Pisgat Zeev (in foreground)
Pisgat Zeev (in foreground) Israel news photo: Flash 90

Residents of the Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood in Jerusalem are up in arms over the recent decision by a resident of the neighborhood to rent his apartment out to an Arab family from the eastern part of the city. The apartment owner, in this case, is a high-ranking officer with the Israel Police, residents told Arutz Sheva.

In an interview, residents said that the officer, who had moved out of the neighborhood, had sought to sell the apartment, but was seeking too high a price. Instead, he decided to rent out the apartment, and chose to rent it to the Arab family. The residents said that the officer was uninterested in any of their arguments opposing the decision, such as fear that the family, who may be law abiding, could be subject to pressure from relatives or acquaintances who would try to take advantage of the fact that the family was in a Jewish neighborhood to carry out a terror attack. Such incidents have happened before, the residents said.

“It is an embarrassment that a police officer would do such a thing,” one resident told Arutz Sheva. “We have been fighting a battle to maintain this as a Jewish neighborhood, and here this officer comes and damages our efforts.” According to the residents, the officer said that his entire decision was based on financial considerations, and that residents had nothing to fear from the family.

The residents said that they would not give up their struggle. “The officer needs to know that this neighborhood was named for Ze'ev Jabotinsky, who established the special forces that defended Jews from Arab terrorists in the early days of modern Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel.” As such, deliberately putting the residents in danger, especially in Pisgat Ze'ev, was most inappropriate.

The residents who spoke with Arutz Sheva were almost all secular. “Whoever wants to live in a mixed neighborhood is welcome to do so,” they said. “We want this to remain a Jewish neighborhood,” they said, adding that the issue had nothing to do with politics or racism, as many residents of neighborhoods in Tel Aviv had the same fears that they did, and deliberately kept Arabs from renting or buying in their areas, fearing that they, too, could become victims of terror.

Arutz Sheva was unable to get a response from the officer before publication of this story.