'No city can be happy if there's a wall going through it'

Jerusalem mayoral candidate Rachel Azaria says municipality must have better planning, work to help Arab residents.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Jerusalem mayoral candidate MK Rachel Azaria
Jerusalem mayoral candidate MK Rachel Azaria
Itzik Nissim

Jerusalem mayoral candidate Rachel Azaria spoke on Monday night at a conference hosted by Arutz Sheva and organized by Dr. Joseph Frager.

"I think there are major challenges that haven't been dealt with" in Jerusalem, she said, "a lot that have to do with urban planning."

"On the one hand, the city of Jerusalem is the size of Paris, but it feels very crowded even though it's not crowded at all. And the problem is that we are not planning well enough. We stand in traffic jams, the apartments aren't built well enough, and we really need to realize that in 2048, which means [the 100th anniversary of] the State of Israel, we're going to be the most crowded country in the OECD.

She said that young people were leaving Jerusalem because of a lack of jobs.

According to Azaria, it is counterproductive to focus on the ideological differences between Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem, and the municipality should focus instead on improving the day to day lives of all residents of the capital.

"I think that sometimes people think that Jerusalem is much more separate, eastern and western Jerusalem, than than what actually happens. In Jerusalem, we live together. We have a city where you can sometimes even hear the city's heartbeat. And I don't believe there can ever be a happy city if there's a wall that goes down the city.

"That's why I think that Jerusalem has to be united and we have to make sure that we give opportunities to people in eastern Jerusalem: job opportunities, educational opportunities, health opportunities, everything to make sure that their life will be as good as possible. And there's no reason that their life wouldn't be good," she said.




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