Here’s a report on systemic discrimination against Palestinians buying land in Jerusalem from a surprising source — Fox News:
Despite claims from the Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, and the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, that Jerusalem’s real estate market is free and open to anyone regardless of race or religion, a new study shows Palestinians do not have equal access to property in Jerusalem.
The Israel group Ir Amim released a new study showing that 80 percent of land in Jerusalem cannot be purchased by Palestinians.
Key members of the GOP have openly supported Israel’s Jerusalem policies. Last August, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) led a congressional delegation to Israel, defended Israel’s evictions of Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem to make way for Jewish settlers, and criticized the Obama administration’s efforts to halt the evictions.
In May, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele spoke at a rally sponsored by a number of pro-settlement groups, including the American Friends of Ateret Cohanim, a group that “works to transfer ownership of Arab homes to Jewish families in East Jerusalem.”
And former presidential candidate/current Fox News host/future presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has made numerous trips to Israel sponsored by Friends of Ateret Cohanim, voicing his support for the continued growth of settlements and the expulsion of the Palestinians, stating that they should be made to find a homeland “elsewhere.”
What is it these politicians are actually supporting? A European Union report last year “accused both the Israeli government and the Jerusalem municipality of working deliberately to alter the city’s demographic balance and sever East Jerusalem from the West Bank”:
[The EU report] said that both bodies assist right-wing organizations, such as Ateret Cohanim and Elad, in their efforts to implement this “strategic vision,” especially around the Holy Basin area. These organizations buy houses in Arab neighborhoods, and make “attempts to implant further Jewish settlements into the heart of the Muslim Quarter.”
The municipality, the report continued, discriminates against the city’s Arab residents with regard to building permits, health services, education, sanitation and more.
All of this has been reported on for years by Israeli human rights organizations like B’Tselem, Ir Amim, and Peace Now, as well as international human rights NGOs like Amnesty international and Human Rights Watch, all of whom are under increasing attack by the Israeli government. Unfortunately, the reporting thus far hasn’t resulted either in Israel changing the policy, or in the country with the most leverage over Israel — the United States — taking serious steps to get Israel to change the policy, which generates understandable resentment and anger among Palestinians, which in turn powers extremism and violence.
Cross-posted on the Wonk Room.