East Jerusalem Arabs do not vote (as a rule) in the municipal elections. This is often given as the reason why municipal services in East Jerusalem and/or areas that are predominantly Arab range between awful and non existent.
The head of the Jewish Home Party Naphtali Bennett stipulated that the best way to end terror is to build more homes for Jews only in areas of the city that are predominantly Arab.
Of course he’s wrong. Everyone knows this. He is actually making things worse.
I would like to suggest a novel idea for the way that the government should treat terror and the way that the council provide services. How about arresting people who commit crimes and providing municipal services to ALL citizens of the Jerusalem municipality?
I think that this would lead to all citizens of Jerusalem having an improved standard of living and terrorists going to prison. It’s just an idea but it seems that it would be more effective than building houses in the face of riots and terror attacks. By the same token I’m not sure why it is that the Jerusalem municipality seems to feel that providing parts of the city with municipal services such as an effective sewage system, a postal system etc should be contingent on the residents of those areas voting in municipal elections. One would imagine they have a responsibility to the city as a whole.
Those who feel, like Bennett does, that Israel’s housing policy should be delegated into the hands of murderous terrorists are in fact part of the problem. People would do well to remember the duty of Jerusalem city council to work for ALL the residents of Jerusalem, both Jew and Arab whether they vote in elections or not.
As Prime Minister Netanyahu authorizes the building of another 1,000 housing units in East Jerusalem it is quite clear that he has also mistaken construction workers for counter terror officers. He seems to think that building in East Jerusalem is tantamount to a security policy. The move is especially offensive as it comes at a time when Israelis are crying out for cheap housing in the centre of the country.
The words of opposition leader Isaac Herzog seem most appropriate to hi-light the utter failure of the Prime Minister to provide Israelis with anything that they need and nothing that we want;
“You promised security, Mr. Prime Minister, and see how Jerusalem is burning, and you are not taking any substantial moves to prevent this, but are only adding to it — through your indecision, you are causing a de facto division of our dear and beloved Jerusalem.”
The Jerusalem municipality has been denying an entire section of Jerusalem’s population the basic services that are their right for too long. The government is now linking the building of housing for Jews in Arab areas with civil disobedience. This is clearly a recipe for disaster, akin to punching someone repeatedly and then finding it difficult to understand why that person doesn’t like them. If the government and the city council wish to stop civil unrest they might want to start by asking themselves what led to the unrest in the first place rather than ignoring the carrot and heading straight for the stick.