The live tweets below are from the forum this morning at New America Foundation with attorney Tali Nir and Hagai El-Ad, both of The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), which is Israel’s oldest and preeminent civil and human rights organization, hosted by Daniel Levy.
Ms. Tali Nir’s “Unsafe space in East Jerusalem” post over at Foreign Policy, written in October, will give you the background of the forum, which is taken from an extensive report recently released.
… To provide some context of the situation on the ground, the numbers game of this story is rather alarming: East Jerusalem’s Palestinian population is estimated at 300,000. About 2,000 Jewish residents live today in the midst of several densely populated Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem (excluded from this account are tens of thousands of Israelis who live in neighborhoods located east of the Green Line. These were built after 1967 for solely Jewish residential purposes and are considered a consensus among Israelis.). Some of the settlers live in large compounds of ten and more families, while others live in private family residencies. Nearly all are surrounded by fences and protected by armed sentries and surveillance cameras.
Thus, one of the stunning examples of the financial support given to Jewish settlement in Jerusalem is the investment in security. Of the Housing and Construction Ministry’s annual budget for 2010, more than 54 million NIS were diverted for paying private contractors to guard the 2,000 Jewish settlers of East Jerusalem. This translates evenly to 27,000 NIS per settler (though the figure is much higher for those living in more hostile environments and lower for those who rarely need such security measures). The fatal shooting in Silwan illustrated the problems involved when virtual militias are deployed in residential neighborhoods. Indeed, while the conduct of the police in these neighborhoods is far from perfect and routinely criticized, it is still governed by a public code and standards of accountability that are plainly lacking from the private security apparatus.
A crucial point to bear in mind is that the investment diverted to support Jewish presence in Palestinian neighborhoods is carried out on top of a backdrop of years of neglect to these areas, considerably worse-off in terms of public infrastructure in comparison to West Jerusalem and other Israeli cities in general. […]
Live tweets are a report based on what was said at the forum, with opinion left out of the equation. The information is straight from Tali Nir or Hagai El-Ad, with other voices named specifically.