Friday, April 27

No! to demolitions in Ajami and Jabaliyah

Over three thousand people from Jaffa, both Palestinian and Jewish Israelis, peacefully marched together this afternoon in Jaffa's Jabaliya and Ajami neighbourhoods, in order to protest against the demolition of 497 homes of families from Ajami and Jabaliya neighbourhood in Jaffa and the transfer of the people from Jaffa.

Almost 500 families in Jaffa, many of them with several children, are about to become homeless.
Since the onset of the gentrification process in Jaffa's Ajami neighbourhood, more and more Arab families have been served demolition orders or court orders towards the inevitable demolition order of their homes. The very large majority of those families have lived in these homes for all or most of their lives.
In 1948, after the majority of Jaffa's Arab population had been driven out, the small group staying behind were forced into Ajami neighbourhood, behind barbed wire. Their homes were confiscated by the Israel land authority, then rented out by Amidar to the original owners, who had lost their ownership. Amidar didn't bother to care for the houses, in spite of the fact that the inhabitants paid full rent. Nobody really cared very much about Ajami and Jabaliyah, and both neighbourhoods turned into slums, until some years ago, when the wealthy yuppies discovered Ajami and Jabaliyah and the prices started to rise quickly, fantastically....
Jaffa is the new pet project of the developers for the very rich. And if that means the poor and minority will have to be kicked out, that's just fine and dandy with them. The result: over 2000 people are about to become homeless. The municipality will be happy to see them leave to Ramle or Lod, or wherever, they do not really care. Tel Aviv and Jaffa are quickly turning into places for the very wealthy only. Jewish wealthy, that is.

Although the legal fight has led to small successes for some family, the larger principle needs to be dealt with: affordable and decent housing for all is a basic right. People, Jaffa's Palestinian population included, have the RIGHT to live in Jaffa. And to stay there.
This doesn't only imply NOT demolishing their homes, but also ensuring true and good public housing solutions, not in slums, but in all neighbourhoods. No developer should receive a building permit, if not at least 20% of the houses he or she builds will be made available as public housing. No original inhabitants should loose their homes as a result of development.

The demonstration was organised by the public committee, made up out of representatives of several groups in Jaffa: reut sedaka, alrabita, the Jaffa assn for humanitarian assistance and others.
Among the participants and speakers were Esther Saba, whose home in HaLimon street was the first to be demolished (right now the court has cancelled the demolition order), Fadi Shabita of Reut Sedaka, sheikh Anwar Dake (Jaffa Humanitarian Aid), Camal Agbarieh of the Ajami neighbourhood council, Sami AbuShade, Gerardo Leibner (Tel Aviv University's history department) , knesset members Dov Khenin, Ibrahim Zarzur, Yossi Beilin and Ran Cohen, as well as Tel Aviv's deputy mayor Yael Dayan and many others.


Lirun said...

ok im left confused again..

"Tel Aviv and Jaffa are quickly turning into places for the very wealthy only. Jewish wealthy, that is."

are you implying that no wealthy arabs live or are allowed to live in yaffo? or that wealthy arabs are not permitted to purchase expensive properties in yaffo?

i seem to recall that in previous posts you were lamenting the impact of gentrification on the poor in general in yaffo and that you noted that yaffo and ajami in particular also had a significant population of wealthy arabs..

please set me straight on this..

by the way - i hope no one loses their home.. i worry for the children too

yudit said...

Lirun, there are almost 500 eviction/demolition orders. 99% are against Arab families.....

Yes, there are a few wealthy Arab families in Jaffa, but these are a small minority. A very small minority. they exist and some of them live in nice new villas in ajami. So what?

The one and only affordable housing project for Jaffa's Arab community (almost 10 years ago, in the frame of "bnay diratha")was cancelled. You know why? Because none of the candidates could get banks' backing, because they were too poor.

Over 2000 people stand to loose their homes and they will have NO SOLUTION.

There is a major problem, which punishes the [poor the worst, but it will not stop there.
the reality is an ugly one of of ethnic transfer. Yes of the poor and the most poor in Jaffa are Palestinians.
This isn't secret, but of course if you like you can twist it,perhaps it will make you feel better

J.P. said...

In one democracy to have the tenants removed they send in a bulldozer, in another they offer a like worth one with new wallpaper and tapestry, offer to help you move and give a donation of €5000,- to soothen the pain.

Perdix said...

Uniting colours 2.

Lirun said...

This isn't secret, but of course if you like you can twist it,perhaps it will make you feel better

what do you mean by that?

Tsedek said...

Why is it that nobody (except for the neighborhood) cares? I don't understand. People are being removed from their houses here. Isn't that a crime?

Iechsss filthy rich-money-loving-heartless-people: BAH!

Luke said...

One upon a time when our world still seemed to be allright, when there were not all those thousands of nudniks crowded on the beach like fish in a can to get something strange like a tan?, we were happy with the small things in life and used to dance the Twist.

When I see all those people wearing these incredible tasteless Crocs instead of Teva I know a lot of people to have an identity problem.

When I read a few lines of somebody who is this dedicated and honest, who could have a life among the celebs but chose the underside of society.
When I read about somebody asking to get for the second time an explanation, I think it it time to TWIST this persons ear.

ee said...

Ha ha, Luke, LOL about crocs! The only reason I can sorta understand are pregnant women who claim that the crocs are comfortable.
I saw a TV article last night about the Jaffa housing crisis.
The interviewed Jaffa dwellers, who explained the problem.
Amidar and the Ministry of Housing sent their answers as quotes (i.e., no representative spoke the works, they sent a Colbotech like response).
They claim that they are acting with perfect legality, now - as always.
What can you do?

Emily said...

thanks for your timely and strong coverage yehudit.

Lisa said...

thank you also.