2021 In Review: Israel's Policy In East Jerusalem


Following the conclusion of the fourth Israeli election in two years in March 2021, a government was formed through merging parties from across the political spectrum with – for the first time – an Arab party, Ra’am: The United Arab List. Standing at the head of this government, though, are politicians from the far-right wing of the political map, who also head multiple ministerial positions relevant to policymaking in Jerusalem: namely the Interior, Justice, Housing, and Jerusalem and Heritage Ministries. This new “change” government has enjoyed an ongoing period of immunity of sorts by the international community, yet it has grown apparent that the government is advancing a right-wing agenda - sometimes even more drastic than that of its predecessors. Under this government, construction plans are being advanced in the settlements of Jerusalem and its environs on a sweeping scale, including the Atarot plan – a project of this government’s own creation – for 9,000 housing units, and plans in E1 on a scale of 3,400 housing units. The advancement of the plan for building in Givat HaMatos, taken from Beit Safafa land reserves in what will become the first new settlement in East Jerusalem in over 20 years, was promoted in early 2021 by Netanyahu’s government mere days before the inauguration of Joe Biden. 


Through our opposition to building in Givat HaMatos, Ir Amim discovered discrimination in the eligibility criteria for the subsidized housing project that is slated to make up roughly 40% of the apartments in Givat HaMatos. Once revealed that only those with Israeli citizenship could apply, thus excluding the vast majority of East Jerusalem residents, Ir Amim filed a p...read more