Mahane Yehuda Market empty in Jerusalem (illustration)
Mahane Yehuda Market empty in Jerusalem (illustration)Lior Mizrahi/Flash 90

Jerusalem Councilman Arieh King explained on Tuesday night the figures published earlier in the day, according to which Jerusalem is leading the nation is negative migration as Jewish residents leave the city in far greater numbers than they are moving to it.

The figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics showed that in 2014, long before the current Arab terror wave that has plagued the capital, the city lost a total of 6,740 residents. Particularly troubling was the fact that the majority of those leaving were young.

Writing on Facebook on Tuesday night, King said, "if someone truly wants to understand how it happens that there is negative migration of Jews from our capital city...the answer is stuck very deep in the halls of the Prime Minister's Office."

According to the councilman and founder of the Israel Land Fund (ILF), those responsible for the phenomenon are "first of all the Prime Minister and his ministers in the last two terms, a Prime Minister and ministers who freeze construction for Jews/Israelis simply because of their religion and race - they are the first who are guilty for the current situation of the worsening demographic balance of Jerusalem."

"The second factor responsible for this warped situation is the Jerusalem city council that I am a member of," wrote King.

"And in the city council, first and foremost is the Mayor who didn't fight with the government of Israel enough for construction in Jerusalem on the one hand, and on the other didn't fight the lack of law enforcement against the Arab building criminals in the east of the city."

Number crunching

He began listing some figures explaining why Jews, and particularly young couples, are leaving, noting that the "average price for an apartment in the Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood in north Jerusalem is 1.5 million shekels, and in the adjacent Arab neighborhood it's only 600,000 shekels."

"An average price of an apartment in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood in south Jerusalem is around 1.4 million shekels, and in adjacent Jabel Mukaber and Sur Baher it's only 700,000 shekels," he added.

"Every year in recent years they demolish more housing units for Jews than they demolish for Arabs, even though there are around 42,000 illegal housing units under Arab ownership and just around 4,000 belonging to Jews."

"In 2014 the Jerusalem municipality demolished five synagogues (out of nine total illegal ones in the entire city), but did not demolish a single mosque (out of the 57 or so illegal mosques in the entire city)."

Further demonstrating the lack of law enforcement against illegal Arab building, he added that "there was a drop of 45% in putting out demolition orders in the east of the city in 2015."


Having presented the unfair housing situation in the capital, King wrote that "those guilty for the cost of living and housing (for Jews only!!!) in Jerusalem are the Prime Minister, government ministers (yes, also former Housing Ministers and Jerusalem Affairs Ministers and more...from Jewish Home), the Mayor (Nir Barkat - ed.), and members of the Jerusalem city council (yes, I'm included in this black list!)."

King's comment on former ministers refers to how Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett was Jerusalem Affairs Minister in the last government, and Uri Ariel, the head of Jewish Home's Tekuma faction, was the Housing Minister.

"The time has come for the public to recognize the warped reality according to which the Likud - the ruling party in recent years - together with its partner the Jewish Home-Tekuma faction advance the division of Jerusalem in practice."

Using Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's nickname, he added, "against Bibi-Barkat (and Bennett) and against the policies of the Prime Minister and the Mayor, unfortunately I stand alone."

"The day will come, and God willing it will be soon, when Bennett-Bibi-Barkat are a minority and those who love Jerusalem and build Jerusalem will be in power and will build the Holy City, as expected from a nation that aspires to build its capital and its historic and future center, as expected from a nation that the Creator of the universe chose for Himself from all nations to build for Him in the center of their capital the dwelling place of the Creator of the universe, the King of Kings."