‘We will multiply and increase’: Lawmakers vow to complete new Jewish neighborhood in eastern J’lem

“The construction in Jerusalem is no longer a policy issue, but a test of the governance of the State of Israel.”

By World Israel News Staff

Members of Knesset from all the coalition parties held a tour of northeastern Jerusalem and the terminal at the old airport at Atarot, where there are plans to build a new Jewish neighborhood.

Just over a year ago, the Bennett government reportedly caved to U.S. pressure to delay construction.

The goal of the tour – initiated and led by the “Im Eshkachech – Keep Jerusalem” organization, founded and headed by Chaim Silberstein, was to strengthen the government to speed up the environmental review and soon approve the neighborhood in the Jerusalem District Committee.

“As much as terrorism tries to hit us and take our heads down, we will multiply and we will increase,” vowed Knesset member Boaz Bismut (Likud). “We will work on all levels in order to strengthen the settlement and promote the construction plan of the Jewish neighborhood in Atarot.”

Member of Knesset Yitzhak Pindros (Torah Judaism) added, “We have prayed for the building of Jerusalem throughout the generations, I hope, wish and will also act to ensure that this government will carry out the prayer for the building of Jerusalem: approving the construction of the Atarot neighborhood is the goal now.”

“We were impressed by the coalition members’ desire to finish the neighborhood approval procedure in the district committee, the approval of the neighborhood and its construction, the preservation of a united Jerusalem under Israel’s sovereignty,” commented Ran Ichay, former director general of the Ministry of Jerusalem and now head of the organization’s Jerusalem Center for Applied Policy.

Read  Netanyahu: Opposition using judicial reforms as pretext to undo election

“As a member of the Jerusalem city administration and Deputy Mayor in the past, I was amazed by the amount of illegal construction that exists in the Atarot area, this construction is a danger to the integrity of Jerusalem,” said MK Avraham Bezalel (Shas).

“As elected officials, we must do everything in our power to develop the place and encourage Jewish construction there.”

Fighting incitement to murder of Jews

Member of Knesset Ohad Tal (Religious Zionism) said after the tour: “We heard today about the blessed plan to build 9,000 housing units in the new neighborhood in Atarot. This is a strategic move that will provide territorial continuity to the city, contribute to the demographic balance and help lower housing prices.

“In addition, I heard about the illegal Arab construction and the Arab educational institutions that adopt the Palestinian curriculum that encourage the murder of Jews and is funded almost entirely by the State of Israel. This is absurd. I spoke with the coalition members who participated in the tour today and we agreed that we will work together to fight this distortion.”

MK Ariel Kellner (Likud) concurred. “I will work with all my might to stop the wild antisemitic incitement in the education system in schools in the city’s neighborhoods, the results of which are expressed in the murder of Jews,” he affirmed.

Indeed, just over a week ago, 13-year-old terrorist Muhammad Aliwat – an 8th-grade student at the Al-Furqan Islamic School for Boys in Shuafat, a Jerusalem neighborhood, where he was studying the Palestinian curriculum – shot a father and son on Shabbat morning in the Old City; the father remains in critical condition.

Read  While we get distracted, antisemites undermine societal stability in Israel - opinion

“The Palestinian Authority textbooks used in recent months by Aliwat incite violence, promote the killing of Jewish Israelis, spread overt antisemitic tropes, and glorify jihad and martyrdom,” the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se), said in a press release.

IMPACT-se reviewed the attacker’s school textbooks studied this year and last. It found “gruesome” content that incites violence and jihad, inculcates antisemitism, and “encourages students to sacrifice themselves while killing Jews.”

‘Everything depends’ on the new government

A Jewish neighborhood was planned to be built in the Atarot area many years ago, “but its construction was delayed due to foreign pressures,” noted Limor Son Har Melech (Otzma Yehudit).

“This is an area of first-rate strategic importance, where the establishment of a Jewish neighborhood will be an integral part of the city, will strengthen the northern side of Jerusalem and establish Israeli sovereignty in the capital.”

The tour began with an observation and review of the biblical hill Givat Shaul-Tel El Ful, continued to the Atarot airport site and ended in the Atarot industrial park with a visit to the Jerusalem Wineries together with the industrial park manager Yaacov Gutman and the owner of the winery, Ofer Guetta, Also in attendance were the deputy mayor of Jerusalem Fleur Hassan Nahum (Jerusalem will Prosper) and members of the Jerusalem City Council Yehonatan Yosef ( United) and Yosef Speizer (Awakening).

Read  Israel's political chaos: Where lies the truth? - analysis

“From the impression I got from the members of the Knesset, I am sure that the move to approve the neighborhood that we passed in the local committee will soon pass in the district committee as well,” Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan Nahum said.

City Council member Yehonathan Yosef said: he had the privilege, about a year ago, to approve the establishment of the neighborhood in the local planning and construction committee.

“Since then an environmental survey has been carried out which has ended. Now everything depends on the Israeli government.

“I fully expect a right-wing government to approve the establishment of the neighborhood immediately and leave a real mark in the form of the strengthening of Jerusalem,” he stated.

Jerusalem City Council member Yosef Speizer expressed optimism regarding the new government, saying that the tour, with the participation of coalition members, “encourages and clarifies that the struggle we have led for years to build the neighborhood in Atarot” and “now takes on operational significance with the entry of the new government.”

According to Im Eshkachech, “the construction in Atarot will have a dramatic effect on lowering the cost of housing in Jerusalem and will allow young couples to stay in the city and buy apartments.

“The construction in Jerusalem is no longer a policy issue, but a test of the governance of the State of Israel.”