Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Love of the Land: No equality before the law

No equality before the law

Construction laws in Jerusalem applied differently to Jews, Arabs

Hagai Segal
10 March '10

I felt two very dear people were missing in last week’s press conference where Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat presented his King Garden’s plan: The city’s Legal Advisor, Yossi Havilio, and State Prosecutor Moshe Lador.

They were supposed to be there to praise the plan, or at least show moral support with their very presence. After all, one of the plan’s most prominent aims is to impose law and order in the wild construction market of east Jerusalem, and both of them thus far appeared to be zealous supporters of this challenge. Yet they did not show up.

Havilio, as we know, is the uncompromising fighter against Beit Yehonatan in Kfar HaShiloah. His office has been turned into a war room against the mayor’s aspirations to legalize the building. Havilio did not agree to any compromise on the matter, even when the overall regularization of construction in the area – both Jewish and Arab – was discussed.

Meretz’s representative in City Council actually endorsed the compromise, yet Havilio objected on behalf of the law.

At a certain point, Lador too joined the campaign. Some very harsh warning letters were sent from Lador’s office on Salah al-Din Street to Barkat. The Mayor was asked to immediately seal Beit Yehonatan. “Any further delay constitutes grave damage to the values of the rule of law,” Lador reprimanded Barkat recently.

Sudden patience

King’s Garden, an ancient site that in the past was declared a green zone, includes 44 illegal structures. Their status is identical to that of Beit Yehonatan. Final demolition orders were issued against all of them.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: No equality before the law

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