Jerusalem Councilman Dr. Meir Margalit (Meretz), who holds the east Jerusalem Portfolio, responded Wednesday to Israel's decision to authorize 50 new housing units in Har Homa and 28 in Ramot.
"These numbers are irrelevant,” he said after the announcement. “We have more dramatic problems than these numbers, so I think we can live with them."Asked why the municipality approved such a scant number of housing permits, Margalit opined that a new strategy may have been adopted by City Hall. “Maybe now instead of approving a thousand units at once, they’re doing a few at a time every week or two,” he said. “Nobody will pay attention to such small numbers.”
While Margalit said the Israeli government should avoid building in Arab neighborhoods over the 1967 lines, he said that the dignity of Palestinians living in east Jerusalem is far more pressing at this time.
“If I had to find one word to describe the most important issue facing young Palestinians, it is dignity,” he said. “When I talk to the young people of east Jerusalem about what’s behind this uprising, they say they want more dignity.”
Margalit continued: “They feel that Israel offends them day by day and are looking for a more dignified effort toward them.
The councilman said young Arabs who have lashed out in violence feel “humiliated by the Israeli establishment.”