Jerusalem city council member Yael Antebi has sent a letter to Likud Ministers Benny Begin and Michael Eitan, asking them to act decisively against illegal Arab construction in east Jerusalem.
“In continuation of your steadfast determination to protect the rule of law in Israel, as expressed these days in honoring the court's decision regarding the Ulpana neighborhood in Beit El, I wish to inform you that the in the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Shuafat and Anata, the law is not enforced in several issues,” Antebi wrote the two ministers.
Begin and Eitan have both said that the Supreme Court’s decision regarding the Ulpana neighborhood must be upheld and the homes demolished. They have rejected the Regulation Law, which aims to financially compensate Arabs who can prove legal land ownership, preferring to demolish Jewish homes and evict residents.
Antebi indicated three issues related to the two Arab neighborhoods:
“Construction offenses – The Israel Police is not ensuring the safety of Jerusalem Municipality inspectors in enforcing building laws,” she wrote. “The result - dozens of structures, including multi-story buildings, are built without construction permits, unsupervised and on public lands. I was told that under the orders of the Prime Minister, the police are not helping to enforce the law.
“Environmental offenses - offenses such as noise from banquet halls, muezzin, and fireworks are not enforced.
“Illegal Aliens – there are thousands of illegal aliens who came from all over Judea and Samaria (Yehuda and Shomron) to live in the hundreds of housing units that were built without permits, causing the population of Jerusalem to grow by thousands of Arabs.”
Antebi added, “All the above results in the fact that these neighborhoods, which are under the municipal jurisdiction of Jerusalem and inside the State of Israel, are, in fact, without Israeli sovereignty.
“This causes great suffering to residents of the Jewish neighborhoods of Pisgat Ze’ev, Neve Ya'akov and the French Hill,” she wrote. “As a representative of Pisgat Ze’ev on city council, I feel every day the helplessness of the residents, who are living in anarchy and have stopped believing in the possibility of applying the rule of law in Israel.”
Antebi noted that “Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed, in a cabinet meeting on October 23, 2011, the law enforcement in the Arab and minority sectors, and said that ‘there are not two countries. There is no state within a state, we live in one country - Israel is a Jewish and democratic state. I shout against the unequal enforcement, both in the positive aspects which require accessibility of police services, as well as in the negative aspect that requires more rigorous enforcement. There is a feeling among the public that the level of enforcement in these sectors is much lower. I am committed to changing that.’
“My feeling,” Antebi wrote to Eitan and Begin, “is that both the Prime Minister and you revere the rule of law only when it comes to Jews and prefer not to deal with Arabs.”