Points of Views
From Jerusalem
Points of Views
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0202 – Points of View from Jerusalem


"In two weeks, some will celebrate ‘Jerusalem Reunification Day,’ but in reality, has the city really been unified? Has it really been ‘put together’? If you ask me, the answer is no. And you know what, I wish it was true. Then, at least, we would be able to enjoy the benefits of the western city, that are lacking in its eastern part.

I will list ‘only’ two things to prove my point:
1. Ministry of Interior – I, as a resident of east Jerusalem, cannot receive service in any of the ministry’s offices in the western city. Good thing they made sure to include Arabic in the sign. Even though I think that with a few keystrokes, they can bring up all of my personal details, even the computer registry hasn’t been unified.
2. Bus Transfers – If I, as a resident of east Jerusalem, ride on a public bus in west Jerusalem, I won’t be able to continue traveling using the same ticket, i.e. transfer pass. Needless to say, the same Ministry of Transportation is responsible for the public transport in both parts of the city.

The difference between east and west is just as it sounds.

Dear friends!
Those of you who know, know what this post’s goal is, but those who don’t – I am asking you for relevant comments. Don’t try to drag us into unnecessary discussions about the terrible, long-standing and bloody conflict. If we talk of unification, at least let it be in all parts of life in Jerusalem."

– Uncle Ihab, Posted in Jerusalemites FB group. The writer is an Arab bus driver who works in the Israeli bus company Egged. He is also somewhat of a FB persona.

[In the photo, a small sign reads that residents of east Jerusalem can only receive services at the office in the eastern part of the city.]

[Selected Comments:]
– "How can you improve things for the residents if they don’t know how to take care of what they have?! They burned down the National Insurance building, police can’t enter [the neighborhoods of east Jerusalem], and so on. If most residents would condemn the criminals that burn things that aren’t theirs, it would be viable to invest in the place without losses.
Take the Light Rail stations in Beit Hanina [Neighborhood], for example. Whoever wants to buy a ticket, like at any other station in the city, cannot do so. Why this ‘racism’? Because, they burned down the stations there. Can you guess what the damage was? Would you as investors endanger your money like that?"
– "You don’t receive service at the Ministry of Interior, and we can’t pray on Temple Mount. That seems pretty equal to me. You’re correct in that not all things have been unified."
– "I agree with you. It’s as if the different parts of the city are totally disconnected. Although it’s difficult to put the issue of the conflict aside, if we’re calling the city ‘unified,’ and what to keep it this way, we should treat both sides equally."
– "I think that’s it’s a great idea to annex everything between Armon HaNatziv [neighborhood], the bordering neighborhoods, and Ma’ale Adumim [1]. You will be citizens, you’ll have a police station and a municipality. Together, we’ll drive out all the extremists who prevent people like me and you from living together in peace and quiet. We’ll build by you, and we’ll live as neighbors."

0202 Editor's Notes:
[1] The writer is referring to an area within which there are many of east Jerusalem's neighborhoods.

For more on these issues, see: https://bit.ly/2HU7GBX

#Activism #East_Jerusalem #Discrimination #Public_Services #Coexistence