(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Minister Ze’ev Elkin, calling attention to the neglect of east Jerusalem, spoke about the right of Jerusalem’s residents to live wherever they choose, at the 40th Jerusalem Institute conference on Wednesday.
Elkin stressed that Jerusalem is a city like any other city in Israel and anyone can live wherever he wants.
“I will tell you a secret – I rent [an apartment] in Pisgat Ze’ev and my neighbors are Arabs who also rent there,” he said.
“The sovereignty of Israel over all of Jerusalem has implications both ways,” said Elkin. “On the one hand, Israel is responsible for what is happening here. Unfortunately, Arab neighborhoods are neglected, because of both the Left and the Right. The Left says, ‘we may return it, so why invest,’ and the Right says, ‘they are Arabs, so why invest?’”
“These approaches are wrong and we must take moral responsibility. There is no sovereignty without responsibility,” Elkin said.
Elkin, who placed third in Jerusalem’s recent mayoral election, emphasized the plan for the construction of 100,000 homes
during his campaign, stressing that it would be directed to residents of all sectors in Jerusalem’s society.
In the conference on Wednesday, he discussed the issue of Jerusalem’s economic growth rate not meeting east Jerusalem’s demographic growth.