Daily Israel Report

J'lem Arabs Throw Rocks at Former Mayoral Candidate

Councilman Moshe Lion tours near Silwan neighborhood in Jerusalem, experiences firsthand the challenges of Jewish residents.
By Natanel Katz, Ari Yashar
First Publish: 3/27/2014, 9:59 AM

Moshe Lion touring eastern Jerusalem
Moshe Lion touring eastern Jerusalem
Yaakov Gutman

Jerusalem Councilman Moshe Lion, who ran for the post of Jerusalem mayor last October and lost to incumbent Nir Barkat, had stones thrown at him by Arab residents on Wednesday while touring in eastern Jerusalem.

On the tour, Lion and his group were shown through Kfar Hateimanim and Beit Yonatan not far from the City of David, located just south of the Old City and near the Arab-majority neighborhood of Silwan.

Towards the end of the tour, Lion's group was met with a barrage of stones, hurled by Arab residents from a nearby balcony. Security guards quickly guided the group to safety and secured the area.

"Unfortunately I was able not only to see with my own eyes but also to feel the challenges facing the residents in the area," stated Lion. "I want to strengthen the residents, and call on the Jerusalem municipality and government sources to do as much as possible help the Jewish presence and the security of residents."

Lion was travelling in the area in his capacity as councilman, and was joined by representatives from the organization Ateret Cohanim, which purchases homes in the Old City for Jews, and Rabbi Shmuel Stern, the head of a local Kolel Jewish learning institute.

The participants explained to Lion the importance of having Jews live in the area, and the challenges they face from their Arab neighbors, as was demonstrated in the stone throwing incident.

Restoring a 200 year old community

Lion stressed "I am proud of the Jewish residents who are returning us to the situation 200 years ago, when there was a beautiful Jewish community here of Jews hailing from Yemen." The former mayoral candidate added "there's no doubt this area is an inseparable part of Jerusalem and the state of Israel."

"We can't neglect certain areas and enable rock terror, which has already become too routine in parts of the capital," declared Lion.

Silwan has indeed become a hotbed of violence. Two bombs were found in the neighborhood last January, the same day a police officer was wounded in riots there, during the demolition of two illegal structures. Illegal building is considering something of an epidemic in the area.

Similarly, two residents of the neighborhood were charged over a foiled terror plot last March.