitim or Shimon Hatzadik, “happened because of private people, …(but) no new area has been planned by the Municipality or the government in eastern Jerusalem.”

September 24, 2014 | 52 Comments »

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