Let’s Draw the line

Dear Friends,


Declarations about the unification of Jerusalem were echoed time and again this week. But when I drive through Jerusalem, am I really in a unified city?


Fifty years have passed since June 1967, and yet I still know exactly when I’m in the east part of the city and when I’m in the west. The unofficial border of the city, the one the government has tried to blur and conceal, is marked by the blatant negligence plain for all to see. This, despite the fact that the decision to apply Israeli law in East Jerusalem obligates authorities to ensure that Palestinian Jerusalemites– who are permanent residents and not citizens – enjoy all the rights and freedoms that Israeli citizens enjoy, except for the right to elect representatives and be elected to Knesset.


The reality is that Palestinians in East Jerusalem are a systematically impoverished community: 76% of Palestinian residents live below the poverty line, their infrastructure is insufficient and much fewer services and budgets are allocated by the Municipality and Government Ministries than are to Israelis in West Jerusalem. A quarter of the Palestinian population has been cut off from the rest of the city by the Separation Barrier, living in what has become no man’s land.


Every year, ahead of Jerusalem Day, ACRI publishes “East Jerusalem Facts and Figures,” which outlines the neglect and poverty Palestinians face in East Jerusalem. Click here to listen to a podcast which unpacks and explains some of the data. To watch a video highlighting some of the facts and figures, click on the image below.


So, is East Jerusalem really part of the State of Israel? For 50 years, Israel has been operating without defined borders, in Jerusalem and elsewhere. (By the way, ACRI has yet to receive a response from the Prime Minister following a request sent several weeks ago for a map of the country’s official, sovereign borders.)


When the borders are blurred, red lines are crossed. In a country without borders, people live without rights; this has been the situation for half a century now. Share the video – Lets draw the line!



Adv. Sharon Abraham-Weiss
Executive Director
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel

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Categories: Democracy and Civil Liberties


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